Monday, March 26, 2018

Advertising Question of the Week - What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing isn’t terribly complicated. But we’ll give you the extra simplified definition here: 

First, you partner with a company who offers an affiliate program. Once you sign up, you are required to give them a kidney. No, not really. Rather, the company provides you with a special link. This lets them know when someone who lands on their site was referred by you. If that person then buys anything, you receive a commission from the website.

It’s the old “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” But if you’ve been scratched, then you know not all back scratchers are created equal. And neither are all backs. 

That being said, affiliates earn more in commissions for digital products - typically 40% of their price - than they do for physical products. That’s a pretty juicy commission. And, of course, high ticket items allow affiliates to earn higher valued commissions. Duh.

You’ll also find that some companies pay more than others. So you’ll want to hunt around to find the one (or ones) that are the best fit for you.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

We’re going to assume that you already have a blog, website, email list or some other online presence. And that you have followers or supporters or customers because you’re either a content whiz, or you hired a professional writer/blogger to provide content for your site. Either way, well done.

Now, let’s say that your online presence involves dogs in some way. Maybe you’re a dog behaviorist with a vast array of followers trying to manage their unruly dogs. Perhaps, instead, you have a popular website that focuses exclusively on art with dogs. (Or even better, by dogs.)

You start thinking that you could use a few extra bucks. Doggie needs a new pair of shoes or two. So you become an affiliate with a company that offers a product or service that’s relevant to your dog-loving visitors. It could be someone offering dog therapy services. Or art supplies. For dogs.

Anyhow, you recommend this product or service to your followers. You may do this by:

  • writing a fascinating post about it
  • talking about it on social media (#awesomedogshoes)
  • mentioning it in a newsletter
  • placing a button or banner ad somewhere on your site

Whatever the case, you include the special link provided by the affiliate company. This link has a special number that is unique to you. It’s otherwise known as your affiliate ID.

When someone uses your affiliate link to make a purchase, you earn a commission. You receive payment of your accumulated earnings either after a specified period of time, or when your earnings reach a certain threshold.

How to Become An Affiliate Marketer

You need only join an affiliate program. Some are really easy to join, while others require you to apply. And then there are those that are by invitation only. Because they think they’re so special. Which honestly, they might be. It depends on what you need from an affiliate program.

Start by considering what kinds of things you like to talk about and/or use. For example, if your dog blog has a page devoted to reviewing wacky accessories for your dog, you might check your favorite pet supply website to see if they offer these products. Cruise around the site to look for a link that says “Affiliates,” “Affiliate Program,” or “Referral Program.” Then follow the links.

You can also do a more direct search. If you’re going for a big wig website, you could type in “Chewy Affiliate program,” for instance. On the other  hand, you might know
all about a website committed to nothing but Day-Glo Dog Coats. (Anything’s possible on the internet.) So try typing in “Day-Glo Dog Coats Affiliate program.” And if your first search doesn’t turn up anything, that doesn’t automatically indicate a lack of a program. Sometimes there are slight variances in word usage or terms, so keep on trying.

Another thing you’ll want to do is check out the affiliate products others in your niche are using. Study their sites and read their content. Is there anything interesting in their sidebar? To whom are they linking? Check blogs and website in similar niches too - such as the cat lover, ferret lover and hamster lover websites. There’s bound to be some overlap. And if you see a product or service mentioned on those sites that you can promote too (ethically, of course), seek out affiliate information for them as well.

You could also join an affiliate network. You may have no choice in this one, since a lot of companies offer their affiliate program through an affiliate network you’ll be required to join right after you give them one of your kidneys. (Again, not really.) Even if you have a staunch history of being a non-joiner, don’t immediately dodge this. An affiliate network is ultimately going to give you access to a lot more products. Especially if you can find a high-paying one.  

Is Affiliate Marketing Right for You? 

