What is contextual targeting?

What is contextual targeting?

18 August 2022 |

Data, Insights, Privacy

In essence, contextual targeting is the practice of displaying ads based on the content & relevance of a website to the content being advertised. In practice, a Gym brand might contextually target fitness-related pages and websites.

Putting ads in contextually relevant environments is nothing new & has been practised both online and in more traditional advertising settings for many years. But, in a privacy-first era and the deprecation of third-party cookies in 2024, media buyers are searching for cookieless targeting solutions, which is where Contextual targeting becomes increasingly important.

Contextual targeting vs behavioral targeting

As aforementioned, contextual targeting is environment based, whereas behavioural, as the name suggests, targets users based on previous/existing behaviour. While effective, behavioural-based targeting currently requires tracking pixels or third-party cookies, which will be phased out soon. 

Contextual targeting examples:

  • Gym brand targeting fitness-related pages
  • Movie streaming service targeting movie review blogs

Behavioural targeting examples:

  • Website visitors taking certain actions on a website without converting and then being retargeted by the website owner to prompt action
  • A user searches for running shoes & related review pages, a shoe brand then will target them with their shoe ads

Contextual targeting benefits 

There are several key benefits to using contextual-based targeting:

  • Cookieless – requires using cookies and personal information, which is a huge plus in today’s ad environment
  • Nonobtrusive – as users become more averse to retargeting tactics, contextually placed ads are in relevant environments which can increase user sentiment
  • Brand safe environment – whereas behaviourally targeted ads can appear anywhere on the open exchange, contextually targeted ads are placed on websites that fall into the desired environment

If you want to know more about how your business can utilize Contextual Targeting, reach out to an ADMATICian to learn more about the opportunities for your upcoming campaigns.