We’re all bombarded with advertising messages everywhere we look. They’re on billboards and the sides of buses out in the real world. Traditional formats persist on TV and in print (yes, some people still read things that aren’t on a screen), and they’re certainly difficult to avoid online, although lots of people try.

According to an eMarketer report, an estimated 12.2 million Internet users in the UK used an ad blocker at least once a month last year. This represented more than a fifth (22%) of all Internet users and this figure was even higher globally, standing at one in four (25.2%) in the US, 28.7% in France and nearly a third (32%) of all Internet users in Germany. The rates of ad blocking are even higher amongst a younger audience. It was estimated that 43% of UK Internet users aged 18 to 24 used ad blockers in 2018. Ad blocker usage on mobile devices is also on the rise.

That’s a lot of people making a conscious effort to filter out the ads that businesses of all shapes and sizes spend a lot of their own effort – not to mention money – creating and placing. It also serves to illustrate a growing feeling of anti-hard sell sentiment. Many of the people who aren’t actively using ad blockers are still finding themselves beset with ad fatigue and can be openly hostile to direct advertising efforts.

That doesn’t mean that ad campaigns are entirely ineffective. Ads have always annoyed audiences to a certain degree but that doesn’t always stop them from having the desired effect, sometimes on a subconscious level. The rise of ad blockers is problematic for the advertisers of course. If people don’t see the ads, they can’t have an impact on any level, but even when they are getting through, direct ads can be less effective in many areas than softer sponsored or branded content.

Branded content performs measurably better in a number of metrics

A Nielsen study that looked at viewer response to more than 100 pieces of branded content found that it was more effective than pre-roll ads in a number of different ways.

The study’s three main takeaways were that:

• Branded content can drive higher brand recall and brand lift than pre-roll
• When viewers enjoy content, they view the integrated brands more favourably
• Partnering with a publisher can drive ad impact

It found that the branded content outperformed pre-rolled ads in a number of metrics. When directly comparing the two types of marketing for the same brand, for example, it found that the piece of branded content resulted in 86% brand recall, while the pre-roll ad resulted in 65% brand recall.
But not any old content will do

The study added: “When it comes to resonance, viewers will be more receptive to brand messaging if the content is captivating, relatable and of high quality.”
That sounds pretty obvious but it’s an important point and one that’s worth bearing in mind. Branded content only really works if the content itself is engaging, relevant and memorable.

In 2019 this generally means video. Infographics and blogs still have their place but video is now the preferred format for marketers and consumers alike. According to CISCO, online videos will account for more than 80% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2022. Video also provides the opportunity to make content that both grabs and holds attention.

It’s true that it can be expensive to do well, but with GoShow, you can connect thousands of filmmakers and other professionals to produce great content at speed and scale. The need for an enormous expense is simply no longer the case. Discover how we can help to unlock your video potential and contact us on today.