Pinterest’s early-June introduction of Buyable Pins revved up the conversation about Pinterest advertising — where it stands, how viable it is for advertisers, and how interested we need to be in the platform.
Let’s dive in to what Pinterest currently offers advertisers and whether you should start thinking about adding it to your paid social profile.
Currently, Pinterest advertising takes one form: Promoted Pins (although you can eventually expect to see the Buyable Pins roll out to a wider audience).
The pins appear right in your Pinterest feed; the only real distinction between promoted and organic pins are the relatively subtle “Promoted by” at the bottom of the pin. Click on the pins, and you’ll see a couple of opportunities to go to the advertising site to buy; either click on the product title or the “Visit Site” button.
Promoted Pins are CPC-based and targeted at the keyword/category level. You set a bid amount based on the keywords and categories for which you’d like your Promoted Pin(s) to show up. Pinterest will help you determine an adequate bid range in the ad platform. There’s no minimum cost for CPC bidding.
To give your Promoted Pins a fighting chance, you should first look at what is getting organic activity for the keywords you’d like to show up for. Make sure you’re creating pins that will actually get engagement. In my experience, while CPAs aren’t anything special, Promoted Pins help make sure super-popular products show up for keywords and categories that could match a Pinterest user’s intent.
As of Jan. 1, 2015, all U.S.-based partners can also do what’s known as ‘reservation-based’ promoted pins, which run on CPM. It’s similar to Facebook’s RFP program (reach + frequency purchase), where you’re paying a set price for an anticipated volume of impressions. (At last check with Pinterest, the reservation-based CPM program had a high buy-in cost and high CPMs, and only national brands with huge budgets have taken advantage so far.)
Buyable Pins, of course, are on the horizon once the feature opens to more brands. Rather than giving users the option to click through to the advertising site, Buyable Pins will let users buy directly on the Pinterest platform.
Promoted Pins are not available to all brands and advertisers. If not already whitelisted, you’ll need to submit a request to be on the waitlist. As noted, U.S. advertisers can try out ‘reservation-based’ promoted pins, which run on CPM, but the inflated buy-in cost is prohibitive for all but the biggest retailers. As for Buyable Pins, the rollout is currently very limited — and even when it’s more widely available, you may want to wait for data and tracking (and payment options) to get more layered.
Data and tracking
Pinterest advertising is most exciting for one reason: the Promoted Pins have no half-life. That’s the beauty of Pinterest; in theory, things only gain steam over time with more repins and likes. The is the biggest positive differentiation from Facebook and Twitter advertising.
Another key difference of Pinterest advertising is the fact that it is keyword-based and matched to some level of intent. Facebook is really a people-based marketing approach, trying to put your brand in front of the right people who could have no intent.
Interest piqued? Pinterest provides more helpful deets (including creative best practices, targeting best practices, etc.), here.