Summary: The rise in usage of ad blockers means that digital marketers and their clients have to address users’ concerns when it comes to tracking and ads.
With digital natives growing older and having more control over their digital experience, we’re seeing a strong correlation with the increase in the use of ad blockers. This is nothing new – the advertising industry has seen a steady increase in the adoption of ad blockers, rising from approximately 21M users in 2010 to more than 180M users worldwide in 2019. In fact, in the US alone they’re seeing over 75M users using ad blockers on their browsers.
And it makes sense – digital natives are comfortable with technology and used to making it work to their ends. But what does that mean for digital advertisers and their clients?
What Are Ad Blockers?
Ad blockers – also known as content blockers – are simple software programs that prevent ads from being shown on websites. They are typically browser add-ons that you can add to Chrome, Firefox or Safari. And even through there are dozens of alternatives, the most popular ad blocker add-on in the market is AdBlock Plus.
By removing ads from webpages, page loads time can improve considerably and can also reduce data usage – something that is good news for people with limited data plans or who live in areas with slower networks.
Another benefit of ad blockers is that they can block the tracking and behavioral monitoring technology that profiles user behavior. So if you’re someone who doesn’t want their online browsing monitored or their browsing preferences sold to advertisers, ad blockers can be an attractive way to guard your privacy.
Who are Digital Natives?
The term Digital Native describes a person who grew up in the digital age. These are children, now young adults, who rather than having to learn about technology as adults, grew up with it from childhood. This exposure to technology in their formative years means that digital natives have a greater familiarity and understanding of technology than the generation that came before them.
So Why is this Important?
Taking the micro-view of the situation, it doesn’t seem like that big a deal. So what if users are blocking ads on their browsers? Shouldn’t users have a choice as to what they want to ingest on the internet?
And the answer is yes, of course. But if you take a step back and look at the macro-view, you start to see the long-term impact that the adoption of ad blockers can have.
The reality is that the majority of websites on the internet exist thanks to online advertising. Everything from blogs about labradoodles to sites like the New York Times depend on online advertising revenues. That money helps pay for the writers that produce the content, the hosting costs, the maintenance of the site – everything.
This simple idea is what originally made Google billions and billions of dollars – people visit a site they like. They see an ad for a product they find interesting and they click on that ad – the site owner gets a bit of money from that purchase, the product seller is able to sell their product and the user is able to buy what they like. Everyone is happy.
Ad blockers disrupt all of this. A person with an ad blocker add-on installed on their browser could visit whatever site they like and never see an ad. If they never see the ad, they can’t click on it nor can they buy what the ad is selling – that means that the site owner doesn’t get their money and the product seller can’t sell their product.
This little extension added to your browser is having an impact on the keystone piece of the whole modern internet experience.
What Can Advertisers and Business Owners Do?
While the situation can seem dire for advertisers and their clients everywhere, there are some good news:
Users have spoken loud and clear as to what kind of ads and site activity they find intrusive – if your strategy is too aggressive in following users across multiple devices, if your ads are annoying or irrelevant, you’re going to get blocked.
Users are taking their data management more seriously and expect the sites they visit to be trustworthy.
Users are willing to undo ad blocking on sites that are giving them content they want.
This information can be used by responsible advertisers to ensure that their advertising strategy employs tactics that won’t chase away their visitors and potential customers. That means:
Committing to creating ads that aren’t disruptive. That means no pop-ups, no auto-playing video ads with sound, no large sticky ads and no prestitial ads with a countdown.
Having a website data policy and being clear as to what your visitors can expect when it comes to tracking cookies, data storage, etc.
Creating excellent content that makes visitors want to support your site and prompting them to turn-off their ad blockers to read further.
So What’s Next?
Digital Natives are going to continue to make up a bigger part of the digital population. And that means addressing their concerns when it comes to their privacy and their digital experience is going to become more important.
Business that work with their digital marketing consultants to ensure that their online presence doesn’t cause friction with their visitors and potential customers are going to be better able to navigate the changing demographics. And business that are unwilling to recognize this new reality will see the impact to their bottom line, sooner or later.
