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Twitter's head of content marketing shares brand building tips

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22nd Oct 2015
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Twitter’s head of content marketing EMEA Paul McCrudden was speaking at the Online Influence conference in Bristol earlier this month, where he was joined by big names such as Pinterest, Google and Oracle.

McCrudden demonstrated some ways in which the world is “more connected than ever” in the mobile age, including celebrities reaching out through their accounts.

Ther are 6,000 tweets per minute on Twitter and, according to a Microsoft study, the average human attention span is now just eight seconds.

“There’s this real battle for attention that brands have to connect with audiences on the platform which means the only part of the day that matters is right now. It’s very easy for people to move on to other content, to move between apps, to move to different experiences so the most important way to connect with people is in the moment, live,” McCrudden says.

But brands and small businesses should aim to communicate on an ongoing basis, and not aim for traditional four to five week campaigns to have a real hand in participating and shaping the conversation. McCrudden used the example of #TheDress phenomenon, which was a 24-hour trend that swept the globe a few months ago. Someone posted a picture of a dress, which some people saw as black and blue, and others as gold and white.

There was a maximum of 330,000 tweets per hour and around five million in total. But, the ongoing conversation about fashion over the course of a month shows there are 67.8m tweets about everyday fashion. So it’s worth more to be involved in a longer discussion, on an ongoing basis, rather than being part of a shorter perhaps viral trend.

“There’s this great predictability you can see in data like this whether it’s a broad topic like fashion or something more granular, even coffee, for example, the same spikes and patterns in the data on a monthly basis."

Get on board with mobile video

To get yourself noticed, you have to provide engaging content, McCrudden says. “When we think about this kind of content, first and foremost we think of mobile video.”  

According to a study from Adobe Digital Index, over the next four years, the growth in mobile video views is expected to rise by 13 times.

On Twitter, McCrudden has seen a 150 times growth in how people are consuming video, with “phenomenal growth” over the last year. He adds that 90% of Twitter views are on mobile, and people are consuming video content through three ways on the platform:

  • Native video: This is any video which appears within the Tweet, just as an image would. “We’re commonly seeing brands sharing video assets they’ve created already and using it natively on Twitter.”
  • Vine: A six-second looping app which has been taken on by creative audiences. “We’re seeing really nice uses of that through stock motion, animation and other techniques.”
  • Periscope: A live streaming video app which we launched a few months ago, a window into the world of someone else. There’s been 40 years of live video watched every day on Periscope and provides ‘behind-the-scenes’ access for a lot of brands

McCrudden adds video can be a way of bringing content to life visual and sound that may seem dry on paper.

If you’re not the best video person in the world, partner up or collaborate with content creators to make nice-looking Vines and videos to share.

Benefits of using a prolonged approach

McCrudden says Twitter is seeing that businesses sharing content - video or otherwise - is having “great results”.

Twitter’s done studies to look at the impact of an everyday approach to sharing content, which found the cost per impression is lower and businesses have a greater share of voice, as well as a 1.5 to 2 times sales life during that period.

“So shifting mindsets and focus to think about everyday relevance rather than shorter term campaign periods we’re seeing things working well for a number of brands,” he says.

Getting down with the data

Twitter has a number of tools for businesses to target specific audiences, including Twitter Ads. This allows you to target audiences based on what they search for right down to what TV programmes they use, their age, interests and locations. You can spend as much or as little as you want on ads, too (from £5 to £5,000 per week) and will see varying results.

Businesses can also target those outside Twitter’s core audience, too, with a new product that allows people to, from the Twitter audience platform, click a button to reach up to 700 million people worldwide as through this your tweet can appear on external apps via mobile.

Tweets appear within apps which can include calls to action and video content can play within different mobile apps, too.

“So live reach on Twitter isn’t just about the Twitter core app. It allows your tweets to go further around mobile apps and connect with people wherever they are, no matter what they’re doing on mobile,” McCrudden adds.

Rachael Power is small business editor at Sift Media. This article originally appeared on MyCustomer's sister site BusinessZone.co.uk.

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