What is Contextual Targeting with Advertisements

There are so many aspects of marketing that it can be hard to keep everything straight. At the same time, you know how important and powerful marketing can be for growing a business. 

So, what is contextual targeting in marketing?

Instead of spending hours and hours researching things online, we have done all the work for you and created a simple guide that will tell you everything you need to know about contextual targeting, other types of targeting, and how to use them to your advantage. 

Read on to learn how to benefit your business with the use of effective contextual targeting. 

What is Contextual Targeting With Advertising?

Contextual targeting places advertisements in locations where the original content aligns with the advertisement itself. By placing relevant advertisements in these locations, it increases the likelihood that your advertisement will appeal to the viewer and will lead to your desired result. 

If you’re still a little bit confused, don’t worry. Here are some examples to help break it down for you:

  • You can place an advertisement for a beauty product before a prominent YouTuber’s makeup tutorial. The person watching this video is likely to be interested in makeup and beauty products since they are watching a makeup-related video. This contextual targeting for video is definitely an improvement over simply targeting women, or women of a certain age that may or may not actually wear makeup. 
  • You can place an advertisement for a high-end suitcase in a travel-related magazine. The person reading the magazine is likely an avid traveler and may be looking for a new suitcase to simplify their travels. 
  • You can place an advertisement for designer purses on a fashion website like Vogue, Allure, InStyle, or Elle. The viewer is clearly already interested in high-end fashion, and would be more likely to buy your product than the typical person within your target demographic. 

As you can see, contextual targeting can be used in a variety of different avenues online with great results. You are able to reach people based on their interests and what they are currently searching for. Just think of your products as an added bonus to what they’re already interested in that can easily catch their eye, and may end up being just the thing they’ve been looking for.

How Does Contextual Targeting Differ From Other Types of Targeting?

In addition to contextual targeting, there are a couple of other types of targeting, namely audience targeting and behavioral targeting. 

Contextual Targeting vs Audience Targeting 

This is targeting people based on your ideal audience. You will need to think about who you want to buy your products, what they would like to see in ads, and how you want them to respond to the content in your ads. 

Then, you can tailor your different advertisements based on this “profile” that you create using information like consumer data. This will largely differ depending on the overall goal of the advertisement be it brand awareness, sales, retargeting, etc. 

Overall, you need to think like your audience and tailor your content based on that. 

Contextual Targeting vs Behavioral Targeting  

This is targeting specific people based on their individual browsing habits on sites and search engines. 

This is done through cookies. Cookies are a powerful advertising tool but recent restrictions and regulations have made it more difficult for companies to rely on cookies and behavioral targeting alone. 

So, while this is a great method for things like retargeting, it might not be the best method to employ across the board with all different types of advertisements. 

Why is Contextual Targeting Useful?

We have already touched on some of the reasons why contextual targeting is useful, but in order to get the whole picture, we need to go deeper and explore all of the ways that contextual targeting can benefit businesses all across the board. 

Build Brand Image and Awareness

Contextual targeting can help build up your brand image and awareness. This might not seem like a big deal, but you need to do this before you can actually convince a person to buy from you. 

By associating yourself with positive and relevant content, you are building a positive and relevant brand image that people are likely to remember the next time they are looking for a product. 

Protect Brand Image

Not only can contextual targeting help build your brand image, but it can help protect it as well, a concept known as brand safety

If you’re not careful, you could end up advertising next to negative or damaging content that will turn off potential customers. This is especially true on platforms that have billions of videos that are constantly being uploaded all over the world, like YouTube. Contextual targeting avoids this trap. 

Contextual targeting uses exclusion lists to help you avoid content that you don’t want to be around. 

Comply With Regulations

Gone are the days when companies could just collect user information without users knowing or consenting. With tons of new rules and regulations surrounding cookies, it’s definitely harder to use them for behavioral targeting. 

So, even though contextual targeting has always been powerful and beneficial, it’s even more so now that this type of data compilation is less and less effective. With contextual targeting, companies are having to rely on other methods to reach their target audience.

Increase Purchasing Intent

Finally, we’re talking about the good stuff: money. Contextual targeting can help increase the purchasing intent of people who view your advertisements. 

