AdvertisingAge reports that Google has teamed up with some advertisers to offer a stream of their “Tweets” onto Google’s content network. It appears that Google has designed special AdSense ad units that pull the five most recent Tweets from @turbotax and displays them on publisher sites.
The purpose is to both promote the TurboTax product and service before tax season, and also to help TurboTax gain a larger following on Twitter, that can help them market products/services to a loyal following in the future. Twitter marketing is nothing new and merchants have been very successful in leveraging Twitter to communicate deals and products to potential customers. In fact, a recent Bloomberg article claims Dell has raised $1 million in revenue through Twitter.
I would love to see such an ad unit on a site, because I really can’t see how this would be useful, especially for the @turbotax stream. If you look at the stream, you see very few product/service promotions. The most recent tweet, so far, is “@jdpeterson I sent you an email with the answer to your question and what to do about it.” How is that relevant to display on a page about taxes? Like I said, I would love to see this in action, because the implementation of such an ad unit is what will make or break the success of this advertising concept. I have emailed Google for more details and I will update this post as soon as I get the details.
Postscript: Google has sent me a statement on this “limited alpha test:”
To provide more marketing opportunities for our advertisers to reach users in moments that are relevant and useful to them, we are currently testing different ways that allow advertisers to better update their ads in real time. We are currently in a limited test with a small number of advertisers and publishers.