Score 5.5 out of 10


What is Outbrain?

Outbrain, headquartered in New York with offices globally, is an internationally known native advertising platform for curating and publishing content across a variety of channels and media spaces, containing editorial controls, analytics for judging impact, and related features.
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What is Outbrain?

Outbrain, headquartered in New York with offices globally, is an internationally known native advertising platform for curating and publishing content across a variety of channels and media spaces, containing editorial controls, analytics for judging impact, and related features.

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Taboola is a native advertising platform from the company of the same name in New York for publishing "recommended" content in a variety of popularly visited news sites and spaces. Taboola is partnered with many publishers (the Atlantic, Tribune, MailOnline, Business Insider, etc.).

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What is Outbrain?

Outbrain, headquartered in New York with offices globally, is an internationally known native advertising platform for curating and publishing content across a variety of channels and media spaces, containing editorial controls, analytics for judging impact, and related features.

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Outbrain, headquartered in New York with offices globally, is an internationally known native advertising platform for curating and publishing content across a variety of channels and media spaces, containing editorial controls, analytics for judging impact, and related features.

Reviewers rate Usability highest, with a score of 7.8.

The most common users of Outbrain are from Mid-sized Companies (51-1,000 employees).
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Reviews and Ratings


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(1-17 of 17)
Companies can't remove reviews or game the system. Here's why
Andrea D'Addio | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
I run the Berlin Magazine online newspaper. My bad experience is about customer support. Outbrain is creating a code problem on our site. We cannot click on any internal links to our articles or banners. We have been asking customer support for help for two weeks. They reply every three days, ignore emails, ask to send screenshots even when they have already been sent. There is no respect for a customer, after two weeks we are already at the third time that we have to write the same email describing the problem. Even sending a video of the problem they still don't respond. Never had such a bad experience with an online business.
  • among the worst customer services ever, answers after days without ever giving an answer
  • the widget can conflict with the site (I use a Wordpress)
  • customer service reachable only through a general email
  • costumer service
We have been trying to contact customer service for two weeks about an issue that the Outbrain widget is causing on our site. You cannot click any internal link to an article, you cannot click on banners either. Our emails are only answered every now and then, always asking to describe the problem or sending screenshots that have already been sent. Most of the emails are completely ignored even though Streak confirms that they have been read. Our experience is bad, there are no other words.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
AdRizer is one of the leading native agencies in South Florida. We utilize Outbrain on a daily basis with our team of 10+ buyers. Averaging well into millions of spend months with consistent results.

The account manager assigned to us answers at all hours of the day, just yesterday Alexa Cupo answered a lengthy email after 8 pm. This kind of white-glove commitment to their clients is the reason we continue to use it.

It does take some time (at first) to build data, working with your account manager will make this process run seamlessly. Personally, Outbrain is preferred over its competitors.

If you are an e-commerce store wanting to push your products onto new ad stacks I would highly suggest giving Outbrain a test.
  • Communications
  • Easy Navigation
  • CBS Strategies
  • I wish there was an activity log (i.e. Changes made to account over time) to help troublesome where the advertiser made a mistake OR needs to make an adjustment
  • A big caveat is when running CBS (i.e. Target CPA) you cannot adjust your bids since this bidding strategy is automated. After a while you will be limited by the number of publishers you can block. There are over ten thousand publishers but you can only block 1,000.
Best suited: Companies with a larger budget who are willing to spend to test before seeing revenue. Building a funnel in Outbrain from scratch for e-commerce can take time.

Less appropriate: Companies with little to no budget that demand instant results.
Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We have used Outbrain on and off again for over 4 years. We started using it for a select few clients before rolling it out as a fully managed service offering within the paid realm. It was great at driving traffic initially but we found that the traffic was very top of funnel or came through as an accidental click and had a very low propensity to actually convert.
  • Traffic
  • Increasing views/sessions
  • Get more exposure to valuable content
  • Targeting outside of specific websites or niches
  • Value of traffic
  • Outdated admin
Outbrain great for driving visitors and sessions. If impressions is what you're looking for this will work well. If you're looking for bottom-funnel conversions, I would likely recommend you focus on platforms that enable better targeting and more audience limitations. Outbrain worked well to get eyeballs but not actually driving $$ for us and our clients.
We had an account manager assigned to us, but they really didn't offer too much help outside of the financial side of things. We used the self-serve platform with mild suggestions every few weeks from our reps amounting to "spend a bit more here."
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Outbrain is a great find for our marketing campaigns when it comes to acquisition and brand awareness. The software is particularly used by the promotions & acquisition team to find new users and a very genuine cost per reach. The platforms bills on every clicks it achieves by promoting the campaign which ensures best use of marketing monies.
  • Variable CPC helps keep the cost low - too huge the inventory.
  • Multiple goal optimization to its best, in this platform.
  • Selective bidding on the publisher helps scale the campaign.
  • Sudden addition of new publisher in the campaign with high clicks hamper the campaign performance sometimes; there should be a check.
  • Event based conversion implementation is a bit challenge still.
  • Lack of account teams in the organization for Indian geo is another challenge.
Outbrain is a great product to reach to the masses cost effectively with customizable content based on geo, keywords, etc. The platforms charges only on clicks and also optimizes towards the end goals of the campaign as decided before initiating the campaigns. The tools is a good driver of awareness and acquisition.
Though the responses are quick and you get all the timely updates on your dashboard, there isn't much that you'd require from them as the platforms sheds all the lights on everything itself; this is as easy to use platforms for the marketers, unlike Yahoo Advertising Verizon Native Media Ads.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We find content for our social media bi-weekly posts, and it has many features. We find news from all over the world, filtered by theme, and it helps us out a lot.
  • Trustworthy content.
  • New info.
  • Ideas for social media posts.
  • General information.
  • Better filtered articles, maybe by region?
Of course I would recommend Outbrain, it takes the guessing and the minutes surfing the web to find suitable posts for our social media content, so we can be more efficient about our time for business.
We haven't had any issues or trouble with it. So, not having any issue and having to contact the support line, this calls for a 10.
September 14, 2020

