The question we should be asking ourselves isn’t how to do online marketing, but rather how do we survive the challenges that are currently plaguing the advertising industry. This provides the solution, your guide to marketing your business online moving forward.
What comes to mind when you think about marketing? Is it Email, TV, radio, ads in print, trade shows, maybe telemarketing? These are all outbound forms of marketing, which focuses on initiating a conversation or reaching out to consumers about a product. Inbound marketing is a little different. The goal is to reach the customer when they actually want to hear from you.
Too many consumers have learned to ignore and block outbound marketing so much, that their impact quite possibly has been halved. Nonetheless, many small business owners, in particular, are yet to grasp the reality of the situation that ‘push’ advertising models are in.
Ad-free subscription-based services are on the rise, making it harder for outbound marketing tactics to reach audiences. According to Statista, an estimated 37 percent of the world’s Internet user’s use Netflix. The streaming service has 130+ million subscribers.
The fact that Facebook is testing an ad-free version of its platform, should be a good enough message that companies need to start changing how they do marketing. YouTube already has commercial-free subscription service and more users are opting for ad free video/television instead of traditional cable TV.
Is it because people hate being marketed to? After all, they’re paying to avoid ads, so they must be.
No, I don’t believe that’s why consumers are opting for ad-free services. If no one markets to us, how are we going to find awesome products? So nope, that can’t be it because people love to buy things they want and that’s not changing anytime soon.
But I do think that in general, we’re all a little worn out by commercials. That’s why we install ad blockers and are willing to pay for ad-free subscription services.
In fact, if someone uses a browser like Firefox where tracking protection is enabled by default, then they’ll never see your ad unless it’s on video. Blogs that rely on ads to generate revenue are already hurting because of this.
The more ad-free subscription services grow, the more difficult it becomes to reach consumers. This means fewer product sales across the board for companies that don’t find new ways to do business. A true debacle.
Surviving The Fall Of Outbound Advertising
Ad blocking user penetration rate in the United States from 2014 to 2018.
As an inbound marketer, I have to consistently find innovative ways to meet the target customer at their terms. So I’m already used to this dance but for an outbound marketer, it’s going to be a learning curve and we’re just at the beginning stages of this disruption.
So how do you advertise to an audience that doesn’t want to view commercials? What do you do as a business owner trying to get customers?
How people gather information is an important piece of the puzzle. When people relied heavily on TV and Radio to tell them about what’s new, they were both the focus for marketing.
We mostly learn and gather information on the Internet now. From personal healthcare to entertainment to education, search engines have become the goto portal for info. And I think that’s where the solution is – it’s in mastering the art of showing up on search results, aka search engine optimization (SEO).
There are more ads on the Internet compared to previous years. Advertisers showed up in droves and companies paid them for ads. Naturally, as people moved to their mobile devices, businesses followed them there and publishers got big paydays.
But users increasingly want to return to the times when ads were much less. As evident on the above visual, they’ve turned to ad blockers in order to do so.
Leveraging Search Engines For Inbound Traffic
Today failure to implement SEO can kill a company. This is perhaps one of the main reasons why some corporations went out of business, why mall traffic is dropping and department stores are closing. It’s tough all over because many are still pretending that optimizing for search is optional.
They know something has to be done and fast. But they’ve mostly went back on what worked in the past. Pushing out messaging and in your face sales pitches.
But here’s the thing.