Pinspiration: Leveraging Pinterest Ads For Your Brand

Social Media Companies

We all are pretty familiar with the impact Facebook has made on social media companies, but you might be surprised to know that Pinterest is tailing right behind in the number two spot. The social network’s growth has expanded drastically since its launch 5 years ago, with an audience of 47 million. The platform has been playfully referred to as “Fantasy Football for Women,” and for good a reason as women ages 18-64 dominate the platform.


Marketers are enticed by the potential Pinterest has to convert users into social shoppers, and they have significant reasons to closely follow the development of the platform:

Pinterest Is A “Searical” Social Network

The term “searical” has been used by marketers to describe a platform as a combination of a social networking site and a search engine. Pinterest users primarily come to search for ideas, inspiration, and most importantly, products. Connecting with friends on Pinterest comes as a second priority which is what’s unique about the platform in comparison to the majority of it’s competitors. Pinterest users are more likely to turn to the social network as a shopping aid versus going to Facebook or Twitter.

Think about it this way, when a user goes to Pinterest they are primed to search for pins that motivate an action whether that action may be to try a new recipe, attempt to DIY a kitchen table, find a unique gift for a friend, or find the perfect outfit for next week’s event. When the user finds a pin that they can’t live without, chances are it won’t take much to move them from the discovery phase to the informed buyer stage of the marketing funnel.

Pinterest Drives Website Traffic

Looking for a social media platform that will help you drive more traffic to your website? Pinterest is an excellent choice because every pin can be linked to its original source. Social Media Examiner pointed this out in a recent article forecasting expectations for Pinterest in 2016, “Pinterest is second only to Facebook in the amount of traffic it drives to websites. Facebook’s American audience numbers 172 million, four times more than Pinterest’s. In Q4 2014, Pinterest with its “small” audience of 47 million sent 5% of all traffic to the 300,000 websites Shareaholic studied.”

Here at CM, we’ve used Pinterest to help drive traffic primarily to client’s blog posts. We simply create a graphic that illustrates the title of the blog post and link the pin back to the blog’s URL. For example, one of our clients wrote a blog about the various coffee trends that have taken place throughout history. We simply designed a graphic that would capture the pinner’s attention and represent the blog visually, pinned the graphic, and designated the blog’s URL to be set as the pins “source.” Now, whenever someone clicks on this pin, they will be directed to our client’s blog to learn about coffee trends throughout history.


Pinterest Advertising Potential

Pinterest was already destined to be a social shopping guide even before the launch of Pinterest Ads in 2014. For months, advertisers waited patiently as huge brands participated in beta testing for Pinterest Ads. The platform kept the majority of brands on their toes until releasing the ads platform to smaller-scale advertisers just a few months ago. When the gates opened for a client of mine, I wanted to start experimenting with the medium as soon as possible. The team was pleasantly surprised when we saw the results of our first Pinterest Ads campaign. With a budget of $157.81 we generated the following stats:
Before running the campaign, our client had many successful Pinterest boards and engagement was fairly high. The problem was, the majority of their engagement was generated from other people’s content pinned to their boards. My team decided to test the Pinterest engagement campaign to get their original content re-pinned by their audience.

Of the 4 pins promoted, we were able to generate: 155,459 impressions, 109 repins, 340 clicks, 40 likes. Our website traffic campaign drove 269 people to click on the pins we were using to promote the blog. Not to mention, we paid $0.08 for each engagement and $0.37 for every website click. To top it all off, our maximum bid was set at just $.13 per engagement/click. In comparison to Facebook and Twitter’s estimated average CPC of anywhere between $0.50-$3.00 and LinkedIn’s average CPC at anywhere between $5.00-$13.00, we are looking at a pretty nice ROI when advertising on Pinterest.

Although the price of Pinterest ads may be relatively affordable now, I wouldn’t expect that price to remain constant. I predict as the demand for Pinterest Ads increases, so will its attractive price tag. Now is the time to start Pinterest advertising before the CPC creeps up to match competitors.

Get Ready To Launch Your First Campaign

Starting a Pinterest campaign is a fairly easy process. Simply login to your business Pinterest account and look for the icon that looks like a gear in the top right hand corner of the page. Once you click on the gear select “Promoted Pins” from the drop down menu:


The Promoted Pins will prompt you to enter your billing information. There’s a possibility that Pinterest will ask you to join the waitlist. If that is the case, then you may just have to wait a little bit longer to use the promoted pins feature.If not, then you’re ready to get started. Once you’ve entered your billing information, you can create your first promoted pin.

To create a promoted pin, go to your Pinterest Ads dashboard and select the red promote button:
Select a campaign goal:
Give your campaign a name, start and end date, and determine your budget (keep in mind that this is a daily budget and Pinterest will spend the amount of money you choose each day):

Now it’s time to pick the pin you want to promote. The “Pick A Pin” page will bring up all of your latest pins. You can use the search function in the top right-hand corner to quickly find the pin you are looking for. It may also be helpful to review the “30 Day Most Clicked” and “30 Day Most Repinned” sections to determine which pin your audience resonates with the best. Before choosing any pin to promote, make sure that the pin you are choosing directs users to your website, and that it is from a board that you’ve created. It’s easy to accidentally select one of your pieces of original content that may have been posted on a group board that someone else has created. If this happens, the group board will get all of the impressions, clicks, repins, and likes.
The next section of Pinterest Ads set-up will ask you to choose search terms that relate to your pin. Pinterest defines terms as, “Terms are words that help Pinterest show your Promoted Pin to the right audience in the right places. When you add terms to your Promoted Pin, it may be seen by Pinners who have an interest in that topic. Your Promoted Pin may be served in search results, category feeds or other places relevant to that term.”

Think of terms as keyword search terms in Google. Make sure the terms that you choose are related to your content. If the terms you choose are unrelated Pinterest may not approve the ad. For example, if your pin is a quote about coffee, your terms may look like this:
The terms in grey are suggested by Pinterest to help you optimize, and the terms in blue are what you’ve added from the suggestion box.

After your terms are set, choose your demographics:
Last but not least, set your maximum bid. This is the amount you are willing to pay per action. Pinterest will suggest what your bid range should be. The minimum bid is $0.10. Try to bid on the higher end of the scale to make sure you can compete with the advertisers that are bidding for the same type of content. Pinterest will let you know if your bid is too low, good, or strong. A strong bid is what you are aiming for.

Once you’ve completed all of the steps listed above, you can select “promote.” From there, you will be able to view your campaign and monitor its progress. If at any time you want to adjust your campaign just click “edit campaign” in the top right-hand corner of your campaign dashboard.

Don’t forget that conversion tracking is also an option with Pinterest Ads. If you are hoping to see what happens once a user clicks on your pin, you will want to add a conversion tracking tag. This tag will give you the option to track actions that take place one your website from Pinterest including: Site Visits, Sign-Ups, Checkouts, or a custom action that doesn’t fall into one of these categories. Learn how to add a conversion tracking pixel to your site with this guide.

Before you get started with your first Pinterest ads campaign take a look at these best practices. If Pinterest Ad management sounds appealing, but you don’t have the time to create and monitor the campaign, we have a team of social media managers that can cross that worry off of your list.

Now that you are more familiar with Pinterest and its advertising opportunities, I hope you feel “Pinspired” to launch your first campaign. If there are any Pinterest advertising tips and tricks you’ve learned along the way be sure to let us know in the comments section below.