Should I invest in Twitter Ads?

Date: 07/07/2017 Written by: Rosie 6 minutes to read.
An introduction to promoting content via twitter

Twitter AKA Marmite. It depends who you talk to but you do either love it or hate. But there is no doubting that social media has revolutionised how we communicate, and have forced organisations to adapt and embrace. Some ignore it (at their peril), while others see social media as an opportunity to connect directly with their target audience and expand their reach through innovative approaches. Companies who aren't willing to make the move (or at least consider it) will fall behind.

Twitter is one of the world's largest social media platforms. Approximately 328 million users are active on Twitter and over 500 million tweets are published every day. But sending a tweet out to the world will not guarantee exposure. One of the best ways to make sure your target audience engages with your tweets is to embrace Twitter Ads. Twitter promotional campaigns ensure your content is seen by the people you are trying to reach.


What is a Twitter Ad?


If you are on Twitter you will have been exposed to a Twitter promotion and Ad campaigns at some point. If it's not ringing a bell, they come in three different forms:

Here is an example of a promoted tweet from The Economist which appeared in our Twitter feed:

You can also pay to feature in the 'who to follow' section on Twitter which helps to build your followers. In my 'who to follow' today is Novartis Cancer:


Using Twitter promotions can help you achieve the following goals:


Twitter Ads are a great and cost effective way to generate leads and drive traffic to external sites. Today I am going to focus on the most popular form of Twitter advertising; the promotional tweet. The other two options are still great ways to publicise your organisation, but at £155,100 for a promotional trend per day, it may not be in the yearly budget for most people!


Are twitter ads limited to business use?


When there is nothing to sell, is Twitter ads a worth while investment? The simple answer is yes. As earlier stated, Twitter has approximately 328 million active users per month, if there is a particular demographic you would like to access, it would be ridiculous not to consider Twitter.

Despite the strict and often criticised, 140 character limit on Twitter, there is no limit on words used in attached media. This makes Twitter the ideal platform for awareness campaigns to drive traffic to your page or, alternatively, your website. There are two media attachments designed specifically for Twitter, the lead generation card and the website card. These can be designed with an image and a call to action, either driving traffic directly to your website or allowing you to capture email leads directly. If your campaign goal is to raise awareness and educate, these two options are two of the most successful tools.

Twitter Ads can be great for personal promotion as well. If you want to establish yourself as an expert, the use of multiple tweets in one campaign can be utilised. Here you could share articles, hints and tips, ebooks for download, a blog and even promote events you are attending to increase your clout and place yourself firmly as an industry expert.


How do I create one?


As with all advertising, the initial step is to define your target audience and create content which will engage them. Our followers know that we are all about the insight so do your research first. Who are your customers, where are they, what are they like and why would they engage with you on Twitter. The use of images or video is essential on Twitter (and most social media platforms). 94% of tweets that use some form of visual media like an image or video is more likely to be retweeted.

When you know as much as you can about your audience and you know what makes them tick, you are ready to get started. On Twitter you are first asked to define what sort of campaign you are planning to run from the following:

Select carefully as Twitter will automatically tailor your campaign to reach your goal. The engagement for which you are charged will also be affected by this.

Twitter is unique in the pricing of this Ad space in that they are priced using an auction based system. For awareness campaigns, you bid per 1000 impressions, there is no set price for this however Twitter will inform of the range in which others are bidding. Bid levels correlate in accordance to the unique reach the campaign can deliver. As the bid increases, the greater the unique reach can achieve.

When signing up you must enter a daily budget and optionally a maximum budget. Your campaign will stop once the maximum budget is reached.

Twitter personalises Ad selections based on the user generally, but promoted content can be tailored to reach a specific target audience. Twitter Ads allows you to do this using the following:

The more information regarding your demographic you provide, the larger the audience your tweet can access (and importantly, the right people will see your tweet). A personal favourite option is the ability to target people based on other accounts they follow. This will allow you to reach the same audience as your competitors. Additionally if you are a local organisation, you can target an audience in your area.


What are the problems?


As with everything, nothing is fool proof and you may endure some challenges along the way. Here are some of the complications you may experience and how best to combat them:


As with any marketing campaign, the process will require a bit of trial and error. The auction based system can be tricky to get your head around and first, and refining your keywords to reach your desired audience may take some practice. Once you have mastered this the marketing possibilities are endless.


Happy Tweeting!


If you need some help setting up a campaign for Twitter, get in touch!

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