Product managers know that no newly-released feature sees instant adoption - it’s a process of education and storytelling. It’s the same with any new ad unit you launch - even current advertisers may not see the benefit without a concerted marketing push.
It’s no surprise, then, why Twitter invests so much time and energy into the launch of any new ad unit, as seen in their recently-released Promoted Trend Spotlight.
On January 6, 2020, Twitter announced the public launch of Promoted Trend Spotlights - a takeover video/banner ad at the top of their Explore tab. It supports six-second videos/GIFs or static images, on both mobile and desktop.
While publicly released, the unit is not accessible in their self-serve platform, so for the time being can be bought only by those large enough to have a Twitter Client Partner.
For any new ad feature, you’ll no doubt release a blog post / documentation guide. But creating a guide is not enough - you must also create a story of why it’s a must-use feature, with data to back it up.
Twitter accomplished this well in their blog announcement, thanks to four key factors:
When you start designing a new ad unit, it’s important to ask yourself, “Do advertisers want this - or do I just think it’s cool?”
Advertisers will spend with you only if they perceive the value to be worth the hassle (let’s not forget - it’s much easier to increase spending on Google and Facebook then to incorporate a third ad platform).
For Twitter, it’s clear they built Promoted Trend Spotlights knowing the problem it solved: getting to the top of the trending page organically requires planning, money, and plenty of luck.
Twitter even came up with a tagline for the new ad unit: “trending made simple”.
Their announcement features an embedded video combining images of Promoted Trend Spotlights with the problem and solution statements of above. It’s short at twenty-seven seconds, but is extremely successful in articulating the value-add.
The second paragraph of their announcement is a quotation from the VP of Digital Marketing at Disney+. They smartly don’t bury this social proof, instead centering the article around it, rightly expecting that an endorsement from the world’s hottest company would pique anyone’s interest.
A quote from any company - even if not recognizable - is still substantially better than no social proof at all. And if you can combine a recognizable company with a great job title and powerful quotation, even better.
Twitter waited to publicly launch Promoted Trend Spotlights until a global behavioral research company, EyeSee, completed an eye-tracking study. Twitter proudly flaunts the results:
Promoted Trend Spotlight ads are far from the first ad unit Twitter has released, and the crispness of their product launch speaks to that. As you look to build an ad platform or release new ad units/features, it would be wise to follow Twitter and make sure you have:
Chris has worked in ad tech for over twelve years in a variety of roles - giving him customer support, PM, and marketing perspectives from both the advertiser and publisher sides. He's the VP of Marketing at Kevel.