Ad Blocking has been a hotly discussed topic in recent months, especially since Apple's app policy changed to allow ad blocking products to be added to the app store. Recent studies have shown that by the end of next year, 14.7 million Britons will use Ad Blocking technology to remove advertising from their time spent browsing the internet. In 2014, just 9.5% (around 5 million people) of all UK Internet users had installed the technology (which is installed in less than sixty seconds by those with even the lowest technical ability) and this will increase to almost 15 million of roughly 55 million web users from the UK by the end of 2017. So, given an ever increasing demand for ad-space and the explosive growth of Ad Block technology, what can Digital Marketeers do to combat this?
Let's start by clarifying that as an agency - we're not against PPC - In fact, we're in the top 5% of all UK Google Partners for Paid Search which means we're seriously hot at managing high performance campaigns and have proven track records for producing ROI at sale across the Google AdWords Search and Display networks.
So - as marketeers; we all want the same thing - high quality conversions that become customers, providing a great ROI from our digital campaign.Inbound Marketing does exactly this, and more - it places the right content in-front of the right person, at the right time.
Let me ask a few questions:
- Do you ignore phone calls from people that hide their caller ID?
- When you've recorded a program on TV - do you skip the adverts?
- Do you ignore direct mail?
If you answered yes to any of these - you don't like being interrupted; and all of these techniques above are interruptive - They interrupt my television programme or my conversation when my phone rings.
PPC isn't too dissimilar, it interrupts my search journey with adverts which could be somewhat relevant to my search enquiry. This is highlighted by a recent study which showed that organic results are 8.5x more likely to be clicked on than paid search results.
As marketeers, we need to stop interrupting potential customers and we must start to attract them instead.
We need to create high quality content that turns our website in to a magnet. We need to optimise the content for search engines and ensure it's shared through our social channels. Then, we should engage our prospects with landing pages, calls to action and personalised email marketing. That's Inbound Marketing!
Google loves content - One of the most important steps in improving the ranking of a site is to ensure that it contains plenty of rich information including relevant keywords, used appropriately, that clearly indicate the subject matter of your content.
The benefit of following the Inbound methodology is that it requires a high level of quality content creation - content that can be outreached and promoted which can produce quick, high quality leads whilst contributing to a potential increase in rankings.
When creating this content, it's important that the content answers the many questions that people are asking Google (which i'll cover in a future post) - and the more of these long tail questions you answer; the more you'll rank for these keywords.
In a nutshell, Inbound Marketing is about bringing potential customers to you rather than having to fight for their attention.
As customers become wise to interruptive techniques, and find ways to block or ignore them; it's important that we adapt to these changing attitudes by modernising our approach.
Inbound is about creating high quality content that appeals to, rather than repelling your dream customer and keeps qualified prospects coming back for more. This high quality content, when produced at the right quantity will increase the amount of search terms that you appear for organically. This decreases your reliance on PPC and therefore reduces the risk of your marketing efforts being hampered by the increasing use of Ad Blocking technology.
Online ad viewability levels in the UK decreased from 54% to 47% in the second quarter of 2016, according to a new report from Meetrics. This is the lowest level it's been at in 18 months, since it dropped under 46% in the last quarter of 2014. However, the UK remains consistant in lagging behind other European countries for viewability levels. For example, Austria's online ads have 69% viewability, while France stands at 62% and Germany at 60%.