Twitter is now serving a purpose which it was never intended to. Initially developed only as a microblogging platform, today Twitter has emerged as one of the most powerful social media marketing platforms in the world.
Brands, individuals, and even veteran marketers have time and again turned to Twitter to market their products and services. Speaking of which, today 70% of B2B marketers use Twitter to meet all their marketing needs. And why not? The massive reach that Twitter offers is rivaled only by a few platforms out there.
Twitter serves multiple roles today. It functions as a platform that can help you in connecting with your friends and family, a marketing and outreach platform and also as a portal for promotional activities.
Celebrities all over the world use Twitter for connecting with their fans and also use its reach to send out the latest updates and their very own thoughts. This has its downsides as well but today we’ll be focusing only on the use cases.
Brands have also leveraged Twitter to serve their marketing purposes and build credibility. Utilizing hashtags and building social media campaigns is the new normal. It’s been 14 years since Twitter was incorporated and has grown by leaps and bounds since.
The Advertising Evolution
In April 2010, Twitter announced that it would now display ads on the platform. The announcement further stated that the platform would now start accepting payments from account owners for displaying their promotional messages, and announcements. The ads were supposed to be displayed on top and were personalized based on the target account preferences.
A successful ad is something that achieves high click-through rates and studies have shown that Twitter ads have significantly higher click-through rates compared to another online advertising platform.
Looking at the income stats for advertising revenue, Twitter posted revenue of $2.61 Billion as advertising revenue, an increase of 24% from the previous year. For Q1 2019, the earning stats stood at $679 Million, marking an 18% quarterly increase compared to the previous year’s quarter.
We are yet to receive the stats for the year 2020 and without a doubt, they will follow the previous growth trends.
Looking at these figures, it is abruptly clear that Twitter advertising is here to stay and more and more businesses are adopting this highly targeted advertising method.
What is targeted advertising?
Traditional ads are something that are directed to a specific audience that is expected to find the ad relevant to their interests. The approach was more like ‘one size fits all’ which had some serious drawbacks.
These ads also overlooked the conversion rates as there was no clear way to find out exactly what customers clicked on the ad and interacted with it. Ever clicked on a TV ad commercial? I guess, not.
Traditional media has historically struggled to find the right audience. The ads are played in front of the audience and the advertiser just hopes that ads are relevant. This leads to wasted resources and also wastes the advertiser’s time and money.
Twitter relies on data to display targeted advertising. This ensures that ads are only displayed to those audiences that have shown traits of interest. The entire concept of targeted advertising is based on data, and Twitter has loads of it.
Users provide data voluntarily to Twitter about their preferences, likes & dislikes and Twitter leverages this and displays tailored ads. This is what makes targeted advertising possible.
One other aspect which trumps traditional advertising in favor of targeted advertising is cost. If you want to run a TV commercial, your budget may stretch to tens of thousands of dollars and there is no clear way to measure the ROI.
Targeted advertising allows you to document every view, click and purchase. Utilizing this documentation, you can measure the effectiveness of your advertising budget down to a single dollar.
Combining all these aspects, it is instantly clear that targeted advertising is a significantly cost-effective and efficient way for marketing practices.
Short Comings of Targeted ads
Targeted ads are not without their shortcomings. Before writing this article, I was closely monitoring targeted advertisements that followed me all over the internet and found that some of the highly targeted ads were irrelevant to me.
I love H&M apparel. I would purchase their merchandise whether I am displayed ads or not. It would not affect my decision and if the same ad is displayed over and over, it becomes kind of irritating.
One other pitfall is that if I am displayed ads based only on my preferences, I would not be exposed to new products that I may potentially like. This makes me oblivious to new products and it would also lead me to live within my preference-built product or service ecosystem.
How do Third Party Marketers know what audience to target?
Twitter has loads of data, but it does not share this data with marketers. So, how do third party marketers get audience specifics?
They use third party Twitter analytics tools to gain audience insights and target advertisements. One such excellent tool is FollowersAnalysis.
FollowersAnalysis analyzes the entire follower list of any public Twitter account and derives analytical outcomes.
Click here to view a detailed post describing the various steps involved in downloading and analyzing Twitter followers from any public account.
It’s clear that targeted advertising is the future. The mounting YoY earnings of platforms serving targeted ads is proof that this marketing method is here to stay. As more businesses go online, the scope of targeted advertising will witness further growth in the years to come.
If you have any queries related to targeted advertising, do let us know in the comments.