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.

How to add more context to your social media content

Social media, dynamic and in constant flux, has become an increasingly crucial part of digital communications strategy.

2019 has seen a 9% growth of social media users compared to last year, bringing the figures to 3.48 billion worldwide (source).

Social media in digital marketing

However, social media engagement is in decline even though these networks are displaying more business ads than ever before. Why? Because users are ignoring ads that “interrupt” their social media “journey”. So, while the impact that social media has may be decreasing the number of users is increasing. In that case, what is social media being used for now?

Customers, in fact, are still depending on social platforms to interact with businesses and gather “knowledge”. So, based on this information, how about reaching those customers in a way that is really effective?

With this in mind, it is time to reach customers across social landscapes in different ways: by making sure that the content distributed is contextual. In this landscape of ever-growing decline in levels of interest it’s time to reclaim consumer interest with relevance.

Vertis Media does just this by engaging with customers with high quality information of what represents their consumer journey.

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.

What is native advertising and how effective it is?

Native advertising: the non-intrusive way of connecting with your ideal audience.

What is Native Advertising? To explain what Native Advertising is let’s start off with a couple of contrasting examples: imagine that you are browsing the web, having a look at some of the websites you normally like to view and suddenly coming out at you are advertising banners left, right, and centre!

Adult book computer

So, you change websites and start to read a really great blog post and once you’re done the site itself provides a link to related content made by a different brand. Which one do you prefer? The last example? Welcome to native advertising! The non-intrusive way of connecting with your ideal audience.

Native Advertising- how do you recognise it?

  • Content advertising seamlessly integrates online advertising into webpages by using relevant content as support.
  • Native advertising’s success is directly proportional to the utility and relevance of its content. It should “blend in” with the rest of the articles that are there. Content like this, increases the likelihood that your readers will recognise and remember your brand.
  • In order to engage, offer content tells the story of where your customer can journey to next. It’s all about gaining their attention with valuable information that is so valuable they will want to share it.

Take a look at this example of a native advertising campaign we developed.

Why is Native Advertising great?
Unlike other more traditional formats such as banners or pop-ups which are disruptive, native advertising has the potential to attract more attention from the readers. Why? Because native advertising retains the look and feel of the digital content to promote a certain content or product. Since it contains information which is useful and productive to the users, it is more likely to be shared on social media, enabling the information to reach as many potential clients as possible.

As Marco Piscitelli, co-founder of Vertis Media states: “Native Advertising offers top quality information to the users, which means we are all winners: the targeted audiences and the advertisers”.

Does advertising on social media work?

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.

Facebook is leading the way when it comes to paid social media at approximately 2.23 billion monthly active users (source: 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report : Social Media Examiner). Since Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s shift from branded content prioritizing user’s posts, marketers are in agreement that their reach has dropped noticeably. People are now also willing to invest in other platforms, such as Instagram the second most used social media platform, to see what works in terms of engagement.

Advertising in social media

Paid social is continuing to grow on all platforms. As more marketers realize the importance of meeting customers where they are, they’ll turn to smaller platforms to reach those core audiences.

The shifting dynamics of social media marketing makes it especially challenging to understand which steps to take towards success, but the elevated number of users and levels of activity make it one that cannot be ignored.

It’s undeniable that paid advertising on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram 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 campaign strategy. With banner blindness on the up the move to a type of advertising that is able to tell a larger story which features a brand contextually is the way forward. In fact, 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.
See how Vertis Media can help with your campaigns.

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.