How to Get More Conversions for Less with Outbrain: Automated Conversion Bid Strategy

So, you’ve carefully curated the most engaging content and strategically targeted your audience, but what’s the point if you’re not improving your ROAS (Return On Ad Spend)? Sometimes the best content and targeting won’t be enough to meet your goals without some extra help. For Outbrain advertising, that help comes in the form of the Conversion Bid Strategy tool. 

Automated bidding helps you increase revenue and maximize efficiency while requiring less overall effort. If you are not already using Conversion Bid Strategy for your Outbrain campaigns, then now is the time to explore what it does and how your campaigns can benefit. So let’s start at the beginning. 

What is Conversion Bid Strategy?

Conversion Bid Strategy (CBS) is an automated tool for performance marketers that works to optimize ad campaigns in Outbrain towards the highest-performing inventory and audiences for specific campaign goals. CBS uses Outbrain’s machine learning and AI methodology to optimize and auto-adjust bid strategy automatically, with no extra input from you, to reach the desired goal for your campaign.

There are four modes for you to choose from when running campaigns on CBS – three fully automated, and one semi-automated.

Get more conversions for less: Conversion Bid Strategy modes

The three fully automated CBS modes are the most recommended option, the reasons why are explored later in this article. For advertisers who prefer to remain on a partially manual operation, there is always Semi Manual mode.

To make the most out of CBS and evaluate which strategy can work best for your Outbrain ad campaign, you first need to identify your overall campaign objective and your primary KPI. Read on to find out which CBS mode to use for different goals and KPIs.

Which Conversion Bid Strategy Should I Use?

Fully automated modes – Recommended

  • Target ROAS: Adjusts your CPCs to bring as many conversions as possible within your target ROAS. Is great for marketers that have a business goal of maximizing the purchase value from each conversion or mobile app install. This mode will serve content where your desired Return on Ad Spend can be reached. Target ROAS will optimize towards your ROAS goal by adjusting your campaign CPC.
  • Target CPA: Adjusts your CPCs to bring as many conversions as possible within your target CPA. Is best for marketers looking to meet a CPA goal with a single conversion value. Target CPA will optimize towards your CPA goal by adjusting your campaign CPC.
  • Max Conversions: Adjusts CPCs to bring as many conversions as possible within your set budget. Is right for you if your goal is to maximize the number of conversions within your budget. Max Conversions will optimize towards maximizing the number of conversions by adjusting your campaign CPC.

Semi-automated mode

  • Semi Manual: Adjusts CPCs for each impression while letting you adjust your campaign’s CPC. Is best if you’re interested in a hybrid approach between auto-optimization and manual control over your campaign and CPC. It will bring traffic to the highest converting sections without adjusting the campaign CPC.

Why Use Fully Automated CBS Modes? 

As a media planner or digital marketer, you’re juggling a lot of balls in the air at once. In recent years, the best adtech solutions have been integrating automation to eliminate the routine daily tasks that eat up your precious time. That’s exactly what CBS modes are designed to do.

Automating your Outbrain campaign’s optimization helps you increase revenue and maximize efficiency, while requiring less overall effort. Using a fully automated mode simplifies campaign management, taking the rote work out of your hands. It saves time and allows resources to be diverted elsewhere, so you can focus on creating more successful campaigns, building your client’s strategy, and ultimately invest in getting more clients.

It’s more than just about saving time. CBS is designed for optimization that is tailored to your specific business objectives and measurement capabilities, which means that you get superior accuracy even with less work. Also, it uses advanced machine learning based on billions of data points to reach the right users in real time, another factor in CBS’s proven performance.

From optimization to automation

When it comes down to it, manual bidding still requires a significant investment of time in monitoring performance, judging if the bid needs to change, deciding what that change should be, and then actually making that change. On the other hand, bid automation takes into account numerous bidding signals that aren’t visible to advertisers and uses machine learning to set appropriate bids. These hidden signals bring substantial added value to your campaigns because they help to decipher user intent and interest and take these into account automatically as part of the bidding process.

For some advertisers, the idea of relying completely on algorithms and turning on the fully-automated mode may feel a bit scary. However, CBS is designed to bring you better results with far less manual effort, and it works. 

Automated CBS: Key Best Practices

Here are some general guidelines for using automated Conversion Bid Strategy for best results. For extra tips about best practices for specific CBS modes, read this article.

  • Choose Max Conversions or Target CPA to start. This will leave less room for manual optimization mistakes.
  • Make sure to split the campaigns according to platform (e.g., desktop, mobile…). This is important for training the algorithm to optimize effectively for your campaigns.
  • Implement a conversion event that has a CVR of between 10% – 20% in the funnel, in addition to the lower funnel conversion (CVR 0.5%-3%) you are optimizing towards. For both target CPA and target ROAS, the system will use all conversions in the funnel for optimization purposes.
  • To avoid issues with scaling campaigns, remember to remove any set blockings at the campaign level.

The Real-World Results! CBS Success Stories

Many Outbrain advertisers are generating excellent ROAS with automated bidding modes, far better than what they could achieve with semi-manual or manual. See how Schubkraft, an online marketing agency, saved 3.5 hours a week and lowered CPA by 9% just by going to an automated mode. Or how Ogee skincare brand reached peak 180% ROAS and got 76% lower CPC than Facebook’s benchmark for the vertical with automated CBS. “It’s scary how well CBS worked. We loved just watching the traffic and conversions come in after just setting it and forgetting it.”

Now it’s your turn! Make the shift from optimization to automation today, and see what it can do for you.

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