Your Complete Guide to Twitter Ads

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Social media platforms may have started off slow, but they quickly picked their pace and became a public favorite. Started with the intention to connect people, social media platforms are now one of the most popular method to market a business. This gave birth to the concept of social media marketing. Initially, social media marketing started off with only brand promotion through content, but later social media platforms introduced their own paid ads to help businesses boost their brand promotion process. In this article, I will try to guide you on how to use Twitter ads for your business.

Complete Guide to Twitter Ads

Types of Twitter Ads

Twitter is a social media platform that is known for microblogging. Since the types of posts you can upload on Twitter are a little different from the other social media platforms, it also has ads in different formats that can easily be a part of its interface. The Twitter ad can be of the following types:

1) Promoted Tweets

Types of Twitter Ads

Generally, when you tweet something, it can be viewed, retweeted and liked by your followers. A promoted tweet is just the same. It is also a tweet posted by your business page. However, this tweet will be getting a little boost by Twitter as you will be paying a nominal amount to get it promoted to maximum users. Another thing that makes a promoted tweet special is that it is also promoted to people other than your followers based on their interests. Also, just like regular tweets, these promoted tweets can also be liked and retweeted by the users not following your page as well.

2) Promoted Accounts

Promoted accounts are also commonly known as followers campaigns. In this type of promotion, a complete twitter profile is promoted to a set target audience. This audience can include both the followers of the profile as well as the people who might be interested in the content and posts of the promoted account. Such accounts have a clear mention of them being promoted and generally, have a call to action button to follow the account.

3) Promoted Trends

Every now and then a certain topic takes center stage in the social media scenario. Such topics are known as the trending topics. These are news, fads, fashions and subjects that are being liked, followed and discussed by the majority of the social media platform users. Such type of trends are noticed on all social media platforms including Twitter. Often these trending topics automatically appear in the Twitter user’s timeline based on their area of interest and relevance of the trend for the user. With Twitter, you have an amazing option to promote your business among such trends and gain more visibility. Promoted trends enable a business to promote a hashtag and bring it up in the target audience’s search. When a user clicks on your hashtag or promoted trend, they will be able to see a large list of posts along with your promoted tweet at the start. Once such a promoted trend or hashtag gets popular among the users and they start using it, you start getting more organic followers. The only issue with promoted trends is that a user cannot directly use it. To advertiser through promoted trends, an advertiser has to contact a Twitter representative and take their assistance.

4) Website Card

Website Card

A Twitter website card is a type of promoted tweet with a few added features to it. It is a tweet or a catchy caption with a large image and a few added descriptions such as the addition of website link, a call to action button, etc. The good thing about using a website card it that it enables a user to make the image in the tweet a clickable link. Unlike a website card, if you generally click an image within a tweet, it simply enlarges. However, in a website card, you can directly click on the image and visit the website of the promoter.

5) App Card

For a business that has a mobile app of their own, Twitter gives them an option to directly promote the app on the Twitter profile and urge their followers to install the app. The app card looks just like an app description of an app store. This card will showcase the name of the app, icon of the app, the description about what it does, and its cost and user ratings.

These five types of promoted tweets and cards are the options available for businesses to advertise on Twitter. For most of these types, you can simply look up the options on Twitter for Business. If you wish to use promoted trends, you can touch base with a representative on the Twitter’s Help profile.

Benefits of Using Twitter Ads

For a business to come to accept social media platforms as a medium of marketing, it took a long time. But once it started, every other business was up and creating a Twitter profile. Now with social media advertising taking center stage, a little skepticism is naturally expected from businesses. However, just like social media platforms were able to create a favorable space for businesses to market their brands, social media advertising has equally high opportunities for businesses. So without being skeptical about Twitter ads, you should use them as just other advertising platforms Twitter ads too have their own benefits.

1) Non-Obstructing

Non-Obstructing

Advertising is a good means of letting people know about your business. People even tend to pay attention to ads and like them unless it starts to annoy them and keeps coming in their way. You may have come across a lot of ads these days that just keeping popping up again and again or simply obstruct your view. Such ads are annoying, and people would rather block them than view them. Twitter ads are just the opposite. Since they are promoted tweets and cards, they barely come in the way of a user’s general viewing and do not spoil the user experience. Also, these promoted tweets and cards can easily be scrolled up with the timeline feed without having to close any pop ups. We can safely say that Twitter ads are in fact very similar to native ads as they simply blend into the timeline feed of the user and often the user may not even realize that it is, in fact, an ad.

