Social media advertising is not a super new game or industry. The online advertising market is already heavily dominated by technology giants like Facebook, Google, and Instagram (owned by FB). Other social media outlets like LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Twitter also participate in the online advertising battle but have less share than those aforementioned.

The leading advertising platforms are robust and help eCommerce brands rake in millions of new sales and customers annually. Each platform uses a different pricing model but all of them are becoming increasingly expensive. Today, online advertising for eCommerce requires high levels of creativity, technical expertise, and spending to achieve satisfactory results. Metrics like Customer Acquisition Costs, Average Order Value, and Customer Lifetime Value must be paid attention closely to avoid wasted spending.

Creating optimized advertisements on Facebook and Instagram for cheap is nearly impossible if you do not know what you are doing. However, there is a new social media act in town. eCommerce brands that are looking to gain increased conversions should divert their attention to a less popular social media platform: Pinterest! Pinterest is a great new way to reach a new audience without making your company pockets bleed while you figure it all out. Pinterest has little pockets of gold scattered all across it user base, brands now have the opportunity to extract those revenues piece by piece through targeted ad campaigns that are well-thought-tout and optimized to maximize return on conversions.

So, What Exactly is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share, and discover new interests by posting images or videos to their own or others’ boards and browsing what other users have posted. “Pinning” is the act of posting on your “board” or someone else’s. This is how users interact with accounts and find new products or goods they may be interested in. Pinterest serves a different demographic than other social networks. Their reach is more defined and catered to each user.

Users select the things they are interested in and create networks of available “pins” for others to view. Using a visual orientation, the platform is focused on the concept of a person’s lifestyle, allowing users to share their tastes with likeminded people. Popular products include makeup, clothing, DIY projects, recipes, hairstyles, and consumer goods. These categories overlap heavily with many top eCommerce industries and products which means Pinterest is the perfect playground for digital marketers to go to work and bring additional revenue to eCommerce brands.

pinterest homepage

Other social media platforms offer similar exposure potential to their users, so what separates Pinterest from the pack?

Popularity

Pinterest has risen through the social media ranks throughout the years with steady growth quarter after quarter. By adding over 50 million users in 2019 and with 300 million active monthly users, they are the third-largest social media platform amongst adults (remember they are the ones with the money). Even with such a wide reach, Pinterest ads are vastly underutilized. Facebook has around 7 million advertisers using their business manager while Pinterest has about 1.5 million. Reduced competition is a great thing for any business. It makes gaining market share easier and allows for greater optimization of your products, services, and operations.

Cost

The pricing and cost models vary but Pinterest proudly advertises $2 in profit for every $1 spent for their users which is a great baseline for return. Keep in mind costs and results will vary from campaign to campaign. Make sure you have a digital marketer on your staff that knows how to target users and create campaigns cost-effectively.

Reach

Promoted Pins on Pinterest work if they are administered correctly. Understanding your target audience is the first step to achieving a successful Ad campaign. With a user base of mostly affluent women (around 80%), Pinterest Ads will not be for every brand out there. However, fashion and consumer brands for women have a distinct advantage of marketing here. Pinterest users are very loyal to the platform and truly use it as a source of inspiration in their lives. 93% of pinners say they use the site to make purchasing plans and research products while 50% of users that come in contact with a Promoted Pin have bought something from the Ads.

pinterest homepage

More than Social Media

Pinterest is not your traditional social network like FB or Instagram. Rather, it half-part social media and half-part search engine. Pinterest gives you the best of both worlds with the ability to target users who are actively searching for products like yours or the capability to promote your products to users passively browsing through their feed. This multi-faceted approach creates an optimized system that reaches the right audience with the right method.

Setup

Pinterest has a business manager interface similar to that of Facebook. Begin setting up an account and then you can start creating campaigns. Setting up campaigns is not difficult in and of itself, but knowing the pertinent targeting details to extract the most value out of your Ad dollars is the tricky part. We encourage new Pinterest users to reach out to digital marketing experts like Trellis before throwing tons of dollars at a campaign, but trial and error can work too. For those eager to get started, follow these steps to get the ball rolling.

  • Choose Your Objective – Brand Awareness, Video Views, Traffic, APP Installs
  • Set Targeting Criteria – Custom Audiences, Interest Targeting, Keyword Targeting
  • Select a Pin – Add product details: URL, Description, Title
  • Track Results – Number of impressions, Number of saves, Number of clicks, Click-through rate (CTR), Effective CTR, Average CPC or CPM, and Total ad spend can all be analyzed directly through the business manager

For a more in-depth guide on the campaign creation process, check out these instructions from AdEspresso.

Final Tips

  • Test Different Strategies – Repeating the same strategy over and over will produce lackluster results. Experimenting with different ideas, targets, pins, and keywords can help you learn what your customer base desires and responds to. Pinterest even allows split testing.
  • Optimize your Description – Use the description portion to set the context of the image. The pin itself should catch the user’s eye, but the text along with it should convince them to make the purchase. Convey value and augment your well-thought-out pin with a creative and persuasive characterization.
  • #Skip Hashtag Use – Save the Space for impactful descriptions. Users do not use hashtags to find new threads like on Twitter or Instagram.
  • Select the Right Landing Page – PPC campaigns are tricky. Make sure the landing page is the exact and final destination you want to send users. This should align directly with the pin itself so users do not click away. Maximizing conversions is all about reducing friction.
  • Video Video Video – We use video a lot here at Trellis. It is a phenomenal way to get a large amount of information to your targets when pin space is very limited. Videos can be longer and provide greater insight. Ads with Video stand out more since there is a scarcity of them on users’ feeds.
  • Install the Conversion TagThis tool tells you what actions users take on a site after they’ve clicked on a Promoted Pin. While measuring the number of clicks is nice, being able to track how valuable that click was to you is where the real value lies.
  • Recommended Dimensions for Images – Pinterest recommends a Pin image dimension ratio of 2:3, with the image being taller than it is wide. Use 600×900 pixels, giving users the high-resolution image that you want them to see.

Concluding Thoughts

Adopting an advertising strategy on Pinterest can become quite fruitful for your business. Reach a new audience, target them more effectively, and convert potential customers into lifelong clients. Pinterest is highly underutilized when it comes to social media marketing but not for much longer. Act now and reap the benefits before it is too late. The social media marketing bubble is going to have to burst eventually. But right now, Pinterest offers advertisers great return with an easy to use business manager platform. Their campaigns offer a win-win scenario with lower costs than its competitors across the pond in Silicon Valley. Start “pinning” and in return start “winning“!

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