Does What You Want It To Do

Chandler Elmore | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Our current use of Outbrain is to reach possible new members for our credit union. We target and advertise to those via Outbrain that are the most likely to engage with us later on. Outbrain is used more as a brand awareness tool to get more of a passing interest in what our credit union offers.
  • Easy to use overall, no major hiccups.
  • Initial set up is fairly simple.
  • Outbrain's distribution network is great and pretty comprehensive.
  • The terms and conditions of the platform can vary and change rapidly, what works one time might not work a second later.
  • Customer service representatives can sometimes be hard to get a hold of.
Outbrain is well suited when you need a fairly straightforward tool that helps get brand awareness out to places on the internet that you might not show up other than through Outbrain. It is a simple(ish) tool that allows increasing brand reach with a beginner to intermediate skill set. Though not the be all end all, it covers a lot of bases well.
The customer service is fine, nothing to write home about. It is hard to get a hold of them in the few times that I have needed them.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Outbrain Amplify is used by my ogranization to find new channels for identifying targeted audience with our offerings to promote our content using Outbrain's premium publisher network. Our foremost purpose is to increase our brand awareness amongst our target audience and geographies where we are trying to make our sales more predominant. It has helped us so far in capturing audiences by making our content rich and custom based on their relevance.
  • Lead generation, verification and capture.
  • Contact databases with good amount of details to customize or filter based on important parameters.
  • Marketing analytics.
  • Pipeline management for tracking leads which are potential targets.
  • NPS scoring.
  • Lead Database Integration.
  • Ability to give insights into how target audiences are reached - by platform, geography, campaigns, time, etc.
  • Great distribution network - ability to connect securely with audience on the open web.
  • Gauge the performance of highly rich data campaigns on lead conversions.
  • Configuration of content.
  • Organic dashboards than traditional graphics on a wide range of websites and platforms.
Good and quick resolution of tickets, good documentation for integration and personalization, helpful and knowledgeable support staff.
Vincent Misiewicz | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We utilize Outbrain as primarily an awareness channel for a pretty diverse mix of clients/industries. It's currently only being used by the paid media team. It is a great platform to get a lot of users to your site relatively affordably. While it has some limitations in terms of content, most of the guidelines are straightforward and are not subject to the random disapproval that is becoming more common in the larger social platforms.
  • Easy, simple to use interface that can create campaigns pretty quickly.
  • Comparatively lower CPCs when compared to other Social/Native platforms.
  • Surprisingly decent quality of traffic. As spammy as some native ads can seem, we've received quality leads when using this platform at scale.
  • Ad formats are not very customizable, limited on how your ad appears.
  • Billing setup can be a pain if you're working worth multiple accounts.
  • Targeting is pretty vague, not sure who the audience really is, need to monitor traffic using the platform such as GA to ensure it's not too spammy.
If your client or organization is running a high volume awareness campaign, Outbrain would be a platform to diversify your mix with. Pretty low maintenance and easy to set up, you can get ads running in a few minutes. If your primary goal is conversions, there are probably better channels you can use where the targeting is a little more transparent and would likely see a higher avg conversion rate.
I never had to contact support aside from a billing issue I believe. The issue was related to billing profiles for multiple clients and/or granting admin access to other users to manage. Support was responsive and explained the issue thoroughly, but it was more of a shortcoming of the interface, so there wasn't really much they could do. Everything is pretty self-explanatory, so as with most of these platforms nowadays if you have a question, you'll be directed into their knowledgebase to figure it out yourself, so par for the course there.
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
My company, a news media, is looking for a platform to market our articles. We were previously using another content distribution platform but we're looking for a cheaper alternative due to weakening currency (IDR). Outbrain came as an alternative as it offered cheaper CPC than our previous choice. There were also other alternatives, but Outbrain is significantly more well-known and hence trusted in our view.
