While newer platforms like TikTok are making a splash across social trends, Twitter still dominates as a hub for active conversations. In fact, it still sees a 29% year-over-year increase in monetizable daily active users. This amounts to over 187 million daily active accounts that can see ads on the platform.
This means brands shouldn’t overlook Twitter when allocating their social advertising budget.
Still on the fence about the best way to use Twitter ads for your brand? Or perhaps you’re looking for tips to reach the next level of success with your strategy. In this guide, we break down how to advertise on Twitter, what an awesome ad looks like and how to bag more returns on your campaigns.
Now let’s get started.
Why Twitter ads deserve your attention
Twitter advertising has a lot of potential in terms of reach and engagement. To add to it all, the platform has made several changes in the form of improved targeting, new ad formats and stronger attribution. This allows advertisers to get more out of their Twitter ad campaigns.
The proof is in the numbers:
- Total Twitter ad revenue is up 31% year-over-year.
- Ad engagement is up 35%, while cost per engagement is down by 3%.
- Click-through rate over single-asset ads increased by 15% for website carousel ads.
- Attributed site visits are up 10X owing to the new Twitter Click ID.
- It’s great for reaching 30-49-year-olds as this age group makes up 44% of the Twitter demographic.
Types of Twitter ads in action
Twitter offers several choices in ad types. To run a successful advertising campaign on the platform, you need to decide which of these options will help you achieve your goals.
Promoted Accounts and Follower Ads
This allows you to promote an entire Twitter account, as opposed to a specific Tweet. It helps you target users who might be interested in your brand but aren’t already following you. So it’s the perfect ad type if you want to grow your Twitter following.
With this type of Twitter ad, your account will show up in the “Who to follow” section of a user’s feed.
These are regular Tweets that are promoted through paid advertising to reach a bigger audience. Promoted Tweets show up in several places such as search results, user profiles and timelines.
This allows you to promote a trending topic about your brand and attract the right audience. Your Promoted Trend will show up prominently at the top of the “Trends for you” section.
How to set up an ad campaign on Twitter
If you’re familiar with setting up Facebook ads, you should have no trouble launching a Twitter ad campaign. But if you’re completely new to the scene, we’ve got you covered.
Paid social 101: The basics of running effective ads
Before you start, make sure you set up your Twitter ads account. For this, sign in to your Twitter account and go to the Twitter ads onboarding page. Choose your time zone and country, and that’s it.
Next, follow the steps below to create your Twitter ad campaign.
1. Choose your ad objective
What do you want to get out of your ads? Depending on your ad objective, Twitter will offer the best engagement types and actions for your campaign.
- Reach – This objective displays your ad to as many people as possible within a set timeframe. And you only pay for every 1,000 Tweet impressions. Use this to raise brand awareness and improve brand perception.
- Video views – Get more views for your videos and GIFs with video views campaigns. Use this to drive brand awareness and viewer engagement.
- Pre-roll views – Display your ads at the start of a video (just like on YouTube). This gets your brand in front of a bigger audience, helping you raise awareness.
- App installs – Get more downloads for your app. This adds an “Install” button to your ads.
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- Website clicks – Get more people to visit your website after seeing your ad. This type of campaign also leverages Twitter’s Click ID to give you a reliable way to measure visits coming from your Twitter ad.
- Engagements – Drive more conversations around your brand by designing ads that people would want to interact with.
- Followers – Promote your Twitter account and attract more followers.
- App reengagements – Encourage people to open or take a certain action in your app. Use this to keep your app top of mind, enhance brand loyalty and drive in-app conversions.
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2. Fill out your campaign details
The next page gives you the option to add more information about your campaign. Here, you can name your campaign, set a budget and decide on a time frame.
3. Create ad groups
Next, you can start building ad groups. Ad groups roll up under a campaign and can be used to separate out details like budget, targeting, and creatives so that you can be more granular with your goals and creative testing. For the first campaign, it’s best to start with one ad group. You can experiment with different ad groups as you get more comfortable with Twitter advertising.
Click on the drop-down menu under “Ad Groups” on the left-hand corner of the screen. Then select the option to add your ad group details. Name the ad group and select your goal and bid strategy. For your first campaign, the “Autobid” option makes the most sense as it automatically maximizes your results at the lowest price.
4. Choose your target audience
Which type of audience do you want to target for this ad group? Twitter lets you decide on a highly specific target audience for each ad group.
