There’s a New Advertising Tool for Businesses on Twitter

By Lewis Crutch | On 09 Aug, 2016 | 2mins Reading Time

There’s a handy new addition to Twitter Ads which may appeal to business buyers. The so-called ‘incentivised conversational ads’ feature will allow brands to encourage users to tweet about their advertising, and benefit from additional – potentially free – impressions as a result.

Boosting Perceived Value

So what’s behind this apparently altruistic move? It’s no secret that Twitter’s ad business is experiencing pain. The network hopes that by boosting tweets about ads, brands will view the extra impressions favourably and see Twitter advertising as being more cost effective.

The new autoplay video ads feature has already led to a 64pc average price drop for brands. These conversational ads could cut costs even further if brands are prepared to factor the extra impressions into their ROI calculations.

Building on Features

Earlier in the year, Twitter launched the conversational ad format. This allows brands to prompt users to send a branded content-bearing tweet for their followers to see. The new scheme will essentially incentivise people to become referral marketers for brands.

The Instant Unlock Card

The Instant Unlock feature can now be added to conversational ads. This allows brands to tease readers with a video that is unlockable when the tweet is sent on. Again, a great way to build up those impressions for free, with powerful social currency.

Results of Testing

Brands already testing the conversational ad feature have reportedly received an average of 34 free impressions for every 100 paid impressions, according to the platform.

It’s not quite that simple mind you, as Twitter doesn’t sell ad space by impression. So brands will be obliged to work out their own anticipated value, by reconciling calculations against paid-for metrics, such as link clicks, replies, retweets and video views. There’s very likely to be some guesstimating involved for the extra impression front, which is unlikely to go down well with budget holders.

And here’s another fly in the ointment. If photo content is being shared via a conversation-based ad campaign, the brand pays for every social engagement – including retweets. But if they push video instead, they only get charged for the initial ad and extra impressions. Any subsequent views aren’t charged for. All a bit strange if you ask me.

So for buyers, it may just come down to the ultimate campaign objective. If the brand wants impressions, cares about ultimate cost, and sees engagements grow as a result, then the latest toolset may well be deemed a worthwhile case for budget spend – at least to trial.



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