6 Best Practices to Optimize Your Twitter Ad Campaigns

With Twitter’s introduction of lead generation cards marketers now have the ability to collect names and email addresses from followers and prospects directly within Twitter, without asking them to leave the platform or visit your website. That’s potentially huge for your conversion rates, as it removes a major friction point and hurdle that can cause a lot of prospects to drop off.
Here at OpenView, we had actually shied away from Twitter ads after seeing subpar results, but to say the least, the lead gen cards had us intrigued. We decided to give them a shot and set up some targeted paid advertising campaigns geared toward getting more subscribers for our weekly newsletter. The primary use of the cards is to collect a Twitter user’s name and email address via presenting them with an offer. To get started, we chose to primarily promote our new Content Marketing Kit and kicked things off with a relatively small initial budget.
Here are few best practices we’ve gleaned from running the initial campaign:

1) Be specific with the keywords you choose to target

If you are promoting a topic like marketing, be specific and find the related keywords (ex: content marketing, b2b marketing, startup marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, digital strategy, growth hacking, inbound marketing, lead generation, the list goes on). You can also try adding hashtags so that your tweets will show up at the top of searched keywords.
For our first campaign, the goal was to get sign-ups for our newsletter, which covers broad topics and keywords such as sales, marketing, talent/recruiting, product, growth, venture capital, and more. These are highly competitive keywords, and that drove up the amount we had to bid (we ended up getting a $9.31 cost per lead, which is much higher than we were shooting for).
By targeting more specific keywords you can keep down your cost per click/lead.

2) It’s okay to start off with a low budget

Be sure to set your maximum budget and determine an individual ad bid you’re comfortable placing. This can be cost per install, cost per lead, or cost per click metrics.
If you set a low bid amount and/or budget, the likelihood that your ad will get traction and displayed is low. That said, it doesn’t hurt to take a swing and see what results you get. Twitter often recommends bids between $4.50 up to $23, but this all varies with the keywords and campaign you are using. Another benefit is that Twitter only charges what it needs for you to win the bidding war if it is at or below the bid you set.

3) Always refine and A/B test your campaigns based on performance

Don’t just set your ads and forget them. Continuously check on your cost per lead metric to make sure it is low enough and a good value for your money. If you’re not getting a lot of leads, but you are getting a lot of impressions, then you should probably revisit your ad copy, your image, or the offer you are promoting. For the best results, Twitter recommends keeping your offers informative, fun, and/or helpful.

4) Don’t be too salesy

The best performing types of content tend to be free eBooks, downloads, templates, resources, and other materials that offer non-promotional value.

5) State your value proposition clearly

As with any ad, your call-to-action is key. The lead generation cards have a specific call-to-action field where you can place your messaging, but you should also consider working a compelling call-to-action into your image, as well. You can make a simple call-to-action graphic using PowerPoint or an online tool like Canva.com. Quick tip: On your graphic, be sure to display a button for what you want prospects to do. “Download,” “Install,” or “Subscribe” are all good options.
Looking for some ad inspiration? Here are two of our examples.
Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 7.32.34 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 7.32.23 PM

6) Make sure your leads get imported to your marketing automation software or CRM (if you have one)

If you are collecting leads using the lead generation cards, you can connect your marketing automation software to automatically import those email addresses or contacts. One small thing to note: Twitter lead generation cards require a privacy policy to inform your prospects of what data you are collecting and how it will be used.
Have you had success using Twitter ads? Give us the details in the comments.
Photo by: Daniel Arndt

Lane Sutton
Lane Sutton
Marketing & Employer Brand Consultant/Speaker

Lane Sutton is a Marketing & Employer Brand Consultant/Speaker at Lane Sutton and Communications and Social Media, Global Talent Acquisition Marketing at The Walt Disney Company.
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