As we said above, this is the simplified version of what affiliate marketing is. In most cases, you’re not just going to sit back and watch the gold coins accumulate in your
Scrooge McDuck money room. There are other aspects you’ll need to consider before you decide to take the plunge.

When all is said and done though, you’ll find that you have the potential to make a good chunk of money if you get connected with the right company and know how to promote their product or service like marketing pros

Back scratched. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Five Weirder Than Usual Advertising Stories

 Advertising is a strange industry. 

This is due in part to how heavily populated it is by creative people who need to pay their rent. But the nature of the work is inherently odd. Respected ad agencies are paid by individuals or companies to “talk them up,” as it were.

Remember back in middle school when you told Alex to tell Jessie how cool you were because you LIKED liked Jessie? Or maybe you pretended to be “going with” Alex to see if Jessie would suddenly find you interesting? It’s a lot like that, but more complicated.

Advertising Relies on a Deep Understanding of Psychology

And then using that psychology to generate interest. This has made for some pretty interesting stories.


Picture it. A smoggy morning in Minneapolis in 1902. A young man with a ripped t-shirt is downing some orange juice and getting ready to go pump iron at the gym. 

Okay. So before you go racing down to the comments section to skewer us for inaccuracies of the anachronistic nature (and perhaps question your own psychological need to do so), the above paragraph was intentional.

You probably caught the obvious mistakes. But did you include orange juice as one of those? Because orange juice wasn’t really around in 1902. And certainly not in Minnesota. Of course, oranges had juice. And both California and Florida were producing them. But nobody had given much thought to extracting that juice. 

By 1907, the production of oranges had increased beyond the demand for them. Most Americans didn’t know much about citrus fruits. So the California Fruit Growers Exchange (CFGE) hired the Lord & Thomas ad agency in 1907 to try to pump up demand for them. 

The problem was, the CFGE consisted of about 2,000 independent farmers, each with their own brand of oranges. So how could they do this? 

Enter Albert Lasker - a.k.a. the original Don Draper (though hopefully not so lascivious). Lasker was able to get the farmers to understand strength in numbers. He got them to unify all their brands under one brand. It would be the first perishable food product to be advertised.  They named the brand Sunkist; a name that delivered strong on the warm fuzzies. Who wouldn't want something that was sun-kissed?

But he knew that wouldn’t be enough. Americans were just too unfamiliar with oranges. Sun-kissed or otherwise. So what could be done with the excess of oranges? Lasker realized that it took a lot of oranges to make a glass of juice. That was the key.

So the campaign set out to teach consumers how to squeeze juice from oranges by educating them on different kinds of juicers for that purpose. By creating this new use for oranges, the fruit’s consumption in the United States sky-rocketed from an average of half an orange to 2-3 oranges per day. 

In essence, orange juice was created by advertising.

Formula E Racing

This ad is interesting for a couple of reasons. 

First, it serves as both an ad for Formula E Racing, as well as a breed of public service announcement promoting electric cars to lessen the impact of climate change… specifically on cheetahs.  

The ad shows a race between a cheetah and a Formula E car. But unlike the Michael Phelps race with a computer generated shark, this was actually a real race. It took place on
a landing strip in a remote part of the Western Cape of the southern tip of Africa.

We’re not quite sure how they pulled it off, but they did. And no cheetah was hurt in the making of this ad. Here’s how it went down. 

Both the Formula E race car and the cheetah can reach speeds of 62 miles/hour in 3 seconds. So at the beginning of the race, the cheetah takes the lead. Which is pretty impressive. But since the electric car has a top speed of 139mph compared to the cheetah’s maximum of 70mph, the race car eventually won.

Of course Formula E created this ad to promote its division of electric car racing. But the end game was to also bring attention to the effects of climate change and the danger it poses to the natural habitat of cheetahs and other wildlife. So there’s that.

Red Bull

Understanding of psychology has lead to some success stories in advertising. But, just as with the human brain, there have been misfires as well.

