2024 presents unprecedented challenges for advertisers in the form of third-party cookie deprecation. The way agencies have helped brands optimize and measure advertising for years is finally disappearing. So, agencies need new methodologies to deliver results for clients — whose expectations won’t dip as a result of technological change.
Enter contextual advertising. By leveraging contextual signals — what people read and watch, not who they are — brands and agencies can achieve efficient marketing performance without third-party IDs.
But this isn’t your father’s contextual advertising. It’s not just putting Nike ads on articles about running. Here are five capabilities you should look for from contextual advertising and intelligence in 2024.
1. Increased signal across verticals
Contextual intelligence should help brands and agencies build audience and inventory models in place of the audience targeting and measurement the third-party cookie facilitated. To ensure the strongest contextual signal possible for those models, we’re rapidly increasing the list of sites our platform analyzes so that agencies can tap into as many verticals and audiences as possible.
2. Brand suitability
While they may facilitate cheap reach, made-for-advertising (MFA) sites — which are stuffed with ads and low-quality content — fail to generate meaningful engagement and risk harming your brand by association. That’s why our contextual platform leverages a data-driven formula to rule out MFA sites so brands’ ad dollars only go toward premium, brand-suitable advertising opportunities.
3. Multi-layered targeting
With contextual advertising, agencies can gain deep understandings of their audiences. In addition to identifying topics a brand’s target customers are interested in, Advanced Contextual’s platform analyzes the tone, mindsets, and sentiment (among other psychographics) of the text and video audiences are consuming. So, you target audiences who won’t just be interested in your message but receptive to it.
4. Look-alike audiences
With the third-party cookie’s phase-out and resulting ID deprecation, how can agencies leverage look-alike audiences to reach a broad array of prospects beyond the small set of customers they’ve already identified? By using our contextual engine, agencies can understand which pages and topics resonate with their ideal customers and precisely target an accurate cohort of IDs. Advanced Contextual takes the segment data agencies already have and extrapolates from it to generate lists of high-value targets and pages. Agencies can take these lists to walled garden look-alike models, reaching their audience on both social and the open web.
5. Page-level targeting
The basic form of context works like this: enter a bunch of keywords into a walled garden or DSP interface, and they’ll target those words across their inventory. But this approach doesn’t consider the various connotations those words may have, and can lead an airline’s vacation ads to show up on news coverage about refugees escaping war or natural disasters.
Enter programmatic contextual. Advanced Contextual’s platform avoids keyword ambiguity by checking the surrounding environment of content to ensure the content is truly relevant to the brand’s message. That way, agencies only bid programmatically on desirable inventory. Your travel ads don’t end up next to upsetting news stories; they target the hospitality content where you’re most likely to convert prospects.
Scale marketing performance in the new cookieless ecosystem
With third-party cookies finally going away, agencies need new privacy-safe ways to help brands reach their audiences cost-effectively at scale. Advanced Contextual exists to solve that problem. And we’re already solving it for dozens of agencies, which are using AC to find scalable and performant audiences on both social platforms and the open web.
By precisely targeting your highest-intent customers on the open web and social in a way that protects consumer privacy, agencies will be able to deliver results for their clients using contextual advertising — no matter the latest change from Google or Apple.