The Anatomy Of An Effective Twitter Ad

Social Media, WORK

Launched in 2007, Twitter came with big promises for the world of social media. It wanted to change the world.

Today, the 140-character platform has changed how people have conversations on social media, how they respond to global events, and how they communicate their brand.

According to social media examiner’s 2017 trend report, 82% of marketers are putting in more than 40+hours weekly on Twitter with 56% of them planning to increase their posting frequency on the platform.

Facebook largely drives paid activities while Twitter remains an essential platform for advertising because of its many benefits.

However, with more than 500 Million daily tweets, it becomes increasingly difficult for brands and businesses to tap into the right conversations at the right time.

So how can you advertise on Twitter more efficiently to reach the right audience? How can you meet your goals with Twitter advertising? What elements make an effective Twitter ad? We’ll tell you how!

The Right Objective

This is the first and often most overlooked step when creating an ad. Knowing your key objective is important to get the most out of your social media spend.

For example, if your goal is to drive traffic then choosing engagements as your goal may not be the right move.

Twitter has the following objectives that allow you to reach the right people to enable the desired action:

Website Clicks & Conversions

When to use it: You want to drive traffic to your site, and you want people to take action (i.e. downloading a whitepaper, registering for your event, subscribing to your newsletter, making a purchase).

What you pay for: Number of clicks that lead to website visits.

Key metrics: Cost Per Clicks, Cost Per Conversion, Click Through Rate.

Tweet Engagements

When to use it: You have posted a fantastic tweet you think has the potential to engage a lot of people. You promote it hoping people will engage with your tweet.

What you pay for: Paid engagements on your tweet. Anything that’s organic as a result of your ad is free.

Key metrics: Cost Per Engagement, Engagement Rate.


When to use it: You’ve been tweeting for a long time, and now you’re looking for more followers. The more people you have in your community, the stronger the network for engagement.

What you pay for: Paid followers.

Key metrics: Cost Per Follow, Follow Rate.


When to use it: You have something in your arsenal that’s worthy of everyone’s attention This time awareness is your campaign objective. Perfect for top of the mind recall.

What you pay for: A Thousand Impressions. Note: Reach is the unique number of people your ad has reached, and an impression is the number of times they have seen your ad.

Key Metrics: CPM or Cost Per Thousand Impressions.

Video Views

When to use it: You made a video and you want everyone to see it.

What you pay for: Promoted video views. (Note: Nearly 90% of all Promoted Videos are viewed on mobile so it’s always good to optimize the video for mobile users.)

Key Metrics: Cost Per View, View Rate.

App Installs or Re-engagements

When to use it: You want to drive installs for your mobile-app or you want to re-engage with your existing users.

What you pay for: Installs of your app. (All other engagements are free)

Key Metrics: Cost Per Install

After choosing the right objective and the duration of the campaign, it is important to detail your campaign with effective targeting.

Relevant Targeting

Targeting is the crux of a successful campaign. With millions of conversations going on, it’s important to define the audience that will help you reach your goal.

Just like every other advertising platform, Twitter gives you the ability to target your audience based on demographics and psychographics.

Here are a few great examples of some of Twitter’s targeting features:

Keyword Targeting

One of the most powerful features of Twitter — keyword targeting — helps you target based on intent.

With the right keyword targeting, your ad reaches out to people who have recently used that phrase in their tweets or have searched about it on Twitter. Here’s one of many great examples by Twitter on how to do it right:

“Suppose your company sells baby clothes. Your phrase-matched “boy infant clothes” keyword from your search campaigns is unlikely to reach many users on Twitter, because people don’t Tweet that way. Why not reach an interested audience by trying a keyword like ‘it’s a boy?’ Eight thousand Tweets per week contain ‘it’s a boy’; almost zero contain ‘boy infant clothes.’”

Username & Interest Targeting

Use interest-based targeting when you want to reach a larger audience base. With over 350 categories to choose from, interest-based targeting can be a good way to test your campaign and how a certain group of users respond to it.

Couple this with username targeting that helps you reach out to followers with interests similar to the account you have targeted. For example, if you target @buffer, a social media management tool, your ad will reach people who are likely interested in digital marketing and social media.

Tailored Audience

This is a hidden gem within Twitter. With tailored audiences, you can reach out to people with highly relevant and targeted campaigns.

Here are three ways you can use Tailored Audience to make your ad effective.

Manual Bidding

Bidding is the most important part of any campaign. When you are new to Twitter, it is often unclear what you should be bidding in the first place.

