Almost 3.3% of total internet users in the U.S. had installed ad blockers by the end of 2020, according to eMarketer. Publishers worldwide are losing close to $40 billion to ad blockers.
We have already discussed some fixes in our previous blog post, but looking at more timely and actionable strategies as you’re nearing the holidays is best. So in this Adblock recovery post, we listed some of the best ways to recover your revenue lost to ad blockers. Let’s begin.
Table of Contents
Branded content is 100% immune to adblocking because there is no involvement of tags/scripts/codes or any other kind of third-party tech solutions to deliver the marketing message. The valuable content and the ad blend in such a way that the mixture is informational and commercial. As per CMI:
“Branded content is a content creation tactic, typically produced through a sponsored or paid partnership between the brand and the media, that encourages audiences to engage with the brand based on its entertainment, information, and/or educational value.”
If done well, branded content can do wonders for brands/advertisers. It can increase the brand recall value by 59 percent. Due to its effectiveness, branded content is not a small-time game either. Publishers like BuzzFeed, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg charge a minimum of $100,000 for branded deals.
Allocate some resources from your sales team to find sponsorship deals to run branded content. Have an ‘Advertise with us’ page on your site so brands can contact you directly. Observe the sites in your niche, and see who is sponsoring branded content on them to find your potential clients.
Also, observe the programmatic ads on your site and try to approach the advertising brands directly. Google Ad Manager reports have dimensions like Advertiser, Advertiser domains, Advertiser verticals, and Brands that can help you zero down the advertisers to contact.
Most of the web is free, but many publishers still charge for their content, and their loyal followers are ready to pay. What is so special about these publishers? Unique content, trust, authority, and valuable content, there can be many factors that convince users to pay for the content. Still, the bottom line is that these publishers are not completely dependent on ad revenue.
What can you offer in your subscriptions? Exclusive content, ad-free experience, podcast access, newsletters, premium resources, the list is endless. Paid content is valued highly among the audience. The average revenue per user (ARPU) is seven times more with paid subscriptions when compared with advertising.
But how do you get paid subscribers? The Economist uses LinkedIn to gain subscribers. It has tripled the number of subscribers and doubled the traffic from LinkedIn in 2020 by posting stories consistently. The Atlantic finds the pieces of content that can convert visitors on the spot. Later, it ensures that the subscribers develop the habit of reading its content by applying various strategies.
Bloomberg Media offers bundled subscriptions to access multiple at a discounted price. The discount helps in converting the visitor easily. Danish publisher Zetland sponsors podcasts to attract subscribers; it has also run paid campaigns on social media for the same purpose. On the other hand, sports publisher The Athletic runs 120 podcasts for its paying subscribers. Many publishers run ad campaigns on their sites to promote their subscriptions.
Ad blockers do not block every ad on the web page. Adblock Plus, the most prominent adblocker in the industry, has a set of “Acceptable Ads” that can be exempted. Acceptable Ads are considered non-intrusive; hence, the extension does not block them.
First, you must adopt the Acceptable Ads standards on the official website. Later, you have to get whitelisted by the Acceptable Ads committee. Depending on the size of your publishing business, you may also have to pay for the membership.
You can serve the ‘Acceptable Ads’ to Adblock users once whitelisted by the committee. But remember that a minority of Adblock users have opted to block every kind of ad; no ads will be delivered to such users, whether acceptable or not.
Similar to the Acceptable Ads Committee, there’s the Coalition of Better Ads, a much more respected consortium in the industry that works for user experience on the web. The Coalition of Better Ads gives us the Better Ads Standards. Chrome’s inbuilt ad blocker can block the ads on your site if you do not adhere to the Better Ads Standards. So, stick to the standards to avoid getting blocked by Chrome.
Server-Side Ad Insertion
Server-Side ad insertion is suited to avoid video ads getting blocked. Traditional techniques like VAST and VPAID stitch the ads with the content on the client-side (browser). The ad-blocking solutions can easily distinguish the ad from the content when the stitching process occurs on the client side. It becomes easy for the software to block the ads when spotted.
Server-side Ad Insertion conducts the stitching process before the ad and the content reaches the client (browser). As a result, the ad and the content reach the client in a single stream, proxied from the same server. The software cannot differentiate the ad, hence failing to block them.
We have mentioned this earlier and suggested it again because it is the best, simple, and most straightforward approach to dealing with ad blockers. Whenever users with adblockers reach your site, you ask them to either turn off the ad blocker or whitelist your site in it. You can also choose to educate the user about the importance of ads for the open web. There are solutions like Blockthrough, Uponit, Blockadblock, etc., to help you.
We have mentioned this earlier, and we are suggesting it again because it is the best, simple, and most straightforward approach to dealing with ad blockers. Whenever users with adblockers reach your site, you ask them to either turn off the ad blocker or whitelist your site in it. You can also choose to educate the user about the importance of ads for the open web. There are solutions like Blockthrough, Uponit, Blockadblock, etc., to help you with it.
Other Industry Solutions
Google Funding Choices
Funding Choices allows your visitors to fund your publishing business if they do not wish to see the ads on your site. With Funding Choices, you can ask AdBlock users to allow ads, buy a Contributor Pass, or opt for any other choices you provide.
You can also give metered access to visitors.
Interruptions, distractions, security, speed, etc., are some reasons behind ad blockers’ use. Every publisher should try to balance ads and user experience to ensure that no visitor needs to install ad blockers. At the same time, as the number of ad-blocking users continuously increases, you must keep finding new ways to recover your revenue from them.