LinkedIn has become a vital social media tool for brands and businesses. Your customers and prospective customers are on LinkedIn. Your investors and key stakeholders are on LinkedIn. Your employees and potential employees are on LinkedIn. With that, reputation management has become a crucial part of many businesses’ LinkedIn strategy.
Why is it important to grow your online reputation and brand on LinkedIn?
Now that it’s time to up your game on LinkedIn, the first step is to make sure your Company Page is detailed and up-to-date. This is crucial if you’re looking to grow your audience and drive positive business results. With over 562 million users on LinkedIn, a detailed Company Page allows users to learn about your business, your brand, and job opportunities within your company. It is also a great platform to demonstrate your brand’s thought leadership to your audience.
Having an incomplete LinkedIn Company Page won’t attract as many users to your page. Here are 5 tips to grow your online reputation and brand on LinkedIn:
Tip #1: Ensure that branding is consistent across LinkedIn
In order to grow your online reputation on LinkedIn, you need to ensure that your company’s branding is consistent across the platform. Many businesses and brands are actively using LinkedIn as a brand building tool. This means making sure that the branding on your LinkedIn page mirrors the branding on your company’s website. Make sure you include your logo, company description and a banner image to establish and sustain your company’s professional presence. This plays a fundamental role in acquiring new clients and retaining old ones.
Tip #2: Incorporate rich-content features
LinkedIn has become one of the top social media platforms for businesses and brands to demonstrate their thought leadership and expertise. If you’re looking to continually grow your online reputation and brand on LinkedIn, it’s important to evaluate and brainstorm the breadth and variety of content you are sharing on your company’s page.
What type of content will appeal to and grow your LinkedIn audience? What do your followers want to know? These are key questions you should be constantly asking yourself. With that, a great tip to grow your online reputation is to incorporate rich-content features in your LinkedIn content strategy.
Nike does an excellent job of maintaining a strong online reputation and brand on LinkedIn. They’re consistently incorporating rich media to tell their brand’s story in an engaging and compelling way.
Don’t know what type of content to post on your LinkedIn company page to grow your online reputation? It’s time to be resourceful! Do a content audit on the different platforms that you are already active on and repost content that have performed well on those platforms to LinkedIn. What content received the most Facebook or Twitter likes? Which posts had the most retweets or replies? Taking content from existing content streams can help build your brand on LinkedIn and can help you gain access to a whole new audience.
Tip #4: Experiment with sponsored updates
Sponsored updates are a unique feature offered by LinkedIn for companies who want to boost their posts on the LinkedIn platform. It provides companies with the opportunity to reach a wider audience beyond just their followers. Similar to Facebook or Instagram advertising or boosted posts, sponsored updates on LinkedIn allow you to expand your reach and target specific audiences.
Tip #5: Participate in key groups and encourage colleagues/employees to connect
Growing your online reputation and brand on LinkedIn is a two-way street. Not only do you have to make sure your company page is always up-to-date and populated with relevant content. It is also key to get involved within the LinkedIn community. This means participating in LinkedIn groups and communities and joining in the conversations within and across your network. This can help build a closer relationship between your brand and your audience.
Another tip to grow your online reputation and brand on LinkedIn is to encourage your colleagues and employees to connect and engage on the platform. A collective effort goes a long way, and your brand has much wider exposure when colleagues and employees also actively put in the effort to maintain the business or brand’s image.
As you become more active on LinkedIn, push and challenge your boundaries to brainstorm new and innovative ways to continue growing your company’s online reputation and brand. Take the time to see what other businesses and brands are doing, and don’t hesitate to find and experiment with new tactics.
By now it’s no secret that marketing and technology go together like gin and tonic. (Or mustard and ketchup. PB and J…you get the idea). They’re a duo. Naturally paired together to enhance the overall experience. Nowadays, it’s damn near impossible for marketers to perform without the right tools and technologies in their arsenal. The marketing world is non-stop and there are literally thousands of tools and innovations that were designed to help you automate and simplify your marketing efforts.
