Outbrain Ad Specs and Ad Recommendations Cheat Sheet

Are you struggling to create effective ads that grab the attention of your target audience on Outbrain’s native ad network? Do you want to know the secret behind crafting outstanding ad designs that drive clicks and conversions? Look no further!

Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just starting out, understanding the ad specifications and design guidelines provided by Outbrain is essential for creating impactful ad campaigns. Get ready to unlock the power of Outbrain’s advertising platform and take your campaigns to the next level.

In this comprehensive cheat sheet, we will delve into the key ad specifications, design guidelines, and ad recommendations that can help you optimize your Outbrain ads for maximum performance and results. From perfecting your ad layouts to leveraging the right images and headlines, each section will provide you with valuable insights and practical tips to elevate your ad game.

So, are you ready to unleash the full potential of your Outbrain ad campaigns? Let’s dive in and discover the secrets to crafting irresistible ads that captivate your audience and drive remarkable outcomes!

Outbrain Ad Specs

When it comes to advertising on Outbrain, it’s essential to understand the ad specifications and creative requirements. By adhering to these specifications, you can ensure that your ads are displayed correctly and effectively on Outbrain’s network. Here are the key details:

Image Size

The recommended image size for Outbrain ads is 1200×800 pixels. However, Outbrain has the capability to resize your creative to fit the ad size. This flexibility allows for greater versatility in your ad design.

File Size

Keep in mind that the maximum file size for Outbrain ads is 2.5 MB. Make sure your creative stays within this limit to ensure smooth delivery and optimal performance.

Ad Format Requirements

Aside from image specifications, Outbrain also has specific requirements for ad formats. It’s important to comply with these format requirements to enhance the overall viewing experience for users and maintain the integrity of Outbrain’s platform.

By following these ad specs, you can create compelling and visually appealing ads that capture the attention of your target audience. Remember to design your ads with the user experience in mind, keeping the Outbrain ad format requirements and creative specifications at the forefront of your campaign strategy.

Outbrain Ad Design Guidelines

When it comes to designing Outbrain ads, following the right guidelines can make all the difference. To ensure your ads are engaging and effective, keep the following design guidelines in mind:

  • Choose real-life photographs over drawn images: Real-life photographs tend to resonate better with audiences, making your ads more relatable and authentic.
  • Avoid logos or images with text: Logos or images with text can distract viewers from the main message of your ad. Stick to visually appealing images without distracting elements.
  • Opt for close-up shots of faces: Close-up shots of faces are more eye-catching and can draw viewers’ attention effectively.
  • Test multiple images: It’s recommended to test up to three different images to identify which ones perform best and resonate most with your target audience.

When it comes to headlines, consider the following strategies to attract attention:

  • Ask questions: Questions in headlines pique curiosity and can entice viewers to click on your ad.
  • Use lists with odd numbers: Odd-numbered lists create a sense of specificity and can capture attention more effectively.
  • Incorporate negative keywords: Including negative keywords in your headlines can evoke curiosity and make viewers curious to learn more.
  • Include the target audience: Mentioning your target audience in the headline can help create a sense of relevance and connection.

By keeping these design guidelines in mind, you can create visually appealing and engaging Outbrain ads that effectively capture your audience’s attention.

Outbrain Ad Design Guidelines

Guidelines Description
Choose real-life photographs Real-life photographs are more relatable and authentic.
Avoid logos or images with text Logos or images with text can distract viewers from the main message.
Opt for close-up shots of faces Close-up shots of faces are more eye-catching and draw attention.
Test multiple images Testing multiple images helps identify the most effective ones.
Ask questions Questions in headlines create curiosity and encourage clicks.
Use lists with odd numbers Odd-numbered lists capture attention more effectively.
Incorporate negative keywords Negative keywords evoke curiosity and interest.
Include the target audience Mentioning the target audience creates relevance and connection.

Outbrain Ad Recommendations

When it comes to optimizing your Outbrain ads, following the right recommendations can make a significant difference in their performance. Here are some valuable tips to enhance your ad effectiveness:


  • Use negative superlatives in headlines to increase click-through rates (CTR).
  • Create numbered lists to showcase your expertise and attract attention.
  • Phrase your headlines as questions to boost click-through rates.
  • Make your ads more relatable by using the word “you” in the headline.
  • Mention your target audience in the headline to generate more clicks.

Ad Images

  • Opt for relevant photographs instead of clip art to capture audience attention.
  • Photographs of people tend to convert better than brand designs.
  • Prefer close-up photos over action shots for better ad performance.

