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social media how toAre you marketing on Pinterest?

Have you considered Pinterest promoted pins?

Pinterest promoted pins (beta version recently opened to everyone) can help you reach more people and drive results.

In this article I’ll share five ways businesses can get the most out of Pinterest promoted pins.

About Promoted Pins

While Pinterest is a social sharing community, users visit the site ready to be inspired and/or seek out products to purchase.

Pinterest is an excellent way to promote your brand and drive traffic to your business. Promoted pins take things a step further. They look like regular pins, but have additional capabilities to increase visibility, so you get to the right audience at the right time.

succeed with promoted pins

Discover five ways to succeed with promoted pins.

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To put promoted pins into play, first choose a pin, and then add terms. Then, set up targeting and decide who sees it. Next, set up a CPC bid. Now, choose a campaign and budget. Finally, track and analyze your promoted pins to see how your campaigns are doing and determine what to change to improve results.

Here are five ways to step up your promoted pins.

#1: Adjust Campaigns in Real Time

Since Pinterest is above all a platform for inspiration, creativity plays a huge role in driving click-through rate (CTR), which drives impression volume and in turn CPC.

Find or create images that draw readers’ attention. High-quality, vertically oriented images work really well. Pay special attention to image composition and ratio. Color contrasts, like in the example below, also help a pin stand out.

cupshe promoted pin

Dresses and other vertically oriented images fit naturally into pins and stand out on Pinterest.

Try to feature images that readers will connect to emotionally, so your audience will share. Be sure to add relevant keywords.

After you start running campaigns, don’t keep doing the same thing. Mix up your creative ideas and explore impact with split testing, so you can tweak ads and campaign strategy in real time.

In addition to creative visual elements, promoted pins need to include soft calls to action (CTAs) to increase engagement. Per Pinterest regulations, images in promoted pins cannot feature “commercial and functional calls to action.” As such, you may want to feature “soft CTAs” in image overlays, as well as additional “direct CTAs” in the description copy below the image.

zola registry promoted pin

This promoted pin includes informational language about the service and a clear call to action. The text overlay draws attention to the pin by conveying a specific benefit of the service.

Getting creative can be as simple as developing ads from your preexisting website content and tailoring it for Pinterest.

#2: Use the Right Keywords

One of the most important aspects of Pinterest advertising campaign management is keyword optimization. Per Pinterest guidelines, you can associate around 150 keywords with each promoted pin, so develop and implement a comprehensive keyword strategy.

adding keywords to a promoted pin placeit image

Add plenty of keywords to your promoted pins. Image: Placeit.net.

Start by brainstorming creative keywords. It’s helpful to think outside the box, since Pinterest users are big-time searchers. The more micro- and macro-relevant your ad is to what people are searching, the higher your CTR will be. However, don’t go too keyword-crazy. If you target irrelevant keywords, ads are likely to be denied in the promoted pin approval process.

The following promoted pin came up in a search for “shoes.”

lightinthebox promoted pin

This promoted pin came up in a search for “shoes.” By the way, it’s a good example of how to turn a horizontal photo into a vertical pin by stacking these two images on top of each other.

When adding keywords, go for specific, broad and general terms. For the LightInTheBox promoted pin featured above, specific keywords include bowknot high heels, bow pumps, bowknot pumps, round toe heels, black stilettos and stiletto heels. Broad keywords are phrases such as beautiful high heels, sophisticated high heels, formal footwear, fashion heels, formal shoes, wedding shoes and prom shoes. General keywords are women’s fashion, fashion trends, footwear fashion trends and formal event attire.

Research and optimize keywords for each ad unit in real time. Also, monitor and optimize keywords by cleaning up or removing irrelevant ones that generate impressions but not clicks. In essence, lots of keywords are good, but make sure they stay as relevant as possible.

#3: Engage Targeted Audiences

For any promoted pin campaign to be successful, a business must understand its primary and secondary audiences.

Once you determine whom you’re talking to, break out campaigns to match respective audiences to show customers what they want to see. Remember, Pinterest searchers are already motivated and inspired, so be proactive to engage them.

location targeting for a promoted pin

Target users by location, language, device and gender.

Pinterest targeting enables you to pinpoint audiences by location, language, device and gender. Therefore, it’s essential to target the right audience at the right time, based on relevant keywords.

#4: Think Long-Term

Once a campaign is on Pinterest, it lives there forever like a never-ending billboard. So, when considering promoted pins, make sure your pins lend themselves to long-term movement and longevity.

It works like this. First, you advertise your pin to a target audience. Someone who sees the pin (Sally), repins it. Then, 10 of Sally’s followers repin it. Plus, seven of those followers click on your promoted pin. Three of them make a purchase.

choosing a board for a promoted pin

Think ahead when using promoted pins.

