10 types of intrusive content marketing that should be stopped if I had any say in it and what I like.

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10 types of intrusive content marketing that should be stopped if I had any say in it and what I like.Partially inspired by Tom Fishburne’s great cartoon strip.

Mind you, lots of great and accomplished media outlets are guilty of intrusive content marketing in 20xx. Just a piece of advice of a internet user veteran. I don’t mean to be vicious or personal. Here is my mildly sarcastic rant hoping to improve the overall experience.

1. Full screen call to actions (CTA’s).

I get it, you need my attention. I know you know, that you only got a second or less to fetch my attention. I’m on your website because I need something to help me along, please do not distract me from reading your content. I have just arrived, don’t chase me away. And please, don’t try to keep me on your site with yet again a full screen CTA when I go to the X or to another tab, it will make me move towards them faster.
What I like:
Why aren’t small boxed chat options getting way more attention? Of course, you need to be flexible and respond quickly. Look at how this works on a Facebook business page. It’s fairly easy to make a chat box option in your website with plugins if you use WordPress, Joomla or a similar CMS.

2. Visuals with sound that autoplay.

I have tried these a couple of times myself, people don’t listen to the sound. If they like you enough they will click away the sound (huge effort given the average time spent) and will stay, generally it’s instant exit if you hear a sound that is given to you without permission.
What I like:
I love video, of course, it’s my business. I love it when videos don’t instantly autoplay with sound. I want to be able to decide for myself if I want to listen to your audio as well. I will if I like it. Also: add subs (your own language and/or translations). This can’t be bad. Autoplaying a video after while (like half a minute or so) with low volume sound is an option if you really want it.

3. Full paged carousels crammed with ads.

What, are you crazy? Creating ‘top tens’ and then having to browse through ten pages or posts? I can’t believe it, I’m instantly gone unless the content you show me makes me feel like I struck gold. Which most probably won’t.
What I like:
Sliders. Just let your information slide by me. Make some incentives to click. Alert me gently. I will reward it. Soft, light moving visuals that are not intrusive. Remember: you want me to stay on your website, at least for a while.

4. Sponsored content.

There’s a complete South Park Episode about this. The bull crap you encounter at the bottom of let’s say, the app of  It’s obviously the wrong clickbait. The wrong type, because I think there’s harmless (funny) ways to use clickbait. It’s like landing in a pile of shit after stuffing yourself with the delicious content snack you just had. It’s often content that is plain ugly, amateurish looking, cheap-magazine-like horse crap about so called latest inventions, too-good-to-be-true money scams and gossip. All it needs now is easy to use sex lines nobody asks for. Sorry, Taboola, I do not fancy you.
What I like:
I don’t mind at all that you have advertisers, I advise it to my clients. Make it genuine and about you and your partners. Share your knowledge, show me what’s in your day. That’s what I want to know.

5. Repetitive download forms.

Okay, so I like you. I have downloaded and read your great free pdf. I even showed it to a colleague of mine because it was so interesting. Ah, there you are, you come along my LinkedIn feed again with a sweet paper about online greatness. What? You need my email address and all that again? Sorry bro, I think I’m just going to go ahead and stand here a little, staring at a beautiful cloud formation.
What I like:
If I gave you my email address, it usually means I like you already. A little, at least. You know what I want. I want those tasty pieces of content in my mail box. Boom, right there. No hassle. Just let me read it. I will share this and I will refer to your great free pdf when it’s relevant!

6. Mid screen parallax sliding imagery and or videos.

Nice try, but no. I will not attend to it. I’m here to consume your awesome content. Not a retargeted ad about out of reach business vehicles behind the initial content. You also don’t have to say: ‘Story continued below this picture.’ What? Way ahead of you, my friend. Didn’t even read that AND didn’t see that annoying ad thingy vaguely scrolling in the background of the content snack I’m indulging on.

What I like:

If there’s a video, just show it in page/in app with a play-button on it. Give me one line what it’s about and use a good still of the video. If I want to watch it, I will. Same goes for pictures, show me a thumbnail. I will click and look at it. Give me the choice.

7. Facebook’s repetitive pushes towards… everything they think of.

Yes Facebook, I know you want me to download your mobile app. I just don’t like you snooping around my device. And yes, Facebook I know all my friends have Messenger. But I have SnapChat for the originals and you already own WhatsApp too, so no thanks. This obviously counts for lots of online parties, who just a little too desperately want to force my user experience. Facebook is definitely number one in pushing down the throat the things they have thought of. That’s why I use Facebook Purity, which, of course is pure evil considering my line of work, but trust me, it’s not you, it’s Facebook.
What I like:
Why don’t they make me a part of the journey? When is Facebook going to work towards allowing users to earn a buck? Is this so impossible? Why doesn’t it help that I clicked to close it a gazillion times? Don’t they know by then I don’t want it?

8. Mutilating of completely innocent memes.

That’s how you use a meme.

Memes are a delicate case. One does not simply use memes the right way. Memes have rules, and they are being abused way too often. Why? Because in the womb of the inter-webs, memes need to come to full fruition before being born into mainstream. A too early delivered meme has a great chance of premature death.

This is because the fruit of the loins of the inter-webs didn’t have enough time to grow into adulthood before being thrown in to the real world. Why? Because memes are insider’s jokes. You don’t tell your co-workers two decades old jokes you do with your kids or siblings. They can’t get it. And you also are most likely not adjusting the joke for your co-workers so they might find it funny. This is exactly what a mutilated meme is: Something that’s found out by some marketer who hasn’t necessarily heard of 4chan or 9gag, but has seen that Success Kid picture a couple of times some where. It must be recognizable! There! I put some random motivational quote on that kid (is he eating sand?) Let’s see if it works. It doesn’t.
What I like:
Try and get involved into the world memes, Get the joke. If you get the joke and its context, use it accordingly. The ‘insiders’ will know it and might even chuckle and share.

9. News jacked paywalls.

So you heard something brand new, something super hot on Twitter. A celebrity has died or a real disaster has happened. Yes, I want to read your content even though I’ve never heard of you before. The chances are, I will never return to you after this visit. You can be sure, however, that I will stay for my first visit if you let me have your tasty content. I won’t pay for your news if anyone else can give it to me for free, on the corner on the street or on Twitter.
What I like:
Okay, I can forgive you for news jacking the long awaited Yellowstone Park volcanic eruption by selling your end-time survival package to me. At least be honest and direct about it and explain why I need your stuff to survive instead. I will buy!

10. Click loops of unreachable tech giants.

I understand that you have collected millions and millions of frequently asked questions and that you are tirelessly monitoring our online behaviour. I get that you don’t want me to get into contact with a real, breathing person immediately. Which is a shame because I can assure you as an experienced user of your services (for at least a decade and a half) that when I’m looking for a solution, it’s nothing of the standard. Having to go through countless pages of information which not even resemble my problem, will force me to look elsewhere for the solution.

Funny note, remember the early 90’s, when MS Windows would help you find a solution after something crashed? They never did! Ever! And they still have this feature to this day! And it still doesn’t work.

What I like:

I know it’s all automated and I realize that’s how you earn a buck. I don’t mind waiting (too long), but at least show me your genuine interest in my personal problem instead of blindly relying of a community of more advanced users, automated support systems or endless clicking through nothingness. Involve me! Use my veteran status for our mutual advantage.

Would you like to know more about me? Don’t hesitate and connect on LinkedIn.

Over de auteur.
Pim Piepers is eigenaar van Piepers Audiovisuele Communicatie.