Promoted accounts fetched from $10 to $70 per follower in the automotive vertical.
Since rolling out its first advertiser product in April 2010, Twitter has found particular success in the automotive sector, and hopes to extend that appeal to retail marketers next.
Speaking with ClickZ News this week, Twitter's Chief Revenue Officer Adam Bain, said 12 percent of its revenues came solely from auto marketers during the first three months of the year, thanks in part to strong growth in that industry, as well as the popularity of Twitter's newer paid placements, such as its Promoted Accounts offering.
"Promoted accounts are one of the best hidden secrets of the platform. Unlike trends, they're based on targeting. If the marketer understands the value of a certain type of customer, they can bid really effectively," Bain said. "Each marketer knows how much a follower is worth to them, and once they've acquired that follower, brands can keep marketing to them," he continued, adding that between 20 and 40 percent of Twitter users follow at least one brand.
Promoted accounts are currently sold on an auction-based model, with advertisers paying on a cost-per-follower basis to target certain keywords linked with data from users' accounts, such as who they follow. Automotive advertisers have been paying as much as $70 per follower, though the average price ranges from $10 to $40 for that vertical, Bain revealed. The overall average for all advertisers is lower still, however, at under $10.
Perhaps as a result of the success of promoted accounts, Twitter has recently tweaked the design of its website, shifting those placements further up the page above the trending topics list. As Bain explained there are only 365 days in the year for promoted trending topics, but numerous brands can run campaigns simultaneously as promoted accounts.
Besides the automotive sector, Twitter's ad products are also seeing strength in "other areas you wouldn't expect," Bain continued, highlighting the finance category as an example, as well as the entertainment space as a more obvious candidate.
From both a sales and product perspective, though, Bain stressed that the company is wary of entering new areas blindly, and that it's currently "moving strategically" into new categories. It's currently refusing to accept ads from political advertisers, for example, but is focusing more of its efforts on the retail space.
"There are some things we want to do to really make ourselves more valuable to retailers," Bain said, highlighting the need for the company's ad products to better demonstrate and track conversions. "We started by saying we would show engagement… but one of the things we want to do now is to connect the dots better on the conversion side," he added.
That strategy appears to be working, judging by the company's advertiser retention rates. Bain said 80 percent of its clients to date are repeat customers, perhaps evidencing the appeal of the company's ad offerings and pricing models.
Recent advertisers in the automotive category have included Nissan, Volkswagen, and Mercedes.
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Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
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