Making the Most of Pinterest Ads

pinterest ads

Social media has completely changed the way information is shared – both personally and professionally. Any savvy marketing professional understands that having a strong presence on social media is critical to connecting with customers and growing a business, but the most successful marketers realize organic efforts are often not enough to make a significant impression. Paid promotions on social media channels are critical for any company trying to move the needle in terms of brand awareness and engagement.

When we think of social media advertising, it’s often Twitter and Facebook that come to mind. Recently, however, a new channel entered the online advertising scene – Pinterest rolled out Promoted Pin capabilities (aka Pinterest Ads) for all U.S. businesses in January 2015.

Why Pinterest Ads? 

The setup of the Pinterest platform make Pinterest Ads a great option for promoting your brand and driving traffic to your website. Pins don’t go away unless they’re deleted and your Pinterest feed is not driven by recency, which means as long as your content is relevant and high-quality it will continue to show up in search results no matter when it was created. Additionally, according to a Hootsuite study, 87 percent of Pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest and 93 percent of Pinners have used the site to plan for a future purchase.

Promoted Pins are powerful because they look just like regular Pins but offer companies additional ways to increase exposure without disrupting the user experience. There are over 175 million users on Pinterest every month, and the platform gives businesses a range of targeting options to ensure you reach the right audience at the right time. Choices include targeting your advertising audience by location, gender, language, device, interest, keyword and email address.

Did we convince you to give Pinterest Ads a shot? Good. Like any other advertising platform, there are some things you need to keep in mind when developing your campaigns.

Do’s of Advertising on Pinterest

We’ll start with a couple of things you should definitely do while you’re creating your promoted Pins, choosing targeting and launching and monitoring your campaign(s):

  1. Use keyword and interest targeting to complement one another. Targeting keywords allows you to reach people as they are searching for something specific, while Interest targeting lets you reach audiences based on other Pins they’ve saved. This ensures you will reach your audience as they browse and search.
  2. Adjust your campaigns in real time. It’s important to include a variety of images and copy in your Pinterest Ads, to begin with (a general social media advertising best practice), and it’s equally important to monitor how ads are performing to identify potential optimization opportunities. Try swapping different images, copy variations, keywords and bids in and out of live campaigns (just not all at once!) until you find the perfect combination for your desired return.
  3. Use a call to action in the description of your Pin! This is another general online advertising best practice, you always want to include a call to action in your copy to increase your chances of engagement from followers. The catch here is that you should be sure to include the CTA in the text of your Pin, not right on the image itself – which can come off as overly promotional and deter people from wanting to Pin it to their own boards.

Don’ts of Advertising on Pinterest

While you should try as many of the “do’s” you can, the “don’ts” are less negotiable. Here are some tips for things you should avoid when advertising on Pinterest:

  1. Avoid using horizontal images in advertisements. Pinterest is better suited for longer, vertically positioned creatives. Landscape photos often get cut off and are not fully visible in your feed. Make sure these images are colorful and eye-catching, and link back to a page that is clearly related to the content of the ad itself, so as to not mislead or interrupt the user experience.
  2. Don’t use the same image in multiple active campaigns. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, you can’t create promoted-only content on Pinterest. Instead, businesses choose existing Pins from their public boards to promote. Assuming all of your ad copy, targeting and images are tailored to each specific campaign (if they aren’t, they should be!), you won’t want to use the same image in multiple campaigns. If you do, you’ll create multiple Pins with the same image on your Boards, which can make your page feel disingenuous.
  3. Abstain from including redirect links in your Pins. For one reason, if Pinterest discovers you are promoting redirect links, they will reject your Pin. Even if Pinterest did allow you to include these links, we would still recommend avoiding them. One of the things users like so much about the platform is that the user experience is smooth and direct – you see a photo you like, click the pin and are directed right to the same photo with additional information. Including a redirect hinders the customer journey, decreasing your chance of a conversion.

The “don’ts” of creating Pinterest ads are equally as important as the “do’s.” Just like best practices for anything, if you follow them, you significantly increase the odds of seeing a return on your investment. If you actively diverge from them, however, you increase the odds that your campaigns will be unsuccessful.

What do you think? Would Pinterest be an effective advertising platform for your business?

Casey Egan
Marketing Analyst

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Posted on June 16, 2017 in Advertising, Content Marketing, Creative, Marketing, Social Media

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