Advertising on Twitter has its advantages for marketers. You can increase your reach and awareness, drive more actions to your site, and improve your engagement rates. Plus, Twitter is a huge platform with millions of users, making it easy to reach new audiences.
But starting out, it’s difficult to know what to expect in terms of cost and results from Twitter advertising. It’s difficult to find a straight-forward answer to the question: How much do ads cost on Twitter? After doing some research, there are a few takeaways about how much ads on Twitter cost, and how much you should expect to spend with Twitter advertising.
How much do ads cost on Twitter? On average, promoted tweet ads on Twitter cost $0.53 per click and $5.76 per 1000 impressions, and Twitter recommends starting with a budget of $30/day to reach a significant audience. How much you end up spending overall, however, is dependent on what type of campaign you choose, what your budget is, and what bidding option you select.
Read on to discover what advertising, budgeting, and bidding options are available on Twitter, how they affect your ad spend, and how to spend your money on Twitter advertising effectively.
How Promotion Options on Twitter Effect Ad Spend
Twitter offers four advertising options: promoted tweets, promoted accounts, promoted trends, and quick promote. Your overall spend will depend, in part, on what type of promotion you choose.
Promoted tweets are regular tweets that advertisers pay to reach a wider audience or increase engagement with their own followers. Depending on your campaign objective, these types of ads can be used to drive awareness, increase tweet engagements, increase video views, and drive traffic to your site.
A promoted account, or followers campaign, suggests Twitter accounts that people don’t currently follow. This is an effective way to grow your audience, as Twitter will help introduce you to an even wider variety of accounts/@handles that are likely to follow you.
Promoted trends show users time-, context-, and event-sensitive trends promoted by Twitter advertising partners. Promoted trends are only available to certain accounts and often come at a much higher price than promoted tweets or promoted accounts.
Twitter also offers a fourth option of advertising called promote mode. At a flat rate of $99/month, Twitter will automatically promote your first 10 tweets of every day. While a bit more expensive, the automated features make it easy for social media advertising newbies.
Budget Options for Advertising on Twitter
Once you decide what type of content you want to promote, you’ll set a budget for your advertising campaign. There are two budget options for Twitter advertising campaigns: you can set a daily budget or a lifetime budget for your campaign.
A lifetime budget is set for the length of your campaign, while a daily budget is met daily for the length of a campaign. With a lifetime budget, your money is evenly distributed each day across the course of your entire campaign. A daily budget, on the other hand, is spent throughout the course of a day, every day, for the length of your campaign, and your ads stop showing for that particular day once your budget is met.
While you can spend equal amounts using both budget options using some simple math, a lifetime budget allows you to easily see how much you’ll spend on a campaign. The results within that campaign may vary depending on your bidding method and your billable actions, but you’ll never be charged more than the budget you set out to begin with.
With both daily and lifetime budgets, you set a budget and an end date for your campaign, which means you will never be charged more than the amount you set. There is no minimum daily budget that you must set.
With both budget options, you can choose between standard delivery or accelerated delivery.
Standard delivery enables your daily budget to be spent evenly throughout the course of the day. An accelerated delivery spends your daily budget as fast as possible. Choosing between the two, however, will never affect your total budget — your budget is simply met faster with an accelerated delivery.
If you’re just starting out, standard delivery is what you’ll choose. Twitter recommends accelerated delivery for time-sensitive campaigns attempting to deliver during specific events such as live TV shows, sporting events, etc.
Twitter Advertising Billable Actions
Your budget is the overall amount you’re willing to spend on ads on Twitter. How you reach that budget, however, depends on the billable actions associated with your campaign objective.
Twitter offers different “billable actions” based on which campaign objective you choose, and you will only be charged when that action occurs. The targeting, creatives, and bid you select in your campaign setup will help determine how much each billable action costs.
There are eight campaign objectives and corresponding billable actions in total within the Twitter advertising platform:
- Awareness, billed per 1000 tweet impressions
- Tweet Engagements, billed for each tweet engagement
- Video views, billed per video view
- Followers, billed for every new follower (also called a promoted account campaign)
- Website Clicks and Conversations, billed for link clicks or website card clicks
- App Install or Re-engagements, billed for app installs or app clicks
- In-stream video views, billed per in-stream video view
- Quick Promote
These billable actions, however, don’t occur at a fixed price. Twitter enters your ads into an auction, where they will compete with other ads. Twitter outlines how much you pay in your campaigns depends on factors including:
- How engaging your ad is
- The size of the audience you’ve targeted
- How many other advertisers are also targeting that particular audience
- How much you bid
Your bid is one of the most important components of how much you’ll actually spend on any given Twitter advertising campaign.
