Twitter Makes it Easier for Advertisers to Target Live Event Discussion with New Insights Tools
Twitter's greatest strength is in live event coverage. It was Twitter that first revealed details of a plane crashing into the Hudson River, Twitter that people turn to for coverage of major events like the 2015 Oscars. Real-time coverage remains the micro-blog network's key differentiator, and key advantage against other social media sites, and now Twitter's looking to further capitalize on this, providing new tools to help advertisers target and reach audiences engaged in live events.
Right Here, Right Now
In an official blog post, Twitter has today launched a new Event Targeting option in the Twitter Ads dashboard. From the announcement:
"With event targeting, you can activate around live moments, quickly and easily. We'll help you discover and plan for these moments, learn more about the participating audiences through valuable insights, and with one click, create a campaign that delivers the right message to just the right users as the event unfolds."
The new features are pretty great - the first step in the event targeting process is to locate the event you want to target based on a Twitter-generated calendar of major global events.
In addition to major events, the calendar also highlights "tentpole events related to sports, holidays, festivals, TV, music and politics in the U.S., UK, France, Brazil and Japan". You can filter the listings by date, event type and location to help better hone in on the conversations most relevant to your brand.
Once you've found which event you'd like to target, you can click-through for more specific insights, based on the Twitter conversation around that event from the previous year. Those insights include total reach of the Twitter conversation, genders of those involved in the discussion, and the devices on which the interactions predominantly occurred, all enabling more specific focus of your messaging and ad presentation.
Clicking on "View More Details" takes you to a listing of more specific info on exactly which tweets performed best in relation to that event on Twitter previously, which is great for getting an idea of what Twitter users are interested in and what messaging resonates best.
After investigating the details and settling on which event you want to target, you can then create an ad campaign based on that exact info, right there within the dashboard, with options to refine and specify your audience based on the information you've gleaned.
Providing access to the specific event data will be a big help for advertisers looking to utilize events, as well as those who may be considering the option, as it'll help clarify what's possible and what type of messaging specific fans best respond to.
Reaching the Right Audience
The new option will also make the process of event targeting much easier by enabling advertisers to utilize Twitter's event targeting algorithms, rather than trying to jump onto a trending hashtag alone. In comments to Marketing Land, Twitter's Senior Director of Revenue Products, Ameet Ranadive, said that many marketing opportunities had been lost previously because brands were reliant on their own research, identifying hashtags and keywords themselves - "the tendency would probably be to pick the most popular ones, and they might have missed out on a bunch of other ones coming up around the event."
Using event targeting, Twitter will use a variety of engagement signals to serve event-related ad content to people engaging with that event via the platform - not just those sending event-related tweets, but also people viewing and engaging with event-related content in other forms.
Of course, there is also the concern that providing such capacity to advertisers will flood live event streams with ads - in response to this Ranadive told Marketing Land that event targeting uses Twitter's general ad presentation rules which limit the number of ads which can be served to a user within a certain period of time.
"Those rules guard against inundating people with too many ads," Ranadive said.
In addition to the announcement, Twitter also included some examples of brands that have already achieved success through the testing period of the event targeting program. Social Code reported a 17.95% engagement rate and a $0.10 cost per engagement through event targeted ads, while Mindshare UK noted "an average engagement rate improvement ranging from 73% to 110% when compared to our traditional targeting settings" via the new option.
No doubt, these are good results, but more interesting will be to see how the option fares in the real world - and in that context, how the data from previous years helps advertisers focus and target their ads based on events.
A representative from global agency MEC makes an interesting note in this regard:
"The tool has been crucial in identifying purposeful investment opportunities through insight into conversation spikes, allowing us to tap into the most strategic moments and prepare conflicting creative for multiple scenarios."
That's where the true strength of this option lies - while the results are impressive, it's always going to be relative to the specific ad content - and in that sense, it's all about the data presented and how you can use that to enhance focus and achieve better results. Event Targeting definitely provides some good context in this respect, and could go a long way towards helping advertisers better understand and reach their audiences based on their on-platform interests and interactions.
Follow Andrew Hutchinson on Twitter