Which Advertising Strategy is Better: Contextual Targeting vs Behavioral?

Contextual vs Behavioral

The news of third-party cookies being depreciated by 2022 is doing rounds on the internet, and this has also made it clear for marketers to look for new ways to reach their target audience.

Since there are an unlimited number of channels to promote the brands/products. There are still two main platforms that advertisers prefer – Contextual and behavioral targeting.

However, one issue remains: which of these two is the best for reaching your target audience? All of your questions have been answered in this blog, so read on!

Understanding Contextual Targeting and Behavioral Targeting

Contextual Targeting

In simple words, contextual targeting means displaying ads “in the proper context,” i.e. alongside relevant information. A nice example of this would be showing a hair straightener ad on a women’s grooming website.

Moreover, contextual targeting may also be extended to specific website pages. However, this procedure frequently required AI and machine learning to decide which page contains the most conversion-friendly content.

Behavioral Targeting

Behavioral targeting advertising or audience targeting divides clients into groups based on their online surfing habits, The ads consumers view are determined by their browser history, searches, links clicked, and transactions.

As a result, audience segments are made up of individuals who exhibit similar behaviors and may be targeted with appropriate information and ads.

A behavioral targeting example would be an ad for a car accessories business on any given website if the user’s browsing history indicated that they had just purchased a car.

Thus, the algorithm can display the ad at a time when the consumer is likely to be interested in making more purchases, even if he or she is not currently accessing a bike-related resource.

Contextual vs Behavioral Targeting – Which one is Better?

Coming to the main question, which one to pick – contextual or behavioral targeting? Even though the motive of both contextual and behavioral targeting is to ensure that an ad is placed in front of a user who is most likely to make a purchase, there are times when contextual is a better choice.

The advantages of contextual advertising, more often than not overpower the features of behavioral targeting. What are those unique features that make contextual advertising worth considering?

1. Simple Implementation

The main benefit of behavioral advertising is the amount of personalization it provides. However, this needs a large amount of consumer data and the necessary tools to evaluate it, which may be out of reach for small businesses.

On the other hand, contextual advertising is simpler and less expensive to implement, yet it provides enough relevance to be a great approach to attract site visitors.

2. Privacy of Data

The consequences of abusing private user information might be severe. Moreover, cookies are no longer automatically added to a website; instead, users must deliberately opt-in for them, making retargeting more difficult.

Users now want increased privacy, including more choice, transparency, and control over how their data is used. Naturally, the online ecology must adapt to their growing expectations.

While Safari and Firefox have already phased away third-party cookies, Google will do so gradually over the course of two years.

However, because contextual advertising does not rely on cookies, your advertisers do not need to be concerned about not being compliant when their advertisements are displayed.

3. Protecting Brand Reputation

Brand safety and suitability are areas on which advertisers cannot comprise. However, protecting the reputation of a brand is more difficult than it seems especially when marketers do not always have control over where their advertisements appear.

Often, brands suffer backlash because of their advertisements appearing on obscene websites. This was because of user activity.

Contextual advertising, on the other hand, uses machine learning, deep learning, and AI to offer absolute protection from harmful video advertising environments.

According to a survey, contextual targeting averaged a 73% increase in performance when compared to behavioral targeting; 49 percent of US marketers use contextual targeting currently, and 31% of businesses aim to increase their expenditure on contextually targeting ads next year.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, both contextual and behavioral targeting have different roles to play in a digital marketing strategy and are important in their own ways.

When comparing and contrasting contextual and behavioural advertising, it may appear that the behavioral method is an improved version of the contextual targeting method.

However, the advantages of contextually targeted ads are something that cannot be overlooked by brands.

In the end, understanding what you want your ads to do, how you want your audience to feel about your brand, and how prepared are you to pay is what matters the most. Then, make your decision accordingly.

Keep in mind that it frequently takes time and a continuous effort to persuade a user to buy a product. But, the process can also be sped up by automating through programmatic purchasing.

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