How In-Stream Video Ads Can Boost Your Twitter Campaigns

By Mark Boyle | 6th July 2018

When it comes to online advertising in this day and age, there are an abundance of tools available for advertisers to get the results they want. Traditional campaigns such as Google AdWords are still in use and effective as ever, but the rise of advertising on social media over the past few years has gave advertisers some food for thought.

Advertising on Facebook and Twitter isn’t perfect, as both platforms would admit themselves, but their continued commitment to providing an evolving experience is something everyone in the advertising space should be keeping an eye on. Twitter started out as a newcomer with a lot to learn but, over the past three years or so, has introduced a host of new features capable of rivalling the advertising giant that is Facebook. One of their latest features is providing advertisers with ways to develop creative in-stream video ads.

But what are in-stream video ads on Twitter and how can you use them to deliver highly effective campaigns?

What Are Twitter’s In-Stream Video Ads?

Pizza Hut In-Stream Video Ad on Twitter

Example of a Pizza Hut video ad on Twitter

When it comes to providing an advertising platform, Twitter is dedicated to ensuring that all ads are served with their users in mind. A strict policy is in place to make sure that everything advertisers do is to provide a positive and productive experience for each person on the platform. They value engagement above all else and in order to achieve this, provide advertisers with the necessary targeting and creative tools required to reach their relevant audience.

Much like Facebook, Twitter is increasingly aiming to push more appealing visuals to their users and video is at the forefront of this objective. Video content, when done right, can be much more effective at driving engagement than text or static images. You have more seconds to be able to tell your story, have the added benefit of audio, and are ultimately able to attract more people to your content; organically and virally.

Last year Twitter looked to increase their video strategy by introducing in-stream videos to Twitter Ads. These type of videos are advertisements played at the beginning of a video from one of Twitter’s 200+ content partners. So if users are scrolling their feed and click on a video from a Twitter Partner, they may come across an ad within the video. When an ad begins, it will play within the partner’s tweet but will feature the handle of your business. Users are able to choose to skip the ad after six seconds if the ad video is longer than this amount of time.

When it comes to customizing your video ad, Twitter allows you to choose any of the 15 categories of content that you would not like your videos to be paired with. For example, you may decide against having your ad shown with an alcohol video or a business news video. You can also select any handles that you don’t want your videos to be paired with.

In-stream video ads are designed as ‘pre-roll’ content to align your brand with content that your customers are already watching, such as highlights and other video clips. Partners of Twitter are also able to take their video ads to the next level with in-stream sponsorships, but this is not yet available on the self-serve platform.

How These Ads Have Helped Businesses Grow Their Campaigns

Video Ads Improve Brand Metrics on Twitter

Video ads on Twitter can see significant improvement to brand metrics

Video content can generally see businesses earn massive results but in-stream ads can take this to the next level. These ads are only shown on posts from partners of Twitter, a group that is currently limited to a few hundred. As a result ads will not only have a chance of airing on a popular video, but they will also only be featured by trusted and premium brands.

Statistics from Twitter suggests that video ads can achieve an incredible +194% ad recall rate, meaning that there is a high chance of someone remembering your ad at a later time. Brand awareness is a major factor when it comes to video content. With +50%, potential customers have a good chance of becoming familiar with your brand. Video ads also have the potential to increase your message association, brand favourability and purchase intent.

Overall, promoting a video ad can lead to highly effective results. Users are more likely to be attracted to your content, have a good chance of remembering your brand, and further down the funnel, will increase the potential for a sale.

Tips to Make The Most of In-Stream Video Ads

Example of a phone advert on a Mashable tweet

Example of a product advert on a video

Don’t be fooled into thinking that simply creating a video is the answer to all your marketing problems. Video content can be effective when done right but if done wrong, can lead to a waste of resources or even worse, the loss of existing customers and advocates.

Video content, first of all, should not be obnoxious or long-winded. Don’t include content that will put your potential customer off learning more. If you have sound, avoid anything that will make the user immediately switch off, especially if they are in a public place. Most mobile users keep their phones muted so consider an approach with no sound required. Keep your videos short and to the point, bearing in mind viewing your ad is not an action they triggered themselves. Research from Kantar Millward Brown has suggested that 88% of consumers expect video ads to be less than 15 seconds long, while six seconds is considered the ‘sweet spot’.

You have a story to tell in a short amount of time so make sure to get the message right. Don’t bloat your video with content and if necessary, split your story across a sequence of videos that will reach the user after their initial awareness. Exclude irrelevant content categories to ensure you are reaching the right audience. In-stream video ads appear on partner videos so be sure to include clear branding on your video ad to make your business stand out.

The last thing to make sure you’re doing is checking the results of your campaigns, something that should be done for every campaign regardless. Twitter offers an array of tools to help you monitor how your campaign is running. Check how many views your video has received, compare spend and results across select dates, and don’t be afraid to split test. Use these results to determine where you could do better and continue to make improvements as you go along.


Using Twitter’s in-stream video ads can help take your online advertising to the next level in return for highly effective results. Have you used these types of ads yet? Or perhaps you’ve had more luck with video advertising on Facebook? Let us know how you got on.

To enquire about our advertising services, contact us today. You can also keep your eyes peeled on our blog for future content and can follow us on the following social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.