Take Red Bull, for instance. You’ve seen the commercials. Red Bull gives you wings. Catchy, even infectious, tagline. But hold up. If you look carefully, you’ll see that Red Bull actually gives you “Wiings.” 

What are wiings? Simply put, they’re the result of Red Bull getting sued in 2014 for not only stating that their energy drink will give you actual wings, but they also claimed that the drink could improve your concentration and reaction speed. Neither of which it does.

So several consumers brought a case against the company, regretfully stating that they showed no signs of improved intellectual or physical abilities - the ability to fly notwithstanding.

The damage? Red Bull agreed to pay out a maximum of $13 million — including $10 to every US consumer who had purchased the drink since 2002. Nevertheless, they’re still going strong.

Perfect example of taking broken wiings and learning to fly again.

Toyota Altis

If you live in the United States, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the Toyota Altis. (Our version is essentially the Corolla.) But if you were in Malaysia back in 2002, you might have noticed a dearth of the zippy little Toyota’s advertising. It vanished. That’s because Malaysian officials pulled the plug on any advertising featuring Brad Pitt.

Now, using attractive people in advertising is nothing new. It taps into that psychological desire to also be attractive. (And driving an Altis will make you look like Brad Pitt.) 

But the Malaysian government found it an “insult to Asians” and was concerned about the effect Pitt’s good looks would have on the self-esteem of Malaysian men. "Why must we use their faces in our advertisements?” asked Zainuddin Maidin, the deputy information minister at the time. “Aren't our own people handsome enough?” 

It was definitely an oversight. While the self-esteem of men in the United States is routinely assaulted by Brad Pitt’s good looks, they’re used to it. But Toyota should have considered using an Asian Brad Pitt instead. 

Of course, the fact that Malaysia has some of the world's toughest censorship laws might have played into the decision. Television and film are strictly vetted by government officials. Kissing is often cut from films and TV programs. And forget about swearing. It’s viewed as a direct attack on Malaysian family values.

Imagine the reaction to an ad with Brad Pitt kissing a swearing woman who’s just stubbed her toe. 

Advanced Medical Institute (AMI)

In its day, the AMI was no stranger to controversy. The Australian medical clinic thrived on it. Experienced ad people know that negative attention is rarely better than no attention. But for the AMI, negative attention was ALWAYS better.

AMI dealt primarily with men’s erectile issues. And their advertising was often the subject of complaint. Their billboards and bench advertisements were considered tasteless and offensive to many. But there was one particular erectile-dysfunction spot they created which garnered 220 complaints. And this is in a country that started as a penal (no pun intended) colony.

The commercial shows a wife using her husband's erection as a step stool to get something out of the cupboard. And yes, there were probably a great many people who found it amusing. (We reserve comment on our opinion.)

But it wasn’t just this commercial that created buzz around AMI. It was the way they used psychology in advertising as a dangerous weapon. They laid claims behind which there was no science. Furthermore, they engaged in unconscionable conduct and used unfair contract terms in treating men for sexual dysfunction. Clients were warned of the dangers of stroke, prostate cancer and “penis shrinkage” if they failed to have treatment. 

When the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) got wind of this, a long-running court battle began. They stated, “It is immoral to seek to harness the fears and anxieties of men suffering from ED [erectile dysfunction] or PE [premature ejaculation] for the purpose of selling medical treatments.” They were right.

We won’t elaborate on the very drawn-out battle that ensued. Suffice it to say, AMI is no longer around. And now the ad sits happily on YouTube as one of the funniest advertisements ever. 

All of which brings us back to our original point. Advertising is a weird industry.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Advertising Question of the Week - How Do I Pick the Best Images for My Website?

When you meet someone, what’s the first thing you remember? 

Unless they have a particularly noteworthy voice (Fran Drescher), an unusual name (Umbrella McGillicuddy), or a strange odor (enchiladas), chances are when you meet someone for the first time, you remember something VISUAL.

Visuals are a big component of what makes up a first impression. So you might want to ponder this:

What Visual First Impression Does Your Website Make?

