August 27, 2021
August 27, 2021

Contextual Ad Targeting: Why You Need It

It should come as no surprise that according to a study published in the International Journal of Advertising, consumers are worried about the risks of their privacy that come with personalized ads - so much so, that the perception of risk is stronger than the perception of benefit. Meaning, their perception of privacy concern actually leads them to avoid the ad. 

With continuously updating privacy policies, marketers and advertisers are having to get creative and find new ways to reach consumers. In many ways, we just have to go back to the basics. 


Behavioral Targeting vs. Contextual Targeting


As behavioral targeting will become increasingly difficult as people opt out of allowing apps to track their behavior, advertisers will be revisiting contextual ad targeting. Contextual ad targeting isn’t new, it’s just becoming more sophisticated. The idea is simple: place your ad next to relevant content. 


In years past, this would look like a fitness brand placing ads in a fitness magazine, or sponsoring a popular sporting event. Today, contextual ad targeting looks like going to Google ads and finding target keywords and topics for your campaign. More digital ad networks offer some form of contextual targeting, often keyword phrases. 


Where behavioral targeting aims at each person’s private behavior including past searches, social media activity, or even visits to physical stores, contextual targeting focuses on articles, videos, or podcasts that your target audience would be interested in. 


Privacy is an increasingly large concern for consumers and the government has taken notice sparking tech companies to respond as well. 


Welcoming the Challenge


One way BeOp CEO, Louis Prunel, has approached this new “challenge” is what he calls “conversational ads”. He says, “Advertisers get much better results … by having conversations that are placed contextually at the end of an article on premium publishers’ [websites],” Prunel explained, adding that “conversational ads” may get as many as 70% more clicks than standard display ads.


The idea is to ask prospects a question so intriguing that they interact with the ad and eventually convert - the combination of keyword-based contextual placement, the position of the ad on the page, and good copywriting make these conversational ads effective for both conversion and branding. 


Rather than fear these changes to advertising, marketers should welcome the steps being taken to safeguard consumer data privacy and recognize the opportunity to leverage the massively rich, privacy-compliant consumer datasets that are still available to them. We can see this as an opportunity to get creative and innovative in the ways we reach our audiences. 


If your business is looking for new ways to reach your potential customers, AirTank can help! Get in touch with us to learn more about how our digital advertising experts can help your business soar above the rest. 


December 22, 2023
Check out our latest webinar "2024 Trends and Predictions." We cover several topics based on our research, client conversations, and additional insight as we head into the New Year.

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