The truth is this. Context and sentiment make up two valuable elements of BS or brand suitability today. Digital advertising has changed much since the pandemic to where clear context is now highly regarded. Brands have learned that customizable approaches are the key to success, along with hooking up with the right customers in the right venues.
An online survey of more than 1,100 digital consumers in August 2020 by Integral Ad Science (IAS) revealed that nearly three-fourths (74%) of those polled expressed a preference in seeing ads that corresponded to the content they were watching or reading. Several other important discoveries may be predictive of consumer attitudes in the new normal.
In digging deeper, IAS learned that most respondents preferred seeing ads matching the same vertical content they were reading or watching. Examples included restaurant ads with restaurant stories (76%), financial services ads with investing stories (78%), etc.
While the results may appear to be no-brainers, other findings of the survey reinforced the following. 60% of consumers are more likely to remember contextually relevant ads, while another 56% of respondents said they had a more favorable view of brands with such ads.
Sentiment or whether the story conveys a positive, negative, or neutral feeling to consumers was also important. 72% of those polled said this sentiment affects their feelings about the brand’s ad. That number fell to 51% when asked how likely they would be to engage with ads adjacent to COVID-19 content even if it was carried by a news source recognizable to them.
As might be expected, stories with positive and even neutral sentiments were much better-received. Positive and neutral responses had a 93% favorability, 80% receptivity, and 24% memorability factor. On average, memorability came in at 43%, followed by receptivity at 28%, and favorability at 24%. Negative sentiment content failed miserably with -39% favorability, -30% receptivity, and -12% memorability.
Consumer perception of online ads is seriously affected by the content surrounding them and influences customer opinions. So said 72% of those polled. Contextual relevance is very powerful and has to be a consideration for marketers. In fact, 70% of respondents said they value seeing relevant ads alongside their reading or watching content.
The loud and clear message for brands is that contextual relevance is significant, even more so today, because it heavily impacts consumer perception of the brand (70%) and its advertising (72%). Context and sentiment play a huge and vital role in brand sustainability. Properly employed, along with positive stories, brand ads will be successful in connecting with their target audiences.
If there are any doubts or uncertainties about how certain ads might be received, consider running an A/B test on one or more of the brand’s social media platforms. Monitor and measure consumer views as well as their engagement, comments, and sales. Flexibility and adaptability are important today so be prepared to make adjustments when and as needed.