Twitter extends TV ad targeting to all advertisers

Technology lets advertisers engage directly with people who have been seen their ads on live TV

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
July 24, 2013
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Twitter is taking its tv ad targeting software, which it premiered in beta mode in May, and is expanding it to to all U.S. advertisers that run national television spots, it was announced Tuesday. 

"The results of the beta test reveal that the impact of using Twitter in combination with TV advertising is significantly greater than that of using TV advertising alone," Michael Fleischman, product manager or revenue, wrote in a blog post.

"So today, we’re pleased to announce the general availability of TV ad targeting in the U.S. to advertisers running national television commercials."

The technology allows advertisers to engage directly with people on Twitter who have been exposed to their ads on live television. 

It works by identifying Tweets that correspond with that television show. Because the person was engaged enough to tweet about it, the company figures that they watched the ads as well (which, in all honesty, is a bit of a leap. It is more likely they were sending the tweets in question while the ads were playing). Twitter will then push out promoted tweets that extend those advertisements.

Say, for example, you are watching the newest episode of the Big Bang Theory. If you tweet about what happened in that show, and then a commercial comes on for Holiday Inn, that company can then send you a promoted message.

It may seem like kind of a silly idea, but it seems to be working so far.

During the beta period,Twitter says that users that Twitter identified as being exposed on TV and then engaged with a Promoted Tweet demonstrated a 95% stronger message association and 58% higher purchase intent compared to users identified as being exposed on TV alone.

Advertisers using TV ad targeting also reported engagement rates that were 27 percent higher than their historical averages.

Twitter also noted that it is going to be giving advertisers a new set of analytics so that "advertisers using TV ad targeting will be able to better understand what users on Twitter are saying about their ad campaigns. Advertisers will have direct and easy access to user feedback on TV creatives — feedback they can use to optimize their Promoted Tweet campaigns."

Television is not the only ad targeting that Twitter has been experimenting with lately.

In April, Twitteri ntroduced a new keyword targeting tool, which will allow advertisers to sell ads to users based on words in their tweets. 

For example, if a user tweets that they like a certain band, and wants to go see them at a specific venue. That venue could then run a geo-targeted campaign using keywords for that band with a Tweet containing a link to buy the tickets.

Earlier this month, Twitter also revealed that it was starting to test out targeted cookie-based ads. 

Here is the example that Twitter uses: a local florist has the idea to advertise on Twitter for a special he is running on Valentines Day. But he only wants to have the ad go to people who will, you know, actually buy flowers, such as "flower enthusiasts," or peope who regularly visit their website or subscribe to their newsletter. Those people will, most likely, be the ones who actually respond to those ads.

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