To target ad buys based on channel or demographic information alone is to bake a cake with only half the ingredients and no instructions. Sure, something will result from the effort, but it won’t be anything to write home — or in this case, tell the client or the CMO — about.
Just as a recipe benefits from hand scribbled notes in the margins, so campaigns benefit from additional context. For instance, while a keyword scan of a site might suggest the page’s content is relevant for a current ad, it doesn’t consider the context in which that word appears, much less the overall quality of the page.
This is where additional context is needed. Is the keyword in question appearing on a page negatively? Is it juxtaposed against high risk user generated content? Does the site contain malware, spoofed URLs, or other dangerous elements?
Indeed, much is at risk when a campaign relies on simplistic targeting mechanics. Thus, it’s no wonder that savvy marketers are turning to smarter, contextual ways of finding their audiences in brand-safe settings. In fact, according to a recent survey of US marketers, 33% are investing more heavily into contextual marketing in 2018.
One industry particularly aware of the impact context has on the bottom line is retail. With thousands upon thousands of product names and descriptions to promote, the need for targeting that looks beyond easily misinterpreted keywords is paramount. As such, it’s not surprising that 48% of retail marketers leverage real-time contextual targeting to drive in-store traffic.
Nevertheless, some lagging marketers still question whether contextual targeting is worth the incremental impression cost. To this concern, the answer is an overwhelming yes. Indeed, according to a survey of over 200 marketers leveraging contextual targeting:
- 47% became more efficient in campaign planning
- 34% were able to leverage real-time campaign activation
- 33% saw a performance uplift across brand metrics
- 27% saw a performance uplift across direct response metrics
- 20% enjoyed an increase in their audience understanding
Simply, not only does contextual targeting better protect brands against unsafe content that could pass through keyword filters, but it also improves overall campaign metrics. What’s better yet? With the right tech stack, deploying contextual targeting across campaigns is a piece of cake.
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What results have you seen from layering contextual data into your ad targeting? Was brand safety, improving campaign performance, or something else the catalyst for your team? Let us know by joining the conversation on LinkedIn and Facebook.