When you need to expand beyond traditional search and social ad platforms, content discovery platforms like Taboola offer a way to expand reach while targeting your desired audience. This platform can be particularly useful to put content in front of top-of-funnel audiences, while also retargeting those who may be considering your product or service. Taboola placements exist on many major news media sites, as well as a number of niche blogs.
In this article, we’ll cover the process of setting up a Taboola campaign and review targeting options.
Setting Up a Taboola Campaign
If you haven’t yet established an account, you’ll need to sign up on the Taboola site. After entering your business info, you’ll be prompted to set up your first campaign. You’ll also be walked through setting up a pixel code, which you can place on your site easily through Google Tag Manager.
If you’re working in an existing account, navigate to “Campaign Management” from the left sidebar and choose “New Campaign” to start.
First, give your campaign a name. Next, insert the name of your product or brand into the “Branding Text” field, as you’d like it to appear in your ads.
Choose an objective from the Marketing Objective dropdown. Options include brand awareness, lead generation, online purchases, website traffic, mobile app installs, or other.
In the Timeframe section, you can choose to start and end your campaign on select dates or leave these untouched to run indefinitely. “Campaign Schedule” allows you to set your campaign to run during specific days and hours. You can choose between weekdays only, weekends only, or every day, and select the hour timeframe for ads to show. Note that you should also select the timezone beneath this chart.
Now, you can apply targeting to your campaign. First, you can add locations, using country, region/state, or zip code level data. Next, you can choose which devices you’d like ads to appear on. You can also choose to include or exclude certain operating systems. For instance, you might be promoting an iOS app and only want to target iOS users.
Next, you can choose the audience criteria. “Campaign clickers” allows you to reach individuals who have clicked ads from another campaign within a specific timeframe (maximum of 45 days). “My Audiences” allows you to reach retargeting audiences on your set, set up via adding the Taboola pixel.
“Marketplace Audiences” gives access to an extensive listing of third-party data categories, including age/gender data, in-market propensities, and general interests. Chances are, you’ll be able to find some categories at least somewhat relevant to your niche. Especially as Facebook has limited access to some third-party data, being able to utilize this through Taboola is a good route for those looking to reach specific audiences. In the example below, you can see a small portion of B2B targeting available.
Bidding and Budget
Now, set your bid for the campaign. We’ve seen CPCs in the $0.50 range in some campaigns that utilize third-party audience targeting, but you may need to experiment to find the optimal bid for your particular targeting.
You can also choose a “smart bid” strategy, which will automatically adjust your bid based on an objective (conversions or pageviews). Note that this requires the Taboola pixel to be functioning on your site, and you’ll need to set up conversion tracking to use the conversion option. If optimizing for conversions, you can set a CPA goal to help the system see your benchmark amount.
Next, you can set a spend limit, either for the entire duration of the campaign or for the month. The Ad Delivery option will control how the spend is portioned out over the time the campaign runs. “Balanced” will spread the budget out with some looseness from day to day to go slightly over or under. “Accelerated” will spend out the total budget as quickly as possible. “Strict” will divide your budget by the number of days it’s intended to run and set a firm daily cap.
Under “Creative Traffic Allocation,” choose “Optimized” to allow the system to show ads most likely to drive your objectives, or “Even” to give all ads the same amount of exposure.
Finally, use the “Tracking Code” field to add any URL parameters you’d like appended to your ads. This will help to ensure proper attribution in Google Analytics and any other platforms you use for tracking leads.
Now, you can add creative assets to your campaign. Paste in URLs for pages you’d like to promote in your campaign, and Taboola will auto-populate the associated titles and images. You can click the edit icon by each title or image to customize them. Be sure to use images that will be visually appealing to stand out in the midst of articles people are reading on the web. Remember ads will generally appear in a “native” format within or below blog articles and news articles, often together with other Taboola placements.
Access the “Conversions” section from the left sidebar to set up a new conversion. Click the “New Conversion” button to enter the process.
Here, you can choose between a URL- or Event-based conversion. The URL-based option allows you to set rules for “Thank You” URLs that you’d like to track as conversions.
You can also assign a dollar value if revenue is associated with a particular conversion. Event-based conversion tracking allows you to define a conversion based on a custom scripted event that fires on your site (for instance, if a purchase occurs, or if a form submission doesn’t involve a Thank You page).
You’ll see the code snippet at the bottom of the page and can then either add it yourself or work with a developer to fire it at the appropriate moment.
The Audiences section allows you to build retargeting audiences based on pixel activity tracked on your site. Click “New Audience” to begin creating an audience.
As with conversions, you can define audiences based on URL conditions or events. For example, you could include all visitors to a select product category based on a URL rule, or bucket all previous purchasers based on an event.
Once you’ve created an audience, it will begin to accrue users, and you can add it to campaigns to target.
Reporting & Optimizing Campaigns
Once you’ve launched campaigns, you can review performance on the level of the account as a whole, individual campaigns, and individual content pieces.
In the Campaign Summary section, you can see breakdowns by day, day of the week, campaign, site, country, platform, and audience. Reviewing this data may provide guidance for refining targeting or adding exclusions. For instance, you might see that a particular site has a high volume of impressions but is not converting, and you can exclude this from placements for a particular campaign. To make adjustments, go to the Campaign Management section, where you can view performance by individual campaigns and also adjust bids and budget, as well as accessing targeting and content.
Overall, Taboola may not offer the same level of control you can get in a platform like Google Ads or Facebook Ads, but access to features like third-party audiences and retargeting makes this a platform worth testing for those looking to expand reach. Give it a try if you’re looking for a new area to test in online advertising.
Have you advertised through Taboola or similar content discovery platforms? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!