The Miko Levy AMA is happening on Wednesday 17th of January 2017 at 10:00AM PST (1:00PM EST)
Marketing executive with best in class expertise in growth marketing, direct response and a passion for customer experience. Results oriented, specializes in taking ideas from inception to a scaled self-sustained business within multi-national organizations.
My online marketing career was founded at 888.com which allowed me to combine my love of marketing and poker. Aside from poker, I’m an avid marathon runner (with a sub-4hr goal) and coffee lover. I hold a MBA from Tel Aviv University and currently resides in Israel with my wife, Liat, and daughter, Ori.
If you’re not an OG yet feel free to join us.
Miko Levy – Vice President of US Brands for native advertising platform, Outbrain – Transcript
Miko Levy is Vice President of US Brands for native advertising platform,
. The AMA with Miko was held on January 17th, 2018. This transcript has been edited for punctuation, grammar, etc.
Hi guys, happy to be here.
If you had one tip to give someone who’s just starting to buy on native (besides test, you can’t get off that easily 😉) what would it be?
Be patient! (as exciting as it may be
) With native the funnel is going to be different than the one you have on FB/Google, so you’ll have to learn how to optimize.
What type of sites have the strongest CTR using OB?
That depends on the content itself. We are always trying to match the relevant content to the relevant “reader” so the publisher/site is less relevant for that.
What are your thoughts on the responsibilities platforms such as your own will have in the coming years to battle fake news and help brands make sure they’re placed on safe publications?
That’s a great question! I think networks like ours have a lot of responsibility on that front. At Outbrain we have a very large team that handles that, making sure that the network is clean.
Is there a differentiator between you & the competition?
Quality of publisher network and more robust tools for optimization.
Are native advertising platforms moving toward post-view and post-click conversions?
Of course. Outbrain is already there on the post-click, still working on the post-view.
Any new tech coming from the Outbrain crew we should know about?
Q1 is going to be huge on that front- We are adding lookalike targeting on the dash (first native to do so- has been working amazing for our partners so far),conversion optimization improvements and interest targeting (enabling targeting users based on their interest).
Can you elaborate on the native funnel more?
That’s a tough one, as it is very specific for every advertiser. Some of our customers have a longer funnel than others, so they would probably have lots of content pieces in the customer’s journey.
Everyone is a ‘growth marketer’… with this complete over-saturation, what sets the top apart from the rest in your eyes?
Understanding the user is the main thing I’m seeing that differentiates great GH from the rest of the bunch.
How does Outbrain use video to market?
Outbrain discovery coming soon… (already in Beta)
What’s the best way to get an account at Outbrain? I heard you’re selective as hell on new advertisers.
Yes, we are selective! That’s what keeps our quality high. Go ahead and signup via
. Once approved, you’ll be able to run campaigns in no time.
How do you deal with the perception that content being promoted through Outbrain is low quality and spammy?
That’s a great question. In general, we could do a better job at fighting this perception, because the truth of the matter is that most of our revenue is coming from advertisers that are promoting great content/products and are seeing lots of conversions.
Yeah, I’d love to see that data, because in my circles (digital marketing), the Outbrains of the world have a REALLY bad perception, and we are the ones you want to pay you money!
I can’t tackle perception here, but I can tackle results. We work on a performance basis, and brands are working with us for a long time because our traffic is converting and usually with a much higher ITV than other acquisition channels they are using. Happy to take advice on how I can convince you (and others) otherwise.
What share of OB inventory is being consumed by affiliate marketers compared to brands?
Mostly brands (from SMBs to fortune 500 companies).
I’m really enjoying the questions that are coming in today! Seems like you all really get who we are on the outside. If you’re curious for an inside look as well, check this out:
– a fun campaign we put together celebrating an awesome 2017. Would love your take on it.
What were your biggest priorities when building/establishing the brands you’ve been associated with? Looking back, is there anything you would have prioritized differently?
Love it! We started with publishers as buyers and after a while realized that this would be a perfect platform for brands, so we started going to household name brands and got them on board. With time, that became the majority of our business. Doing something differently? Proving performance tools for advertisers sooner (back in 2012).
One of my clients recently launched a new editorial platform, and they are seeing around 150,000 monthly visitors. Does it make sense for someone of their scale to get started on Outbrain sooner rather than later?
For the Engage side of our business, we don’t technically have a hard unique monthly visitor minimum. Everything comes back to quality. If it’s a quality site, fitting within a good category, then it could be a pub of any size, really. Visit
and apply there.
How do you police the content of native ads to make sure it’s appropriate for the publisher? Is it a manual process?
Every day! Every publisher has a different sensitivity for the content they would want to see on their site, and we work very closely with them on that.
Would you recommend using Outbrain for an early stage, bootstrapping startup or is it a better fit for later stage companies?
We are good for every size/type of business with daily budgets starting at $20. We have many startups and even Kickstarter projects running with us.
I haven’t used Outbrain before or even heard of it (sorry)… Your service page gives a somewhat vague description of what exactly you guys do. Do you have any pages you recommend where I can see exactly what you guys do/how you do it?
Wow, I’m going to have a serious conversation with our marketing team!! :)Check this video for a better understanding of how we work and what we do:do:
We we are an eCommerce company, and we would like to expand to different channels such as Outbrain. Is it possible to schedule a call with Outbrain or is the only way to start with Outbrain by just signing up?
Of course! We love talking! 🙂 Send your details over at our Contact Us page and one of the sales reps will get back to you in no time:
Sharing our case studies page here, as many of your questions revolved around success with Outbrain.
Outbrain is great. But I think Taboola is also great. What’s your take on the competitive differences?
If you are a savvy marketer, you’d be using the both of us. Each of us have different publishers on our network.
I wanted to ask a little bit about your vetting process for partners/publishers. As a more seasoned Outbrain buyer, I’ve recently noticed an uptick in small sites with pretty low performance standards. On top of that, I’ve noticed that they seem to be able to create new pub accounts even if I begin to block them from my pub list. How do you guys vet companies like this, and what’s the process for determining when a new account can just be spun up like that and let back into the pub mix for advertisers?
Great question! As for the first part, make sure you use our CPC by source to lower the CPCs on low performing sections. As for the second part of the question- as I wrote on an earlier post, we accept publishers of all shapes and sizes, as long as they are legit with legit traffic. We look at it all the time, and we take out pubs that are not within guidelines.
THANK YOU, Miko Levy, and congratulations on the Online Geniuses partnership… On the outside it looks like OG is the starstruck fan club, but having been on the inside for a while, I know that you’ll benefit from the friendship even more. So, a true, hearty congrats –
thissy here is the best marketing forum eva.