The Ultimate Guide to Successful Twitter Video Ads

Nivedita Shukla
July 8, 2019

With more than 330 million active monthly users, Twitter offers brands an excellent platform to reach huge audiences with social media marketing. And its scope is even bigger than that, with tweets reaching over 1.6 billion people on third-party platforms. 

Couple this with the fact that Twitter supports numerous video ad formats and marketing objectives and you have the ultimate place to launch a stellar video ad campaign. 

Why? Because the power of consumer’ #1 favourite type of branded content paired with Twitter’s huge reach offers your business unparalleled opportunities for growth. 

Take in-stream video ads or promoted Tweets, for instance. They’re former are known to lift purchase intent by 6% while promoted tweets save 50% on the cost per engagement. 

In fact, there’s even more good news for marketers. The price of Twitter ads declines 54% year over year in 2017, while ad engagements saw a 99% increase. 

So really… there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be tapping into the potential of Twitter video ads. 

But with that many users and brands, it can be difficult to share content that really stands out. That’s exactly why we made this comprehensive guide with everything you need to know about Twitter video ads. 

We’ll cover: 

  • Twitter video ad formats 
  • Twitter video ad specs 
  • The 14 BEST practices to optimize your Twitter video ads campaign 
  • The best Twitter video ads for inspiration

So let’s get started! 

Twitter Video Ad Specs and Formats 

Twitter offers a bunch of different types of video ad formats, each with its own set of characteristics and features. So naturally, it’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to keep track of all these differences. 

If you’re asking yourself, “what is the best video format for Twitter for my campaign?” and “How long can Twitter video ads be?”   

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! 

Let’s take a look at all the Twitter video ad formats and specs you need to know. 

Twitter Promoted Video Ads 


Promoted Twitter video ads are the holy grail of video advertising on twitter. They’re also cost-effective, and promoted tweets with videos save more than 50% on cost per engagement!  

Promoted video ads can last up to 10 minutes (although we don’t recommend you make them that long). They appear natively in a Twitter user’s timeline and autoplay as users are scrolling. 

This means that as long and they’re engaging, they’re likely to catch your audience’s attention and be watched. 

Promoted videos offer the perfect platform for ad campaigns to maximize your video’s views. In fact, they’re ideal for increasing brand awareness and recall.

They also seem to tackle a common problem many advertisers face on social media platforms. One of the biggest fears for marketers is coming off as intrusive or annoying for users. But it turns out, 67% of users don’t find Promoted Twitter video ads intrusive, and actually consider them informative! 

  • Maximum Tweet copy: 240 characters
  • Title: 70 characters
  • Description: 200 characters
  • Max file size: 1GB
  • Max video length: 2 minutes and 20 seconds (select advertisers can request up to 10 minutes) 
  • Recommended video length: under 15 seconds
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1 recommended or 16:9
  • Video resolution: 720x1280 (portrait), 1280x720 (landscape), 720x720 (square)
  • Mandatory closed captions or text overlays 

Twitter In-stream Video Ads

In-stream video ads play before video content from Twitter’s 200+ brand safe partners. 

With this format, your Twitter video ad will play within the Tweet of the partner your video is matched to. It’ll have a message stating that it is an “Ad by your @handle” as it plays. Also, users will be able to skip it after 6 seconds. 

This means it’s super important that you ensure your Twitter video ad is engaging and hooks the viewer. You want to make them stick around till the end so that they don’t press that ‘skip’ button! Or better yet, make it short enough that users don’t have the option to skip it. 

In-stream video ads on Twitter can be customized for all essential purposes, including targeting of ads. For instance, you can select your target audience based on categories like demographics, behaviors, and interests. 

Moreover, you can specify your brand details and categories to help Twitter match your pre-roll ads to their host tweets. This helps ensure that your video ad content matches the content of the video it’s played before. 

Why is this important? Because it increases the chances that viewers will be organically interested in your content. 