Unlike that drunk uncle at every family holiday gathering, your website does not have the luxury of making an impression by noisily kicking over a chair while running naked through the kitchen. Thus, it relies strongly on visuals to make that first impression. 

Yes, your website must stand on the power of its content. But if the images are shoddy, who’s gonna bother with the content? Are you going to buy a Tesla from a guy in a polyester leisure suit? 

Maybe you would. Especially if you have a fondness for leisure suits. Or polyester. But you get the point. The images you use on your website are going to be a reflection of your company, service, brand and product. They’re going to send out a message. 

So if you want that message to say, “I’m awesome,” rather than “I am so NOT awesome,” consider the following when picking out your images.

1. Be Sure They Can Relate

This basically means that your images should be relevant. But not to the point of hackneyed over-kill. 

We’re going to assume that if you’re at the point where you’re selling a product or service on your website, you’ve done the footwork to determine your audience. So now you want to be sure your images relate to them.

For example, if you’re selling hiking boots, you’re targeting the hearty woodsy types. Thus, you’re not going to have a photo of happy office dwellers high-fiving after winning that big account. 


But what might be less obvious is the need to avoid too many
clichĂ©s -  images of nothing but rugged trails, good looking people with big sweaters, mossy logs, log cabins, logs on fire -  and to focus on other details in your images that appeal to the different subgroups of your audience. What’s appealing to a man in terms of hiking boots is going to be different for a woman or a child. Even if it’s subtle.

So don’t ignore them.

2. Make Your Images Energetic

Not cheerleader energetic. That’s annoying. But generally speaking, you’ll want to choose active images over passive ones. Unless you’re selling sleep aids. Or harps.

So how do you know if an image is energetic? 

It’s going to have a vibrant and vital color scheme, sharp images and some sizzle. A little crackling. It’s going to inspire your visitor to take action rather than veg on the couch and contemplate their navels. 

And if you’re posting multiple images such as albums, slide shows or galleries, avoid overpopulating with every possible image. Stick with the active images.

3. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Uniqueness

Uniqueness may not have been something you wanted to be branded with in high school. This is not the case with your website images. 

By unique, we don’t mean campy high school movie weird and quirky. Napoleon Dynamite is probably not the best candidate to sell your goods. 

We’re talking images that aren’t likely to show up on a competitor’s website. Or even a non-competitor’s website. Ideally, it’s only on YOUR website.

Website designers are all too familiar with the S-word. Stock photo. 

And if stock photos are all that your budget allows, it’s not going to ruin you. But when conducting a search, dig deeper into the results rather than settling on an image on the first few pages. They’re much less likely to be used on other sites that way. 

Even better, use your smartphone to grab some of your own images. Or if you have the funds, employ the services of a professional photographer.  

4. They Need to Be A Rep for Your Brand

And one big consideration is color. 

Not only does color promote brand recognition, but color also has deep psychological connections. For example, red can illicit a sense of power and excitement (McDonald’s), while blue denotes determination, ambition, and goals (IBM). 

If you’ve got a highly recognizable logo and color palette, stick with the dominant colors in your brand for your website images. Every successful advertising firm knows the importance of consistency. Consistency builds trust. And trust sells.  

But your brand goes beyond your color palette and logo. It’s rather like a person. So just what kind of person is your brand?

Bold? Aggressive? Cheerful? Funny? Happy? Sleepy? Sneezy? Doc?

Think of your website as a person you want to introduce to the world. What images will best capture that person?  

5. And Yes, Size Does Matter

The most important thing to remember is that you can always decrease the size of large image and retain its quality. But try increasing the size of a smaller image and you won’t have the same luck. Eventually you’ll have a pixelated cryptic mess. 

Still, as we all know, bigger isn’t always better. Using too large an image can negatively impact your website’s performance by slowing it down. So you’ll have to find the balance.

Determining size also matters because you’ll need to find files that will work within those specifications. They’ll also need to work effectively across various devices and screen sizes. So think about it.

