How brands are leveling up their contextual advertising with content blending tactics

Dal Gill, vp global partnerships, Seedtag

Videos are on the rise. According to Cisco, by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic. While this is an incredible stat on its own, it also means that video consumption will be 15 times higher than it was in 2017. 

The growth of video has been astounding, and brands have realized the importance of utilizing them within their advertising campaigns. In fact, HubSpot recently found that 81% of businesses are using video as a marketing tool — up from 63% over the last year.

Using video within campaigns is all well and good, but it is still important for brands to leverage the most impactful methods that deliver the best possible results. By maximizing the integration of contextual ads into content, especially for branded video advertising, marketers can seamlessly incorporate their messages into the visual content of sites. This creates an effect that not only makes ads more attractive but also improves campaign results compared to standard outstream video solutions. 

How advertisers are seamlessly integrating creative with content

Contextual advertising is a highly efficient way of delivering ads that are directly relevant to the content the readers are consuming, without the use of cookies or collecting personal identifiable information. Contextual AI technology gives advertisers a broad range of innovative capabilities and tools to reach the best contextual integration. In addition, these solutions have more positive responses than regular ads, as they are found more attractive, enjoyable and interesting by users.

One method integrates the ad into the article’s image but always maintains approximately 40% of the original image. In this sense, the advertiser’s information takes over a sufficient space but always acquires absolute integration with the image without completely covering it, making the advertisement non-intrusive.

The integration in contextual advertising multiplies the benefits that contextual advertising brings to brands. Brands can create more relevant material for each audience because their ads are going to be seamlessly blended with the content in which the audience is interested. This is the most important advantage of the effect: Ads are blended into the content of which they’re a part.

Seamless approaches are reducing ad skips and boosting CTR

One of the biggest frustrations for advertisers comes from audiences abandoning or skipping their video ads. While skippable ads are necessary, it’s essential that brands deliver relevant content to audiences or face the risk of being skipped. Some consumers won’t even look at an ad if they can skip it. However, according to research conducted by MetrixLab in conjunction with Seedtag, when leveraging ads that show contextual videos ads on relevant content, brand favorability increases by as much as 22%. The ads are noticed 3.5 seconds faster and for 3.4 seconds longer, while increasing interest and purchase intent by 3.9 times that of a common video display ad. Videos go from being skipped to enticing new customers — audiences suddenly care about the ad.

With contextual AI technology already working to target highly relevant audiences, brands working to blend content seamlessly are delivering increasingly optimal user experiences, helping them to connect with their audiences. In turn, advertisers improve their audience’s attention by using surprising elements that stray from commonplace or obvious ideas. 

These methods boost the brand association with content, so images and videos are more attractive and retain the user’s attention for longer. This allows brands to communicate their messages effectively and achieve a higher level of ad recall.

Furthermore, in addition to the decreased rate of ad-skipping, the same method mentioned above has resulted in the number of clicks increasing by 118% on average, while the click-through rate (CTR) has risen by more than 0.9%. Furthermore, this effect allows campaigns to achieve more than 22% video completion.

Adapt to demand

The COVID-19 pandemic created a surge in content consumption, particularly in video. With more people stuck at home throughout lockdowns, they turned to their phones to pass the time — playing games, binge-watching TV shows and scrolling through social media. Video has become a vital component of our lives and brands are adapting to those needs.

While marketers may now be addressing an audience that is emerging from a year and more of quarantine, the trends caused by lockdown continue, and this heightened consumption of video is unlikely to go away any time soon. By merging the targeting capabilities of contextual AI with the increased interest that content blending brings, advertisers can optimize their return on investment in the ads they are serving.

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