Complete Guide | Twitter Pre-Roll Ads

Twitter has over 400 million active users and 500 million daily tweets, making it one of today’s leading social media networks. Everyone uses Twitter – celebrities, politicians, activists; you name it. It has become the go-to platform for all the latest updates worldwide.

Over the years, Twitter has also become a great way to market your brand/ business and connect with your target audience. One of the ways to do this is by sharing video ads on Twitter – something also known as pre roll ads. These are ads that play before a video starts.

So, are you ready to learn about Twitter pre roll ads, how they work and how you can leverage them to boost your business?

This article will tell you what a pre roll ad is, how to create one, and the best tips to optimize your campaign.

What Is Twitter Pre Roll?

A pre-roll ad is a paid ad/promotional video that plays before a video starts. When users select a video to play on Twitter, the ad plays first, and then the video starts. These ads are sometimes skippable and last only 10 seconds to 30 seconds on average. 

59% of marketers and businesses on Twitter use pre roll ads to connect with their target audience. According to statistics, Twitter pre rolls generate 24%+ message association and 68%+ campaign awareness. Research by Nielsen revealed that pre roll ads also favor engagement and purchase intent. 

Twitter launched an Amplify Pre-roll feature in 2013. Recently, Twitter updated its video advertising and monetization platform to aid marketers in creating better pre roll ads. Moreover, improved display formats and curated categories will give users a more desirable place to create video advertisements.

Twitter announced in March 2021 that the updated Amplify pre-roll program allows any digital advertiser to pair their ads with 200+ premium video content. 

According to stats, the new update will deliver 1.2x the purchase intent and 2x brand favorability.

What Are Twitter Pre Roll Specifications?

Pre-roll ads allow you to align your brand with premium content that your customers are watching. Twitter users love discovering what’s happening around the world through videos. Using amplify Pre-roll you can align your business with in-feed video content. 

Here are twitter pre roll specs that you must keep in mind before creating one:

Maximum file size: 1GB

Video length: 15 seconds or less to a maximum of 2 minutes and 20 seconds

File types: MP4 or MOV

Recommended video size: 1200 x 1200 (minimum for 1:1 is 600 x 600) and if not a 1:1 aspect ratio: 640×360 minimum

Video aspect ratio: 1:1 is recommended because it renders as square on profile and timeline (both desktop and mobile)

URL (optional): http:// or https://

Frame rate recommendation: 29.97FPS or 30FPS

Captions: Closed captioning or text overlays recommended

Branding: Highly recommended throughout 

Video bitrate recommendation: 6,000 – 10,000k (recommended 6,000k) for 1080p

Audio codec recommendation: AAC-LC (low complexity)

Video codec recommendation: h264, baseline, main or high profile with a 4:2:0 color space

How to Set Up Twitter Pre Roll Ads?

Follow these steps to set up a Twitter Pre-roll ad campaign: 

Step 1: Go to Twitter Ads

To set up a Twitter Amplify Pre-roll campaign, go to the Twitter Advertising module

Click on the Ellipsis (…) icon in Twitter and select the Twitter Ads button to open the Advertising panel.

Now, select Create An Ad to continue.

This will open up your personalized Twitter Ads dashboard containing data about active campaigns – such as money you spent, number of impressions from ads, etc.

Note: Add a payment method in Twitter Ads, otherwise you will not get the option to start an ad campaign.

Step 2: Begin Campaign

There are two ways to start an ad campaign:

Click on Campaigns on the menu bar and select Create Campaign.

You can also use the extra Create Campaign button located at the upper right corner of the screen.

create campaign for Twitter Amplify

Step 3: Make A Twitter Amplify Pre-roll Campaign

On the first page you will select the goals of your campaign under Choose Your Objective.

Note: For the purposes of this guide, we will check the Pre-roll Views box to pair the video ad with premium content.

Now, click Next to continue.

Step 4: Add the Campaign Details

In the Campaign Details section, you will provide information such as campaign name, daily budget, total budget, dates for campaign, etc.

Note: Start with a low to medium budget with longer ads as longer ads perform better.

In the Advanced section you will find many fields for Pacing and Brand Vertical.

Note: Twitter suggests Standard pacing to reach more people over time.

Finally, you type the relevant keywords in Brand Vertical to align your ad with the right brands and videos.

Step 5: Configure the Ad Group and Bid Strategy

The Ad Group Details puts your ad in an ad group to organize related ads. So, type in an Ad Group Name.

Now, go to the Bid Strategy header to select either of these two options:

  • Autobid – Autobid format cuts down costs and maximizes results.
  • Maximum Bid – You do not bid over that number while gaining the benefits of high bids.

Alt Text: Add your advertisement to the Ad group

In the last setting of the Delivery section, you consider the frequency of Pre-roll ads to be shown to Twitter users. You can either go with the default setting or customize it through Set a Custom Cap option.

Step 6: Custom Demographics

The Demographics section is essential for your ad campaign. You can set detailed demographics to target interested users on Twitter.

Go through the settings and set the demographics that will narrow your ad’s reach.

Alt Text: Add customized demographics to reach target audience

Step 7: Other Targeting Features

The Targeting Features section offers an incredible amount of power to advertisers on Twitter. The main targeting options are:

  • Keywords
  • Follower Look alike
  • Interests
  • Movies and TV Shows

Alt Text: Select other targeting features

Step 8: Pick Where Twitter Pre-roll Ad Appears

In Publisher Content you can choose where the ad plays on Twitter. For this, you select the types of publishers relevant to the ad.

