Looking Outside The (Search) Box

In the current economic climate, we all have a craving for comfort foods. And in digital marketing, Google AdWords is everyone's favorite comfort food.

But with everyone focusing on AdWords, how can marketers differentiate themselves? One way is through contextual advertising platforms, which offer marketers opportunities to engage with prospects while they are reading content on a Web page.

As a marketing manager speaking to marketing managers, I invite you to take a closer look at how contextual advertising can help you look outside the (search) box.

1. Targeting beyond search enables reaching users engaging in content related to your product or service -- contextual advertising solutions enable engagement with customers while they're experiencing content that is relevant to your product or service. This is a great way to reach out to prospects who are considering your product or service category. And as long as the contextual ad platform you're using is performance based, you will pay only when the prospects actually click on your ad.



2. New ad vehicles and creative implementations enable you to better tell your story. As effective as text links are, some company stories are better told and sold with images and video. Many performance-based contextual advertising platforms enable running ads with images, rich media and video, which can make it easier to tell your story. If the prospect is already engaging in content that is relevant to your brand and the products and services you offer, why not give them an opportunity to see and hear your story, too?

3. Diversify your advertising to reduce cost-per-click (CPC) inflation and increase reach. With the price of many keywords higher than they had been in previous holiday seasons, one way to reduce your overall CPC is by diversifying beyond search. Why? Because most contextual ad platforms offer lower CPC than Google or Yahoo. And not only will you reduce your CPC, but working with new contextual ad platforms will enable you to increase your advertising reach, both total and unduplicated, beyond search.

4. Go where your customers are. As effective as search is -- and it is effective -- users spend 85% of their time engaging with content. Contextual ad platforms get you onto the page of content, enabling you to engage with your prospects while they are engaging with content that is relevant to your brand and the products and services you offer. Wouldn't you be more receptive to an ad for a vacation while reading and day dreaming of a holiday break? That's the power of contextual advertising.

Don't get me wrong. AdWords has earned its place in digital marketing based on nearly a decade of performance. But in the same way that cable TV advertising offers new advertising opportunities beyond network TV advertising, other Pay Per Click solutions can provide new targeting opportunities that marketers should be considering, particularly in the current market conditions.

1 comment about "Looking Outside The (Search) Box ".
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  1. Yvonne Markgraf, January 19, 2009 at 4:48 p.m.

    Hi Jennifer,

    I completely agree with your advice to diversify beyond search to offset inflation and increase reach.

    What is the source of your 85% content users number?


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