The pandemic and the processes it caused couldn’t help but affect the contextual advertising marketplace is obvious. In this article, the paper writer free from a marketing agency, will tell what that impact has been and what advertising agencies and contextual advertising professionals can expect in the future.
1. The proliferation of Machine Learning
If you look at this year’s updates to advertising systems, the trend toward the proliferation of machine learning is evident. It is dictated by the systems themselves, introducing and developing tools that are based on this technology:
- Personalized advice on setting strategies in the Direct interface;
- The development of intelligent campaigns in Google Ads: a new layout of ads, updates to the Rates Simulator and the report on the strategies;
- Extension of Google Ads automated strategies to a more significant number of formats and types of advertising;
- Recommendations and optimization indicator in Google Ads accounts.
- Promoting the idea of automation, Google has done an entire study to show its positive impact on advertising.
All of this suggests that the proliferation of machine learning is a settled issue, as it will no longer be. By ignoring this trend hoping that Machine Learning is temporary and not for everyone, professionals are risking their competitiveness in the market.
Instead, it’s better to accept the inevitable and master automation tools if you haven’t already started. Learn to manage them and leverage them to get better results for your clients. For example, on campaigns with a lot of statistics, Directs auto-strategies are already yielding good results. If macro-conversion statistics are not enough for auto strategies to work well, you can use micro-conversions made by those who eventually buy.
2. Reducing the role of manual control
Automated tools in contextual advertising systems didn’t appear yesterday. But it’s now that they’re starting to get outstanding results. And if previously auto strategy were considered the prerogative of independent advertisers who lack the skills for manual adjustment, they are now used even by specialists.
The time is not far off when a machine will manage bids and audience selection much better than a human. Predictive analytics technologies are already being developed. Over time, it will predict user purchases before entering a search query due to the massive amount of data about them and machine learning.
In such conditions, manual management of advertising predictably loses its position. This means specialists need to take this into account to understand what their task will be in a changing marketplace.
3. Changing the role of the contextual advertising specialist
This trend stems from the previous two. The role of manual control is decreasing. The influence of machine learning is increasing, which means that a contextual advertising specialist can no longer remain a technician who exposes and adjusts settings. Machines are doing a pretty good job of that. A person still operates these machines but in a different capacity.
These are all global changes in the market, so you can’t ignore them by working the old-fashioned way. Otherwise, there can be no place on this market.
This does not mean that a specialist is no longer needed. He is just now required not so much technical as tactical and strategic work with the audience, tools, landing pages, creatives, and the introduction of contextual advertising in the global marketing strategy of the business.
A contextual advertising specialist should be able to analyze the available data and answer the questions:
- What UTP and advertising messages to broadcast to users;
- Which formats and tools to choose for a specific project;
- How to build a sales funnel and a chain of taps to bring the user to the primary conversion;
- How and what data to transfer to the contextual advertising systems and analytics so that the auto strategy works better: offline conversions, call tracking results, and other advertising systems’ performance.
To solve such problems on a new high-quality level, along with “taming” the automatic tools of advertising systems, specialists should pump up their marketing background and dive deeper into analytics.
Contextual advertising does not work in a vacuum – in parallel with ads. The user can contact the business in social networks, blogs, messengers, and email newsletters. To see a complete and accurate picture of the effectiveness of contextual advertising, you need to take this into account and count the associated conversions. And it is also essential to see which campaigns bring in sales and profits and which only traffic.
In addition, by offering clients end-to-end analytics, you show the value of your contextual advertising services in numbers and increase the check at the same time.
To not miss this trend, it’s worth monitoring and applying new analytical tools and striving to use end-to-end analytics on all projects where it makes sense in terms of the cost of its implementation and maintenance.
4. Improving ad quality
In 2024, partly due to natural factors of market growth and partly because of the pandemic, competition in contextual advertising had increased significantly. Along with it, the rates have increased, so along with the budgets in the competition are other means of achieving the success of the advertising campaign, including improving the quality of ads. In addition, with the development of automation, the specialist has more time to work through them.
Ads as a means of communication should immediately generate interest and at the same time deliver a clear message: what the company offers and why it should be bought here.