  • Website network: Outbrain provides high-quality websites in its network so that you can get a quality audience.
  • Affordable pricing: The CPC offered by Outbrain is relatively cheaper than other alternatives.
  • Content dashboard: The dashboard allows you to edit the content before publishing it on Outbrain's platform.
  • Confusing dashboard: I am used to using a content distribution platform similar to Outbrain, but I was honestly overwhelmed by the complexity of Outbrain's dashboard.
  • Difficulties in adding new contents: I don't know why but I often encountered an error message while adding a batch of new contents to the dashboard. The message basically said that the content violated Outbrain's terms and policies, despite them being safe (proven when it was considered okay when I input the content links one by one).
  • Blacklist and whitelist: The features are offered in Outbrain, but it is relatively difficult to set up as you really have to check the websites you want one by one. In my experience, Outbrain does not offer a group of similar websites in the whitelist recommendation. This will help a lot. For instance, a group of news media websites should be recommended to be whitelisted for a news company user.
Outbrain is well suited when you have the time to deal with all of its features and complexities. It allows you to customize the content and where your content will be promoted, as well as having a more sophisticated targeting feature. However, for the user like me, who is used to a simpler dashboard, Outbrain can be a tad too overwhelming.
Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Outbrain to distribute content pieces on our blog onto advertising channels for increased impressions and exposure. We write content which is useful to everyone, and we distribute the content on the Outbrain network to increase readership on our blog and awareness for our brand. Overall, Outbrain provides us with an audience for the content we write relating to our product offerings.
  • Distribution Network - We are able to appear on a very wide variety of websites in a more organic way than through traditional display advertising.
  • Ease of Use - The Outbrain platform was incredibly simple from set-up to optimization. The dashboard is clean, easy-to-use, and very trainable to other team members.
  • Unique - We found very few comparable services (other than Taboola), and getting into this space of advertising puts you in a completely different view than the typical sidebar or skyscraper ads.
  • Customer Service - Speaking to a human is nearly impossible, there is no "chat" function, and no phone number immediately available. Ultimately, I've had to email a generic CS contact and wait several days before heading back.
  • High Number of Guidelines - The number of guidelines one must meet before using Outbrain is much higher than any other ad platform I've used. Most of them are highly specific and not necessarily items that a website would have out-of-the-box.
We haven't found the value to be worth the effort it takes to work through the long list of editorial guidelines necessary to pass through the review stage. While valuable exposure can be gained from Outbrain, it is a lengthy process to prep your website or blog for the Outbrain requisites. However, if you already have a fully prepared website, and are in need of impressions apart from traditional advertising, Outbrain could be beneficial.
Christine Austin | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We used Outbrain to explain the reach of some of our most popular [content] with a goal of trying to attract visitors to the website who have yet to engage with the company and our work. Although we don't typically use software like this, we decided to give it a shot and see if it proved successful.
  • Provides additional reach through outlets your audience may live [in], but you wouldn't be able to target otherwise.
  • Easy to use and implement. Wasn't much of a learning curve at all which can be very appealing when using promotional platforms like this.
  • Great customer service response. They typically are very responsive in answering your questions and also have a general FAQ page to filter through if you aren't one to hop in the phone.
  • Targeting a specific audience doesn't really exist. This creates a frustration because you sorta have your hands tied as to how Outbrain selects who sees it.
  • Would like some optimization feedback on the ads we put out. If there is something that can be improved upon, give me a hint, or, maybe the content I'm putting out just isn't going to attract new audiences.
  • It would be nice to see some sort of integration with Outbrain and HubSpot as well.
This seems like it might work better with more evergreen content that doesn't get too granular. Not very good if you are trying to target a specific audience, or even test it for that matter.
March 28, 2017

