Marketing your brand online has become more challenging with the rise in ad blocking technology.

According to PageFair, which measures ad blocking and its impact, the cost to publishers was nearly $22 billion in 2015.

There are now more than 198 million ad block users around the world, with UK users exceeding 12 million.

Understanding digital advertising and how to get creative with online content is essential to counter the effects of this trend.

Brands looking to target a niche market will still use digital adverts as one of many ways to build brand awareness.

Personalised advertising will stretch increasingly into the home via smart devices and the wider adoption of the Internet of Things.

Brands will look towards more use of video content and strong images to tell a story. And there will be a trend towards moment marketing around key TV shows, news and sporting events to get digital cut-through.

In order to know how to counteract this technology, first of all it’s important to ask yourself “How do ad blockers work?”

They are applications like plugins or browser extensions which remove advertising content on a webpage. The content which is disallowed varies from app to app. While some are built to eliminate all advertising, others specifically target anything which may compromise the user’s privacy, including tracking codes which provide marketers with details on a visitor’s activity on the page.

Ad blockers tend to target pop ups and banner ads, which are seen as more annoying. Many will allow Google Adwords, since they’re seen to be useful – and because Google is one of a handful of companies which will pay ad blockers to put them on a “whitelist” of acceptable advertisers.

So how can marketers get around this obstacle in order to build digital brand awareness? By more creative use of online marketing tools – and offline ones as well.

Social media messaging apps

Products such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp can be used to send relevant offers to consumers, avoiding ad blockers but still increasing brand awareness online.

Targeted email marketing

A data-led approach can be taken for a more highly targeted email marketing campaign, ensuring content is relevant. Advertising by email may appear old-school but it still has its place as long as brands don’t get spammy.

Creative direct mail

Marketers can get more imaginative offline and deliver a creative campaign which will entice users to a brand’s website in order to find relevant information.

Out of home advertising (OOH)

The digital OOH market can woo advertisers, particularly those keen to reach smartphone users, with the use of Bluetooth beacon technology for example. OOH advertising cannot be swiped away and it is not intrusive – but it still has the ability to combine the real world with the online world.

Long term thinking

Advertisers should build long term relationships with consumers, offering fewer adverts of higher quality in trusted environments. Ad blocking has been encouraged by the short term thinking and current clutter online. A digital marketing strategy should focus on quality, not quantity, to turn the tide.


For online marketing tips and advice on your digital advertising strategy, contact us on 0800 612 9890.