The Case for Contextual Relevance with Ian Slipp, Ep #62

The Case for Contextual Relevance with Ian Slipp, Ep #62

Kayla Graham

Ian Slipp is the Director of Marketing at STN Video, a video platform that delivers contextually relevant quality content that goes to over 1800 publishers across North America—like the New York Post, Chicago Tribune, the NFL, NBA, and more. It’s a full-service opportunity for publishers to engage audiences and grow revenue with video. STN partners with top-tier content providers, publishers, and digital advertisers. If you want a contextually relevant video to pair with your articles, STN can provide the latest and greatest video content. But why is contextual relevance so important? Ian shares his perspective in this episode of Content Callout!

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:08] Ian’s role as the Director of Marketing at STN Video
  • [3:56] Why contextual relevance is important
  • [15:31] Being forced to watch an ad
  • [22:00] The marriage of authenticity and contextual relevance
  • [27:06] Vetting third-party content providers
  • [32:41] The dying industry of local tv and newspapers
  • [36:05] How to break through the noise with your content
  • [39:11] How to connect with STN + Ian Slipp

Why contextual relevance is important

Contextual relevance is important to the user experience. No one wants to watch a video that doesn’t match the article content they’ve been reading. It puts your brand in trouble. Users are savvy, and they know video is there to generate revenue. They will watch one ad if they know the payoff—the video—is relevant and worth consuming. But matching videos from third parties to content providers can be challenging.

If you’re writing an auto review and the article covers the latest Ford truck, and the video covers the top five trucks of 2021, it‘s somewhat related. The viewer can still get value. But if the video is off-topic and talking about recipes, that’s problematic. Most users have a threshold of acceptance, and that certainly crosses a line. Publishers need to be mindful that they’re giving value in both the written and video content in exchange for that user’s time. It can’t be about putting up an ad to get revenue.

That’s why STN Video has developed smart match software where you copy/paste an embed code on your site. It reads your article and will match the content with a video in its library (containing over a million pieces of content).

How to maintain relevant content without cookies

Google is eliminating third-party cookies, which is a tricky situation for advertisers and publishers. Why? Cookies track your behavior. So if you’re looking at booking a trip to New York, you’ll get ads for a Spa Day in New York (or something along those lines). That kind of tracking is being phased out. So how do advertisers address relevant audiences without tracking?

Contextual relevance. If you’re a viewer on the Chicago Tribune and you read an article and watch a video about the Cub’s latest win, it’s safe to assume you’re a baseball fan and possibly live in Chicago. Under Armour may choose to advertise on that Cubs highlight because they know it’s a relevant environment and an engaged user. You also have to be aware of the psychographics of your audience and feed them content that’s relevant to them.

How to break through the noise with your content

The goal is always to get your content in front of the largest number of people possible. Content providers (such as the NFL, MLB, NBA) use STN because their audience is 90% unduplicated compared to their owned and known properties. That means 9/10 times, someone who is viewing a video on the STN platform isn’t viewing videos on the other properties because the user simply has different values.

If you’re a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and want to know what’s happening with the team on a granular level, you’re going to read the Pittsburgh Post Gazette or Pittsburgh Tribune Live. If you’re a massive football fan and want to see league-wide highlights, you’re likely going to There isn’t a lot of overlap between the two types of users. You want your content in front of both types of users.

Learn more about how STN video helps publishers and content providers bridge the gap and get their content in front of as many eyes as possible in this episode!

Connect with Ian Slipp

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