A 2019 Edelman study found that three out of four consumers avoid advertising. In fact, 47% said they changed their media habits to see fewer ads, while others use ad blockers to prevent them altogether.
The reasons for this vary.
Personally, I hate repetitive ads. Every time I watched a YouTube video I saw the same ad for about a month and it got more irritating every time. Mainly because I wasn’t interested in the brand or its services. But the incessant nature of the ad led me to develop a negative association with the company.
How can brands deliver ads that the audience wants to see? To know that, let’s first look at what they definitely don’t like.
The most annoying ad types
We surveyed 302 people and asked them which ads annoy them the most. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said that pop-up ads had a negative impact on the user experience.
We’ve all been through it. You land on a website and before you can even scroll you are hit by a large pop-up ad that takes up the entire screen. You close it and then you are hit with another popup at the bottom of the screen, making it difficult to navigate the site.
At this point, many users simply fail.
This is a problem that affects both publishers and advertisers. The more visitors a publisher has, the higher the price they’ll charge for their ad inventory. However, if a website is known to keep showing pop-up ads (aimed directly at you, recipe websites), visitors may be reluctant to revisit that website. This can lead to less traffic and ultimately less advertising revenue.
This also applies to advertisers who want users to convert their ads. You know how they say journalists should never become history? Well, ads should never be noticed for their placement instead of their content.
For example, let’s say your ads are served in a way that negatively impacts the user experience. At worst, consumers will start building negative perceptions of your brand, and at best, they’ll just become too distracted by the placement or timing of the ad to care about the content. Either way, it’s a losing situation.
When it comes to video ads, things get tough.
Our study found that the second most annoying type of ad is the one that plays before or during a video or show. Additionally, a 2019 study by RevJet found that 100% of consumers skip the ad whenever possible.
The solution is not to stop producing video ads altogether. It’s about using the short amount of time it takes to grab your audience’s attention and encourage them to engage with your video.
This could be done by treating their pain points or by using emotional attraction. Finding out what works best for your audience takes a lot of experimentation. It may take time to find the right formula. Once you do, you can start creating videos with the confidence that your audience will be entertained.
Now that we know what is bothering consumers, let’s talk about what consumers actually want to see.
What consumers want in ads
Plan your ad based on the user experience.
When choosing your ad format, placement, and timing, it’s important to consider user experience.
Take pop-up ads, they’re inherently disruptive. If so, you may want to view them once your user has shown high engagement behavior on the website. This could mean spending X minutes on one page or visiting other pages on the website.
With this tactic, your user may be less likely to reject your ad because they are already busy with the page.
Find the right balance in ad frequency.
The RevJet study found that over 72% of consumers dislike brands with repetitive messages in their ads.
While ad frequency can help you achieve your goals, there comes a point where you stop getting positive results.
A 2020 Facebook IQ study found that with Brand Lift campaigns, more impressions lead to better ad recall and better intent to act. After a certain number of impressions, however, a benefit plateau arises.
In 2019, Snapchat found that the sweet spot was one or two ads per week. However, this number can vary widely depending on several factors.
The key to success is that more is not always better when it comes to users.
Don’t be too invasive.
Yes, consumers like personalized ads. But there’s a difference between personal and scary, and that’s the balance every brand needs to find.
We surveyed 300 people and asked them which ads felt most invasive. The best response was ads based on recent online searches.
The RevJet poll confirmed these results. 60% of consumers said they didn’t find retargeting ads helpful.
Consumers may prefer contextual and demographic ads, according to an innovative 2020 study. For example, when you see an ad for a blender while searching for recipes, or when you see an ad for a store near you.
There is no hard and fast rule for determining what is helpful or too invasive. Experiment and see what works for your brand. Then use this data to inform your future ad strategy.
Keep it short and to the point.
When it comes to video ads, most consumers are not ready to view them in full.
A key finding in the RevJet study was that users are willing to abandon their videos if it means going through a long ad.
28 percent of consumers between 18 and 44 years of age drop when the ad exceeds 10 seconds. This rate increases gradually as the video length increases.
However, keep your ads short and to the point. If you go for a longer ad, you have a strong opening that encourages your audience to keep looking.
It’s important to note that these tips provide insights into consumer perception and can help you head in the right direction. However, only through experimentation can you determine which strategies will produce the best results for meeting your marketing goals.