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Written by Caroline Cox on Jan 6 , 2021

Create Twitter ads that fit seamlessly into your target audience’s timelines to garner attention, improve traffic, and more.?

Here, you’ll find:

  • Why you should consider Twitter Ads
  • The various types of Twitter advertising options
  • Twitter Ads examples
  • How to optimize your ads

Twitter began as (and, arguably, still is) a social media app to connect virtually with others, share thoughts, and have conversations. These days, it’s become a platform where users get breaking news, make jokes, post memes, and fire off random thoughts as well.?

It’s also one of the top platforms for social media marketing ads.

If you’re running Facebook and Instagram ads, you may feel like you’re set when it comes to paid social. But if you haven’t even thought about adding Twitter ads into the mix, you may be missing out.?

In fact, Twitter user numbers — and its engagement rates — are growing. Whether you’re already aboard the Twitter Ads campaign train or just want to know more, let’s dive into the info you need to succeed on Twitter in 2021.

What are Twitter Ads?

Twitter Ads are paid tweets featuring text or multimedia. They show up on the Twitter platform as Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Trends via desktop or on the mobile app.?

You can usually interact with these tweets the same way you would an organic tweet (such as responding, retweeting, or liking), but they’ll be marked as “promoted.”??

Why Twitter Ads deserve your attention

The popularity of Twitter can’t be understated. Reports show the platform has approximately 187 million daily users across the globe. When these users are scrolling, some of the tweets in their timelines may be sponsored ads or promoted content.?

Your target audience may very well be active on the Twitter platform. Men between 25 and 34 years of age are the largest Twitter age demographic (19%). The second-largest is 18-24 year-old women. However, Twitter users are hardly all young. More than 12% of them are ages 50 and up.

hawksem: twitter ads blog

When your Twitter Ads campaign parameters are standard, the platform evens out your spend rate throughout the day. (Image via Unsplash)

A few key benefits of Twitter Ads are that they’re:

  • Precise: the most effective ones are short and to the point
  • Unobtrusive: they blend into the news feed organically without jarring the reader
  • Cost-efficient: they allow you to build your campaign in a budget-friendly way
  • Tailored: it’s possible to tailor these ads precisely to target different audiences
  • Versatile: you can create an efficient retargeting campaign in just a few clicks

One of the best parts about Twitter Ads is that there’s no minimum campaign spend. Thus,?they can be suited to virtually any budget.

Types of Twitter Ads

Twitter determines which audience your content is most suitable for. After that, the ads compete in an auction based on your budget. The more money you’re willing to pay and the more relevant your ads are, the more likely they are to appear where you want.?

Twitter Ads are a straightforward paid social media marketing tactic. However, the platform gives you multiple ad options for promoting your account and content.

These include:

  • Tweets – pay to get your tweets in the target audience’s timeline, user profiles, and in top search results
  • Accounts – get your account placed in your potential audience’s timeline, in search results, and in “Who to Follow” suggestions
  • Trends – your tweet is promoted in trending topics and in the “Trends for you” section, where they’re visible for 24 hours
  • Automated promote mode – pay a flat fee of $99 to automatically promote your first ten tweets of the day to your chosen target audience (Note: this mode is no longer available to new users, according to Twitter)
  • Carousel – launched in fall 2020, these interactive ads work to engage users through a combination of 2-6 images or videos in a single ad?

The latest Twitter Ads tips

Constructing a versatile Twitter Ads campaign can take time and practice. These are the latest tips to help your ads succeed in 2021.

twitter explore ad

An example of the the Promoted Trend Spotlight in the #Explore tab (via Twitter)

1. Explore the Promoted Trend Spotlight

In early 2020, Twitter introduced the Promoted Trend Spotlight global feature. It complements the Promoted Trend advertising option on the platform.

The feature allows you to place your ad at the very top of the “Explore” tab (for the first two visits per person per day), improving its visibility substantially. The option supports static messages as well as 6-second GIFs and videos.

