Outbrain Best Practices

The Ultimate Guide to Outbrain’s Conversion Bid Strategy

Mae Campbell
Mae Campbell

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 Return-on-Ad-Spend? Sometimes the best content and targeting won’t be enough to meet your goals without the correct Conversion Bid Strategy implementation. 

Now you may be asking, “what is Conversion Bid Strategy?” Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out!

Conversion Bid Strategy (CBS) optimizes your campaigns towards the highest performing inventory and audiences for your specific campaign goals, based on the performance within the campaign, advertiser, or the Outbrain network.

How does Conversion Bid Strategy work?

It uses machine-learning and sophisticated modeling to continually “learn” the behaviors and conversion patterns of internet users who are consuming content across the Outbrain publisher network.

The 3 types of Conversion Bid Strategy

  1. Target Cost-Per-Acquisition: With our latest addition to Conversion Bid Strategy, you’ll now be able to improve your Cost-Per-Acquisition goal by enabling Target CPA! Target CPA is exactly what it sounds like – simply enter your CPA goal, and our system will do the rest. Target CPA works to keep your campaigns profitable by prioritizing cost per acquisition over getting the most out of your budget or maximizing conversions. 
  2. Fully Automatic CBS: Fully Automatic CBS brings you as many conversions as possible within your budget. With this mode enabled, our system will optimize everything for your campaign – your Campaign CPC, Publisher section bids, hour bid, and content adjustments as well. This mode will prioritize the sum of total conversions over the cost per conversion.
  3. Semi Automatic CBS: Looking for more control over your Campaign CPC and serving logic? Then Semi Automatic Conversion Bid Strategy is right for you! This hybrid CBS mode optimizes traffic toward top converting Publisher sections and adjusts CPCs at the right time to get you more traffic on these sections in order to control your CPA.

How do I know which Mode to use?

  • Are you held to a strict Cost-per-Acquisition goal? If so, then Outbrain’s latest Target CPA mode is the best fit
  • If your main goal is to maximize the number of conversions your budget can bring in, Fully Automatic CBS would be the best choice 
  • If you or your client are CPC sensitive or are looking to monitor where your campaign is spending, then Semi Automatic would be beneficial because it gives you the most control 

To summarize each CBS mode and help you consider the benefits and tradeoffs please check out the chart below:

Not convinced yet that Outbrain’s Conversion Bid Strategy is right for you? Well then, run an A/B test to see for yourself! When setting up your Conversion Bid Strategy, you will have the option to “Run Experiment,” which will set up an A/B test between the Conversions bid strategy and a control group of standard traffic.

For more information on CBS feel free to reach out to an Outbrain Representative or following on of the links below:

Mae Campbell

Mae Campbell

Mae is a Product Communications Specialist who joined the Outbrain Amplify team in June of 2018 after graduating from Loyola University Maryland. Mae supports all new product releases and updates by educating internal teams while also maintaining the Help Center to assist external clients. After work, she can be found at Y7 or cheering on her favorite New York sports teams!