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The Download on Promoted Pins and Their Impact for Your Brand

Pinterest is a highly-engaging social network that focuses on the aspirational characteristics of people’s online browsing behavior. Utilizing the platform’s Boards, users on the site (“Pinners”) curate their own collections by “Pinning” products, ideas, tips, etc. via content found either on their home feed – which is grouped together by other Pinners they follow – or within the search categories. Each Pin contains a destination URL that drives traffic from Pinterest to a blog or website with further information about the Pin. Categories that receive the most impressions and engagement on the site include: Food & Drink, DIY & Crafts, Home Décor, and Holidays & Events.

Impact for Brands

The most desirable trait of Pinterest, as it relates to businesses, is the high-engagement habits of the platform's users. In addition to the fact that the site sees an average visit time nearly double that of other social platforms, 2 million new Pins are added to the site each day and each Pin is Repinned an average of 11 times. Over 50% of active users prefer Pinning to browsing traditional magazines, and 64% of Pinners try something new from the site at least once per month! More encouraging, while other social networks like Twitter and Instagram tend to see celebrities with the largest fan bases and engagement levels, 83% of Pinners reported they would prefer to follow a brand over a celebrity. Although Pinterest was originally used as an “aspirational” platform – where users viewed and Pinned content with the future in mind – brands can now take advantage of the high-converting and engaged audience that is funneled from Pinterest by creating beautiful and detail-rich Pins that link back to their site.

Promoted Pins

Promoted Pins are Pinterest’s answer to the problem faced by many social networks— dwindling levels of free, organic reach due to rising competition from both consumers and brands. To ensure that a brand’s top content is exposed to as many Pinners as possible, the option now exists to create targeted campaigns with paid media support to maximize Impressions, Repins, and website traffic.

Promoted Pins are very similar to standard, organic Pins you see on the social network. Comprised of an image coupled with a description, Promoted Pins are almost indistinguishable from “regular” Pins seen within a user’s feed— the only difference is a small “Promoted by” designation at the bottom of the Pin:



Promoted Pins were initially served to users at the top of search feeds based on their search query terms. However, in order to keep up with demand and available inventory, in 2015 Pinterest began serving Promoted Pins in users' home feeds. Similar to the "Picked For You" Pins that sometimes appear, these Pins will display to the users who are interested in a category within the targeting parameters, as determined by Pinterest’s algorithm— but only if the Pin meets certain performance metrics to ensure high-quality content.

One of the most attractive aspects of Promoted Pins is the cost-structure— after a high-priced initial rollout to brands, the platform eliminated all media minimums for advertisers, allowing for smaller brands with modest advertising budgets to reach their target market. Campaign costs are incurred on a Cost per Click basis when users click through the Pin to your website; Pin Likes and Repins occur at no cost to the advertisers, although Repins are included within the campaign analytics.

Pinterest’s ad platform has a strong set of targeting capabilities to make sure branded content is being promoted only to the audience most likely to find the content useful and engaging. To control who sees your ad, the following targeting parameters are available to each campaign:
  • Placements act like keywords, allowing you to choose up to 100 different, but related, terms that describe the Pin you want to promote
  • Location targeting is added individually by major metro areas
  • Language targeting currently has 32 different options
  • Device targeting allows you to select where to place your ad on Mobile v. Desktop and Pinterest app v. website
  • Gender
Analytics tracking functionality is included with Promoted Pins and displays the following information, typically 24 hours after initial launch to gauge performance and optimize campaigns:
  • Impressions
  • Repins
  • Clicks to Website
  • CTR
  • Spend
Based off of these analytics and Pinterest market research, businesses can better frame their content to reach their target audience. For example, Red Door worked with client California Avocado Commission to capitalize on the popularity of the DIY & Crafts and Beauty categories to build a strategic plan to promote Pins that fit within these topics and increase traffic to a related blog post. Here’s an example:

Ready to start implementing Promoted Pins for your business?

Here are a few notable best practices to keep in mind:
  • Pin images should be appealing and high-quality, free from promotional copy, calls to action, currency, product claims, offensive content, confusing design.
  • Pin descriptions should be clear and informative, and must not include prices or improper grammar. Remember to include full dates in any promotional copy to avoid confusion after an event or sale has ended!
  • Destination landing pages should not have “fan-gates” that block content that users clicked through to see, and should offer valuable information relevant to the Promoted Pin.

Additionally, to reap the greatest reward for your media spend, consider implementing Promoted Pins as part of a larger, multi-channel advertising approach. By paring your media with continuous conversion rate optimization, you will see a better return for your efforts! If you'd like to learn more about updating your media plan to include a multi-channel approach, RSVP for Red Door's upcoming Speaker Series on the topic.

Visit Pinterest to read the full Advertising Rules and Best Practices for Promoted Pins. Happy Pinning!

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