Beating Banner Blindness

Banner blindness refers to the idea that users have learned to ignore ads on a web page.  Take a minute to let that sink in. Your carefully-crafted ad was displayed as planned — the ad exchange billed you for the impression — and the user’s gaze just skipped over it.

This problem is fundamental.  It cannot be solved. Full stop.

So that’s it, right?  We’re done? Not quite

  1. Banner Blindness
  2. Why Your Message cannot be an Ad
  3. How to get you message seen
  4. How Presscast can help

Banner blindness is a learned behaviour, it’s an aspect of selective attention that humans have employed because ads are costly to the user.  They distract.  They annoy. They convey little value, and interrupt user-experience.

This behaviour is perhaps most under-appreciated plague in all of advertising It eats away at conversions rates, and — worse still — is a leading indicator of brand erosion.  Users don’t like brands that interrupt, distract and pollute.

To combat this behaviour, misguided advertisers employ tactics designed steal back attention.  They experiment with ad placement, animate banners, invest in video, and deploy pop-ups. Yet, far from alleviating the issue, these tactics exacerbate the symptoms.  

Your Message Cannot be an Ad

If the goal of an ad is to trigger a behavior (e.g. buying a product), then that message needs to first provide value to the consumer because people don’t only filter out ads, they filter out anything that looks like an ad. This is an clear signal to advertisers that the problem isn’t with the message, but rather with the vehicle within which the message has been presented.

How to get your Message Seen

To avoid falling into the “banner blindness” trap, the following tactics can ensure your message doesn’t look like an ad:

  1. The message must be relevant to that page’s content, you cannot try to promote clothing in a article about digital marketing.
  2. The message should logically add to the discussion, engaging with your message must feel like a logical next step for the consumer. An article titled “ Top 5 reason to go vegan”, should read like a supporting argument for one of those reasons.
  3. The message must appear as part of the content, whether this is done on owned content or as part of a guest post, it is crucial that your message appear native.

Presscast Can Help

Presscast allows you to insert your message directly into the content you choose, exactly as you want it. It lets advertisers  capture relevant content, by embedding themselves within.

Best of all, you already know how to use it:

Presscast – unrehearsed speedrun

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