Programmatic 101: Contextual Audience Targeting

Posted on: October 12th, 2020

Tech & Innovation Blog HeaderTaking a Closer Look at Keyword and Category Contextual Targeting

You may remember that our team provided an introduction to programmatic advertising a few months back. This rapidly growing advertising channel is gaining momentum for its highly targeted capabilities and the swift opportunities it provides for companies to maximize return on investment. 

When you can pay to show your ads only to a highly focused and customized audience, your marketing becomes incredibly efficient. Programmatic advertising is a smart, data-driven way to align your marketing with your customer journey.

Once you decide to execute programmatic advertising for your business, where do you begin? One of the first steps is to identify and build your target audiences. There are a number of programmatic targeting tactics available to you. This month, we’re taking a closer look at contextual targeting.

Contextual targeting is all about relevance.

The word contextual already implies that you will be showing your ads to users in a highly specific context that is relevant to your product or service. You get to pinpoint that context and decide what is most relevant to your prospective customers. Two common types of contextual targeting are keyword contextual and category contextual:


Keyword Contextual

This method targets users who are viewing online content that contains specific keywords relevant to your business. You likely have a list of targeted terms already identified. Try to be as specific as possible in your selection of keywords to help refine your ad audience.


Category Contextual

This targeting method assesses the category of the page a user is viewing, or has viewed, and serves ads that are relevant to that content. Category contextual targeting is similar to more straightforward audience targeting. You may have created audiences that mimic the interests and behaviors of your current customers. In this case, you are building an audience based on interests and behaviors indicated by their interaction with a specific type of content. For example, a car dealership that wants to run ads promoting hybrid cars may select “hybrid cars” as a page context to reach users who are visiting other websites to read content related to hybrid vehicles. 


How would you use keyword and category contextual targeting to reach new customers? We’d love to talk with you about the possibility of implementing programmatic ads. Please reach out to tell us more about your business and start the conversation.

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