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.

How Can Native Advertising Benefit Both Advertisers and Publishers?

Calling All Publishers! Advertising and publishing can have a mutually beneficial relationship in an ideal environment.

Sign: How Can Native Advertising Benefit Both Advertisers and Publishers?

While advertising can provide a publisher with a consistent revenue source, the publisher’s audience can provide high-quality traffic that allows the advertising message to reach a larger audience.

This is valid if you have a high-quality ad experience. However, in-your-face advertisement that is thrust in the face of the audience can also detract from a publisher’s content experience. People prefer to access the content they enjoy without the ad experience interfering with their content experience, if ad blocker use patterns are any indication.

Native advertising is the ideal option for advertisers who want to incorporate the maximum amount of marketing messages into a content experience without negatively impacting it, benefiting both advertisers and publishers

1-Native blends with the publisher experience

A successful native ad is visually appealing enough to stand out in the stream of content that the viewer is scrolling through, but it is also cleverly crafted to pique the consumer’s interest in the advertiser’s message without being obtrusive.

2- Native ads generate much higher click-through rates than other formats

For publishers, it means that their users can enjoy the material without their commercial interests interfering.

3- Smarter way to market content

A native ad with content that is highly relevant to the publisher’s piece of content will actually increase the likelihood of the viewer clicking on the ad, improving the publisher’s ad revenue opportunities.

4- Greater credibility

Native ads are always labelled clearly as paid or sponsored content, so that audiences understand their exact nature, giving them the choice to interact with the ad. A successful native advertising platform, on the other hand, runs algorithms that only display ads in context to what the user is viewing. This protects the publisher’s reputation, while enabling the advertisers to profit from native ad results: such as higher CTR, greater purchase intent, greater brand recall.

5- Greater control over content

A native ad’s primary characteristic is that it must blend in with its host environment. This means that in order to monetize, publishers do not have to compromise their values. Although this can encourage marketers to use their imaginations to capture user interest, it also leads to stronger storylines and storytelling, which leads to more traction with potential customers.

Native Advertising satisfies the ambitions and needs of both publishers and advertisers without jeopardizing any party’s standards. This not only maintains a balance between their business interests, but also provides an uninterrupted content experience for the end user.

In other words, it’s a win-win situation for digital marketers.

Makeover 2021: How to Whip Your Digital Marketing into Shape

….And also what happened to Primark?

Primark during lockdown

When the facts change, I change my mind is an oft-quoted phrase, and have facts ever changed as quickly as they have in the past 12 months?

From temporary lockdowns to permanent shutdowns, it is still unclear exactly what the new ‘facts’ of living in a post-Covid world will look like.

With that in mind, now is a good time for businesses of all sizes to re-examine their direction of travel. Will film studios now skip the cinemas for streaming? And is the high street now truly dead?

If so, then e-commerce will have finally won the battle it has been dominating for the past decade-or-so. And that means businesses need to start taking e-marketing seriously….

Look at Primark. Great shop, fantastic brand, loyal customer base. But the company’s online strategy? Stuck in the past. And not even the recent pre-Covid past.

Though things will return to a reality closer to the one before 2020, it will never be exactly the same. Try to plan ahead and work out what this will mean for you in terms of a strategy that can work.

1- Consider E-commerce as an integral part of your business.

Primark lost £430m of sales during lockdown with 11 stores open 24 hours, at the end of last year, to try to make up for the loss and is now shut again. Often questioned for not having plans to sell online or have an e-commerce site retail consultant Graham Soult pre-Covid had stated: “While the high-street business is thriving and growing, Primark can make a convincing case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Well, it now undoubtedly ‘broke’ so this could be a good time to change things. Even if we were to go back to in-store shopping, undoubtedly e-commerce will never lose its grip again so it’s worth investing in this side of your business if you haven’t already.

2- Plan your social media posts

Plan your social media posts now so that you can advertise your product and hit the ground running for when sales increase. What tools are you tempted to try out?

3- Consider contextual forms of advertising

Consider contextual forms of advertising that appear as a natural continuation of your customer’s journey. Our proprietary technology offers the insight necessary for you to know when your audience is searching for something aligned to your product, even geolocation wise making the search more productive for all…check it out -> www.vertismedia.com

4-Create engaging content

The first step to getting content right is to ask yourself:

  • What do you spend the most time doing online?
  • How long do you think typical users spend online every day?

Recent studies show that on average consumers spend 8 hours or more a day engaging with digital content. Content is EVERYWHERE…it’s at the heart of every internet journey.

SO

What does online content mean to you?
How many of these would you included in your content strategy?

• text
• audio
• video
• photos
• images
• graphics
• animations

5-Think about integrating 3D/ AR elements to your strategy.

According to global augmented reality statistics, there will be about 1.96 billion mobile AR users by 2021 and 2.4 billion users by 2023. A BRP report showed that nearly 50% of consumers were more likely to buy products from retailers that were also providers of AR experiences. When customers experience advertised products in context, by placing three-dimensional (3D) holograms of the products in their physical surroundings this AR-enabled product reduces the effort required to create purchase-related imagery. Where customers are increasingly distant when it comes to the purchasing context, AR makes it easier to imagine the product.

Which of these 5 points have you already integrated in your strategy?

We’d love to know.

Image from The Times.

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.

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.