Do you run an adblocker?
An adblocker is an extension to your web browser of choice, and it does pretty much what is said on the label - block nearly every type of ad you encounter while browsing. The technology has been around for a while, but it has become increasingly more common in recent years.
What does it mean for you? If your business' main form of digital outreach is through online advertising, then it means lost re
venue. A lot of lost revenue. Perhaps enough lost revenue to start considering an alternate option.
The Problem Starts With Advertising
It's a familiar story. Perhaps you checked the prices for something on eBay - an upmarket set of headphones, let's say - then you leave the website. You go somewhere else, and chilling out in the sidebar is an ad for the headphones you were looking at earlier. You feel slightly annoyed, maybe a little creeped out - you'd finished looking at them. Perhaps you'd decided that you didn't really want them. Perhaps you'd bought them. But months later, there's still ads following you around the internet, trying to get you to buy the same set of headphones.
This is often how online advertising works. The mentality is that perhaps if they ask you enough times, you might be interested enough to buy something you were looking at off-handedly. But in reality, it's often overbearing and just a little creepy to experience.
So one day you get fed up. There's ads everywhere. And all of them are misusing information you'd only sent to that one website. You search for a solution, and install an adblocker. And everything is peaceful.
That's the consumer's experience of advertising, a lot of the time. But what does it mean for your business, if you're investing in pay-per-click advertising, or other kinds of advertising over the internet?
According to Pagefair's 2015 Adblocking report, it means that there was a worldwide loss of around 21.8 billion dollars over the last year. It means that 198 million monthly active users in June 2015 were running adblockers. And that's just six months ago. The trend is only set to rise.
If your business is investing in pay-per-click or pay-per-display advertising online, then you're losing out on revenue. You're paying for advertising that isn't being seen, and not getting the clicks you once were.
If that doesn't sound like wasted effort then I don't know what is.
Visibility Without Advertising
Fortunately, there does exist a way to bring your company into the spotlight without relying so heavily on paid advertising. There's a couple of ways to see it realised, and these are commonly referred to as SEO and content marketing.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. What it looks like in practise is proving to search engines like Google that your website is a good authority on your area of expertise. Using search engine optimisation on your website makes it easier for people who are searching for what you offer to find you, without the use of paid advertisements.
Content marketing is able to achieve two things - firstly, good content marketing will always back up your search engine optimisation, helping to further the cause. The second thing that content marketing does for your website is populate it with reasons for searching prospects to buy from you.
If you roll these two things into one and round it out a little, you end up with something called inbound marketing. Inbound is a variation on content marketing, developed by HubSpot, and it formalises a lot of the things that you do in content marketing to make them easier for holistically handling a larger number of customers. Taking your lucrative content and helpful SEO up a notch to inbound marketing means that you are able to add in other practises like email marketing, lead conversion, and lead nurturing. In short, it's a robust and comprehensive system with a high success rate for attracting and converting visitors into customers.
The rise of adblocker is a symptom, not a solution, for our aversion to internet advertising. The software isn't likely to go away either - the extension has since been added to the App Store for iOS and manual installation options exist for Android users too. With the diminishing returns offered by paid advertising online, finding a way to make your business visible online without the use of advertisement is a prudent action to take.
Making your business visible and appealing to ideal customers without using paid advertising is entirely possible through creating engaging and relevant content. By marketing your business through content, you take the conversation between business and customer beyond "Hey buy this thing," and can explore the reasons why your customers need your products, as well as ways that you can provide their solution. By structuring your content correctly, you can not only impress your customers, but you can also prove to search engines that your authority on the subject is sound. With search engines now recommending your content to searching customers, your reach will expand and you'll be able to build your business, without advertising.