With promoted pins, your brand should achieve significant growth by focusing on initial goal conversion behavior (ecommerce sale or lead) plus customer engagement (repins) that prompt downstream engagement. By thinking ahead, you will be able to maximize and optimize pinned and repinned campaigns, while maintaining cost-per-action (CPA) goals.

#5: Bid Aggressively

With the promoted pins CPC model, you only pay when people click through to your website. So, don’t be afraid to start campaigns with aggressive bidding. A speedy, significant increase in spend may enable you to drive lower CPC and higher CTR once your pin has gained traction. Based on setting your max CPC higher, campaigns have an opportunity to drive a higher predicted CTR, thereby becoming more relevant and prevalent in the launch of your new ads.

cpc bidding for a promoted pin

Be aggressive in your bids, but set your budget.

Once you start to receive conversions, optimize your bids to achieve your ideal CPA and increase your spend to maximize the number of conversions. When creating a bid strategy, be sure to take advantage of Pinterest’s capability to set up specific budgets per device (by campaign breakout). This specificity enables you to increase and decrease spend with more speed, precision and efficiency.

Measuring Promoted Pins

Here are a few more things to keep in mind when working with promoted pins as part of your Pinterest marketing.

Target all users and track cross-device conversions: While the majority of Pinterest conversions take place on a computer desktop, be sure to target both desktop and mobile users. Repins (which may lead to subsequent downstream conversions) often occur on mobile, and drive conversions on all devices down the road. Always keep track of cross-device movement and remember that every customer is different.

measure shutterstock 184941608

Measure the response to your promoted pins.

Measure engagement conversions: When someone clicks on a pin, it opens up the image. Count conversions that happen after this type of engagement, even if the person doesn’t click from the pin to your website directly. This will offer insight into your customers’ behavior.

Conclusion

Succeed with search and social display: Unlike other platforms, Pinterest is both visually and search-driven. So, it’s essential to prioritize creative and keyword strategies equally. Pinterest is about sharing and communicating, but it’s also about searching and gazing. This is why on Pinterest, both ecommerce and lead generation rule.

Ready to take the plunge? If you haven’t already done so and are eligible, sign up for an invitation to promoted pins.

What do you think? Are you using promoted pins? What successes have you achieved? What challenges are you facing? What tips do you have for others? Please share your thoughts, insights and recommendations in the comments.

Measurement photo from Shutterstock.
Promoted pin keyword image from Placeit.
5 tips for success with promoted pins

Tips for successfully using promoted pins.

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  • Ryan Pitylak

    Pinterest advertising is in beta, so only a few brands are currently advertising on the platform. Are any of the readers currently advertising on it? If not, what questions do you have about it?

  • Maarten Bierman

    Thanks for writing this great post Ryan! As to your question, in Europe the promoted pins feature isn’t available yet. So, no experience to share from here. I sure hope this feature becomes available quickly.

  • Elizabeth

    Did it really open for everyone? I think the wait list is still in effect just FYI!

  • Ryan Pitylak

    Elizabeth – They ran a small initial test with a handful of brands to get some early feedback on the platform. Late last year they opened it up to some more brands on the waiting list. However, although the request to join the beta is open, the number of approved advertisers is still fairly small. You can feel free to reach out to me to discuss the potential timing of getting your account live.

  • Elizabeth

    I’ve already applied to be on the waiting list, this article got my hopes up as I thought it was really open for everyone! Thanks Ryan

  • Jodie Davis

    I received an invitation for one of my businesses last week and immediately went to work. Its a fledgling business so I was happy to get 8 repins. Over 27,000 impressions. Just received notice of two more repins. Hurry up Pinterest and invite my other business!

  • Even in the US it hasn’t been made widely available. I have been on the waitlist for awhile now. Should probably update that part of the article.

  • Ryan Pitylak

    Grant – Great point. Hopefully people also have a chance to look at the comments for further clarification. I definitely want people to understand what’s realistic in terms of timing/etc.

  • Yep, other than that, everything is great. Just a slightly misleading statement.

  • Shareable images can go a long way with promoted pins. Thank you for this tips.

  • Guest

    ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ ☛

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  • Jenn

    I tried promoting two pins- one of which was declined, and one of which exceeded my expectations for reach. It wasn’t a product offer pin (I offer health coaching) but it is STILL getting re-pinned today. I had promoted it several months ago.

  • Ryan Pitylak

    Jenn

    What you are highlighting is the power of the re-Pin. The benefit a company receives from advertising on the platform lasts for a long time because the re-Pinned Pins stay on Pinterest for as long as the person keeps the Pin on its board.

    Ryan

  • Sarah Guthrie Hitch

    Is it acceptable to do something like a Father’s Day Sale as a promoted pin, or should a promoted be for a specific item? Thanks!

  • Ryan Pitylak

    That’s a great question. You can promote specific sales. If you mention a price in the Pin, then you need to include an end date. Note that Pins live on forever after they’ve been re-Pinned, so it’s smart to think of ways for your Pin to be valuable beyond your sale.