Twitter: Video is ‘probably the best way to build your brand on our platform’

Twitter’s IAB UK Digital Upfronts session today was all about video. Having livestreamed everything from football’s Transfer Deadline Day to the UK election debates, senior executives from the messaging platform were keen to highlight the video opportunities for publishers and brands.

“We’ve been laser-focused on helping users see what is happening as quickly and easily as possible,” said UK Director of Planning, David Wilding, who pointed out that Twitter now boasts 23m monthly active users in the UK. “We have never been clearer about our proposition,” he said. 

Wilding also spoke of the influential nature of Twitter’s user base, and the fact that they flock to the platform in a ‘discovery’ mindset which is of particular value to advertisers.  

Twitter’s Global Director of Video & Agencies, Ryan Moore, was up next. “Your goal as advertisers is to connect with consumers and change their perceptions. Most brands are shifting towards thinking that video is the most powerful way to do that,” he said, pointing to growing efficiencies thanks to the increasing numbers of users on the platform and the burgeoning popularity of video as a format. “This is probably the best way to build your brand on our platform,” he declared.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s Head of Account Sales, Monica Manoras, who recently joined from ITV, pointed out that the platform is now offering in-stream sponsorships. She listed Jaguar, Beats by Dre and Fosters as three of several brands that have already enjoyed successful partnership deals in this way.  

And she told the audience that, thanks to a new product known as ‘In-Stream Ads’, brands can run video campaigns alongside the content of more than 250 premium publishers, each of which have been ‘hand-picked’ by Twitter for its premium offering. She said this was already proving to be a popular feature with advertisers in the US, which launched in April this year. 

Theo Luke, Twitter’s EMEA Director of Sports, then highlighted the fact that the platform attracts a huge number of passionate sports fans, with 10m active football fans on Twitter in the UK. Brands can use fans’ passion as an opportunity to get involved in some of the biggest sporting conversations, he pointed out. 

And Chris Bailes, Twitter’s UK Head of Agency Sales, highlighted some of the news opportunities coming up for advertisers, too. “Nobody does news like Twitter,” he said, claiming that this is due to the ‘live’, the ‘public’, and the ‘open’ nature of the platform. “Journalists and broadcasters flock there on a daily basis,” he added.

The fact that the BBC entrusted Twitter with its livestream of the general election in 2017 is in itself ‘a brilliant example of Twitter working … with premium partners who wouldn’t trust their content in many other places’, continued Bailes, before telling the audience that there are a ‘plethora’ of news partnerships available today on Twitter. 

Finally, a partnership between The Summertime Ball, Vodafone, MEC and Global this year was pulled out by Will Hardy, Twitter’s Music & TV Partnerships Lead, as a great example of what can be done in the entertainment space.  

Daniel Underwood, Lead Brand Sponsorship and Partnership at Vodafone UK, pointed out that the key objective was reaching people who couldn’t be there; while MEC’s Digital Manager Sophie Strong pointed out that ‘Twitter is the home of real-time conversation and roughly 80% of its base are music fans’. 

Strong also revealed that the three-hour livestream on Twitter attracted over 700,000 unique viewers. “This was way more than we were expecting,” she admitted, noting ‘massive’ shifts in intent, recall and awareness for Vodafone, too.

Charles Ubaghs, Head of Social Media at Global, also took the Upfronts opportunity to announce the launch of a new half-hour, weekly ‘PopBuzz’ show on Twitter. Global launched PopBuzz a couple of years ago and today it reaches some 24m listeners a month, he said. 

And, before wrapping up, Twitter’s Will Hardy announced that it is looking for ‘the perfect partner’ for a series of clips from the MOBO awards in Q4 of this year.  

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