Contextual advertising versus targeting (comparative analysis of advantages and disadvantages)

Today, an increasing volume of advertising campaigns is conducted on the Internet. However, there are two main types of advertising – targeting and contextual. The first is an announcement in the main social networks, it is configured for a specific target audience in accordance with gender, age, region of residence and other indicators. Contextual advertising is shown to users in accordance with their search queries (on the issuance page or third-party resources). Which type of advertising is appropriate to use in specific cases?

Contextual Advertising

Here are its main advantages:


  • Multifunctionality. Ads can be used in relation to any products and services that are often searched on the Internet.

  • Wide audience reach. In addition to millions of users of Yandex and Google, visitors to third-party sites (usually thematic) are added to it.

  • Pay for results, not display ads. That is, you pay only for the number of clicks on the advertising link to your site. Therefore, such a campaign can be launched with a small budget (for example, 10,000 rubles).

  • Startup speed. You can set up contextual advertising in just a few hours, and tracking results is available in your Yandex.Metrica and Google Analytics dashboard without any additional settings.

At the same time, the “context” has a number of minuses:


  • Limited use. It is pointless to use it to promote narrow-profile products (for example, mining equipment and so on) that few users search on the Internet.

  • Complex setup. It’s quite difficult to place effective ads on your own: you need to select keywords correctly, write ad texts, target them, and so on.

  • The need for adjustment. Contextual advertising needs to be constantly managed: eliminate the weaknesses of the campaign, monitor the spending of funds and so on.

  • Short-term effect. Conversions to your site will increase only for the duration of the campaign, after which they will return to about the same level.


Its main advantages are as follows:


  • Personalization. Advertising is configured for an audience with certain characteristics that are inherent to potential customers of the customer.

  • Increased engagement. By declaring yourself in social networks, you increase your brand awareness. Even flipping through advertisements, users will still unknowingly remember the name and offers of digging.

  • Awareness. Social networks are an ideal platform for stories about promotions, new products, discounts, opening new branches, events and so on.

The hearts of the minuses of targeted advertising include the following:


  • Customization for each social network.

  • Burnout of the target audience and the need to constantly update campaign settings.

  • Strict ad moderation.

What to choose?

Targeted advertising is suitable if you want to promote a new product, report on some event. Targeting is also indispensable for companies with a narrow target audience (representatives of one profession or hobby, students, and so on).

If you are proposing a product that is no longer new to the market (taxi services, lending, clothing, etc.), and it is impossible to clearly define the target audience, choose the “context”. Also, such advertising is suitable for those who offer complex or expensive services / products. In this case, the context helps to identify those who are already ready to make a purchase.

In general, short-term advertising campaigns are only temporary measures. To constantly increase the number of visitors, it’s better to do competent SEO promotion .

 Posted in news, Website promotion


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