Sep'21·Jordi Capdevila·4 MIN

The publishers’ guide to driving revenue-focused traffic

Home The publishers’ guide to driving revenue-focused traffic

Today’s consumers are increasingly concerned about data privacy but, there is also mounting pressure on advertisers to sell their products. Advertisers cannot get away with running campaigns that rely on collecting and using consumers’ data. A Cisco study from 2019 found that around 84% of consumers want more control over their data.

With cookies on their way out, better ways of advertising are just around the corner. But, the onus also lies on publishers to make smart decisions to deal with data privacy concerns, while keeping their businesses running. Contextual advertising, which focuses on running targeted ads around relevant content, is one of the best strategies for marketers in the current times.

Publishers stand to benefit the most as contextual advertising provides an excellent opportunity for them to engage with advertisers and help them reach out to consumers, by linking relevant content and context to ads. It can also be hugely profitable for them as they can expect 2.5X incremental revenue owing to ads that are relatable and act as a natural fit. Other key metrics like time spent on a page, impressions, returning users, ad recall, brand awareness, purchase intent, brand association etc. also see a surge on the back of contextual ads. The ads can enhance user perception by 72% and boost positive reaction by 40%.   

Publishers’ views on data privacy concerns

The key element of relevancy is what attracts publishers to contextual advertising the most. Dario Holden, a publisher from Norway, says, “As a publisher, my focus is on ensuring that advertisers can reach a good set of consumers. But as they say, quality is more important than quantity. With contextual advertising, the focus might be specific, but the reach is far more relevant. That is what truly works for me.”

“When you think about the long-term strategy, companies would want to ensure greater ROI for their campaigns. So, having a wider reach may longer be the only thing that matters. When an ad appears next to relevant content, it is likely to have an enhanced impact. Be it impressions, clicks, conversions, or brand recall value, we will see better numbers across different metrics. Additionally, with cookies on the verge of being phased out, contextual advertising is a very strategic move in the right direction,” says Philline Cole, a leading publisher working with multiple advertisers across Europe.   

Contextual Advertising

Strategies adopted to overcome the above challenges

One way out is for publishers to collect first-party data of their audience around their interests, the content they consume, their demographics, etc. Advertisers can also collect data from their side and when there are synergies, advertisers and publishers can run ads on specific audiences. But, this requires complicated technical systems and is not a straightforward route.

A Digiday survey found that 74% publishers have been trying to work on solutions to fix the addressability issue for almost a year now. Publishers across the globe are also trying alternate tactics like using email address data, IP address data, device data etc. But, these might not work out in the long run.

  • Ultimately, they all pertain to data which can become an issue in the future.
  • Scale is also a challenge.
  • There are technology, legal, and operational costs.

Though contextual advertising is a smarter way to deal with the cookie ban, it does require a well-thought-through approach. A McKinsey research says that publishers can lose 50-60% of their revenues if they turn-off third party data and do not transition to a better advertising strategy.

  • The first step for publishers would be to craft an outreach strategy with advertisers where the focus lies on understanding consumers’ interests instead of collecting their data. If contextual advertising is undertaken, metrics can be defined before running campaigns. It is suggested to run multiple campaigns so that quantity and quality of leads are both covered.
  • The next step would be to create different ads to suit different marketing goals. 
  • Third step should be to identify keywords for the different ads created above.

How contextual advertising can help keep the community at large happy and booming 

The advertising ecosystem contains customers, advertisers, and publishers. While publishers strategize outreach campaigns to ensure better ROI for advertisers, customers shouldn’t be forgotten. Contextual advertising keeps the entire ecosystem happy.

Advertisers will get relevant audiences for their products, publishers will be able to use their inventory efficiently, and customers will see relevant ads around content that they are already consuming. This works better than behavioural advertising which predominantly focuses on ensuring that ads get promoted across all the sites which are a part of an inventory by reaching out to customers purely on the basis of their browsing details. Relevancy is not given much thought in behavioral advertising while contextual advertising is a lot more intelligent.

Publishers would also be able to focus on adding granularity and relevance to their ad inventory and thus be able to charge higher CPM for niche audiences. Since these ads would go beyond mere keywords to understand sentiments, user intent, and emotions, publishers can focus on selling quality which would have better results instead of quantity which may not be as valuable. Nearly half (44%) of the publishers who participated in the Digiday survey said they are already leveraging contextual ads in video formats.

Crafting a robust, contextually relevant outreach strategy 

Contextual advertising is already on publishers’ radar as they look to increase their spends on strategies and ideas which can give better ROI. A robust advertising strategy starts with the right targeting strategy. With a good contextual advertising platform that leverages the latest technology stack, this task becomes a whole lot easier.

The scope or reach can be expanded based on the keywords that are initially selected. Also, since different users have varied reading styles (some like to focus on images while others might quickly scroll through articles to get a gist of the content), ad formats and placements should be adaptable to appeal to a variety of users. Video can be a powerful tool for interactive, yet crisp communication.

With the help of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, content can be analyzed taking a human-like approach. From here, articles can be slotted into different categories so that the ads can be customized and placed in an optimum fashion. Brands should also look at platforms that can help them weed out websites that have inappropriate content, to ensure brands safety.

Explore our leading contextual advertising platform for more details! 

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