Contextual video is gaining real traction within marketing today – but how can brands bring it into their marketing mix – and what results should they expect from it?

Personalised, or contextual?

Contextualisation shares a lot in common with personalisation, but draws on a broader range of data sources – covering not just user demographics and behaviours, but also environmental information such as weather, location, temperature, UV levels and other contextual data points such as trending topics, location and many more. This data can be applied to achieve contextual personalisation at every stage of the funnel; from increasing conversions using compelling, targeted narratives, to re-engaging old customers with personalised offers.

Why does contextual content work?

There’s an increasing demand amongst consumers, particularly Millennials and Generation Z’ers, for more personal connections with brands.

With more companies than ever trying to reach these high-value audience groups, they are gravitating towards brands that give them an authentic experience – those that provide them with genuinely useful information and connect with them on an individual level.

For brands looking to create those kinds of connections, research and data gathering are key to understanding how best to create value – while personalisation and contextualisation are essential to delivering it.

Product recommendations

Personalised recommendations typically draw on a customer’s search and purchase histories – selecting previously looked at or similar items, to match new suggestions to the consumer’s already recorded preferences.

Contextual recommendations expand the range of data inputs used to select a relevant product. So, for example, if you’re advertising to a consumer currently in a location where it’s raining, you can serve them a personalised advert for waterproof boots.

Customised narratives

The same information can be used to create narratives which adapt to audiences’ interests, demographics, and environments. For example, a football fan in Birmingham being served an ad from a sportswear brand would see a narrative designed to play on her love of football, with directions to a store or training ground in central Birmingham.

On the other hand, a tennis enthusiast in Bristol would see a story based around tennis, with local venues and opportunities highlighted.


For maximum impact, combining personalisation with today’s most dynamic content format can’t be beaten. Personalised and contextual videos take the same principles and apply them to a more engaging format; increasing reach on social, and capitalising on significantly higher video engagement rates.


Here at Spirable, we’ve seen some great results from clients using our platform to generate contextual video – with 8x increase in engagement, 3x more conversions, and a 5x reduction in cost when compared to traditional (non-contextual) video advertising. We’ve even had one of our campaigns nominated for the 2018 Campaign Tech Awards, in the category ‘Best Use of Creative Personalisation on Social Media’ – a new addition reflecting the rise of personalised content throughout the marketing world.

What’s more, plenty of other brands are seeing significant improvements too, and feedback continues to suggest that audiences prefer receiving communications that are relevant and demonstrate an understanding of what matters to them in the moment.