But it’s not just all talk — research shows that contextually matched audiences can result in up to 50% higher ad recall and brand awareness when compared with ads that only use demographic targeting. This means more impact with viewers, more sales, and more revenue in return that you can then use to continue growing your business. 

How to Use Contextual Targeting Effectively

As you can see, contextual targeting can be extremely beneficial, but only if you do it effectively. But what can you, as a beginner, do to make sure that you are doing it effectively and getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to your advertising budget? 

Perhaps the best thing to do is to consult with a professional marketing team, like the Channel Factory, who can help you come up with a comprehensive contextual targeting strategy based on your company’s unique mission, vision, and overall values

We at the Channel Factory can use our experts to help you tailor inclusion lists for content that you want your advertisements to be placed next to and your company to be associated with. We can also help you tailor exclusion lists for content that you do not want your advertisements placed next to and do not want your company associated with. 

Furthermore, our professionals can employ the unique human touch alongside the power and efficiency of artificial technology to sort through everything on the Internet to come up with safe and effective placements for your advertisements. 

So, while it may be possible to do this on your own, we have found that the best option is to consult with experts like us in order to make sure that you’re using contextual targeting effectively, reaching the people that you want to reach, and protecting your brand image from negative associations all at the same time. 

In Closing

As you can see, contextual targeting is a powerful way to target people with content that relates to what they’re currently looking at. Not only can it help you get more customers, but it can also help protect your brand image from being associated with negative content that goes against your values. 

There’s a ton of value within contextual targeting as long as you do it right. 


  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2016/10/31/why-brand-image-matters-more-than-you-think/#:~:text=Brand%20image%20is%20important%20for,you%20want%20it%20to%20say.
  2. https://www.privacypolicies.com/blog/eu-cookie-law/
  3. https://www.inc.com/entrepreneurs-organization/a-labor-of-love-how-to-craft-your-companys-core-values.html

Top 7 Benefits of Advertising on YouTube 

Odds are that you’ve seen a ton of different advertisements on YouTube while watching your favorite channels, but have you ever thought about putting your own content out there to help advertise your business?

Anyone can easily advertise on YouTube, and there are a ton of benefits to doing so. 

Still not convinced that YouTube advertising can work for you? Stay tuned for seven benefits of advertising on YouTube and how to do it effectively. 

1. YouTube Display Advertisements Are More Engaging

Video advertisements are a great way to make your content memorable and more engaging for viewers. In a world where people are bombarded with ads at every turn, you want your content to stand out and really grab the viewer’s attention — what better way to do this than a YouTube video advertisement? 

By creating an effective and memorable video ad, you are increasing customer engagement and hopefully ad recall — both of which are very beneficial to any growing business. 

2. YouTube Has a Massive & Unique Reach

The size and reach of YouTube is unprecedented. YouTube has 2 billion users that view almost 5 billion videos every day — that’s right. 5 billion videos in one day. If that sounds huge — it’s because it is. 

In fact, YouTube was the most downloaded iOS app of 2018, with more downloads than other popular platforms like Facebook and Snapchat. Plus, 50% more people are watching YouTube over Facebook when making a purchasing decision. 

So, if you’re looking to reach a lot of people with your content, YouTube is clearly the way to go. Click here to learn more about 6 Industries that Must Have a Youtube Advertising Strategy.

3. Video Ad Targeting on YouTube Is Extremely Effective

You can use video ad targeting on other platforms, but it’s especially effective on YouTube. You can choose to go with contextual targeting which targets content that relates to your own content. 

You can choose to go with demographic targeting which targets people based on set age and gender specifications. Other types of targeting include affinity audiences, in-market audiences, life events, video remarketing, and more. 

4. Advertising on YouTube Is Easy to Track & Measure

Another one of the advantages of advertising on YouTube is that your ads are easy to track and measure. 

This is a great way to see if your advertisement is really working and helps you avoid wasting money on an ad that just isn’t hitting the spot. Being able to see metrics and analytics on your ads helps you tweak and adjust things to improve the effectiveness of the ad. You can also see details on viewers of your ad to see who you are actually reaching. 

