The Powerful Context of Contextual Advertising

Marketers who were used to reaching—or trying to reach—new customers via third-party tracking (a.k.a. “cookies”) are finding it challenging to adapt. How can the brands they represent gain visibility? How can prospects become customers? If you are asking these questions, here is another: Are you using contextual advertising?

The phase out from third-party tracking

It’s not news anymore. Because of rules that were set forth by Google two years ago which guard user privacy, marketers are switching from applying third-party tracking technologies to alternate methods—the most well-known being first-party data. (For those marketers who are still dragging their feet, keep in mind that third-party tracking will be completely phased out at the end of this year.) There is another method for marketers to promote brands and increase visibility, and which has been of tremendous help in gathering first-party data. That method is contextual advertising.

Enter contextual advertising

You’ve no doubt seen contextual advertising but may not be familiar with how it works…

Let’s say you search online for a certain product or service. You click on one website and—while scrolling—you see an ad which relates directly to the product or service of your search. This is contextual advertising in action. This method of reaching prospective customers relies on proper—and let us emphasize authentic—targeting of keywords and topics that are relevant to what a user might be searching for.

Everybody wins

Created and posted properly, contextual advertising does not rely on a user’s personal data (i.e., it is 180 degrees from third-party tracking), and brands can take peace of mind in knowing their products or services are being displayed honestly. And the direction is pointing to newfound interest. A recent article in Marketing Brew cited figures from Dentsu, a Japanese-based advertising and public relations company, where some clients are increasing their contextual investments from 25 percent to 50 percent. (That’s a lot of context.)

Contextual advertising and AI

(Admit it. You knew this was coming.) The advancement of contextual advertising is very much in step with technology. As stated earlier, the right keywords and appropriate targeting are two factors which make this method work. For the last several years, a variety of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) models have been applied to enhance the effectiveness of contextual advertising—with remarkable results.

How AI is applied to contextual advertising

As explained by Paul Thompson in The Drum, natural language processing (NLP) models comprise one technology that has the capacity to understand the true meaning of an ad’s content. And, as part of the bigger picture, NLPs and other AI innovations—combined with comprehensive analysis—ensure that specific contextual ads are delivered to their “matched” audiences. In short, the “meeting” between a contextual ad and a customer will be more personalized. And with recent developments, this personalization will be stronger than ever before.

So, contextual advertising is truly an onward and upward way to bring ads and audiences together. If you are considering context ads, EGC can help. We engage a partner software which uses semantic technology that matches content featured in both audio and visual ads to the written content on a website. Results have been impressive, as a contextual ad is likely to receive 10 times the click-through-rate of a display ad. 

Contact EGC, where we will help get your ads seen and heard in the right context.