Have you ever watched a YouTube video that didn’t have an ad? It's probably been a while. But now, with the emergence of ad blockers, people are taking every measure to escape the invasion of modern ads.
When looking at the future of digital advertising, we are stuck wondering how to avoid this problem. According to IBM, more than 144 million people used ad blockers last year, up 70 percent from 2014. The ad blocking era is just beginning, and despite major players (Apple, Microsoft, etc.) creating software to prevent it, people will continue finding loopholes around commercials.
...Which is why brands should shift focus to social media marketing.
Social media offers flexible platforms that can withstand the time of ad blockers. Especially because it skews mobile, it's the best way for brands and advertisers to ensure their work is not hidden.
Here are three things working in social media's favor:
1. Selective Placement
According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, the top reasons people block ads are that "they're interruptive, can be annoying, and [are] often irrelevant." With social media, you have the option to hide ads and give feedback to receive more relevant content. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all allow users to either hide ads or see fewer ads similar to that one. This allows you, the consumer, to customize your news feed to your interests and needs.
2. The 20 Percent Text Rule
Facebook has a 20 percent rule, which forbids ads from using more than 20 percent text. This ensures the NewsFeed will consist of high-quality and engaging posts, rather than spammy-looking text ads.
3. Scrolling Past Ads
The beauty of social media is the ability to scroll at will. You aren’t forced to watch an ad before a video, as with YouTube, or answer questions before consuming text, as with editorial websites. Ads on social media do not hold users hostage. That's why they are better received.
Thanks to ad blockers, users can now enjoy e-news and YouTube videos without the annoyance of irrelevant ads. Social media ensures they will only see things they care about—and see it at the right time, no less.
By creating an organic and peaceful user experience, social media gives the consumer options. They can scroll past an ad if they don't like it, or engage with the ad if they do.
"Will there be banner ads in 10 years? Doubt it," says Chris Tuff, executive vice president of 22squared. "[Our agency] will be moving to content.
"You have to blend in to stand out.”
Is social media the best solution to ad blockers? What does the future hold? Share your thoughts with the Likeable Media team below!