Using Video in Contextual Targeting Scenarios
Jun 21 2022
Advertisers spend a lot of energy aiming to meet customers wherever they are — an increasingly difficult task in the era of carefully-guarded data. In-video contextual advertising proposes an elegant solution to this problem, serving pre-roll ads before related organic content.
By placing video ads in a relevant context, marketers can effectively earn new customers without appearing spammy (or overly-knowledgeable about customer interests, because that’s creepy). Here are a few ways in-video contextual targeting can help transform your digital strategy.
What Makes In-Video Contextual Targeting So Important
Consumers are well-versed in the art of ignoring ads these days. In fact, users have become so adept at avoiding the areas on a webpage often associated with ads the term “banner blindness” is something of an industry standard. Ad content needs to be useful, and that requires some knowledge about your potential customers. As browsers continue moving away from supporting third-party cookies, learning about these customers requires a new approach.
In-video contextual targeting combines the most engaging content (video) with a healthy measure of guaranteed user interest (since they picked the video). It guides your video ads to those who will most benefit from them, making it an optimal targeting parameter for just about any business.
How to Use In-Video Contextual Targeting
Have you ever searched for a Youtube video on how to air fry wings, only to be served a pre-roll ad for Gordon Ramsay’s cooking masterclass? That’s the level of specificity in-video contextual targeting works toward — pairing ads with organic content customers are already happy to consume.
With a little creativity, this can work for just about any industry. Recipes and cooking classes are among the more obvious pairings, but a personal injury lawyer might benefit from running video ads before content explaining what to do after a car accident. Travel agencies, music venues, ecommerce brands selling slip-on shoes and everything in between can find new audiences without the aid of third-party cookies by simply tagging videos with keywords and topics to match a user’s searched content.
How Brands Get the Context of Video Wrong
As always, understanding the differences between platforms is crucial to contextual targeting success. A Google or Youtube search for a specific piece of content marks a very different mindset from the customer simply browsing Tik Tok during their lunch break. Longer, “mission-based” video content is likely to perform better on Youtube where customers are more likely to view an ad to completion, compared to Facebook and other social platforms where users tend to scroll more passively through the content on their feeds.
Tone also matters to context. Sarcastic, quippy or silly ads might be extremely effective when placed before videos or on channels known for being humorous. However, these same ads risk turning customers off if placed in more serious contexts. Take caution and consider all possible meanings of a certain keyword or tag when lining up your targeting parameters.
Top Strategies for In-Video Contextual Targeting Success
Good contextual targeting benefits both the customer and the advertiser. It gives businesses valuable data and insights into new audiences without breaching privacy, and provides users a natural opportunity to discover new brands. While video is great for top-funnel awareness, setting up contextual in-video targeting can also be incredibly granular. The more detailed the parameters, the more you stand to learn about your customers — and the easier it will be to serve them the right kind of message.
As with most digital marketing strategies, launching your initial campaign is just the beginning. Experimentation is key to finding which segments and categories work best for your video content, and the answers aren’t always predictable. Testing ads against one another might reveal unanticipated success with certain demographics and a sluggish start with others. Tinkering with the context of your messages and following the highest-performing campaigns will reveal where your most valuable customers spend their time.