Welcome to Outbrain’s product release round-up! We’ve recently launched numerous innovative products shaped by your feedback. Below, we’re highlighting product information and resources that will set you up for success.
March 1 – CPC now optional on Max Conversions and Engagement Bid Strategies
Starting March 1, you no longer need to enter a CPC on campaigns using Max Conversions or Engagement Bid Strategies.
Instead, you can now simply choose your goal, and our system will do the rest for you while our algorithms will have more opportunities to hit your goals.
If you really want to keep control over your CPC, you still have the ability to fill in the Bid Cap, under the Additional bidding options menu.
January 16 – Bid Cap now available on Max Conversions and Engagement Bid Strategies (BETA)
We’ve started with a limited release of Optional Bid Cap settings on Max Conversions and Engagement Bidding Strategies.
You still have the option to add an optional Bid Cap that acts as the maximum CPC amount you’re willing to pay for auctions with higher expected conversion rate.
November 21 – Drive meaningful engagement with Google Analytics 4 integration
You can now easily connect your GA4 account directly with the Amplify dashboard and leverage Engagement Bid Strategy to automatically optimize your campaigns based on data pulled in from your GA4 platform.
Simply select “Traffic” as your campaign objective, choose the metric you’d like to optimize towards and connect your GA4 account with a few simple clicks.
Check out this Help Center article to learn more.
November 20 – Soccer World Cup Targeting
You can now leverage Outbrain’s proprietary interest profiles and contextual signals to target relevant audiences with strong sport interest or across premium sports content on the Outbrain network to engage with audiences during the World Cup.
Simply select the “2022 Soccer World Cup” option when setting up your campaign and choose the targeting relevant to you.
November 3 – Streamline creative upload using automation (BETA)
To help you simplify creative upload process, we released a new tool that allows you to automatically upload images and titles, directly from your URL.
Simply add your content’s URL during the upload process and you will see images and suggested titles based on your landing page.
We also started supporting additional languages on Title Suggestions – you can now use this tool for English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, and Dutch content.
October 3 – Improve scale and performance on Target CPA and Target ROAS bid strategies
To utilize the full potential of your campaigns, we are removing the need to fill in a CPC for Target CPA and Target ROAS. Instead, you can simply enter your CPA or ROAS objective, and our system will adjust the bids as needed to maximize results.
You will keep control of your daily budget and if you really want to keep control over your CPC, you still have the ability to fill in the Bid Cap you do not want our automation engine to exceed daily, under the advanced options menu.
September 22 – Reach engaged audiences with Minimize Bounce Rate optimization
This brand new optimization mode leverages our Engagement Bid Strategy (EBS) technology and automatically optimizes your campaigns based on Bounce Rate data pulled in from your Google Analytics platform.
Minimize Bounce Rate EBS mode optimizes bids and servings toward audiences least likely to leave your webpage without taking an action, helping you more effectively convert prospects into customers.
Check out this Help Center article to learn more about EBS.
September 9 – Sunsetting Dynamic Retargeting
Since September 9, 2022 you are no longer able to create new campaigns using Dynamic Retargeting capability. Existing campaigns will continue to serve, and you’ll still find reports on their performance going forward.
For any additional questions, feel free to reach out.
September 8 – An easier way to implement your Outbrain pixel with direct Google Tag Manager Integration (Beta release)
You can now install your Outbrain pixel using Google Tag Manager right from the Amplify dashboard. When installing the pixel, simply choose “Install via GTM”, connect the desired Google account, and the pixel tag will be generated for you automatically.
Visit this article to learn all about the new implementation process.
August 31 – Conversion Bid Strategy naming & UI improvements
To provide a better understanding of all available Conversion Bid Strategy modes, we introduced the following updates:
To read more about Conversion Bid Strategy and how to choose the best mode for your campaign objectives, click here.
August 23 – Live Data now available on reporting graphs & tables (Full Release)
In addition to Live Data reporting in the standard campaign tables, it is now also available in the reporting graphs. This means you can now view live data in 10-20 min intervals on both graphs and reporting tables on every dimension.
To learn more about live data reporting, check out this article.
August 9 – Load More Images from URL (Beta release)
To simplify content upload process and help save time during the creative process, we released a new tool that allows to import images directly from a landing page when creating a campaign.
This new option is available from the “Add Content” screen when creating a campaign. Simply add the URL and check the “Load images and title from URL” box.
To learn more about best practices for creating content on Outbrain, click here.
July 27 – New Overview tab (Beta release)
To simplify your campaign setup process by providing you a better understanding of what steps to take in order to launch a successful campaign, we’ve released a new Overview tab.
