What are Outbrain’s programmatic campaign & creative best practices?

To make your campaigns as successful as possible, Outbrain recommends following these steps when setting up and troubleshooting your campaigns. Our experts have thoroughly tested each best practice here to help you surpass your KPIs and goals! To get started, follow the steps below make sure you’re enabling and entering all of the correct information.

Campaign Best Practices

1. Make sure your DSP seat is activated.

2. Make sure Outbrain (or the exchange, such as BidSwitch) is included as your inventory source on your account level.

3. Check to make sure your Deal ID is implemented correctly.

4. Check that your line item is targeting only your specified deal, to avoid open exchange demand competing with your deal.

  • Tip: We recommend creating one line item for each device type you’d like to target (mobile, desktop, etc.) so that you can adapt your bids for each platform.

Creative Best Practices

1. Ensure your creative matches the Outbrain specifications:

  • Images
    • 1200 x 800px is the supported image size for Outbrain inventory. But remember that certain DSPs have their own specs. 
      • For example, DV360’s image specifications are 1200 x 627px. In order to avoid cropping of your creative across Outbrain placements, you can add 200px of padding to the right and left sides of your image. 
    • Choose a high-resolution image that will interest your target audience; never use images with text in them.
  • Headlines
    • Outbrain supports headlines up to 100 characters, but you’ll need to adhere to the DSP’s maximum requirements. We recommend titles of no more than 60 characters.
      • For example, DSPs such as DV360 and the Trade Desk may only support up to 50-60 characters across titles and headlines. Although up to 100 characters can be supported on Outbrain inventory, you’ll need to adhere to these specifications in your DSP when uploading creatives. 
    • In certain DSP’s there are options for long or short headlines, but please note that only one headline will render with each Outbrain ad. 
      • For this reason, we recommend using the “long headline” or “long title” field so that your title is as engaging as possible. 
  • Brand or Sponsor name
    • 25 characters maximum

Note* Your ads will be rejected if they do not adhere to our content guidelines

Campaign Best Practices Continued

5. Verify your campaign budget and starting bid. You’ll want to make sure that your bid is adequate enough to reach your target audience and KPIs.

  • Tip: Have qualified traffic or audience engagement goals? Consider raising your CPM to make sure you reach high-quality consumers.

6. Next, make sure your targeting is not too restrictive, and that your filters are fully supported. 

  • Here’s a list of generally supported targeting options across most DSPs:
    • Keywords
    • Apps & URLs
    • Categories
    • Environment
    • Language
    • Audience Lists
    • Geography
    • Day & Time
    • Demographic
    • Browser & Device
  • Note that the majority of pre-bid viewability and brand safety filters are not supported for Outbrain inventory and will pause campaign delivery.

7. Make sure you’re not limiting yourself with a restrictive allow or block list

8. Continually monitor and optimize your campaign after setting it live.

  • Monitor your performance by source, removing low-performing sources (devices, placements, etc.).
  • Make sure your daily capping is not set too low as this will prevent your campaign from spending.
  • Monitor your bids and optimize your CPM accordingly.


Was this article helpful?