How To Get More Control Over Your Twitter Campaign Budget

Zachary Green

Zachary Green

Zach lives and breathes SEO. After spending some time in the music business, he transitioned into digital marketing where he has kickstarted growth for small businesses like Filthy Rebena, Museum London, and Forest City Film Festival.

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With over 328 million monthly active users, Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms out there. 

As you know, Twitter is also used by brands all over the world for digital advertising. Its paid advertising platform, Twitter Ads, is a great tool to show ads to users on the site. The platform is user-friendly and has excellent targeting capabilities to get in front of many target audiences. On Twitter Ads, creating ads and launching campaigns based around business goals (like brand awareness or driving website traffic) is a piece of cake.

The icing on this cake is that people who use Twitter are massive retail shoppers. Users shop online on average of 6.9 times a month, while non-users shop online around 4.3 times a month. And there’s particularly good news for small and medium-sized businesses, otherwise known as SMBs: 60% of customers have made purchases from an SMB due to their presence on Twitter.

Between the platform’s benefits and receptive shoppers, you’d be crazy not to include Twitter in your digital marketing strategy. However – like every platform, it has its nuances that you need to know to run effective campaigns. One of these nuances is budget control. The way you set up your campaign structure and where you set up your budget within it will directly influence your control over how and where your money gets spent during your campaigns. Below, I cover 3 Twitter budget control tactics, ranging from low to full control.

Campaign structure review

5.28.19_campaignstructure.png

Before we dive in, let’s review the basic campaign structure. Your Twitter campaign structure needs three parts to run:

  • Campaign: A campaign contains one or more ad sets and ads. This is where you choose an advertising objective for each of your campaigns.
  • Ad set: Ad sets contain one or more ads. You define factors like targeting, schedule, and placement at the ad set level.  
  • Ad: The creative you use makes up an ad. 

When building your campaign structure, you will be asked to set a budget. Twitter gives advertisers the ability to set their budget at the A) campaign level, B) ad set level or C) campaign level and ad set level. Remember, the option you pick, along with the type of campaign structure you’ve set up, is what gives you varying levels of control over how and where your budget gets spent.

Budget control tactics

Tactic 1: campaign-level budget with 2+ ad sets

Amount of control: Low

Let’s say that you’ve set up a campaign structure exactly like the layout above, with the objective of driving website traffic. Ad set 1 is targeting Canadian moms, while ad set 2 is targeting Brazilian moms. Your plan is to spend $5/daily and $155/total on each ad set. Hoping to achieve this, you set your budget at the campaign level for $10/daily and $310/total to be spent over the course of one month. Then you launch your campaign.

At the end of that day, $7 is spent on Canadian moms and $3 on Brazilian moms. At the end of that month, $217 is spent on Canadian moms and $83 on Brazilian moms.

How come the majority of it went to Canadian moms? Well, using this budget control tactic gives Twitter’s algorithm permission to handle the distribution of your budget across ad sets, within your specifications. The algorithm aims to achieve the best results possible, so it will allocate more budget to whichever ad group is performing better at any given point during the campaign. This causes uneven daily and total spend between ad groups. But what if you want more even spending? That’s where more restrictive budget control tactics come in…

Tactic 2: campaign and ad set level budget with 2+ ad sets

Amount of control: Medium

The same scenario this time, but with one change: you set your budget at both the campaign and ad set level. The campaign level budget is $10/daily. The Canadian mom ad set level budget is $155/total. The Brazilian mom ad set level budget is $155/total. This is $310/total, to be spent over the course of one month. You launch your campaign.

At the end of that day, $7 is spent on Canadian moms and $3 on Brazilian moms. At the end of that month, $155 is spent on Canadian moms and $155 on Brazilian moms.

Using this budget control tactic gives Twitter’s algorithm permission to handle the daily distribution of your budget across your ad sets, but with a rule: both ad sets must end up sharing the total budget evenly. What happens is that the algorithm’s optimization efforts will cause the better performing ad set to reach its total budget quicker than the other ad set and stop running. The rule will cause the other ad set to run alone for the rest of the campaign’s duration so that even total spend is achieved.

Tactic 3: campaign-level budget with 1 ad set

Amount of control: High

5.28.19_campaignstructure_2.png

This tactic requires changes to where you set your budget and the basic campaign structure used above. Adjusting the campaign structure is simple. Instead of setting up 2 ad sets in 1 campaign, you set up 2 campaigns with 1 ad set each as seen above.

Next, you set your budget at the campaign level for each campaign. The campaign level budget for Canadian moms is $5/daily and $155/total, to be spent over the course of one month. The campaign level budget for Brazilian moms is $5/daily and $155/total, to be spent over the course of one month. This is $10/daily and $310/total. You launch your two campaigns.

At the end of that day, $5 is spent on Canadian moms and $5 on Brazilian moms. At the end of that month, $155 is spent on Canadian moms and $155 on Brazilian moms.

Using this budget control tactic restricts Twitter’s algorithm from handling the distribution of your budget across ad sets. As a result, you get total control over your budget. You’re able to achieve even daily and total ad spend. As well, each ad set runs for the full duration of the one-month campaign length.

The final word

When setting up a campaign, there are multiple budget control tactics available to choose from. Each one determines how and where your budget gets spent during your campaign. Your results will obviously vary depending on which tactic you choose. Happy spending!

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