how and why to use native advertising in your digital strategy – WAU

Native ads are considered by many to be the future of advertising. In this post, you will learn why, and learn about one of the main native advertising tools in the world: Outbrain.

What would you do to differentiate your Digital Marketing strategy from what your competitors practice? Right away, there are at least 2 options.

The first would be to use the same tools and channels as them, but do a superior job. The problem is that this is not so easy in practice.

The second option would be use different channels and tools, preferably little known or exploited by competitors. Thus, you would reach the same audience, however, with greater ease and even at a lower cost.

If the latter alternative seemed more interesting to you, you will enjoy discovering one of those relatively little explored tools – for now – Outbrain.

But make no mistake: the platform, on which you will learn everything you need to know now, spreads content to 557 million people in 55 countries every month.

In this post, you will see:

  • What is Outbrain?
  • How does Outbrain work?
  • Why use native ads in your digital strategy?
  • Why include Outbrain in your digital strategy?
  • How to start your strategy with Outbrain?
  • What to do to convert a lot with Outbrain?

Ready to know how it works and how to get a slice of that audience to see its content? So, let’s go!

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What is Outbrain?

Outbrain is one of the world’s leading native ad platforms. The company is a direct competitor of both the main players, such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads, and other native advertising networks, such as Taboola.

But, before continuing, you need to understand what native ads are. In summary, this type of advertising delivers ads in the form of content, that is, informs and creates relationship like any blog post.

The big difference is that native ads aim to get people to take action, such as buying a product or filling out or registering.

Outbrain is one of the most recognized channels in the world when it comes to distributing ads of this type to large, well-qualified audiences for each brand.

How does Outbrain work?

Outbrain works well because of its wide network of partners, which includes several respected content portals in the most varied market segments.

Here are some names from the list:

  • The globe;
  • ESPN;
  • Newspaper;
  • R7;
  • TecMundo;
  • Editora Abril websites;
  • among others.

And just a reminder: this list only involves sites here in London, but the company is world-class and, outside, it has partners such as Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal and Mashable.

What is the use of this network of partners so respected? To distribute your ads.

Every time someone consumes content on any of these sites, they see Outbrain recommendations, customized to your interests.

In fact, this recommended content consists of ads from the platform’s customers.

outbrain operation

Just to be clearer: if a sporting goods company uses Outbrain, it is more likely to have its ad recommended in sports articles from major newspapers or on the ESPN website, and not in posts about hardware running on TecMundo.

Why use native ads in your digital strategy?

We know that you must be wondering if this native advertising is really good. The answer is yes, and for some reasons.

To begin with, the format of the ads seems more attractive to the public and persona, as it looks more like an organic post than an ad.

Wouldn’t that be deceiving people? On the contrary! The idea is not to manipulate visitors, but to present them with informative and quality content.

Even if you are not interested in the product, the person needs to benefit from the information contained in the ad.

In fact, the results confirm that customers prefer native advertising. How? People who see this type of ad have, on average, 18% more likely to buy compared to those who see traditional ads.

The fact that 70% of customers prefer to learn about a product for consuming content about it makes some people believe that Native Ads are the future of advertising.

Why include Outbrain in your digital strategy?

There are at least 3 good reasons to invest in Outbrain as part of your digital strategy. See what they are!

1. “Invisible” ad format

As said, native advertising is a much more subtle form of advertising than the banners people are used to.

This is very good, from the point of view of the attention they manage to capture. After all, no matter how good your ads are, a good part of the public can ignore them just because they are selling offers.

On the other hand, the same survey that we have cited, regarding the greater purchase interest, revealed that users look 53% more for native ads than for regular banners.

A good explanation for this is the fact that this is an “invisible” ad format, with a naturally lower rejection barrier.

2. Competitive edge

For now, it is still possible that your competitors (or part of them, at least) still do not know Outbrain well. If that’s the case, of course, they don’t use the tool, which may be good for you.

If you think about it, it’s interesting how a powerful sales tool, like Native Ads, is still little used in London. This represents a great chance for those who act fast and get ahead in the market.

Think about how it will make a difference in 2 very relevant factors:

  • learning curve: the sooner you start using the platform, the sooner you will be able to master it. As long as your competitors are crawling, you can already dominate your segment;
  • customer acquisition cost: While large ad platforms are increasingly crowded with advertisers, the cost tends to rise day by day. A lesser-known platform can reduce your costs.

3. Diversification of channels

If you have a marketing principle that you need to be constantly reminded of, it is: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In other words, don’t rely on just one channel or another to get customers.

The more reliable sources of traffic and lead acquisition, the better. So even if your efforts on Google, Facebook, Instagram or any other ad channel are already going well, it is worth testing Outbrain.

