Contextual advertising is a form of online advertising that targets users based on the web page context they are currently viewing. This type of advertising is becoming increasingly popular as a way for brands to reach their target audience in a more targeted and effective way.
One of the critical benefits of contextual advertising is that it allows brands to reach users who are already interested in a specific topic or industry. This is in contrast to traditional forms of advertising, such as display ads, which can be seen by many users regardless of their interests.
Contextual ads have shown great success. According to a report, some top contextual ads have a click-through rate (CTR) of 44% — higher than what display ads yield. Users will likely engage with an ad relevant to their viewing content.
Contextual advertising can be done in several forms, like keyword-based targeting, topic-based targeting, or even page-level targeting. Keyword-based targeting shows ads to users who have searched for or used specific keywords. Topic-based targeting is showing ads to users browsing web pages on a specific topic, and page-level targeting shows ads based on the web page the user is viewing.
A game-changer for digital marketing strategy
As digital marketing evolves, contextual advertising is becoming a trend for brands looking to reach their target audience. The results of a 2021 survey among US consumers show the effectiveness of this strategy. 15% of respondents reported that targeted advertising helped them access promotional sales and incentives, while 14% said it helped them discover new brands.
Another study by Harris Poll and GumGum found that 65% of respondents were likely to purchase from an ad relevant to the current webpage. In comparison, only 35% were inclined to purchase from an ad based on their recent browsing history. The study also found that older adults were more likely to be enticed by contextual ads, while younger adults were more likely to be influenced by ads based on their recent browsing history. Ad-blocking software and consumer ad fatigue also drive the shift toward contextual advertising. Relevance and value to users make these ads less likely to be blocked or ignored.
Contextual ads also do well with regulations around data collection and serving cookies. The world is facing a change in how online advertisements are delivered, as privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA and Google’s ongoing removal of third-party cookies from Chrome have led to debates about the future of online ads. However, contextual advertising is stepping in to fill the void left by the declining cookie culture.
Contextual advertising offers a better solution in today’s privacy-conscious world. Consumers are looking for greater control and transparency over their data usage. With contextual advertising, privacy concerns are addressed by relying on the content and context of a website or article to place ads rather than personal user data.
This type of advertising delivers advertisements in the most relevant and attention-capturing in-content placements without using cookies or collecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Contextual advertising is in line with changing data protection standards and is a promising solution for the future of online advertising.
Starting with contextual advertising
When creating contextual advertising campaigns, you must understand your target audience, interests, and pain points. With that in place, it becomes easier to create relevant ads that are more likely to catch their attention and drive conversions.
To get started with contextual advertising, you can use various platforms and tools to create and manage your campaigns. Google AdWords and Bing Ads are just two popular contextual advertising platforms that allow to target contexts based on keywords and display placements. However, for those looking for a more specialized solution, European tech start-up Compado, among others, is a contextual advertising platform that can help brands create and launch effective contextual advertising campaigns.
“What we developed in Compado, essentially, is a machine – a machine for highly efficient Contextual Advertising,” says Emanuel Hoch, founder, and CEO of Compado, in an interview. “As with every machine, ours has several parts. For instance, we’ve developed crawling and context-identification technologies that help us find and categorize commercially viable contexts where Purchase-Motivated Audiences can be found and where we can display our brand recommendations.”
Compado’s co-founder, Andreas Hoogendijk, would agree. He explains in another interview that contemporary contextual advertising, for example, will help someone who wants to learn a new language and is searching for a language-learning app find what they are looking for. The user would be presented, for instance, with a related single brand, with a related table of brands, or with a related quiz, which helps to find a matching brand.
Choosing an advertising partner to lead you into the sphere of contextual advertising may also begin with education. For example, GumGum, another digital advertising platform that prioritizes contextual advertising, has announced a new industry-wide Contextual Advertising Certification, which aims to educate media planners and buyers about the benefits and offerings of contextual advertising. The free and self-paced contextual certification program provides an understanding of the history of contextual advertising, contextual strategy, and the technology behind contextual intelligence. It also covers the Media Rating Council’s role, which manages measurement accreditation for the advertising industry.
Brands that adopt contextual advertising can expect increased brand awareness, higher engagement rates, and better conversion rates. As the digital advertising landscape continues to evolve, the importance of contextual advertising is only set to grow. So, for businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve and make the most of their advertising efforts, it’s time to start exploring the benefits of this cutting-edge technique.