For starters, you can choose the age range, gender, location and language of people you want to target.
Other options include matching your target audience based on the devices they use. For instance, you can choose to target only Apple device users for one ad group and only Samsung users for another. And if you have existing custom audiences, you have the option to include or exclude them for this ad group.
Twitter also comes with robust targeting features to further customize your ad group. This allows you to target audiences based on the keywords they’ve searched. And it’s much easier to reach highly relevant users based on their interests and conversation topics. You can even target people based on the movies and TV shows they watch.
To reach people who are most likely interested in your brand, you can even choose to target follower look-alikes. This allows you to reach people who share the same interests as the followers of an account. This is a great way to find a new and highly relevant audience group who shares similar traits to, for example, your account’s existing follower base.
5. Choose your ad placements and creatives
Next, decide where you want your ads to show up in the different areas of Twitter.
After this, you’ll choose the ad creative you want to promote. Twitter may give you different options depending on your campaign objective. For instance, it may ask you to select a published Tweet or choose a video for certain types of ads. On the other hand, Follower campaigns won’t need an ad creative since they just promote the account.
Now you’re all set to launch your Twitter ad campaign. To make sure you get the most out of your Twitter ad budget, read on for some best practices to create eye-catching ads.
Twitter advertising best practices
Want to get more out of your Twitter ads? Follow these best practices and examples from top brands.
1. Stick to your brand voice
To make sure your ads resonate with your target audience, maintain a consistent brand voice. Your promoted content should be no different from your organic ones in terms of how you speak.
MANSCAPED, for instance, has a strong brand personality on Twitter, with humor being the essence of its brand voice. To spread awareness for Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, it ran a video views ad on the platform. Even though the topic was serious, the brand still found a way to add a comedic twist to the video and maintain its signature brand voice.
Check Your Balls 🥜 + Wash Your Hands 🧼 = ✌️Two of the most important things men can do this month to stay healthy.
— MANSCAPED (@manscaped) April 3, 2020
2. Write short and engaging copy
Twitter users quickly move on from one Tweet to the next. So stay far away from huge text blocks. Make sure your copy is short and to the point. Just because there’s room for 280 characters doesn’t mean you have to use up all that space.
If it fits with your brand personality and you don’t overdo it (an accessibility consideration for those using screen readers), consider using some emojis to catch attention. Your copy should be short enough to keep users engaged but not so short that it’s meaningless.
For its video views campaign, Patreon let the video do the talking. It added a short but attention-getting caption encouraging creators to “create for (their) audience, not algorithms.”
Create for your audience, not algorithms. Start featuring the games you and your audience love on Patreon.
— Patreon (@Patreon) August 21, 2020
3. Use high-quality visuals
Eye-catching videos and images can make your ad stand out and stop the scroll, driving more engagement with your ad. They can make people stop scrolling and engage with your ad. So be sure to use high-quality visuals that speak for the quality of your products/services.
See how the graphic from the got milk? Promoted Tweets campaign instantly catches the eye.
You have the power to make someone else’s day a little brighter! You never know who really needed that smile today😌 pic.twitter.com/s0r9ILN1MD
— got milk? (@gotmilk) January 19, 2021
4. Have a clear call to action
Let people know exactly what you want them to do after seeing your ad. Whether it’s to visit your website or download your app–your ads should have a CTA that clearly mentions the next step.
Getty Museum used Twitter ads to promote a theater presentation. It includes a clear CTA inviting people to “binge available episodes.”
— Getty is Celebrating 25 Years (@GettyMuseum) July 31, 2020
5. Learn from your organic performance
How people respond to your organic Tweets can tell you a lot about how to run your Twitter ads. Find out what kind of content gets the most engagement and positive sentiment from your target audience. Then use those insights to inform your advertising decisions.
Sprout Social offers Twitter analytics and reporting to help you with this. This lets you identify your best Twitter content based on reach, clicks and Retweet.
6. Test and optimize
Of course, the best way to make sure your ads are working is to test them. Run A/B tests on different ad placements, messaging, ad format and more. Then use those data and insights to create highly optimized ads that will rake in profits.
Ready to hit the ground running with Twitter ads?
With stronger attribution and better targeting, Twitter is constantly evolving to serve brands. And with the right strategy, it can be a valuable advertising channel for your business. But the fast-paced nature of the platform also means you have to take extra care when it comes to what types of ads you run. If you need help getting started, download our guide on how to create a winning social media strategy.
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