It has recently been reported that an estimated $22bn will be wiped off the revenue lines of ad tech companies because of the rise of ad blocking software. A recent study by PageFair and Adobe indicates that 150 million people have downloaded one of the various ad blocking software plugins. Apple even allows for ad free browsing as part of its iOS 9 update, which has gained immense traction since launch.
So what are brands and advertisers supposed to do given the limitation of displaying of their ad media? This is also a challenge on top of the average click through rates of ads trending as low as 0.1%?
In short, the medium of reaching the consumer is changing. The opportunity to engage with an audience on their favourite channels and share a brand’s story is the core thinking behind content marketing. Rather than the limitations of a 300X250 pixel image, brands can share their content in written, visual or video format and then engage in the subsequent conversations about the brand and its offering.
Still, the challenge remains, how do brands feed these content pieces to their desired audiences? Until recently, the best incentive model was to grow the followers and fans of the brand, and then use Twitter and Facebook to disseminate branded content. But the social platforms woke up to the revenue model of this, and now charge media fees to ensure coverage – organic reach is pretty much dead.
Influencer marketing – the dissemination of brand content to their audience with a degree of endorsement is becoming an increasingly utilised method of digital media marketing.
Positioning itself at the forefront of demand for influencer marketing campaigns are platforms such as Webfluential.com, VidRocket.com, and organizations like BritMums. With libraries of influencers across the world, already speaking to niche audiences about travel, sports, entertainment, parenting and even utilising YouTube videos, for example – brands can now not only embrace a new approach to content marketing, but also a novel method of dissemination.
“Companies are now caring about putting out content that people want to read, rather than just creating things like brochureware and things like that,” says Chris Winfield of BlueGlass Interactive.
Some progressive brands see the two step approach of content creation and dissemination through influencers as a single, intertwined process. These brands are leading the way, setting benchmarks for those to follow. Social influencers are taking advantage of the ad block revolution, and getting more involved in the creative process with brands. And as a result the industry is growing, and brands looking to push the boundaries of content marketing are flourishing.
The platforms mentioned above have been built to help formalise the industry, making it easy for brands to source the appropriate influencers, manage their influencer marketing campaigns effectively and report on the results thereof.
Given the tough times that ad networks find themselves in, businesses built around native content are finding themselves to be one step ahead of the industry.
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