Many content marketers will be acquainted with the challenges of getting their content and site pages noticed amongst the trillions of others out there on the web. Any tool that could help amplify content and bring in more traffic should be worth consideration. In this post we will look at the ‘Outbrain’ platform.
What is Outbrain?
Outbrain is a content discovery tool that has been around since 2006. It is designed to help online marketers improve their site exposure and possibly earn an income stream from recommendations of other sites.
It does this in a couple of ways:
- Through Outbrain Amplify – as a site owner you upload articles and other content to the Outbrain database. Your content can then be shared across the internet on a pay-per-click basis.
- With Outbrain Engage – recommendations are placed within your content that have been paid for by the owners of that content. You may be able to receive a portion of the fee for hosting these links.
You could say Outbrain ‘powers up’ content. You might know your content is brilliant, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone will actually read it. With Outbrain Amplify, your content is first checked for quality and then categorised – and as long as it qualifies it could get a recommendation on sites all over the net, including on some pretty high-profile ones!
What does it look like?
As an internet user you may have seen the Outbrain widget and not realised it. It appears at the bottom of content with lists of recommended content under a ‘We Recommend’ and / or ‘Elsewhere on the web’. This content is not just randomly placed there according to some magic keyword – it has actually been checked out by Outbrain for quality and relevance.
Outbrain personalises the widget for each user, and also filters out content that they have already read. This means users should only get content that will have value for them.
The ‘We Recommend’ links take the reader to other content on the same site, whereas the links under the ‘Elsewhere’ heading take readers to external content that is considered likely to be interesting and relevant to them. There are both thumbnail and text widgets to choose from, depending on what suits Outbrain subscriber.
As an Outbrain subscriber, you also get a say in the content links or thumbnails that appear as recommendations on your site. The platform also provides a number of data reporting options.
Does it work?
A quick look at reviews on the internet seems to indicate Outbrain can work very well. As an example, TheSelfEmployed wrote this post in 2013 after achieving considerable growth in traffic following a free trial of the Outbrain tool.
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