Best Practices for Starting a New Discovery Campaign

Best Practices for Starting a New Discovery Campaign

As performance marketers, our most challenging task is to make sure our marketing assets stand out. Each day, there’s a massive amount of new messages released to the online world. And then there’s the challenge of making sure your message not only stands out, but also reaches the most relevant audience…

Promoting your business via Outbrain’s discovery platform is an opportunity to rise above the rest to reach new customers who engage and respond to your brand message or business.

Our recommendation engine appears on 80% of premium publishers’ sites. This not only means high-visibility and credibility but also the ability to tap into our 10+ years of data around what over 500MM anonymous users find interesting — and what conditions trigger someone to click on a recommendation to take action and learn more.

As you start your journey in the discovery world, we want to share our best practices when starting a new discovery campaign to help you spread the word and stand out. Following these best practices will put your discovery campaign one step closer to success.

1. Set clear goals for your campaign

You may have a great idea for a discovery campaign, but have you set goals?

It’s important to establish your campaign goals at the earliest stage. Whether it’s to generate leads, sell products, app downloads, or brand awareness, your KPI’s need to be clear and measurable. By setting goals that are specific, measurable, clear, and time-bound you’ll know exactly what you are working towards. It’s always a good idea to tie your campaign goals to your business goals. Make sure you are implementing Outbrain’s multiple-conversions pixel to measure your success.

2. Think about your marketing assets that will best fit with those goals

When choosing your assets, don’t settle for traffic only. Generating specific actions from your targeted audience should be your focus. And remember, your message is reaching your audience in a discovery moment. Like every other internet user, they’ll likely be short on patience. Be short and concise & get to the point FAST.

Here are some good tips:

  • Make sure the landing page has one message that promote for one action
  • Headline, subheadline, images, and design should all represent the page message
  • Make sure you have a clear call to action (make sure you put it in different section of your landing page)

If you already have something on your mind, go ahead and give it a try in our widget preview.

3. Headlines and images: key to CTR

If you can’t get your targeted audiences to click on your ads all of the efforts you invested in step one and two were for nothing. Don’t include negative keywords like “never” or “worst” in your ads. Make sure you mention your targeted audience in your headline and remember close-up pictures work better than vague images. In this handy Infographic, you can learn all about Outbrain Amplify best practices for headline and images.

4. Targeting

You’ve got your goals, marketing assets, and CTRs—now it is time to think about targeting your audience. Target the right audience with the right message, in the right place, at the right time, is a large part of every successful marketing campaign. And discovery is no different. Outbrain’s advanced targeting methods enable you to set all those factors. Think about which device you want to meet your audience and where. Make sure you have the right marketing assets that meet your targeted audience’s mindset. Here you can check some good examples of how other advertisers are using Outbrain’s advanced targeting features to drive success.

5. Campaign structure

We know you probably have your own preference of how to structure your campaign. However, each marketing platform has its own unique campaign structure. Here are some best practices we learned from managing our own discovery campaigns.

  • Separate mobile and desktop campaigns. There are two main reasons to do this: different CPCs and different user experiences.
  • Start your campaign with at least 10 headline and images variations. You’ll want to see which ads perform the best and in order to do that you need to give our algorithm some materials to work with and test.
  • Consider your bids. We have two recommended strategies here—start low or start high. Personally, I prefer to start high. That way, I’m making sure that my campaign start to deliver in its earlier stages, gets high impressions volume, and that I can optimize according to results. With the start low strategy, it may take longer to get results and start optimizing your CPC and CTR.

6. Don’t forget to implement our pixel!

Finally, one last thing. Even if your campaign is not quite ready yet, it is always a good idea to open an account, copy our pixel and implement it on your marketing assets.

That way  you’ll be able to start acquiring audience to your lists. A day of data will never come back 🙂 That way you’ll be able to start with Outbrain Custom Audiences within your first days with Outbrain Amplify.



Now you’re all set to go and start your new discovery campaign. Remember, in the first few days of your campaign you’ll need to optimize for CTR. Once your campaign has been running for a few weeks and you have sufficient amount of data, you can start optimizing towards conversions. For more tips, check this blog post to learn how to decrease your own Amplify cost per acquisition. You can also check out our success stories to learn more how performance marketer succeed with outbrain by vertical or objective

I hope these best practices help you with your discovery campaigns. And don’t forget — it is important to not  make decisions too soon after you started. We recommend running a discovery campaign for at least 30 days to get the most out of our product. And don’t forget, you can always consult your AM or our success team at, if you need more assistance.

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