Implementing these recommendations can help optimize your Outbrain ads and improve their overall performance.

Recommendation Benefits
Using negative superlatives in headlines Increase click-through rates (CTR)
Creating numbered lists Showcase expertise and attract attention
Phrasing headlines as questions Boost click-through rates
Using the word “you” in the headline Make the ad more relatable
Including the target audience in the headline Increase clicks
Using relevant photographs instead of clip art Capture audience attention
Photographs of people Convert better than brand designs
Close-up photos Better ad performance

Outbrain Technical Specifications

When it comes to running successful ad campaigns on Outbrain, it’s important to adhere to the platform’s specific technical specifications. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your ads are compliant and meet Outbrain’s requirements.

Image Size Requirements

The recommended image size for Outbrain ads is 1200×800 pixels. It’s essential to use images that meet this size requirement to maintain visual consistency and optimal display across Outbrain’s network.

Title Length

Outbrain recommends keeping your ad titles between 60-80 characters. A concise and attention-grabbing title will help capture the interest of your target audience and increase the chances of clicks and engagement.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Recommendations

Outbrain has minimum CPC recommendations for both desktop and mobile ads. These recommendations ensure that your ads reach the desired audience effectively. To maximize the performance of your campaigns, it’s advisable to follow Outbrain’s CPC guidelines.

Minimum Campaign Budget

To run an Outbrain campaign, the minimum budget requirement is $100. This budget allocation allows you to reach a sufficient number of potential customers and optimize your campaigns for better results.

Outbrain Technical Specifications Summary:

Technical Specification Requirement
Image Size 1200×800 pixels recommended
Title Length 60-80 characters
Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Follow Outbrain’s recommendations
Minimum Campaign Budget $100

By following these technical specifications, you can ensure that your Outbrain ads are optimized for success, meeting the platform’s requirements and effectively reaching your target audience.

Outbrain Tracking Tokens for Dynamic Insertion

Outbrain offers a valuable feature for campaign tracking known as tracking tokens for dynamic insertion. These tokens allow you to gain deeper insights into your campaign performance and optimize your Outbrain campaigns more effectively.

When utilizing tracking tokens, you can capture important information such as:

  • Click timestamp
  • Promoted link ID
  • Page title
  • Ad title
  • Referring section ID
  • Referring section name
  • Referring publisher ID
  • Referring publisher name

By incorporating these tracking tokens into your campaign tracking settings, you can gain a deeper understanding of the specific elements that contribute to the success of your Outbrain campaigns. This valuable data allows you to optimize your campaigns based on real-time, actionable insights.

Whether you’re interested in evaluating the performance of different ad titles, analyzing the impact of specific referring publishers, or tracking the effectiveness of different referring sections, these tracking tokens provide the necessary data to make informed decisions and drive better results.

Optimizing your campaign performance is essential, and Outbrain’s tracking tokens for dynamic insertion can be a powerful tool to help you achieve your advertising goals.

Outbrain Campaign Optimization Tips

To optimize your Outbrain campaigns and maximize their effectiveness, consider implementing the following tips:

  • Promote one piece of content per campaign: Focusing on a single piece of content allows you to tailor your messaging and targeting more effectively.
  • Use different campaigns for each device: Creating separate campaigns for desktop, mobile, and tablet enables you to optimize the delivery and performance of your ads on different devices.
  • Identify top-performing ads after 7 days: Monitor the click-through rates (CTR) or cost per acquisition (CPA) of your ads over the first 7 days. Keep the two best-performing ads and pause the rest to allocate your budget more efficiently.
  • Create campaigns on different days of the week: Testing campaigns on various days of the week helps you identify which days yield the best results and optimize your scheduling accordingly.
  • Regularly create new ads: Refreshing your ad creative helps prevent ad fatigue and allows you to test different variations to find the most effective messaging and visuals.
  • Track publishers and sections: Continuously monitor the performance of publishers and sections where your ads are displayed using analytics. Identify low-performing publishers and sections and block them to optimize your ad placements.

Implementing these optimization tips can help you achieve better results and improve the performance of your Outbrain campaigns.

Example Optimization Results

Take a look at the following example that demonstrates the impact of implementing Outbrain campaign optimization tips:

Optimization Strategy Results
Promoting one piece of content per campaign 50% increase in CTR
Using different campaigns for each device 30% higher conversion rate on mobile
Identifying top-performing ads after 7 days Reduced CPA by 25%
Creating campaigns on different days of the week 20% increase in CTR on weekends
Regularly creating new ads 10% increase in engagement
Tracking publishers and sections Blocked low-performing publishers, resulting in a 15% decrease in CPA

By implementing these optimization tips and leveraging the power of data-driven decision-making, you can unlock the full potential of your Outbrain campaigns and drive better results.

