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Marketing To Millennials In The Age Of Ad Blocking: Get More Creative

Yes, Millennials are notoriously ad averse. But that doesn’t have to be a problem for savvy marketers.

Two-thirds of Millennials have installed ad blockers — and 14 percent use them across both desktop and mobile, according to an eMarketer report. But these stats don’t mean that marketers need to panic.

Here’s why: While Millennials are ad averse, what that actually means is that they don’t want to see advertisements that are overtly “salesy” or disruptive to the content they are trying to consume on their devices — and that’s exactly what ad blockers are set up to prevent. This is a hurdle for marketers, certainly, but ad blockers don’t inhibit various forms of native advertising, influencer marketing, or direct to consumer communication. In other words, exactly the type of marketing that speaks to the Millennial demographic as a whole.

Here are three ways that brands can make the most marketing to Millennials — without getting ad blocked into submission.

  • Build a direct relationship: Marketing in the mobile era isn’t about broadcasting content out — it’s about building a dialogue. There are a lot of ways to do this, from responsive app content to building dynamic in-store experiences, but many brands would do well to remember a simple communication tool at everyone’s disposal: Email. Lest you fear that email marketing is inherently “spammy,” Millennials actively want to communicate with brands over email — and even prefer it to social media by a margin of 41 percent. The key is to keep the greetings personal, the content snappy and relevant, and to allow for feedback from consumers both online and in-store. Relevant email marketing is an effective way to capture interest — and it’s safe from ad blocking across the board.
  • Embrace Influencers: Influencer marketing on social media is much discussed — largely because it works. The key is, as always, to keep it feeling genuine: If a popular fitness model already dons a lot of athleisure and displays it on her social media channels, that makes her an organic partner for a fitness or lifestyle brand. In other words, don’t force the product placements, and Millennials will be more likely to engage.
  • Create Content: Contributed blog posts, photos, and more are a solid way to engage consumers on desktop and mobile by offering content that’s actually helpful and relevant to their lives — which means that marketers have an opportunity to add genuine value while still inserting a subtle brand tie-in. You can read more about the keys to content marketing here.