The Overview tab is available from your left-side navigation bar and gives you a quick view of the latest campaigns you have created and their status, as well as the potential missing steps to successfully launch your campaign.
July 13 – User roles
To increase account security, control, visibility, and collaboration, we’ve released User roles – a new feature within the User Management tab that gives you the ability to assign specific roles to users attached to your Amplify account. Roles are specific titles assigned to account users, each having its own set of permissions.
Click here to learn all about User roles.
June 15 – Conversion pixel status improvements
To help users better understand their Outbrain pixel implementation status, we added a new warning in the Conversions tab that appears when a conversion pixel hasn’t yet fired. Conversions with this status are now also shown at the top of the table, providing users with a better overview of their conversions and their status.
This allows users to quickly identify and act on any potential issues with their conversions to ensure successful tracking for their campaigns.
June 8 – Live Data in the main dashboard (Beta Release)
We’ve introduced live data reporting to the main dashboard. Live Data is available on every reporting dimension and is reflected in the reporting tables.
Live Data allows users to easily monitor spend drops and increases, immediately see the impact of campaign adjustments to performance as well as help with timely troubleshooting.
To learn more about live data reporting, check out this Help Center article.
May 23 – New and improved Google Tag Manager template
We’ve introduced a new Google Tag Manager template that makes setting up the Outbrain pixel and tracking conversions for your campaigns easier than ever before.
With the new template you can now easily configure Page View or Event-based pixels, as well as add Custom parameters – like Currency, Order ID, and Order Value – directly in the Google Tag Manager tag setup.
Check out this Help Center article to learn all about the new implementation process.
May 19 – Engagement Bid Strategy – Improved Google Analytics integration troubleshooting
We added new Engagement Bid Strategy tools to make Google Analytics integration troubleshooting a lot easier.
You can now see the Google Analytics integration status symbol available directly in the campaign grid as well as check what is the reason causing the integration issue.
To identify the issue, simply hover over the symbol in the campaign grid and you’ll be guided to the dedicated Help Center article explaining how to resolve each case.
May 2 – Notification Center
We released Notification Center, a feature that centralizes all your important account and campaign level updates, to help you increase efficiency and campaign performance.
Currently, the Notification Center includes notifications about Campaign Capping and Rejected Content. We’ll be adding a variety of new notification types, including generic information, warnings, errors or recommendations, in the upcoming months.
April 20 – ‘MSN exclusively’ targeting now on desktop only
When selecting to run campaigns on MSN only, it’s a best practice to do so on Desktop, as Smartphone does not provide sufficient scale.
To provide clear guidance and set our advertisers up for success, we have now added a warning on the Amplify dashboard that appears when users select both ‘MSN exclusively’ targeting and Smartphone alone. This warning urges the user to change their Device Targeting to Desktop.
March 22 – Improved data flow with quicker refresh
Data in the Amplify dashboard now refreshes every hour, a substantial step forward from the previous 2-4 hour delays. This new and improved data flow provides marketers with a more accurate gauge on campaign performance and trends on-demand without experiencing lengthy wait times. This ultimately leads to more (and better-informed) optimization opportunities at a quicker pace so performance can continue to improve faster than ever.
February 28 – Mandatory two-factor authentication
In an ongoing effort to protect users’ account information and ensure maximum security across the dashboard, all Outbrain users are now required to utilize two-factor authentication to log in to their account.
Two-factor authentication is a method of account verification that requires users to prove their identity in two steps before gaining access to the dashboard. This differs from standard one-step authentication, which simply requires the user to enter their login credentials.
You can choose between two types of two-factor authentication, which you can adjust within your User Settings: authenticator app, such as Google Authenticator (recommended) or email verification.
To learn more about two-factor authentication, check out this Help Center article.
February 16 – Engagement Bid Strategy (EBS)
EBS utilizes Outbrain’s machine learning technology combined with first-party analytics data to automatically optimize and adjust bids in order to achieve marketers’ engagement goals.
Leveraging user behavior and engagement data from Outbrain and/or via direct integrations with Google Analytics (more partnerships to come), EBS aims to help brands more efficiently and effectively reach audiences to drive real intent and attention to messaging. Ultimately, this new tool drives long-term outcomes while reducing privacy concerns and reliance on third-party cookies.
To learn more about EBS and how you can utilize it today, check out this Help Center article.
February 15 – Ad names
You now have the option to assign unique names to your ads when creating your ads during campaign setup. Ad names make it easier for you to compare, reference, or group ads across all your Outbrain campaigns, and can also help you keep track of performance when comparing your campaigns.
