What are Outbrain’s campaign best practices?

We’re here to make sure your Outbrain campaign is as successful as possible. Our experts have thoroughly tested each best practice below to help you surpass your KPI goals.

Campaign Setup Best Practices


  • We suggest launching with 5-10 pieces of content in each campaign to enhance exploration of the content
  • If your goals are conversion-focused, we suggest including a CTA  button in addition to your headline and image. To learn more, visit this designated Help Center article
  • Remember that your content cannot be reviewed and approved until your campaign is live. It will not be reviewed and approved by our team if it is paused


  • Launching campaigns Monday-Wednesday is suggested because these days of the week tend to have the most traffic on the Outbrain network and therefore increase chances of your content being served
  • As soon as your content is approved, your campaign will begin running immediately unless you change your campaign start date to a different day


  • Always separate campaigns out by targeting
    • Layering on too many targeting tactics will limit the scale
    • Example: Interest Targeting in one campaign, Lookalikes in another etc.
      Please note, one user can fall within several interest categories, so we don’t recommend excluding Interest categories
  • Be specific with campaign names so that you’re able to distinguish between targeting tactics and devices, etc.
    • Example: If it’s a retargeting and desktop campaign, try naming it: Q2 Retargeting Desktop Campaign

By Device/Platform:

  • Try breaking campaigns out by the device
  • We recommend pairing desktop and tablet together as they tend to have similar CTRs. We recommend targeting mobile users separately since the user behavior is vastly different
  • CPCs tend to differ between desktop and mobile devices – breaking out campaigns allows for more control over CPC
  • For app clients: make sure you segment out based on app compatibility (Android/iOS)

CPC/Bid Strategy:

  • Launch with competitive CPC’s – they will be optimized down as your campaign runs and begins to perform
    • If you’re adding layered targeting, your CPCs must be competitive
  • Is your campaign conversion-based? If so, we suggest using Conversion Bid Strategy to maximize performance – to learn more please visit our designated Help Center article.

Live Campaign Best Practices (on the Campaign Level):

  • Monitor capping times within campaigns and increase budget accordingly to extend the “on-air” time
  • If you wish to lower campaign CPCs, do not decrease them more than 10% in one day as this could make the campaign drop off
  • Monitor Publishers/Sections and increase CPC bidding on top performers / lower CPCs on inefficient performers
  • Monitor campaign CTRs to make sure they are at or above your target
  • Please note that if your campaign is paused, it will not be reviewed by the Outbrain Content Team. You must set your campaign live to have your content reviewed and approved

Live Campaign Best Practices (on the Content Level):

  • 2-3 days after launch, we recommend pausing low-performing content pieces
    • Example: Content with little to no spend, low CTRs, high CPA, etc.
  • After a week of traffic, pause out content that doesn’t meet your KPIs
    • Example: CPA on 2-3 pieces of content is well over the goal (if CPA is your KPI)
  • Feel free to duplicate top-performing content or upload 2-5 pieces of new content (while still trying not to exceed 10 live content pieces per campaign)

For content best practices, check out this article, and please be sure to refer to our advertiser guidelines here before submitting content.

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