Content targeting depends on interplay of factors

Digital advertisers face multiple challenges when trying to reach their target audience online. They must get ads in front of their targets both safely—maintaining their brand’s values as its ads appear across the web—and effectively.

A report from contextual advertising solutions firm CONTEXTWEB outlines how brands can achieve this dual goal by taking into account both website quality and ad performance.

To demonstrate this in the context of pharmaceutical advertising, CONTEXTWEB and digital measurement firm Trust Metrics analyzed domains in various content categories to determine how many sites would be optimal environments for pharma advertisers, with respect to things like page design, editorial quality and visitor usage. On average, 14% of domains in each content category were considered optimal for maintaining the brand integrity of pharmaceutical firms that might advertise on them. The news/current affairs and travel categories had the most domains with premium value.

Share of Domains with Premium Value for Pharmaceutical Advertisers Worldwide, by Content Category, Q4 2010

But because other factors must come into play, such as past performance and efficiency, that does not mean pharma advertisers should simply flock to news and travel sites—or avoid tech and pet sites.

Instead, the report also created an index of clickthrough rates and cost per click by content vertical, and calculated an average index value based on all three factors. For pharma advertisers, this meant that education sites, which were more than halfway down the list of categories with premium domains, topped the rankings. By accounting for both ad performance and the environment the ads might be placed in, the average index value attempts to identify which content areas advertisers should focus on to help campaigns meet their goals.

Pharmaceutical Industry Ad Performance Worldwide, by Select Content Category, Q4 2010 (index base 100)

Media buyers who use models like this one can dial up or down the importance of various factors based on their own brand’s sensibilities. For some advertisers, the freshness of content in a category will matter more than the presence of user-generated vs. professionally produced content, for example. By keeping in mind both safety and performance, advertisers can get a fuller picture of where they should concentrate future efforts to reach their targets.

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