Co-Founder and CEO of Elemerce, an e-commerce marketing agency.
Most people don’t like in-your-face ads. They are annoying. It’s that simple. When looking at a magazine, we tolerate ads to read our favorite columns. When we listen to a podcast, we skip ahead past the ad. When we get a video ad, we click “skip” after our 10-second countdown allows. We are even willing to pay extra to not get interruptive ads, for example, by upgrading our Spotify or Hulu subscriptions. I believe interruptive advertising is a dying method, and it wasn’t really an effective method to start with.
Interruptive marketing means your marketing method is literally interrupting whatever someone is doing. An example of interruptive marketing is a video ad that pops up after a few minutes of watching something. It can also be a knock from a door-to-door salesperson. Or it’s that pop-up you have to click through to get past the next level on Angry Birds.
More than 25% of ads never even reach their audience due to ad blockers, and now with the IOS 14.4 update making it easier than ever for users to opt-out of device tracking, I predict this number will jump even higher. If these updates worry you, and you are wondering how to save your funnels, you are asking the wrong question.
The average American spends more than 12 hours a day consuming and interacting with media, according to Nielsen. More than four hours are spent on an app or web via a smartphone, and more than three hours are spent watching live TV. These stats vary over age groups, with 18-34 spending more time on their phones and 65-plus spending more time watching TV. It is also important to note that 1 in 10 Americans are smartphone-only users, meaning mobile-friendly marketing is the only way to reach them.
In today’s world, I’ve observed that content marketing is the most effective strategy for building your brand without the annoying interruptive methods of the past. When it comes to devising a marketing plan, you need to ask yourself, “Has my brand truly connected with my customer in a way that is meaningful?” You want to analyze your content strategy and ask yourself if your content engages, entertains, inspires and makes an impact on your customer through their journey.
The future of advertising is content. Examples of this include advertorials, videos, short films, influencers, websites, blogs and podcasts. As new platforms like TikTok continue to emerge, this transition to content-driven strategy becomes clearer.
Finding hacks and shortcuts such as device tracking or interruptive methods is not forward-thinking. Instead, I view it as a shady attempt to stay stuck in the past. Finding meaningful ways to connect with your audience not only can protect you from the handcuffs of giant tech corporations but also help you create a much more sustainable brand.
When you devise a marketing plan, think outside the box for creative ways to tell your brand’s story. I encourage you to reflect on your content and look at your own favorite brands’ methods. Quality content speaks much louder than a large spend on pay-per-view advertising.