By: John Seroka
When telemarketers crossed the line with too many intrusive calls during dinner time, consumers fought back through the National Do Not Call Registry. When DVRs entered the market, consumers were able to blow through irrelevant commercials in a matter of seconds. And, of course, people who receive repetitive, unwanted and irrelevant emails can easily block the senders or mark such them as spam.
And now, if you are tired of banners and pop-up ads, you can download an ad-blocker which eliminates all ads, not just the annoying and irrelevant ones. That’s not so great for brands.
Digital advertisers in the mortgage industry have a right to be concerned about the increasing trend of ad-blocking. According to a study by Statista, the ad blocker user rate is projected to be 26.4% by 2020!
This is a stark reminder for advertisers about how empowered consumers really are.
People use ad-blockers because they are fed up with online ads that:
- Are intrusive
- Distract from their online experience
- Block them from reading desired content
- Are irrelevant
This does not mean your target audience hates online advertising. What they hate are ads that, in some cases, blatantly and unapologetically trash their online experience and leave them frustrated.
However, if presented thoughtfully, online ads can entice people to click and even give up a little personal information or privacy in exchange for information they might find valuable.
Therefore, it’s time for us advertisers to think more strategically about what we are serving our online audience, and how. We should not be catalysts for more ad-block software downloads.
Fortunately, with the quality of data available, both structured and unstructured, delivering highly personalized and relevant ads is very doable. It will go a long way to restore trust instead of driving more ad-block downloads!
Here are 4 tactics you can use to get past ad blockers:
Native advertising: Native advertising is content that appears to be just like any other article, video or graphic in a publication. The key is that it matches in tone and style of all other content, which is what makes a native ad difficult to spot, at least at first glance.
This “blending in” makes it the exact opposite of a typical banner ad, sidebar ad or pop-up.
Publications typically put a label above the ad that reads “advertisement” or “sponsored” so that readers don’t feel deceived by the publication if they click through.
This type of advertising is gaining a lot of traction. The click-through rates and viewership far exceed those of their more intrusive counterpart. Here are some key stats that will make you think:
- Native ads receive 53 percent more views than traditional display ads. (Sharethrough)
- 70 percent of users would rather learn about products through content than traditional advertisements. (Content Marketing Institute)
- In 2020, US native display ad spending is expected to grow 20.2% to $52.75 billion according to eMarketer, further proof of their effectiveness.
Banner blindness is not a factor with native advertising. In fact, consumers don’t really want to become blind to native ads because they are considered to be much more authentic and in line with their interests given their interest in the site or publication to begin with.
Mobile app advertising: According to eMarketer, 89% of mobile time is spent in-app. And because a mobile phone is so highly connected with the personal life of its owner, the ability of advertisers to provide a highly personalized and friendly user experience is great.
Also, consider that according to a study by Ipsos, 47% of respondents said they could recall a lot or some of an ad when they saw it in an app as compared to just 36% who saw ads on a PC.
In-app ad spending continues to grow and the ability to deliver a highly personalized experience is becoming more sophisticated.
Influencer marketing: This is a hot tactic now because influencers are easier to find and assess than ever before! This type of marketing taps into the large following of key individuals that have the power to create awareness of your company and what you offer.
Depending on the type of company you are, lender or vendor, you can tap into industry influencers, influencers in the local communities you serve or other influencers that are directly or tangentially related to real estate and financing, like home improvement, fix and flippers, top-producing mortgage loan officers with an active and engaging presence on social media and others to get your name, technology, service or expertise out there.
There are a lot of great reasons to leverage influencer marketing! It’s one of the quickest ways to build trust in your company. It’s also a great equalizer because large companies have immense marketing budgets to work with that can make it very difficult for a smaller company or new entrant to compete.
With the right influencer(s) in place, a smaller company can make a substantial impact on its target audience.
It’s a modern twist on the more traditional PR activities and a great add-on.
Sponsored content: Sponsored content is content that is produced to be educational or entertaining and is then distributed by a publisher like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. Certainly, you’ve seen plenty in your personal news feeds.
The purpose of sponsored content is to create brand awareness. It is not overtly designed to sell a product or service. Rather, its purpose is to drive a favorable image of the brand to educate or entertain the reader. The key here is the frequency in order to increase brand recall and consideration when a decision is imminent.
Now, even though ad blocking is becoming a rising concern, that does not mean you should stop running online ads – not by a long shot. The tactics mentioned above should be add-ons to your overall online advertising strategy and are not intended to replace anything. Each tactic, used properly, can help the buyer along his or her journey to decide who they will ultimately do business with.