Savvy internet users are getting REALLY good at blocking ad content. It all started with DVRs — after decades of watching commercials, we were finally able to skip right past the ads. And as consumers, we want that option everywhere. We consume content from Netflix, we install adblockers on our browsers, skip ads on YouTube, and purchase content directly to avoid extra ads. In 2015, the estimated number of active adblock users hit an estimated 198 MILLION.

So, that means that as marketers and business owners, we can’t rely on the same push tactics to get our ad messages in front of potential leads and customers. But, what options do we have? We’ve compiled a list of 5 unexpected advertising alternatives to help you break through and connect with your audience.

1. Guest or Sponsored Content

Do some research to find influential (non-competitor) blogs or websites in your industry. Many industry leadership blogs look for content from other industry leaders — if you are a well-known company with a well-established message, you might be able to get featured as a guest blogger without paying for it.

If you can’t find a website that will let you submit a guest blog, sponsored content might be a great option. Craft a specific, actionable piece of content that helps solve specific problems and then pay for placement on a key industry website. The cost of the sponsored content should be proportional to the number of subscribers that will receive your content.


2. SEO-Centric Blogs

One of the greatest ways that you can get past adblockers is by creating organic, relevant content that meets customers where they are already searching. Look for opportunities to answer questions that prospective customers ask in the pre-purchase phases. Do keyword research to find the most relevant terms to optimize your blogs.

For most companies, this tactic is not a quick-fix, short-term solution, but instead, a long-term investment to serve content to users that is written for both Google and your target audience. Win win!

3. Helpful Videos

Creating helpful videos is a great way to rise above the noise of traditional advertising. Create video content that breaks the mold for your industry in some way. If customers are used to seeing advertisements pushing your products, focus on teaching viewers how to do something with your products. Give your audience creative and outside-the-box solutions to use your product in their everyday life.

4. Incentive Sharing

Stop promoting your own message and get happy customers to do it for you! I recently discovered Soothe, an app that allows you to book a massage and the therapist will come to your home (or whatever location you choose) within the next hour. It’s a little pricier than a normal massage, but the tip is also included. After my first appointment, I got an email that said I could share a $30 off coupon with my friends and if they booked an appointment, I would get a code for another $30 off for myself!

Incentive sharing is a great tactic that allows you to reward current customers while turning them into brand advocates that are always looking for opportunities to share about your products or services!

5. Content Syndication

Do you already have a library of great content and blogs but you aren’t getting the readership you really want? Look for opportunities to get your content syndicated through industry news sites. These sites will collect the RSS feed of relevant blogs and scan them, regularly looking for content they can republish. These types of websites are a great way to extend your reach to new viewers and also gain valuable referring links to your website.