How to Succeed With Twitter Video Ads

on September 27, 2017

Twitter, the social network that put hashtags and Periscope on the map, is a great place for small businesses to use videos. With 42% of users already following companies and brands on Twitter, it’s a great place to drive traffic, generate leads, and grow brand awareness and a loyal engaged following. Plus, using video can help increase your engagement on the platform since native video drives 2.5 times more replies, 2.8 times more Retweets, and 1.9 times more favorites than other media shared on the platform.

So now’s the time to start using videos on Twitter to get ahead with your marketing efforts. We put together this guide to help you see more success with video on Twitter both through paid and organic efforts.

How to Set Up Twitter Ad Campaigns

Whether you’re already running a Twitter business account or just signed up, a great way to boost your success is to incorporate paid promotional activities along with your organic efforts. Twitter ads are an easy way to get in front of a larger audience, which means growing your leads, audience, and potential new customers and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg. All you need to get started is some creativity, a modest budget, and these simple steps to setting up your campaign. Let’s get started.

twitter video ads

Choose your campaign objective

To get started with your with a paid campaign, you first want to select your campaign objective. Doing this helps you achieve your overall business goals and get the results you want. You can choose from the following options:

Awareness: This option will promote your Tweets to maximize your reach and raise awareness of your brand’s message. You want to use it when you want as many people as possible to see your Tweet. With this objective, you pay for the number of impressions (CPM) you receive.

Followers: This will help you build a larger and more engaged audience both on and off of Twitter. You would use this option when you want to build a larger audience and you pay only for the number of new followers you actually get.

Tweet engagements: This campaign will help you start conversations about your brand and maximize your brand. You want to use this when you’re looking to get more likes, Retweets, and replies on your Tweeted content. With this campaign, you pay only for your initial engagements.

Website clicks or conversions: This will promote your Tweets to people who will visit your site and take some sort of action. You want to use this type of campaign when you’re looking to increase website traffic and conversions. With this option, you pay for the number of website clicks you get.

Promoted video views: This campaign helps your videos reach a more targeted and engaged audience. This is best used when you want more views on your dynamic content (including videos, gifs, and Vines) and you pay for the number of views you get.

twitter video ads

Create your target audience

This is a crucial step in the success of your Twitter ads. It will ensure that your account or content gets in front of the people who want to learn more about your product or service and will likely take some sort of action with your business. This is also where you ensure money is spent on the right people.

When you create a target audience on Twitter, you can target your campaigns by keywords, events, interests, behaviors, follower look-alikes, and wifi only targeting.

Targeting by follower lookalikes and interests
When you target according to followers and interests, you can create a list of Twitter handles and target users whose interests are similar to the interest of those specific followers. This is a great option if you’re looking to get in front of new audiences or grow your brand awareness.

For example, you can use this targeting criteria to put together a list of the top relevant influencers in your industry or niche. When we say influencers, think of both relevant people, accounts, and major publications that are relevant to your brand. You can then choose to “show your Tweets” to people who follow and are interested in those influencers. It will help you build a larger audience focused on a specific interest.

Also with this type of targeting, you can build a list of interests, just like the list of Twitter users. This will allow Twitter to show your content to people who are interested in a specific topic (rather than a person or influential account). For example, with one of our Tweets, we could say, “show this to people interested in video marketing, social media marketing, and video ads.” This will also widen your audience to include even more relevant, like-minded people.

Interest targeting best practices to keep in mind: Select no more than two interest categories per campaign. When you enter an interest category, related sub-interests will automatically populate. As your campaign runs, check back frequently to see which sub-interests perform best and worst so you can refine as needed. Each campaign should aim to have no more than 10 sub-interests.

Targeting by keywords
This option offers you an impressive reach as you can target people that Tweet, search, and/or engage with defined keywords. With this option, you can choose for your Tweets show up in either the user’s feed or in their search results. This will give you a higher quality audience as it targets people who are actively looking for and engaged in keywords that relate to the service or product you offer. Targeting by keyword is great if you’re looking for a more engaged and specific audience based directly on your product or service.

We would, for example, choose to target keywords like, “ video marketing, videos, content marketing, and social media marketing.” That way we would show up in any search or feed related to those keywords.

Twitter helps you expand on keyword targeting by recommending additional keywords for your campaigns. You can find it by clicking the “Expand your reach” in the campaign targeting section. This will definitely make sure you’re not missing out on other highly-relevant keywords you may not have thought of originally.

twitter video ads

Targeting by behavior
Behavior targeting enables you to reach audiences on Twitter based on their shopping behavior, lifestyle, and other key attributes. With this type of targeting, you can reach users who have shown intent outside of Twitter. It helps you achieve the highest possible return on investment from your advertising campaigns.

With behavior targeting, you can reach audiences based on how they behave online and offline, based on information provided by Twitter partners.

For example, with this information, a pet food company can connect with dog owners that purchase a specific brand of dog food. A nonprofit can reach an audience that donates to a specific cause. And luxury brands can limit campaigns to shoppers who earn a household income above a certain threshold.

twitter video ads

Targeting with the Tailored Audience feature
Twitter’s Tailored Audience feature allows you to target your website visitors or lists pulled from your database. This feature works in combination with a website pixel and a third party Twitter ad partner to help you establish better, more optimized remarketing campaigns. Much like the Facebook pixel, it helps you create audiences from people who have already visited your site and performed some sort of action. It’s a great option if you’re looking to run a powerful remarketing campaign on Twitter.

