Using curation technology to drive more relevant content in an era of critical consumers

Contextual and curation are the next power couple that advertisers and publishers can lean on to transition to a cookieless advertising ecosystem, says Filippo Gramigna (COO, Onetag).

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 cookieless solution. In fact, according to IAB Europe’s latest survey assessing the industry’s readiness for the cookieless 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 cookieless 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 artificial intelligence (AI), to help maximize 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 cookieless 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 personalized way.

Originally Published on: The Drum