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Harness the Holiday Spirit With Contextual Targeting

Marketers this year will need to be ready for uncertainties when planning their holiday campaigns. One way to prepare for an unpredictable Q4 is to broaden your digital advertising strategy. By experimenting with different tactics, holiday marketers can figure out what campaign tactics work best. One innovation to try in 2021? Contextual targeting. 

Shopping online was the safest way to make holiday purchases during a pandemic, a fact that rang true in the sales growth of e-commerce in 2020. E-commerce stole the holiday spotlight with a 32.5% increase in sales. Shopping online has now become an established consumer habit. Combined with the lingering  pandemic, we can expect to see this trend continue in 2021. 

With contextual targeting, you can target online shoppers based on the content they are consuming. This ensures that you’ll capture them in the right moments. This tactic is valuable in an unpredictable shopping season as the predictable consumer behaviours of years past, may not hold true anymore. As buying habits are shifting, so should your strategy, and contextual advertising will help you reach users who are in the right frame of mind. 

To help you get started with campaign planning, here are 3 contextual targeting strategies that will help you reach the right audience this holiday season. 

Tis’ the Season of Discovery 

During the holidays shoppers are open to exploring new products and services. As they shop for friends, family, and themselves, consumers discover new brands, and are more willing to give them a try. You can take advantage of this season of discovery by using contextual targeting to reach broad consumer segments. 

Start by analyzing your audience’s mindset. There are a couple ways to gain intel into your audience’s frame of mind. You can use analytics to understand the demographics of your audience, leverage creatives, engage in social listening, and ultimately build customer profiles that provide factual information about the demographics and buying behaviours of your target audience. 

These profiles will help you understand what content your audience is browsing, and what frame of mind they should be in to be receptive to your ads. By understanding who your target audience is, you can narrow down the best contexts to target. Then, broaden that customer profile to include consumers who may have never encountered your products or services before, and target those consumers using broad contexts.

Not sure of the right context? Ask them! With discovery ads, you can pose a question to the user to determine their interests or opinions, based on a topic you’ve chosen.

Holiday Contextual Targeting Based on Life Stage 

Stage of life is an important demographic attribute in campaign planning because a person’s life stage will factor into what products or services they are likely to purchase around the holiday season. With contextual targeting, you can leverage the life stage of your target audience as a strategy for reaching the right consumers. For example, parents of young children are likely to be on the lookout for toys to give as gifts to their kids. 

To contextually target based on life stage, use in context phrases related to the interests and milestones of the group you’d like to reach. To continue the example of parents with young children, you can use in context phrases related to parenting, and niche down based on the age appropriateness of your products. If you’re targeting parents of toddlers, for example, target phrases related to toddler development so your ads appear on content related to that life stage. This way, you reach an audience who is receptive to products meant for that age group.

Target Holiday Related Keywords and Content

With contextual targeting, the best context isn’t always the same as a campaign’s landing page. The right keywords should hone in on the mindset of someone who is receptive, in that moment, to your product or service. During the holidays, you have the opportunity to hone in on consumers who may not be part of your target audience year-round. They are interested in buying products from new brands that will work well as gifts. You can use a contextual campaign to highlight and position a brand’s products or services as the perfect gift by targeting phrases related to gift giving.

This aspect of contextual advertising is an important strategic factor around the holidays because you may find that targeting phrases related to holiday shopping is an effective approach for discovery. By targeting phrases like, “holiday gift ideas,” your ads will appear alongside content that users are browsing for gift ideas. In browsing that content, users signal that they are looking for holiday gift inspiration. Using contextual advertising is essential to include this holiday season because many consumers are now turning to online shopping for product discovery, whereas product discovery was traditionally done in store.

Contextual Targeting is Home for the Holidays

Contextual targeting has lots of unique benefits, for example, it’s an alternative to targeting with cookies and it aligns with upcoming trends and policy changes. This targeting method also provides advertisers with an option for diversifying methodologies and experimenting with new marketing strategies. In 2021’s unpredictable holiday shopping season, experimenting with a range of marketing strategies, like the tactics mentioned above, will be the key to running successful holiday campaigns. 

Looking to start using contextual advertising for your holiday campaigns? Reach out to your StackAdapt Representative to get started with Page Context AI now!

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