To learn more about ad names, check out this Help Center article.
January 31 – New audience targeting format
We’ve consolidated all audience targeting options into one simple section where the options are presented as side-by-side buttons: Outbrain’s full audience, Custom audiences, Contextual (IAB), Outbrain Interest, and Attributes.
December 16 – New advanced placement targeting format
We’ve combined all Advanced Placements & Targeting options (MSN only, high impact placements, adblock exclusion, and dynamic retargeting) into one collapsed card with clearer explanations.
December 16 – New location targeting flow
We’ve replaced additional buttons with a simpler drop-down menu of options. In addition, the default location targeting is now Worldwide (global).
December 2 – Increased budget visibility
We’ve made an improvement to the Budget column to help enable quick status checks and instant recognition of campaign parameters. The Budget column now provides visibility into the amount spent to date, versus just the overall budget.
We’ve also added a clear call-to-action for capped and maximized budgets to guide users how to optimize their campaign spend, ultimately expanding reach and improving performance.
November 30 – On/off campaign status column
On the Amplify dashboard Campaigns grid, the campaign Status column was replaced with an On/Off column. This new format and functionality allows for instant recognition of campaign status (live or paused) and enables a seamless workflow so you can quickly set live or pause campaigns with a simple toggle.
November 29 – New archiving process
We’ve changed the process for archiving campaigns to make your workflow even smoother and easier! Simply select the checkbox associated with the line item you’d like to archive and choose “Archive” from the Actions dropdown menu beneath your reporting tabs.
November 22 – Opt-in two-factor authentication
Outbrain now offers two-factor authentication on the Amplify dashboard, enabling users to add an extra layer of security to their account. Marketers can opt in via User Settings (accessed via clicking the email/username at the top right-hand corner of the dashboard).
When opted in, users must (1) enter their login information and (2) confirm via email each time they log onto the dashboard. Please note, a login is only forced every 7 days; Amplify can be open on a browser for up to one week before a user must log in again.
In addition to two-factor authentication, we also strongly recommend each account contributor have their own unique login tied to their email, which can be facilitated through the User Management tab.
October 27 – Change to Conversions tab: Default audience segment creation
In order to facilitate a better user experience with decreased room for error, the “Create an Audience Segment” checkbox at the bottom of the new conversion creation page will be automatically checked by default. This is an important and necessary step when creating a new conversion in the dashboard, as it ensures the converted users are pooling in the Audiences tab.
September 29 – User Management
You can now seamlessly view and manage who has access to your account, all within your Amplify dashboard. Easily add or remove users from your dedicated advertiser via the User Management tab on the left-hand side rail of your dashboard.
September 26 – Blur & Color Padding (Image Formatting)
You now have two new ways to customize how your image is formatted to fit different widget types across Outbrain’s network: blur and color padding. These formats are in addition to the existing (and recommended) “Automatic” option, which automatically adjusts your images to satisfy each ratio.
– Blur padding: adds blurred borders to your image, which eliminates the need to crop or adjust to make it fit the widget ratio. This type of border works best if your image features many different objects or colors.
– Color padding: adds colored borders to your image that best match the dominant color of your image, which eliminates the need to crop or adjust to make it fit the widget ratio. This type of border works best if your image features mainly one color and/or has a solid background.
Blur and color padding are a great solution for users who seek additional assurance related to creative fidelity or whose images feature a logo, disclaimer, or elements that must be shown in their entirety. That being said, Outbrain’s default “Automatic” uses AI to detect the prominent features of your images and format them accordingly.
Image Formatting options can be found underneath your uploaded image during the content creation process.
August 18 – Title Suggestions (Globally Available)
The Title Suggestions (Beta released on May 25) is now globally available. To quickly recap the tool and its key benefits:
AI technology is leveraged to scan landing pages and suggest relevant, engaging titles that will drive maximum clicks. Title Suggestions will help you to shave time off the campaign setup process, find inspiration for multiple titles, and ultimately increase campaign performance. This tool sits within the “Content Creation” section of the campaign setup process, and currently only supports English.
For more information on this feature, check out this Help Center article.
August 9 – Change to campaign creation flow: Platform selection
You can now select your targeted platform (device) earlier on in the campaign creation process, as this portion has been moved to a higher position.
CPCs vary by device, which is why we recommend breaking out your campaigns by device as a best practice. With that in mind, we shifted the platform selection to a higher position above budget and CPC so that it fits more logically within the campaign creation process.
