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5 ways to think about contextual intelligence for your digital campaigns

February 5, 2021

By Jay Pinho, Manager, Product Management, Moat by Oracle

The internet is a vast jungle of noisy distractions, and as a marketer, it’s essential that you locate your audience through the chaos. The use of contextual intelligence in digital campaigns is quickly becoming an optimal way to meet consumers in the right moments.

Contextual intelligence is often known for its role in assuring brand safety and keeping advertisers away from unsavory or sensitive content. But context also acts as a boost and allows brands to reach potential customers in the right environments through relevant and tailored custom contextual segments.

Context assists in finding customers when they’re in the appropriate mindset. Aligning your ads with the right environment has powerful results. This is the premise of “positive context,” which opens up new opportunities for brands to deliver relevant, timely experiences.

Use the following checklist as a guide to get your campaign rolling in the right direction with context:

1. Are you thinking about contextual intelligence as an important tactic in an increasingly consumer-centric identity landscape?

With the impending changes to universal identifiers looming on the horizon, savvy marketers are considering context more than ever. With its inherently privacy-friendly nature as ID-free and anonymous, context enables targeting based on consumer mindset and page content.

But privacy protection alone is not enough. As an industry, we must do better: blunt keyword blocking as it is all too often practiced today needs to evolve so context can deliver even more precision and control while avoiding the inadvertent demonetization of high-quality publisher content. Look out for more data-informed approaches to leverage context and inform an even deeper understanding of which content is the most relevant for a particular advertiser and target audience.

2. Are you using tactical terms to improve your campaign’s reach and relevance?

When creating your campaign, take the time to strategically plan your contextual segments with the specialists on your contextual partner’s team. Composing an effective contextual segment is like mixing a cocktail: a haphazard or careless approach will ruin the outcome, so having an expert on hand is vital. Well-designed segments will allow you to expand your reach and get in front of audiences that are actually interested in your products and care about your offerings.

For example, if your campaign relates to camping, you could use a keyword such as bonfire, which could align with another audience that is holding a backyard event.

3. Are you building custom contextual segments that align with the unique subjectivity of your brand and specific campaign objectives?

There are many ways to think about what the “right” context means. Here are some tips to determine what fits your brand:

- Aligning with customer needs—for example, the content you produce should address a pain point your ideal audience experiences.

- Aligning with personas/lifestyles—meaning that your content should relate to personal hobbies and activities (traveling, foreign culture, food interests, etc.).

- Aligning with equity-building content that reinforces broader brand objectives. For example, if a brand is endorsed by a major celebrity, aligning its advertising with content about that individual.

4. Are you using a context partner to capitalize on trending content in real time?

Utilizing a context partner can help you optimize your campaigns for trending content and the associated inventory in real time. Automating this process enables you to positively align your message with the most relevant content over the course of your campaign, while mitigating risk for your brand.

Here are the best questions to ask a context partner to get the best results:

- What is the value of using both people-based audiences and contextual audiences, and how do I use them in a complementary fashion?

- How effective is contextual targeting in finding actual buyers?

- How quickly can you identify trending content, and at what scale?

- How quickly can you make custom segments available for use?

- How do you ensure that my message will appear in the right environments, while still supporting high-quality news and journalistic organizations?

- Do you offer a full-page or page-level analysis of keywords?

- How do your contextual segments perform?

5. Are you optimizing and getting creative with your campaign?

Use related words, keywords, and phrases to enhance the creativity of your campaign. Doing so will allow you to reach new audiences in relevant environments, sparking interest and aligning messaging.

For instance, many around the world are still working and studying virtually. A brand might find it appropriate to use contextual intelligence to advertise its grocery delivery services alongside articles related to at-home productivity tips.

Deciding what is appropriate or not for a brand can be very simple to understand yet challenging to achieve. Being able to successfully find and reach your audience will determine the success of your advertising campaign. Including contextual intelligence in your next campaign can ensure that you’re reaching audiences with relevant content in safe environments.

Looking for additional ways to enhance your digital campaigns? Watch this webinar to learn how.

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contextual targeting
context