5. YouTube Advertisements Are Affordable

Many small businesses assume that advertising on YouTube is beyond their ability since it’s a big platform with a big reach, so it must come with a big price tag. But that’s actually not true at all. 

In fact, a typical video ad on YouTube will cost you between 10 cents and 30 cents per view depending on things like targeting and video quality. YouTube doesn’t even charge you for viewers that skip your ad after the first five seconds.

6. YouTube Offers Several Different Ad Formats

Speaking of skipping, YouTube offers several different ad formats that you can use interchangeably based on your business and advertising goals. 

Here are some of the different ad formats available on the platform:

7. YouTube Display Advertising Will Get the Desired Results

Finally, of all the benefits of YouTube advertising, the biggest is that it can help you achieve your desired results. 

Before you put out your first ad, you need to think about what you are trying to achieve from this ad.

Are you trying to increase brand image? Promote brand awareness? Convert on a sale? Retarget people who recently viewed your ads or products? 

In any case, you can create YouTube content that helps you achieve all of these goals with the overall goal of getting more revenue into your pockets. 

How to Effectively Advertise Your Business on YouTube 

Now that you know all the amazing benefits of advertising on YouTube, you’re probably wondering how you can get started and begin to actually reap those YouTube advertising advantages.

So, how does YouTube advertising work? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Benefiting from YouTube advertising definitely isn’t automatically guaranteed, but is definitely possible if you put in some work and do it correctly. 

That being said, here are several tips to follow to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to YouTube advertising.

Prioritize Brand Safety

If you haven’t heard this term before, brand safety relates to the efforts to eradicate or demonetize YouTube videos and channels whose content is considered dangerous, illegal, and universally unacceptable to all platform users. 

In a perfect world, these videos wouldn’t be on the platform in the first place. However, the size and speed of YouTube is a double-edged sword in this respect — although it’s a great way to be seen by a ton of people based on a wide range of content, there’s always the risk that something inappropriate content-wise can slip through the cracks. You definitely don’t want to advertise next to something unacceptable that will turn off viewers to your brand and harm your brand image. 

That’s why brand safety is so important. 

Brand safety involves creating “exclusion lists” of keywords, channels, and overall content that you want to avoid associating your brand with. Brand safety helps protect your image and reputation — both things that are priceless and virtually impossible to repair once damaged. 

Don’t Forget About Brand Suitability

On the other hand, you also need to prioritize brand suitability. Brand suitability relates to the alignment of an individual brand’s advertising with content that makes sense for their image, targeted customer base, business objectives, and local markets. 

Like brand safety, brand suitability involves creating exclusion lists of more tailored content that the brand wants to avoid based on the image that they are trying to portray to viewers.

For example, some areas of content that brands may want to avoid include political commentary, hot-button social issues, adult language, sexually-suggestive content, or comedy. While some of these areas of content might be perfectly suitable for one brand, they might not be for another one. 

However, brand suitability also involves the use of “inclusion lists” of keywords, channels, and overall content that aligns well with the brand image and values. This is content that you want to appear next to as it will help to boost your brand image, brand awareness, customer engagement, and overall ad effectiveness. 

Consult the Pros

We understand that all of this seems like a lot, especially if you’re new to the marketing game and are just trying to grow your brand the best you can. 

That’s why it’s always a good idea to consult with experts in these areas, like Channel Factory. 

Our YouTube advertising service offers amazing expertise and can help you tailor your YouTube advertising strategy, create amazing content, set up your exclusion and inclusion lists, and monitor ad effectiveness to make any necessary changes. While this may require a bit of an investment, the skills and knowledge that Channel Factory can bring to the table are well worth the price.

As you can see, there are numerous benefits to advertising on YouTube that makes it a great strategy for any business. That being said, you can only really benefit if you do so correctly by prioritizing brand safety and brand suitability. If you’re really looking for amazing results on YouTube, working with experts like the Channel Factory is definitely the way to go. 

Get started today by downloading Channel Factory’s Ultimate Guide to YouTube here or contact us now.


