Ads shouldn’t steal your time. Ads shouldn’t distract you. And ads shouldn’t be useless.
Online publishing used to be a simple, profitable business, where an advertiser paid to put their ads in front of a given audience. Advertisers got what they wanted: consumers; and publishers got what they wanted: a stable cash flow that supported their editorial pursuits.
Fast-forward to 2014 where ad blockers are on the rise, ad click performance is on the decline, and the millennial generation has declared an open distrust with digital ads. Web users can’t help but notice behavioral ads following them throughout their online journey. It makes them wonder why the Internet has different ethics than real life. Why should ad companies be able to track your cookies, make generalizations about you, and then relentlessly pester you? The answer is, they shouldn’t be.
Online publishers are realizing the negatives associated with these ads – the revenue isn’t what it used to be and readers are leaving their sites because the distraction is overwhelming. As a result, these publishers are now shifting away from the intrusive ad methods and gravitating to new platforms – like native advertising and content-driven ads.
These new ad forms offer a more integrated user experience. They read the content a person is engaged in, make sense of it, and display relevant offers in-line with the content. The ads don’t invade a person’s privacy; instead they make educated assumptions based on the page’s content, and they wait for a consumer to willingly engage in them.
These new, relevant, non-obtrusive ad platforms use complex, innovative algorithms that understand the context of a site, the publication, and the human being reading it without resorting to error-prone keywords. Because the ads and offers served through these content-driven products have a high degree of relevance, they provide users with advertising that is purposeful and helpful.
Advertisers are able to put their products in front of people who are much more likely to be interested in them – and who are more likely to actively engage with them. Publishers are left with a better source of revenue and supplemental offers, instead of intrusive, non-relevant ads.
While it’s hard to promise privacy-breeching, irrelevant ads will slip into the shadows of yesterday, it is encouraging to see a new breed of innovative companies and technologies that are focused on developing advertising content and delivery mechanisms that are meant to lend a hand to consumers (and publishers, too).