It’s well-established that privacy is king when it comes to paid advertising. Google, Apple, and other top tech providers have already taken steps toward protecting the personal information of users, as well as removing third-party cookies and fingerprinting.

So, what can advertisers expect next in terms of privacy in paid advertising? Let’s explore what options are available now to advertisers and what’s on the horizon.

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Google Topics

Google started the discussion around privacy in advertising several years ago, committing to the development of web standards that enhance online privacy. Today, and after a few iterations, we have Google Topics — an alternative to third-party cookie advertising.

Google Topics is an interest-based advertising strategy that serves ads based on a users’ general topics of interest, such as sports, education, or technology. While this strategy is much broader than the previous form of targeted advertising, it does offer greater protection over users’ browsing history, behaviors, and preferences while on the web.

It’s not a perfect solution, but then again, we may never have one that completely satisfies users, advertisers, and regulators. The bright spot: advertisers can ease the transition by combining Topics with first-party data, which can help create more personalized marketing. Google Topics is available now, and advertisers should expect third-party data on Chrome to be gone by 2023.

Amazon Ads

While Google and Facebook have dominated the paid advertising market for years, Amazon is set to take a more central role in the days ahead. That’s because unlike the privacy standards set in motion by Google and Apple, Amazon is largely unaffected by cookie changes.

For advertisers, this means Amazon Ads could be another tool for reaching consumers without the privacy restrictions of paid advertising. The Ads platform already has a huge data environment around purchase behaviors. Coupled with the fact that nearly 40 percent of searches start on Amazon, the Ads platform is proving to be a bigger player in the advertising arena.

Amazon Ads also offers several solutions for reaching and engaging audiences on their shopping and entertainment journeys, including Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Display, Amazon Live, and Amazon DSP.

Contextual Advertising

Contextual advertising is actually a very old concept, but in the days and weeks ahead we will see a resurgence of this classic strategy. Rather than depending on privacy-invasive paid advertising methods, contextual targeting positions the most appropriate ads in the right context.

For example, automotive ads would be placed on dealer websites or travel blogs. Online betting promotions would likely appear on websites with a sports focus. In terms of programmatic advertising, this could mean targeting and buying ad inventory that matches keywords and sentences. Or even directly selecting the creative your ads appear next to based on the content and keywords of a website.

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Of course, we couldn’t skip over social media in terms of privacy for paid advertising. Facebook has already experienced a blow to its revenue, due to Apple’s privacy integrations. That means advertisers engaging in paid social ads may need to reconsider their strategies.

Moving forward, social platforms will be favoring video content as its proven to be the most engaging with audiences. Both pre-recorded videos and live streaming will take a front seat as we move through this year. Advertisers should consider if shoppable video is a viable advertising strategy in lieu of competing with privacy changes on social platforms.  

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About the Author

Rob SandersRob Sanders

Rob Sanders is a digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience. During that time, Rob has helped a wide range of companies utilize new and emerging technologies to increase sales and profitability. As founder of RSO Consulting, Rob helps clients maximize their digital marketing efforts via SEO, SEM, SMO, and Web Analytics. He is responsible for many facets of the web analytics value chain, from identifying business goals and objectives to developing strategies and translating those into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Rob also teaches digital marketing and analytics classes throughout the U.S. and abroad. As a contributor for Simplilearn, Rob creates expert thought leadership content on a variety of digital marketing and analytics topics.

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