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InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

How contextual increases trust – and revenue

March 22, 2022 | By Alynn Beyder, Senior Product Marketing Manager – IAS@integralads

As the industry leans into context-based buying methods, it becomes even more clear why marketers are revolutionizing their advertising strategies with a focus on relevance. In fact, as the deprecation of third-party cookies looms nearer, advertisers and publishers alike need innovative, forward-looking solutions to maximize consumer engagement — and revenue. Contextual targeting promises to be just such a solution. 

Through the lens of the advertiser, contextual targeting offers a slew of benefits. But through the lens of the publisher, shifting from third-party cookies (in use since the late 90s) has surfaced questions over intellectual property. Despite differing industry perspectives, contextual targeting solutions help to drive greater content discoverability and increase trust within publisher-advertiser relationships.

Here’s how.

Reinforcing the publisher-advertiser relationship

A healthy, trustworthy relationship between publishers and advertisers is crucial for the entire ecosystem. Advertisers actively seek out media partners that can deliver their messages alongside relevant content, therefore increasing consumer ad engagement and favorability.

Contextual solutions, which a publisher can use to match with their advertiser’s brand suitability needs, create the opportunity for a frictionless ad environment. In fact, when it comes to meeting (and exceeding) an advertiser’s needs, there are sophisticated solutions out there that offer the ability to meet quality standards, prove media value, and reduce discrepancies. 

Furthermore, publishers that take advantage of optimization solutions have the opportunity to considerably lower brand risk for all impressions. In fact, some experience massive brand risk reductions of as high as 97%. Even more crucial for long-term success, publishers can strengthen advertisers’ trust by providing inventory that has been independently verified.

Contextual solutions certainly provide relationship-building benefits. But how do they increase revenue?

Let’s explore.

Context is key to driving revenue.

Contextual solutions offer unique revenue-increasing benefits for publishers in particular. For starters, sophisticated contextual targeting methods help to unlock additional inventory monetization opportunities by making publisher content more discoverable to advertisers. By only serving ads in the relevant context and enhancing content discoverability for advertisers to reach specific audiences when they’re in the right mindset to hear their message, publishers ultimately benefit from higher yield and lower fail rates. 

An added benefit of contextual is enhanced user experience. Consumers take notice of context — and they love it. Industry research has shown that 74% of consumers like to see ads that match the content they’re viewing. What’s even more conclusive, the recent biometric study revealed over half of consumers find it disruptive when an ad is not related to the content they’re reading. 

If consumers aren’t feeling favorable toward the ad experience on a publisher’s site, they may be less inclined to interact with the site in the future. And if consumers find advertisements on a website to be disruptive to their viewing experience, they may associate that publisher with less credibility. That could lead them to categorize the experience, and therefore the content, as spam-like and non-premium.

Publishers — the decision is yours.

Opposing contextual analysis can negatively impact publishers’ ability to monetize all of their inventory. Advertisers are actively seeking independently verified, brand safe, suitable, viewable, and fraud-free inventory. Without transparent contextual analysis, publisher content cannot be properly classified. Therefore, it is not nearly as discoverable by advertisers who have marketing dollars to spend. Instead, advertisers will likely direct their buying towards inventory that’s more transparent on the free and open internet. 

Questions about contextual methods are valid, especially as the digital advertising industry moves toward what may feel like uncharted territory. But publishers should note the value context-based solutions can offer:  an uptick in advertiser trust, a more positive consumer experience, and last but certainly not least, maximized revenue.

Considering the importance of prioritizing revenue growth as cookies disappear from the advertising industry, publishers should be open to independent contextual verification and collaborate with trusted partners to fuel innovation. 

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