In addition, you can also choose categories of videos you DON’T want your ad to be paired with. This even extends as far as specifying certain accounts or handles you don’t want to be associated with. 

  • Recommended video length: 6 seconds or less 
  • Max video length: 10 minutes 
  • Branding highly recommended throughout (logo in upper left-hand corner)
  • Mandatory closed captions or text overlays 
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 or 1:1 
  • Max file size: 1GB

Twitter Video Website and App Card Ads 

Video website cards combine the creative power of video with direct response marketing to enhance the user experience. They also support a wide range of marketing objectives, from awareness to website clicks and views. 

Essentially, these videos on Twitter are great to capture your audience’s attention AND encourage them to take action. 

In short, the video website card starts off as an auto-playing video in a user’s feed. If a user clicks on the call to action, the ad opens into a larger video and website preview. Ultimately, it directs viewers to your brand’s landing page or chosen website.  

Website card ads are perfect for interacting with your audience. They even have a 2x higher CTR than the industry benchmark for mobile video ads! 

Similarly, Twitter app cards combine videos and CTAs to drive installs and engagements on your mobile app. They use video to highlight the interface, usability, and features of your app and encourage users to download it.

Lastly, when you create videos with Website or App cards, you get access to a bunch of targeting tools. These include categories like interests, demographics, keywords, devices and locations to name a few! 

Video website card specs:

  • Tweet copy: 280 characters
  • Website title length: 70 characters (recommended under 50)
  • Max file size: 1GB (recommended under 30MB)
  • Recommended video length: 15 seconds or less 
  • Branding highly recommended throughout (logo in upper left-hand corner)
  • Mandatory closed captions or text overlays 
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1 or 9:16
  • Recommended size: 1200 x 1200p
  • Thumbnail aspect ratio: recommend matching size of video 
  • Thumbnail max size: 5MB

Video app card specs 

  • Tweet copy: 280 characters
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1 or 9:16
  • Title length: 70 characters (recommended under 50)
  • Description length: 200 characters (included from app store)
  • Recommended video length: 15 seconds or less 
  • Branding highly recommended throughout (logo in upper left-hand corner)
  • Mandatory closed captions or text overlays 
  • Max file size: 1GB (recommended under 30MB)
  • Call to action: Install (default if app is not installed), open (default if app is installed), Play, Shop, Book, Connect, and Order 

Best Practices to Optimize Twitter Video Ads 

Social media video marketing doesn’t have one clear cut formula, because all social platforms work differently. Although Instagram and Facebook often share a lot of common characteristics, Twitter is a little different. It sets itself apart because of some of its unique features and characteristics. 

While there are some universal tips that are essential for ALL social video ads, there are some specific things you can do to improve your Twitter video ads. 

So without further ado…

Regardless of the ad format, these 14 Twitter video ads best practices will optimize your Twitter video ads and increase their effectiveness. 

1. Make the first 3 few seconds count 

In case you haven’t heard, humans now have a shorter average attention span than goldfish. 

Yes, you read that right.

It was recently found that the average human being today has an attention span of 8 seconds. Couple this with the fact that users tend to scroll through their Twitter feeds really quickly and you have yourself a problem.

If your video ad isn’t engaging enough from the get-go, chances are that potential customers are scrolling or skipping right past it. 

The best way around this is to make the first few seconds of your Twitter video ads really count. 80% of users watch a full video if it’s under 30 seconds, so try and keep all your video ads under this length.

In addition, pack a punch in the first 3 seconds to hook your viewers, maximize engagement and viewership and encourage them to continue watching.

One study suggests that consumers are 23% more likely to remember a brand name shown within the first 3 seconds of a video. Keep this in mind when making yours! By leaving branding for later, you risk losing customers who don’t stick around till the end. 

2. Use captions to increase shares by 15%

Thanks to autoplay, when a user is scrolling through their feed or stories, videos don’t automatically play with sound. That’s probably why over 85% of social media videos are watched on mute.  

