Keywords are becoming the new cookies as major internet browsers like Chrome and Apple iOS dial back the effectiveness of how cookies can scale across the world wide web. The data which advertisers have come to rely on is becoming less effective. Thankfully a return to contextual thinking plus breakthroughs in keyword targeting are helping to fill the gap.  

Why is keyword targeting so powerful? Big publishers like Postmedia now have the ability to scan page level content using Natural Language processing tools (NLP). The advancements in automated content & understanding the relationship between those words now means advertisers can unlock the difference between Doug Ford and Ford Motor Company, or Apple the fruit and Apple the tech company. 

Thinking tactically, advertisers should consider implementing two main keyword tactics for all new campaign. Number one being conquesting, and number two being brand blocking.  

Conquesting using keywords means ads will only serve on pages which reference competitors. If Bank A wants to target content referencing Bank Competitor 1 or Bank Competitor 2, this presents a perfect opportunity to reach a targeted audience.  

Alternatively, brand blocking means Bank A would specifically target content which references themselves, to ensure ads always appear beside their own brand. 

Lastly there is a major brand safety advantage to include keywords as well, ensuring any content or words not suitable to a brand can be removed from the campaign.  Covid has been a perfect example. By combining words like ‘pandemic’ and ‘Covid’ Postmedia can ensure advertisers do not appear beside stories not suitable to the campaign.  

The future here is wide open, and as NLP improves, advancements in content Sentiment is predictably the future of success measurement. Not only to ensure ads appear in the correct places, but to understand how the creative performs based on the sentiment of that content. Whether it be a happy story, sad, sarcastic or ironic, brands need to understand the feedback their creative has at the page level. Contextual details are key to unlocking this value in a world where cookies begin to deliver less scale.