What Are Your Website Images Saying?

You don’t want them talking smack about you. That isn’t going to do wonders for your reputation. Or your revenue. 

But if you’re not sure what they’re saying, you can always seek help from experts in the field who can guide you in the right direction and get your website images doing what they need to be doing…

Talking you up. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Advertising Question of the Week - What “Tricks” Do Supermarkets Use to Market Their Merchandise?

Humans are such sensory creatures. Take a gander at the pretty, shiny tomatoes above. Don’t you want to touch them? Look at how easily you're strung along by your senses - like a love-sick teenager. We all are. And, like a love-sick teenager, it’s pathetic at times. 

Yet, experienced advertisers and, even more so, the wizards of merchandise marketing know how to use this liability to turn a profit. And they’ve been doing it a long time.

Sound, smell, color, light, touch, taste, temperature and even moisture are all managed in an effort to make you want to first, buy, and then second, to stick around. They’re keenly aware that these stimuli can drive even the most serious recovering shopaholic to spend.

Merchandise Marketers Know All the Tricks of the Trade  

And it doesn’t stop with just sensory manipulation. They’ve got psychology on their side too. Not just with shopaholics either.

Because even if you liken a grocery trip to oral surgery, you’ve likely been taken - at least to some degree - by these tactics. Because they’re THAT good.

Read on to see if you’ve been bamboozled. (You have.)

1. Turn, Turn, Turn

This one falls on the psychology side. Because, as it turns out, humans are also very psychological creatures. Which is also a little pathetic at times.

Anyhow, it’s a fact that when people are blindfolded, they walk in circlesAnd since those of us in the U.S. drive on the right, most people tend to walk in a circle that turns to the right. (Those in the UK and Japan tend to turn left when blindfolded.) So what does this have to do with grocery stores?

Well, in spite of the belief that people would prefer to move in a straight line, this blindfolded circle-walking shows that they naturally prefer to turn. Armed with this knowledge, stores will give you a reason to turn by blocking the center of the front end with checkout stands. They literally bait you into a big right turn which is comforting… in some strange way. Silly humans.

2. Grocery Store Smells

We’re talking about the good ones, of course.

This would be the scent of fresh-cut flowers when you first walk in, or that of freshly ground espresso from the coffee bar. As you venture further into the store, you might catch a whiff of freshly-baked bread from the bakery. And once your stomach starts banging around down there clamoring for food, the warm smell of rotisserie chicken gets you all in a tizzy. 

Soon you’re transformed into believing you’re walking through a warm, healthy and fragrant haven that five minutes before was the grocery store. What a nice place to spend the rest of the day and a good chunk of your money.  

3. Supersize the Cart

Grocery store carts are getting larger. In fact, in recent years,
carts at Whole Foods have almost doubled in size. And it’s not from all that healthy food. It’s simple psychology again. (If there is such a thing.) A giant cart compels you to buy more, while a half-empty cart makes it appear you’re missing something.

4. Cross Marketing 

Those potato chips are normally $3.99 but you’re getting them for $1.99 with a coupon. You’re really stickin’ it to the man! 

But you’re also feeling hungry from the smell of the rotisserie chicken in your giant cart and just plain excited after all those right turns. This heightened state has convinced you that you MUST have the special caramelized onion dip sitting right there with those chips. It’s $3.99. So much for saving with that coupon.

Oh, and don’t forget the soda - conveniently located next to all of those salty snacks. While you’re there, you might as well pick up some tortilla chips, queso dip and salsa. Nuts would be good too. No half-empty cart for you.

5. Listen to the Music

There’s almost nothing worse than being exposed to music that you don’t like and trapped in that space. You know this firsthand if you’ve ever been to a state fair or have a teenager at home. It makes you want to run screaming.

That’s why stores tend to choose easy-listening music such as one might hear in the lobby of an office building. Or the dayroom of the psych ward. It invites you to stay around for a while. Though by choice. 

