From banner advertising to pop-up ads, the digital advertising landscape has undoubtedly changed over the last 30 years.
As the way brands display their ads changes, so does the way they target their audience. In response to rising privacy concerns, brands have shifted from affinity-based targeting methods to contextual advertising solutions.
Furthermore, as technology advances, we can see contextual targeting leveraging the power of AI like image recognition, NLP, and predictive analytics.
But, what is contextual advertising? How does it function? After the ban on third-party cookies, how can brands leverage this targeting method? The answer to all these questions is here in this blog. Keep reading!
What is Contextual Targeting?
Contextual Targeting is the process or practice of displaying ads that are relevant to website’s content instead of just user’s data. Contextual advertising is not a new phenomenon in the advertising industry. It’s been here for years. However, it was only because of behavioral targeting that its market importance declined. However, with privacy taking center stage once more, contextual targeting has made a comeback.
Contextual advertising is the process of placing relevant ads in the most appropriate setting while keeping the page’s context in mind.
The chances of ads being read listened to or watched increase dramatically when placed in the most appropriate location. This also increases the likelihood of an increase in the company’s ROI and brand image.
Do you recall seeing shoe advertisements during sporting events, utensil advertisements during cooking shows, or makeup advertisements in women’s magazines? This is what contextual advertising does: it displays relevant advertisements to the most appropriate customers.
Third-Party Cookies Waived Off, What’s Next?
To be successful, advertisers must keep up with consumer demands. However, in today’s environment, that means more than just serving relevant ads that are appealing to audiences; with rising concerns about third-party data, brands must also be able to reach consumers without invading their privacy.
However, with all brands striving for impressions, click-throughs, and leads, it has never been more important for brands to effectively target their audiences with relevant content and stand out from the crowd.
It has become important for brands to effectively target their audiences with relevant content as people become desensitized to the ads they are served online.
While programmatic and cookie-based advertising has heavily relied upon over the last decade, concerns about data privacy and Artificial Intelligence (AI) advancement have resulted in a revival of contextual advertising.
AI uses and analyses data to rationalize and act in the best possible way to achieve its goal.
Contextual AI, on the other hand, goes a step further by utilizing the power of Machine Learning to provide a human-like understanding of content.
Benefits of Contextual Targeting
It should be obvious by now that the return of contextual targeting in the ad tech market is primarily due to the digital economy’s shift away from the third-party cookie.
Despite this, contextual advertising has several additional benefits that may persuade an advertiser to consider it and incorporate it into one of its targeting methods.
A Budget-Friendly Advertising Method
The methods for collecting, interpreting, and people to assist with the process are required for behavioral advertising as it requires a large amount of data.
For organizations with limited resources and client data, this strategy has proven difficult. Contextual advertising offers not only a low-cost alternative to targeting the right audience at the right time but also relevancy.
User Privacy Not Compromised
Contextual targeting does not require personal information. This makes it one of the most successful audience targeting methods. This is more secure for advertisers who want to ensure that their ads appear on pages that follow the rules.
Relevant ad placement combined with complete brand safety
Behavioral advertising raises serious concerns about brand safety and acceptability. Conversely, contextual targeting focuses the campaign on the web page where the ad appears. You can also customize the themes, subtopics, and keywords.
This reduces the likelihood of your advertisement following a person to a site where they do not want to see the ads and you do not want them to appear.
Context Matters More Than Behavioral Targeting
Personalization is an effective marketing strategy by advertisers. This helps to make advertisements more relevant. Furthermore, an advertisement based on past behavior may not be completely relevant to current goals or needs.
Without Effort, Targeting the Right Audience
Advertisements from some companies follow people even after they have purchased something. When advertisers repeatedly target their customers, poor advertising results. Contextual advertising assists in providing relevant advertisements without bothering the viewer.
A user is less likely to feel followed when advertising is relevant to the content a user is currently viewing. Even if the advertisement follows the user around, it is much less noticeable when the ad is contextually relevant.
Increased Brand Safety with AI-Powered Contextual Targeting
While many want to increase brand awareness, brand safety is also an essential aspect of advertising that businesses must consider.
According to research, when ads are placed on negative content (plagiarised or false) based on bias or insufficient evidence can reduce brand favorability by up to 10%.
Brands can easily harm their reputation through poorly placed advertisements without even realizing it.
In contrast, the same study discovered that when in-content contextual tools are used, brands are not only associated with safe and relevant content, but their ads are also fully integrated into the visual content of the article, creating a halo effect on consumers.
This was found to increase brand favorability by up to 22%. It was a significant step in the right direction.
Organizations can significantly improve their brand’s favorability before target audiences have even clicked through by leveraging in-content context.
Contextual Goes Far Beyond Behavioral Targeting
Marketers can supplement these efforts and increase brand loyalty by developing a tailored approach to real-time messaging when users are most in need of it. This is where contextual targeting excels.
Acquiring new customers does not always have to begin with third-party behavioral signals that confirm or reveal what you already know about users.
In many cases, the relevancy of intent data wears off by the time you get in front of the user, especially since DSPs’ available audience targeting lacks a way to segment when a user entered the targeting pool.) This makes Google’s proposed Topics sound like a slightly less stale browser-based cookie than what is currently available.
Contextual targeting audiences can replicate many of the same targeting characteristics as behavioral targeting audiences while also aligning relevancy.
When someone is in the research phase, brands seeking to reach in-market audiences, for example, could align brand consideration messaging. Brands with strong positions on current issues or popular trends, on the other hand, could gain exposure by aligning with the followers of influential figures.
Contextual is the Future of Advertising
Contextual advertising is not a new phenomenon in the advertising industry. It’s been here for years now! However, it was only because of behavioral targeting that its market importance declined.
However, with privacy taking center stage once more, contextual targeting has made a comeback. The feature of this advanced targeting method to reach the relevant audience at the right time has helped many advertisers reach their relevant audiences.