A general rule to follow is to never use automatic bidding unless you want to reach a large pool in a short span of time.

Always make use of manual bidding and set a maximum bid (the most you are willing to pay per engagement) for your campaign. Click here to learn more about Twitter bidding best practices.

Creative and Copy

Your creative and your copy can make or break a campaign. Use clean, mobile-optimized images, and action-oriented copy.

Here are some overall best practices for creative and copy:

  • Align the creative with your brand identity
  • Write a tweet that speaks directly to your audience
  • Always A/B test the creative and copy, measure the results and choose the ones that perform best
  • Remember: Twitter is all about trending topics. Choose creative and copy that reflects trending elements to catch more attention. (Note: If you aren’t running an engagement campaign, don’t use hashtags in your tweet copy. Unnecessary hashtags distract the user from taking the desired action.)

When done right, Twitter advertising can serve to be a huge boost for campaigns. Make use of the right objective, focus your targeting, bid manually, and make stellar copy and creative to stand out and win at the Twitter ads game.

7 Books Every Marketer Should Read In 2017

Social Media

Often the incomprehensible pace at which the world is moving — sometimes beyond what we can predict or imagine — keeps changing the business rule book and how we interact with consumers every day.



One of the most important things we should do before taking a job is to define clear expectations.

Often, the end picture is blurry for individuals on both ends of the spectrum — and this becomes a perfect recipe for misunderstanding and chaos.

Humans are wired to over-promise. You take up a project wanting to shoot for the moon — no matter if you haven’t still figured out where you will get the fuel from.

Why? Because it feels good. The feeling of achieving an ideal target is a state of bliss. But unfortunately, moment driven passion & emotion always get the better of us and don’t necessarily project reality.

What can we do combat this?

Set the right expectations. Under-promise; over-deliver.

50+ Resources To Make Most Of Your Time.


  1. TED-Ed (Highly Recommended): TED-Ed’s commitment to creating lessons worth sharing is an extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas. Within TED-Ed’s growing library of lessons, you will find carefully curated educational videos, many of which represent collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-Ed platform.
  2. Shots of Awe (Highly Recommended) — Jason Silva (the host of Brain Games) will certainly blow your mind!
  3. thenewboston (Recommended): You will learn more by watching Bucky Roberts teach you stuff than by spending time anywhere else. From Photoshop to Python to C++ to Java to Adobe Effects — you name it!
  4. How to start a startup: Everything about how to start a startup, for free, from some of the world experts. The series of lectures offer close to 1,000 minutes of content if you watch it all.
  5. Veritasium
  6. Vsauce (Highly Recommended)
  7. MinutePhysics
  8. Numberphile
  9. SciShow
  10. AsapSCIENCE(Highly Recommended)
  11. The RSA
  12. Big Think (Recommended)
  13. eHow (Recommended)
  14. SmarterEveryDay