6. Free Food for the Kids 

You have to grocery shop. And you have to do it with your kids.

Your kids might turn up their noses at fruit when offered at home. But when they’re at the store and free to pluck an apple or banana from a basket at their eye level, they’re suddenly all about that fruit.

It’s a win-win for everyone. The kids don’t pitch a fit and start whining to go home. The parents are pleased because their kids are eating fruit. And since they now have more time to shop, the stores are happy. It’s like the supermarket version of world peace. 

7. POP Displays

Point of purchase is that captive zone by the registers. Marketing specialists take advantage of this. 

You’re stuck waiting in line. You’re tired and hungry. They know this is the perfect time to grab that shiny little overpriced bag of pretzels to tide you over so you don't start tearing into that rotisserie chicken like some crazed predator. 

8. Shelf Placement

It’s no secret that the products with the highest profit margin are at eye-level, while the lower-priced and more generic brands are on the bottom. Products at kid level are going to appeal to them - products that promise to explode in a sugary firecracker of cartoon color and dancing toys - #childsimagination. 

Then there are the aisles.

The most popular items are going to be located in the middle of the aisles. This will force you to walk past all sorts of things you don’t need while you’re bee-lining it to the Kraft Mac and Cheese.

So if you don’t get snagged into buying Hello Kitty Brillo Pads on the way there, you might end up with a jar of garlic stuffed olives that now seem absolutely essential. 

9. Other Tricks

Suffice it to say there are others. But we'll stop here. We suspect you get the point by now. And it’s this:

Merchandise Marketing Promotes More Sales

Supermarkets know this. And now you do too. 

But is it going to completely change how you shop? Yes. Just as long as you strip yourself of all your senses and free yourself of your own psychology. 

So then, no. Probably not.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

5 Ways to Get around Ad-Blocker Technology

With the advent of ad-blocker technology, are you starting to feel that doing online advertising is pointless?

It isn’t. 

It just means that advertising and marketing specialists have had to step up their game to get around this ad-blocking technology and figure out new ways to help their clients get the attention they need.

Ad-Blocking Technology Is Not the End of Online Advertising

And yes, there are ways to get around it. 

It doesn’t involve a treasure map or battle with an impressive show of sword play. Getting around ad-blocker technology requires more covert action. 

Here are five ways we’ve found are helpful:

1. Take Advantage of Content Marketing

You know what’s cool about content marketing? It’s not a honey badger. It’s neither pushy, nor aggressive, nor in your face.

Even so, mild-tempered content marketing is basically the original ad-blocker killer. And it’s stronger than ever. Not because it has mad street skills. It’s just that the simple act of providing valuable, useful and targeted content is really effective toward building authority, generating leads and increasing engagement and awareness of your brand

See, the thing with content is that it is de facto advertising. You keep on creating  and sharing interesting blog posts, infographics, videos, podcasts, and things of that ilk, and you’re essentially getting your product or service out there. And since it’s content, filters won’t filter and blockers won’t block. Yeah, haters may still hate, but there’s not much you can do about that.

But with interesting and worthwhile content that isn’t just fluff and filler, you’ll get known. You’ll be in the long game, without having to worry about how many clicks or conversions you get. Engage, connect and build relationships. That’s key. And soon enough, you’ll be advertising to your audience without their even realizing it. 

That’s some stealthy, ninja type stuff.

2. Get Involved with Influencer Marketing

Remember the popular kids in school? Maybe you were one. (We forgive you.)

Social media influencers are like those popular kids. In some cases, at least. They might be high profile VIPs whose celebrity alone gives their opinions an other worldly - and often undeserved - magnitude. If Taylor Swift or BeyoncĂ© starts wearing your bedazzled baseball hats, then her eight hundred million followers will want one too. 

On the other hand, influencers an also be the folks who have attained a solid social media following because they’re hardcore experts on a subject. These are more like the unpopular kids in school who knew a little too much about meteorological anomalies or Dungeons and Dragons. But in the case of social media,  admission of such knowledge gives them serious clout rather than merciless teasing on the bus or a wedgie. 

