Outbrain Best Practices

5 Variables to A/B Test with Outbrain’s Campaign Duplication Feature

Will Fleiss
Will Fleiss

We know that our customers want more control over their Discovery campaigns. That’s why we’re so excited to add this new feature launch to our growing list of 2017 features that put the power in marketers’ hands. Our last feature release enabled you to setup retargeting with third-party tags, and the release before that made adding content ten times easier, but what if you want to take your campaign testing strategy up a notch? A/B testing different targeting settings is a great way to reach your target audience.
Now, with the Duplicate Campaign feature, once you’ve built one campaign, all it takes is a quick click of the duplication icon, and you’re on your way to creating an entirely new campaign with the same settings and content.

Then you can go into that campaign and make edits where you see fit, like you see below:


Now it’s time to get creative with A/B testing different targeting settings.


1. Location targeting

With the duplication feature, now it’s incredibly easy to run one campaign targeting New York, and one targeting California. See which state is more interested in your content with just a few clicks. The below content consumption map we created for the finance vertical shows which states are more engagement with content about investing.


2. Platform targeting

Certainly you know by now that desktop, tablets, and smartphones offer entirely different user experiences. If you’re not testing how your campaign performs on one versus the other you’re ignoring content consumption behavior that will make a significant difference in the performance of your campaigns.  The below graph shows the difference in CTR by platform for content about investing.


3. On-air time

This one is a no-brainer, but isn’t always top of mind. People like to consume different types of content at different times during the day. Maybe your content speaks more to someone’s mood when they are on their lunch break compared to when they are about to go to bed. If you’re in the travel industry, our data shows that mobile consumption of summer travel content peaks at 7 AM and 11 PM:

Consumption of summer travel content on mobile


4. Publisher exclusions

While obvious, focusing on which publishers are driving traffic to your content is important. A smart tip is to A/B test campaigns that exclude publishers you think will not result in conversions vs. running a campaign without excluding publishers and only excluding publishers based on your performance KPIs. This can help you take full advantage of the massive reach of Outbrain’s network. You may be surprised by where your most engaged audience comes from. For example, the below graph shows those consuming content about Gaming had above average CTRs when clicking from Automotive content.

5. Goal-based

Finally, it’s important to optimize campaigns based on different KPIs. Sometimes you can achieve a better final result by optimizing campaigns for different secondary metrics. For example, a campaign that is focused on driving more traffic may eventually lead to more conversions in the long-term, while if you’re only focused on optimizing conversions you may not be able to generate the traffic necessary to reach your goal.


In summary

Now that you can easily duplicate campaigns with a few clicks, there’s nothing stopping you from A/B testing lots of different targeting combinations. You can create campaigns for different locations, platforms, on-air time, publisher exclusion settings, and KPIs. But this only scratches the surface when considering all the possible combinations of targeting settings with the actual headlines and content within each campaign. So, start slow, and make sure to only change one variable at a time in order to conduct a true test. But get to testing ASAP! The power is in your control.

Learn more about the new feature here in the help center.

Outbrain Best Practices

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Will Fleiss

Will Fleiss

Will has been doing online marketing for 10+ years, spending time on the agency-side at BKV, Ogilvy, and Converseon and then moving on to startups Knewton and Startup Institute. He lives in NYC with his wife and their cavalier, Luna.

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  • James Villefort| December 14, 2017 at 2:14PM

    Your map leaves out half of Michigan.