In June of 2010, social networking company Twitter started testing Promoted Trends, a new advertising product that served as an extension of the Promoted Tweets platform it rolled out in April. With this advertising product, marketers can pay to have their sponsored or “promoted” topics appear at the top of Twitter’s popular Trending Topics list. Big brands are already hopping on the bandwagon, with Dell, HBO and Verizon being among several well known players to take the new ad platform for a spin. Let’s take a look at how you could possibly use Promoted Trends to bolster your online marketing efforts.

Twitter Promoted Trends in Action

According to Twitter the only factor that separates a Promoted Trend from a regular trending topic is the promoted label. However, being instantly shot to the top of the frequently viewed Trending Topics list is the obvious perk that gives it so much appeal. On top of that, the platform can be used in a variety of ways, as we have learned from our friends the big brands.

One vertical that sees potential in Promoted Trends is the gaming industry. 2K Games, the global video game developer behind popular titles such as “Dungeon Siege” and “The Da Vinci Code,” used the platform to promote its much anticipated release “Duke Nukem Forever.” Not to be outdone was video sports game specialist EA Sports, which utilized the platform to generate hype around “Fight Night Champion,” the latest in its boxing franchise “Fight Night.” The EA brand went a step further by using the “#TysonsBack” hashtag to get fans talking about which fighter they used when playing the game.

When it comes to Promoted Trends, Verizon is a not only a customer but a repeat customer. The telecommunications giant’s most notable indulgence occurred from March through April when it ran a series of promotions in attempt to capitalize on the annual NCAA Basketball March Madness tournament. This initiative appeared to be a joint advertising venture as it revolved around driving March Madness fans to the official ESPN website. Even more recently, Verizon used Promoted Trends to bank on Father’s Day, asking Twitter users to share their favorite “dadisms” or fatherly advice.

Expensive Potential

Whether it’s promoting a product, service or just a hot button topic related to your market, the value of Twitter alone gives Promoted Trends a lot of potential. Whether or not that potential satisfies the asking price is questionable. Various credible sources online have reported that the cost for running a Promoted Trends campaign is a whopping $120,000 per day. Such a hefty price tag instantly puts this one out of reach for a number of marketers.

Promoted Trends is an interesting concept with the kind of potential that could make it quite valuable for the right brand. Unless you can meet the stiff budget requirements, this one probably isn’t for you. On the bright side, it is possible to make the most of Twitter by simply communicating and engaging your audience, which is arguably even more effective than paying your way to the top of the site’s trendy list. Or dare I mention integrating your Twitter strategy with a friendly neighborhood email marketing campaign?