  1. https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/success/best-practices/video-ad-tips
  2. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-targeted-advertising-10869.html
  3. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/goals-objectives-advertising-25273.html

How to Prep for CTV Inventory Shortage and What to do Next

Ad-supported inventory for some connected TV streaming (CTV streaming) services is almost gone. Projections for 2024 are estimating over 140.1 million viewers, yet inventory demand has outweighed supply.1 Why? Because the reach of the ad-supported streaming providers simply cannot meet the demand. 

The Issue with CTV Inventory

Advertisers should consider moving their connected TV (CTV) dollars into YouTube. YouTube is the largest ad supported CTV provider globally and its platform offers much more scale than any of the other ad-supported CTV services.YouTube connected TV also offers better targeting, unique non-ad supported and incremental broadcast reach opportunities. Not to mention brand suitability advantages.

Despite accounting for 83% of all streaming hours, of the “Big 5” streaming players – Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu and Disney+ – only Hulu is ad supported. The remainder of CTV streaming happens through a growing ecosystem of ad-supported platforms like Hulu, Roku, Tubi, PlutoTV and Peacock, as well as a handful of other smaller services such as TiVo+ and Redbox.

According to a report by Innovid and the ANA, these platforms are “still in the beginning stages of adopting CTV inventory and building the infrastructure needed to support CTV buys at scale.”2   Most CTV ad buys take place directly, and are bought quickly.  

The bigger problem isn’t how you buy it, but rather the scale of the platforms themselves.

Why YouTube CTV?

YouTube is the largest CTV app. It out-scales its competitors by almost a factor of 2. Over 100 million watch it on the big screen every month3, while Hulu comes in second at 58 million total subscribers4. The other players trail off in the distance: Roku (43 million subscribers)5, Tubi (33 million subscribers)6, Pluto TV (26.5 million subscribers)7 and Peacock (15 million subscribers)8.

What are the Benefits of CTV inventory?

On YouTube, the content never dries up. YouTube creators publish 500 hours every minute. In December 2021 Youtube reached over 135 million people via CTV.9 In 2021 over 50% of ad-supported streaming on CTV came from Youtube.10 

YouTube streams things like Major League Baseball and has captured more than 600 million views on the main U.S. late-night talk shows. The video platform also nurtures huge fandoms for broadcast TV shows.  Views on the official YouTube channels for the NFL and WWE as well as on content created by YouTube creators about both sports were about 22 times higher than the broadcasts themselves.11
Even non-ad-supported shows are accessible on YouTube. Netflix’s Stranger Things pulls in about 25+million viewers per season and YouTube Stranger Things-related content pulls in over 300 million views.12

Ad Opportunities

On YouTube CTV advertising with the right partner, you can run 6,15 and 30-second ads opposite contextually customized, brand-suitable YouTube videos and channels.

Non-YouTube CTV inventory is mostly unskippable 30-second spots and targeting is much less specific. Advertisers have a limited variety of demographic, geographic, content viewer habits, and linear TV household mimicking targeting options, with contextual options still in their infancy and no real brand safety or brand suitability controls.13 

YouTube Offers Brand Suitable, Contextually Aligned Ad Performance

YouTube’s targeting advantage also helps drive performance. As we’ve seen not only can contextual alignment drive up to 93% better brand awareness 14, but YouTube ads consumed on CTV devices can deliver up to 47% lift in ad recall and 35% in purchase intent.15

As we move forward, advertisers who want more contextual control over the living room experience should look no further than YouTube—which, unlike other streaming services, is always open for business.



Effective ad creative optimization can make all the difference in your campaign. Studies have shown that ad creative can impact actual sales by up to 50% and effective creative can drive a 2X increase in ROI.1 But in digital, running the same TV spot on YouTube could negatively affect your success. Consider the range of YouTube content consumption behaviors, ad lengths and formats. If you use TV creative on YouTube, you could be sacrificing performance.

Channel Factory’s creative studio called Channel Studio can help brands take their TV hero assets and give them the edge they need to drive success.  Here are the top 4 reasons why brands need a creative variation and cutdown strategy.

1. Adopt Your Story Arc for YouTube

Brands who rely on repurposing their TV creative on YouTube will likely see their video completion rates suffer. “Like it or not, the ad industry’s traditional approach to a story arc—beginning, middle, and end in a 30-second spot—is a thing of the past,” says Tara Walpert, VP of Agency and Brand Solutions at Google. 

