For those thinking of buying on Native, we’ve put together a rough guide to the top 3 platforms.
Taboola, Outbrain & Revcontent, to give you an easy comparison.
NB: The below is simply our experience with the platforms and not guaranteed to be yours.
Overall a decent platform with a large variety of publishers and good quality traffic on sites such as Fox, Daily Mail, MSN, NBC, AOL, Business Insider. As long as you setup your targeting and bids correctly you should be able to find it fairly easy to get a decent ROI.
It’s a completely self service platform, meaning that you can signup, setup everything completely by yourself and go live. This isn’t to say that it’s as good as having a repped account with Taboola.
In order to be given an account manager, you are required to spend a minimum of £10k/month. Benefits of having an account manager include features which self-serve users cannot access such as; backend publisher targeting (WLs & BLs), ballpark CPCs to ensure you are competitive on the network, headline suggestions etc.
That being said, Taboola’s self serve is still hyper functional and there are a huge amount of tips and best practices in their help centre (headlines, images, LPs, optimisations, etc).
Before you start, things be aware of are:
You can’t create an account until you have added your credit card details. Once they have been approved, you will be granted access to Taboola’s ‘backstage’.
There is no bulk-upload content upload tool. This is apparently in the pipeline to be built out or could be circumnavigated by using a tool like Brax or The Optimizer.
Average content approval time is 24 hours.
If any content is rejected, they do not send out an email, instead you have to login to the dashboard to check whether the status of your ad has changed, there are several rejection statuses which you they go into more detail on their help center.
Time Zone – You can change it by sending an email to your account manager or [email protected]
Currency – you can choose according to which country you are from.
Again, another a good platform with large potential for positive ROI. Outbrain are known for having some great traffic sources such as CNN, Time, People, ABC, BBC.
Like Taboola, the platform is completely self service, you can create a campaign from conception to launch completely independently. Unlike Taboola you can actually create a campaign and have a look around to get your bearings before needing to submit any credit card details. Account setup requires that you setup a campaign before needing to add banking details. That way Outbrain are aware of what kind of campaign you want to advertise before dealing with any financials.
In our opinion the most intuitive platform of the 3, it’s super straightforward and easy to use. Mainly due to the incredible amount of tips and walkthroughs in their support section with added gifs and videos to make everything super clear. They also have super cool videos and walkthroughs that pop up whilst you’re creating your first campaign to give you some pointers.
If that wasn’t enough, Outbrain sends step by step walkthroughs by email according to which stage of campaign setup you are at, be it a campaign checklist, pixel setup or optimising campaigns.
Once your campaign has been reviewed, Outbrain will send an email letting you know If there were any issues.
If you do end up having any content denied, that email will detail why some content wasn’t approved.
Like Taboola, Outbrain has the repped account option which gives you additional features.
Blocking publishers (or sections) – you can block publishers however the number of blocks you can implement is capped on a self serve account which can be overridden by an account manager should you have one. However, we find it’s better to adjust bid than to block altogether, a publisher that is unprofitable at $0.5 CPC may provide scale and ROI at $0.2. If you can measure your EPC back to section_id on Outbrain, finding the right price point for each placement isn’t too much work.
Probably our favourite Outbrain feature is uploading creative. It is super easy, there are a few different ways to do it;
- You can manually upload it individually (images can be added via drag and drop).
- You can download a template then fill it out and upload everything by CSV and it’ll be done in seconds (*our favourite).
- You can bulk upload multiple variations at once.
- Time Zone – EST.
- Currency – you can choose according to which country you are from.
- Content approval can take up to 24 hours.
Revcontent is known to be the fastest growing native network. Advertising on here means your ads get served on branded sites such as Breitbart, Newsweek, Christianpost, CBS, CNet, Washington Examiner, LiveScience.
The platform is fairly intuitive and self service. You can launch a campaign without any hand holding. We would say that volume is significantly larger in the USA than any other geo with Revcontent.
You can ask support for a repped account and as long as you aim to spend $300+/day. The benefit of having a rep would be to get tailored whitelists/blacklists created for your campaign, new targeting opportunities, recommended bids and campaign strategies. The account managers are very hands on and even happy to do optimisations if you want them to.
If you are self-serve, Revcontent also has a good support page with walkthroughs, it isn’t as in-depth as the likes of Outbrain but it’s still pretty useful.
There is no bulk-upload content upload tool at all, you have to do every single piece one by one which can be pretty frustrating. Again, you can circumnavigate this by using a tool like Brax or The Optimizer (or if you’re super fast you can click the ‘upload’ button several times and it’ll upload several of the same creative instead of just one. That way you only have to change the headline/image of each of the creatives you just uploaded).
If you’re new to native, Revcontent is probably one of the safer places to start, their approval guidelines are slightly more lenient than other networks which means you’ll be able to get going sooner.
Campaign targeting in Revcontent is great. There are several preset Whitelists and Blacklists for you to target including quality tiers. You are also able to create your own targeting lists after doing testing and apply it to any campaign in that account.
The latest update which has caught Revcontent up with Taboola and Outbrain means that you are able to adjust bid on a widget level within the dashboard which you weren’t previously able to.
The only slight annoyance in Revcontent’s reporting is not being able to see publisher names. You can only see widget IDs unless you create a “brand” campaign and then you can target on a publisher group level.
- Content approval can take up to 24 hours.
- Time Zone – EST.
- Currency – $ USD.
Taboola, Outbrain and Revcontent all have their own pros and cons. Although they are all comparable native networks, they all have different reach and offer different publishers which are exclusive to them. If you want the biggest amount of scale, you need to be working across all three.
- Branded publishers – Outbrain (US) / Taboola (UK)
- Dashboard – Outbrain
- Guides – Outbrain
- Support – Taboola
- Content approval – Revcontent