This is a long form, high level, plain english Twitter advertising example.
If you’ve spent anytime on business or marketing blogs you’ve probably seen a ton of posts about how you’re a caveman for not mastering Twitter.
But there are generally few real-world Twitter marketing examples from these ninjas, evangelists and gurus so I want to share something from my exploits at my desk.
Let’s start with a little background in what I was attempting to do using Twitter.
The business and it’s target market.
During the time I did this experiment I was employed by a company that provides equipment for events all over the country. An important segment of their customer base plans events in hotels and other venues that have audio visual equipment available already. The average customer in this market simply checks a box that says “provide audio visual equipment for $XXXX” and they call it a day.
There was an opportunity here because my employer could usually provide faster, more reliable and less expensive services. We thought this market would appreciate that a lot if they only knew about it.
We have an awareness problem.
I drafted up a pretty compelling article about the benefits of hiring an audio visual company instead of using the in-house audio visual company and we used it as a landing page. I tested some Google Adwords search ads pointing to this content but they performed poorly. People weren’t searching for the issue and the ones that landed on the page were looking for immediate needs and left quickly. Search advertising is great way to get in front of people when they have an immediate need. But how can someone search for something they aren’t even aware of?
With this in mind I started working to figure out the answer to this question: “how do we get in front of people who are planning these events at hotels and have absolutely no idea they can bring outside audio visual companies into their events?”
We have a social solution.
I found a strong segment of these event planners on Twitter. At the same time, Twitter happened to email me a $100 advertising credit to try out their advertising campaigns. I figured what the hell, why not give this a shot.
I spent some time monitoring hashtags and users on Twitter and set up the ads to target a few key influencers using these hashtags. If you’re interested in good ways to find influencers check out Klout. I put together some quick creative, made sure I had Analytics filters ready for measuring and fired up the Twitter campaign.
Initial results = mediocre.
I ran the ads and saw roughly 35 visits attributed to the ads during their run time of three days. This includes traffic from Twitter ads and retweets as a result of the ads. Not awesome but not bad. Around $2.85 per visit. I would normally have written this off as a mediocre result that needed more testing with different creatives and segments of the event planner market. Then I got a pleasant surprise on a Tuesday morning one week later.
Surprise secondary wave of visits.
I got my coffee in the morning, logged into Google Analytics and checked visits to the content. My jaw dropped as I saw a large spike of visits in real-time. The first thing that popped into my head was “we’ve been hacked!” After disproving that quickly, I realized what was happening was a re-share of our content by someone with a much larger audience than I expected to receive from simply running Twitter ads. After some research I was able to match the source of this traffic to a large association I had targeted with the Twitter ads. They published the article in their email newsletter and the traffic continued coming in for two weeks as the content was shared.
The big takeaway.
The biggest thing to learn from this is: try stuff. Do you have a free offer for XYZ and it couldn’t hurt your business? Try it.
The second thing is how powerful Twitter advertising can be if your market is there. It makes it incredibly easy to put a piece of content in front of the right people. Will every Twitter ad result in getting picked up in an email newsletter going to 100,000 people all over the world? Of course not. But the more you try, the more success you will have and if you’re trying to build awareness for something you should consider it.