When you attend a wedding, you make sure your outfit matches — dress with shoes, tie with jacket and the entire ensemble with the formal setting of the event. The same principle should be applied to your advertising efforts. Contextual targeting ensures the content in your ad matches the content on the page where the ad is displayed.
A Growing Trend in Digital Marketing
As publishers get smarter about ad placement, the conversation is moving beyond weighing the benefits of banners and side margins. Instead, publishers are working with marketers and advertisers to ensure that the web page where an ad resides shares common themes with the ad shown there. That's contextual targeting.
This type of targeting is achieved by analyzing topics, demographics and keyword parameters attached to each ad. Google AdWords has explained that the data is then compared to the central theme of the content on the web page to find a match. Additional matching factors evaluated may include language, location targeting and browsing history.
The Benefits of Focusing on Context
Putting the right ad in front of the right person at the right time is one key goal of contextual targeting. Databilities has said that when done correctly, this type of ad placement "can have almost twice the click-through rate of the cookie-based targeting used in behavioral campaigns."
This type of targeting often costs less to implement because it doesn't traditionally rely on the viewer's location, GPS data or the advertiser's campaign size. It's an approach that has been particularly successful in gaining clicks and conversions for rural brick-and-mortar stores.
As you brainstorm new strategies for your clients, contextual targeting should be part of the discussion with your advertising team. Mar Tech Series explained that since these ads are incredibly relevant, they feel personalized to viewers. When a person is already viewing a topic they enjoy and a related ad shows up, the integration is visually seamless, perfectly targeted and more likely to get engagement.
Like any other aspect of marketing, contextual targeting might take some practice. If you're struggling to find ways to integrate ads with content, reach out to a professional who can help you plan your next campaign.