Twitter Retargeting, in 140 Characters or Less

twitterchangoThe news is finally out, and it’s big news: Twitter is entering the programmatic marketing era with the launch of tailored audiences, a new marketing initiative that makes it possible to target Twitter users based on their actions across the Web. Let’s take a look at how we got here, why it matters, and how to make the most of Twitter targeting.

First Came Facebook

Once upon a time, a whole two years ago, there were relatively few options for programmatic marketers. The potential was clear enough, but if you wanted to retarget a user who had visited your site, or searched for terms related to your brand, traditional display ads were your only real possibility.

That all changed – and in a big way – in September of 2012, when Facebook waltzed into the programmatic age with the launch of its own media exchange, FBX. Prior to FBX, targeting your ads on Facebook meant using Facebook’s data to show ads to users according to their profile information and Facebook activity. FBX has been so effective and profitable because it leveraged a whole different sort of “like” – that is, it became possible to target users based on the things they truly like to do online, even when they haven’t revealed those interests on Facebook.

Among other things, FBX was a wake up call to the digital marketing world, and the call was loud and clear: traditional display was only the beginning of what you can do when you have a huge amount of data on online behavior.

Twitter Goes Programmatic

With the launch of Tailored Audiences, Twitter is moving boldly into the programmatic era as well.

Up until now, if you wanted to run Promoted Tweets on Twitter, you had to rely on Twitter’s data about its users, including the usernames that interest them, gender and location. It was, and remains, a great way to get a message out, but, as with Facebook’s initial advertising programs, it used only a small fraction of the data that’s available for targeting individuals. Tailored audiences changes that via partnerships with companies, such as Chango, that can target individuals based on data that’s external to Twitter – CRM data, search engine data, site visits, intent data, and so on.

In other words, all of the data that sparked the programmatic revolution and transformed display advertising from an art into a science (or, at least, something much closer to a science) can now make your Twitter campaigns a lot more effective. This means that a brand that might have previously shown a hundred banner ads to a user who had visited its site now has an alternative. In some cases, a follow-up Promoted Tweet might make a lot more sense than all those follow-up banners.

Getting the Most Out of Twitter’s New Targeting Capabilities

So, now that programmatic marketers have a great new tool at their disposal, how can you make the most of it? Let’s take a look at a few examples of how tailored audiences will work best:

Example A: Engage with customers in creative new ways

While it’s easy enough to simply replace retargeted display ads with Promoted Tweets, it’s now also possible to think of retargeting in creative new ways. Why not, for example, use your tweets to thank Twitter users for their purchases and ask them to write reviews?

Example B: Re-engage existing customers

Many marketers already have lots of data on their audiences in their CRM systems. All of this data can now be put to use on Twitter – perhaps being overlaid with certain triggers, such as time since a previous communication or site visits.

Example C: Market to new customers based on search behavior

By working with a vendor that can collect searches from Google, Yahoo! and Bing, marketers can now send Promoted Tweets to in-market consumers who are searching for terms that are related to their brands – even if those consumers have never previously engaged with the brand.

And these are just a few of the many possibilities. To read more about how tailored audiences works, and how marketers are using tools to connect the dots between data sources and media types like Twitter, download ‘Twitter’s Tailored Audiences Handbook: Everything marketers need to know to augment their targeting capabilities in Twitter‘ from Chango.

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