  1. Spirit Science: Everything related to existence, life, spirituality and more.
  2. The Next Web: One of the best sources for technology and business related news. They have quite an active Youtube channel as well which is worth checking out.
  3. Gibbon: Gibbon is an amazing source of curated knowledge from an inspiring community. It offers what they call as “playlists for learning” wherein you get to learn things via articles, videos and more — all in step by step manner.
  4. Oliver Emberton: Oliver is an inspiring writer. He is like those teachers who break a hard to understand concept of life into an example that will stay with you for a long time. I am a regular reader of his blog and I can vouch for the quality and effectiveness of his writing. Bonus: You can also follow him on Quora: Oliver Emberton.
  5. 8tracks (Highly Recommended): Go nowhere else for great music on the internet!
  6. Digital Inspiration: Mr. Amit Agarwal authors the hugely popular and award-winning Digital Inspiration blog where he writes how-to guidesaround computer software, consumer gadgets, and web apps. You will be surprised by how much you can learn by just following his blog weekly!
  7. Less Wrong: A community blog that will make you question yourself, your life and your existence as a whole — offering you a more rational perspective on the whole. Ex article: Simulate and Defer To More Rational Selves
  8. HubSpot Blog (Recommended): If you are a business professional (especially a Marketer) then you should not miss Hubspot at all. It’s famous for its amazing and quality content on everything. Ex article:Psychology for Marketers: 9 Revealing Principles of Human Behavior.
  9. Buffer blog: Everything related to social media. They offer creative content and will never bore you with their articles. Even if you are not a social media professional, you will end up loving some of their articles. Ex article: 15 Psychological Studies That Will Boost Your Marketing.
  10. Brain Pickings (Highly recommended)Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why, bringing you things you didn’t know you were interested in — until you are. It is maintained by Maria Popova who reads over 12–13 books a week to post all the awesomeness that’s in there.
  11. HowStuffWorks (HighlyRecommended) — HowStuffWorks is a wholly owned subsidiary of Discovery Communications and is the award-winning source of credible, unbiased, and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world actually works. Gamut of categories to feed your intellectual hunger.
  12. TED: Ideas worth spreading — Learn from the experts by watching under 20 minutes of mind expanding talks. Start with Sir Ken Robinson’s talk:-How schools kill creativity!
  13. Investopedia– Learn everything there is to know about finance. From dictionary to tutorials, they have it all!
  14. Mind Tools — An amazing website to train you in different aspects of life!
  15. Mental Floss — An amazing website that offers random, interesting articles and facts.
  16. The Art of Manliness — Another mind expanding blog to keep you inspired and intellectually hungry. Example article The Power of Ritual: Building Shared Worlds and Bonds That Transcend the Everyday
  17. BBC — Future — Know more about the future stuff that matters. Example:Timeline of the far future
  18. Litemind .(Recommended) — Litemind is about exploring ways to use our minds efficiently. Covering articles on being more creative,thinking more clearly, boosting your brainpower, developing yourself andmore.
  19. Entrepreneur. — For all the entrepreneurs out there.The website offers some amazing insights related to entrepreneurial world.
  20. Stumbleupon (Recommended) : This helps in discovering more stuff that interests you!
  21. Big Think: They have some great stuff!
  22. The Mind Unleashed: Helps you discover yourself scientifically, culturally and intellectually. Example article: What If Everything You Were Ever Taught Was A Lie?
  23. Top Documentary Films — — Choose from a wide category and watch some interesting documentaries. Example (and favorite one): The Century of the Self (Highly recommended)
  24. Free Online Course Materials (MIT OpenCourseWare), Coursera,edX– They need no introduction!
  25. Project Gutenberg — Find over 40,000 ebooks
  26. Goodreads — Learn more about your favorite books, review them, find lists, award winning books, quotes, trivia, join reading groups etc.
  27. Zenpecils — Meet art + inspiration + mind expansion.
  28. MAKE– DIY Projects, how-tos and inspiration from geeks, makers and hackers.
  29. Duolingo (Highly Recommended): Want to learn a new language but can’t find a reliable source? Duolingo is your solution.
  30. The Muse: For some kick-ass career advice and more!
  31. Coffitivity — Did you know that cafes are one of the best places to spark your creativity? Since now you do, check out coffitivity that creates the atmosphere of a coffee shop straight from your laptop/PC.
  32. IFTT: Standing for “if this then that,” IFTTT helps different apps, online programs, and services work together to make your life way easier. Think getting the weather texted to you every morning or having your photos automatically save to Dropbox. 😀
  33. Codeacademy (Highly Recommended): Extremely addictive website that helps you make the most of your time on the internet and teaches you all about the languages that back it and more!
  34. Canva: Love designing? Then here’s Canva for you that makes designing insanely easy for you and the only limitation is your imagination.
  35. Sporcle: Sporcle is still the best place on the internet for testing your knowledge. You can take quizzes on any topic imaginable, which is a pretty fun way to learn new things (and also to challenge your co-workers to see who knows more about obscure TV references or countries of the world).
  36. FACTSlides → Amazing FACTS you didn’t know!: FACTSlides allows you to click through a variety of random facts that not only feed your curiosity, but are also perfect fodder for the break room. For example, did you know that UPS delivery trucks save 10 million gallons of gas every year by making no left turns?
  37. 99U : An amazing blog that keeps your brain healthy by stimulating it with beautiful insights into creativity and more!
  38. Fast Company (Highly Recommended): You will never get bored of FastCo if you love business, innovation and everything in between.
  39. zenhabits: One of the most popular blogs out there. Leo’s advice on life and his thoughts about stuff we take for granted is marked by extremely meticulous and perspicuous insights.
  40. Farnam Street: Recently discovered this gem of a blog. From Psychology, to books, to decision making, one can find very interesting reads on the blog.

BONUS: For some mind expanding documentaries (Over 300 + of them) check Down The Rabbit Hole We Go! 300+ Mind Expanding Documentaries.

If you know someone who could benefit from the above list, don’t forget to share it with them. 🙂