Curation tech: relevant content in an era of critical consumers

Contextual ads stand out as a privacy-friendly, brand-safe way for advertisers

In a world in which misinformation and MFA (Made for Advertising) sites have become commonplace, access to quality journalism has never been so important. Whether opting for open or subscription-based content, as consumers we are becoming far more discerning about what we want to see on the page. And of course, alongside the editorial content, advertising also plays a huge role in how engaging (and relevant) the media experience is. Together, they can have a powerful influence on the user, not only engaging them, but gently nudging them along the customer journey. 

However, in a world without third-party cookies, aligning the two can be a challenge. 

A return to contextual advertising

The demise of the cookie has prompted publishers and advertisers to rethink how they can continue to place the right content in front of expectant eyeballs, with many turning (or returning) to contextual as a cookie-less solution. In fact, according to IAB Europe’s latest survey assessing the industry’s readiness for the cookie-less era, almost 64% of respondents are evaluating contextual solutions. Contextual advertising is a targeted marketing approach that places ads based on the content of the web page rather than user data.

In a cookie-less era, where privacy concerns limit tracking, contextual advertising offers a solid alternative as it instead relies on the context of the page being viewed, considering factors such as keywords, topics, and the deeper semantic meaning of content to deliver relevant ads.

By respecting user privacy while still providing a targeted advertising experience focused on audience interests and intent, it offers a privacy-centric advertising solution that fosters user trust, ensuring a more transparent and respectful online experience. 

Today, contextual advertising solutions leverage the latest programmatic technologies, including AI, to help maximise ad relevance, engagement, and ultimately, ROI for advertisers. In particular, semantic targeting is an advanced form for contextual advertising which delivers a richer solution than site classification and keyword targeting. Semantic technology uses machine learning to understand the meaning of each page of content to ensure deeper and broader relevance for audiences.

With modern-day contextual advertising solutions now being built upon vast data foundations, as well as being plugged into thousands of diverse publishers, advertisers can leverage the exact content targeting options they require to deliver the most relevant experience for audiences, and drive increases in average CTR by up to 500%.

Programmatic curation to drive contextual advertising

Advanced contextual advertising solutions including AI-driven semantic targeting allow brands to curate their own content environment — according to their own campaign KPIs — for the ultimate user experience. Programmatic media curation is making waves in the industry as a way of enabling advertisers to reach new audiences efficiently at scale, by aligning themselves with the most relevant content possible in a few clicks. 

As cookie-less solutions come to the fore in 2024, it makes sense that we’re seeing a marked shift — and in some cases return — to contextual. After all, in a world where third-party cookies are about to disappear, contextual advertising stands out as a privacy-friendly, brand-safe way for advertisers to work with publishers to reach discerning audiences in quality environments and in a highly personalised way.

Featured image: Pixabay / Pexels

Filippo Gramigna, COO at Onetag 

With more than 20 years’ experience in the advertising technology industry, Filippo is an international leader in digital media, programmatic advertising and data. An expert in his field, Filippo has previously worked for major publishers, international ad tech companies, brands and agencies, including Lenovo, Adform and AzerionOne. His professional strength lies in his extensive experience across multidisciplinary media roles in business development and sales, client partnerships, marketing and product. Filippo is a highly driven business professional with a proven track record of delivering concrete economic results for commercial organisations in the most efficient way. Filippo's passions extend far beyond his professional endeavours. In his free time, he finds joy in the culinary arts, delighting his loved ones with authentic Italian cuisine. When he's not in the kitchen, you can find him hitting the pavement for a run, finding serenity in yoga sessions, or embarking on thrilling treks through the mountains. A true adventurer at heart, Filippo revels in the exploration of new cultures, seeking out immersive experiences wherever his travels take him.

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