Outbrain Best Practices

10 DIY Tips to Launch Your First Outbrain Campaign

Judy Abramson
Judy Abramson
Judith Tam
Judith Tam

So, you’ve decided to try native advertising for your new campaign. Luckily for you, setting up your first campaign on Outbrain is quick and straightforward! Before getting started, there are some important tips you should know in order to maximize your campaign’s potential from the get-go. Consider this your roadmap for a successful launch of your Outbrain campaign.

1. It’s all about the conversions!

As a performance marketer, you’re naturally focused on hitting those conversion goals.

Begin by implementing the Outbrain pixel across your site, which is the first step to setting up conversion tracking. This will allow you to track and guide users throughout your conversion funnel, and make adjustments accordingly. Remember, the more data collected about user engagement on your site, the better positioned you are to maximize your conversions!

Once you’ve decided on and implemented URL-based or Event-based conversions (or both), you can optimize them by creating custom audiences for retargeting purposes, or expand your reach by targeting lookalike audiences (untapped users similar to those who have already engaged with your content).

2. Establish your bid strategy from the start

Looking to maximize conversions? Look no further! Now, when you choose “Conversions” or “App Installs” as your Campaign Objective, you’ll be able to use one of our Conversion Bid Strategies (CBS), and watch as those conversions begin to flow in! Rather than boosting your campaigns only towards clicks, this powerful feature automatically optimizes your campaigns towards top converting sections, during which our algorithms do the heavy lifting for you.

You can choose between four different CBS modes: Fully Automatic, Semi Automatic, Target CPA, and Target ROAS. Whichever you choose, know that CBS mode can be activated from your very first campaign, and our system will simply use data from our network until it has enough data from your conversions.

3. Separate your campaigns by mobile and desktop

In general, mobile and tablet traffic see higher CTRs than desktop, but of course that depends on your vertical and targeting. Due to the variance in CTRs, Outbrain’s algorithms may prioritize mobile traffic over desktop traffic when both are included in the same campaign.

Therefore, you’ll want to separate mobile and desktop campaigns . By evaluating your campaign performance in a device-specific manner, you’ll be able to allocate your budget more effectively, adjust your CPCs accordingly, and better elevate your campaigns.

4. Is your reach broad enough?

Always keep an eye on the “Potential Reach Estimator” for the campaign.

The more targeting you add to your campaign, the fewer audiences you’ll reach, which can raise your CPCs and hurt your campaign results.

5. Create new campaigns rather than adjusting existing ones

If you want to  change up your audience targeting or try something new, you might want to re-launch it with revisions in order to achieve better results. Creating a new campaign acts somewhat as a reboot, allowing your new campaign to go through our exploration phase with the relevant targeting!  

Don’t worry! Creating a new campaign doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. By using our Duplicate Campaign feature, you’ll be replicating your campaign’s content, while maintaining CPC adjustments and blocks. You get the benefits of a new campaign without the hassle of re-entering any of the information. Just be sure to make any necessary adjustments in your campaign settings before you launch!

Make sure you check out our different Ad Formats and see which one best meets your needs.

6. When to modify your CPC

As a marketer, maximizing your ROI and getting the most out of your bid strategy is key. It’s really important to know when to adjust your bid in order to maximize your performance. After your campaign has been live for three to four days and your budget starts capping each day, you can *gradually* begin to lower your CPC by no more than 10% at a time to stretch your original budget. Just be sure to only do so once a day. More clicks = more conversions!

However, if you’re using Fully Automatic, Target CPA, or Target ROAS CBS modes, there’s no need to modify your CPC since our platform will adjust that for you automatically!

7. Try out multiple combinations of creatives

Be sure to upload a variation of 6-8 headlines and images for each URL you submit. This helps our platform test out different versions in order to effectively optimize towards the best performing ads for your target audience, which is a proven CTR booster! Remember, make your headlines and images relevant and compelling to your niche audience.

Check out all the Ad Formats available in our platform that are powered by interest targeting and match the look and feel of premium publisher pages. 

8. One URL per campaign is key

Our best practice is to use just one URL per campaign, rather than multiple URLs. When you include more than one URL into the same campaign, you may find that one URL outperforms the other. Here’s why: After you launch your campaign and it goes through an “exploration” stage, during which our algorithms start distributing your ads across our premium publisher network, progressively determining which ones perform better (i.e. the ones with the higher click-through-rate). Once one or two variations are defined as “winner(s)”, the algorithms will display those variations more often, and gradually stop displaying the less efficient variations, so you get the most bang for your buck!

As such, separating multiple URLs into different campaigns will provide each URL the opportunity to excel in our network.

9. Timing is everything

Every piece of content submitted to the Outbrain network is reviewed manually by our Content Review team to ensure its quality. We recommend submitting your campaign one week before your expected launch date, which will allow you to confirm that your content aligns with our Advertising Guidelines, and tackle any issues that may arise.

Pausing your campaign before our editorial team gets a chance to review it  hinders them from   seeing your content. So, if you’re scheduling a campaign to launch on a future date, be sure to leave your content in its “Play” state until you get confirmation that it was reviewed.

10. Keep calm and launch your Outbrain campaign

There’s never any need to panic. The Outbrain platform is incredibly dynamic and let’s you stay in control directly from your Dashboard.

If you’re having any other issues launching your new campaign, reach out to our friendly DIY Customer Success team at support@outbrain.com. They’re waiting to help!

Want to learn more about managing your Outbrain campaigns? Register for our upcoming Dashboard 101 Webinar for more DIY tips geared towards Outbrain advertisers.

Judy Abramson

Judy Abramson

Judy is a DIY Customer Success Manager on Outbrain's Global Growth team. She's been working for Outbrain for three years. Optimizations and all things content are her passions. Outside of the office, Judy loves creating macramé, writing in her Passion Planner, and eating Bamba (the best Israeli snack).

Judith Tam

Judith Tam

Judith leads the DIY Customer Success Team globally. She works in our Israeli office and helps clients with all her tips and tricks to succeed on the Outbrain network! Judith enjoys travelling and taking photographs in her free time.