July 1 – Dynamic Retargeting (Globally Available)
Maximize conversions and reduce your CPA by razor-targeting consumers with the most relevant products for them. Dynamically serve creatives featuring the most recent product(s) a consumer browsed while reaching them at the most optimal time the best chance of purchase.
Please note, Dynamic Retargeting is best suited for retailers and brands with a high volume of products who would benefit from only serving ads featuring the products most relevant to each user.
For more information on how to utilize Dynamic Retargeting, check out this Help Center article.
June 16 – Approved Ad Editor
You can now edit ads even after they’ve been approved, whereas they could previously only edit pending or rejected ads that are marked by “Edit Required.” This will provide more flexibility for the management of creative and messaging. Depending on the edits that are made, the ad might go back to the regular content review process (eg. change in the CTA button doesn’t involve another review). Please note, generally rejected ads (no prompt to edit) are still unable to be edited.
June 16 – History Log
Easily keep track of all changes that were made to your ads with the new History Log feature. This log provides an archive of all actions taken on the ad (including when they took place and who implemented them) so that you can keep a close eye on how adjustments impact performance.
Ad history can be filtered down to the content level, including details on the actions that took place (ex. Title, image, CTA, or any other creative edit).
May 25 – Title Suggestions (Beta Release)
Take the guesswork out of copywriting with the Title Suggestions tool. AI technology is leveraged to scan landing pages and suggest relevant, engaging titles that will garner the most clicks.
Title Suggestions will help you shave time off your campaign creation process, find inspiration for additional titles, and eventually increase campaign performance with highly effective titles.
This tool can be found within the “Content Creation” section of the regular campaign creation process, and currently only supports English.
May 18 – MSN Exclusive Feature (Globally Available)
Outbrain offers the ability to run your campaigns exclusively on Microsoft News (MSN) properties. Simply select the “MSN Only” setting to activate this feature and enjoy immediate results from one of our top-performing publisher partners.
This setting can be found within the “Placement” section of the regular campaign creation process. For more information, read through this dedicated Help Center article.
May 16 – Duplicate ads across all Smartads
Save valuable time when setting up multiple campaigns by utilizing the Duplication tool. You can leverage this feature to copy over campaign settings while maintaining the option to customize creative formats. This feature works across all our Smartads formats.
May 11 – Update on third-party impression pixel
Take control of measurement by adding up to five third-party impression pixels (on top of the existing five click tracking pixels) directly from your Amplify dashboard. Please note, third-party pixels must be provided by one of our approved vendors.
To learn more about how to utilize third-party pixels on your campaigns, please read through our dedicated Help Center article.
April 7 – IAB Category Targeting (Globally Available)
With the decline of third-party cookies, contextual targeting is more crucial than ever. You can tap into IAB Category Targeting with Outbrain to hyper-target campaigns to the most relevant articles for your audience based on hundreds of verticals defined by IAB.
To access this option, simply navigate to the “Targeting” section when creating a new campaign, and select (or exclude) your desired verticals.
To learn more about how you can utilize IAB Category Targeting with Outbrain, visit our dedicated Help Center article.
March 16 – Title spec change: From 150 to 100 characters
In an effort to better accommodate new placement layouts across our publisher partners, we have adjusted our maximum title length to 100 characters (previously 150). We still recommend 60-80 characters as a best practice to ensure a more positive user experience and also to better guarantee your ad copy will comfortably fit in the majority of our placements.
For more information, check out our Best Practices for Content Creation.
February 10 – LiveRamp CRM segments
As a result of an update on LiveRamp’s end, we have adjusted our fees for utilizing LiveRamp’s CRM segments. The new CPC pricing is as follows:
February 8 – Outbrain Universal Pixel update
For marketers with several advertisers listed under the same account, multiple advertiser IDs can be added to the same pixel simply by separating them with a comma and a space. This way, you’ll be able to capture audiences for each respective advertiser that is tied to the pixel.
Please refer to our corresponding Help Center article in order to ensure proper setup for accurate attribution.
February 2 – Image Editor (Globally Available)
Outbrain’s widgets mildly fluctuate across publishers, leading to slight variations in proportions. While Outbrain utilizes AI technology to automatically adjust your assets to each format, we also provide you with the Image Editor as an optional layer of quality control. This tool allows you to customize the cropping of your creative if you’re not satisfied with the image ratio previews shown.
For more information on image formatting, please check out our Best Practices for Content Creation.
January 13 – Clip (Globally Available)
The newest Smartad format, Clip, enables advertisers to bring eye-catching motion to ads via short-form video assets (MP4 & GIF) to better capture consumer attention while driving user action via CTA.
For helpful tips on creating a campaign using Clip, take a look at our dedicated Help Center article.