Digital advertising is the currency that makes the internet go round. Without advertising, thousands of blogs would cease to exist, social media platforms would find it challenging to monetize and continue innovating, and businesses wouldn’t be able to reach the customers that need and want their products. Unfortunately, there continues to be a significant amount of friction between advertisers and internet users. Until businesses address these points of contention, they’re essentially throwing money into a black hole.
What Internet Users are Saying
According to research curated by design agency Vieo, 83 percent of people agree that “not all ads are bad, but I want to filter out the really obnoxious ones.” Approximately 77 percent of people also agree with this: “I wish there were a way to ad-filter instead of ad-block completely.”
These data points reveal something very interesting. People aren’t as opposed to ads as you’d think. Instead, they’re opposed to poorly designed digital ads that are obtrusive and irrelevant.
Vieo found that 91 percent of people believe ads are more intrusive today than they were a couple of years ago, while 73 percent resent pop-up ads.
As for ads that automatically play music or sounds without the user’s permission, SearchForce finds that 52 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 24 are totally unwilling to watch them. Only 21 percent are willing to even give them a try.
Interestingly, recent research from CPC Strategy found that 54.6 percent of Facebook users feel positive or indifferent about ads on the platform. Why is this? One theory is that the high positive engagement is a result of the quality and native relevancy of the ads on the site. Roughly one in four Facebook users in the study stated that they don’t see any products on Facebook, while 15.3 percent don’t notice ads.
The data from CPC Strategy suggests that internet users don’t mind ads (or even register them as ads) when the ads feel natural. So long as users don’t feel bombarded or invaded, they actually respond positively.
Tips for Creating Less Intrusive Ads
For advertisers and businesses, the takeaway is clear: ads need to be subtle, relevant, and native to the platform upon which they appear. Thankfully, new technology and advancements in the industry are making this more possible than ever. Here are some tips for creating less intrusive ads:
1. Think About the Platform
Most advertisers start with an idea and try to shape it around an ad concept that they believe their target audience will respond to. Then they cram it into a format that the publishing platform requests. The result is often an inherently good ad that’s terribly executed within the context of the publishing platform.
It’s time to for a different approach: Prioritize ad formatting. New technologies like Celtra allow advertisers to utilize techniques like dynamic resizing to create ad experiences that are immersive and app-like in nature – not out of place. The more you take a platform-first approach, the more organic your ads will feel to the viewer.
2. Complement, Don’t Block
Online users are clear about one thing: they don’t want you blocking the content they’ve come to see. Advertisements that overlay content, or otherwise hide what the user is looking for, will rarely, if ever, result in a meaningful interaction.
Instead of blocking content, focus on complementing it. As long as you’re selecting relevant publishing platforms, this shouldn’t be too hard to do.
3. Make it Humorous
People are very forgiving if you can make them laugh. Seriously, if you can get your audience to laugh, they won’t be nearly as frustrated with you for invading their space. Businesses with branding that’s conducive to humor should consider seizing this opportunity.
4. Stop Misleading
“Luring consumers in with something that sounds hyper-relevant to what they’re reading or watching, but ultimately isn’t, will not convert visitors into leads… but it will piss people off,” Vieo notes. “When asked ‘What caused you to click on an advertisement,’ 15% of people said ‘The ad tricked me into clicking.’ In case that doesn’t sound like a lot, that’s 15% of all ad clicks.”
Misleading people for a click obviously accomplishes nothing. It drives up your costs and frustrates people. It’s better to get a handful of relevant clicks than a multitude of irrelevant ones.
It’s Time to Get Digital Advertising Right
Digital advertising has come a long way since the days of annoying pop-ups that flooded a user’s screen, but most advertisers still don’t fully respect what users want. As new research shows, internet users want organic ad experiences that cater to their personalized wants, rather than invasive and overt ads that have little relevancy. It’s time to get it right!