Artificial Intelligence Marketing Blog

November
15
2016

Brandes150x150

by Tomer Brandes
Head of Social Advertising

New Twitter Controls Allow Advertisers to Zero in on Conversions

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Twitter has made it easier for advertisers to attract and convert customers by allowing them to display ads only to bottom-of-the-funnel users.

While the media focuses much of its attention on Twitter’s struggling performance and the speculation over a possible acquisition, the company continues to make small, but important improvements behind the scenes. One such recent change has sought to optimize targeting controls for advertisers, reports Venture Beat.

Specifically, Twitter is separating its objective-based “Clicks or Conversions” tool that was introduced in 2014 into two distinct mechanisms: the Website Clicks objective and the Website Conversions objective. The change allows advertisers to choose whether their ads target customers more likely to simply visit a website, or only those who are likely to convert.

How Twitter’s New Controls Work

For those advertisers who are only seeking website visits, little has changed except the name of the objective. But for those trying to get visitors to perform a specific action on the website — whether it’s making a purchase or filling out a form — the conversion objective requires a few extra steps.

In order to track a visitor’s movement through the site, the advertiser must place Twitter’s website tag on their site, which connects a user’s behavior to his or her Twitter profile, explains Marketing Land. Advertisers must then specify their desired conversion event (a product purchase, for example) and what they are willing to pay for that conversion.

Reaching Relevant, Bottom-of-Funnel Users

Twitter then takes its users’ data and the advertiser’s website tags and uses them to automatically select the users who, according to user data, are at or near the bottom of the sales funnel. The microblogging platform then broadcasts the ads to this list of valuable users, regardless of whether they are logged in. This capability is made all the more powerful by Twitter’s Audience Platform, an expansive network that includes people without Twitter accounts, and TellApart, a predictive shopping and bidding tool acquired by the company last year.

Although advertisers will still be charged on a per-click basis, Twitter is confident that their clients will see higher ROI as a result of increased conversions. Companies can cross-reference the campaign’s pricing points against its performance over time (including the number of conversions driven by a given ad). According to Twitter, advertisers using the new objective are experiencing more than twice the conversion volume they were getting with the old objective.

A Clear Path to Conversions

The change is a natural step in the progression of digital advertising, and one that certainly holds plenty of potential, but Twitter’s new feature is not without its limitations. For one, advertisers are handcuffed to the objective: it’s up to them to manually track the campaign’s performance and measure whether or not it’s cost-effective. This does little to ease the burden of difficult and time-consuming campaign optimization and execution tasks that marketing teams are already responsible for.

Similarly, the controls are only useful for a single advertising channel. Today’s marketers must manage both paid and unpaid campaigns across dozens of devices and platforms, so while Twitter’s change is a step in the right direction, it simply isn’t comprehensive enough to meet modern demands.

Advertisers need tools like Albert™ , which tracks a campaign’s effectiveness across platforms with minimal need for human supervision. Like Twitter’s Web Conversions, Albert leverages user data to deliver ads to the most relevant audience possible, but Albert is automatically testing an ad’s impact, making necessary changes in real time.

Read how Albert executes audience testing and optimization for Harley-Davidson NYC.