This means videos that rely on sound to catch the viewer’s attention or convey their message usually get ignored.  

The sad reality is, consumers, love quick content that engages them with minimal effort on their part. It actually takes a lot for consumers to voluntarily press ‘unmute’ on video ads. 

But don’t worry, the solution is simple. 

Just keep things as visual as possible. Ensure that your Twitter video ad doesn’t require sound to be understood. Instead, make the best use of visual elements and storytelling to draw in viewers and keep them engaged. 

If your video does have sound, always make it a point to include subtitles or closed captions. Not only do captions increase video shares by 15%, they also help make your content more accessible. This means your videos can reach wider audiences and increase your brand awareness.  

Unlike other social platforms, Twitter doesn’t currently offer auto-captioning services. But don’t fret, tools like Kapwing and Rev can help you create captions for your videos in just minutes!

3. Upload natively to get more replies and retweets 

This one is pretty much a given, but we can’t possibly stress it enough.

Upload your Twitter video ads natively!!!

Apart from capturing viewers’ attention, native videos get 2.5x more replies than videos posted through Youtube or Vimeo. They also receive 2.8x more retweets and 1.9x more favorites than videos from third-party sources. 

Why? Because Twitter’s algorithm automatically prioritizes native videos, so they’re more likely to be seen by default. 

In addition, you can even embed your native tweet videos on your blog or landing page to increase their reach and views. 

So the bottom line is…  

Native videos = more views, engagement and interaction! 

4. Use hashtags and conversational ads 

conversational twitter ads

Twitter hashtags categorize content and make it more searchable. Just like with regular tweets, it’s a good idea to include relevant hashtags in the captions of your Twitter video ads. 

They’re great for joining a larger or trending conversation on Twitter and make it easier for users to discover your tweets. 

In 2016, the platform also introduced ‘conversational ads’ — the perfect way to amp up your video advertising campaigns on Twitter. Conversational ads are promoted tweets with videos that include CTA buttons with customizable hashtags. They’re ideal for prompting users to spread your message and expanding your reach.

When a user clicks on the CTA, the tweet composer opens with a pre-populated brand message along with the creative and campaign hashtag. They can then personalize the tweet and share it with their own followers. They’ll also receive a ‘thank you’ note from the brand for engaging with their tweet!

They’re a great way to earn media at pretty much no extra cost and promote organic conversation! 

5. Target ads to reach the right people 

One of the best ways to see instant higher engagement, visibility and interaction on your Twitter video ads is by targeting them.

What does this mean?

It means customizing your ads so they align with certain marketing objectives and specific target audiences.

But wait… before you get ahead of yourself, it’s really important to know who your target audience is. 

There are two ways to do this. Firstly, use Twitter’s in-app analytic tools to see who your followers are. This lets you break down their demographics by age, gender, location, and interests. Secondly, you should know what YOUR dream audience or ideal ‘buyer persona’ is. Tools like Hubspot’s ‘Make My Persona’ can be great to help you map this out. 

Once you know who you’re targeting, use Twitter’s targeting tools to get your ads in front of the right audience. 

Apart from basic categories like language, gender, and geographical location, Twitter offers a huge range of targeting options. For instance, follower targeting lets you target the followers of specific relevant influencers, companies, and initiatives.

Similarly, interest and behavior targeting let you reach people who are more likely to be interested in your business. 

Moreover, Twitter also offers excluding features that are often overlooked. The exclusion option lets you exclude certain audiences from receiving your ads. This can be super helpful if you want to share ads to attract new leads and exclude your existing followers. 

6. Optimize landing pages for mobile 

mobile-landing page

If your Twitter video ad’s CTA leads to a landing page, you need to ensure that it is optimized for mobile. 

80% of Twitter users access the platform on mobile and a whopping 93% of video views come from mobile devices. Because of this, mobile-friendly landing pages are key to securing conversions. 