This ensures that, if something happens to any of your traffic sources, your goals will continue to be hit, and you have no reason to despair.

How to start your strategy with Outbrain?

Before starting on the tips on how to get along with Outbrain, you need to take the first steps and start your strategy with the platform.

To do this, just follow the step by step below and create your first campaign!

1. Create your account

The first step is to register an account on the website. The process is very simple, and asks for only 3 pieces of information: email, password and country.

Make sure the country you choose is the same country you’re going to use to register your account’s billing address.

2. Choose the duration of the campaign

For the duration of the campaign, there is little secret. As is already common with tools like Facebook Ads, you just need to decide whether you want the ads to run continuously or for a specific period.

The default is for the campaign to run continuously and, if you leave it at that, it can only be paused manually, or when the day’s budget ends.

3. Define your targeting

Now it’s time to define who are the people who should see your ads. Outbrain has more than 50 algorithms to distribute content accurately, according to the guidelines you put on the platform.

There is also a tool that estimates your ad’s potential reach over a 30-day period.

4. Select your budget

Finally, just set your budget and your CPC (cost per click). What’s the difference between the two? The budget is how much money you want to spend each day on the ad.

You can also optimize your ads for clicks or conversions, and make changes as the campaign runs smoothly.

What to do to convert a lot with Outbrain?

One of the most important points that requires attention after creating your campaigns is when it comes to making your ad creatives. If they don’t get public attention, their conversions will not be satisfactory.

And who better than the Outbrain team to give tips on creatives that work the most? See below for the best practical and easy-to-apply tips that will make all the difference in how your ads are viewed!

Create lists (with odd numbers)

In their analysis, the Outbrain team realized that ads with lists receive a good amount of clicks. Besides that, odd numbers work better than even numbers.

So, instead of writing a headline like “Great fashion tips for powerful men”, it makes a lot more sense to follow a line like this: “9 incredible fashion tips for powerful men”.

Ask suggestive questions

The human being is naturally curious, so it makes a lot of difference when the ad manages to capture your attention with something intriguing. One of the best ways to do this is cast questions to which the reader wants to know the answer.

If you manage to do a little mystery or include something that gives the impression that the information is privileged, somehow, it is even easier to get attention.

It is a case of exchanging “Know the favorite foods of the best athletes” for “Do you know what are the favorite foods of the best athletes?”.

You could even include the first tip in the example, and quote the specific number of foods.

Use negative words

Another discovery made by the Outbrain team when evaluating the results of their ads was that using negative words converts better than applying positive terms to titles.

If you find this strange, just remember that this tip (like all others) is based on statistics. And in marketing, data always works better than guesses.

With this tip in mind, the example “If you have diabetes, these are the best foods to control your condition” would not work as well. Instead, it would be more productive to use “Do you care about diabetes? So, never eat these 9 foods ”.

Mention your audience in the title

Talking directly with the audience is a great way to engage them and get their attention right from the start. In addition, this practice helps to qualify the type of traffic you will receive.

By increasing your chances of attracting just the right people, this qualification optimizes your ad investments. It is also a great help to make your content more specific, which tends to improve its quality.

Change a generic option, such as “5 best running tips you need to apply today” for “Beginner athlete: check out the 5 best running tips just for you”.

Use the right image size

Using the right image size will ensure that your ad doesn’t have a weird, confusing or missing impact photo. The ideal size, according to Outbrain, is 1200 X 800 px, in rectangular format.

The minimum size for the image to not be too bad is 400 X 260 px. But remember: give preference to the larger size and to use quality images. There are several free image banks that you can use to compose your creative campaigns.

Prefer pictures to designs or logos

Outbrain’s content is distributed on major news portals around the world, and the editorial lines of these vehicles often use photos instead of drawings or logos.

So it makes sense that the Outbrain team has noticed how photos perform better than other types of graphics in ad calls. So, unless you have a great reason to use drawings, prefer high-quality photos.

Choose closed-plan images

Another relevant tip is that you always prefer closed plan photos, the famous “close”, instead of open plan images. Why?

One reason, probably, is that open images are easier to distract the audience. Another possibility is that the ads are usually shown in a small size, alongside several other creatives.

In this context, specific images, preferably of faces of people who are part of your target audience, are better for converting.

Finally, Outbrain is a channel that will still receive more attention in London, as native ads gain recognition and are relevant.

It is better to take advantage now, while it is not as used as other platforms, to start alone in front of the competition.

And, since we are talking about differentiated strategies, do you know the tools that LinkedIn offers to scale your lead generation? Meet LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms and be surprised!