Keyword Targeting on Twitter: The Right Place, The Right Time

Today Twitter launched a keyword targeting option, drastically improving the value of their advertising products.

Intent is the strongest indicator of potential interest in an advertiser's offer. For this reason, AdWords has become an unbelievably successful product; this search/intent targeting has catapulted Google to the forefront of direct response advertising online.

This new product from Twitter, though likely not a competitor to AdWords, will certainly give the platform much more attention from advertisers as it allows them to target by location, interests, and intent.

A couple of examples of why this would be:

1. Promoting an event in Toronto where "Band X" is playing

A tweet is sent out in Toronto about Band X's new album = Promoted Tweet for the event is directed to the user who mentioned an interest in Band X.

2. Promoting an auto repair shop in Vancouver

A tweet is sent out in Vancouver expressing a need for a mechanic = Promoted Tweet for the auto repair shop is directed to the user that expressed this need.

So now, you're able to:

  • Target Keywords and Phrases that relate to your product
    • Checking Account, Savings Account, Credit Card, Savings, Loans, Auto-Loan, Mortgage, money, etc.
  • Target Keywords and Phrases that capture a key moment in a user's financial life:
    • graduation, graduate, new car, new job, first day of work, married, newlywed, just-married, homeowners, new house, first-time homeowner, pregnant, new baby, college-fund, saving for college, taking a trip, retiring, retired, etc.
  • Target Keywords and Phrases that express a sentiment
    • "Time to start saving", "saving up for", "on a budget", "yolo," etc.
  • Target Relevant Events:
    • Conferences, Sporting Events, etc.
  • Target Influencers and Analysts using their @handles
    • @GailVazOxlade, @GSElevator

This brings new potential to the platform, and allows Twitter to deliver on the bottom funnel objectives of marketers. By becoming a more attractive option for direct response campaigns, Twitter also opens itself up to the SMBs as a powerful tool in acquiring new business.

How does it work?

Every Tweet sends real-time signals. These signals are broken down into 2 categories:

1) The actual content of the tweet; and 2) how you're interacting with the rest of the platform.

"Signals" show what a user is experiencing, and often reveal their intent and sentiment.

The targeting is driven by context (location and interest) and intention (keyword and sentiment)

With this new informed targeting, messaging can become far more granular.

With multiple promoted tweets, for multiple different intentions, we can launch extremely relevant campaigns.

Alternatively, you can always message users that have expressed intent intent using keyword searches and direct @mentions. Check out this awesome post explaining how!

Though this is an effective method, Twitter's new ad product captures intent data, and can be scaled more efficiently.

Some say this will be the year of intent targeting, if it's true the digital media landscape will become much more proficient for advertisers than it already is today.


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