Written by Sam Yadegar on Jun 19 , 2020

By creating Twitter ads that fit seamlessly into your target audience’s timelines, you can garner attention, improve traffic, and more. 

Here, you’ll find:

  • Why you should consider Twitter Ads
  • The types of Twitter advertising
  • Examples of Twitter Ads
  • Ways to optimize your ads

Twitter began as (and, arguably, still is) a social media platform to connect virtually with others, share thoughts, and have conversations. These days, it’s also where many people learn breaking news, make jokes, post memes, and fire off random thoughts. 

It’s also a great platform 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 2020.

Why Twitter Ads deserve your attention

The popularity of Twitter can’t be understated. The platform reportedly has 166 million monetizable daily active 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. The largest Twitter age demographic (19%) is men between 25 and 34 years of age. The second-largest is 18-24 year-old women. However, Twitter users are hardly all young — more than 15% of them are 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 manner
  • 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 minimal campaign spend, so 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 in the right place at the right time.

Even though Twitter Ads may be a straightforward paid social media marketing tactic, the platform gives you multiple ad options for promoting your account and content:

  • Tweets: you can 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: you can have your tweet promoted in trending topics and in the “Trends for you” section, where they’re visible for 24 hours
  • Automated promote mode: paying a flat fee ($99) to automatically promote your first ten tweets of the day to your chosen target audience

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 2020.

hawksem: twitter blog

An example of the the Promoted Trend Spotlight in the #Explore tab

1. Explore the Promoted Trend Spotlight

In January of this year, Twitter introduced a new feature called Promoted Trend Spotlight. 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. While 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 cost from $250,000 per day, according to reports.

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 get a 55% increase in leads, these cards are still trending.

When you post a link, Twitter will automatically pull the featured image from the page you’ve linked to and include 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.

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. And the Title tag is a separate piece of text, so don’t double up.

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. Take full advantage of this media to make your ads more appealing by creating a Promoted Video campaign. 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)

5. Capitalize on retargeting

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

One of the highly sophisticated retargeting features offered by Twitter 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.) Meanwhile, you can advertise to the target audience without knowing their Twitter IDs.

hawksem: twitter ads article

An example of a promoted accounts under the “Who to Follow” section

6. Experiment, test, rotate

Twitter Ads, like all digital marketing campaigns, require regular A/B testing to perform at their best. With Twitter, you can run a variety of 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, imagery, and text to see what provides top results. Designing several ads doesn’t just give you an opportunity to optimize your campaign, but it also helps keep the attention of the target audience. Running the same ads over and over again can annoy your potential and existing customers, so 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 target audience in a seamless, creative manner. 

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 an eye on the latest developments, trends, and offerings, you can continue improving your Twitter campaigns and improving ROI as a result.

Want to learn more about running a successful Twitter Ads campaign? Let us know.


Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

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