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Brand Safety in online marketing

Paid advertising appearing next to right-wing extremist posts, an advertising banner directly under war news and advertising for a cruise directly above an article of a shipwreck. These are just a few examples of what can go wrong when placing banner ads if you are not careful enough. But how can you prevent this and guarantee your own brand safety?

Why is brand safety so important?

For publishers, it is vital to create a safe, controlled environment for advertisers to avoid potential backlash and maintain customer trust. By maintaining brand safety, you…

– preserve your brand image: Ensuring that your brand’s ads do not appear alongside controversial or harmful content is a must if you want to maintain the integrity and reputation of your brand.
– improve user experience: A safe environment leads to increased user satisfaction and engagement.
– increase potential revenue: A safe environment attracts quality advertisers who are more likely to invest more, leading to more income for publishers.
– create trust and loyalty: By safeguarding against inappropriate content, you can build customer trust and loyalty, an essential part of customer retention.

What actions can you take?

You can take initiative yourself to ensure your brand image online. Here are some measures: Here are some measures:

Analyze opportunities and risks

First, you should examine both sides before diving into the world of online advertising. It is worth taking a closer look at the various channels. This way you can find out how high the probability of unsuitable content is and whether it is worth it. A rule of thumb here is that social media generally has the highest risk of undesirable environments. However, it offers a very wide range of target groups and is particularly suitable for getting your message across to young people.

Whitelisting and blacklisting

One means creating a list to include and the other to exclude websites, words or topics. For example, as an advertiser with green messages, include websites with nature conservation topics or exclude keywords such as corona and violence. Fortunately, agencies usually have the most important keywords and websites already blacklisted, but it is still worth doing your own research.

Regular optimizations

It can help to regularly check the search terms and the websites themselves. With

information, you can now update your blacklists and keywords to optimize the placement of ads. It is important that this is not only applied to current campaigns, but also to apply the knowledge from old campaigns directly to new ones.This gives you a good start for creating a safe environment.

Use brand safety settings

Many providers give us a variety of brand safety settings and tools. These tools can often be found in account settings, under content suitability. LinkedIn has its so-called Brand Safety Hub and Meta the Business Manager, where you have the also have the option of setting brand suitability.

Do not rely on one method

You should not rely on just one method but use different tools. There is no definite solution for brand safety, and you should, for example, make use of blacklists, but also add keyword lists and website analyses to the mix.

Will there be a lot of changes around brand safety?

Certainly. It will probably become more and more important over the years. The online world is becoming more complex every day, so brand safety will never have a resting period where we have exhausted all the possibilities.

As technology continues to advance, we will definitely want to use it to the benefit of brand safety. AI, machine learning, tools and technologies are becoming more powerful and will most likely become a central part of this topic. Above all, AI is at the forefront because there are already some that are being used in this area. We can expect steady progress here.

Industry standards and guidelines will surely continue to be developed and enforced, hopefully bringing consistency to this area. Such guidelines will also facilitate this, and transparency will come with it.

On transparency: this will most likely become more and more relevant. It may well be that companies will move towards comprehensive reporting on brand safety and this will become the standard for every agency. This will undoubtedly increase stakeholder trust.

Overall, we can all agree that brand safety is very important. Fortunately, there are many methods to ensure this. However, this industry is not perfect yet. In the coming years, there will always be cases where bad ads go viral, and agencies will expand their tools in response. So, it is fair to say that even if this issue has not been perfected, improvements are coming.

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