Ad blocking has become a huge problem for marketers across the spectrum.

While the software has made it easier for Internet users to avoid the annoying ads that diminish their online experience, it has also made it harder for brands to reach their target audience and make the sales they need to be successful.

Unfortunately, the situation is only poised to get worse (for marketers, at least). Here’s what to expect for ad blocking in 2017:

Rise of Ad Blockers

Every year, the number of people using ad blockers is growing.

By the end of this year, Forecaster eMarketer predicts that 70 million people will be using ad blockers in the United States, which is about 35 percent more than last year. By the end of 2017, the company predicts that 87 million people will be using ad blockers. That’s about one-third of the U.S. Internet market.

US Ad Blocking Users and Penetration

Image source: eMarketer

The problem is spreading for both desktop and mobile users.

US Ad Blocking Users and Penetration by Device

Image source: eMarketer 

Globally, about 419 million people are using software to block ads on their mobile devices. Most of those users are in Asia, though there are also big numbers in the United States and Europe.

Demographic Data

Numerous studies have been done on the use of ad blockers, and one conducted by Civic Science provided insights beyond the number of people using this software.

Some of the demographic insights provided by the Civic Science survey include:

  • People using ad blockers for mobile devices are more likely to be parents than the people using the software for desktop computers.
  • African-American and Hispanic mobile users are more likely to install ad blockers than their Caucasian counterparts.
  • The majority of people who use ad blockers for mobile devices have higher incomes. In fact, over a third of them made more than $100,000.
  • People who use ad blockers for mobile devices are primarily in the 25 to 54-year-old age bracket.

Many other insights were shared about people who use ad blockers, including political and religious affiliation, brand loyalty and interests.

Learning more about who uses ad blockers can help you understand how the trend is likely affecting your target audience. That doesn’t mean that you will know for sure how much of your particular audience is using the ad blockers, but it will give you a better idea of what you might be up against.

Dealing with Ad Blockers

The primary suggestion for dealing with ad blockers has been to create ads that do not distract from the user experience and cause people to want to install the software.

However, there is debate about whether that strategy actually works.

One thing that we do know works is to disguise the ads so that they are not detected by the software in the first place.

The most popular way to do this is through sponsored content. You write a blog post that is essentially an ad, and you pay to have it published on a site. You get more than just a link to your site at the end, like you get with guest posts. The entire post can be dedicated to your brand and what you sell.

Paid reviews are another form of paid content that can escape detection by ad blockers.

Other popular ways to sponsor content include sponsoring a contest or giveaway, sponsoring posts on social media, or paying for brand mentions within content about larger topics.

Content recommendation tools can also help you to get placement for your content or your ads without triggering ad blockers.

For example, In-tag by CodeFuel relies on user-intent signals to automatically insert the right content links into text tags and other indiscriminate locations on your site or others.

You can use In-tag to recommend your own content to increase the visit duration and page views on your own site, which can improve your SEO. Or you can use the tool to place ads on your site that will get more clicks and earn you more revenue.

By signing up your site for In-tag, you can also get better placement for your own ads on other sites. The tool recommends the right ads to the right customers in the right location, increasing the chances that customers are being recommended the products and services that they actually want or need. That increases the exposure you get for your brand, which will improve the success of your ad campaign.

CodeFuel has other advertising solutions that will help you achieve the same results.

Thinking carefully and proactively about your advertising strategy is the most important thing you can do to fight the insidious effects of ad blockers. We can’t stop the adoption of this software, but we can change the way we react to it.

Check out In-tag and CodeFuel’s other tools and start fighting back against this software. You’ll start reaching your goals this year.