Content Disabled: Inbound Marketing in the Age of Adblock

Adblock on iPadIn the age of adblock, the difference between ad quantity and ad quality becomes clear.

Quality over quantity is a common mantra in inbound marketing. This has never been truer than it is now, with the rise of adblock software taking the advertising world by storm.

For those unfamiliar with how they work, here’s a brief rundown. Adblockers are applications that alter advertising content on a page. This can mean replacing ads with something else, or just removing them altogether. Users enjoy freedom from intrusive web advertisements and on-page behavior tracking. It also reduces page loading times, protects user privacy, and reduces energy use on mobile.

Naturally, adblock applications are all the rage these days.

The Downside

Installing adblock sounds like a smart move on the consumer side, but what about the businesses on the other end?

A report by Adobe and PageFair took a stab at calculating the impact of adblock. Adblockers cost publishers almost $22 billion in revenue in 2015. They also found that the number consumers using adblock software has grown by 41 percent year after year. Clearly, adblock is in it for the long haul.

Global Ad Block Growth

The growth of adblock use as found Adobe and PageFair

Many businesses and websites are reliant on advertisements to generate revenue. Though adblock was designed to create a better browsing experience for users, there’s no denying that the service poses some serious challenges for online marketing. Research by Secretmedia showed that only two percent of Internet users would be willing to pay the costs that are covered by advertisement today to access online information.

Fortunately, the type of marketing facing the worst of adblock’s wrath is of the outbound variety. This is what all ads are, really—outbound and usually untargeted “shotgun” strategies designed to reach as many people as possible. Adblock is setting outbound online marketing on fire. However, you have a better tool at your disposal, and one that doesn’t rely on spamming or tricking users—inbound marketing! 

The Inbound Advantage

Web advertising is changing. The days of obtrusive ads and emblazoning your corporate logo across the Internet are over. As consumers gain more control over their browsing experience, reaching out to them becomes more and more difficult.

A better strategy is to make them come to you. Enter inbound marketing.

Now, you may be wondering how inbound marketing manages to get around the adblock of it all. Here’s the trick—adblockers don’t restrict information that is part of typical inbound marketing strategies.

The difference comes from the value of the content provided. Ads, even targeted ads, aren’t usually conducive to a good user experience. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, provides information and content that has actual value to readers. You’re not spamming them with ads. You’re addressing actual concerns that they face on a daily basis. This ensures that your content won’t be caught in the adblocker net, and demonstrates your value to those with the purchasing power.

Deploying Inbound

You can’t stop people from using adblock. However, you can use inbound marketing tactics to reduce the damage and diversify your marketing campaign:

  • Make conversions easy – Adblock reduces the visibility of your brand. This means that you have to make the most out of every lead in your sales funnel. Optimized landing pages and CTAs are your friend here. A/B test various strategies to find the method that gives you the best returns on your inbound marketing investment.
  • Use search ads – Inbound marketing doesn’t mean forgoing ads altogether. Try using ads focused on search. Search ads are trackable, unobtrusive, and targeted by nature. They even fall into the category of “acceptable ads” on many popular adblock platforms, meaning that they’ll be less likely to be blocked by your users.
  • Create killer content What inbound strategy would be effective without great content? Make sure your content targets prospects early in the sales funnel. Your goal is to establish authority and increase the visibility of your material. Take a look at your content to see if it truly stands out in the sea of digital marketing materials.

Marketing with Adblock

Though adblock sounds intimidating to businesses reliant on advertising revenue, things aren’t as grim as they seem. Adblock, for inbound marketing at least, isn’t a bad thing at all. Adblock simply reduces white noise on the Internet and prevents broad-spectrum ads from reaching consumers. With less content vying for consumer attention, smart inbound marketers can leverage the presence of adblock to make their content and their business truly shine.

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