18
Aug
2020

What Is Contextual Targeting?

Is it possible for your ads to pop up in relevant search terms? The short answer: yes. In fact, contextual targeting has played a huge role in a business’s ad strategy. 

If you don’t know what contextual targeting is, no worries. We’ll delve into what it is and how it can be beneficial for your business. It’s important that your brand’s message is on point and aimed at the right people.

Getting the message to the wrong people will always lead to a failure in marketing strategy. So how does contextual targeting connect to your business (online or offline)? Let’s answer that question right now.

Contextual Targeting Defined

Contextual targeting is described as a form of advertising where the ads themselves appear in relevant pages or search results. Most of the time, Google PPC ads have been the go-to option for business owners since everyone is likely going to the search engine to find a solution to a specific problem. Plus, these ads can work for both online and brick-and-mortar businesses.

If you want some examples of contextual targeting, read on. We’ll be taking a look at one example for online businesses and another for a brick and mortar business. Either way, they will work to your advantage. 

Examples For Contextual Targeting

In the first example, let’s say you run a local taco place. If someone is reading a blog about the best taco stands in the United States, chances are they may come across your ad that advertises your business. It will usually depend on whether or not that reader is near your local area. 

So maybe you’re craving for tacos right now to a point where you look at lists of taco stands that are the best in America. This is known as behavioral contextual targeting. And it will display ads depending on your Internet search patterns. 



Here’s another example, this time we’ll be using an online business example. Let’s say that you are watching a video on building your own computer for gaming. You see an ad on where you can find computer parts online at awesome prices so your project becomes a reality.

This is called in-video contextual targeting. You’ll be able to see ads that are relevant to the video’s topic or content. For example, makeup tutorials and makeup ads (pretty self-explanatory). 

One of the most used forms of contextual targeting is native ads. What they are is pieces of content that are basically ads. This kind of advertising seems to get a lot of flak and is often stated as a deceptive ad practice given that it appears like a blog post or article. 

These are also known as advertorials. Granted, it’s not illegal to do native ads or advertorials, but it’s important to do it properly when you are selling something like a high-ticket item or service. Content like this can sell when executed properly. 

Why is contextual targeting important for your business?

It used to be that ads were not as laser-focused on the right audience. Radio, TV, print, even billboard ads are just a few examples of ad types that have a broad reach. The problem is the response rate is typically low since it seems to be targeting everyone. 

With online platforms and their ad networks, now it’s easier than ever for such an ad to be able to reach the right audience. You can be able to whittle it down to who will see it. This includes gender, location, age, interests, and so on. 

However, there are ad networks like Google that will be so smart to where it can direct you to an ad that will lead you to a product or service that may be relevant to what you’re looking up online. If you are reading a blog post that is a product review, there’s a good chance you’ll see ads of certain products that are being sold on Amazon or even brick and mortar stores near you. 

Even some brand names that are mentioned in these posts will draw ads of that specific brand to the page. So if you are reading up the “Best Destinations That JetBlue Flys To”, odds are you will see an ad offering special flight deals from who else…but JetBlue themselves. 

It’s important to place contextual ads where they are relevant. You can have them displayed on blogs that are related to what you sell (especially when you use Google Adwords). 

Final Thoughts

Contextual targeting is a pretty cool thing to witness on the Internet. Especially when you are doing marketing for business. You can make ads that are relevant to what people are reading and they may buy right away. As long as the offer is right and the message is on target, what do you have to lose? 

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