In Depth

4 steps to create Twitter ad campaigns that convert

Tarun Mittal
15th Mar 2017
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The world of digital advertising is dominated by Facebook and Google. These two tech-giants account for 85 percent of every new dollar spent on digital advertising in the US alone. And they also have the largest user base by a distance. But this is causing a large influx of marketers onto their platforms, which in turn is significantly increasing Facebook Ad and Google AdWords costs.

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Twitter, then, with its 319 million monthly active users, is a great place for marketers to advertise. Despite a slightly higher average cost per ad, advertisements on Twitter deliver higher click-through-rates, and have almost similar engagement rates, as those on Facebook. Another interesting statistic is that Twitter users have a higher average income and education levels as compared to Facebook and Instagram users. This is especially beneficial if you want to increase sales for your business. There are far too many advantages of advertising on Twitter for marketers to ignore; and here's how to go about creating ads on the social media site that convert:

Choosing an objective

The first step is selecting the objective for your Twitter ad. Do you want to gain followers, increase conversions, acquire leads, drive engagement, or promote your apps? Twitter allows marketers to select a specific purpose for each campaign which increases the ad's effectiveness. If none of these objectives suits your purpose, you can simply promote a tweet to increase its visibility. Promoted tweets are just like conventional tweets except they are not shown to your current followers (you can change settings to include them as well) and it's mentioned that they are promoted. They can be used to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to the site, or promote offers and events.

Targeting the right audience

Not targeting a specific demographic is akin to throwing pamphlets from a rooftop and hoping the right person chances upon it. Twitter allows you to target an audience based on location, device and platform used, interests, gender, and followers. You can also create tailored audiences — a feature that allows you to target users based on their email IDs, phone numbers, and Twitter usernames. By using a conversion tracker, you can also remarket to users based on their behaviour and purchases on your website. While creating an ad campaign on Twitter, it's essential to limit the audience to as narrow a focus as possible to minimise wastage of your advertising budget, which brings us to the next point.

Budgeting

Just like with Facebook, advertising on Twitter sells as an auction. The more you pay, the more impressions your ads will get, and vice versa. Twitter offers a workaround for this with its default pricing option called automatic bidding. You simply set a daily maximum budget and the site will optimise the price per action or view. If you want more control over your spending, you can manually set a maximum bid. Also, if you haven't specified an end date for your ad campaign, it's highly recommended to set a total campaign budget to prevent gross overspending. Twitter also allows marketers to select an accelerated advertising option, showing ads as often as possible instead of at regular intervals. This comes in use for promoting time-sensitive offers or latching on to a trending topic (like an upcoming movie release or a sporting event). But this option does result in higher expenditure.

Analysing and optimising

Creating and activating a campaign is only half the work when it comes to advertising. Analysing its performance and then optimising it is essential if your ads are to have the desired impact. Not even seasoned digital marketers get advertisements right the first time. Use A/B testing to see which version of the ad performs the best — alter the headline, CTA copy, URL position, visual content, and hashtags to see which one performs the best. You can get a more detailed idea of how your ads are performing (engagement, CPC, conversions) in the Twitter ad dashboard. You can then use this data to create the best performing ads.

There's only one way to gain expertise in creating Twitter ad campaigns that work, and that is practice. You'll need to spend a considerable amount of time experimenting and testing on the platform, but the end result is definitely worth it.

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