Is contextual advertising an alternative to cookies?

Contextual advertising is an umbrella term for advertising that aligns with existing content and has become a popular advertising method alongside search engine marketing or social media advertising. Advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning allow websites to be comprehensively read and interpreted using technology, an excellent foundation for contextual advertising.

A simple example: a language school is recommended in an article about learning a new language.

So in contextual advertising, the technology needs to capture and understand a context (like an article about learning a language). Based on this, he then has to decide which advertisement would be thematically more appropriate and then present it there. This usually results in highly relevant advertising that fits the content.

What are the benefits?

In addition to the obvious benefits for customer acquisition and brand awareness, contextual advertising has other benefits:

  • User privacy is not invaded. Where the user was before (third-party cookies) is not read, nor is any available data about the user used. The technology only evaluates what the user is looking at. Therefore, advertising is aimed at the content, not the consumer. A strong paradigm shift on the Internet, which, in terms of advertising, has increasingly developed in the direction of a “disproportionate use of user data” in recent years. Brands that take privacy seriously and want to prepare for a world where legislation and techniques Innovations (for example the elimination of third-party cookies in 2024) place much more weight on privacy.
  • Contextual advertising is an important alternative to well-known advertising options such as social media and search engines. In addition to search engine and social media marketing, contextual advertising helps establish another pillar for new customer acquisition. In short, the marketing mix is ​​diversified.
  • There is also strong evidence that contextual advertising converts better than traditional digital advertising. For example, with the Compado-Tech platform for contextual advertising, we see an average conversion rate of 8-15%, while other traditional digital advertising methods only achieve conversion rates of 1-3%. Contextual ads also appear more frequently than non-contextual ads and have been shown to increase brand awareness.

How to get started with contextual advertising?

For most businesses, the first step is selecting the right skills and services to help them enter the world of contextual advertising.

There are roughly two types of service providers:

  • Range-focused service providers: Here, as many users as possible should see the advertisement in a suitable environment, and as with classic advertising, range is evaluated as the main KPI.
  • Performance-focused providers specializing in customer acquisition: These present the brands in thematically appropriate environments, but do not rate the range as the most important KPI, but rather the newly acquired customers.

Brands can use this distinction as a guide when it comes to what they want to focus on when building their contextual advertising.

The rule of thumb is: pay attention to skills and references, pay attention to billing or billing (what is billed, what is the goal, how high is the risk of wasting money). It is important to check whether the goals of the contextual advertising service provider also match your goals.

The “cookieless era” is now

Third-party cookies will leave the internet by the end of 2024, with Chrome being the last browser to leave. From 2024, targeting based on third-party cookies will no longer be possible. This eliminates a marketing method that previously allowed advertising to be based on what was known about the user (eg where they were before, what they were looking at). Advertising alternatives that do not require cookies will therefore be needed in the future. Contextual advertising is a proven working and leading alternative in this regard.

Privacy is becoming increasingly important to users and the internet, including the advertising industry, will have to adapt to this. This starts with devices that prohibit or make tracking optional and continues with dozens of laws that focus on data protection and push it further and further. Consumers are also increasingly turning to devices, systems and sites that protect their privacy. Anyone who sticks to privacy-infringing advertising will suffer significant disadvantages in the medium term. So advertisers need to start looking for advertising methods that put privacy first, starting now.

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