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Connecting the Dots: How a Deep Understanding of Consumer Engagement is the Key to Unlocking Efficient Conversions

Kelly Hayes
Kelly Hayes
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In today’s online landscape, tapping into consumer engagement at early stages of the funnel is an essential piece to turn a prospect into a customer. However, it can be challenging to identify which types of engagement best represent intent, or what connections can be drawn between consumer attention and your desired action. Yet, these mid-funnel metrics can be more difficult to track or optimize toward, sometimes causing advertisers to instead focus on sessions, purchases, or other easily quantifiable data points.

A way forward with Engagement Bid Strategy

Understanding primary indicators of intent earlier in the customer journey will help you to zero in on users who are more likely to engage based on initial engagement, leading to optimal results and efficiency.

This approach – partnered with our desire to address corresponding advertiser challenges – served as the catalyst for Engagement Bid Strategy (EBS), Outbrain’s newest optimization tool that automatically adjusts bids* for every single click to achieve your mid-funnel engagement goals. EBS combines automation and first-party analytics data into one cookieless approach that helps marketers identify and reach audiences that demonstrate significant intent and attention, ensuring you only pay for clicks from qualified, highly engaged users.

The fight for attention

Competing for consumer attention has become increasingly complex and difficult for brands. Knowing the rising cost of engaging users, why should you pay for clicks from uninterested users whose intent is a big question mark? This is where it becomes extremely beneficial to understand what signals of attention and intent are the most indicative of future conversions for your unique audience. You can leverage this valuable information to efficiently drive users down the funnel. The next question is: How do I gather this data and make it actionable? Well, this is where EBS comes into play.

The more time a user spends engaging with your website, the more likely you’ll be able to guide them down the funnel. With EBS, you can pull in your own first-party Google Analytics** data and optimize toward mid-funnel attention metrics like Pages Per Session or Session Duration. This also allows you to build audiences based on users who clicked on your ads, and who tend to bring increased engagement. You now have a first-party segment comprised of verified, high-intent consumers that you can:

  • Retarget in your conversion-focused campaigns, where you can leverage our lower-funnel auto-optimization tool, Conversion Bid Strategy (CBS), to drive conversions while adhering to your campaign parameters and goals, such as ROAS or CPA targets.
  • Use as the base for a Lookalike Audience to extend your reach to additional users that are more likely to engage with your content.

The best part? It’s future-proof

EBS is one of Outbrain’s extensive suite of cookieless solutions to help our advertisers prepare for the sweeping industry changes, without sacrificing precision or performance.

For our partners using Google Analytics Universal, this is an excellent way to repurpose that valuable user data – free of third-party pixels – and better understand consumer intent from the early point of engagement. This knowledge will grow more and more useful as cookies fully depreciate and advertisers can no longer rely on third-party pixels to optimize their campaigns and generate learnings.  

Want to learn more?

Visit our Help Center to read up about Engagement Bid Strategy, Conversion Bid Strategy, and our wide range of cookieless solutions.

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** More third-party analytics partners will be added in the future

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes

Kelly is Outbrain's Director of Account Management for Northern Europe. Kelly joined Outbrain in 2015 and was initially part of the US account management team, working across retail, tech and finance verticals. With 7+ years of industry experience, Kelly brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding within the native space to her team and their clients.