Ad-blocking is a known issue for the advertising and publishing industry worldwide, but what about South Africa? We share the most recent numbers on ad blocking for the country, including a commentary from our Sub Saharan Africa Lead Greg Mason.
It's best to first explain what ad-blocking is and why it is an issue for advertisers and publishers alike.
Ad-blocking software has been around for some time now. Its purpose is to stop online advertisements from appearing. It has become increasingly popular because consumers are finding ads increasingly distracting and overwhelming.
Online ads are vital for the publishing industry. For many publishers, it is their primary source of revenue and often the reason why they can supply free, quality content. This income pays for journalists, bloggers and technology. All of which helps publishers to achieve their primary goal: Creating engaging content.
Our recent survey results show that 13% of respondents use an ad-blocker in South Africa (Tweet this). This figure doubles in the U.S. at 26% and 27% in Australia. It's likely the local figure will trend upwards like it has done with developed markets.
The real question is, what can publishers and advertisers do to proactively tackle ad-blocking?
Here are my tips for publishers, and five tips for advertisers.
- Try to not have more than three ads showing on a page as you scroll. On longer pages don’t bunch all your ad units in the first two screen scrolls. Keep it clean!
- Don’t have floating ads or ads layered over content.
- Make sure your ads fit the screen or ad slot. Especially page wallpapers. Make sure these fit the screen and don’t have critical text cut off.
- Appeal to your readers to turn off their ad blockers. Run some house ads on your own site on your unsold inventory requesting that your users turn off their ad blockers as ad revenue is what funds your free content.
- Be strict on the ads your run. Don’t run dodgy campaigns. Even if the money is good.
- Never let video or sound autoplay. This must always be user-initiated.
- Tweak your banner copy to the environment it is running on. Have multiple versions of the same banner that are relevant to different environments.
- Make sure the user knows your brand and what you are offering in the very first frame of your banner ad.
- Also make sure your full message is told in the first three frames of your banner ad. Longer than that and you have lost their attention.
- The shorter and punchier the copy, the better.
Download the full Ad-blocking in South Africa Report to get the best overview of this issue, including why South Africans install ad-blockers and what they think of online ads.
Greg Mason has over nine years of digital marketing experience in display, search, mobile and social media marketing. He has worked closely with large international publishers like MSN, BBC, CBS Interactive, Sky News, Sky Sports, Daily Mail, TeamTalk Media, Times Live, Career Junction and various other leading local South African publishers. He is the Regional Lead for Effective Measure in Sub-Saharan Africa.