Ad blocks are plaguing the advertising industry. As of January 2016, Adblock Plus, one of the most popular ad blocking applications, had been downloaded more than 500 million times. And that’s just one of many. In 2015, the number of Americans using ad block extensions grew by 48% to a usage rate of around 13%.
That number is expected to grow in 2016 – and it gets even higher the younger the consumer base. A July 2015 survey found that almost 63% of American Millennials use ad blocks. That trend fits with a Lithium survey, which found that 74% of Millennials and Gen Zers are sick of being targeted by brand ads on social media.
Businesses’ beef with ad blocks is simple: consumers don’t see their ads, meaning the companies running those ads lose tons of money. In 2015, ad blocking extensions were blamed for more than $21.8 billion in lost revenue worldwide. If ad blocking continues at this rate, researchers estimate companies will lose more than $35 billion in revenue by 2020.
Why Do People Use Ad Blocks?
Clearly, ad blocking is a big trend – and it doesn’t seem to be going away. It’s easy to get mad at people for using ad blocks when you belong to the businesses most affected by them. But instead of getting mad about consumers’ increasing installation of ad blocks, let’s take a moment to try to understand the reasons why they’re using them.
Consumers today are constantly bombarded by ads – on TV, in magazines, before YouTube videos – and now, even in the midst of their social feeds. Can you really blame them for wanting a moments’ relief? And think of how many times you’ve used a DVR to record a show and fast-forward through the commercials. Isn’t that essentially just another form of ad block?
Influencer Marketing: The Answer to Ad Blocks
The solution to combatting ad blocks lies in Influencer Marketing.
Influencer Marketing works for one simple reason: there are no ads to block. Because Influencer Marketing is based on organic, genuine connections between brands, influencers and audiences, posts about your brand will still naturally show up in consumers’ social media feeds. At its core, Influencer Marketing is like digital word of mouth.