Twitter has launched a new ad option that will enable advertisers to place Promoted Tweets within specific search results, enabling more specific targeting based on user intent.

As noted by Twitter, ‘Search Keyword Ads’ will enable marketers to hone in on specific keyword searches. So if a user in a certain region searches for ‘pizza’, for example, you’d be able to get ads for your restaurant within that search result listing, helping to connect with people based on what they’re seeking.

Which is pretty much the same as Twitter’s existing Keyword Targeting option, though Keyword Targeting can’t be focused on Search results in isolation.

As per Twitter:

Search Keywords Ads differ from other Twitter Keywords campaigns in that they only reach people who are searching for targeted terms when they are searching, offering a stronger signal of intent.”

Keyword Targeting enables you to reach Twitter users based on the keywords that they enter into search queries, but also, what they mention in their tweets, as well as the words included in the tweets that they engage with in the app. Which is a good proxy for broader intent – and Twitter also provides Broad Match targeting to capture variations of your selected terms. But targeting search terms specifically could be a better way to get your promotions in front of people who are focused on that specific topic based on their direct actions taken in the app.

In terms of display, with Keyword Targeting, you can also show your ads in Search results, but placement in Home timelines is also required. So again, it’s the same, just a little more specific.

(Worth noting, too, that you were once able to target search results specifically with Keyword Targeting, but Twitter removed that option. Maybe that relates to reduced performance, but it’s not clear.)

Will the capacity to get more specific be a valuable option?

Maybe. I mean, having the capacity to better focus your targeting is always better, and the fact that you can hone in on the words used in search queries makes a lot of sense, and should be of value. But Twitter’s current Keyword Targeting isn’t always a highly responsive ad option, to the point that Twitter recommends entering at least 25-50 keywords into each campaign, and targeting both broad and specific terms in order to maximize audience reach.

Because too much targeting will limit your results – and it is interesting that as other platforms are going more broad with their targeting, and leaning into automation, Twitter’s getting more specific.

Maybe that works, and for some local businesses, I suspect it might. But it could also be too restrictive, depending on how you use it.

But again, having the option is good, and you can test for yourself, with Twitter’s beta test being rolled out to all advertisers in the app.

Which, I don’t think is how beta tests generally work, but it’s ‘Twitter 2.0’, the normal rules don’t apply here.

“Search Keywords Ads are a new Conversion ‘campaign objective’ in the Twitter Ads interface. For now, these campaigns will optimize only for conversions to advertiser websites, and they require the integration of the Twitter Pixel or Conversion API (CAPI) to maximize relevance.

Twitter Search Keyword Ads

So Twitter will be looking to track direct performance based on website clicks, in order to measure whether that’s the best approach moving forward.

It could be worth experimenting with, and seeing what results you get – and you can always A/B test with full Keyword Targeting to compare, and see whether expanding that focus drives better results.

Twitter says that Search Keyword Ads will be expanded to more campaign objectives soon.