2021 has been the most successful year in total online ad spending, and 2022 is predicted to be even bigger. Advertising across various platforms will exceed 60% of global ad spend for the first time in 2022, and digital advertising share is expected to rise to 65.1% by 2024. The industry keeps growing, so are the new demands and requirements.
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Behavioral advertising vs. contextual advertising
From the dawn of digital advertising in the 90s, cookie-based targeting was a go-to technique for tracking user behavior and delivering relevant ads for the right audiences. Thus, behavioral advertising was a staple targeting method for quite a long time. However, with constantly evolving consumer demand and new privacy rules, another advertising method is taking the spotlight – contextual advertising.
More and more marketers turn to alternatives to third-party cookies and try to decrease their reliance on third-party data. In the wake of all data collection changes and privacy updates, it is essential to find a targeting method suitable for the needs of a particular business. Here is when contextual targeting comes into play. But before figuring out why it is worth a try, we need to understand the differences between behavioral and contextual approaches to targeting in advertising.
Often called audience targeting, behavioral advertising ensures that an ad is shown to a website visitor interested in the product or service offered. It is possible by collecting data about a user’s web-browsing behavior with the help of any user identifier like pixel or cookies. Data is usually harvested from numerous sources to get a fuller picture of users’ online habits.
Usually, this information is stored in a data management platform (DMP) or a demand-side platform (DSP). DSP is a platform that helps advertisers manage all automatic media buying processes, including placing ads, bidding, moderation, and all other related activities. As a result, the whole process of buying media space and controling ad budget much simpler. It also provides detailed reports that can be useful when planning advertising campaigns. For example, Adtelligent DSP can offer such services along with high-quality display, native, push, pop, and video traffic. Data processing by such platforms often focuses on page visits, ad clicks, time spent on particular topics, etc. This data is then analyzed and can be used to segment the audiences according to their shopping habits and interests.
Behavioral advertising takes users’ online history to predict what kind of product or service they might need and be invested in buying. Any online or offline actions are used to build a picture of online behavior. This data will go to the user pool or audience list, and online identifiers can monitor this behavior.
Behavioral targeting is very good at ensuring the ad’s relevancy to a viewer, but it often ignores the page’s content. With the advancement of the digital advertising industry over the past years, behavioral targeting capabilities have been evolving and expanding.
Contextual advertising also strives to deliver relevant ads; however, it tries to achieve that based on the digital environment of the website on which the ad appears. Its targeting uses keywords, website content, and other metadata to determine which content might be interesting to a user at that particular moment.
The critical difference between contextual and behavioral targeting is that the latter attempts to deliver relevant ads ignoring the content surrounding the advertisement on the web source. The time framework plays a vital role in differentiating the inner workings of both methods: behavioral one is based on the user’s history and past behavior online. At the same time, contextual advertising relies on the content of the page user is currently viewing, so the ad is structured around a more immediate thought framework and serves the ad that might be interesting to the viewer at that particular moment.
The worldwide retail commerce market is expected to reach $11.01 billion in 2023, and according to 87% of retailers, an omnichannel marketing strategy is crucial for their success. Moreover, the modern user expects brands to ensure an omnichannel experience as 86% of shoppers regularly channel-hop across at least two channels.
Considering all of the data and clear contemporary habits of switching between multiple channels for digital experiences, it is only logical to predict that an omnichannel marketing strategy is growing strong and necessary for any business. Pandemic proved to be yet another factor to weigh into the omnichannel marketing rise, as more and more customers embraced various interacting channels with digital content. So let’s figure out what omnichannel marketing is and what kind of benefits it can offer.
What is omnichannel marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is a marketing strategy that utilizes multiple online and offline communication channels, including but not limited to website, app, various social media, messengers, email, retail store, call-centers, etc., in a seamless manner. Omnichannel marketing helps create a positive experience for customers at every phase of their journey, ensuring a holistic approach to convenience and digital experiences.
Highly personalized content
80% of consumers say they want to engage only with brands that provide a personalized experience. Combine that with the rise of customer expectations tied to the advancement of the digital industry and the lockdown effect. Experts say people became almost “immune” to content due to the high consumption volumes during the pandemic. 66% of customers expect brands to cater towards their personal needs and expectations, yet 66% state that they’re are often treated as numbers.
Personalization is simply a rule for any successful online business. Numerous examples of high personalization levels with such giants as Amazon show products you might be interested in on the main page user logs in. Netflix recommends viewers TV shows and movies based on the viewing history and favorite genres, Spotify provides relevant musical recommendations. People have grown to expect this level of customization from most brands at this point.
According to Hubspot research that analyzed around 100,000 call-to-action buttons (CTAs), personalized CTAs received 43% more clicks than more generally targeted ones. It is in people’s nature to respond better to something that is focused on them and their interests. Personalized content reminds users of what they already want and guides them through the huge among of online information towards the desired products and services, avoiding unnecessary frustration and wasting time.
Every business can put highly personalized content in action. However, the reasons to do so differ. Here are some goals that marketers expect to achieve with personalization:
Programmatic OTT/CTV ads
People are done with broadcast TV, and more and more people opt for streaming services. The cord-cutting massive cancellation of TV subscriptions available over cable or satellite shows a severe shift towards OTT content. OTT stands for over-the-top and refers to video content being streamed via the Internet. CTV has connected devices, smart TVs, and streaming/gaming consoles that enable streaming OTT content.
After analyzing 200 billion global impressions, researchers found that global CTV impressions increased by 60% in 2020 and programmatic CTV impressions by over 200%.
This tendency has been in place for years, but global pandemic and forced quarantines transformed viewing habits and skyrocketed content streaming. As a result, people prefer to watch TV programs and movies through video-on-demand services (VOD) instead of traditional TVs.
One in three households in the U.S. does not have traditional pay-TV, which is likely to increase. Considering the ease of programmatic advertising implementation and targeting capabilities, we can fully expect programmatic OTT/CTV advertising will grow even further in 2022.
Pandemic has catapulted this trend into top positions and the previous one. With an estimated 120 million podcast listeners in the U.S. in 2021 and expected over 160 million by 2023, digital audio advertising is one of the most perspective spheres for 2022.
We think that visual ads are the most effective; however, audio formats should not be underestimated. Audio ads can be listened to anywhere, which makes audiences more accessible. In addition, listeners respond to advertising positively, and reports show that 6 out of 10 people are likely to purchase after hearing an ad during a podcast.
Digital audio ad spending is forecasted to reach 36% by 2023 and over 40% by 2025 of the total audio advertising spending. Combined with the programmatic audio advertising growth and thus the simplicity of audio ad integration, audio advertising is likely to become a very lucrative advertising channel.
The digital advertising industry is quite unpredictable and is changing swiftly. It is sometimes difficult to predict what will be a trend and will become a thing of the past. However, several tendencies have been going steady for quite a long time, and it can be said with a high degree of certainty that they will continue to grow. These trends can be implemented into the marketing strategy depending on your goals and specifics of the business, but their implementation is worth a try on the quest to optimize yield and performance.