What’s in Store for Digital Advertising: Changing Algorithms & Ad Blocking

Digital advertising as we know it is constantly in flux. There is no way for marketers to predict every algorithm change and ad blocking tactic by each digital platform. What we do know is that change is constant. And that constant change is big business for social media platforms, like Facebook, as they force brands to spend money.

Through the evolution of social media and digital advertising, brands are now forced to “pay to play”. There is no way around it; if you want your content seen you have to spend money. How much money and how often is a strategy that must be directed by your digital advertising strategists and content creators. It’s no longer about whether you have a presence, but about how relevant your content is and to whom.


While paid placement has been around for a while, it’s becoming more critical to jump on data that is derived from live audience intelligence so you can serve up a more personalized advertising message. Ad blocking is now preventing content from being seen by consumers who feel bombarded with irrelevant information. The recent backlash on Instagram with the announcement that content would be rearranged based on preferences and not chronological order similar to Facebook, demonstrates the ill affection users have with any type of manipulated content in their feeds.

The advertisers’ and social networking platforms’ desire to make money has always superseded the wishes of consumers. The question remains: Who will win this war, and when and how frequently will it shift? Without users, there are no advertisers, and without the advertisers social networks will not survive.


Changing Algorithms

Social media as a “free ride” is officially over, according to AdWeek. A less organic reach means marketers will need to think more innovatively to stay ahead in the social game. In terms of paid reach, however, ad performance could improve thanks to the new algorithms. With less marketing content in users’ feeds, the ability to target specific consumers increases.


Ad Blocking Tactics

According to Huffington Post, evidenced by the amount of people choosing to use ad blocking, consumers are digging their heels in and rejecting irrelevant, poorly timed and mistargeted advertising. Even though your business has purchased the ads on social networks, there are blocking techniques where consumers can actually turn them off. In fact, by mistargeting ads and promotions, brands are actually pushing consumers away from their product instead of attracting them to it. Brands need to communicate with their target audience by using “live audience” data and with highly creative, fresh, compelling content. Maybe more important than the written message of the ad itself, is the appearance of the ad. Imagery should pop and grab the attention of its target audience. Without an eye-catching, thumb-stopping, creatively designed image, no one would even stop to read the ad copy. Once these guidelines on targeting, content and design have been successfully implemented, engagement will increase.

It’s becoming progressively important to stay on top of the recent changes and ensure that your marketing mix takes into account organic reach, in addition to a paid strategy to maximize online visibility for your brand. The algorithms keep changing on social media platforms making it increasingly difficult for businesses to organically reach their consumer. It’s critical to make your content creative and relevant. JSMM makes it a priority to stay at the forefront of change as the digital landscape evolves. As early adopters in social media with deep roots in digital storytelling, our mission is to help create a content strategy for our clients with quantifiable results.