Why Contextual Advertising Is Critical for Digital Ads

By Marianne Chrisos - Published on May 14, 2019
Why Contextual Advertising Is Critical for Digital Ads

Are your ads getting ignored? If you find that your banner, video, and digital display ads aren’t performing no matter how much time you spend on design and placement, it might be time to consider contextual display advertising’

Contextual Advertising may be the perfect strategy for PPC marketing for placing your ad content on relevant site pages based on the keywords to reach the right people. That’s why contextual advertising is important for digital ads. How to use contextual marketing for your business.

What is contextual advertising?

According to Digital Branding Institute, contextual marketing is, “Contextual marketing is personalized marketing that enhances the customer’s experience based on a customer’s real-time behavior.” All online customer behavior is tracked to some degree and marketing efforts can tap into the actions a consumer takes online – web visits, shopping history, and more – and helps deliver a marketing experience based on their unique actions.

Contextual targeting is a much more customer-centric approach that takes into account the actions a customer has already taken and uses marketing to help move them down their experience path. Contextual advertising can also refer to brands taking advantage of current moments in time and advertising around them – using the context of an event to create more relevance and attention paid to an ad.

Examples of contextual advertising

How do brands use contextual advertising? Here are some examples of unique or interesting ways to get attention for your brand with contextual marketing.

  • Tide: In 2015, there was a great debate across the internet: Is the dress black and blue or white and gold? Tide got in on the moment and posted a picture of illustrations of both dresses with the caption, “Looks like a problem when you don’t use Tide Plus ColorGuard.” This captured the attention of audiences who were already talking about this socially relevant topic.
  • Oreo: This brand capitalized on an event as it was happening – the power outage of the 2013 Superbowl. Oreo took to Twitter and created awareness and brand relevance by posting a picture with the tagline, “You can still dunk in the dark.” Contextualizing this moment, they helped shine the spotlight on their brand.
  • Snapchat: Snapchat filters that appear when a user is in the vicinity of a brand that has a custom filter is an example of contextual marketing, taking a person’s physical context into the equation when offering options.

How to use contextual advertising to help your brand

Contextual advertising might require some more planning on the front end of your marketing strategy but can have big benefits for your brand. Here are some ways to consider adding contextual advertising to your brand’s strategy.

#Exclusive offers

If you have customer information, use it. Know your customer’s birthday? Send them a free sample or an email for a free gift or product discount. Some of the most personal, contextualized content is created from information that your customer provides you themselves.

#Holiday advertising and launches

If possible, plan your product launches or sales around relevant dates, like holidays. It helps your brand become a natural part of a conversation that’s already happening and makes your product seem more relevant and timely.

#Email campaigns

Email is still one of the best ways to take contextual marketing action. If a customer begins an order on your e-commerce site, for instance, but doesn’t complete checkout, you can send them an immediate and later follow up encouraging them to return and complete their purchase. Creating outreach after a customer action (or inaction, in this case) is a good example of contextual advertising and helps your brand stay top of mind.

Context is an additional way to approach personalized marketing. It gives urgency to action by making it more immediate and relevant to a customer’s recent actions or interests. This can help your audience see your brand as a better resource and position you as the most appropriate solution for their needs.

Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a company near Dallas and contributing writer around the internet. She earned her master's degree in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University in Chicago and has worked in publishing, advertising, digital marketing, and content strategy.

Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a c...

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