Try These 7 Simple Outbrain Remarketing Strategies

Published by Pedro Campos on

outbrain retargeting

It´s the lucky number 7 to talk about Outbrain remarketing.

Today is your lucky day then… “now you´re probably thinking about that sleazy salesman that got stuck in your memory.”

Don´t worry. This isn´t about sleazy techniques. I´m going to show you proven and yes, ethical remarketing strategies to help you get the most out of your Outbrain ad spend. I promise… you will love the bonus strategy at the end.

You´ll see me use the words audience, folks, users, or people. It´s all the same thing, don´t get confused. This will be more of a high-level guide, to get you thinking about ways to improve your Outbrain marketing strategy.

By the way, if you also get confused with retargeting and remarketing… I´m basically talking about the same thing.

Ready to learn something new? Let´s go.

How Do Outbrain Audience Segments Work?

Audience segments on Outbrain can be split into two main areas.

Audience Duration

Similar to other platforms, you can create remarketing audiences from 1 to 180 days. The shorter your sales cycle, the more you can benefit from short windows.
For example, an ecommerce fashion brand might want to use mainly 3-day audiences while a B2B SaaS company will lean more towards 60, 90, or even 180-day windows.

outbrain remarketing segments

When it comes to event-based targeting, at the time of this writing, you can only have one conversion window per event. So, if you want to create multiple audiences, let´s say 30 and 90 days for the same event, you´ll have to create a new event.

So, I´d recommend you find the sweet spot in terms of the audience time frame and optimize all your campaigns for that.

Segment Type

When it comes to audience type, there are four main ones you can create. These are:

  • audience retargeting using your website URLs people visit
  • story sequencing based on campaign views and clicks
  • converters segment for people who took a certain action on your site
  • value-based converters, considering how much people purchase

In this article, we´ll cover all these.

Successful remarketing starts with understanding the next logical step in the customer journey.

Outbrain Remarketing Strategies

It´s important to mention that when you´re setting up any remarketing campaign, you´ll want to use exclusions. The rule of thumb is to exclude the “next step” audience. We´ll go over this in more detail as we move through the strategies.

1 – Viewed Campaign But Didn´t Click

This is where you can create an audience based on people who saw any of your ads on publishers´ sites. Now, what is considered a view?

Outbrain mentions MRC viewability standards when referring to this audience. In simple terms, a view is considered when 50% or more of your creative is shown for at least 1 second on the user´s browser.

You can choose a specific campaign, create a view audience and retarget users who didn´t click on any of the ads. This is a good top-of-funnel re-engagement strategy.

2 – Clicked Ad But Didn´t Visit Website

Users who have clicked on your ads obviously have a higher level of intent. Sometimes you´ll notice that a great percentage of people click on your ads but never get to the web page. This is your chance to get them back to your website.

outbrain remarketing story sequencing

When setting up a retargeting campaign, make sure you exclude a view content or website visitor audience.

When it comes to native campaign optimization, you might find lots of clicks on a certain publisher but no website visits. Those are usually bots and you should exclude publishers where this happens from your campaign targeting. It´s something to keep in mind as you build this audience.

3 – Viewed Content But Didn´t Sign Up

Preferably, you want to set up an event using your Outbrain pixel, called View Content. It´s the same as a page view or website visitor. From experience, I found that event-based targeting is more reliable than using website URLs.
That´s why I recommend creating conversion events for every stage of the funnel. This can get a bit advanced since it will require tweaking your website code and implementing tracking with a tool like Google Tag Manager.

outbrain remarketing audiences

The strategy here is to target people who visited your entire website but didn´t take any so-called conversion event, for example, becoming a lead.

However, if you don´t want to go through the trouble of setting up events, you can always use URL-based audiences, instead of the View Content event.

For ecommerce, the View Content event can also be used to trigger on product pages.

4 – Signed Up To Email List But Didn´t Add Anything To Cart

Our next remarketing strategy is often missed by brands. You might have used it on other platforms. Here, we´re looking to show relevant ads to people who became a lead but haven´t added any product to the cart.

This can be a great native strategy for ecommerce. You can create a parent event, so to speak, similar to an email newsletter signup but just for coupons. Then, you would retarget folks who signed up for a coupon but didn´t purchase anything with it.

For a B2B company, you can retarget users who downloaded a PDF but didn´t book a call with the sales team, for example.

5 – Added To Cart But Didn´t Initiate Checkout

Many ecommerce brands don´t use this audience properly. The average shopping cart abandonment rate is around 70%.

These are staggering numbers and only magnify the importance of retargeting people who add stuff to the cart but didn´t purchase anything. Otherwise, most will leave and probably won´t come back.

6 – Initiated Checkout But Didn´t Purchase

Similar to other strategies, you always need to think of the next logical step in the customer journey. Here, you´d retarget folks who have initiated checkout but didn´t purchase an item.

Adding items to the cart is one thing. But when someone initiates checkout, we´re talking about the real low-hanging fruit. If you´re in ecommerce, know that these people sometimes just need a little nudge. It could be through a coupon or an ad that promotes urgency.

7 – Purchased But Can Purchase More

A lot of business owners miss this one as well. They´re too focused on just making a sale. What if you could make multiple sales with the same ad spend?

Here is your opportunity to upsell and cross-sell. This will help you increase the ever-important average order value and be able to pay more to acquire customers. Take a close look at your inventory or products and think of what you could offer to your customers next. The right question to ask is: “what does my customer need next?”
In most cases, they might just need more of the same.

I´ll give you a cross-sell idea. Imagine your customer has just bought a white shirt. The next logical step would be to offer a tie or even better, some cuff links. How about a nice blazer to go with it too?

Bonus: Maximize Average Order Value With Value-Based Remarketing

Value-based audiences are a gift from the paid traffic gods. This can be an excellent audience segment, particularly for ecommerce.

How do they work?
Outbrain compiles a retargeting list of people whose purchase value is greater than or equal to the amount you define. It´s the equivalent of uploading a customer LTV list to Facebook without actually dealing with sheets.

These audiences can work even better for upsells or cross-sells. Typically, most of your revenue will come from a small percentage of buyers. Those are the folks you can retarget and show super-relevant ads with different offers.

As always, the more data you have in the audience, the better your campaigns can perform. So, if your sales cycle is very long, say 30 to 90 days, it will be tricky to make this one work.

Without a remarketing strategy, you don´t have a marketing strategy at all.

What´s Your Outbrain Remarketing Strategy

The goal of Outbrain remarketing is similar to other ad platforms you´ve probably used. You want to maximize ad spend by reaching people that in some way, have demonstrated interest in your brand.

You can get a lot more creative that this with your remarketing. The level of granularity in your retargeting strategy will depend on how much data your business has and how many resources you have dedicated to paid media.

Regardless of your business size, the most important thing is to have a remarketing strategy. Without one, you´ll be leaving money on the table.

I´m curious to know… what is your current Outbrain remarketing strategy?


Pedro Campos

Pedro is a native advertising consultant at Advertongue. An award-winning professional, he has orchestrated and managed successful digital advertising campaigns on native, programmatic, social, video, search and display channels, in the coaching, gaming, ecommerce, and SaaS industries. His depth of knowledge in various disciplines and omnichannel experience have earned him the reputation of being a full-stack media buyer.

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