Get started
Close up of woman looking at designs on tablet
Digital Marketing Social Media Marketing

How to get into your target group's social feed in a world of ad blockers

by Nicole Michaelis

With the announcement of its new iPhone 10 and iOs11, Apple casually dropped the bomb on every digital marketer’s worst fear: the new iphone will have built-in adblockers, shutting down specifically those cookie-based ads who follow you around from site to site.

This new technology is built on machine-learning (hence improves over time) and will be a solid part of Apple’s safari browser (used by approximately 15% of users worldwide). If other tech-giants follow this example, digital marketing as we know it will soon be dead.

Luckily, there are solutions to most challenges and here is how Referanza solves this issue...

Dive in and get connected to your target's group social feeds.

How can you ensure you’ll be seen by your target audience in a world of adblockers?

The good news is, there’s a lot you can already do now to become less dependant on paid ads.

Ads that add value

Adblockers on or off, the reality we live in today is that a vast majority of people find ads annoying and scroll over them anyway.

A study of about 10 000 people conducted by Teads found that 75% of participants were motivated to use ad blockers because of ‘intrusiveness’ (= tending or apt to intrude; coming without invitation or welcome).

However, instead of revisiting the way they create and distribute their ads, most advertising companies respond by using services such as Adblock Plus to get around adblockers.

But why pay for an extra service, that risks annoying your potential customers, when you could focus on finding ways to create ads that add value for your consumers?

Native Advertising 2.0

One way to improve ad quality is to improve native advertising (= material in an online publication which resembles the publication's editorial content but is paid for by an advertiser and intended to promote the advertiser's product).

Native advertising seems to still be stuck in the pre-digital age, focusing on advertorials or trying to dress plain ads up as content - a practice that gained popularity with the boom of magazines and newspapers during the second half of the 20th century.

But when native advertising is done right, it can add great value to both band and consumer. The best example for this was Netflix’s native advertising campaign around the release of it’s success-show Narcos.

To pump consumers up before the release, Netflix teamed up with the renowned Wall-Street Journal and released an in-depth article about the Medellin Cartel, so loaded with research, facts and high quality writing that it wasn’t just a great read, but also a great ad that got people excited for the show.

However, this also shows the challenges of stepping up your native-advertising game: you’ll need to cooperate with strong publishing partners or invest in in-house writing and research resources - not only to create the advertising, but to, first of all, figure out what kind of stories your audience wants to be told.

Especially small business most-likely lack the resources to boost their native advertising, so what else can you do to get on your audience’s feed?

Better Storytelling

The best advertising campaigns out there give consumers at least one compelling reason to want to watch or listen. This means that these campaigns carry some kind of personal relatability - be it a character they can relate to or a portrayed lifestyle they believe fits their personal brand.

Let’s have a look at the mega-hype created by New York based label Supreme.

Over the years, the brand has focused most of its marketing on creating a personality closely tied to the consumption of its products. The term “hypebeast” was created, to classify Supreme’s customers’ obsessions with the brands products - products which can barely be differentiated from any random retailers’ products - except for the fact that the big, fat Supreme-logo is plastered on top of them.

It’s a beautiful example of marketing done right, as Supreme now has his consumers gladly running around as miniature billboards - consumers who already fit the character the company built its entire story around. One could call it word of wear, a play on marketing’s favorite trust-building tactic word of mouth.

However, creating a compelling story around your products or services takes dedication and a lot of grit: you’ll need to believe in your own story hard enough to keep going and constantly improve your storytelling and marketing efforts to get your message across and hit the right audience.

And what can you do if you have a product that is hard to tie to one storyline or a certain character? What if you have a lot of fundamentally different products (e.g. shoes and toilet seats)? There are easier ways to show-up on your audience’s feed.

Influencer Marketing

Of course, everyone’s favorite new digital marketing hero is called Influencer Marketing and hence should also be discussed as a serious tool to get around adblockers. Influencer Marketing classifies any marketing practice where a brand or organizations pays an Influencer (usually a person with a medium to large sized social media following) to promote their products.

When Influencer Marketing first gained popularity around 5 years ago, it was enough to ship your products to social media stars and get those to hold them into the camera every once in awhile. However, with the constant increase in sponsored content all over social media, consumers are starting to turn a blind eye to influencer-marketed products.

This means that if you want to succeed with Influencer Marketing today, you need to not only carefully pick your influencers, but also provide them with meaningful content to support the promotion of your products - ideally content that ties in with a strong narrative around your brand and any native advertising efforts.

Hence, Influencer Marketing cannot be a stand-alone marketing tactic anymore and is becoming more and more expensive - as you now not only need to invest in the actual influencers, but also in the content you’d like them to share.

But there is a less-expensive, more efficient way to use the power of influence to boost your popularity and revenue.

Engage Your Consumers

What sounds like Captain Obvious is playing a trick on you is actually a new reality, thanks to technology developments from SaaS companies such as Referanza. By using this modern technology you can get your actual customers to share their experience with their peers and hence quickly reach a wider target audience.

What used to be fully analogue and called word of mouth has long since reached the widths of the digital age with social media at its core.

The beauty of this is that you are surely not wasting money or effort on the wrong target audience, as you already know these people buy from you. By activating your customers to share with their friends and families, you’re also tapping into the beauty of fundamental human trust.

If my friend Jeff likes this show, I’d for sure enjoy it. If Louise thinks that vacuum cleaner kicks-ass, it must be good. Sounds too good to be true? It almost is.

How do you get your customers to share their experience with their peers?
How do you know if they likely to share their experience?

Here’s where the NPS (= Net Promoter Score) comes in handy. The score identifies those customers who are likely to recommend their experience of a product or service. Spoiler Alert, yes these are usually also the customers that are most satisfied with their experience. A win-win, so to speak.

So, you’ve measured your customers’ NPS, how do you actually get them to share it with their peers on social media?

The experiences with our customers at Referanza show that it only takes two things:

A nicely packaged, easy to share and personalizable piece of content and a small incentive to motivate them to share.

The final ingredient to spice up your customer engagement is time. By making sure you hit your customers with an incentive to share right after they’ve experienced your product or service, you boost your chances of creating engagement.

Instead of spending time and money on filtering out relevant influencers, you can get real engagement from your customer group to acquire new customers. By presenting them with a pre-branded, easy to share piece of content, you remain in full control of your brand identity, ensuring that whoever is sharing their experience is in-line with your core-messaging.

What are you waiting for?

There are a lot of things you can do to become less dependent on paid ads. The core to most tactics is improving your content and making it easily accessible for your customers. Technology is developing quickly, and with its advancements, understanding your customers, how they share and when they share becomes easier.

Nicole Michaelis
Nicole Michaelis - blog post writer