Video ads have the potential to generate a lot of sales, with the highest click-through rate of all digital ad formats at 1.84%. This means the landing and sales pages they link to need to be optimized and accessible. 

Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind to make mobile landing pages that convert:

  • Keep it simple and minimalistic. Strip away everything that doesn’t need to be there and focus on your call to action. 
  • Focus on the benefits of your product or service and be specific. 
  • Include a sign-up form and keep it short and concise. 
  • Include testimonials in the form of videos or quotes to convert hesitant customers. 

Take a look at this great example by Squarespace. Their desktop landing page is simple, minimalistic and effective with a clear CTA. 

The mobile version is even more minimalist and only includes necessary elements. It’s easy to navigate and optimized for a seamless mobile experience. 

7. A/B test all your ads  

A/B testing allows you to test different versions of your ads to find out which works best. The idea is that you run similar ads with minor alterations to see if it changes engagement and interaction levels. It’s a great way to analyse your Twitter video ads and optimize your future campaigns.  

A/B testing is also extremely versatile. You can use it to test the same ad on two different audiences to see which ad performs better, allowing you to target ads better.  Or, you can test out two different ads on the same audience to see which content and style works better. 

In short, A/B testing is great for helping you answer questions like: 

  • Which message resonates the most with your audience? 
  • What types of content generate the most engagement? 
  • Which ad format has the most comments, likes or shares? 
  • Which call to action has the highest conversion rate? 
  • Which section of your target audience prefers a certain ad? 

8. Create and Optimize Thumbnails

Twitter offers users the option to opt out of autoplay, and a lot of people take advantage of it. This creates a huge problem for brands because their video ads might not automatically play as users are scrolling through their feeds. 

This means advertisers need to work harder to convince users to take the action and watch their video ads. 

What is the best way to do this? By making interesting, captivating and relevant video thumbnails.  

Thumbnails are super important because they form a user’s first impression of your video by making it stand out. They’re also one of the main factors that decides whether or not a user watches your video and engages with it. 

For your twitter video ads, you can either select a thumbnail from the video itself or upload a custom thumbnail from your device. Just make sure your thumbnail has the same aspect ratio as your video. 

9. Create campaign-based objectives 

Like most social media platforms, ad campaigns on Twitter are based on specific objectives. And they’re more important than you think. 

Why? Because the campaign objectives you choose determine the engagements and actions you end up paying for.

When you promote Tweets on Twitter, you only pay for them once you’ve achieved your objective. For instance, if your goal is website conversions, you only pay when your viewers take that action. Similarly, if your objective is app installs, you only pay for the number of successful app installs your ad generates. 

Some of the most common Twitter campaign objectives are: 

  • Tweet engagements: used to put your promoted content in front of the right audience to encourage engagement. (cost per engagement) 
  • Video views: used to maximise the viewership of your content. (cost per view) 
  • Followers: used to increase your following on Twitter. (cost per follow) 
  • Website clicks and conversions: used to drive people to your website and increase traffic. (cost per click)
  • App installs: used to get users to download or open your app. (cost per app click or install)
  • In-stream video views: used to place your videos in front of highly relevant publisher content. (cost per in stream video view)  

Once you know your campaign objectives, you can make content that is better suited to achieving these goals. Also, this will help you identify your key performance indicators (KPIs). 

These will be super important to measure your campaign success; they’re basically the metrics you can use to analyse the results of your ads. They tell you what worked well in your campaign and what you can improve on in the future. 

10. Make sure your video matches your purpose 

As you already know, Twitter offers a number of different video ad formats with different features and characteristics. Which one you select for your video campaign on Twitter should depend on your marketing objectives. 

In other words… once you’ve decided your video’s objective, make sure its format works well for that goal.  

