This just in. The most popular Apple store app right now is an ad blocker. That's right. People will PAY to not have to view your ads. Ad blocking is a phenomenon. But it's not digital advertising's only problem.
Did you happen to see the recent story of a totally blank video -- four minutes of nothing -- produced by an agency and uploaded to YouTube? It generated over 100,000 views. Almost 1% of the people who watched it clicked through to the agency's website. (A click through rate much higher than most banner ads!)
Social accounts for 1% of e-commerce sales, compared to 16% for email and 17% for CPC
It can't be a surprise that in the first half of this year $25m worth of digital ads were pulled out of agencies by brands and put "in review".
A storm is brewing in digital advertising and - dare I say it - social media marketing too. The problem? Brands are starting to notice those channels don't sell stuff.
Forget the pathetic returns on banner ads for a moment. Recent studies reveal social media does not deliver purchasers either. Social accounts for 1% of e-commerce sales, compared to 16% for email and 17% for CPC (cost per click).
Social also delivered poor conversions (1.17% compared to 2.04% for search and 2.18% for email.)
Social won’t help you with your position on Google’s search page either. Out of nine factors affecting SEO (search engine optimisation), social media came last.
Putting the brakes on
Sure, it hasn’t helped that Facebook (a platform bigger than all other social media platforms put together) has restricted "organic reach", lessening the ability of brands to clogg up news feeds with spurious news and limp giveaways and competitions. Obviously, Facebook is hoping brands will pay to advertise instead. But should they?
The ad contrarian's Bob Hoffman predicts that in three years from now every operating system for every digital device will come loaded with software to obstruct tracking and enable blocking of unwanted content.
So far the ad industry's response has been muted. The Interactive Advertising Bureau is thinking about suing ad blocker developers.
Good luck with that, guys.
Ad blocking is going to be the norm. We all better get used to it.