Outbrain is one of the largest native traffic sources in the world. It partners with thousands of major publishers and niche ones; simultaneously reaching massive and unique audiences. Like any other tool, it has its tips and tricks that you can master. In this article, we’ll go over some of the key details that can enable you to make the most out of Outbrain.
Separate Campaigns by Platform
It’s no surprise that the majority of views these days come from mobile (as of February 2023, 60% of all website traffic). Since mobile receives higher CTRs than Desktop, it is recommended to separate your campaigns per Device Type.
So, one that targets mobile (and tablet users), and another one that targets just desktop users. You can include all in one campaign, but be aware that in most cases Outbrain’s algorithm will have a preference for mobile traffic.
Once you got some data on the performance of either of the two, you can spread your budget more effectively and make the necessary changes to improve your results.
Advanced Audience Targeting
Outbrain offers a few advanced targeting options that can really help you reach your desired audiences. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using these features:
•Be aware of not applying too many targeting layers, this may limit your potential reach.
•Keep an eye on your Potential Reach Estimator to see how big the audience you’re targeting can be.
•If you choose to use either Outbrain’s Interest or Attribute Targeting features, it is recommended to increase your CPC.
•Using both Interest or Attribute Targeting on the same camping can result in a more limited reach. You might opt to use each of them on separate campaigns instead.
•You can include up to 20 Interest segments and 20 Attribute segments per campaign.
To learn more click here.
Image by Outbrain
Another element you can add to your Outbrain campaigns is AdBlock Targeting. As the name suggests, this feature will exclude those users that have an ad blocker installed on their devices from your audiences. Presenting your ads instead to users with a higher probability of engaging with your content.
Note: If you are promoting a page that doesn’t have ads on it, there’s no need to activate AdBlock targeting.
Blocking More Publishers and Sections
All of those who have used Outbrain, are well aware that by default you can block up to 30 publishers and 100 sections per campaign. These limits can be filled up real quick, so what to do?
By contacting Outbrain’s support or your account manager, they can expand that limit to up to 1000 publishers and 1500 sections per campaign. For more than that, you gotta start and see where you can make some CPC adjustments.
Note: In Outbrain, publishers are made up of sections. So for example, if we are talking about the New York Post as a publisher, its sections are New York Post Sports, New York Post Business, New York Post Entertainment and so on.
Best Practices to Follow in Outbrain
When shaping your ads in Outbrain, keep in mind the following tips:
Title Best Practices
• Keep your titles up to 60 characters long (or even less than that).
• Use questions – e.g, What are the best…?
• Include numbers in your titles when you can, in particular, odd ones – e.g, 9 Ways to…
• Place dynamic words to drive engagement – e.g, Gamers in Miami…
• Address your target audience directly – e.g, 5 Destinations Travelers Must Visit….
Image Best Practices
• Recommended image size in Outbrain is 1200 x 800px
• Use a 3:2 ratio for Standard Campaigns, and a 1:1 ratio for Carousel and App Installs
• Use clean high-resolution images
• Real images usually perform better than stock images or illustrations
• Include the product you’re promoting in the pic
• Close-up images work better than wider shots
For more on Outbrain’s best practices and elements to avoid in your titles and images, go here.
Getting Your Ads Approved
Talking about some of the things you want to avoid in your Outbrain ads:
• Do not showcase pornographic content
• Do not showcase content targeted at children under 16
• Do not showcase any illegal, prescription and recreational drugs, or tobacco-related products
• Do not promote fake news or misinformation
• Do not promote any content that supports hate, violence, or discrimination
There’s a full list of guidelines you can read here. Not following Outbrain’s guidelines may lead to your ads being blocked or even your account; so do your research beforehand and have all your ads approved.
Bid Strategies in Outbrain
Outbrain offers two bid strategies that you can deploy, Conversion Bid Strategy (CBS) and Engagement Bid Strategy (EBS). These options base their decisions and adjustments on Outbrain’s machine-learning capabilities.
When you are prioritizing conversions and app installs, choose CBS. It will automatically adjust bids toward top-converting inventory and audiences. There are different CBS modes you can choose from based on your goals: Max Conversions, Semi Manual, Target CPA, and Target ROAS. On the other hand, if your aim is to reach more engaged and more attentive audiences, select EBS.
For details on other native traffic sources, you can check our excellent article on Taboola.