Being able to stay in front of potential buyers is a major goal in online advertising, and there are numerous approaches for optimizing brand and messaging impact. One of which is contextual targeting.
Contextual-targeting technique focuses on serving digital ads in a way that closely matches the content in a digital space.
How contextual targeting works
Contextual targeting works in two ways:
- Contextual targeting works through code scanning a viewed Web page for keywords relevant to an advertiser’s product, brand or service, and then placing a fitting ad that directly corresponds to those keywords.
- Contextual targeting is also used to determine the main subject, or theme, of a website, and then place thematically relevant ads on the page.
Outside of digital display ads, contextual targeting has been utilized by search engines to show ads on their own results page – gauging the meaning or context of specific search terms to serve users ads relevant to their search.
The benefit of contextual targeting is that it can be used in a broad sense for continued brand awareness, or much more nuanced for driving downloads, video views or clicks. As with search retargeting, the more exclusive the keywords, the more interest the user has in making an immediate purchase.
Real-life application of contextual targeting
“You are promoting unique custom shoe inserts that is molded to the each unique foot. Based on industry relevant topics, you are identifying your target audience based on users reading about foot ailments, foot inserts,” says Michelle Blakley, a senior targeted campaign account manager for MultiView. “Further, your custom foot insert banner can be displayed in context to the information being read by your target audience. This will capture and serve creatives in contexts to users reading about relevant topics for your product.”
Another benefit of contextual targeting is that it allows companies with multiple products and services to differentiate their ad messaging — meaning one ad does not have to be served to all audiences or pigeon-holed into ill-fitting content/websites.
Contextual targeting to the next level
This targeting methodology can be taken a step further by integrating real-time bidding and search marketing into the mix. While running an online display advertising campaign, business marketers can take advantage of a real-time topic detection system that integrates your pre-existing search marketing keywords to deliver even more targeted ad placements.
For both branding and direct response, contextual targeting can add tremendous value to the performance of your marketing campaign.
According to eMarketer, click-through rates for editorially aligned mobile ads was five times higher than nonaligned ads.
Contextual targeting gives campaigns increased relevancy for consumers by placing more emphasis on pages that are closer to the overall messaging of the campaign – increasing ad engagement and effectiveness.
The easiest way to describe B2B behavioral marketing (or “behavioral targeting”) is with a Web advertising example. Let’s say you’re a law firm and you need a new customer relationship management (CRM) system to keep track of all of your customers.
What is the first thing you’re going to do?
You’re probably going to do some research online.
Virtually all B2B buying decisions start online:
- AdWeek: Eighty-one percent of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase. Sixty percent of them will start by using a search engine.
- Google: Seventy-one percent of B2B researchers start with generic search terms. This means they use unbranded terms, like “CRM systems for law firms” rather than “ABC Corporation Law Firm CRM.”
As a B2B buyer you’re probably going to go to sites like Google and type in a variety of search terms. After doing some searches, you’ll then start to read articles and review sites on CRM systems. Then, you’ll probably spend a couple of hours reading and researching.
The whole time you are doing this, your activity is being tracked.
When you go to sites that have titles and words like “CRM systems,” all of that data is being collected and sent to entities that will buy it. This information is used to help craft behavioral marketing strategies.
A B2B marketer who is selling CRM systems to law firms would be interested in you because you are exhibiting buying behavior. Ideally, their entire online marketing and advertising campaigns would be oriented toward someone like you.
Why? Let’s define buying behavior. Buying behaviors are online indicators that a user is actively seeking a product or service. In order to create the best behavioral marketing campaigns for B2B buyers, advertisers must pay attention to whether or not the user is actually indicating buying behavior. A key element to this is timing. A person who has exhibited a particular buying behavior within the past 30 days is much more relevant than someone who has searched “Law Firm CRM Systems” six months ago.
If you search for relevant keywords, visit relevant sites and engage relevant content, relevant B2B marketers are going to want to put their relevant ad directly in front of you, online.
That’s what behavioral marketing does — in a nutshell. It puts an ad in front of people who are actively searching for the advertiser’s products and services, using keywords and visiting relevant websites. It is targeted marketing that speaks to a specific audience.
Behavioral marketing takes the mystery out of how to advertise to and locate B2B buyers, online.
One of the many things we do here at MultiView is B2B behavioral marketing. We communicate with people that are actively seeking a specific B2B marketer’s products and services.
MultiView encourages employee creativity with the 4th annual Celebrate Creativity: Hot and Fresh Expo event
By Alex McMichael, Marketing Specialist
MultiView inspired creative thinking through their 4th inaugural Celebrate Creativity: Hot & Fresh Expo event on Nov. 11 at the company’s headquarters in Irving, Texas.
The company strives to bring out the creativity in every employee within every department – no matter what their daily tasks are.
“Creativity is the force that spurs us to find new ways to improve our business and the services we offer our partners and clients. Outside-of-the-box thinking is not just beneficial for artists, but for everyone,” says Austin Dicharry, MultiView’s marketing director.
On Nov. 11, the company hosted its quarterly Celebrate Creativity: Hot & Fresh Expo from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. where local/creative companies, artists and craftsman were invited to display their goods to employees.
The purpose of this event was to give employees an opportunity to be inspired and browse through the most creative goods DFW has to offer in a stress-free, laid-back atmosphere.
