Busy millennials are crunched for time. They rush by in a blur, barely stopping to look at anything for more than a couple seconds—so getting and keeping their attention is difficult, no matter who you are. When it comes to online ads, this generation doesn’t think twice about skipping them altogether. In fact, a full 60% of millennials block ads, and thanks to ad-blocking technology, it’s as easy as adding a browser extension and clicking a button. But why the aversion to ads? And what, if anything, are businesses doing to change the way consumers feel about viewing ads?
When it comes to online ads, consumers either click away from them if they’re not interested; or, when the rare, relevant ad pops up, they click on it. A majority of millennials are taking things a step further by actively blocking ads as they browse, with one exception: social media ads. When it comes to social, millennials find these ads more helpful and relevant to their needs than ads they find anywhere else.
Why Social Ads?
Social media is the go-to destination for sharing, interacting, and—now, more than ever—gaining insights about brand preferences. People share more personal information via social media than anywhere else online, and this means there’s a LOT of relevant data out there for savvy businesses to pick up on…if they’re paying attention. And that’s how the most meaningful, relevant ads are ending up on social. Smart businesses are realizing they, too, can turn to these platforms to interact and learn about their consumers, and in turn, target them with ads they don’t want to ignore.
In short, social ads stand out to millennials for a couple of reasons. They offer:
- Improved targeting. Ads that are personalized have more appeal to millennial shoppers.
- Increased relevance. Ads are more relevant because businesses have more access to personal information and preferences via social media.
Paid ads on other sites, however, don’t necessarily have specific consumer insights backing them up, sending them straight to the “blockable” category for young, busy consumers.
Millennials block search ads for a few really good reasons:
- The ads simply aren’t for them. Generalized ads aren’t relevant and just take up space on their screens. Millennials don’t want to be interrupted by things that aren’t pertinent to their needs.
- Ads can slow things down. When unexpected ads pop up and hinder speed or ease of browsing, users get frustrated and can even end up resenting the brand or product being represented.
- They dislike annoying formats. While most ads are formatted to be appealing, those that pop up with video or sound, block a user’s view of the original screen, or generally make it difficult to focus are the ads that intrude on the user experience. Fast-paced millennials simply don’t want or have time for this content.
To avoid ad-blocking and to ensure your dealership hits its mark, especially with younger consumers, keep the following in mind:
- Target through social. Just about everyone is connected via social, so be sure to leverage these platforms to help you better target consumers. Learn what they like, what they avoid, as well as what appeals to them when it comes to content. Then create ads that lean into the insights you’ve gathered.
- Optimize for mobile and social sites. Be sure your ads can be viewed seamlessly across all platforms. After all, millennials have the highest mobile usage of any age group in the U.S., with 97% saying they consume content via mobile and approximately 20% saying they are mobile-only consumers. Your ads must work where millennials are spending their time.
- Be sure ads are relevant. Millennials pay attention when they see things that resonate to their wants and needs—and this is where you have an opportunity to put all the great insights you’ve gathered to work. Deliver targeted and creative content that aligns with consumer interests, and you won’t be ignored.
Millennials are choosy when it comes to how they spend their time, and they have high standards for the brands they trust. They enjoy the internet for the interesting and unexpected places they can discover, but they are frustrated by ads that are placed in their paths by companies that don’t get to know them. By taking the time to create relevant, interesting content, you’ll be upping your chances for success with this generation—and you’ll be much less likely to get blocked!
Author: Joey Little
Joey Little serves as Director of Digital and Social Engagement for AutoAlert. An expert in customer experience management, he educates automotive professionals at speaking engagements across the country. With results-driven advice and proven industry knowledge, he assists dealerships in reaching their audiences and increasing business via their social platforms.