We can define contextual and behavioral ads as a form of targeted marketing that appears on websites or other media that are selected and served by automated programs based on the content the user is looking at, or actions they’ve previously taken. Or, to put it in simpler terms, they are ads that show up because they make sense in a bigger picture way.
Imagine for a moment that you’ve been shopping for shoes, looking up rock climbing destinations, or viewing websites related to buying or selling a home. As you’ve increased your knowledge, you’ve also left little digital footprints everywhere you have gone online. This data is being saved and put into little groups. You could even think of them as buckets.
Before you start feeling too paranoid, remember that the information isn’t tied to identifying personal details. Advertisers don’t know who you are, and they can’t see your name. What they can do, though, is access those buckets.
Wouldn’t you like to know what those buckets look like for your potential customers or clients?
Fill up those buckets with enough data and advertisers can get a sense of what you’re looking for on the internet. And, they can probably infer some things about your age, location, income, gender, and so on. That makes it easier for them to offer products and services that are relevant to you at any given time.
Generally speaking, the information in a web user’s bucket is updated every 30 days to keep it fresh. That’s why you always see ads related to your most recent searches or interests – and how you can use contextual and behavioral ads to zero in on buyers who have a need for what you’re selling right now.
Contextual and behavioral ads can be thought of as part of your push campaign because they help you identify individuals with interests or behaviors that are a good match for what you sell. Once you find them, you’re using these ads to push them toward your website.