Quicktake: Contextual Advertising


Is there any way marketers could serve the right person, the right message, for the right product, at the right time on the right platform? With contextual advertising, your brand will never go out of your customers’ sight and is sure to impact their mind.   

Another advertising jargon?

Contextual advertising isn’t another fancy nomenclature. True to its name, it tries to understand the web surfers’ minds and see things from the users’ perspective. With it, a marketer tries to pre-empt customer behaviour and serves advertisements that (may) have a relation or connect to them. 

Behavioural Advertising Vs Contextual Advertising

Although contextual advertising might be confused with behavioural advertising, they are different. 

Behavioural advertising enables marketers to serve ads to web surfers and potential customers based on their browsing and search history. On the other hand, contextual advertising places the right message for the right customer at the right time. Simply put, with contextual advertising, an advertiser or marketer will try to identify their customer before that person has displayed any identifiable behaviour or executed their search query. 

The product in contextual advertising is advertised beforehand and can attract and convert more customers because of its relevance and timing.

As opposed to behavioural advertising, contextual advertising functions without cookies, doesn’t use third-party data, and is less intrusive.

Also Read: Measuring Consumer Attention in Advertising

Importance of Contextual Advertising

Today’s customers are hybrid and are balancing their presence across multiple platforms with ease. With continuous exposure to various forms of advertising and marketing efforts, they are desensitised and only pay attention to what is relevant to them. With contextual advertising, an advertiser can build and maintain traction in their digital marketing efforts. Contextual advertising is continuously evolving and is largely based on the culture and attitude of people. 

How Does It Work?

Contextual advertising makes use of machine learning (ML) and uses information like keywords, page types and media channels to provide the most relevant and engaging communications without the use of cookies.

Also Read: The Next Generation of Contextual Targeting

How Can Advertisers Prepare

Campaign managers and advertisers need to know the product in detail to be placed on relevant web pages. Advertisers must focus on topics to get a broad picture of the market and keywords to precisely target topics and categories of web pages where the ad needs to be placed. 

Publishers who use Google AdSense can use the built-in feature of contextual targeting. Google AdSense uses keywords on a webpage to find relevant ads for internet users. Contextual advertising is by and large connected to the publishing industry and is an excellent solution for publishers trying to side-step the third-party cookie. Here’s a checklist to help you get started.

  1.  Have a robust keyword repository in places. Pick your target keywords along with key topics and phrases that are commonly used by internet users carefully. 
  2. If using Google AdManager, ensure your fundamental values are in place. Google analyses the content in each display network web page to try to match the ad with the most relevant content.  
  3. Set your display network settings to either broad or specific reach. If you’ve chosen a broad reach, your ad will be placed based on your topic targeting. With specific targeting, advertisements will appear only on pages that match specified keywords and at least one of the targeted topics.
  4. Confirm the ad order has been placed. At this stage, an advertiser will be able to find a placement for their ad that contextually matches the content of the webpage. 

For advertisers, it is extremely important to stay relevant to the customer and in sync with the times. Personalisation increases customer engagement and retention. With contextual advertising, advertisers stay relevant and move a step closer towards personalisation.