With all these cool kids on the block, Twitter might seem like an advertising channel that has long lost its value.
But that’s not entirely true.
Many brands are still seeing lots of value in Twitter advertising.
Moreover, the social media network has 328 million monthly active users, and more than 67% of those users are likely to purchase from a brand they follow.
Don’t give up on Twitter just yet. Because even dinosaurs are making comebacks nowadays.
If you ran a Twitter advertising campaign a few years ago and gave up because of poor results, now might be a good time to reconsider.
Or at least create a small campaign to give Twitter ads another chance.
In fact, in 2016, several brands succeeded big time with Twitter ads.
Let’s take a look at what turned their campaigns into high-ROI successes.
Twitter ad campaign example #1: Coca-Cola
Every year, Coca-Cola delights their fans with a #HolidaysAreComing campaign, its iconic ads featuring the festive Coke truck (that, by the way, first debuted 21 years ago).
In 2016, the UK branch of Coca-Cola (@CocaCola_GB) ran a holiday Twitter campaign that would help its fans keep up with the launch of the ad on TV.
To do that, Coca-Cola created GIFs that they shared and promoted via Twitter ads.
What’s even more awesome, is that this year, Coca-Cola created custom emoji. Every time someone tweeted the campaign hashtag, a visual of the truck would appear in the tweet.
Key takeaways and hacks:
- Create engaging campaigns – When creating a Twitter ad campaign, make all your ads highly engaging and invite your fans to share and participate in your campaign.
- Create high-quality visuals – Use GIFs and memorable visuals to make your Twitter ads share-worthy.
- Use contrasting colors – A study by UsabilityTools showed that highly contrasting call-to-actions had a 75% higher click-through rate compared to low-contrast CTAs. The same rule applies to your ad images.
- Make your ads fun – Coca-Cola chose to use engaging ads rather than overly salesy messages.
- Combine organic and paid reach – Start by sharing some Twitter posts organically and as some posts get more engagement than others, use these for paid promotion.
Twitter ad campaign example #2: The New York Times
The New York Times is using Twitter ads to promote limited-ti offers and get more new subscribers.
Their Twitter campaigns are simple and straightforward, making the message easy to spot in the crowded Twitter feed.
Unlike the Coca-Cola ad campaign, The New York Times has not created their Facebook ads around a single big event. Rather, they’re using Twitter as a continuous advertising channel.
Occasionally, The New York Times also uses the relevant events to add a touch of timeliness to their Twitter ads. For example, like in the example below, featuring the French elections and French Opens.
- Use Twitter regularly – You don’t necessarily have to create a limited-time Twitter campaign. You can also advertise on the platform on a regular basis.
- Offer discounts – Offer people a good incentive to nudge them towards clicking on the ad and converting.
- Make limited-time offers – Applying scarcity and urgency on a website helped an entrepreneur increase sales by 332%. You could use the same strategy to increase your Twitter ads’ CTR and conversion rate.
- Add your offer in the ad image – This way, your value proposition is highly visible and more people could convert on your offer.
- A/B test different ad elements – Set up a Twitter A/B testing campaign where you experiment with different ad visuals/audiences/copy to constantly improve your results.
Twitter ad campaign example #3: Hootsuite
Twitter advertising isn’t only for businesses selling to consumers. Many B2B companies are using Twitter ads and seeing success.
For example, Hootsuite’s promoting free eBooks and webinars to their target audience – digital marketers.
Notice that Hootsuite’s not promoting a Twitter ad that would ask people to sign up.
Instead, they’re offering high-value content and building brand awareness.
If you’re not seeing any results when running direct selling campaigns on Twitter, you may want to try this soft selling strategy instead.
- Twitter ads can be used both by B2B and B2C brands – It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling customer- or enterprise-focused products. Twitter ads can be a good solution either way.
- Don’t try to sell right away – When advertising to people that haven’t been to your website before, start with a soft sell and share high-quality content, instead of asking them to make a purchase immediately.
- Promote high-quality content – Use Twitter ads to promote eBooks and webinars and get new leads to your sales funnel by asking for people’s email addresses in exchange.
- Keep it simple – Twitter has a 140-character limit, and that’s for a good reason – people want to consume the content and messages fast. Try not to include more than one key message per one Twitter ad.
- Set up remarketing campaigns – Keep nurturing your leads by creating a Twitter remarketing audience and promoting your branded content to past website visitors.
Twitter ad campaign setup
If you haven’t used Twitter as an advertising platform for a while, know this – it’s gone through a huge change.
As you begin the ad setup process, the first think you have to do is choosing the campaign objective.
Next, you’ll be guided through a four-step campaign creation process.
Step 1: Overview
In the first step of your campaign setup, you can:
- Name your campaign
- Enter the domain name of your website used for the campaign
- Select when do you want your campaign to run
- Select whether you want your ads to reach Twitter Audience Platform
- Select which category best describes your ad
- Exclude specific apps from your campaign
Once you’ve completed this step, you can move on to Step 2 – the audience targeting.
