Twitter: Digital Upfronts 2020


Catch up on Twitter's Digital Upfront with insights on premium content, the growth of video and their plans for 2021 and beyond

With daily active Twitter users up by 34% year-on-year in Q2 2020, it’s clear that people are turning to the platform to share views, discover new content and keep up with breaking news. As ever, Twitter is where topical conversations and trends emerge and take off, so how can brands partner with premium publishers to tap into what’s happening? This was the focus of Twitter’s IAB Digital Upfront, which was opened by Director of Planning David Wilding. 

Here are some of the key takeouts from the event: 

Premium content is delivering value 
Twitter’s Amplify tool has been created so that brands can get involved in topical conversations, align with premium publisher content and connect with engaged, passionate audiences. Discussing the benefits, Twitter’s Senior Video Specialist Lucy O'Dwyer said that premium publisher content is consistently rated positively by Twitter users and that research shows there is a 5% uplift in brand favourability for ads that appear next to premium content. As such, Amplify campaigns are driving positive results - increasing campaign awareness by 68% on average. Twitter is now developing Amplify, introducing a redesigned pre-roll display unit, a variety of new co-branded templates and testing curated categories for advertisers to align with - rather than a sole publisher.

Video is a growing opportunity  
Opening the event, Wilding shared stats that highlight how video content on Twitter can deliver for brands: the past year has seen a 95% increase in videos viewed on Twitter and an 84% rise in time spent with videos on the platform, plus tweets including videos drive 10x more engagement. Tapping into this growing trend for video content, Grazia and Twitter have recently partnered to create a new 20 minute weekly lifestyle show: It’s The Week To. With the idea having evolved out of Grazia’s lockdown strategy - diversifying its content to reflect its readers’ changing interests and needs - the show sets out to strike the right balance between keeping viewers updated on latest stories and providing some more light-hearted relief from the news cycle. 

As Bauer Media’s Editorial Director Lucie Cave explained, there is a big opportunity for brands to get involved: “the beauty of brand integration with the show is that it’s going to be really authentic and easy to talk about” whether it’s the week to be obsessed with a certain beauty trend or the week to have pumpkin spiced lattes. The fact that readers “respect the integrity of Grazia” means that they trust it to align with brands with similar values. 

There’s lots to look forward to 
As well as outlining the current opportunities available for advertisers on Twitter, the event gave brands a first look at what to expect next from the platform. Upcoming launches include new show Tweet Eats, created in partnership with Buzzfeed to bring viewers “the best of foodie Twitter and the best of Proper Tasty”, explained Twitter’s Senior Manager of News Partnerships Heather Bowen. Driven by a record number of brands wanting Proper Tasty partnerships on Twitter, Tweet Eats will allow people to vote on what dishes Buzzfeed’s Proper Tasty team cook up. With more people than ever looking for kitchen inspo, this is a perfect example of how a partnership between Twitter and a premium publisher can tap into a growing trend and appetite for content.   

Twitter’s Upfront also gave us insight into the sporting opportunities coming up in 2021. With next year hopefully set to see a resurgence in sporting events - from Wimbledon to the Olympics - sporting conversations will play out on Twitter. As Elizabeth Stranges, Senior Manager of Sports Partnerships, put it: “This is an opportunity for brands to connect with the events that matter… and get involved where the fans are.” 

You can watch Twitter’s Digital Upfront back here.

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