Black Friday Ad Creative Strategies

For Black Friday campaigns, ad creative plays a crucial role in driving sales. According to Pudding.ai, 70% of ad success is driven by the creative. To optimize your Black Friday ad campaigns, consider implementing the following strategies:

Prominently Feature Discounted Offers

Make sure to prominently showcase your discounted offers in the ad creative. Studies have shown that mentioning discount percentages, such as “% off” or “up to % off,” can significantly increase ad performance.

Use Crossed-Out Pricing

Include a crossed-out original price next to the discounted price in your ad creative. This visual representation of savings can have a considerable impact on capturing attention and driving clicks.

Optimize Text Positioning

Experiment with the placement of your text within the ad creative. Test different positions and styles to find the arrangement that attracts the most attention and drives the highest engagement.

Incorporate Humans in Images

Include images that feature people in your ad creative. The presence of a human element tends to resonate with viewers and make the ad more relatable, ultimately increasing its effectiveness.

Avoid Vertical Images

Avoid using vertical images in your ad creative as they may not perform as well. Instead, opt for horizontal or square images that provide a more visually appealing and engaging experience.

Utilize High-Motion Video Ads

When applicable, consider utilizing video ads with high-motion frames. These dynamic and attention-grabbing videos can capture the viewer’s interest and effectively convey your Black Friday promotions.

Opt for Text-Free Carousel Ads

When using carousel ads, test both text-based and text-free variations. In many cases, text-free carousel ads tend to outperform those with text, allowing the focus to remain on the enticing imagery.

By implementing these Black Friday ad creative strategies, you can maximize your sales and achieve optimal results during the holiday season.

Copywriting Tactics for Ad Optimization

Copywriting plays a crucial role in optimizing ads for maximum performance. By using effective ad copy, you can engage your audience, drive conversions, and achieve your advertising goals. Here are some copywriting tactics to optimize your ads:

1. Utilize Discount-Related Copy: Incorporate percentages, “sale” language, and other discount-related copy into your ad copy to appeal to customers looking for deals. This tactic works particularly well for conversion-focused campaigns.

2. Mindful Use of Urgency-Related Language: While urgency can be a powerful motivator, using FOMO (fear of missing out) language excessively or inappropriately can actually decrease ad performance. Ensure the urgency-related language you choose is genuine and aligns with your brand.

3. Engage with Questions and Exclamation Marks: Questions and exclamation marks can capture your audience’s attention and encourage engagement. Pose thought-provoking questions or use exclamation marks strategically to highlight key selling points and drive purchases.

Remember, when it comes to ad copy, clarity, relevance, and compelling language are key. Tailor your copy to resonate with your target audience and align with your brand’s tone and values. Regularly test and analyze the performance of your copy, making adjustments as necessary to optimize your ads for success.

Copy Variations with Exclamation Marks:

Ad Copy Variation Performance
Huge Sale! Don’t Miss Out! 8.7% CTR
Limited Time Offer! Grab Yours Now! 9.2% CTR
Get Your Discount Today! 7.5% CTR

By incorporating these copywriting tactics, you can optimize your ad copy for better engagement and increased conversions. Remember to analyze the performance of your ads regularly and make data-driven optimizations to achieve the best results.

The Importance of Creative Analysis and A/B Testing

Creative analysis and A/B testing are essential components of a successful ad campaign. The impact of your creative elements, such as images, headlines, and messaging, can significantly influence the performance of your ads. By prioritizing creative analysis in your digital marketing strategy, you can optimize your ad campaigns for better results.

A/B testing is a valuable technique that allows you to compare different versions of your ads to determine which ones perform best. By running accurate A/B tests, you can gather actionable insights about your target audience’s preferences and behavior. This data can then be used to optimize your campaigns and make informed decisions for better campaign performance.

Automation for Quick Optimization Decisions

Automation tools can streamline the A/B testing process, enabling you to make quick optimization decisions. These tools can help you test multiple variations of your ads simultaneously, saving time and effort. By automating the testing process, you can efficiently collect data and identify the most effective creative elements for your ad campaigns.

Maximizing Advertising Effectiveness through Data-Driven Insights

Staying updated with creative trends is essential to maximize advertising effectiveness. By analyzing data-driven insights, you can identify patterns, preferences, and emerging trends in your target audience’s behavior. This knowledge allows you to adapt your creative strategy and create campaigns that resonate with your audience, driving better results.

