Twitter’s New Keyword Targeting in Timeline: Opportunity for Advertisers

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Twitter’s New Keyword Targeting in Timeline: Opportunity for Advertisers


BACKGROUND This week, Twitter announced a new targeting capability—called Keyword Targeting in Timeline—through its Promoted Tweets product.  Advertisers can now bid to serve ads (Promoted Tweets) to users based on keywords within those users’ tweets.  Previously, Twitter allowed advertisers to serve Promoted Tweets only based on: •    Followers •    Look-a-likes of a brand’s followers •    Twitter-defined categories of users The new capability creates “real-time” targeting for advertisers, similar to traditional paid search ads on search engines or content networks.  Promoted Tweets appear to users within minutes of the user tweeting or engaging with a tweet about a certain keyword/topic.  To illustrate: twitter1 twitter2 OPPORTUNITY for ADVERTISERS To date, social networks have given advertisers the opportunity to target users based on audience profiles or actions.  Twitter now offers the first opportunity, outside of search, to target users based on expressed intent. Keyword Targeting could be a powerful tool for brands seeking to reach users in the moment they’re thinking about a brand/product, or when they’re at a brand’s location.  The ability to target ads to users when they are tweeting about their Saturday shopping plans or sharing their car buying experience enables advertisers to create highly relevant ads with perfect timing.  Keyword Targeting can also be a particularly effective tactic for local (and mobile) marketers.  For instance, a person who sends a tweet from their phone looking for the best Chicago pizza for lunch could now be targeted with a Promoted Tweet in real-time from a pizza place. TWITTER KEYWORD TARGETING CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT There are similarities and differences between traditional paid search marketing and Twitter Keyword Targeting. Keywords Firstly, a brand should target its own brand keywords in Keyword Targeting to engage users who are specifically talking about the brand.  However, targeting ads based on brand keywords could be risky, as there’s a chance that a Promoted Tweet would be served to someone who is negatively commenting on a brand.  Twitter does take into account tweet sentiment prior to serving ads to a user to avoid this issue (but it’s often difficult for a machine to uncover sentiment (e.g. if a person is being sarcastic)). For generic keywords, Twitter keyword volume can be discovered through “trending” keywords and hashtags.  Known trends—like holidays or big TV events—would be obvious targets.  Staying up to speed on unplanned trends would require ongoing monitoring and the ability to quickly create relevant ads around those trends.  This can be done through real-time social listening tools.  Performics monitors top keywords for clients on Twitter through the Twitter Trend Optimization product.   Through this offering, advertisers know when to create relevant content for trending topics. This type of monitoring can also be effective in identifying timely keywords or topics that can be incorporated into clients’ Keyword Targeting campaigns. One thing to note—negative keyword targeting isn’t yet available in Keyword Targeting.  Advertisers should thus monitor where their ads are being served to ensure relevancy. Copy Twitter Keyword Targeting copy strategies are similar to paid search.  Advertisers should ensure that the keyword appears in the ad copy.  They should also focus on compelling messages, like emphasizing product benefits, appealing to participant needs or highlighting promotional offerings.  If linking to a landing page within the tweet, ensure that the tweet copy is consistent with the landing page content.  Lastly, tweet copy should continually be tested—let the market determine which copy works best. Bid Strategy Promoted Tweets, which now include Keyword Targeting, enable advertisers to set max bids and daily budgets.  Like paid search (but on a much smaller scale), bid strategy on Twitter consists of: 1.    Determining business objectives 2.    Setting bid strategies per objective 3.    Monitoring performance relative to objectives 4.    Continually calibrating bid strategies to improve performance At Performics, we’re excited that traditional aspects of paid search are becoming more intertwined with social.  This enables us to apply our paid search skill-sets around keywords, copy, and bid strategy to better engage Twitter users based on intent.  We also believe that Keyword Targeting can become an even more compelling opportunity for brands.  For instance, in the future, Twitter could allow advertisers to target users and tailor messaging based on distinct stages in the Participant Journey, such as consideration or post-purchase.


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