Let your audience invite you past their ad-blockers

The proliferation of ad-blockers is no surprise. Ads that invade our browsing experience annoy, disrupt or full-on creep out all of us. This is why YehBaby still emphasizes organic social reach as a way past the ad-blockers.

In a recent US survey on consumer sentiment towards online ads, 53% of respondents reported using ad-blockers. More than 30 percent disliked online ads. The main reasons for the negativity are “ads slowing page-load times, irrelevant ads that repeated and ads taking up too much screen real estate”.

In a recent SA survey on ad-blocking by Effective Measure, 13% of respondents reported currently using ad-blockers. The survey quotes US ad-blocker use as 26% and Australian as 27%. The expectation is that SA will follow that trend is an understandable worry to online publishers and other businesses that rely on online advertising revenue.

Unwelcome advertising

Why is online advertising so unwelcome? Badly executed and targeted online ads make us feel like we are accosted in a private environment by a pamphleteer or a salesman we did not invite in. When they blatantly use our search history to target us, it adds the intruder also feels like a stalker.

Advertising on social media sites can feel unwelcome for all the same reasons. This is why YehBaby hasn’t totally jumped on the bandwagon that says social is now just another paid push channel.

Nothing beats advertising (social and other digital display) for targeting an audience with messaging. This works so much better, though, when the audience is open to it and willingly receives the message.

We all lived through the Facebook “Reachpocalypse”, seeing organic reach decimated as Facebook monetized its audience. With organic social reach dialed way down by platforms to maximize social advertising revenues, many social marketers began treating social as just another paid channel. Posts are often just online ads pushed at the audience through news feeds using the powerful targeting tools offered by platforms like Facebook.

The long game

This tactic is essentially short term, with the brand potentially invading the audience members space with a message they didn’t sign up for. However, treating your social audience as a respected community of potential brand ambassadors, represents the long game.

Posts with organic reach necessarily means your message arrived in the recipient’s social world with a form of endorsement already attached. It looks nothing like the kind of messaging that makes people switch on ad-blockers, feeling invaded and spammed.

We see organic reach as a measure of brand trust. It represents the positive feedback of a community of brand ambassadors. They see your brand walk the talk and respect their social space. They react to a steady beat of on-brand talking and listening that builds trust.

It also invites people to bring their complaints, criticism (and praise) directly to you. You can then deal with it before it becomes general negativity.

To be successful on social in the long term you still have to know your audience and your business goals to their needs.