Online publishers are the front line that are raising their voices against ad blockers. And it’s clear why.
In the digital world publishers are becoming increasingly threatened by the emergence of more and more adblocking software and its popularity from users. Already some of the largest players in the game, such as YouTube, have considered going ad free in exchange for a subscription membership from its users. However, not all publishers are able, or want, to demand a subscription.
This leaves the publishing industry facing a monetization dilemma; how can they continue to increase their revenues but maintain an optimal user experience which keeps their readers engaged on their site?
In order to understand the bigger picture of this dilemma, you first have to consider the state of the advertising industry. For example it is well known that traditional banners are losing in user engagement and currently have a CTR between 0.06%-0.08%. The term banner blindness was coined to reflect the deterioration of the CTRs on these ad units. Amidst the rising pressure of adblockers, publishers that have used traditional banners in the past, are now looking for alternative solutions to increase their revenues. Data from the International Advertising Bureau indicates a growing enthusiasm and an increase in budgets for buying on visual media.
This is where in-image advertising has an upper hand against adblockers. Instead of having to change an entire monetization strategy, publishers are able to add an additional revenue stream to their websites. In-image advertising uses the context of the picture, tags, and content to assign the relevant advert for that article. You can call this a form of ‘native’ advertising, as the ads placed on the pictures are contextual to the article and the site content. For advertisers, this solution is effective in catching the attention of the right audience and improve their campaigns ROI.
The reason why in-image advertising is a great solution for publishers is simple. Visually-stimulating content has been proven to increase engagements and conversions, in both B2C and B2B scenarios. With CTR rates of 1.5%-3.2%, in-image advertising is the first step for publishers to get the advantage over adblockers.
In addition, there is the mobile era to consider in this dilemma. Publishers should be well aware that more and more of their readers are accessing content on their mobile phones. There are almost 50% yearly increases in mobile advertising spend and it will account for more than half of all rich media ad budgets by 2020. By incorporating in-image advertising to their ad unit placements, publishers are guaranteeing that more of their ads can be seen on smaller mobile devices.
Beyond offering benefits to the advertisers and publishers, in-image advertising is also crucial in developing the best user experience for readers. It is already an accepted industry standard to monetize content through advertising, enabling free access to digital content and users don’t mind seeing ads, as long as they are relevant to them. In-image advertising has a foundation of programmatic technology that enables publishers to offer their readers just this.
This type of programmatic technology can understand customers' data and signals about their interests, allows publishers to serve ads that are contextual and relevant to the users. This means that users are more likely to engage or feel that the ads are a native part of the website. With more effective messaging, users are not needlessly bombarded with irrelevant ads and are less likely to activate an adblocker.
By optimizing the user experience in a way that enhances their engagement with a website is crucial to beat the adblocker threat. In-image advertising allows publishers to really make their users feel part of a journey through the content, without interfering with their flow. By taking care of these details publishers will bring more users to their site, and give them the confidence to ignore any adblocking propositions they might hear about.
imonomy is an in-image advertising company offering smart advertising solutions to premium clients worldwide.
Oren Dror, CEO, imonomy