Social media is great. That’s the long and the short of it.
Let’s take Twitter as today’s example. As well as giving you an outlet for your morning commute rage, it’s also an opportunity to interact and communicate with customers or clients, and what’s more is that it’s a fantastic promotional resource. What’s not to love? It’s immediate, influential and, in our eyes, incredibly important.
While the 140-character limit can be quite advantageous, who doesn’t love some short-and-sweet messaging, there are times you may feel restricted. But is this about change?
In a word, yes! Twitter has announced Website Cards, which provide brands and businesses the opportunity to advertise in a new and exciting way.
As opposed to a standard tweet that simply displays a non-descript URL and some arbitrary words, Website Cards contain a photo, a few lines of text and a descriptive link to your external site – in addition to the accompanying Tweet. I know, exciting.
In a post on its advertising blog, Twitter said: “we’re introducing a powerful creative ad unit called the Website Card — a new way for advertisers to easily surface website content within a Tweet and drive relevant traffic to any page of their site, such as their home page, product page, or an important blog post.”
It is all part of the network’s objective to attract more advertisers to the site with better targeting and enhanced measurement tools, which are getting better and better as it is. Recent marketing solutions that Twitter has introduced, to name but a few, include keyword targeting, tailored audiences, conversion tracking and Lead Generation Cards; which were the first Creatives to be become available in the self-service platform.
Compared to other methods of advertising implementation, which tend to be development-heavy, the ease of which you can generate and execute a Twitter Website Card is really quite easy, so much so I almost don’t want to tell you – but I will, because I’m nice that way.
Simply log in to your Twitter Advertisers account and under the Creatives header you’ll find the Cards dashboard. Fill in the blanks to build your card, compose your Tweet and add your URL. The Card creator UI is very straightforward, with technical aspects like image specifications and performance tracking easy to work with – why they don’t hurry up and add the rest of the cards to it is beyond me!
Website Cards generate revenue on a Cost Per Engagement (CPE) basis, so you’ll be charged for any retweet, reply, favourite, expand or click. The real treat, as Twitter love reminding us, is that you pay to connect with these followers once and then engage with them over and over again organically. Again, what’s not to love?
And it’s not just advertisers who stand to benefit from Website Cards coming on the scene. There’s something in it for everyone. Especially when you compare Twitter Website Cards to regular text-based posts.
I’m going to dance around the picture-thousand-words-analogy, but you know it’s in there somewhere. The simple fact is images are much more appealing and stimulating, so users will be rewarded with a better browsing experience as the timeline gets even more colourful. On top of that, they’ll no doubt discover new and interesting content, which might have been overlooked before in a sea of text.
From a marketing point of view; brands and businesses have the opportunity to drive more traffic to their websites, as, Twitter describes, users “are able to preview an image, related content and a clear call to action in their timeline before tapping.” It’s a win-win from all sides. Can you tell I’m excited yet?
More plus points – after testing Website Cards with a few brands, Twitter also found that engagement increased while CPC dropped. Crowd-built clothing company Betabrand and multinational software firm Citrix saw CPC decrease by 85 and 92 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, mobile operator Three benefitted from a 26 per cent higher engagement rate and a 64 per cent rise in URL clicks too.
Just like regular tweets, Website Cards can be used to broadcast an abundance of information, anything you want really. Whether you’ve just released a new product, written another blog post (did you see our own Twitter Card?) or launched a redesigned website – the opportunities are endless.
What’s more is that Website Cards can be utilised alongside Twitter’s conversion tracking feature, enabling you to measure the journey from initial impressions to lower-funnel sign-ups or purchases. At the moment, Twitter are quietly hoping more people will adopt conversion tracking to silence the nay-sayers; who, in their cynicism, have theorised that for all its merits, the social network isn’t the most effective when it comes to driving e-commerce.
The effect of Twitter, however, is real. And it is tangible. Last year Twitter observed that consumers exposed to Tweets from brands were 30% more likely to visit that brand’s website – so why not make it even easier for them? Enter – Website Cards.
As of this month, Twitter Website Cards have been rolled out on both mobile and desktop globally – but it’s the potential for the Irish market we’re particularly excited about. Bringing a high-level creative to the self-service platform levels the playing field between the bigger brands and homegrown businesses.
Based on current online browsing trends and the progressively visually-based nature of social media, it seems like Twitter Website Cards are a natural advancement as more and more brands compete for a voice within the social media landscape. No doubt these new cards will be an advertising force to be reckoned with.
Are you as excited as we are?