One of the more jarring tasks of many businesses I’ve worked with is selecting from the vast pool of tools to use. This is where having a marketing technology stack becomes fundamental to your business’ marketing strategies.
But what is a marketing technology (aka ‘martech’) stack and why does your online business need one? Let’s discuss and break it down:
What is a Marketing Tech Stack?
This is marketing jargon that you will definitely hear more of if you haven’t already. Essentially, a marketing technology stack is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a group of tech-based tools that marketers and businesses use to improve their marketing activities. But it’s more dynamic than merely using several tools individually for their own siloed purposes. Instead, marketing technologies are ‘stacked’ to create an integrated series of tools that allows you to build seamless customer relationships across several different channels.
Not only will the right martech stack iron out your processes, but it should focus on the impact of your marketing activities and drive more efficient marketing spend.
Why should I invest in a Marketing Technology Stack?
Like I said earlier, the martech space is made up of thousands of online tools and technologies. The sheer amount of vendors offering the latest and greatest in marketing innovations is overwhelming. Just take a look at ChiefMartech’s latest edition of the marketing landscape for 2019, with over 7,000 solutions to choose from. (For some perspective, ChiefMartech reported only 150 solutions just 8 years ago!)
Put simply, the martech space is colossal. And marketers are pressured to keep up with the growth. According to Korn Ferry, “27% of CMOs were concerned with staying ahead and taking advantage of digital technology trends.”
With thousands of solutions to choose from, it’s vital for marketers and business owners to understand how the right tech stack will impact their businesses and which technologies will be fundamental to reaching their goals.
What Elements Make A Great Marketing Tech Stack?
First of all – as with other areas of your marketing strategy – one size does not fit all when it comes to building the right martech stack for your company. Your chosen technologies will be impacted by factors like your budget and the type of business you have. One key factor to consider is your target market; for instance, B2C companies will likely require slightly different technologies than a B2B company since they each typically use different channels and techniques to acquire and engage with their customers.
So let’s take a look at the technologies I consider foundational to a tech stack, regardless of your target customer.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM): this is often a focus for you B2B-ers. CRMs track all customer relationships and marketing attribution for you and your sales force. Ultimately, CRMs are essential to gaining in-depth insights of how your marketing efforts impact your sales pipeline. [Tools to explore: Salesforce; HubspotCRM; SugarCRM].
Content Management System (CMS): by now, for most of you, this is a basic element of your tech stack that you’re familiar with. A CMS is the technology that powers your website, blog, landing pages etc. These web properties are often where you want to engage your customers. [Tools to explore: WordPress; Hubspot; Joomla].
Advertising and SEO: this element is pretty vast, but search engine optimization and advertising is key to your customer acquisition strategies regardless of the type of business you run. Many marketers use a combination of software for keyword research, display ads, ad tracking, and attribution. [Tools to explore: SEMrush, Google Ads; HasOffers].
Email: Email marketing is still a very cost effective way to support sales, build brand awareness and gain trust with your customer base. Email marketing capabilities might even be readily available in other platforms in your tech stack; like in your marketing automation or inbound marketing platform, for instance. [Tools to explore: MailChimp; Constant Contact; SendGrid].
Social Media: technologies for this space help monitor your social conversations, schedule posts or curate content. Specific networks like Facebook and LinkedIn also offer social media marketing opportunities that may be a valuable addition to your own tech stack. [Tools to explore: BuzzSumo; Hootsuite; SproutSocial].
Collaboration: these are some of my favorite tools to add to a tech stack. Collaboration software focus on working efficiently and transparently with your team. There are a number of project management tools to choose from, or even tools that focus more on the customer journey. [Tools to explore: Trello; Asana; Slack].
Analysis and Reporting: regardless of the technologies you choose to integrate with in your tech stack, you must always be able to access your data to measure your marketing efforts. For the most part, businesses will at least have basic website analytics tracking in place, which is a great way to start. But depending on your situation, you could explore building a full data warehouse to pull together data from various systems to make your reporting more accessible and rounded. [Tools to explore: Google Analytics; KissMetrics; HotJar].