2) Creative

The fact that Twitter ads are more like the tweets and posts that you see on the Twitter timeline gives the advertiser a chance to be as creative as they want. You could create promoted video tweets, website cards and other promoted content based on what seems favorable for your target audience. When you are choosing the format of your ad, it is advisable to do a thorough research of your target audience and your direct competitors to choose a content type. If video content can capture the essence of your brand and engage your target audience, use videos in your promoted tweets. If you want a more professional approach for a business such as accounting, a website card would be a good idea to promote your services through your website.

3) Economical

Online paid ads are generally cheaper when you compare them to your traditional advertising methods. This is because with online advertising you can make your budget as specific as you want. Coming to Twitter ads, among all the social media advertising platforms, it is the cheaper one. This is because the number of businesses that are currently using Twitter ads is comparatively lesser, which means the competition is also less. Also, with a good price, Twitter ads enable you to choose your own budget and find the exact target audience without spending any extra money. This makes it a cost-effective option in your digital marketing strategy as you get complete control over your ad budget.

4) Performance-based

Another factor when spending money on online advertising is the risk of not getting the desired results. If in case the campaign you spend money for does not work out, you feel the demotivated that you havespend money for nothing. This is not the case when you use Twitter ads. Twitter ads are performance-based. It means that you will pay when your advertising objectives are met. Now, these advertising objectives can vary depending on your business type and your goal to achieve. For example, if you have a real estate business and you recently launched an app for quick agent hiring, you can use use the app card promotion on Twitter to promote. When using this promotion, you will only be paying for the ad when your objective of getting certain app installations is fulfilled. Same is the case with other types of promotion on Twitter. If you start a campaign to increase the number of followers, you only pay when a Twitter user hits the follow button and begins following your Twitter profile.

5) Targeted

Twitter is also a good platform if you really want to target your audience well before you start a campaign. It has multiple filtering options to filter your target audience before you run your campaign so that your promoted posts or promoted account activity is not wasted on a disinterested user. Apart from these filter, Twitter ads also have the option that enables users to target the audience based on keywords. These keywords are the commonly used phrases and hashtags by people that were usedover a period of last seven days. This gives you a better chance of finding the right target audience as you will be looking them up based on their own keyword use.

Setting Up Twitter Ad Campaign

Twitter Ad Campaign

Social media platform owners know one thing right, the need for people to try things on their own. This is the reason when they introduced ads on their platforms, they made it so user-friendly that a user can set up a campaign in a few simple steps. So let us have a look at how you can create a simple Twitter campaign.

1) Create a Twitter Ad Account

You may already be having a Twitter business profile that you use to promote your business. In order to start advertising on Twitter, you need to create an additional ad account through your Twitter account. Log in from your Twitter account and go to the ads section to create an account. This section will ask you some basic questions such as your location and your account will be created.

2) Identify Your Objective

Any marketing or advertising strategy will not function well if you initiate it without an objective. An objective is the outcome that you wish to achieve through your Twitter ad campaign. Based on your objective, you will be planning your whole campaign. The major types of objectives a business can have include:

  • Follower based objective in which the advertiser is charged for the campaign, every time the advertiser’s Twitter profile earned a follower.
  • Impression based objective in which the advertiser is billed for every thousand views or impressions that your promoted tweet receives. This type of objective is generally useful when you want to create a brand
  • Engagement based objective in which the advertiser is charged for the ad every time the ad received some form of engagement such as retweets, comments, follows, etc.
  • Website based objective in which the advertiser is charged for the ad every time a user gets redirected to the website on clicking a call-to-action.
  • App-based objective in which the advertiser is charged for the ad every time the app is installed.
  • Video-based objective in which the advertiser is charged for the ad every time their video or GIF is viewed by a user.

All of the above mentioned objective options will be available on your Twitter ad dashboard. When planning your ad campaign, you will have to select the objective, create a campaign, set your ad budget, pay for it and get it started.

