Why Engagement on Twitter Autoplay Ads Is So High

Autoplay video provides an answer to viewability that requires no additional action from users.

The social web has been shifting toward visual media in the last year. For Twitter, this transition to visual media seemed a little less natural for a platform started on the premise of simplicity and text. But Twitter has gradually become more of a visual platform, first adding images and then video to the newsfeed.

Most recently, Twitter introduced autoplay video ads, which is quickly becoming the most powerful way to advertise on the network. While Twitter is known for its conversational nature, the engagement rates on autoplay videos demonstrates the consumer demand for a more dynamic visual experience.

Sean O’Neal, president of Adaptly, a company that develops media buying solutions for autonomous platforms like Facebook and Twitter, said that this is a natural evolution.

We live in society where moments can be captured not just with text or with snapshots on a camera, but now with video as well.

As social has matured as an advertising medium, it has also provided a solution to what O’Neal called a dearth of high-quality advertising products. What’s more, he said, autoplay has provided a solution to the challenge of viewability.

Indeed, given the rise of adblockers and the low engagement on display ads, autoplay videos outperform static ads across the board. A big reason for this, according to O’Neal, is that engagement doesn’t require any additional action on the part of the consumer.

He told SocialTimes:

Prior to autoplay, video engagement was manual and required an extra click. But because of the nature of the newsfeed, you’re not forced to do anything. The consumer can choose to engage and if they don’t want to watch, they can just keep scrolling through the newsfeed.

While O’Neal believes that Twitter is a powerful platform for advertisers in pretty much any industry or vertical, he also noted that the platform is best suited for campaigns with the objective becoming part of a conversation in real-time. This means Twitter is particularly effective for media and entertainment brands.

For example, Adaptly ran a TV Land campaign to raise awareness for the premier of a new comedy, The Jim Gaffigan Show. After testing both static image-based and video, Adaptly found that the engagement rates with video was up to seven-times higher than on images. As a result, the post-premier campaign included just the video Tweets.

O’Neal said the caveat is the same as the opportunity with Twitter: content must be both timely and relevant.

You can’t create messaging that can easily go stale and expect to deploy it over the next six months. The key to successful Twitter advertising is timeliness. It requires dedication to fresh, relevant content, and the investment is worth it.