Let’s suppose these are the olden times and you have to advertise for a new circus in town.
Do you paste the posters on the walls of places of entertainment like a movie theater, a bar, horse racing tracks, or a casino?
Or do you spend a little time about town and look around for the folks who will be more inclined to attend a circus for example people with children, people who spend time in leisurely activities like the ones mentioned above and hand out fliers for the circus to them.
Now the difference between these two types of advertising is the same as the difference between contextual and behavioral targeting.
You will agree that the tough question of against which marketing strategy we should place our budget, is faced by almost all of the digital marketers of our day and age.
Here is an easy guide for you to build a background on the two and decide which one is better suited to your marketing plan.
Let’s dive in!
Find out What is Contextual Targeting Through This Simple Definition
Contextual targeting is essentially placing ads that are more relevant to the content of the website itself instead of recording and tracking the data of the visitor on the website.
Like placing an ad about discounts on makeup products or a new designer boutique on a fashion and style website.
How did it work in the old ways of marketing?
Contextual targeting may be a fancy new term for what has been used as print ads in magazines and newspapers for ages. A half-page ad about sugar-free fruit juice or running shoes next to an article about achieving a more healthy lifestyle.
In this day and age, contextual targeting has evolved where careful editorial consideration has been replaced by algorithms and scripts.
How is Contextual Targeting Done?
Every website URL is categorized in terms of content and ad allocation with the help of web crawler.
The information about the URL is transmitted in the form of a request to the ad server when the user visits a website.
The URL crawler matches the data collected by the ad server and finds out campaigns relate to topic categories, keywords, etc.
Personalized targeting relies heavily on user data, like their behaviors and interests. Researches have revealed that only a small fraction of the user may consent to their information being lent.
Want to Know the Benefits of Contextual Targeting?
Here is where contextual targeting comes in handy!
Due to the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation of 2018, it is becoming increasingly challenging to acquire user information.
Contextual targeting is a preferred method if you want to preserve the privacy of the user. Increased use of ad blockers is reviving the use of contextual targeting.
Not only that, contextual ads are good at complimenting the website, but studies have also revealed that they increase the buyer’s intent by at least 63%.
Contextual Targeting is not Without its Setbacks
There are, however, some limitations of contextual targeting. It requires constant upkeep. Some topics are too broad to find the right ad for them, and the ad slot ends up being hijacked by competitors.
Moreover, sometimes, there are very unusual pairings of ads and content. For example, someone reading an article about Blake Lively’s look on the MET Gala may not be able to afford very high-end couture.
The frequency of a particular advertisement being shown also poses a problem that the viewer’s information not being stored results in the same ad being shown to them over and over.
Tracking and measuring advertising data is done organically in contextual advertising, which is not an easy task. The approach of carefully using keywords is used in this type of targeting, much like SEO, which is a time taking process.
Despite all of the limitations mentioned above, contextual targeting may soon be the only solution available to Digital Marketers owing to the increasing number of privacy laws being introduced by Europe and other states.
Here is a Simple Way to Know What is Behavioral Targeting and How Does it Work?
In Behavioral Targeting, based on the browsing preferences and online behaviors of the user, the digital marketer determines which ads are of more interest to the visitor of the website. This behavior may include the following
- User’s history
- Search results
- Date of the last visit to the website
- Time duration spent on a particular website
- Pages, ads or items he/she clicks on
- Interaction with the website
Want to find out the Benefits of Behavioral Targeting?
Behavioral targeting is a sure way of adding personalization to the advertisement. It also elevates the relevance and effectiveness of the ad to its target viewer.
It works in different ways by determining demographics, psychographics, geolocations, etc. Subsequently projecting ads on your website that your visitors may find more interesting ensures an increased number of clicks on the advertisement.
So, instead of reaching for scraps of attention, behavioral targeting achieves an elevated number of audience interest and action in terms of purchase and standing out of the crowd.
That’s not all!
Behavioral marketing helps you keep track of consumer behavior and activity on the website that translates into the results of transforming your visitors into active consumers.
By regularly checking your web analytics you can determine the individual success of each one of your strategies and alter them to obtain more lucrative results.
Types of Behavioral Targeting
There are two types of behavioral targeting given for you right below.
It is restrained to user behavior on one particular website for the purposes of website personalization. Based on the user behavior on that website and/or any information of the user stored on these pages, ads are placed on that website.
For example, you are a person who visits a diverse food blog and enter your city of residence on the website. If you are always going for articles about French cuisine, the website may place an ad about a new French bakery that just opened in your town.
This kind of targeting results in more relevant ads thereby saving advertising revenue.
In this kind of targeting, instead of user’s exact address or phone numbers, their device numbers, IP addresses or cookies may be used. This helps the marketer to categorize the users’ age and gender etc and show them ads more relevant to them based on that.
For example, if a user visits a lot of juvenile gaming sites, cartoon watching sites and clicks on pages of B-10 or Beyblade instead of Barbie then we can assume it is a male child and display ads like video games, kids’ snacks, and clothing brands.
Collecting, segmenting and applying data helps the marketer generate a very elaborate profile of the user. It is convenient to both the advertiser and the web user if he/she finds more and more relevant ads online thereby increasing the quality of the user experience.
What is the Limitation of Behavioral Targeting?
Here is a catch!
Behavioral targeting is not without its flaws. More and more countries are now taking initiatives to not let the citizens’ privacy be jeopardized. General Data Protection Regulation prohibits storing cookies in the users’ device and there are many such laws being passed.
In a world with such strict regulations about audience data storage, the position of behavioral targeting is dubious.
Is it a good thing that the marketers will always have the good old fashioned contextual marketing to fall back into?