As I reflect a week back from AdWeek #AWXII and several other digital marketing events, much of what I heard was about ad-blocking. Being that it’s football season, here’s what I think…
Those screams you hear are not the cheers from football fans around the country rooting on their favorite teams… they are the cries of agony coming from advertisers and publishers consumed with the advent of the next round of ad blocking technologies. Ad blocking has been around for many years, however with the recent release of Apple’s iOS9, combined with the already available AdBlock browser for Android, advertisers and publishers are fearful channels might crumble.
These Brands and Publishers have a right to be concerned… the effects for publishers could be enormous. According to comScore, 62% of all U.S. time spent with media takes place on mobile devices. Publishers are being quick to adapt. Recently, The Washington Post became the latest to embrace a direct-to-platform model, pushing all content directly onto Facebook, using Instant Articles, one of many publishers Facebook has been successfully recruiting. If I were a Publisher, I would also use this new Facebook format to distribute my content at the expense of my profit margins.
There is a new marketing paradigm and we are playing by new rules. Stop worrying about “ad blocking” and get your offense on the field.
Here’s the playbook:
- Augment or redirect advertising efforts to help your employees to tell your story via their social technologies. You’ll see more social reach, more engagement and tell your story with more credibility, since peer-to-peer communication are the most trusted. Just one example: Humana increased mentions of their brand on external channels by 10% by trusting their employees to advocate on their behalf.
- Realize more reach at a fraction of the cost. SAP’s EA program generated USD $2 million in earned media value. And this was a team that had less than 500 active members yet generating 42 million impressions, 260,000 clicks and driving 30% of the traffic to SAP’s blog via social sharing.
- Quit trying to make “Hail Mary” communications work. Take back control of your message. Get your branded content directly into the hand of your trusted advocates in a form that is easily shareable.
Your employees are already on the social media playing field: organize them into a team that wins with available programs, technologies and content strategies.
It’s time for clients to take the offensive and activate new marketing channels that are at their disposal, and stop worrying about what is not in their control. The benefits, if done correctly will not only surpass their marketing imaginations, but will help their proud employees be relevant, more informed and improve company culture by being more transparent with relevant content. Employee Advocacy is not just a marketing strategy, it’s a business strategy.
It’s easy to cry foul on the issue of the day, Ad Blocking. Activate your employees and build your Employee Advocacy practice. If you create these new channels, you will turn what many are saying is a loss into a win.
This post originates from LinkedIn