Blog Post

AI-Powered Contextual Targeting Is the Key to Digital Advertising Success

01/05/2023 - Sierra Ducey

From content creation to implementation, AI continues to prove itself a practical resource that has a place in almost any marketing strategy. The next step is implementing AI into your contextual advertising strategies.

Before the introduction of AI in contextual advertising, most marketers had to rely on keyword or topic targeting strategies. Advertisers chose from keywords identified by the publisher that described the content or broad topics correlating to the page’s topic that could relate to a brand’s campaign. Both options were risky, with the possibility of an incorrect analysis, double-meaning words, homophones and homographs, and a lack of trust that the ideal target audience would be reached.

AI became the critical tool contextual advertising was missing — a tool that provided a deeper understanding of a page’s intent and purpose. It also allowed advertisers to glean more knowledge about vital webpage elements like videos, images, and audio.

What Is the Value of Contextual Advertising?

Contextual advertising curated with AI targeting can create an ad experience that is relevant to the consumer and, therefore, an experience that supports campaign KPIs. Here’s why:

  • Contextual advertising is privacy-centric.Two truths exist in the marketing world: Consumers want personalized shopping experiences, but they don’t want to feel like the internet (or any omnichannel marketing platform) is stalking them. These facts have left advertisers trying to generate a more natural aspect to the overall ad experience for consumers. Fortunately, contextual ads don’t require third-party cookies to place relevant ads in front of consumers. This means that personalization is possible without an undesirable invasion of privacy.
  • Contextual advertising is relevant.Because this type of targeting eliminates the need for third-party cookies and consumer data, effective contextual targeting strategies can create a natural and relevant advertising experiencefor audiences. Consumers won’t question why an ad for cookware is placed within their favorite food bloggers’ site or why Warby Parker is advertising in The New York Times because these placements naturally makes sense. An advertising experience that makes sense results in less ad fatigue and more engagement, thus supporting KPIs.
  • Contextual advertising is cost-effective. AI-driven contextual advertising is relatively affordable and easy to get started with. While it isn’t as niche as behavioral-based targeting, it is still an impactful tool that allows advertisers to reach a broadly targeted audience in a relevant environment. That connection, paired with high-quality creative and enticing messaging, can support KPIs by driving more website visits.

How to Create an Effective AI-Driven Contextual Advertising Strategy

There are a few steps you have to take to get the most out of implementing AI into your contextual advertising strategy. The following are the best ways to begin:

1. Understand what success means.

Before building a contextual advertising campaign, advertisers should determine what will ensure the campaign’s success. Is it being made to increase brand awareness? Drive consumers down the funnel? Increase conversions? Or something else?

Establishing this critical information will help you choose which ad types are the best investment for the specific contextual ad campaign. Additionally, setting clear objectives will ultimately determine clear indicators for success.

2. Diversify tactics and strategies.

Look beyond display ads.

Effective advertising never sticks to just one channel, which remains true for contextual ads. Advertisers implementing AI-driven contextual targeting strategies should be willing to look beyond display and consider search, social, audio, and video to reach consumers throughout the entire buying journey.

Because the most significant benefit of contextual ads is the ability to provide a relevant and natural advertising experience for the consumer, advertisers should set a frequency cap when diversifying contextual ads so the ad placement maintains that natural effect.

Find your audience and niche.

Diversifying can go beyond tactics to consider keywords and user intent when deciding where to place ads. When it comes to keywords, companies with larger pockets will easily outbid for keywords with a high search volume. It’s essential to carve out a niche for an ideal target audience and still consider using keywords with a smaller search volume. A smaller search volume with the right target audience is a highly effective strategy for contextual ads.

Consider intent to drive consumer action.

Lastly, advertisers should diversify by considering user intent. Consumers who are viewing review sites are most likely further into the buying journey than the average consumer. As such, ads may have a higher chance of being clicked on by a user who’s actively in that buying mindset.

3. Think of the big picture.

As with any advertising effort, the best way to create a lasting and positive effect is by asking, “What happens next?”

Utilizing AI-driven targeting in contextual advertising will create more relevant advertising experiences and opportunities for consumers to connect with your brand. But what happens after that connection? Preparing for the target audience’s next step with fast, easy-to-navigate landing pages, personalized user experiences, and a valuable product is the most important component of any digital campaign.

Incorporate Targeted Contextual Ads Into Your Omnichannel Strategy

While AI-driven contextual advertising has many benefits, it should always be used in collaboration with other strategies. As an advertiser, it’s essential to consider how contextual ads work within your complete strategy. Can first- or zero-party data be collected for email drip campaigns? Can ads be retargeted on social media? As with every tactic, it’s important to look at each section as one piece of the puzzle rather than the whole picture.

At Digilant, we’re here to help you find the advertising strategy that works for you. Connect with our team to learn more about AI-driven contextual advertising and how your brand can use it for success.

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