Context is king: Is it time to rethink your KPIs?

After Covid, the three Cs of brand development: Customer, Company and Competitors will need to give way to Context, as brands redefine their KPIs to rise up to the challenge of the Pandemic by focusing on the strength of reputation.

For almost a year now, brands have been rethinking their strategy to cope with a new reality: from changing workspaces and policies to developing new directions to ensure a resilient approach in the face of the threat posed to their operations.

This has meant establishing what new KPIs may look like and in the midst of all the changes one thing has emerged as a consistent certainty: context.

Achieve your key business objectives

Contextual advertising has been around for a while but with the recent focus on data and user privacy, it is becoming an increasingly important approach both as a standalone approach as well as running alongside other forms of marketing. The contextual field is one that is fertile with innovation and new technical solutions and it continues to evolve every day.

So, contextual advertising has finally made a comeback and is stronger than ever by taking even bigger leaps in the right direction when it comes to keyword blocking and URL blocklisting. More attention is being paid to making sure the ad matches with the webpage content and ensuring that the ads are contextually relevant for the target audience. It offers a mixture of privacy compliance and scale that, up until now, third-party cookie alternatives do not.

What is contextual relevance?

To be contextually relevant means prioritising the how individual words and phrases relate to each other, the demography of the audience they target and its geolocation. How the words can be used or interpreted will make or break the success of an advertising strategy.

What needs to be done to change your brand’s current marketing and communications?

The focus is on reputation and ensuring a brand safe inventory is a vital part of this strategy. Following on from this, publishers are also more than willing to put in efforts to qualify their content accurately because advertisers would be willing to pay premium CPMs for contextual friendly environments.

Needless to say, this process is constantly evolving and will continue to do so as we witness increasingly AI based technologies emerging to help increase the success of contextual advertising.

The exit of third-party cookies and the focus on brand safety have put contextual advertising in prime position. With more advertisers looking for audience targeting options, rather than behavioural targeting, context will continue to play a strong role in the future of digital advertising.

Why Is Context Crucial?

contextual advertising

Until not so long ago, contextual solutions for advertising served two main purposes: brand safety and the identification of a potentially relevant inventory for ads based on keywords or contextual information.

The last few years, however, contextual advertising has taken advantage of powerful new technologies that provide a strong variety of cutting-edge capabilities and tools.

The businesses that are making the most of that innovation are no doubt gaining an advantage over their competitors in being heard by key audiences in relevant environments whilst protecting their brands.

The following 3 developments in contextual advertising are providing opportunities for the marketers of today and tomorrow:

1- Adding More than Text to Contextual:Impact and Relevance

This truly is an exciting step forward in contextual advertising: a horizon solely comprising words is expanding to include audio, video, images, and more.

Advertisers can use their existing contextual intelligence solutions through ever evolving integrations, allowing them to keep up with changing technologies and consumer consumption patterns through multimedia and multiple formats.

Marketers are now given a comprehensive understanding of content which includes audio, video, and images ensuring a more useful understanding when and where to publish ads.

2-The move from brand safety to brand suitability

The keyword-based blacklist approach used by many companies encompasses words, such as shoot or drugs, making it too wide and ineffective to a properly address the subtlety of brands and the human aspect of language more generally.

The appropriateness of contextual intelligence taps into the uniqueness of brand identity in order to offer control over where ads appear. It also avoids inappropriate content while maintaining the ability to stay connected to the particular reality of the brand.

3-Content analysis that makes the most of consumer trends

Content analysis is a portal into consumer engagement and hot topics that can lead to highly productive planning centred around specific dates: holidays, events, upcoming news, and other opportunities.

Contextual intelligence also allows marketers to analyze trending content to capitalise on media and make the most of real-time opportunities. This kind of event-based content is a core part of a strategy which aims to work from quality audience data. Marketers can take advantage of positive, brand-building content whilst avoiding negative information.

The result? A campaign that’s optimized to be its most relevant at the time of its delivery.

What 3 questions do you need to ask to make sure your content is target audience ready?

target audience on colorful post it

Here are 3 questions you need to ask yourself if you want to produce the right content and develop a good relationship with your target audience:

  1. Who is my ideal customer?
  2. What is the who, what, where, when and why of my audience?
  3. What are the interests, preferences, demographics and geography of my audience?

Top tips to get content marketing right!