Building the right marketing tech stack for any company is no picnic. It can be quite a gargantuan task. But it’s all about integrating the right technologies together so they’re working cooperatively instead of independently. Not only will you get a full, comprehensive view of your customer journey and marketing efforts, but you’ll uncover how to optimize your hard earned marketing dollars.
WSI has announced that it has recently partnered with the Heat-Timer corporation of Fairfield, New Jersey to redesign their website, increase their search visibility and implement a digital brand marketing program. The new website can be viewed at: https://www.heat-timer.com/ .
Heat-Timer® is the premier maker of advanced heating and domestic hot water controls in the USA. Their product line includes wireless, internet-based control systems and sensors, as well as sophisticated motorized valves. Heat-Timer controls are unique in the industry for their ability to learn the heating characteristics of a building and optimize boiler control for maximum energy savings.
“We chose WSI because they were the only agency really able to speak intelligently to the digital marketing of our products in the channel,” notes Vinny Clerico vice president of sales. “They bring a lot of resources and expertise to bear on problems of marketing and technology and we felt we had good roadmap for future initiatives.”
WSI Marketing Program For Heat-Timer®.
WSI was engaged to do the web design and implementation, as well as provide all the copywriting and SEO operations for the new business initiative. WSI reviewed and did extensive background research on the competitive environment for commercial heating controls and designed a custom solution that leveraged our technical copywriting, graphic design, and our ability to translate complex product offerings into simple, compelling concepts that can be used for broad marketing and brand development.
As a result of detailed competitive analysis, WSI created unique, SEO optimized page content catering to the unique and diverse product offering of the company. These custom pages and graphics developed by WSI include content for:
The marketing program that WSI has implemented for Heat-Timer® includes organic Search Engine Optimization, content marketing and social media advertising. WSI’s SEO Program will also produce quality blog, graphic, social media and video content to syndicate on external web properties including WordPress, Weebly and Blogspot in addition to several other WSI proprietary content distribution platforms.
Call WSI for a Digital Branding Overview
For those looking to see what a truly intelligent and comprehensive marketing solution looks like, please give WSI a call today.
WSI was selected to build a new responsive eCommerce site and provide Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Nature’s Hot Tub Treatment, an online store specializing in all natural products for cleaning and maintaining your spa, hot tub, and swimming pool. The new site has already gained momentum in organic search and we are working to expand this online presence with a combination of content marketing (onsite and social blogging), link building, paid advertising including Google Shopping, and email marketing.
Nature’s Hot Tub Treatment now has optimized pages based on relevant keywords for:
We have begun tracking the progress of our
marketing campaigns and reviewing the results achieved. To date, our Search Engine Optimization
efforts have yielded a 36% increase in Organic Traffic. Social including Google
My Business have improved 69%. We will measure, analyse, and report on the
ranking of each of the chosen keywords, new backlinks, traffic to the website
and much more. As our efforts continue,
we look forward to improved ranking, higher visitor traffic, and improved
We are excited about the strong beginning
to our business partnership with Nature’s Hot Tub Treatment.
For premium digital marketing services,
consult with WSI, the leader in digital marketing worldwide.
Twilight Homes is the largest and fastest growing New Mexico owned home builder, they build in neighborhoods that offer affordable starter, semi-custom, and complete custom homes. Twilight Homes has many options in new homes for sale. This company is the Albuquerque home builder with a vision to give buyers various alternatives in terms of location, floor plans, design features, warranties, and affordable financing options.
The Twilight Homes team help their clients to find a home in a location with good schools, nature, activities, culture and beautiful views. Twilight Homes builds new homes for sale in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Los Lunas, and Bernalillo. Each community has many options to choose and the quality, friendly customer service you receive from Twilight Homes is impeccable.
WSI performed a robust keyword research to optimize the website, with a lot of images and pictures of different Twilight Homes. The website content is precise and informative. It gives potential clients information to make an good decisions. This mobile friendly site has already started to help with lead generation.