Contextual Advertising: Who and Why Should Use It Hero Image

Contextual advertising is among the most popular types on the internet. It is or at least once was used by every business that worked with ads. Yet, it is challenging to implement in some industries and for some types of businesses due to a series of factors. In this article, we will talk about how effective contextual advertising is, and for what type of businesses.

#1 Contextual advertising features

Let’s start with the fact that Contextual advertising is about delivering the message to a specific audience. This means that the ad by itself, without a connection to the product, website, and managers is not able to “sell”. So in order to make the contextual advertising work, we need all of these above-mentioned factors to act together.

Simply put, the role of context is to give the best answer to users’ queries. So for example when users will search for “web design Berlin” in search engines, they tend to click on the result that satisfies their demands and expectations more. Otherwise, the user scrolls down in the search to find a predictable and attractive result.

For the best results, a business should gather all queries that provide a higher click-through rate, and remove from its meta-information all keywords that are used to find other products and services. This can be reached in the long term using A/B tests with permanent monitoring of traffic, keywords, and CTR results.

#2 When contextual advertising doesn’t work

However, there are also cases when the contextual advertising campaigns do not work. Let’s exclude from the very beginning unreliable experts and human errors since it’s not related to how and for whom contextual advertising works.

Apart from these, there are real fields and industries where contextual advertising simply does not work as expected or at all, mainly because users do not search for such services in search engines, online catalogs, and directories. Of course, there are regional and local specifications for each business, and giving a universal example is improbable. But still, let’s assume that there is a beauty-salon that runs contextual advertising campaigns for its haircut services. Contextual advertising will probably not work in this case because people do not intend to search for beauty-salons most often. In the 21st century, people already have their own place where they get their haircut, or in the worst-case people ask for a recommendation from their friends or family.

Yet, there is a very small percentage in this case that the salon will get several customers for the promoted service via contextual advertising due to tourists or people who are new in the region/city. But in the end, it doesn’t worth the effort, time, and money invested.

#3 For whom contextual advertising may work

At the other end of the table, there are enough industries and businesses for whom contextual advertising is a blessing. Co-working spaces and medical services are just two examples.

The target audience in these cases in pretty large since in big cities there are always a few thousand people who need to change their office by a couple of days/weeks/months and, in regards to medical services – it works even in small towns, and I think we all understand why. There are even more potential customers in the second case than in the first one, and the problems customers confront when they search for medical services are most of the time urgent and serious.

In these two cases, running contextual advertising campaigns is vital, and most of the income is strongly connected with the quality of contextual advertising strategy.

#3 Conclusion

Deciding if it’s good or not to run a contextual campaign for your business is pretty simple: if users search for your products on search engines and they come from there – it’s a yes. But if you are selling virtual hand sanitizers – good luck with that.


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