ELI5: Contextual and Behavioral Targeting
The subreddit Explain Like I’m 5 (ELI5) is a place where people often ask complex and perplexing questions and others will answer them is simple, reader friendly, layman terms. With over 20 million subscribers, it is one of the most popular subreddits. Previously, I used the ELI5 format to discuss General Media KPIs and Efficiency KPIs. Today, I am continuing with the ELI5 format to discuss two very different targeting methodologies in advertising, Contextual and Behavioral targeting.
But, first let’s ELI5 why advertisers target.
Targeting allows advertisers the ability to customize their advertising message to different consumers based upon what they know about the consumers. The better a brand can target their message to the right group of consumers, the more likely those consumers will respond to the advertising and engage with the brand. Most importantly, targeting helps the brand minimize wasteful advertising spending by focusing on those consumers most likely to act. In short, advertisers use targeting to focus the placement of their message to get the most ‘bang for the buck’.
Contextual and Behavioral targeting are two methodologies that advertisers use to target their digital advertisements to consumers.
Contextual targeting in advertising is an automated process where an advertisement is match to relevant digital content. The resulting advertisement is relevant to the consumer which then encourages the consumer to interact with the advertisement. For example, if you were selling running shoes, you may use contextual targeting to place your ads on websites that have content about how to prepare to run a marathon.
The advantage here is that you are showing your ads to potential consumers when they are looking at related content. Contextual ads are always relevant because they’re based on what a user is actually searching, watching, or reading. People who are reading about how to prepare to run a marathon most likely use running shoes.
The downside here, is that if you only target marathon runners, you will miss out on a large section of your market. Not everyone who uses running shoes runs marathons. That’s where Behavioral targeting comes into play.
In short, ELI5 language, the main difference between Contextual and Behavioral targeting is that Contextual targeting ensures that the ad is relevant to the content on the page, whereas, Behavioral targeting ensures that the ad is relevant to the user.
A3 Media uses both Contextual and Behavioral targeting in our digital campaigns to maximize reach and exposure. Contact us today to discuss your next digital campaign.