For example, suppose your goal is to drive brand awareness. In-stream or pre-roll video ads might be your best bet as they’re known to increase ad recall by 70%. They also result in 6% higher purchase intent among viewers compared to people who aren’t exposed to these ads. 

Likewise, if your marketing objective is to drive conversions and sales, video website card ads might be the way to do. They have a 2x higher CTR than the mobile video ad benchmark and are perfect for encouraging your audience to take action. 

11. GIFS 

Despite being the 2012 ‘Word of the Year’, the word ‘GIF’ has been subject to a LOT of debate. 

The world just can’t seem to decide: is it pronounced with a soft G (like ‘gin’) or hard G (like ‘gift’)?? 


Honestly, this debate might never get settled. 

But despite how you might pronounce it, thankfully we can all agree on one thing. These short, visual looped animations are a JREAT (oops) GREAT way to share fun video ads with your audience. 

From slideshows showcasing a range of products to quick demos, GIFS are super versatile. They can even be used to convey a text message in an interactive and eye-catching way! And if nothing else, they’re superb for showing off your fun brand personality and interacting with your audience. 

Check out this example by Food 52. They use a sharp gif to teach viewers the first steps of making a danish pastry at home, hooking them and encouraging them to learn more! 

Or check out this slideshow based GIF by Kate Spade. The brand used a GIF to showcase an upcoming range of its new products in a fun and interactive way.

12. Use your Tweet copy to reinforce your message 

Apart from captivating visuals and sound, there’s another extremely important element to your Twitter video ads. 

Your Tweet copy or caption, of course! 

Suppose a user has opted to turn off autoplay on their Twitter account. This means your video ads don’t automatically play and grab their attention when they’re scrolling through their feeds. 

Pretty much the only two ways you get your viewers to watch your videos are: 

  1. By having a great, captivating and super clickable thumbnail
  2. Making your Tweet copy interesting and impactful so it encourages viewers to watch your video 

Twitter recommends advertisers keep these tips in mind to write irresistible and effective Tweet copy: 

  • Emphasize urgency. Give people a reason to take immediate action with phrases like “shop now”, “limited time” or “low stock” for example. 
  • Mention discounts by %. Express discounts as percentages instead of dollar amounts. 
  • Don’t over-clutter hashtags. Only use relevant and minimal hashtags. 
  • Include questions. Directly address your viewers and ask them questions to involve them and compel them to click through. 

13. Engage with your audience 

Social media is nothing without being social, and this applies to brands too!

Monitoring how your followers interact with your ads is key. Make it a point to respond to customers’ Tweets by liking and retweeting them as well as replying to appropriate questions. 

The more you directly engage with your followers, the better the user’s experience will be. And a better user experience means better chances at sales! 

77% of Twitter users even say they feel more positively about a brand when their Tweet has been replied to. So it’s simple — engage with your audience to increase your brand’s favorability. 

In fact, running ads and then neglecting them can be very risky business. Customers often use Tweets to ask questions, share experiences and even debate prices. If you ignore these comments, you risk harming your reputation. You might give off the impression that your brand only wants to sell products rather than listen to customers. 

The bottom line:  be prepared to answer any brand related questions, clear up concerns and acknowledge users for their enthusiasm and positive reviews.

14. Increase viewership by going all natural 

There’s one thing you should always keep in mind when making social network video ads. 

Make sure your ad doesn’t look like an ad. 

Why? Because ads that seem overly self-promotional can come off as spammy and put customers off. This means valuable customers will be more likely to scroll past your ad and ignore it. Or even worse, mark it as irrelevant. 

Try to make sure your video ads seem as organic and natural as possible. They should blend in seamlessly with the posts your customers see from their friends and other accounts they follow. This makes them far more likely to stop scrolling and interact with your content. 

Twitter says that a whopping 80% of its users are “affluent millennials”. This is a HUGE number! According to Eventbrite, 78% of them say they would rather shop experiences than ‘things’. So, inspirational and experience based video storylines are likely to get more video views and engagement. 