Use any of these two methods:

  • Standard Categories – Choose a content category and remove specific publishers.
  • Curated Categories – Select a preset collection of publishers recommended by Twitter for your targeting inputs and ad category. You can also exclude some publishers if you want.

Step 9: Activate A “Creative”

Activating a Creative will include a video element to your ad. This part will grab the attention of users and convince them to click on your ad.

Follow these steps:

1.Go to Select Call to Action dropdown and choose one of the following CTA texts:

  • Visit
  • Watch
  • Shop
  • See
  • Go To
  • No CTA at all

2.Type the Website URL to send people to the target website or landing page.

3.Upload the video content you want in the ad through Media Library link.

4.Select the video to mark it with a check. Finally, click Next.

Step 10: Launch the Twitter Amplify Pre-roll campaign

The last page contains a summary of your Twitter Amplify Pre-roll ad with all the relevant information like partners, budget and content. Finally, click on Launch Campaign.

That’s it!

How to Track Twitter Pre Roll Ads Performs?

You need to track your Twitter campaign with Twitter analytics to see what’s working and what’s not. You need to know if your ads are generating clicks, topics your followers love, time of day your followers are most active, etc.

Here are the measurable metrics you should use to keep a track of your Twitter pay roll ad campaign:

Campaign Analytics

1. Tweet and Video Activity Dashboards
Helps you track different aspects of the Tweet and Video Activity Dashboards, and questions that these dashboards can help you answer.

2. Account home
Gives an overview of your Tweet performance, follower growth, and profile visits.

3. Campaign dashboard
Learn what your campaign dashboard tracks, and how you can use it to improve your Twitter Ads. 

4. Export CSV Definitions
Learn how to download .CSV files from your campaign and the information a .CSV download can include.

5. Common analytics discrepancies
Learn how poor mobile connections, load times, and other issues can create discrepancies between Twitter and third-party analytics reports.

Measurement and Tracking

1. Conversion tracking for websites
Learn how to add website tags to your site’s pages that track a customer’s journey from Twitter and through your site.

2. Customer feedback
Learn how to send feedback forms to customers you interact with on Twitter.

3. Integrating Twitter with DoubleClick campaign manager
Learn how to set up a DoubleClick campaign manager.

4. Twitter pixel helper
Download the extension to verify a pixel has been properly implemented.

5. Integrating Twitter with audience measurement partners (DAR and vCE)
Learn how to integrate your account with Twitter’s audience measurement partners: DAR or vCE. 

6. Aggregated Measurement
We are introducing an initial offering of Aggregated Measurement for performance campaigns—aimed at providing conversion metrics by counting events in aggregate for audiences who have opted out of tracking on iOS devices. 

How to Improve the Twitter Amplify Pre-Roll?

Here are the dos and don’ts to improve your Twitter pre-roll ads performance.

Dos of Twitter Pre Roll Ads

  • Less Is More

When it comes to Twitter try going for shorter videos as they perform better on Twitter. According to research, 88% of the audience prefer pre-rolls less than 15 seconds.

  • Laser Focus Your Message

Since you only have a few seconds, get right to the point. Focus on the core message because ads that convey a straightforward message in the first three seconds get 13% higher breakthroughs.

  • Target The Right Category

Your content category should align with your brand image. So, create targeted, highly relevant ads for increased brand awareness, favorability, and purchase intent. 

  • Go Big on Branding

Branding with consistent logo placement throughout your ad video increases brand awareness and brand loyalty.

  • Optimize for Mobile 

80% of people use Twitter on mobile, so make sure your Twitter ads are mobile-friendly.

Don’ts of Twitter Pre Roll Ads

  • Sounds

Most of the mobile users view ads with sound on. So, don’t focus on sound and audio messages. You need to find ways to convey your message without sound:

Add visual branding

Focus on clear and sharp visual

Add CTAs

Play with motion and movement

Be creative with captions

  • Emotional Manipulation

Today’s audience is smart. Instead of playing with the audience’s emotions, create feel-good content to bring levity and entertainment to Twitter users. Custom ‘light-hearted content’ is a sure win for your pre-rolls.

  • Ignoring Content Marketing

Combining content marketing with pre-rolls and PPC is a winning combo. If you want to promote high-value lead magnets and resources then do not ignore content marketing.

  • Avoiding Twitter Ad Features

Twitter’s advertising platform has many useful features to increase engagement. Do not forget to use the following features:

Polls – Ask questions through polls to grab your audience’s attention

Conversation Buttons – prompt users to Tweet about a trending topic

Website Buttons –Send users to a certain page on your website

App Buttons – Send users to download an app on the app stores

Branded Hashtags – Share your branded hashtags to create brand awareness

  • Boring Colors  

While minimalistic neutrals have been trending lately, do not use them for pre-rolls. Make your ad stand out by using bright colors. Such contrasting colors will pop up against Twitter’s background and grab the attention of the audience in the busy feed.


If you want to boost ad recall, grow brand awareness, and increase purchase intent, leverage short and engaging Twitter pre-roll ads. This guide contains detailed steps on how to create Twitter pre-roll ad campaigns. Follow the dos for an amazing and successful campaign. And, remember to keep away from the don’ts!

Good luck!


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