How Advertisers Can Combine Contextual and Local Targeting

How Advertisers Can Combine Contextual and Local Targeting

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Many marketers who run multi-location campaigns run into the same pain point: “I need to create a campaign that has localized messaging that resonates with the specific regions I’m targeting while still remaining true to the overall brand voice.” Enter contextual advertising.

When you implement contextual capabilities into your advertising campaign, you are able to serve relevant localized ads to different target audiences based on their content consumption while still remaining true to the brand’s universal tone. 

Contextual advertising, by definition, delivers ads to people based on what they’re consuming at a particular moment in time. Today’s advanced technology means contextual can go one step further to pinpoint the context of the content that is being consumed and ensure that your ads are being served next to the most relevant content possible. So, by understanding the brand and its target audience, you can narrow in on the types of local content those users are most likely to consume based on their specific region. 

Localize Keywords  

One of the easiest and most well known ways to implement contextual targeting in your campaign is with localized keywords that resonate with your brand. When you know what your brand’s target audience values, how they think about the brand and their pain points, you get a deeper understanding of the types of content they will be consuming. 

Say, for instance, the campaign you’re working on is for a national clothing brand that has regional stores. Once you understand the audience, you can take those learnings to contextually target them at a localized level. If the audience values ethically made, sustainably sourced materials, you should target relative keywords to place your ad on pages that promote the best ways to be sustainable in the specific region you’re targeting. You’ll know the user is interested in the values your brand stands for and is located in the right area. Don’t forget that when inputting the phrases you want to target to also be mindful of the phrases you want to exclude. 

Understand Your Target Location 

Another way to implement localized contextual advertising is to think about what someone in that region may be experiencing. If you are running a campaign for a travel resort, there are different ways to contextually target users based on where they are located. If it’s the middle of winter, you may want to target users who want to escape the cold. While your ad may focus on the sun and sand, you may want it contextually placed on weather sites where the cold temperatures are front and center to entice the user to consider a tropical getaway. 

You’re targeting the user not because they have previously searched for vacation destinations but because they are located in a place where they may want a break from the winter season. 

Weather isn’t the only way to reach someone locally when they are in the right frame of mind to receive messages about your brand. Regional tentpole events, like sporting events, parades, or concerts are a great way to reach an audience contextually through many different channels. If there is a parade happening in one of the cities you want to target, set up a digital out-of-home (DOOH) campaign to run near the parade route. 

Another example is when the region you want to target has a popular team, be sure your display ads have creatives that feature the sport in a way that will capture the attention of local fans. If there is a big sporting event happening, target phrases that include the sport and the city so that your ad appears next to contextually relevant content. Your ad should feature messaging that tells them why your snack brand is the go-to when you’re watching the event. You can then follow up with a retargeting campaign, serving them ads on their mobile device when the big game is happening.

Incorporating contextual advertising into your campaigns is a solution to reach a localized audience, but the ads still need to feel personalized and timely. Identifying what the brand’s target market values are and how they view the brand universally will help you find regional topics you can contextually target. But advertisers must create relevant messaging that resonates with a local audience and reach them when they are consuming related content. 

Vitaly Pecherskiy is COO and co-founder of StackAdapt.