Twitter Social Media World

Five tips to creating great Twitter real-time advertising campaigns

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By Dara Nasr | sales director, UK

February 19, 2014 | 6 min read

Over the past two weeks, Twitter has invited a number of the UK’s leading brands to its Live Studio in London, designed to help businesses plan their Twitter strategies. This included workshop sessions on strategy, tone of voice, and marketing in the moment.

Twitter campaigns are in real-time and of the moment in order to capture attention. With the Winter Olympics, London Fashion Week, the and the BRIT Awards all happening this week, Dara Nasr, Twitter UK's sales director has put together his tips for brands thinking about how to make the most of live events and join the global conversation on Twitter.

1) Everyday conversations

On Twitter, there are a billion Tweets every two days, with conversations around pretty much every conceivable topic. To succeed on Twitter as a brand, you need to pick which of these conversations are pertinent to your audience, and start owning these. Promoted Tweets allow you to target people interested in these topics with you relevant and timely messages. This contextual advertising achieves engagement rates of 1-3 per cent, an impressive rate when compared to traditional online display engagement rates. Targeting everyday conversations is a great way to associate your brand with key passions, for example football in anticipation of a global event such as the World Cup.

2) Live events

Twitter users love events. In fact, a recent study by Millward Brown showed that Twitter users are particularly active in this area, with 66 per cent saying they enjoy watching live events on TV or video. Twitter’s targeting allows advertisers to be central to these conversations as they play out on Twitter. With big events like #LFW and #BRITs2014 happening at the moment, there’s never been a better time to think about planning for the moment. Being timely drives engagement for brands on Twitter. Marketing in the moment can be intimidating for brands used to planning well in advance - but one trick here to is to plan for expected moments and resource your team around key moments to make the most of them. Some moments are impossible to foresee, but the vast majority - such as live sporting and music events - can be planned for and capitalised on, amplifying the positive and diffusing the negative.

3) Campaign moments

Twitter complements other media when part of cross platform campaigns such as TV, Print and Out of Home. Using hashtags on campaign creatives drives conversation on Twitter and amplifies the brand’s message. Recently, a piece of Mixed Market Modelling (MMM) research in the telecoms space carried out by Marketshare showed that Twitter advertising in conjunction with TV advertising reduces the cost of acquiring new subscribers by 36 per cent, making it a compelling combination for advertisers in that space. Increasingly we are seeing brands incorporating Promoted Trends in their marketing plans to launch products, allowing them to benefit from high levels of traffic across desktop and mobile around their key campaign moments.

4) Tone of Voice

Combining an understanding of your user’s interests with your own brand truths will help to determine the appropriate tone. It’s about choosing the tone that is true to your brand and engages your audience in an informative, helpful and funny way, convincing them to spend the moment with you vs. the myriad of other things they could be doing. There’s a misconception that you have to be funny on Twitter. It certainly is one way to engage users, but being helpful and informative are also highly rated by users. Generally speaking, if you can be two of the three (funny, helpful or informative) then you’re on to a winning formula.

5) Hashtags

Don’t underestimate the power of a hashtag to enable brands to organise and steer real-time conversations. Hashtags are an essential component to a brand’s content strategy. As well as taking part in existing conversations with customers and other brands, the hashtag is key to increasing the reach of new content to new audiences. Indeed, according to Millward Brown’s ‘Twitter as a Live Medium’ study, 77 per cent of Twitter users watching live events frequently use hashtags. Therefore having a robust hashtag strategy works in your favour when planning your Twitter activity.

Connections are at the very heart of Twitter. Users connect to those who share the same interests as them - from friends and family, to other people across the globe who share their passions. With a billion tweets every two days, those interests can be broad or very niche - but all represent opportunities to engage, and never is this truer than around big moments. Marketing in the moment can offer clients the greatest opportunity for brand relevance. By using these few simple tips it’s possible for advertisers to not only embrace but win in real-time marketing.

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