The time has come. Thanks to a series of recent technical developments, plus a renewed willingness on the part of marketers to experiment, contextually relevant advertising is more powerful and more dynamic than ever.
Look at Facebook: Since March, the company has been mining posts and conversations in real time to deliver targeted ads that respond to users sentiment at the very moment they express it – which some say might be the advertisers’ Holy Grail. Google, too, has honed its targeting algorithms and launched Google+, which make its ads ever more relevant.
We know that advertisers need to deliver meaningful, relevant content in order for their ads to resonate with users. According to the Lightspeed Research Global Web Index, two of the most important actions a brand can take to engage consumers are to provide relevant news (62%) and ideas (64%).
Two types of relevance are critical to engaging users
A study from TidalTV, revealed: “Ad relevance impacts consumer favorability and satisfaction. Marketers using targeting to place the right ad in front of the right audience will see higher performance.”
The way we see it at Vibrant, there are two kinds of relevance that matter in advertising today. There’s user relevance, which describes an ad resonates with a user’s individual needs or interests.
And then there’s page relevance, which I find even more exciting. Today, an ad that’s optimally relevant to a page can be integrated seamlessly in terms of both design and content. One ad might display on a black background to match a black page, and later a white background on a white page. Display ad elements can dynamically respond to and match page content — for example, if page content is about Berlin, the ad might say so in its headline.
With the new capabilities, the Internet is finally delivering on its promise of the powerful and resonant brand experience marketers have been seeking for a decade-plus.
The marketer benefits from deploying his or her ad budget to target more receptive users and from increased brand impact. When Vaseline used contextual advertising to deliver relevant ads for a recent face-cream campaign, for example, it found in a follow-up study that brand awareness increased 59%; message recall increased 16%; and likelihood to purchase increased 20%. Not bad.
The moral of the contextual story is this: To realise the Internet’s promise of true relevance for users and a more powerful brand experience for marketers, contextual advertising needed to evolve. We’re here with a band of like-minded pioneers, leading the way forward, every day.