Twitter now lets brands advertise only to potential site visitors likely to become customers

Twitter will let advertisers decide whether they want their ads to simply get people to visit their sites or to visit their sites and do something specific.

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If you’re an advertiser who wants to run ads on Twitter to get people to do something specific on your site — like buy a product or schedule a test drive — but don’t want to pay for people that visit your site but leave without doing anything, now you can.

Twitter has opted to let advertisers decide whether they want their ads to simply get people to visit their sites or to specifically visit their sites and perform a certain action. Put another way, Twitter is separating its two-year-old Website Clicks or Conversions ad objective into two separate objectives: Website Clicks and Website Conversions.

For brands that are only in the market for site visitors, nothing has changed other than the name of the objective you select when setting up your ad campaign. For brands in the market for people to perform specific actions on their sites, Twitter is improving its ability to find those people and show them their ads.

First, an advertiser has to place Twitter’s website tag on its site (used to track what people do on that site) and connect that behavior to their Twitter profiles. That is now a requirement to use the Website Conversions objective, according to a Twitter spokesperson. Then, the advertiser has to specify the conversion event they want to advertise against — for example, product purchases by specifying the conversion event as people hitting the checkout URL — and how much they’re willing to pay Twitter if someone were to convert.

After an advertiser completes those steps, Twitter will use the website tags and the data it collects about the people who visit its own site or app and pick out which ones are most likely to visit the brand’s site and convert. It will use this information to show the brand’s ad to the relevant people who are on Twitter, whether they’re logged in or not, as well as for people who use one of the mobile apps in its Twitter Audience Platform ad network. If someone isn’t a Twitter user, Twitter will use information that its tag on the advertiser’s site collects to retarget those non-users, the spokesperson said.

Advertisers will still be charged when someone clicks on the ad to visit their site, even if they don’t end up converting, but the idea is that Twitter will now aim the ads more narrowly at the people most likely to convert. To figure out whether an advertiser paid as much or less per conversion than what it told Twitter it was willing to pay, the brand can cross-reference the campaign’s pricing and performance measurements, which include the number of conversions the ad drove and can be viewed over different time periods.

Advertisers that have used the conversion-only objective notched 2.5 times more conversions from their ads than they did when using the previous Website Clicks or Conversions objective, according to Twitter.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Tim Peterson
Tim Peterson, Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter, has been covering the digital marketing industry since 2011. He has reported for Advertising Age, Adweek and Direct Marketing News. A born-and-raised Angeleno who graduated from New York University, he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has broken stories on Snapchat's ad plans, Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar's attempt to take on YouTube and the assemblage of Amazon's ad-tech stack; analyzed YouTube's programming strategy, Facebook's ad-tech ambitions and ad blocking's rise; and documented digital video's biggest annual event VidCon, BuzzFeed's branded video production process and Snapchat Discover's ad load six months after launch. He has also developed tools to monitor brands' early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo's and Google's search designs and examine the NFL's YouTube and Facebook video strategies.

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