Contextual Advertising: A Practical Guide For Brands To Boost ROAS

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Contextual advertising focuses on reaching audiences in the right place and at the right time.

Contextual advertising focuses on reaching audiences in the right place and at the right time. This type of advertising is a practice of providing ads on a web page that is based on the content of the web page that the user is already on.

By attempting to match up the advertisement with the content that’s being consumed, it’s likely going to encourage a sale or two. With the global contextual advertising market projected to reach $335.1 Billion by 2026, it pays to be attentive to this type of advertising for your brand’s ROAS.

Making ads relevant to the consumer’s engagement online can help connect with them on a more personal level. It also makes advertising more helpful, rather than being intrusive or annoying to see. In this guide, we’ll explain why contextual advertising is useful and how it compares to other advertising methods.

Why is contextual advertising important in 2023?

There have been many changes to the online world when it comes to marketing and advertising online. It’s important to make use of contextual advertising in 2023, particularly due to a now cookie-less world.

As many countries have imposed strict privacy legislation and internet browsers have moved away from the use of third-party cookies, contextual advertising offers a reliable solution.

Europe for example introduced GDPR which requires visitors to opt-in for advertising cookies but that means not everyone will actively click the button to opt in without being prompted to.

As countries introduce strict privacy legislation and internet browsers move away from the use of third-party cookies, behavioural advertising becomes increasingly difficult and limited.

In Europe, for instance, GDPR legislation requires visitors to actively opt-in for advertising cookies. Otherwise, they can’t be retargeted. However, contextual advertising allows brands to reach highly relevant audiences without relying on these cookies.

The benefits of contextual advertising

What are some of the contextual advertising benefits? The value that comes with this advertising and its contribution to your advertising strategy can be very strong.

Firstly, contextual advertising is relevant to whoever views it. That’s because it’s been selected specifically for the content on the web page. Hopefully, the web page is relating to the target audience for which the ad has been targeted.

Another benefit is that it reduces the impact of anti-ad fatigue, which tends to happen a lot nowadays as users engage in a lot of content that features advertisements in between.

Most importantly, contextual targeting doesn’t interfere with the user’s privacy. It’s all about the theme of the page itself, rather than the user – so they essentially remain anonymous.

Caveats of using contextual advertising

Of course, there are problems with contextual advertising. Here are a few considerations to make when using contextual advertising for your brand’s ad spend.

These ads can be distracting, as can many when browsing online. They can annoy consumers if they’re placed in between text or disrupt the viewing of content in some way, i.e. pop-ups.

Paid ads can also be expensive, meaning they can price out certain brands that may be limited in their ad spending funds.

How does contextual advertising work?

Contextual advertising works by targeting your ads on web pages that meet the parameters that you’ve set. For example, Google Display Network can be a helpful tool or demand-side platforms like Amazon DSP and Brightroll.

Set your parameters

Whatever platform you use, it’s firstly important to set your parameters. This is important to determine the placement of your product ads. On Google’s Display Network, this would be done by selecting keywords and topics.

Monitor the effectiveness of ads

You may have set up your parameters, but that doesn’t always mean it’s effective. With that being said, it’s always good to monitor the effectiveness of your ads and how well they perform individually.

Revise parameters

To help better the success of your contextual advertising, revising the parameters that you’ve set so the ads stay up to date is important to manage.

Contextual advertising vs Behavioral advertising

What is contextual targeting in marketing? How does it differ in comparison to behavioral advertising? They come with similar benefits but in our opinion, contextual advertising offers some extra perks.

Behavioral advertising can cost more

Behavioral advertising can end up costing more because they’re reliant on data collection. However contextual advertising is more versatile for brands of all shapes and sizes.

Contextual targeting doesn’t rely on cookies

Whilst behavioral advertising relies on cookies for data, contextual targeting doesn’t. That means you can avoid collecting personal data and risking the consequences that come from safely storing that data.

Behavioral advertising can feel more intrusive

There is always the potential for a person to see the same ad over and over again. As a result, behavioral advertising can end up feeling more intrusive.

With contextual advertising, there are frequency caps, making sure that the ad is less obvious if it keeps showing up on every site they’re on.

Examples of contextual advertising

To help kickstart your usage of contextual advertising, we’ve put together a few examples of contextual advertising that are currently being used online.

Google Ads can seamlessly be integrated into other channels online such as YouTube. For example, here is a YouTube video on a bike buying guide with an advertisement for HPS Bikes.

This is a great contextual advertising example that has been used where an ad for a bike, relates to the content being shown on the video itself.

Extreme Tech is a great site for all things tech and the below screenshot is a good example of contextual advertising via a web page.

Featuring a selection of security blog posts is teamed up with an advertisement for smart alarms on the sidebar of the page.

Contextual advertising can help boost ROAS

When achieving a high return on ad spend, contextual advertising is very much the current trend when it comes to methods of marketing online. Contextual advertising effectiveness is one that many other advertising methods are failing to achieve, especially with a demand for more privacy and protection over personal data.

Author Bio:

Natalie Redman is a content writer for the Aumcore SEO agency. The agency provides creative content writing services across many industries and digital brands online. Aumcore has a proven track record of helping businesses achieve success online, and Natalie is an integral part of the team that drives these results. Through her work, she helps businesses connect with their target audience and communicate their brand message effectively.