Take inspiration from this Twitter video ad by GoPro, for example. It uses stunning visuals and footage of various travel experiences to entice the viewers. Rather than just selling its products, GoPro uses its video ads to sell customers an experience and shows them how their products can be used. 

6 Great Examples for Inspiration

Now that we’ve equipped you with all the actionable tips you need, it’s time to make your own Twitter video ads.

Running a little low on inspiration? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. 

Here we’ve compiled a list of just SOME the best Twitter video ads out there. They’re perfect examples of engaging social media content to inspire your next campaign. 

1. Glossier 

This promoted video ad by the beauty company, Glossier, hits all the right spots. The video is short, aesthetically appealing and entirely visual. It showcases a range of blush products as well as swatches and a person using the product. 

The video is also enhanced with a fun and uplifting soundtrack, but doesn’t require sound to be understood. It’s a perfect example of a Twitter video ad that combines a strong visuals, text overlay and clear branding to be effective. 


RXBAR’s Twitter bio pretty much sums up their brand: “Real food with simple ingredients and no B.S.”  

The company uses this promoted Twitter video ad to showcase its line of protein bars in a way that reflects their its image. The video is short, simple, colourful and visually appealing. It highlights the simplicity of their products, packaging and ingredients. It also draws users in with its fun and quirky stop-motion style and proves that you don’t need a high budget or fancy equipment to make an effective video. 

3. Starbucks

This is another great example of how GIFs can be used to share short and engaging looping ads. Starbucks uses this simple GIF to showcase two variations of their product in a fun and creative way.

The ad is entirely silent, so it quickly catches the user’s attention by autoplaying in their feed. Also, it loops seamlessly and encourages viewers to keep watching, without even realising it! 

4. Skillshare 

Skillshare is an online platform that lets users learn new skills from professionals and world-class practitioners. Skillshare often uses Twitter video ads like this one to promote free upcoming classes taught by industry experts. 

This video is short, informative and showcases the teacher’s personality in an engaging way. It also tells viewers what they can expect to learn and includes a link to a landing page. The only thing it’s lacking is captions, which could help greatly increase its viewership and reach. 

5. Pandora Music

Pandora believes that every smartphone emoji can be matched to a corresponding song. The music app effectively uses this fun theory to catch its audience’s attention with its ‘#SoundsLike’ Twitter campaign. 

This video ad is short and entirely visual. Although it has fun and catchy background music, it doesn’t require sound to be understood. Pandora uses text overlays and invite users to interact with the brand. The brand asks users to submit an emoji via Twitter in order to receive a song recommendation that matches it! 

Apart from being great advertising, this is also a great way for the brand to interact with its customers and start a conversation. 

6. Hint 

This video ad by Hint is rather simple and straightforward, but it does the job. The health drinks brand uses bright colours and on screen text to grab the audience’s attention. 

The video is short and concise, and focuses on the benefits of its product compared to other sugary drink alternatives. This is effective because it adds credibility, especially with the use of statistics and data. Also, the Tweet copy is short and reinforces the message of the video ad. 

How Studiotale Can Help You 


There you go! That’s everything you need to know to kickstart a successful Twitter video ad campaign. 

Remember, sometimes the most effective ads are the ones that least look like it. Keep things natural and remember to be yourself! Use your ads to show off your brand’s personality and relate to your customers. 

Looking for more tips and strategies? Subscribe to our blog here

If you’re still unsure of where to start with your Twitter video ads or need guidance from a video expert, we’ve got you covered.  

Simply reach out to Studiotale and leave the rest to us. As a leading startup video production company, we’d be happy to help. 

Don’t hesitate! Start a conversation with us today :)  

Nivedita Shukla

Nivedita is a creative content writer at Studiotale. She loves anything and everything related to reading and writing. When she isn’t working on a blog post, you’ll find her eating brunch, traveling, or scrolling through cute dog videos on Instagram.


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