Step 2: Targeting
When setting up a Twitter ad campaign, you can create a target audience based on these targeting options:
- Devices, Platforms and Carriers
- Followed Accounts
- TV market
You can also create Tailored Audiences and remarket to past website visitors.
Twitter’s keyword-based targeting works similarly to Google AdWords – you can choose to target Broad match, Phrase match or Negative match keywords.
You can get pretty granular at targeting niche audiences on Twitter.
Twitter Tailored Audiences
To keep up with Google’s remarketing audiences and Facebook’s Custom Audiences, Twitter has added the Tailored Audiences targeting option.
This allows advertisers to reach the existing customers or past website visitors and deliver them highly relevant ads.
If you want to target past website visitors, you also need to instal Twitter’s tracking pixel on your website.
Twitter lets you track several different conversion events:
Twitter retargeting best practices:
- Remarket website visitors – Create landing page-specific Twitter ads to turn your landing page visitors into customers.
- Exclude past converters – Don’t forget to exclude the people that have already converted on your offer.
- Use remarketing for lead nurturing – Promote engaging content to increase brand awareness and make people trust your brand even further.
- Target your email subscribers – Upload the lists of existing email subscribers to target them with relevant offers.
- Deselect “Expand reach by targeting similar users” – This way, you’ll only be targeting the people who have actually been to your website.
Step 3: Bidding & budgets
In this phase of campaign setup, you can select the maximum daily budget for your campaign as well as the total budget.
As you click on the “Advanced Options” link, you can choose between the automatic and manual bidding options.
You can also set the maximum bid you’re willing to pay for a target event, e.g. a website click.
There’s another selection that you can make: Regular vs. accelerated ad delivery. Notice that accelerated pacing may cause you to pay more for your desired results.
Step 4: Ad Creative
In the final phase of your Twitter campaign setup, you can select existing from among the existing tweets or create new Twitter cards to be used as your ads.
As you decide to create new Twitter cards, you may need these specifications:
- Card image resolution: 800 x 320 pixels
- Supported image formats: PNG orJPEG
- Headline max length: 70 characters
To get a better overview of different Twitter ad types, learn about each one of them!
Twitter ad campaign types
Did you know that there are several types of Twitter ads that you can create?
Well, you certainly know it now! The three main Twitter ad types are:
- Promoted Tweets
- Promoted Accounts
- Video Ads
Let’s have a closer look at every ad type and see how you can set them up.
According to a 2015 report by Kinetic Social, 88% of Twitter’s ad revenue came from Promoted Tweets. However, it’s 2017 now and the numbers are becoming more skewed in favour of Video Ads.
Here’s what a Promoted Tweet campaign looks like when using an existing tweet:
You can also create new Twitter cards that will look slightly different from the promoted tweets.
While the first example had the main text on top of the image, the Twitter cards have the headline below your ad image.
To create a Twitter card, simply enter the image, headline, website URL, and card name in the New Card creation box.
Tip: When using promoted tweets rather than Twitter cards, you can first gather the organic likes and shares and only then promote your tweet. This way, your promoted tweet will have additional social proof from the minute it’s published as a paid tweet.
Twitter’s Promoted Accounts help you to increase brand awareness and get new followers.
You may also be interested in our experiment with fake following – increasing the number of your social media followers artificially – and why it doesn’t work.
However, it’s an entirely different story with Promoted Accounts. According to a study run by Twitter, 85% of users believe that Promoted Accounts help them discover new businesses.
To create a Twitter Promoted Account campaign, select the Followers campaign objective.
When setting up a Promoted Account Twitter campaign, you won’t be able to add a URL to the ad. It’s all about getting new followers, so your ads won’t be directing to your website.
Here’s what a Promoted Account ad looks like on Desktop:
Tip: While gaining new Twitter followers is important, you might see a higher ROI on campaigns that are directing people to your gated content and leading towards a purchase.
Twitter Video Ads
According to data by Twitter, the majority of Twitter users (82%) watch video content on Twitter and 90% of them watch it on their mobile devices.
Which leads us to another Twitter advertising rule: When creating Twitter Video Ads, make sure your videos are optimized for Mobile views.
To set up a Twitter Video Ads campaign, select the Promoted Video Views campaign objective.
You can upload new videos under Creatives > Media. You’ll also be able to insert a headline, call-to-action, and URL to your ad.
Your videos will auto-play on scroll, encouraging people to tap or click.
Here’s how a Twitter Video Ad will look like on Desktop:
Tip: When trying to upload the GIF to my Twitter ad, I was first confused why it didn’t appear in my media library. That’s because Twitter doesn’t support GIF files. (Use a free GIF-MP4 converter to upload GIFs as MP4s to your Twitter ads)
Twitter Video Ads specs:
- File Type: MP4 or MOV
- Max Play Time: 2 minutes and 20 seconds (select accounts get 10-minute access)
- File Size: Under 1GB recommended
- Video Codec: H264, baseline, Main or High profile with 4:2:0 color space
Alright, now that you have more insight to Twitter advertising, share this article with your marketing team members, so that you can consider running a Twitter ad campaign.
Twitter’s been working hard on improving its ad platform lately, and it may be worth giving it another chance.
Have you advertised on Twitter recently? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!