Outbrain Review

Eamonn Kelly | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Outbrain was used to enhance the reach of a client's content campaign through sponsored links in articles relevant to the content.
  • Large network of sites
  • Good ad format
  • Large network of sites allows for good amplification of content
  • Reporting not as robust as would have liked
  • End user quality not as high as anticipated
  • Expensive pricing method
  • Well suited to amplify content across large networks of sites
  • Not suited to smaller budget campaigns
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use outbrain for content amplification. Outbrain is used by our search team to increase traffic to website blogs.
  • Outbrain is on a CPC model, so they are great if you want people to visit your article rather than just see an ad.
  • Outbrain is good at helping create article titles for advertising purposes.
  • The outbrain platform was not user friendly in my opinion.
  • Reporting was difficult. Many of the reports I needed, needed to be pulled by a rep.
Outbrain is appropriate when you want someone to click to an article and read the blog. It is useful to increase traffic to your blog and website. It is less useful for a direct response client, where you are driving a particular conversion.
Reet Das | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Outbrain is being used as a campaign specific media tactic to extend the reach of our brand that has been included, highlighted or quoted in news publications (Earned Media).
  • I can provide additional reach through online news outlets without having to execute a direct publisher paid media buy.
  • It can align our brand with a credible publication that has either included our content or quoted one of our experts and extend visibility in the marketplace.
  • Outbrain can [somewhat] mask a pay-to-play model as earned media reach. Outbrain is an oddity in that it's neither Earned or Paid media.
  • Outbrain reach attribution is something that needs to be addressed, since our executions are packaged within publications that pick up our content...our usage of Outbrain drives traffic to the publication that has included our brand in some way. Therefore, this is not a direct extension of reach, but indirect reach. Therefore, when we report on Outbrain, it needs to be packaged in a way that assumes additional impressions, but not 1:1, since we're not driving traffic to our brand.
  • More granular tracking capabilities (utm parameters for destination URLs). Follow the URL syntax appending that Oktopost leverages for social media. It's important to be able to track engagement or direct response goal tracking as associated to Outbrain reach.
  • Placement scoring relative to how prominent a brand is mentioned within an article. This will help in the creation of reach attribution models and understand the quality of the Outbrain generated traffic.
The type of client (B2B / B2C) and their unique media goals are highly dependent factors on if or how to use Outbrain. There is a massive amount of reach available through Outbrain, but understanding how to use and measure it efficiently is the challenge. If a brand is leveraging a PR driven, earned media push into the marketplace, Outbrain should definitely be included if publications are picking up the brand content. Leveraging Outbrain to extend this reach allows for the inclusion of the brand (name) in headlines that are then posted on various other news outlets (the goal is to increase the click through rates). The challenge will be to report on the number of Outbrain impressions and clicks associated to the possible additional exposure of the brand. Keep in mind that if an Outbrain driven post recorded 1000 clicks and 25000 impressions, that doesn't mean your brand received that equivalent reach. This is where you need to possibly integrate an attribution model that assumes that your brand's reach (as packaged content within an Outbrain leveraged news story) may be 50% of the total Outbrain reach.
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We currently use Outbrain across clients that want to drive awareness of their blog / content. We primarily use it where clients want to increase traffic to their site as this is a metric clients are looking to increase year over year (YOY). We don't tend to use it on all clients as it really does depend on their main KPI for each campaign.
  • Drives relatively cheap traffic to content pages or articles on other sites that might have been written.
  • Platform is simple to use and easy to navigate. Working within an agency we see multiple platforms from different suppliers and Outbrain is one of the most simple.
  • Customer service has got better over the last year or so. We were originally on a managed service, it was good but when we moved to self serve it was quite poor, however now they are very fast to respond.
  • Optimisation within the platform is poor for this type of technology - you can't set ads to evenly rotate so you can see which piece of content is performing best. Only real things you can change are CPCs and budget . Nothing to do with site placement, frequency etc., etc. It auto optimisies to what Outbrain thinks is the top performing and ignores the rest but this isn't what you always want.
  • Reporting suite on the back of the optimisations is poor - can't manually get sitelists / impressions. Geo targeting / frequency / audience profiling can't be got.
  • No ranking of ads - don't know what's good / bad about the ads to help optimise new titles / content/.
  • Only send through to certain bits of content - this can be quite strict.
It is not suited for test / trial pieces of content, we find that it works better for how-tos or top 10s. You need to make sure you find out what the content is before you promote it and if you want to do any testing as Outbrain isn't really the best for testing things.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Outbrain is used to promote content on our blog to a wide audience. Because we are a nonprofit, we don't have an immediate sales goal, but instead have used the tool to greatly increase our overall traffic. In the last month, we have also used the tool's ability to optimize for conversions to try and increase the number of email addresses we can capture from the content.
  • Gets content to new audiences. It's a great tool for acquiring new visitors at the top of the funnel.
  • Outbrain team is easy to work with and will share best practices and tips. That's helped improve our campaigns over time.
  • The tool is easy to use. Just choose your content, add headlines and photos and let the algorithm do its job.
  • There isn't really targeting available, which I've had to remind senior leadership of a bit. I don't think that needs to be changed, but they could provide talking points to help sell to senior leadership.
  • The content does cast a wide net, so you might need to do some tweaking to get a relevant audience. The optimization feature has helped.
It's appropriate if your product or cause could potentially appeal to a wide audience, or if that's your goal. It's not ideal for very targeted or specific goals. Use the conversion optimization feature to help reach the right audience, but know that feature is more expensive. Overall it is on the pricey side compared with Facebook, for example, but provides access to a huge audience.
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