Benefits of Creative Analysis and A/B Testing

The benefits of incorporating creative analysis and A/B testing into your ad campaign optimization strategy include:

  • Improved ad performance through data-backed creative decisions
  • Better understanding of your target audience’s preferences and behavior
  • Identification of winning creative elements for maximum impact
  • Optimized ad campaigns for higher engagement and conversion rates
  • Efficient use of resources by focusing on effective creative elements

A/B Testing Results Example

Version Click-Through Rate (CTR) Cost per Acquisition (CPA)
Version A 2.5% $10.00
Version B 4.2% $8.50

In the above example, Version B of the ad outperformed Version A, with a higher click-through rate (CTR) and lower cost per acquisition (CPA). These insights from A/B testing can help you make informed decisions to optimize your ad campaigns.

By embracing creative analysis and A/B testing, you can continuously refine and optimize your ad campaigns, ensuring they resonate with your target audience and drive better results.


Optimizing your Outbrain ads is essential to achieve advertising success. By adhering to ad specifications, following design guidelines, and implementing recommended strategies, you can enhance the performance of your ads. Use real-life photographs, captivating headlines, and relevant targeting to attract and engage your audience effectively.

To further improve your results, test and analyze various creative elements like images, text positioning, and video content. This data-driven approach will help you optimize your ads and drive better outcomes. Additionally, understanding the significance of creative analysis and conducting A/B testing can empower you to make informed decisions and refine your campaigns.

By staying updated with industry trends and following best practices, you can stay ahead of the competition. Continuously optimize your Outbrain ad campaigns by leveraging the power of ad optimization, incorporating the best practices, and implementing advertising success tips. This way, you can maximize your advertising potential and achieve your marketing goals.


What are the ad specifications for Outbrain?

The recommended image size for Outbrain ads is 1200×800 pixels, with a minimum size of 400×260 pixels. The maximum file size is 2.5 MB. The title length should be between 60-80 characters.

What are the design guidelines for Outbrain ads?

Real-life photographs are recommended over drawn images, and logos or images with text should be avoided. Close-up shots of faces are more eye-catching. It’s also recommended to test up to three images to see which ones perform best. Questions in headlines, lists with odd numbers, and negative keywords tend to gain more attention.

Do Outbrain ads have specific recommendations for optimizing ad performance?

Yes, using negative superlatives in headlines, numbered lists, phrasing headlines as questions, and including the target audience in the headline can all help improve click-through rates. Using relevant photographs instead of clip art and close-up photos are recommended. Testing and optimizing campaigns based on performance data is also advised.

What are the technical specifications for Outbrain ads?

The recommended image size is 1200×800 pixels, and the title length should be between 60-80 characters. There are also minimum cost-per-click (CPC) recommendations for desktop and mobile ads.

How can I track and optimize my Outbrain campaigns?

Outbrain provides tracking tokens for dynamic insertion, which can enhance campaign tracking. These tokens include click timestamp, link ID, page title, ad title, referring section ID, referring section name, referring publisher ID, and referring publisher name. Implementing these tokens in campaign tracking settings can provide insights for optimization.

What are some tips for optimizing Outbrain campaigns?

Promote one piece of content per campaign and use different campaigns for each device. After 7 days, keep the best-performing ads based on click-through rates or cost per acquisition and pause the rest. Create campaigns on different days of the week and regularly create new ads. Track publishers and sections in analytics and block low-performing ones.

What are some ad creative strategies for Black Friday campaigns on Outbrain?

Discounted offers should be prominently featured, and using texts like “% off” or “up to % off” can increase performance. A crossed-out price next to the discounted price can significantly boost ad performance. Text positioning and the presence of a human in the image impact performance. Vertical images may not perform well, and video ads with high-motion frames are effective. Carousel ads without text tend to perform better.

What are some copywriting tactics for ad optimization?

Using discount-related copy and questions in ad copy can increase engagement and drive purchases. However, using urgency-related FOMO (fear of missing out) language can decrease ad performance. Advertisers should be mindful of their language choices and aim to create compelling copy that resonates with their audience.

What is the importance of creative analysis and A/B testing in ad campaigns?

Creative analysis is crucial in measuring the impact of ad creative on performance. A/B testing provides actionable insights for optimizing campaigns. Automation of testing can help marketers make quick optimization decisions and improve performance. Staying updated with creative trends and leveraging data-driven insights can maximize advertising effectiveness.

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