Outbrain is a very popular native advertising platform that is used by many people all around the world. Don’t miss your chance to take advantage of this, like thousands of other advertisers already have.
What is Outbrain?
Although it is one of the most popular native ad platforms, this does not provide much help. So, here’s a more detailed definition of Outbrain:
Outbrain allows advertisers to trade ad inventory with publishers programmatically in order to connect and promote content. The platform allows advertisers to show their native ads as content recommendations on thousands of popular websites by accessing the premium publisher network.
You can use Outbrain to get your content in front of 290 billion people each month across 55+ countries. This campaign tool has advanced targeting options that allow you to reach relevant audiences and achieve your desired goals.
This platform helps you find content from top publishers, such as Fox News, CNN, Daily Telegraph, Mashable, The Guardian, and more. Outbrain provides ads to be displayed on their network. In order to have your ads displayed, you must follow Outbrain’s strict guidelines to ensure their network is filled with quality content.
How much does Outbrain advertising cost?
And here comes the most critical question. Outbrain is a company that provides paid placements for articles and other content on the internet. They are considered to be one of the best in the business, and their services must be quite expensive to use. Or not?
Outbrain’s campaign costs are cheaper than traditional paid advertising campaigns. You can run a campaign here for as little as $20 per day, which is lower than what Verizon Media Native and Taboola charge.
To win an auction, you need to bid more than $0.03 per click. Outbrain recommends that you set a value of $0.80 to $1.00 for desktop traffic and $0.40 to $0.60 for mobile traffic. If you start with higher bids, you will be more competitive and receive more traffic. This will give you the ability to analyze your strategy and see how effective it is. Once the launch is complete, you can re-evaluate your bidding strategy and make changes as necessary to lower or increase bids.
What are the Benefits of Outbrain Advertising?
There are a number of benefits to using Outbrain advertising.
The biggest pros consist of the following:
- Costs may be lower than other platforms. Likely because there’s a mix of slightly less competition and you aren’t fighting over high-intent searches, some brands report lower CPCs on platforms like Outbrain than traditional PPC campaigns on other platforms. A case study with Nissan, for example, saw a 50% lower CPC on Outbrain than other paid channels they were using.
- You can reach relevant audiences who are interested in seeing content like yours. This is a benefit to native advertising, and it’s one worth considering. People might scroll past your ad on Facebook without thinking twice, but if they’re actively reading content on a major news site, they might be in a better mindsight to read the content that you’re promoting, too.
- More platforms means more potential connections. The ability to reach your audience in more locations online is always an advantage, and these are trusted, high-authority placements that you can appear on. That works in your favor, because it can help with customer trust from the get-go.
- You can adjust bids in $0.01 increments. This gives you enormous flexibility, especially considering that some native ad platforms require you to pay a flat fee or to bid in larger increments. You get more control over what you’re spending and how.
How Outbrain Advertising Works
To set up an Outbrain account and begin advertising, follow these steps: After you have your targeting strategy in place, you can begin creating campaigns to reach audiences on premium publications.
CREATING YOUR OUTBRAIN CAMPAIGN
If you do this, you can create video and image ads that look like display ads or suggested content, but which fit in seamlessly with the platform they’re featured on.
There are two main types of formats you can choose from when creating a document in Microsoft Word.
Native smart ads are going to include an image and text. The content is delivered based on the context and timing, which makes it more likely that the user will see it when they are receptive to it, and thus, more likely to click on it.
Outbrain provides video content called “Native Outstream Video.” These videos can last anywhere from 6 to 120 seconds and come with great features.
The sound detection feature on the website prevents negative experiences for users by making sure that your video won’t compete with another video that is already playing. Videos are especially powerful when watched on a mobile device, but they can also be effective when watched on a desktop computer.
OUTBRAIN ADVERTISING TARGETING OPTIONS
When compared to some of their direct competitors, Outbrain advertising has strong audience targeting options. These include:
- Interest targeting. You can reach your target audience based on their interests and what they’re reading. Outbrain creates user profiles based on the content that users are actually consuming, not just they’ve shared or searched for. They look at what users are truly interested in based on their past experiences when choosing who to show a specific ad to.
- Lookalike audiences. You can reach users who have similar profiles to your active customers or site visitors, much like you can on Facebook.
- Data marketplace targeting. Leverage data from Outbrain’s marketplace partners to better connect with your audience. You can either reach new unique cold audiences or reconnect with high-value customers.
- Bid strategy targeting. Some audiences cost more than others, so if acquisition cost is a major concern, you can choose this option. It will automatically adjust which audiences are seeing your campaigns while keeping CPA low and conversions as high as possible.
How to set up your first Outbrain campaign
Now that we have described what Outbrain is and listed its main benefits, let’s take a look at how to use it. The account setup is where it all starts.