A potential customer in the right place at the right time shown the wrong message is a missed opportunity to get a conversion. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, every opportunity is worth its weight in gold. So in 2024, the quality of ads will be more critical than ever.
That said, superficial product analysis will no longer be enough to create a message that works. A unique selling proposition will need to be developed in detail. The target audience will need to be studied and segmented to create a relevant message for the USP and landing page. That will interest and engage a specific segment of the target audience. And this requires real benefits and benefits, couched in clear language.
5. Increasing the role of landing pages
As with the creatives, the birth of this trend contributed to increased competition and increasing budgets in contextual advertising. The audience we can target with ad campaigns has not grown as much as the number of players operating at the lower sales funnels stages with generated demand. The cost of attracting to the site through paid advertising is increasing, which means that to increase the effectiveness of advertising, it is essential to optimize not only settings and ads but also landing pages to increase conversion rates.
It’s good if the project has people responsible for the appearance and content of landing pages, evaluating their conversion rate. But if the project is small, this task will have to be taken over by contextual advertising specialists to influence the results of their work at this stage.
- Analyze the level of usability and the degree of development of advertising texts on landing pages;
- Plan how to bring visitors attracted by contextual advertising to conversion actions;
- Make recommendations for improvement, explaining that this has a direct impact on the return on advertising investment.
6. Developments in voice search
Voice search technology is improving, and with it, the number of people who use it. Search engines and voice assistants get better at recognizing the voice, determining the meaning of what is being said, and selecting relevant responses to queries and commands. Of course, voice search is used more often on smartphones, but the share of mobile traffic is also increasing, so there is no contradiction here.
According to Global Digital Overview, 43% of users between the ages of 16 and 64 use voice search every month.
Voice users ask for queries in different wording and other scenarios than text. If you remember that voice search is often used on the go when it is inconvenient to type, and there is no time to adjust the wording of queries, it becomes clear that these are long queries, and the solution is needed right now;
The number of queries that contain a more significant number of words and have lower frequency will increase and their share in the overall semantic core. But the majority of such questions fall under the status of “Few hits.” At the same time, commercial requests, when a solution is needed now, are a good source of conversions. To solve the problem with “Few impressions,” contextual advertising systems promote technology impressions by synonyms.
What should professionals do?
First of all, think about how voice search is used in your projects’ niches and adapt advertising to voice queries. And also, expect to improve the technology of displays by synonyms, which will allow you to cover low-frequency conversion phrases without having to work through thousands of voice queries.
7. Developing Audience Targeting
Audience targeting tools combined with or without keyword targeting are another global trend along with automation. Google’s numerous experiments evidence this with audiences by interest and intent, and innovations the form of short-term interest targeting in RSS and genre and subject matter for media advertising.
A decrease in the amount of data on search queries in Google Ads and an increase in the proportion of low-frequency long phrases, in general, make it necessary to develop and utilize tools for audience targeting more actively. To be able to target ad campaigns even when the semantics and data do not allow it.
Also, semantic targeting is an effective tool for creating the first touch and getting initial traffic. But we don’t often get conversions on the first visit. We need a chain of communications that leads to a sale. Audience targeting tools, which work with audiences who have already visited the site, help create such a chain.
With keywords, targeting audiences by demographics and interests allows you to reach the people who need the product directly and not waste your budget on others.
To make full and maximum use of such tools, contextual advertising specialists need to learn how to study their target audience in detail and get answers to the questions:
- who these people are;
- why they buy;
- how many touches 80% of the audience needs to reach a conversion;
- how much time passes between traces and from the first contact to purchase;
- what information these people need, what they might be looking for in the context of a product online.
- All this data will determine the relevant content for landing pages and ads, the necessary metrics and targeting tools, and combine it into a logical and workable system.
8. Video ad distribution
The main reason for this trend is the engagement of video ads, which are far ahead of regular text ads and static graphic creatives. We’ve seen a lot of innovation from Google on YouTube ads this year, including expanding the reach, focusing on getting conversions, and developing capture forms in such ads.
All of this suggests that the number of formats and the share of video ads, in general, will continue to grow. At the same time, it is still not used by all advertisers, unlike text and graphic advertising. This means that there is still time to master the format and learn how to create video ads so that they are not too costly. And most importantly, there is still time to catch the trend before all or almost all competitors use video ads.