So to narrow it down, an influencer is a personality or content creator with a decent-sized following on a given platform. Influencer marketing is a partnership with these influencers to review, promote, or link to your content, brand, and products. And once again, since it’s content, it’s immune to ad-blocking.

How does one find the ideal influencer?

First, decide on the platform you want to use. For example, if you’re an expert in trading commodities, you’ll have better luck with LinkedIn than you would with Snapchat. Once you’ve got your platform, find someone with a large following who’s popular with your target audience and/or active in your industry. Think micro influencers - 50,000 followers or fewer. 

But look beyond just the number before you settle. You need
to check their post history too. Check for any racist, sexist or other objectionable material, so that your product or service isn’t inadvertently associated with the Orange Male Kitten Haters of America. Unless that’s your groove.

Once you’re cool with the potential influencer, start following them. Engage with their content and leave comments. Once you’ve established a presence, reach out to them either through email or a private direct message. Mention how a partnership would benefit both them and you.

3. Focus on User Experience

This one is pretty simple. 

There’s a clear cause and effect component to why people block ads in the first place. And it has to do with the how the ad is received by the viewer. 

Consumers are sick of intrusive advertising and being barraged with countless ads that lack substance. It’s overwhelming, irritating and rude. 

Focus instead on optimizing the user experience on your website. Give viewers the option to skip video ads, hide irrelevant ads or give a thumbs down to content they don't like. Bearing down hard on advertising isn’t working for anyone. Especially advertisers.

And the advent of ad-blocker is clear proof of that.

4. Use Native Advertising 

In the past, traditional online ads have sought to get attention in much the same way a child does. They jump, they wiggle, they bounce. They yell and have temper tantrums. In other words, they get noticed for being irritating.

And that’s their downfall. An attention-seeking child is exasperating. So are traditional ads. And because they ARE so easy to see, they’re easy to block and filter.

The native ad is the subdued child who knows how to mimic adults, blend in and play it cool (regardless of the psychological repercussions that might show up later). It mimics the digital environment that it’s in rather than pitching a fit. 

A native ad strives to NOT be an interruption to the user experience in any way. In fact, it’s trying to make you think it’s not an ad at all. The only way the viewer will know it’s an ad are the words “Sponsored” or “Promoted” that sit nearby.

When a viewer clicks a native ad, they’ll usually land on a page that looks and feels like a regular blog post or article. It’s interesting content that can easily be shared. Yet it still has a message. 

Within that content, there are features of the product or service that’s being promoted. There’s often a call-to-action to sign up for a newsletter or report.

All without being obtrusive and bossy, and without the aforementioned psychological repercussions.

5. Find a Loophole

Finally, we turn to technology.

And yes, the technology does now exist that allows for bypassing ad-blocking extensions. For the most part, this technology serves ads in a way that limits an ad blocker’s effectiveness. It will render ads according to Better Ads Standards guidelines and then re-insert them.

As with all technology, this isn’t a total fix.

Yeah, it’s viable for websites that want to keep ads visible to as much of their audience as possible. BUT, if a user turns off all of the ads with something like AdBlock Plus, these newly rendered ads aren’t gonna get through. So the battle of ad-blocking technology vs. ad-block-breaking technology continues - which sounds vaguely like the makings for a Dr. Seuss story. 

Work with Ad-Blocker, Rather Than Against It 

Advertising is like (nearly) everything else in that it’s
constantly evolving. 

But with online advertising in particular, the rate of evolution is exponential. What’s working one week may be obsolete the next. And it’s clear that intrusive, showy, repetitive ads are no longer effective. They are the first to be blocked. 

It’s also clear that, although the evolution of online advertising has been swift and unforgiving, there’s one thing that has remained ever strong. Engaging, valuable, worthwhile content. 

The sort with which ad-blocking technology has no beef.