If you haven’t created an Outbrain account yet, it will only take a few minutes. Make sure to fill in your contact information. Unlike the Taboola account setup process, you aren’t required to fill in any billing information at this stage.
When you log into your Outbrain account, you will see a dashboard with all your account information. Once you’ve launched your initial campaigns, you’ll be able to track their progress by various factors such as campaign, carousel, country, day of the week, and so on. This chart will also allow you to compare specific metrics, such as impressions against clicks. This will allow you to understand how the curves relate to each other over time and whether there are any performance increases you should pay attention to.
Outbrain campaign setup
To create a new campaign, start by clicking on the ‘Add Campaign’ button in the upper right corner of the screen.
Before beginning a campaign, it is important to select a goal. The goal you set for your campaign will not only determine your future key performance indicators, but will also affect the bidding strategy Outbrain will use for your campaign.
If your campaign objective is brand awareness or traffic, your campaign will be optimized for clicks. The campaign objective will automatically be optimized for conversions if you are trying to drive app installs or conversions.
Next, you’re offered to select the creative format. You can have either a traditional single ad or a carousel ad. A carousel format will be used to demonstrate how these ads are made. The process of creating a campaign is similar to the process of creating a traditional ad, with a small difference at the stage of defining campaign content.
Outbrain targeting options
Outbrain offers diverse targeting options. You can use marketing to reach a wide audience, attract qualified leads, or access your target market. Outbrain allows you to target your ads towards whatever goal you set, making it easier to achieve your desired objectives.
You can target your audience by either country or postal codes (the import feature is available). We recommend that you target a specific geographic area combined with a specific type of device for your first few campaigns. By doing this, you can gradually narrow down your reach.
You can choose the device type, operating system, and browser(s) for your ads in the placement section.
Outbrain’s algorithms prioritize mobile traffic over desktop traffic. You should keep your mobile and desktop campaigns separate.
Advanced audience targeting
You can target a specific audience segment based on their interests by using advanced audience targeting. Outbrain provides interest targeting data, or you can use attribute targeting with third-party data. The effectiveness of this approach depends on your location.
If you choose attribute targeting, you will be charged an additional fee for every click from a third-party.
The Reach Estimator on the right side of the menu provides an estimate of how many people would be exposed to your content if you choose the current targeting options. Be careful when choosing more advanced targeting settings. Unless you’re running a retargeting campaign, your campaign may not deliver tangible results if the estimates are below 500,000.
Last but not least, custom audiences. In the Audiences section, you can retarget your website visitors, target campaign clickers, or create lookalike audiences.
You can create audience segments here, which will be available later from your campaign settings menu.
You need to implement the Outbrain pixel into your website to create a new audience segment. Copy the pixel code from the Conversions tab in the Outbrain dashboard and paste it into the header of each page on your website. Test its functionality with Outbrain’s Pixel Tracker.
After you have added your pixel code to your website, you can start adding audience segments. Depending on your goals, you can create audience retargeting, story sequencing, and converter segments. Retargeting will help you target people that have clicked on your campaign, sequencing will help you target people that have clicked on your story, and converters will help you re-engage with people that have converted previously.
Outbrain Campaign Best Practices
There are a few best practices recommended by Outbrain that are most impactful for brands of all sizes.
These are the best practices that, in our experience, are most impactful and most likely to lead to success:
- Test out multiple pieces of content at once. We recommend using a minimum of at least five pieces of content to see what your audience is responding to and to hopefully increase repeat site visitors through the platform.
- Launch your campaigns early in the week. According to Outbrain, sites within their network typically have the most traffic on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, so this increases the chance of your content being placed and served right away.
- Create multiple campaigns as needed. Each audience that’s utilizing different targeting should get separate campaigns for maximum results. It’s best not to layer targeting here, unlike on other platforms, or you may severely struggle to scale your campaigns.
- Pair tablet and desktop together, not tablet and mobile. Even though tablets are technically mobile devices, for this platform, desktop and tablet are actually going to have more similar CTRs.
- Bid what you can afford or are comfortable paying. You want to be as competitive as possible with your bids to increase your potential number of placements, especially since Outbrain will optimize your costs down. Even if you’re willing to bid $0.50, if it will only cost $0.20, that’s what they’ll charge. If you are layering targeting options, your bids should absolutely be as competitive as possible to combat potential issues with scalability.
- Monitor your campaigns carefully. This is no surprise, because we recommend this for all paid advertising and organic marketing alike. You want to make sure that you’re getting results at an affordable cost. If not, you’ll want to switch up your campaigns or even try a different platform instead.
If you want to drive high-quality traffic to content or landing pages that are relevant to your site, Outbrain might be a platform you want to consider.
We recommend that brands who are considering Outbrain advertising should start with a small campaign to test its effectiveness before increasing their investment. PPC should not be your only advertising strategy, but it could be a good addition.
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