I’ve loved Pinterest from the second I set eyes on its smorgasbord of beautiful imagery. Before Pinterest, I had a folder on my desktop titled “Inspiration” where I would drag Google image search results. How barbaric.
Now I try to fit Pinterest into the marketing plan of every project with every partner. The introduction of Promoted Pins in 2015 made marketing on Pinterest an even easier sell. I’ve succeeded, struggled, and talked to all the Pinterest employees who would respond to my emails so that I can share best practices with you.
1) Embrace the New
As of June 16, 2016, Pinterest now offers custom audience functions similar to Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Included in this list: retargeting, lookalike audiences, and customer list uploads. While these functions benefit all advertisers, e-commerce advertisers will be particularly excited as Pinterest users already come to the platform with at least some level of intent to purchase. If you’re using similar tools on other social platforms, make sure to test out these new capabilities.
2) Bid to Beat 'Em
When you first launch a promoted pin, Pinterest gives that pin an impression boost so the platform can quickly measure and predict the CTR. However, even with Pinterest’s boost, it’s advisable to bid high at first to give your Pin the best chance possible out of the gate. After a few weeks, if your pin’s CPC is considerably lower than your bid, it’s probably safe to lower that number. But be careful—Abby from the Pinterest team warns that “at any time there could be new players that enter the auction.”
3) Let it Hang Out
If you’re anything like me, you compare ad performance more often than someone betting on horses, eager to uncover any way to get an edge. Pinterest’s advice? Cool your jets. Let your Pins run for a few weeks before evaluating performance because delivery is based both on performance and bid. After two weeks, you can assume your CTR won't fluctuate too dramatically, at which point it’s safe to adjust bid, budget, or targeting.
4) Always Be Testing
Promote different Pins in the same campaign to see what works best. Here are a few factors to test: image size (though vertical always), image content (subject matter, color, etc.), description copy, landing page content and flow (does your audience land on a page with a form submission or a more general blog post or category page?). Pro tip: look at what keywords are driving the most pins versus clicks—this will tell you where your audience is in their search journey. For example, “cameras” is a more top-of-funnel search compared to “Canon 70D lens.”
5) Don’t Stop Believing
Content on Pinterest lasts forever! Once a Pin is no longer promoted, it is treated like any other Pin. That said, Pins that have previously been promoted often see better organic downstream reach than Pins that were never promoted because Pinterest factors historical engagement into its Pin-serving algorithm. So keep measuring your pin’s success even after your campaign is over—residual repins are free and will continue to work for you!
— Claire Carlson-Jones