Brands should consider developing a YouTube specific creative strategy by cutting down their existing creatives and testing multiple variations. This kind of creative optimization will likely drive significantly higher video completion rates, driving long term effectiveness and performance efficiency.

2. Device Consumption Should Impact Creative Choices

YouTube is not the same as broadcast TV, and YouTube is also not consumed in one single way. When designing creative for a digital first experience, it’s important to consider the variety of devices on which viewers will be seeing ads and adjust accordingly. While approximately 70% of YouTube views come through mobile devices, as of March 2020 comScore reported that 21% of all streaming hours on CTV devices were spent on YouTube.2 

Watching YouTube on an iPhone vs. watching from the comfort of your sofa on a big screen are worlds apart. Ads on the big screen can generate up to 47% lifts in ad recall, but slightly different rules apply. Remember, you can’t click a TV. That means, (1) YouTube CTV viewers don’t tend to skip ads and (2) you’ll want to think about your calls-to-action for that device. So when crafting your CTV strategy, have non-skippable 15 and 30 second ads in your back pocket. 

For mobile, a user is consuming on a small screen, and may only pay attention for a few seconds. Having your brand reveal come after 15 seconds simply won’t work on mobile. Brands should consider having their logos populate earlier or stay in view the entire ad.

3. There’s More Than One Ad Format 

YouTube advertisers can choose between 6 second bumpers, skippable and non-skippable 15 and 30 second ad formats. Using shorter, non-skippable ads to drive reach and ensure consumer attention vs. giving people the option to skip after 5 seconds might both warrant different creative approaches. 

Within each ad format, advertisers want to consider how best to optimize their original hero assets, and consider when to overlay their logos as well as YouTube calls-to-action. 

“When you think about all the different YouTube creative lengths, it’s not so much a question of this vs. that. It’s thinking about how all the components work together,” says Google’s Creative Director, Eugene Buono who joined Channel Factory on a recent panel about creative pivots in 2020. “Whether it’s media and entertainment or consumer goods, there’s a story to tell, and there’s a time and a place for each of these different components depending on where users are and the signals they’re sending out.” 

4. A/B Testing Drives Creative Effectiveness

When they participated in a study conducted by Oracle for their Pedigree pet food brand, Mars tested a video opening with strong branding vs. one that saved the branding for the end. They learned the upfront branded video drove nearly 7x better sales lift.3  That’s the power of creative optimization.

Testing video ad creative can be time-consuming and expensive when brands have to handle the cut downs and variations in-house or find creative agencies not involved in the actual media buying component of the campaign. 

5. A World of Dynamic Creative Optimization

Further, at the campaign level, the process can be repetitive and manual for many users. However, when it’s incorporated as an added value component of a managed service, with video and channel level targeting, it’s easy to get results and quickly optimize towards the better performing content.

According to Eugene Buono, “when some big cultural phenomenon happens, brands and agencies want to be on top of that. From a brand suitability, as well as from a creative messaging perspective.” Adopting a versatile, adaptable creative strategy is key to advertising in a fast-paced and globally-connected world where messaging and tone shifts can happen overnight.  

Advertisers on YouTube have a vast array of dynamic creative optimization tools to choose from, across a variety of devices. Channel factory offers added value creative edits for brands to help their YouTube creative optimization. The offer, called Channel Studio, gives brands a way of making the most of their already existing creative, without simply recycling their TV spot. As an added value component of our end-to-end managed service campaigns, this kind of creative editing adaptability isn’t just worthwhile, it’s essential to capturing consumer attention in a competitive ecosystem. 

For more information on Channel Studio, check out the overview here, or contact marketing@channelfactory.com for more detail.


  1. comScore ARS Global Validation Summary, comScore, October 2010; Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Nearly 500 campaigns across all media platforms, 2016-Q1 2017
  2. YouTube Press Page; Comscore, ConnectedTV: Share of OTT Hours by Service
  3. Google/Oracle Data Cloud Sales Lift Meta Analysis, US (TrueView CPG campaigns tested between April 2015 and March 2016)