3) Create Your Ad Group

The next step in your Twitter ad campaign creation is the ad group. Once you have done selecting your objective, you will be directed to a page that will enable you to create multiple ad groups. An ad group is a section of your Twitter ad campaign that holds the complete detail of your ad. This will include the duration of the campaign, the dates, the ad placement, the bid, the target audience and the budget. To create a simple ad campaign, one group is enough, but if you wish to target more than one type of audience, you can create multiple groups. All the sections in this group can be filled by you including the ad bid. You can decide how much you want to bid for your ad or opt for the automatic bidding that will automatically give you the best possible bid for your campaign. Twitter ads also have this feature that will show you the kinds of bid other advertisers are making so that your manual bidding becomes easy for you.

4) Work on Your Ad Design and Placement

With your ad group ready and bidding taken care of, you can now move on to the next step in your Twitter ad campaign, that is the ad designing and placement. When you come to this section, Twitter will first give you the options to promote one of your existing tweets if you want to. If not, you can create a completely new tweet just for your ad campaign. During the creation of your new tweet, you can click the ‘promoted only’ option to ensure that the tweet is only displayed to the audience once the campaign begins. Next, you can work on the creative of the tweet by adding catchy images and website or app cards if any. One thing to note is that your Twitter ad needs to have a Twitter card for certain objectives such as website traffic objective. For creating these cards, you can check the “card library” option. This option stores all your cards once you have created them. You can edit them and reuse them as you will. These cards can be used for website clicks, video addition, app promotion and image addition.

Once the design of your Twitter adis finalized, you need to decide the placement of your ad. You can place your ads to appear on user profiles, audience platform or in the Twitter searches.

5) Decide Your Audience

Now we move on to a very crucial step in your Twitter ad campaign planning, and that is setting your target audience. Twitter has a good filtering system to help you plan a campaign that only pitches to the right target audience. For the demographics of the audience, you can target your audience based on the gender, age, occupation, language, etc. Geographically, you can limit the locations in which your ad will be displayed. For example, you can publish your ad throughout Canada, in Alberta, just Edmonton or even in just a selected postal code. You can also target your audience purely based on their interests, behavioralpattern,frequently used keywords and so on in the section known as “audience”. A cool feature in this section is size graph that appears as you start choosing your audience type. The graph fluctuates as you make your changes and shows you the strength of audience that eventually fall in your target bracket. Twitter also enables you to upload your own list of the audience to target. This can be your list of email marketing subscribers or people from your other social media profiles. After your audience is defined, you move on to the next step.

6) Begin Your Campaign

The last step in your Twitter ad campaign planning is to launch your campaign. But before you click the launch campaign button, it is recommended that you go through all your selections and make sure you have not missed out on any detail. With everything in place, you can now safely launch your ad campaign.

Now if you are in a hurry to start using Twitter ads but do not want to go through these steps, you can use the option of “Quick promote”. With this option, you can directly promote an existing tweet that you like and which you think can help you achieve your advertising objective. This option can be done in a matter of a few minutes, and your Twitter ad will be up for the audience to take a look at.

Twitter ads have been around for some time now, but still, the number of people using them is not very high. This is due to the lack of knowledge to use these ads. When using Twitter ads, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  • Always build a familiarity among the Twitter audiences before you launch a campaign. Just think from the perspective of a consumer. If you are completely new in the market and the audience have no clue about your existence, the chances are that your ads will go in vain. To build the familiarity, have an active Twitter profile that talks about you and what your business does. Enhance the profile with your brand logo to build that familiarity. Now when you launch your campaign use your blog and more images to build the connection.
  • Create ads with an that is complete and has a finish point. Always have the next step ready for the user. This next step is going to be a call-to- Always have some form of CTA in your ad so that users know what they can do next after viewing your ad. This will not only give them a direction but also help you achieve your objective.
  • Finally, always test your campaign before you launch it. Perform some A/B testing and see how your campaign performs before you make it public. This will reduce the risk of your ad falling flat.

Twitter ads are indeed a good way of advertising your business to the masses  if you use it right. While it is an easy task to create a good Twitter ad, having a social media marketing expert by your side will help you create the best ad.

Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches. Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.

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