Refine your audience

Other than the targeting options mentioned above, you can refine your audience using location, gender, and device. These additional options will likely narrow your audience a bit, but make it even more targeted and suited for people more likely to take action.

These options are pretty simple to define. If you’re a local business or looking to advertise to a different country or state, you would simply choose those relevant geolocations and your Tweets or account will show up to people in those specific areas.

When it comes to devices, keep in mind that 93% of video views come from Twitter mobile. This means most Twitter users login and engage from a mobile device. So setting your campaign to target mobile users will put you in front of a larger audience ready and waiting for your video ads.

If you have a product or service geared towards a specific gender, you can refine your audience to include male or female and, again, have a better chance of reaching the most relevant people.

Best practices for targeting

We know this is a ton of information to process and use. So if you remember anything when it comes to targeting let it be these things:

Cover the basics. Select the appropriate location, language and optional device targeting options before selecting additional targeting criteria.

Select one audience targeting type for each campaign. Choose from follower, keyword, behavior, interest or Tailored Audiences targeting to get meaningful insights into your campaign.

Experiment. Test different targeting approaches to understand which audience is the best fit and which messages resonate with different groups. You may be surprised by what’s most effective for you.

Create your Twitter videos

Now that you have the campaign chosen and targeted to the best possible audience, you can create or choose which video you would like to promote. This is the fun part. You can craft a Tweet from scratch that would suit your audience and product or you can choose to promote a Tweet that you’ve already Tweeted in the past.

twitter video ads

When you choose to create a new Tweet for your paid campaign, make sure to click on the “eye” button to specify whether you want a standard or promoted-only delivery. Standard delivery means that Twitter will run it immediately to your followers just like a regular, organic Tweet, where as promoted-only delivery means that it will only promote it through your predefined Twitter campaign.

Finishing touches with paid Twitter campaigns

The final step is to set a daily budget for your campaigns and monitor and optimize where needed. With Twitter you can help allocate your budget in the following ways:

Target cost: Set a target cost per bid unit, and your daily average cost will meet or beat the highest target you’ve set for that day.

Automatic bid: Your bid will be optimized to get the best results at the lowest price (within your budget).

Maximum bid: Bidding higher helps your ad display more often. You’ll never pay more than what you’ve bid, and you’ll usually pay less.

twitter video ads

Also remember that tracking your results is an important step in creating more campaigns and videos that will continue to hit your KPIs.

How to create the perfect Twitter video post

Now that we’ve walked you through the process of running your paid campaigns on Twitter, we wanted to give you some tips on how to make better organic Tweets with videos. Like we said earlier, with Twitter delivering Tweets lightening fast (about 7,000 Tweets per second), it’s super important to use your videos both organically and in paid campaigns. So here are some of our pro-tips to help you improve your organic Twitter video posts.

Post videos with different time lengths

We’re the biggest proponents of creating and publishing videos that are short. And when we say short, we mean 60 seconds or less. But, recent studies show, that a mixture of shorter and longer videos actually works well in social media efforts. Short videos help you get better click through rates and completion rates. Longer videos can help you capture attention and entertain and teach a whole story rather than just a snippet.

Twitter, unlike Instagram or Snapchat, caps it’s maximum video length at two minutes and 20 seconds. So take advantage of the time and create several different videos, each a different length, to get the best out of the ctrs and completion rates and the chance to tell a more full and engaging story.

Avoid using all 140 characters & too many hashtags

Until it changes, Twitter limits Tweets to 140 characters only. While some people think it’s best to make the most out of your space, a study found that Tweets shorter than 100 characters get a 17% higher engagement rate. This means that while experimenting with the length of your videos on Twitter is a great idea, keeping your characters in the text post short and simple is in your best interest.

Also, don’t overwhelm your Tweets with too many distracting hashtags. By doing this, you run the risk of people clicking a hashtag instead of your link. Before you use any hashtags, think about the purpose of your Tweet. If you’re looking to get more engagement and visibility from new audiences on search results and feeds, then use up to two hashtags only. If you’re looking to spur your existing followers to take action, then avoid hashtags all together.

Use your logo prominently and early

A recent study by Adweek found videos that get the most attention on Twitter include prominent branding in the first five seconds of the video. It also found that a brand logo in the video itself increases purchase intent by 9 percent.

This means that adding your logo to your video is not just a suggestion, it’s a must for better engagement and conversion from your videos. Make sure your logo appears right at the beginning and is a clear representation of your brand and business.

Now’s the time to show off your brand on Twitter

Twitter is a great place for small businesses to market with video as it offers so much space to reach an active and engaged audience without having to break your budget. The secret to the success comes from running both paid and organic campaigns and creating videos that work for this fast-paced, micro-blogging environment. Take these steps and watch your brand, revenue, and business grow.


Community and Content Marketing Manager at Slidely with experience in creating, curating, and using awesome dynamic content, anything from blogs to gifs to videos, to engage large active communities across all socials.

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