Contextual Targeting: The answer to ensuring brand safe ad environments?

Posted on: Thursday 24 September 2020 | Umberto Torrielli - Co-Founder and CSO, Silverbullet

Contextual targeting is a smart and safe way forward to drive meaningful marketing messages at scale, writes Umberto Torrielli, Co-Founder and CSO of Silverbullet

As marketers navigate the demise of third-party cookies, the need to deliver personalised campaigns, in real-time and at scale, is more prevalent than ever before. Meanwhile, the impact of a global pandemic has only increased the necessity to demonstrate empathy with audiences in brand safe environments.

This is where the power of contextual targeting comes into play.

With incredible advancements changing the face of traditional methodologies, the key benefits of contextual targeting - and why it’s a must-have for any savvy digital marketer or advertiser - are explained in the latest whitepaper from Silverbullet, which is available to download below. Here’s an overview of what advanced contextual targeting can deliver:

Moving beyond text
Advanced contextual targeting analyses text, audio, video and imagery to create contextual targeting segments, which are then matched to particular advertiser requirements, so that advertising appears in a relevant and appropriate environment.

Some advanced contextual targeting tools even have video recognition capabilities, where they can analyse each frame of video content, identify logos or products, recognise brand safe images, with audio transcript informing it all, to provide an optimum environment for marketing within and around that piece of video content. This includes, importantly, every frame within the video, and not just the title, thumbnail, and tags. This same type of analysis is also applied across audio content and imagery, to ensure the site as a whole is brand safe.

Brand safe environments
New tools allow for more sophisticated approaches than simple keyword matching. They allow marketers to nominate environments they want to include and, importantly, the ones they want to exclude - such as content using hate speech, hyper partisanship, hyper politicalism, racism, toxicity, stereotyping etc. For instance, solutions such as 4D enable advanced automatic exclusion of these types of signals through exclusive integrations with specialist partners, such as Factmata, and other contextual signals can be added to enhance the safety of where an ad appears.

Complementing a first-party driven future.
Contextual targeting has actually been shown to be more effective than targeting using third-party cookies. In fact, some studies suggest contextual targeting can increase purchase intent by 63%, versus audience or channel level targeting.

This is because reaching consumers in the right mindset, in the right moment, makes ads resonate better, and therefore improves purchase intent far more than an ad following consumers around the internet. 

Our 4D product provides an open platform which can help marketers blend their first-party data with contextual intelligence to create a very compelling future. Advanced technologies can ingest first-party data from DMPs, CDPs, ad servers, and other sources, which once fed through an intelligence engine, can draw out contextual insights to be applied in programmatic advertising.

All this means a combination of contextual targeting and first-party data gives brands the opportunity to create a closer connection with their consumers by associating with the content which actually engages them.

The value exchange
Contextual advertising using AI makes a brand more relatable, more relevant and offers more value to consumers, compared to ads targeted at the behavioural level using third-party cookies. Importantly, it helps brands, agencies, publishers and ad platforms to turn a fresh corner in the post-cookie era, ensuring ads are aligned with specific content and context across all channels, easily and quickly.

Moving forward, contextual targeting will allow marketers to get back to what it is they should be doing – forging a real, authentic and empathetic connection with consumers in the right place and at the right time. As marketing goes ‘back to the future’, contextual targeting will be the smarter and safer way forward to drive better, more meaningful marketing messages at scale. 

Written by

Umberto Torrielli

Co-Founder and CSO, Silverbullet


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