Just How Relevant Are Those Twitter Ads?

This year, 53.1 million US internet users will access their Twitter accounts via any device at least monthly, according to eMarketer estimates released in February 2015 and confirmed and republished earlier this month. This equates to nearly three in 10 social networkers and just over a fifth of internet users.

Frequency with Which US Twitter Users See Ads on Twitter, June 2015 (% of respondents)

Further, we forecast in March 2015 that US Twitter ad revenues would rise 62.1% this year to $1.34 billion and that Twitter paid ad spending per Twitter user would increase 48% to reach $25.25.

A recent study suggests many users are seeing a lot of these ads—and they don’t find them all that effective. According to June 2015 research from Cowen and Company, 56.6% of US adult Twitter users saw ads at least every 20 tweets. Respondents were most likely to see such placements every 10 tweets (18.2%). Fewer than a quarter never saw any ads on the social network.

Retail (55.5%), app install (42.1%) and travel (36.3%) were the most common types of Twitter ads seen by respondents, while 28.1% saw financial services placements and 27.4% video.

However, users generally viewed these ads as irrelevant. When Cowen asked Twitter users about the relevance of Twitter ads to their interests, just 3.1% said they were relevant and insightful. Just over a quarter said they were OK, while nearly six in 10 viewed such placements as not really relevant or a poor fit.

The results suggests that advertisers need to step up targeting capabilities if they want to reach the right audience on Twitter, something Cowen noted that Twitter’s recent acquisition of TellApart and partnership with Google’s DoubleClick should help improve.

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