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Twitter has released a new type of video ad called the Video Website Card, which is aimed at helping advertisers drive traffic to where they need it most.

Twitter Video Ads

The new ad unit uses a multi-faceted approach to help streamline the process of directing users to your site, mobile app, or any other place you want.

It starts with an auto-playing video ad which Twitter says drove twice the normal engagement of standard mobile video ads in a beta test.

After the video is over, advertisers can include a clear call-to-action to drive viewers to your preferred location. However, if a user taps the ad while the video is still playing, it will continue to play while the website loads. Twitter claims this increases user retention by over 60% because it keeps users engaged while waiting for your site to load.

As you would expect, the ad unit also includes a customizable headline and a destination URL. You can also optimize the Video Website Card for your specific goals, such as video views, website clicks, or awareness.

The ad unit is already available to all Twitter users around the world, so you can start testing the new Video Website Cards today.

 

Twitter advertising

Twitter’s ad platform is reportedly in dire need of revenue. Judging by its latest advertising program the company is testing out, it appears that might be the case. The company is definitely getting quite creative in their attempts to find more business, at least.

Twitter is testing the idea of launching a subscription-advertising program designed to let smaller businesses and advertisers pay $99 a month to have their advertising automated by the company. The service would automatically promote their tweets, as well as run Promoted Account ads for the associated account each month.

“Instead of creating and optimizing separate Twitter Ads campaigns yourself, this program will do the heavy lifting. You just need to continue using Twitter as you normally do — Tweeting updates, links, and media that you want a larger audience to see. Then, the promotion of your Tweets will be automated,” as Twitter says on their business site page explaining the new program.

For now, the Twitter Subscription Ads Beta Program is invite-only while Twitter tests the waters. Based on the information available, it looks set to be aimed primarily at smaller advertisers who are using the company’s self-serve ad tools.

While this might sound nice to businesses interested in advertising but unfamiliar with the tricks of the trade, it’s important to know the program has some pretty big downsides. The biggest would be the amount of control you’re giving up.

Unlike normal ad campaigns where you get to select exactly what you’re promoting, participants in the subscription service will have little to no control over what Tweets are turned into ads or whom they are shown to. The company also notes that “not every Tweet that is added to your Promoted Tweet campaign will serve an impression, and the extent each Tweet is promoted may vary based on performance.”

If you’re thinking you might be able to fold the subscription service into your existing advertising efforts, you’ll also be disappointed to learn that isn’t possible. Any account participating in the program will lose access to Twitter’s self-serve ad platform. “In order to participate in this private beta program your previous ads account will no longer be accessible,” says Twitter.

Source: Shawn Campbell

Source: Shawn Campbell

Twitter’s ad revenue and engagement may be going up, but Twitter’s advertising platform is struggling to maintain growth as they see fewer advertisers using their service to promote their content.

According to Twitter’s latest shareholder letter, ad revenue grew 18 percent year-over-year, reaching $535 million in Q2. Similarly, ad engagement shot up 226 percent and the cost per engagement dropped by 64 percent.

That’s the good news. The bad news is Twitter is “seeing a continuation of the trends discussed last quarter with less overall advertiser demand than expected. This is reflected in both our Q2 performance and Q3 outlook.

The social media giant says there are two reasons their number of advertisers is dwindling while earnings are growing:

First, there is increased competition for social marketing budgets, which requires us to continuously raise the quality bar on the advertising solutions we bring to market.

Second, while we have worked to drive higher ROI for advertisers (by leveraging our current user base, ad formats and innovations in targeting, creative and measurement), we’re still priced at a premium CPE relative to others. This has proven to be a headwind in growing Twitter’s share of overall social budgets and in our ability to grow faster in both video and performance advertising.

Ultimately, Twitter is going through growing pains and it is reflected by the loss of advertisers. While Twitter is charging more than most social platforms, it is struggling to maintain its active user base who have been largely unimpressed by newer features and changes to the interface on mobile and desktop.

Instead, advertisers are following users who are turning to platforms like Snapchat, which already has more active daily users than Twitter.

The company announced several new ideas to help recapture their audience’s attention and incentivize advertisers to use their service. Among them, it showed off a “new look and feel” to its marketing efforts that emphasize that Twitter is “where you go to see what’s happening everywhere in the world right now.”

Twitter is also heavily investing into live sports streaming with agreements to stream games from all the biggest sports leagues in the U.S., including the NFL, MLB, and NBA. The only question is if these decisions will reignite the spark that originally made Twitter one of the most popular social networks in the world.

Source: Shawn Campbell

Source: Shawn Campbell

Smart webmasters and marketers know analytics is the key to online success. Analytics services are the best way to know exactly how your site or content is performing and what you can do to improve it, but it has traditionally been more difficult to monitor your performance on social media through anything other than followers, likes, and retweets. Thankfully, that is all starting to change.

Twitter has operated an analytics service for users for over a year, but today they have launched a significant upgrade to its analytics tool which promises to give marketers and webmasters much greater insights into who their audience is and how to reach them.

The upgraded analytics tool, called “Audience Insights” offers a much deeper analysis of demographics, interests, lifestyle, consumer purchasing behavior, television viewing preferences, and even mobile carrier and device usage. The service works by matching data from Twitter’s Marketing Platform Partners such as Datalogix.

According to Twitter, the new Audience Insights will help brands improve their paid and organic marketing strategies on Twitter, and will be especially effective for advertisers as Twitter product manager Andrew Bragdon explained.

For example, if you’re running a campaign to increase awareness about a new cosmetics line, you can use this tool to learn about your potential customers on Twitter — the beauty products they’ve recently purchased, what fashion trends they’re interested in and even TV viewing behavior. Based on this information, you can identify the best segments to target within Twitter Ads, along with which creative — such as a Vine or video clip — your audience will find most compelling.

The insights dashboard offers easy and convenient tracking categories including gender, occupation, household income and net worth, home type, home value, marital status, education, consumer buying styles (premium brand vs. natural living vs. weight-conscious), favored television genre (drama vs. sports vs. comedy), type of credit card, and consumer good preferences.

The advanced analytics tool also makes it easy for marketers to compare their followers and organic audience against the full Twitter audience.

Audience Insights are already available for all Twitter advertisers and users of Twitter analytics. To access it, just visit ads.twitter.com while signed in, click on the “Analytics” menu, and select “Audience Insights”. You can also access it at analytics.twitter.com, under the “Followers” tab.

Below, you’ll find screenshots of each audience insights category as originally compiled by Marketing Land:

Overview

twitter-insights-overview-800x531

Demographics

twitter-insights-demo-800x519

Lifestyle

twitter-insights-life-800x420

Consumer Behavior

twitter-insights-consum-800x466

Mobile Footprint

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Twiter imageWe are quickly reaching the point where every social media platform has their own advertising platform specific to their brand. Facebook has Facebook Ads, Google+ has +Post ads which display all across Google’s network, and of course Twitter has their own advertising platform, Twitter Ads.

As to be expected, each platform has its own upsides and drawbacks. But, if you can make it adjust your approach to the platform, advertising on the one of the largest social media sites of the moment is certainly an effective way to increase your reach and generate leads.

If you are thinking about expanding your advertising strategy to include Twitter Ads, Melissa Mackey recently explained some of the most important good and bad aspects to the platform you need to know before you get started.