How X (Twitter) New Visual Style Could Be Critical For Marketers

June 2, 2015
 Twitter New Layout

Today X (Twitter) revamped the timelines on its website and mobile app to display previews of pictures and videos by default.

Data on Facebook marketing suggests that posts with pictures receive much higher click-through rates and more engagement than those without.

We decided to conduct a quick experiment to see whether the same is true for X (Twitter) following the introduction of image previews in timelines. We ran two identical promoted tweets on our @driftrock, with the only difference between them being that one of the ads also included a picture. In both cases our goal was to get as many clicks on the link to our blog post as possible for the lowest possible price.

The results blew us away! The engagement rate for our promoted tweets was 379% higher if the tweet also included a picture, with a much lower Cost Per Engagement and Cost Per Click-Through on our target link in the Tweet.

Here you can see the two tweets we sent out from the @driftrock account. The engagement rate on the tweet without a picture is a reasonable 1.34%, with a CPE of £0.88. This skyrockets when you add the picture: 5.07% engagement rate, while the CPE goes down to £0.23.

The best surprise came when calculating the cost per click of our target URL to the blog post that accompanies the image and copy: We calculated the Cost Per Click for the picture tweets at £0.39, versus £1.34 for the one without.

This new visual style could be huge news for X marketers.

In the past we advised clients to avoid including pictures, hashtags and handles on Promoted Tweets. This is because X charges advertisers for all engagements on Tweets. When optimising for actual CPC on URL link clicks, removing hashtags and other distractions decreases the price you pay for a visit to your website.

Yet when we looked at the analytics of today’s experiment, we found that less than a third of clicks in our picture tweets were on the picture link, with the rest of visitors going through to our blog post link. In this test, including an image reduces the actual cost per click-through. We've decided to investigate the effect of picture tweets in more detail with different types of content and campaigns to see if this is true for the majority of campaigns.

Are you seeing similar results?