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17 creative ways marketers can address the rise of ad blockers

17 creative ways marketers can address the rise of ad blockers iMedia Editors

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.


Don't worry about it


Duran Inci, Optimum7 


"Marketers shouldn't worry about it since this doesn't concern marketers. At the end of the day, we're not spammers. Marketing is not about advertising; rather, it's about building brand awareness and portraying a powerful message. There will always be channels for us to advertise on. The message and the approach are what matter most. Focus on creative ideas and innovation first."


Partner with content producers


Curtis Thornhill, Apt Marketing Solutions


"Marketing to customers with an authority on a subject allows marketers to bypass ad blockers and deliver their message to customers in a way that creates trust and ultimately drives a purchase. By partnering with content producers and websites, marketers can reach those source's pre-existing audiences in a way that allows content that interests them to reach them directly."


Control distribution through retention


Carter Thomas, Bluecloud Solutions


"The companies that rely on advertising the least are the ones that have the best ability to capture and control native traffic. As ad blockers dampen the ability to drive new visitors, it is increasingly important to retain current visitors."


Use native advertising


Stephen Gill, Tiller 


"As traditional ads lose market share due to ad blockers, more brands will transition their efforts to storytelling with native formats such as content, lifestyle advertising, and product placement on social platforms like Instagram. Mobile native ads draw double the CTR of display ads, and in some cases, bypass ad blockers to reach the right audience in context. "


Create great stories


Shane SnowContently 


"The answer is clear, but it's easier said than done: Create content that people actually want to read, watch, or listen to, rather than something that interrupts them. Great stories are the only real solution to ad blocking."


Repurpose your written content


David Ciccarelli, Voices.com 


"Consider repurposing your written content by having it serve as the basis for short videos or audio podcasts. There is something tremendously authentic about seeing someone on camera or hearing their voice on an audio podcast that creates a connection that's difficult to replicate with just text. Plus, you'll gain visibility on YouTube as well as the iTunes and Google Play podcast directories."


Diversify your efforts


Erik Huberman, Hawke Media 


"There are plenty of ways to market a brand without using straight advertising -- native marketing, influencer marketing, and podcast marketing are all good examples. Digital banners are not the only way to build a business."


Think like the customer


Michael Kleinmann, The Underwear Expert, Inc. 


"You don't want to see ads and neither does your customer. Stop marketing to them and start creating content that you and your customers are interested in. We've created an entire business around this at The Underwear Expert. We produce 200+ articles, with custom photo shoots and video content, each month as part of our content strategy."


Form relationships with sites and content creators


Blair Thomas, EMerchantBroker 


"Advertising via banner ads can feel like throwing your money away. The fact is, it can very well be a wasteful endeavor. Rather than advertising in the traditional sense, find sites with users within your demographic, strike partnerships with those sites and content creators, and find ways to creatively inject your brand into paid content articles that really speak to the user and inspire sales."


Work with influencers through product reviews


Andy Karuza, brandbuddee 


"People may be blocking ad spaces, but they are still consuming web media. Either work with a PR group to get media placement or connect directly with bloggers who reach your desired audience. In many cases, you can send them a free product for review at a very low cost or even free sometimes. Their review will be shared with thousands if not millions of people without the risk of being blocked."


Employ an "ad blocker blocker"


Corey Northcutt, Northcutt Inbound Marketing 


"On the whole, you should probably focus on what you control most and improve the quality of the experience to the point that your audience feels motivated to give something back. But as that's not always realistic, you can also employ an "ad blocker blocker" JavaScript to serve a CPA offer or humble donation request. Just keep in mind, this segment of your audience should be approached cautiously."


Look to Apester


Ben Lang, Mapme 


"I've noticed that there are many articles discussing the rise of ad blockers but few are providing solutions. If marketers can take a page out of Buzzfeed's book and engage and entertain users by pushing interactive units like online quizzes, polls, surveys, and videos, then I'm sure users would be much more responsive to ads. Apester is a good example of a company leading the way in this field."


Make ads that people want to see


Kevin Henrikson, Outlook iOS & Android @ Microsoft 


"The simple answer is to build ads that people want to see. The solution is, of course, not easy. The fact is, learning about your product should be as fun as using your product."


Provoke discussion via content


Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com 


"Ad blockers are popular because people hate pushy advertising. Get people to come to your brand instead by asking the hard questions in your profession. Don't shy away from controversial new developments in your industry. Instead, write, vlog, and post about them, inviting participation from anyone who sees you. People will be more interested in your brand when they come to you."


Leverage word-of-mouth marketing


Jeff Epstein, Ambassador 


"The rise of ad blockers will continue to diminish online advertising, so the ability to leverage word-of-mouth will become necessary to inject your brand into the conversation. Platforms like Ambassador enable companies to easily track and manage word-of-mouth campaigns to deliver tangible results."


Use ad blockers and identify ad opportunities


Brett Farmiloe, Markitors 


"Marketers should install an ad blocker on their browser and visit the websites their target audience visits. What advertising opportunities exist with an ad blocker installed? Are there sponsorship opportunities on a target website? Native advertising in the form of sponsored posts on target websites? See the web through the eyes of your ad blocked customers to find the right opportunities."


Focus on permission-based marketing


Shawn Porat, Fortune Cookie Advertising 


"If you focus on reaching people who have given you permission to see your messages, you won't have to worry about ad blockers. Of course, you still need to make an initial connection with your audience. This can be done with innovative marketing methods such as using brand ambassadors, networking on social media, and creating content that makes people want to reach out to you."


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