The Horror: Why Ad Blocking Isn't as Scary as Halloween / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Each passing year, online advertising suffers in the face of ad-blocking software. Here's how to win the fight for your ad campaign.

It’s that time of year again to bust out your pumpkin carving skills, hang up spider webs and scare the crap out of your neighbors.

Halloween is the one day of the year where it’s perfectly fine—and even encouraged—to scare everyone you know.

In the world of advertising, the scary theme of Halloween has become a daily occurrence due to the horrors of ad blocking. Ad blocking is quite possibly the scariest thing that has ever happened to the online advertising world.

According to Forbes, the use of ad blocking is growing at the rate of 43% annually. Publishers and advertisers are running out of steam as far as finding ways to circumvent this colossal dilemma.

At this point, you might imagine ad blocking as a tormented Frankenstein, but I’m here to tell you that in reality it’s just a 13-year-old prepubescent brace-face. Below you’ll find the secrets I’ve learned about how to transform your ads from vulnerable to bullet proof.

Related Article: 9 Monstrous Copywriting Mistakes, care of Halloween's Michael Myers

Improve Ad Revenue- Where Can You Find the Most Candy?

Once you’ve built a website, it’s time to drive traffic to your site. To me, this is the equivalent of finding out which houses have the most candy Halloween. First of all, it’s trial and error. My friends and I used to split up into two groups and each cover half of our neighborhood. We’d then meet up and discuss which houses had the most candy to offer and hit those houses for round two later in the night. Little did we know this was our version of A/B Testing. When you create an ad unit, it’s not enough to monitor the amount of traffic or ad impression; you need to take action.

That's where a bandit testing platform like AdNgin comes in. Bandit testing is different from A/B testing because it gets results faster and displays the best-performing ads quicker. Using this platform allows publishers to test their ad unit sizes, placements, color palettes, and create mobile specific setups through a drag-and-drop interface.

Another option is using Google AdWords integrated banner creation tool if cash is an issue, and you have to deal with this manually. You also have the ability to test your AdSense and increase your AdSense revenue.

Money Makes the World Go Round: Trick or Treat!

Ad blocking is like a Snickers bars on Halloween. Both are enticing, but overindulging in ad blocking or an entire bar leads to a headache. Too much of a good thing will always come back to haunt you in the end. Many critics believe the dramatic increase of ad-blocking users will end the free internet as we know it.

Ad blocking is something that cannot keep growing at the rate it is without some repercussions. Users have the mentality that the internet is free, but what they don’t realize is that the internet can only be free because of websites making money from advertising. It’s annoying to be bombarded by ads, but wouldn’t it be more obnoxious to pay a monthly fee to use a service we’ve all become so dependent on?

Even Google relies on the revenue from ads on their gigantic search engine. Eventually, if everyone avoids online ads, websites will need to find other ways to generate revenue.

Take, for example, OkCupid—they started asking ad blockers to donate $5 for a completely ad-free experience on their website. This approach puts the decision in the site viewers hands and faces the issue head on. Or, the recently announced YouTube Red, with a $9.99 subscription for ad-free viewing across all of YouTube that will launch October 28th. If a giant like YouTube is resorting to testing alternatives to ad-blocking, then it’s clear that we as a society of internet-dependent people need to face this reality and make a change.

Build Better User Experiences - Picking Out a Costume

Part of the reason ad blocking has become so popular is because online publishers have created terrible user experiences by introducing excessive and intrusive ads. Gone are the days of seeing a few tasteful ads on the page. Instead, we are bombarded with interstitials, pop-unders, and worse. Now we are fully immersed in the world of flashing obnoxious deals that have no personal connection to users.

Let’s compare this to going to a Halloween party. You know that 99% of the people are going to either be dressed as police officers, Barbie or Batman. All of these costumes are loud, obvious, and unoriginal--and that’s why they’re so boring. Why not try something unique and dress up like a piece of sushi (I guarantee there will be no sashimi sashaying through crowds of people)?

Related Article: 4 Common Display Ad Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Them

Banner blindness works the same way. The point is to stand out. It’s time that the integrity of user experience becomes more important than just reaching as many people as possible. The idea is not only to get clicks whatever the cost at that moment but also to build a consistent brand. It’s far more significant to make a connection with a person who will then tell their trusting friends about a product than plastering a thoughtless campaign all over the place. After all, who wouldn’t tell their friend that they saw a person dressed up as a piece of sushi?

Just like you thought twice about eating that opened pack of Reese’s you got from your creepy neighbor, hopefully these tips will help you reconsider your strategy regarding the ad-blocking craze.

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