What Is Contextual Targeting in OTT?

An over-the-top media service can provide one of the best venues for business and marketing purposes. Contextual targeting is a valuable and on-the-rise tool in fully utilizing the power of OTT.

Contextual Targeting Defined

It goes by many names, including in-context or in-text advertising and non-personalized advertising. In short, with contextual targeting, ads are matched with content rather than directly with the consumer of the content. For example, ads featuring cooking utensils might be placed alongside an article about baking. Or a motorcycle commercial might be included in a television show about a group of bikers.

Contextual Targeting in the Digital Age

Contextual targeting got its start in traditional print media and also became a fixture in television. The online world quickly took advantage of its simplicity and ease of deployment, however. Ad servers can now scan URLs of any website for keywords, categories of topics, and so forth. Then, relevant advertising is matched with this data.

Benefits of Contextual Targeting

Unlike other forms of advertising, such as behavioral targeting, contextual targeting does not rely on retrieving a consumer's personal data or background profile. The advertiser, therefore, has no direct access to information like age or gender. As such, concerns about privacy violations are strongly curbed. With the increase of laws and guidelines protecting consumer privacy, contextual advertising is a safer legal bet. Plus, these ads are often looked upon with more trust and positive feelings by the consumer.

Better yet, they tend to yield higher conversion rates because the consumer is being matched with products that naturally interest them. Typically, the ads are extremely relevant to the content and therefore pique a consumer's curiosity or offer them a direct outlet to a product or service for which they were already searching. In comparison to other methods, contextual ads also afford a cheaper and more streamlined marketing option.

Over-the-Top Media Service and Contextual Targeting

OTT platforms, with their rich digital content, are well-suited for contextual targeting advertising. In a typical approach, a would-be advertiser will select targeting parameters such as broad topics down to specific keywords. Then, an ad scanner will search all sites and platforms for matches to the targeting criteria. Ads will soon appear on these relevant matches. For a video streaming service, sophisticated machine learning is even able to categorize the content (drama, comedy, etc.) by reading the video's facial expressions.

Because contextual targeting is so versatile, can be applied to many different formats (from text to video), and is more warmly received by users, it is widely supported in the digital world. You will find contextual-based advertising on video-sharing platforms, search engines, social media networks, and so much more. Pay-per-click ads are common for traditional websites, whereas in-video and in-game ads are a fixture in OTT content. Contextual video ads, in particular, gift great storytelling opportunities.

Best of Both Worlds

Contextual advertising is evolving with the times. Current approaches, especially in the OTT sector, can provide invaluable insight into a target audience minus the intrusive cookies and invasive search history evaluations.

Think about it. The type of content you choose to consume can say a lot about your personality, your wishes, and your fears. Today's contextual OTT marketing, with its ability to hone in not only on genres but on very common themes (from love lost to fighting the system), is a very effective form of behavioral targeting and advertising minus the drawbacks.

For streaming business and marketing plans that get results, contact the pros of Lightcast today.