With Apple announcing plans to let people use ad blockers for web browsing on iPhones and iPads, publishers are looking at ways to mitigate the effects.
The negative impact is thought to hit those aiming at a digital-native demographic, as they are more likely to use ad blockers than any other age group.
News site Mic.com is a case in point; 75% of its 20 million monthly visitors use phones and tablets. Of this, 60% are users of an iPhone or iPad, according to CEO Chris Altchek.
The four-year-old news site won’t be trying to change user behaviour and get visitors to stop using ad blockers though. Instead, the company, along with others aimed at a similar demographic, such as Vox Media and Quartz, are using a strategy based on ad formats that their consumers might find more appealing.
Altchek explained: “Almost all of our ad campaigns include branded content, either text or video. That type of marketing is not blocked by AdBlock”.
Native advertising, advertorials or branded content are all terms for similar approaches that can be used to side-step ad blockers. However, sometimes the units’ promotional placements on publishers’ sites, such as a spot on the homepage nestled among editorial articles, can still fall victim to blocking.
Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff commented: “Just because it’s native doesn’t mean it’s immune to content blockers or people who don’t want to see ads.”
Quartz is one site that has always avoided the standard ads usually targeted by ad blockers. Joy Robins, senior VP-global revenue and strategy at the company explained: “Obviously we couldn’t have seen into the future enough to know that something like what Apple was doing was on the horizon.”
However, the Quartz business model was oriented around selling custom, branded content campaigns from the start, meaning an increase in mobile ad-blocking is “not necessarily going to erode our business,” according to Robins.
Whatever the future holds, well crafted content writing is sure to play an increasing role in the development of branded content in all its forms.