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The Shift to Contextual Advertising

By: Tricia Evans    June 1, 2021

A cookieless future isn’t far from becoming a reality early next year. The use of third-party data will no longer be an option for advertisers, so brands must begin looking at other ways to target their audiences. Contextual advertising is the answer for many brands and companies, as it doesn’t require third-party data to target users. Contextual advertising is essentially placing your ad on a page based on the content.

This type of targeting has been around for years, but we are seeing a huge shift to this approach as we near the end of third-party data targeting. Companies that once only provided behavioral targeting have been shifting their focus and offerings to contextual targeting to stay in the game. New platforms are also emerging that focus solely on these efforts, and they are finding ways to differentiate themselves in the space to stand out from the growing competition.

Advertising will have to become more personalized for the end user to really stand out. The more personalized the ads, the greater the ad recall and engagement. Contextual advertising has also come a long way, with new AI tools, such as computer vision, making it possible to see everything on a page rather than just one article. Machine learning, a contextual advertising tool, can use the information available – such as keywords, page types and media channels – to provide the most relevant ads to the user. Some platforms can now use dynamic contextual targeting that will update in real time to show the most relevant content for an ad to run alongside.

Contextual advertising will continue to develop and adapt as the cookieless world approaches, but brands taking advantage of this targeting now will be ahead of the game.