  • Figure out who your target audience is and where your audience is most likely to be spending time online. Is it parenting blogs? Lifestyle websites? Instagram?
  • What do you want your target audience to do? Maybe it’s to visit your website, sign up to a newsletter or get a special offer.
  • What kind of content does your brand need? It could be a mixture of videos, photos of product shots, blog posts, shorter posts to go on Instagram with surprising facts about something to do with your brand or maybe a video interview!

Don’t get left behind. Think about creating a native ad strategy to distribute your content where it matters!

How can contextual advertising help your business? Yes, even a small one!

There are 2 things we could really help you with right now, they are:

  1. Creating ads that integrate naturally an represent what your company and brand is all about.
  2. Cutting out the clutter!

Are you feeling scared?

Is anyone else feeling that with resources diminishing, budgets shrinking and Brexit looming, we might feel worried or even, let’s just say it out loud, scared! How can you give your company (you don’t have to be a multinational!) a boost without breaking the bank?
Contextual advertising can offer an alternative that is easy and affordable to start with, while providing a high-quality level of relevance. Let’s see why.

How often have you clicked on a page and a product ad pops up advertising something that doesn’t interest you in the slightest? Vertis Media creates contextual ads for organisations that want to go straight to the heart of the matter. Unlike other contextual ads, ours are created to match the original environment.

As a company we feel passionate about addressing a growing issue for advertisers and publishers alike: engaging with targeted users without interrupting and overloading them with irrelevant ads while generating sustainable revenue.

Vertis has delivered more than 150 brand campaigns for leading international clients such as GSK, Coca-Cola, P&G, Vodafone, Nissan, IBM among others. How do we do this?

Contextual insight

Vertis Media uses AI to provide brands with contextual insight that target audiences more effectively. No personal data involved- perfect for the future cookie-free environment the advertising world is prepping for!

The changing algorithms used by the AI system optimise real time solutions that lead to campaigns with a difference. Vertis Media maximises ROI and is on top of the mutating complexities of advertising. A platform for simplicity, profit and versatility

Native ads

Vertis Media’s real-time native proprietary technology automatically renders ads so they natively match the style and user experience of any publisher’s site. Everything from the font used to the way a text changes when a consumer mouses over it, the ad will behave just like any other content on that particular site.

The ad is also served as part of the framework of the site itself, which means if the publisher makes any stylistic changes to the layout of the page, the ad will automatically update and seamlessly match the look and feel of the site.

We can help you deliver engaging experiences so contact us to find out how.

What’s your advertising strategy for 2021?

3 questions you can ask yourself right now:

  1. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to increase your sales, generate more brand awareness or maybe you need to generate leads?
  2. Who is your audience?
  3. What kind of interesting, relevant content is going to get you where you need to be?

Step 1: Goal setting

Building an advertising strategy starts with being clear about which goals need to be set. What are you looking to achieve through your ad campaigns?

Goal examples:

  1. Generating leads
  2. Increasing sales
  3. New subscribers for a newsletter or website
  4. Increasing website traffic
  5. Raising brand visibility

The important thing here is not to be vague about what your goals is. Make your native ad campaign goals specific. Do you want more people to subscribe to your website? Have a figure in mind and make sure you set a deadline to work towards reaching that goal.

Step 2: Decide who your Target Audience is

Define the audience you want to reach. Contextual and native ads are actually able to direct content to people who have yet to hear about your brand but who would be happy to read information involving it.

The great thing about these types of ads is that you can target ads by age, gender, interests, location, device usage and more. This makes certain that the right people are being targeted with the right content, on the right devices, in the right places, at the right time.

Step 3: Build great content

Content is at the heart of any native advertising strategy. Our number one tip is that you need to think like a reader and not like an advertiser. What does your target audience want to see?

Aiming for informative content is always a winner!
Content to consider includes:

  1. Useful content to educate and inform people, and help them get to know your brand
  2. Informative content aimed at generating leads for particular products or services
  3. Content to drive sales

Start off by following these 3 starting points and you’re set for a successful and effective native advertising strategy for improving brand awareness, attracting leads and making sales. Get started with Vertis Media’s contextual and native advertising.

A Complete Guide to Contextual Advertising

Relevant ads for everyone are a double winner: they brings pros to both the consumers and the brand.

