Social media is constantly changing. As a relatively new space for marketing, companies are constantly have to cope with new platforms, algorithm changes, hashtag developments, and other trends. Consumers are also becoming more social media savvy, including learning how to stop their devices from showing them ads that they may perceive as annoying. In fact, 47 percent of online customers use ad block technology. (Source) The best way to reach theses people is to provide content they want from people they trust. After all, it is a huge waste to spend tons of money on ads that are only going to be blocked or quickly skipped over.
Another major shift in the way companies conduct their digital marketing took place in December, when Apple released iOS 9. With iOS 9 came developments for ad-blocking software like AdBlock Plus. Ad blocking has been around for a long time via easily-accessed plug-ins for Google Chrome, Safari and other browsers. If you aren’t familiar with ad blockers, they are pieces of software that are meant to block banner ads on webpages. In addition to removing those pesky banner ads, they can also block ads on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks.
At first, ad blockers were only used by the super techie among us. Now, especially with iOS 9’s release, nearly everyone can easily utilize ad blocking software. Marketers are aware of this development, and have been forced to re-evaluate their advertising strategy.
One solution to the increasing popularity of ad blockers is influencer marketing. Good influencers constantly work hard to create quality content that resonates well with their audiences. These influencers are subject matter experts in their individual niches, and are seen as authentic by their followers. In fact, maintaining authenticity in the face of brand partnerships is incredibly important to most influencers. After devoting so much time and energy to building an engaged following, the last thing they want it to be perceived as a sales machine.
When a brand teams up with an influencer to produce great content that feels authentic, both the influencer and the brand win. This is something, we at Social Wage like to do when providing our influencers with paid opportunities. While some brands have found success in producing content on their own, social influencers can add to their content marketing efforts. By collaborating with social influencers and integrating the company’s product in a way that feels natural, the content also has an increased level of validation.
Here’s an example of an influencer marketing strategy that can help companies solve the ad blocker issue. This piece of Instagram content:
- Clearly states the sponsoring brand and status as an ad (for transparency)
- Is a high-quality image that fits both the influencer and the brand’s style
- Won’t be blocked by ad blockers!
Using influencer marketing to evade the issues caused by ad blocker developments only works if you have the right influencer. If you choose the wrong digital creative, the content can feel just as annoying and disingenuous as the typical ad – a bad thing for both the influencer and the brand. Online consumers know they’re going to see ads – they would just rather see them on their own terms, rather than being confronted with intrusive marketing at every turn.
Social media will undoubtedly continue to evolve, requiring marketers to stay on their toes. Influencer marketing is currently an established way to reach your target audience in a way that feels organic and welcome, rather than annoying. In this way, partnering with the right influencer can help companies solve the issues associated with ad blockers.