Legal Marketing, Legal Website Development

Ad Blocking: The End of Online Marketing as We Know It?

In light of a recent study, many are predicting that the rise of ad blocking technology spells the end of online marketing as we know it. Although the study may sensationalize, there is an important takeaway: law firms that pay for ad placement on third-party websites or that use pop-ups on their own websites may be affected. As always, content is king. You can never go wrong by emphasizing so-called “native advertising” such as hosting an interesting blog on your web page.

What Is Ad Blocking?

Anyone who uses a laptop or iPhone can download free software that will remove, alter or filter out advertising content on any web page that they visit. These ad blockers are attractive because they allow tech users to: load video files more quickly; view web pages without jarring, disruptive ads; reduce bandwidth consumption; and heighten privacy by preventing tracking. Ad blockers work by targeting the methods by which ads are typically delivered, for example, by filtering for Adobe Flash/Shockwave, Windows Media Files, etc. Other techniques include targeting behaviors that are characteristic of ads (such as autoplay of audio and video).

What Does This Mean for Law Firms?

If you are utilizing pop-ups, chat windows or are paying to run ads on third-party sites, you may be harmed by the surging popularity of ad blockers. A groundbreaking new study suggests that adoption of ad blockers is rising steeply. Some industry professionals predict that this spells the end of the financial ecosystem underlying the web.

There were 28,000 consumers in 28 countries surveyed , and 4 out of 10 people indicated that they would pay to remove ad interruptions. According to researchers, young consumers in “emerging market countries” were most likely to use ad blockers. Many bloggers and commentators from all corners of the Internet are hailing this study as reliable and groundbreaking. However, it is worth noting that saying “yes” to the question “would you pay for ad blockers” is different than actually shelling out the money to do it. The reliability of this study’s methodology is questionable. But because many ad blockers are free, the problem still remains. As long as people are willing to take the time to download the software (which is now even available for mobile smartphones), your advertising content may not be hitting its intended target.

What Can You Do To Maximize Conversion?

In light of the rise of ad blockers, one thing you can do is to rethink your consumer messaging strategy by putting an emphasis on quality content. Invest in the written content on your website. Consider “native advertising,” a type of subliminal advertising that matches the form and function of the platform upon which it appears.

Make sure your ads lives organically within the content against which they are set. Also, think about utilizing “influencer marketing.” This kind of advertising involves identifying people who have an influence over your target customers. It is particularly effective with millennials.

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