When setting up your advertising campaign and corresponding bids on Twitter, you can choose from three bidding options: maximum bidding, automatic bidding, and target bidding (only available for “website visits” and “followers” campaigns). Your bid amount affects how your ads will perform in the Twitter advertising auction, and how much you ultimately spend per result.
Maximum bidding allows you to choose how much an action is worth to you. With maximum bidding, you’ll manually set a maximum bid that you’re comfortable with. Maximum bidding doesn’t charge you the full bid amount every time — you’ll only pay one penny higher than your competitor’s maximum bid if yours is higher.
Automatic bidding allows Twitter to optimize your bid based on your campaign objective and your budget. Automatic bidding is normally the best option for those just starting out with Twitter advertising. With automatic bidding, Twitter will definitely help you win ad auctions, but with the caveat that it could potentially win the ad auctions at a higher price than you’d like to pay.
Target bidding means advertisers set a target cost-per-link-click. A target cost-per-link-click enables Twitter to optimize your bid to achieve an average daily cost to meet or beat your target. With this bidding methodology, advertisers pay the actual average cost for all link clicks in a day.
How to Optimize Your Twitter Advertising Budget and Lower Your Cost-Per-Result
With campaign objectives, bidding options, and billable actions in mind, the ultimate goal is to optimize your campaign to spend what you feel the desired results are worth. A good indication of an effective and optimized campaign is low costs-per-result.
Twitter lays out the following tips for campaign optimization:
- Replace under-performing tweets and targeting with fresh alternatives.
- Pause campaigns that are under-performing.
- Modify bids for campaigns that are doing well and merit a higher spend, or that are close to but not quite achieving as they should.
- Analyze your device-specific conversion data and adjust your bids accordingly.
Campaign optimization will continually change for any given campaign, so play around with a few different tactics to find what works for you.
Replace under-performing tweets and targeting with fresh alternatives:
If your ad isn’t performing well, it could be that the content or targeting isn’t meshing. A good rule of thumb is to look at organic tweets for examples of what might perform well as an ad. If an organic tweet received high engagement rates, chances are, in front of the right audience, it will also perform well as an ad.
On the other hand, if you know your creative is good, the issue might lie with the audience you targeted. Targeted audiences with targeted content tend to perform better, so tailor your content to your audience and your audience to your content.
Pause campaigns that are underperforming:
If a certain campaign is under-performing, you always have the option to pause it. And you should! Who wants to pay for lackluster results?
With your campaign paused, you can re-group and iterate to find other ad options that might perform better.
Modify bids for campaigns that are doing well or not yet achieving as they should:
Modifying bids is about ensuring your ads are competitive in the auction. If an ad isn’t performing well, try increasing the bid to give it a competitive edge in the auction.
If an ad is doing well, you can increase the bid even more, or you can try to decrease the bid to find a sweet spot to lower your costs.
Analyze your device-specific conversion data and adjust accordingly:
If you find that an ad is performing well on a certain device, consider increasing the bid for its placement on that device. For example, increase the mobile bid if it performs well on mobile devices.
How Much to Spend on Twitter Ads
Unfortunately, there’s no set amount that will make your ads perform better or worse. As mentioned above, Twitter suggests a minimum of $30/day to reach a significant audience, but it’s alright if your budget is lower than that.
Just starting out, work with a lifetime budget that you’re comfortable with and an automated bidding strategy. This way, there’s no possibility of letting your campaign run longer than you intended or spending more than you thought, and Twitter can take the reigns on optimizing your results.
If you’re especially worried about costs, however, consider setting a maximum bid instead of using Twitter’s automated bidding strategy. By setting a maximum bid, you’re clearly outlining how much you’re willing to pay for a certain result. This gives you more control over how Twitter handles your budget.
When tracking your spending, always stay on top of your analytics. Check them once a day, so there are no surprises when the bill comes through. Continually check your cost-per-result and the total amount you’ve spent for a given campaign.
What is a good cost-per-result on Twitter?
In 2018, the average cost-per-click for a promoted tweet is $0.53. For most advertisers, the lower the cost-per-result, the better. Aim for a cost-per-result lower than $1.
What is a good overall budget for advertising on Twitter?
Twitter has no minimum budget requirement, so you could spend as little as $5/day if you wanted to. Start out with a $100 budget for a week-long campaign and see if it drives the results you want. A general rule of thumb is that a bigger budget will drive more results. However, you can still achieve good results with a smaller budget and a targeted audience.