Twitter may have to significantly improve its advertising technology and initiatives. A new report suggests that the microblogging website’s ads are largely ineffective for a bulk of its users. This isn’t good news for a company that is facing internal turmoil and rumors of acquisition.
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A new study by eMarketer shows that nearly two-thirds (60 percent) of Twitter’s users believe ads on the website are irrelevant and a poor fit. Only 3.1 percent of respondents referred to the ads as relevant and insightful.
It’s perhaps because of these kinds of results that Twitter has very little ad sales growth. According to second quarter results, ad revenue growth has slowed and marketers are beginning to have major doubts about the effectiveness of ads showcased on Twitter. The interim CEO, Jack Dorsey, says "this is unacceptable and we’re not happy about it."
In order to combat this depiction of its ad campaigns, says the researchers, Twitter has to look at improving its ad game to boost revenues and gain a larger number of brands and advertisers. According to eMarketer,
The results suggests that advertisers need to step up targeting capabilities if they want to reach the right audience on Twitter."
Twitter has attempted to accomplish this by recently partnering with Google’s DoubleClick and acquiring TellApart. These two moves are meant to enhance relevance of ads to 50 million active United States users. Will it work? Well, a lot more needs to be done, and the company has been proactive this year.
Here are four changes Twitter has made in 2015 and how this helps social media marketers:
1. Twitter Changes Video Ad Model
The video advertising industry is a massive one. Digital marketers spend about $10 billion per year on video ads. The reason why the market is so lucrative is because traditional banner ads are far less effective than video ads. Everyone is embracing video ads: Facebook, newspapers, blogs and now Twitter.
In order to compete against the likes of the biggest social media outlet in the world today, Twitter is instituting an innovative video ad model. Instead of charging clients for a video ad that may or may not be viewed in its entirety, the website has confirmed that brands will only pay for ads that are viewed 100 percent.
Adam Bain, Twitter’s President of Global Revenue, told his followers in a number of tweets that it will only charge advertisers when the video has been consumed for at least three seconds.
You may think this will be hard to do, but one way to achieve this is to launch autoplay videos and GIFs. When users peruse their Twitter feeds, they’ll see a video or an animated GIF that will begin to play right away without any sound. If the users click on the video then it’ll become full-screen and the sound will be played.
It used to be that watching a video on Twitter required several taps. So when something was unfolding in real time, be it an NBA finals game, your favorite TV show or breaking news, that extra effort meant you could miss something that you care about,”
wrote Baljeet Singh, Product Director, Media, TV & Video at Twitter, in a blog post.
Twitter users can revert to the old click-to-play system or to only have videos autoplay when a mobile device is connected to Wi-Fi.
How it will help: marketers and brands have long complained that their videos aren’t being viewed but they’re still being charged full price. Not only are social media advertisers now promised a greater number of views to their videos, but they will only be charged for ones that are actually consumed in its entirety.
2. Easier to Target Ads Around Major Events
When major events start taking place around the world, brands want in on the action. Well, Twitter is making it easier for advertisers to join conversations surrounding world events.
Under the old system, advertisers had to construct the right keywords, Twitter handles and locations the target to get noticed during the Super Bowl, World Cup or the NBA Finals. Now, event targeting can make the entire process a lot easier.
It’s very simple to use. A brand with a Twitter Ads account can peruse a calendar of upcoming events, browse the data of the size and demographics of the Twitter audience during each event and then they can target an ad campaign at that specific audience.
Moreover, Twitter offers a number of "user engagement signals" to identify the audience. In other words, the event targeting doesn’t just look at people who are tweeting but also users looking for and engaging with content regarding the event. The website notes event coverage will get bigger in the coming months.
Moving forward, Twitter’s event targeting will consist of events relating to sports, festivals, politics, television, music and holidays.
How it will help: instead of wasting a lot of time coming up with the right keywords that may or may not help and throwing money out the window for ads that could very well be ignored, social media marketers can find an audience during an event. Remember, the best content will be viewed by consumers, and if it’s relevant to the event then it’s the best position to take.
3. Twitter Launches Mobile Ads Manager
Last month, Twitter announced the unveiling of Mobile Ads Manager, a mobile application to track and monitor the ad campaigns’ performance. Advertisers can check to see how well or how poorly their impressions, engagements, spend, cost per engagement, and engagement rate are performing.
Unfortunately, you can’t actually produce an ad campaign from your smartphone or tablet. This must be done on a desktop or laptop first, which has drawn a ton of criticism. However, you are allowed to modify your campaign bids, budgets and schedules, while also pausing, resuming and extending the campaigns.
How it will help: it’s a worthwhile feature for those advertisers who are always on the go. Social media marketers, which are becoming a remote bunch, can easily and simply look at the campaign’s performance. This can also help social media marketers gain clients as they can provide real-world examples of success.
4. DoubleClick, TellApart to Improve Twitter Ads
As previously noted, Twitter’s ads aren’t doing very well. To give them a little nudge and to sell a lot more of them, Twitter announced in April that it had acquired tech firm TellApart, while allowing its ads to be purchased through DoubleClick’s bid manager. The latter move will aid advertisers to centralize their purchasing from a single interface.
How it will help: first, social media marketers will greatly profit off of the acquisition of TellApart because it gives retailers and advertisers very unique cross-device retargeting features. As consumers move from app to app and device to device, marketers can effectively target those consumers and measure this performance.
Second, the DoubleClick move can make the entire ad process more organized. Twitter’s inventory of ads will be available on the DoubleClick Bid Manager so, social media marketers can place all of their buying through a centralized DBM that can start, create and manage campaigns on the microblogging website.
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Social media marketing is a major advertising force for all brands. Essentially, if you’re not making some sort of effort on Facebook or Twitter then you’re potentially losing out on sales. There is a lot of pressure being applied to social media marketers because brands have high demands and if there aren’t any instant results then they’ll bear the brunt. These changes on Twitter will certainly be of great assistance to social media marketers.
Are you a twitter fan? Do you believe that twitter ads are relevant and engaging? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.