This gave MultiView’s 500 local employees a chance to step away from their desks, shop and re-energize so they could later focus on doing what they do best.
This event featured 19 vendors offering unique products for both men and women. The company brought in favorites such as Haüs of Growlers, Abundantly Aromatic, Blue Door Boutique and music by DJ Cayne, along with new additions like Green Gallery, Grapevine Grains and The Tamale Company. Artistically talented employees like Adam Jones also displayed their artwork.
Check out the full list of vendors:
Music by: DJ Cayne
Please let Alex McMichael (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you have an interest in participating at the next event or know of a local company that would be a good fit.
When online marketing began, the quintessential statistic everyone looked to was the click-through rate. While CTR is still a valid metric, it certainly has lost its standing as the go-to measurement for a company’s marketing success.
In a recent study one of the key findings was that brand lift came out as a metric cared about most – 17 percent calling it the most important metric available.
Brand lift campaigns are aimed to increase overall site traffic to a page by creating a site traffic goal and then closely monitoring its execution status. The purpose of a brand lift campaign is to create a positive shift in customer awareness and perception.
“Serve ads to relevant profiles at three stages of the consumer funnel: awareness, interest and desire to impact a buying decision. These lead to the final stage: action,” said Andrew Gilley, senior behavioral marketing data analyst at MultiView. “Since the ad is not constantly in front of the audience, [if the campaign is executed correctly] the audience will conduct a brand search or visit the site directly when ready to make an action.”
Through the course of a brand lift campaign, typically a webmaster, data analyst or digital marketer measures the campaign activity against the previously established benchmark.
Gilley says that with this approach, it is important to look for several measureable values of campaign success:
- New/unique visitors: What percentage of the audience consists of brand new visitors, and how many have visited this week, month, quarter, etc.?
- Return visitors: What percentage of the site users actually return to the website?
- Bounce rate: How many new visitors have visited your site and then immediately clicked away. In this case, the lower the rate the better. A low bounce rate indicates that the site has more engaging and interesting content for its audience.
When a brand lift campaign works, Gilley says, there are a number of easily recognizable changes to a brand’s status. Some of the noticeable improvements in brand perception are:
- Gaining new followers on social media platforms
- Becoming top of mind in online searches
- Attracting new customers
- Increasing repeat customers
Using campaigns and strategies to boost brand awareness online is vitally important. According to a report released by Google and Millward Brown, 71 percent of B2B researchers start their search with a generic keyword query on a search engine. On average, B2B researchers do 12 searches prior to engaging on a specific brand’s site. Brand lift campaigns are useful for reaching today’s consumers because they are less focused on brand-specific keywords and more oriented toward product-specific keywords.
With a brand lift campaign, defining what exactly “brand lift” means for a particular campaign and how it should be measured is the No. 1 priority. Goals have to be established so the means for measuring those goals can be developed. Far too many advertisers don’t adopt adequate measurement models because, oftentimes, they don’t have their own goals. Don’t fall into this trap.
Let’s face it, your business cannot have enough new customers, and it’s great to have those customers come directly to you to your website. But, what about those potential customers who are unaware of your business? What could you potentially offer them?
No matter how much traffic your website generates, it’s paramount to attract unique visitors — potential buyers that have never visited.
It’s great to have high SEO rankings, but to truly maximize search results, marketers are turning toward search retargeting. This targets user audiences based on previously used keyword searches through Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.
For example, say someone searches for frozen pizza dough, that search data can be used to target that potential customer with display ads for varying types of related products, ranging from commercial to consumer use, once they have left the search engine.
This provides a uniquely coy, yet powerful approach to display advertising – the intent has been shown by the customer simply based on that quick search.
“Search retargeting allows for you to stay in front of clients after they have done their initial search. Historically, once a person left the search engine, there was not a viable way to stay in front of that user,” says Carl Robitaille, senior manager of ad operations metrics at MultiView. “Targeting by keyword level allows you to make more granular optimizations and campaigns then you would with larger audience and keyword segments.”
According to one expert, there are five keys to success in search retargeting:
- Do not overtarget at the start: Using a broad range of keywords yields a greater return than if you start narrowing the field down to specifics. Use an array of combinations, such as branded terms, competitor terms and phrases, lower funnel phrases, and upper and lower funnel keywords – let the data tell you which terms are performing best.
- Get that pixel down quick: There’s a plethora of data that’s obtainable by using your existing customer base. When people fill out a form or make a purchase on a client site, select companies can maintain an extensive history of searches performed by these customers over the last 30 days. Don’t discount what might appear to be useless or unrelated data. Sometimes a phrase or word that appears meaningless at first may turn out to have a specific significance once you dig into it.
- Don’t ignore certain segments going to other credible sites: Consider car review sites as destinations filled with people who are interested in new car purchases. Such sites might be worth retargeting as a dealer. Contextual capabilities driven by keywords provide an ability to gain impressions from audiences viewing content that matches specific phrases.
- Play nice with algorithms: When working with automated systems, take advantage of those thousands of data points instead of trying to work around them. Start broad by using look-alikes and then allowing for optimization.
- Have the right attribution model: Have performance-based goals so you can actually measure whether your campaign is working or not.
Search retargeting is still in its infancy, yet it remains as exciting as it was when it burst into the marketing spotlight in 2012.