The downside of this impressive ad solution is its price. Twitter hasn’t disclosed the actual cost of these ads. But Social Media Today says they’re likely on the same level as Promoted Trends, which can reportedly cost from $250,000 per day.

2. Take advantage of accelerated delivery

When your Twitter Ads campaign parameters are standard, the platform evens out your spend rate throughout the day. So, if your daily campaign budget is $100, it’ll be distributed more or less evenly within 24 hours (approximately $4 per hour).

To speed up your campaign and achieve faster results, you can turn the standard delivery option off. When you do that, Twitter will start serving impressions and generating engagement as fast as possible until the daily budget is up. This is a perfect option for time-sensitive advertising campaigns that need to achieve high engagement during a certain timeframe.

3. Rethink your Twitter cards

Twitter cards appeared back when the character limit was 140 and companies were desperately wishing for more ad space. Since tweets with images often see an increase in leads, these cards are still trending.

When you post a link, Twitter automatically pulls the featured image from the page you’ve linked to and includes that image in your visual tweet, also known as your Twitter card. If there’s no established image, the card may be blank.

hawksem blog: twitter ads

An example of an in-feed promoted tweet with a Twitter card (via Twitter)

If you want to make a bigger impression with the cards:

  • Use summary cards with larger images to take advantage of higher-quality pictures (Twitter supports 560×750 pixels)
  • Take advantage of twitter:site and twitter:creator to pack two user names in one card for a more efficient promotional effort.
  • Use up all 200 characters to give value to the card. (The Title tag is a separate piece of text, so don’t double up on verbiage.)

Pro tip: Don’t forget to take advantage of the multi-image card option if it’ll improve your ad. This lets you post up to four images in one tweet, which expand when the user clicks on them.

4. Experiment with videos

Video content continues to gain momentum on Twitter and beyond. Create a Promoted Video campaign to take full advantage of this media and make your ads more appealing. These campaigns allow you to display your video in-feed and improve your engagement.

Here are the details for creating Twitter video ads:

  • Maximum video size: 1GB
  • Tweet copy: 280 characters (each link costs you 23 characters, so when you include one link, you’ll have 257 characters left)
  • Video length: the maximum is 2 minutes and 20 seconds (but the sweet spot seems to be around 15 seconds)

Ready to run a successful Twitter Ads campaign? We can help.

5. Capitalize on retargeting

Retargeting features (also called remarketing) can help Twitter Ads stand out from other paid social media advertising options. You can use this feature on Twitter by setting the campaign to retarget those who have seen your ads or engaged with them, visited your website, or used your app.

One of Twitter’s highly sophisticated retargeting options is email retargeting. Email addresses from a company’s CRM are matched with email addresses registered to a Twitter account. (Since email addresses are anonymized, this is not a breach of privacy.) This allows you to advertise to the target audience without knowing their Twitter IDs.

FYI: Twitter recently announced plans to accelerate its brand safety measures. They also committed to undergo accreditation for viewability, ad fraud (sophisticated invalid traffic filtration), audience measurement, and brand safety, according to MediaPost.

Twitter “Who to Follow” section

An example of a promoted account under the “Who to Follow” section (via Twitter)

6. Experiment, test, rotate

Paid social ads, like all digital marketing campaigns, need regular testing and optimization to perform at their best. You can run a variety of Twitter ads, then analyze how well they work for your target audience and the platform after a significant period of time.

Experiment with elements like colors, multimedia, and text to see what provides top results. Designing several ads doesn’t just give you an opportunity to improve your campaign, but it also helps hold your audience’s attention. Running the same ads over and over again can annoy potential and existing customers. That’s why it’s a good idea to rotate your most successful pieces.

The takeaway

Twitter Ads can be a successful paid social avenue for a variety of brands and industries. These ad types give you an avenue for reaching your ideal client persona in a seamless, creative way.?

Plus, with ever-changing social media trends, this is also an opportunity for you to have fun and create eye-catching, witty ads that garner double-takes. By keeping tabs on the latest developments, trends, and offerings, you can continue to improve your Twitter campaigns — and increase ROI as a result.

This article has been updated and was originally published in June 2020.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

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