If you’re familiar with paid social advertising, you’ve probably come across Pinterest at some point.
This unique social platform is packed with thousands of users searching for inspiration, exploring different types of content, and hunting for brand new products to try out.
We know what you’re thinking.
This sounds like the perfect place for some tactical brand advertising.
Well – you’re absolutely right!
But what exactly is Pinterest? And what are the marketing opportunities available on the platform?
Stick with us – we’ve got you covered. Read on to find out more as we dive into the wonderful world of Pinterest marketing.
What exactly is Pinterest? How does it work?
Pinterest is a social media platform at its core, but it’s also known as a ‘visual discovery engine’ – that’s because it places a huge emphasis on a simplified layout and engaging visuals.
Here’s an example of a Pinterest feed:
As you can see, it’s extremely clear, easily navigated, and focused strongly on imagery.
The platform works primarily through ‘pins’ – you can think of it like a giant vision board. Pins are like bookmarks, and help users to save shared content that they find interesting.
Pins can then be collated and grouped into different ‘boards’ – this allows users to organise and categorise their saved content. For example, you might save a ‘DIY’ board, or a ‘gardening’ board made up of relevant pins.
It’s often used to find inspiration across an enormous range of topics. Users could be looking for recipes, interior design ideas, art, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
Sounds interesting – but where do advertisers come into it?
Pinterest is all about finding inspiration in a visually stimulating way.
This makes it an excellent environment for product advertising. Users are already open-minded and naturally keen to discover new products and fresh ideas.
In fact, 95% of the top searches on Pinterest are unbranded. That means users aren’t looking specifically for a certain brand or company. They’re open to finding something new.
46% of UK users have also discovered new brands or products on the platform. This is where you, as an advertiser, can tap into this pure demand for discovery.
Great! So how can I advertise on the platform?
There are three main routes to advertising on Pinterest.
1. Your own Pinterest page
Creating a Pinterest page for your business is a good start – from here, you can start to upload your own content and images.
As always, you need to ensure that you’re using high quality images that will engage users and effectively showcase your products. Pinterest is all about the visuals, so it’s very important to maintain a high standard of product imagery.
Once you’ve uploaded your product pins, you can arrange them into different boards – this makes it much easier for potential customers to navigate your page.
Here’s a good example of product boards from IKEA:
See how easy it is for users to find different products?
As with any social media platform, keywords and hashtags are also very important.
Be sure to add relevant keywords into your profile summary, pin descriptions, board titles and board descriptions. The same goes for hashtags!
This increases your visibility on the platform and the likelihood of a potential customer discovering your brand.
2. Pinterest SEO
Since Pinterest is ultimately still a search engine, you can optimise your content to generate traffic and engagement.
As pins can link directly to your e-commerce site, they present a valuable opportunity to drive clicks. This means you need to get your pins seen in search results – and how do you do this?
You improve your pin and pinner quality score.
Pinterest evaluates the quality of your content, like any other search engine, based on shares and engagements.
It also assesses your profile as a pinner – if you’re active, regularly posting pins, sharing content and engaging with followers, then you’re likely to receive a higher pinner score.
This is where appropriate keywords become so important. You need to include the right keywords so that you’re appearing consistently when users are searching for relevant terms.
You should ideally allow a ‘sharing’ functionality on your site too, allowing users to post product images and links to Pinterest. This connects everything together – more organic pins from your site means more sharing, more engagement, and a higher quality score.
3. Pinterest paid ads
The third avenue for marketing on Pinterest is paid advertising. Paid advertising on Pinterest works in a very similar way to other social channels and involves running ‘promoted pins’ across the platform.
These pins function in exactly the same way as organic pins, but they’re being proactively promoted and targeted across the site, as opposed to just appearing on your profile or in search feeds.
Here’s an example of a promoted pin, and how it looks in-feed:
Apart from being marked as ‘promoted’, these ads are identical to organic pins. They can be saved, shared and clicked like any other pin.
So what are the targeting options like on Pinterest?
The Pinterest targeting options are fairly simple. If you’ve ever run any paid social campaigns in the past, you’ve probably seen something similar.
1. Audience Targeting
Audience targeting involves creating specific audience segments that you can then target with promoted pins.
You can create audience segments based on visitors to your site, email lists, or users who have engaged with your pins and profile.
You can also generate lookalike audiences based on these segments to help drive scale and boost your reach.
2. Interest Targeting
Interest targeting is based on the pins and content that users are currently engaging with.
There’s an absolutely enormous amount of interest categories available to target, and you can be as broad or niche as you’d like with your selection – it all depends on your products.
Since there’s such a plethora of content available on the platform, it’s usually a good idea to identify some more specific and relevant interest areas.
For instance, if you’re selling men’s wallets, targeting ‘men’s wallets’ as an interest category is likely to be more successful than ‘men’s fashion’ or ‘men’s accessories’.
3. Keyword Targeting
You can also target promoted pins based on searched keywords, in exactly the same way you’d target searches on Google.
You can choose to target very specific product keywords, broader search terms, or a combination of both. It all depends on your products, and which keywords are most relevant.
You can also choose to only target exact keyword matches, or open things up with partial matches, if you want more control over your keyword strategy.
The option of blocking negative keywords is also available, if you want to refine your targeting even further.
What creative formats are available on Pinterest?
There are four main creative formats available on the platform for paid campaigns:
- Promoted Pins – these are standard image pins, with accompanying text.
- Promoted Video Pins – video pins (a maximum of 15 minutes) with accompanying text – larger ‘max-width’ video pins are also available, if you have a particularly strong video asset.
- Promoted Carousels – this format allows users to swipe through multiple images in a single pin – perfect for promoting a new range or selection of different products.
- Promoted App Pins – these function exactly like image pins, but allow for a direct CTA and download link to be included for app campaigns.
How do I get started on Pinterest?
Luckily, getting started on Pinterest is super easy!
Firstly, you’ll just need to create a business account and enter some personal details to set up your profile.
You then need to select some relevant categories for your content to get started. From here, you can start to populate your profile, create pins and boards, and start engaging with other users.
It’s that easy.
The faster you start to upload quality content, organise your pins and interact with users, the faster you’ll grow a following and potential customer base.
So there you have it – your guide to Pinterest marketing.
It’s important to try and experiment with all of these features if you really want to get the most out of the platform. If you maintain an engaging brand profile, focus on optimising your SEO, and run strategically targeted paid campaigns, you’ll quickly discover the benefits of Pinterest marketing.
Now – go out and get pinning!