Distributing a relevant piece of information to the right person at the right time means the user is more likely to discover that they are interested in something they perhaps hadn’t thought of before- it widens their horizons. At the same time the brand has a higher chance of making a sale.

computer and contextual advertising

What is contextual advertising?
Contextual advertising (also known as contextual marketing) is a form of targeted advertising, generally appearing on websites and in apps.

Different data for different brands
Various elements can be considered for contextual advertising. Different brands will be interested in different data: for instance, location could make all the difference for a hotel or restaurant.
• Language
• Location
• Weather
• Time of day
• Device
• Preferred channel
• Past behaviour
• Purchase history

Even holding the above information, brands cannot be as accurate as they would like to be in how they organise their marketing strategy. In fact, it doesn’t help that users carry out a lot of their research outside of the brand’s area of impact. So, though traditional marketing campaigns are still vitally important, the other aspects of this journey give brands an opportunity to continue to have a powerful input.

What are the obstacles to contextual marketing?
1) The first obstacle to employing targeted ads is a lack of usable data. While we live in an age of big data, problems exist in utilising it in order to find out relevant information.
2) Technology: Connecting different data sets is partly a problem with existing technology.

Solution: “acting with context”
By employing information regarding sales, CRM data, web data, reviews & feedback, and social data, you can build up a picture that will carry your campaign forward for any brand. For example, if you are going to target a particular profession on LinkedIn, your “profile” for that sector can provide information on how best to connect with that segment.

What does the future of contextual advertising look like?

Personalisation, in the form of digital voice assistants, is considered the future of contextual advertising.

These forms of “communication” allow users to search for things they are interested in with their voice, without consulting a screen as they would have done in the past. As AI, artificial intelligence, becomes increasingly accessible to consumers technology seeks to become a more integral part of our lives and not a “separate” entity that we physically consult. This switch to less device heavy marketing will constitute a monumental shift in advertising. AI is now storing incredible amounts of data that is being integrated more and more with consumer technology, especially voice assistants. The information that has been accumulated for years is now being utilised in the consumer’s present day.

contextual advertising thumbs up

Contextualisation is already built on the premise that proposing ads that are relevant are more welcome and unobtrusive, which means that on any given platform you will most likely only see what is relevant to you as a consumer. So personalisation must follow this example in order to create the story telling environment that is so crucial in order to generate respect for a brand. No one wants to see an add for their favourite shoe brand, however loved (!), when they are viewing a page on a piece of news that is communicating the latest on a natural disaster, for instance.

Personalisation must go hand in hand with contextualisation, in this sense, in order to be credible and trustworthy. Knowing when and where is appropriate to provide the customer with knowledge about those new shoes is key to the ad’s success.

“When you keep seeing adverts on the latest BMW but can’t drive, it has no relevance and as a consumer it’s a waste of time that can be disruptive” says Co-founder of Vertis Media, Laura Cioffi.

10 Facts and Trends about Contextual Advertising

In contextual advertising the ads themselves occur based on the identity of the user and the content displayed and…it’s on the up, as users want the least level of interruption during their time browsing.

Read on if you are interested in know our top 10 facts and trends about contextual advertising.

10 Facts and Trends about Contextual Advertising

1.Advances in Matching up relevant data to customers- AI in advertising
The algorithms used are under constant development in order to improve how accurately ads match the user’s preferences. These past few years have seen a huge leap in targeted advertising, where the message is made to “adapt” to the viewer. The quest for advertisers, for a long time now, has been to make sure that the information they are putting out there is really relevant. Artificial intelligence is a way of doing this: it gets rid of the detective work in targeted advertising. With the ability to dip into a pool of relevant information regarding its users, advertisers can make sure that “useless” information, that can go against a brand’s positioning, gets stopped in its tracks. This means two very important things for Vertis Media‘s dedication to storytelling: relevance and cost effectiveness.

2.Content continues to reign
When engaging with a brand, users have come to expect a wealth of information on more fronts: videos, social media posts, blogs and other types of authentic content. Everyone has caught on to this “trend” which means that in order to stand out, content has had to be more and more interesting.
AI can contribute to building a better content strategy. By “improving” the target audiences, businesses can more effectively narrow down the focus of their stories, blog posts, videos and other content pieces to engage their users more effectively.

