Today Twitter announced its third quarter earnings for 2015 and, during the subsequent conference call, chief executive Jack Dorsey sought to reassure investors and analysts that there’s reason to be optimistic. “I’m confident that our ideas will result in a concept that’s easier to understand and more powerful,” he said.
Dorsey added that starting tonight with the Major League Baseball’s World Series contest, the company will air TV ads as part of an integrated marketing campaign that’ll run through 2016.
It’s obvious that Twitter is making efforts to court new users, but the problem is — once you get people’s attention, how do you explain what Twitter is? Is it a microblogging network? Social media service? Chat tool? It’s likely these concerns are what Dorsey was referring to in his statement, and he has certainly instructed his team to find ways to streamline and clarify things.
TV commercials aren’t a frequent thing for Twitter, but airing one during the World Series presents a bold opportunity for the company to appeal to multiple audiences: consumers who can use Twitter to chat about what’s going on during the game and brands who might use it to advertise. “Every event we’ve seen is always better with Twitter,” Dorsey remarked later in the conference call.
When it comes to marketing, newly promoted chief operating officer Adam Bain said that the goal of Twitter’s advertising business is to “build a rich canvas, drive Return on Investment (ROI), and [increase] scale by leveraging our unique total audience.” This involves allowing advertisers to better utilize video.
Starting in the fourth quarter, Twitter will begin opening up new video-focused inventory that can be used around Promoted Moments, which was unveiled just last week. In addition, the company will be launching pilot programs for DoubleClick and Dynamic Ads Retargeting.
But Twitter isn’t just going after the big brands: It wants to appeal to small- to medium-sized businesses as well. In fact, Twitter already has 9 million using the service, but now it wants to convert them into advertisers — something that Dorsey’s other company, Square, knows quite well. In the third quarter, Bain reported that there were over 100,000 active advertisers using Twitter’s network. This is just a fraction of the numbers seen by social media platforms like Facebook.
Twitter isn’t going to be limiting advertisers to users who are logged in. Bain said that the company is also going to try to monetize Twitter users who aren’t currently connected to the platform. Dorsey touched on this briefly, offering a haphazard comment about how great it is to reach those online and offline.
In the end, Dorsey wanted investors to know that things will get better and promised that Twitter will work on innovation, faster shipping, and new products.