The proliferation of digital ads, and in particular banners and pop-ups, has led to the development of banner blindness and Ad Blockers. Behind the banner blindness this phenomenon hides where the visitors of a site will consciously or not, ignore the banner ads. Accelerating today, this technique has developed over the years, leading the consumer to focus only on the subject that interests him and completely annihilating the advertisements hampering the consultation of the article.

The banner blindness therefore comes from a more or less innate will of the Internet user. While the voluntary installation of an ad blocker is experiencing a strong increase, especially since the success of the free extension Ad Block Plus. The service makes it possible to block advertising content of the display type from the web pages visited, offering more browsing comfort.

The growing installation of ad blockers tending to stabilize on PC …

According to a recent study by eMarketer, the number of ad blocker users in England increased from 14.1 million in 2017 to 15.4 million in 2018, for an estimate of 16.3 million in 2019, i.e. 28 , 7% of Internet users.

England seems to be one of the biggest supporters of this feature in Western Europe. By its side, Germany leads the way, with 32% of internet users using an Ad Block system or equivalent (i.e. 21.4 million users), and the United Kingdom, with a figure of 22% (or 12.2 million users), just for 2018. Across the Atlantic, the US would experience usage affecting 25.2% of Internet users. These figures would however tend to stabilize despite the increase.

For their part, the French feel overwhelmed by digital advertising and tend to favor an experience devoid of this distraction, most often, unexpected. It would be considered intrusive and completely unrelated to their interests.

The problem does not lie in the fact that the consumer does not like the advertisements, but in that which prevents him from living precisely his user experience without interruption. Too many advertisements on the page he visits would distract him from the attention he initially paid to the content viewed, ultimately making the content either unreadable or boring.

Another problem is that of publishers blocking their own content, arguing that advertising is their only source of income and therefore intimidating the potential reader to deactivate their ad blocking system in order to be able to access the entire article. The approach is far from being attractive and most of the time leads to a site rejected by its visitor.

Weariness, shunned web pages … But who is to blame? Perhaps to publishers and advertisers who, in their quest for visibility, have clumsily multiplied banners and pop-ups, sometimes disproportionately large … forgetting that navigation is no longer just the preserve of the PC! The use of smartphones can not be denied and is no longer to be proven.

Moreover, among the people installing these ad blockers, there are in particular the Millennials (representing 43% of users), a demanding mobile audience, seeking above all a fast and comfortable navigation.

… Towards a democratization of ad blocking on mobile

If the use of a blocker tends to stabilize on PCs, extending the application on mobiles requires breaking down an already open door: we are spending more and more time on our smartphones and are looking for most enjoyable experience possible. Exit the advertisements, hello navigation in peace! On the one hand, because ad blocking is synonymous with visual and mental tranquility, on the other hand because it allows better battery life and longevity (less data consumed = more energy gained, CQFD).

Advertisers did not feel threatened by the installation of such an application on mobiles because it was, until now, completely in the minority. But since this year, things have changed. Indeed, AudienceProject reveals that the ad blockers available on our mobile phones experienced a strong push in 2018. In England, 20% of mobile users would have used these blocking services, while in Germany and the United Kingdom , they would be 13% and 8% respectively. Rune Werliin, vice president of marketing for AudienceProject, says: “Mobile traffic is increasing and will continue to increase. This is where the battle will take place. ”

The digital advertising market is cause for concern: the development of ad blockers could lead to a big loss of money for advertisers and publishers, equivalent to 23 million euros by 2020 (source: Juniper Research).

The justification for the presence of ad blockers also resides in another perfectly legitimate concern: that of the use of mobile data and the confidentiality of this data.

But in this pessimistic-looking scheme, would digital advertising be right to give up?

Possible cohabitation between ad blocking and digital advertising…

Publishers and advertisers need not worry, however, about the increased installation of ad blockers on PC and mobile. Indeed, if the user continually struggles against these untimely interruptions, there are solutions to work around the problem. Ad blocking should therefore not be seen as an enemy; even if it means being able to use it, you might as well take it as a springboard, pushing brands to rethink their digital strategy and leading them to be more creative. This would allow them to produce more targeted, quality advertisements, and above all much more suited to their audience. One of the ways to do this is native advertising through the sponsored article. The non-intrusive format allows the user to regain control of his navigation in complete transparency, but also to view content devoid of any aggressive advertising encouraging him to flee the page.

Such an undertaking would lead advertisers to regain the confidence of consumers but also to improve their experience.

Why choose to turn to the sponsored article and consider it the solution? If you have followed the thread of the article, you will understand that it is the lack of relevance of these banner ads on the one hand and the discomfort they can cause for the reader on the other hand, which lead to installing ad blockers.

The main purpose of advertising is to sell, but without harassing the potential consumer at any price. For this, rather than using the largest possible insert to be seen (because there are all sizes), it is better to use an approach method that we would describe as softer.

The special thing about the sponsored article is that it doesn’t look like a sponsored article the first time you read it. A simple article, assimilating to the editorial line of a site or blog and whose brand or product presented is integrated in a natural way. So this product placement is where its readers expect it. Indeed, if the banner display has the disadvantage of appearing at any time and reaching a completely uninterested audience, the sponsored article coincides with its target. The readership of the article in question will be one that has an interest in the subject in question.

For example: you consult a post on the merits of the electronic car on a blog specialized in automobiles, and the article in question tells you in a few lines about the advantages of a specific brand, by sending you a link referring you to the brand website mentioned. You may not have noticed it immediately, but it was a sponsored article.

It is in this sense that its attraction is found: non-intrusive, this form of advertising is much less annoying to the visual than its sister banner but also much more attractive. Another quality far from being minimal: the format adapts as well to PC as to mobile. Thus, Millenials as users of all ages can take full advantage of their Internet browsing.

Note that the native advertising of which the sponsored article is a part is 52% more viewed than the display and that it is a factor in enhancing the brand (source: American study, Sharethrough).

… leveraging content marketing and native ad

In order to help advertisers and publishers, matchmaking platforms specialize in sponsored articles, such as getfluence.com. The site offers a large catalog of influential sites to all advertisers looking for visibility and not wishing to spend inappropriate sums on advertising inserts.

On the platform, it is possible for the advertiser to find the publisher that best matches their image and to request it for collaboration. Together, they define the guidelines for the article and, after confirmation of the collaboration, the publisher to write the post or the advertiser to provide the article in full. As soon as the publication is made, the advertiser takes advantage of the advantages brought by the article: traffic to his site is improved, he gains in notoriety and his referencing does not come out from it any better. On the publisher side, we gain just as much because the revenues are far from negligible.

Another benefit of the matchmaking platform is that it significantly improves the image of advertising. No aggressive sales or forced incentives, here the reader remains the decision maker. And, as mentioned above, there is a good chance that he is interested in all the content offered by the article. Publishers and advertisers can therefore trust getfluence.com and its team to help them make the best decisions for their sponsored article.

If the goal is to regain the confidence of the user without it feeling threatened by advertising and at the same time to retain new visitors, there is therefore everything to gain by choosing the sponsored article and escape like ad blocking.

Article written in collaboration with getfluence.com