3.GDPR
The “right to be forgotten” that GDPR now implies means that businesses can no longer collect information about people without their consent. Explicit consent. Personalised data is essentially the heart of a targeted ad campaign, so what to do?
The correct answer is contextual advertising! How? By finding out the characteristics of a target audience based on the web pages visited. General data about the interests of visitors to that page provides the context needed of how to make information attractive to those users.

4.Video, video & more video
Video is becoming the most important advertising channel and this is set to rise in the future. And what better way to involve audiences than to enable them to participate in creating those videos. The creativity of recent generations could take brands far by getting them on board with the creative process of sharing information.

5.Smart TVs
As consumers are moving away from linear TV and toward a type of smart TV viewing, advertisers will also, aligning themselves with the new on demand viewing experiences.

6.“Voice”
2019 is likely to see brands that will allow for organic use of the devices, with ads that direct consumers to specific products or services. To reach audiences, brands are using new and innovative ways to get the message across.

7.Personalisation & Contextual Advertising
Ways are being found to ensure the messages displayed to the users are “tailormade”. Ads in the future will also be able to gather the info necessary to provide the user with options that are relevant through personalisation.

8.“Billboard targeting” & Contextual Advertising
Businesses are planning to give their billboards “eyes” that can scan peoples’ faces who are passing by. The software will be able to pick up on the number of people who go past and the length of time they looked at it. For the past few years, Google has been testing programmatic ad technology, normally in use for the web, for billboards. Google’s access to extensive information on mobile location data means it can target digital billboards in ways that competitors like Facebook can’t.

9.Customer participation & Contextual Advertising
User generated media will be used through audience participation. Companies will aim to gain more information from their users in order to involve them. In this way, consumers will be interested in those messages that are more relevant to them.

10.Mobile Augmented Reality (AR)
Mobile AR saw a leap from 100 million to 250 million users. A BRP report showed that 48% of consumers were more likely to buy products from retailers that were also providers of AR experiences.

Contextual Advertising: What it is and Why it Matters

Ads that appear on websites that are directly relevant to what the user is viewing are contextual. They are ads that positioned at the right place and the right time.

examples of contextual advertising

What is Contextual Advertising?

If you are viewing a recipe that involves the use of a particular kitchen utensil or brand of food for instance, you will have the opportunity to be presented with an advert for something useful in that context. The idea here is that people who are browsing gluten free food recipes are more likely to appreciate an ad for gluten free pasta than a car ad at that moment. A more captivated consumer usually means more conversions, so contextual advertising is a great way to improve the performance of your display ads.

With the correct targeting, contextual advertising can help you to improve the placement of ads. In order to employ contextual advertising in the right way, you’ll create extremely specific ads for very specific keyword groups or site pages.

Vertis Media shows ads to users who are browsing on sites that are directly relevant to a product or service, and it follows that the audience will probably be more receptive to it.

Digital Ads? It’s a matter of mindset (Targeting those who are tuned in already)

No-one is denying that paid advertising on platforms such as Facebook or Google, for instance, can be effective as part of a wider media campaign. But, if what you are aiming for is to actually get results in how a brand is perceived, what you need is a native contextual campaign strategy.

Contextual Advertising Mindset

Social Ads vs Contextual Advertising

So, what is the difference between advertising solely on social media and contextual advertising more generally?

Both cases require a financial commitment, however these two different modes of advertising couldn’t be more different in the results they obtain. It’s all a question of, what Vertis Media defines as, tuning into the “user mindset”, capturing your ideal customers when they are fully engaged in relevant content.

Advertising on social media appears to offer more control over what is said about a brand but is actually giving less power over content positioning. When and where an advert appears is just as important as what appears. If the only time your advert comes up is on social media then your targeted user’s mindset is probably not tuned in to what your goals are at those moments in time. The reason they are on social media is probably to check out what their friends are doing or look at cute dog pics. If, on the other hand, they are online already engaging in content that has links and shares relevance with your brand then it will be more effective because they will be of more interest at that moment in time- they will have the right mindset to embrace and welcome the information you are providing.

The real impact of Contextual Advertising

Contextual advertising also offers the greatest variety in terms of formats by including microsites, infographics, videos, web series, blog style articles written in first person or traditional articles, interviews and much more. It tells a larger story where brands play a contextual role that involves a client passing on some control to the publisher purely because a publisher can more readily contribute to creating content that blends seamlessly within the publishing platform’s environment. The end result is contextual and impactful content, and the start of new modalities in terms of formats to play with that capture users when they are in the right frame of mind.