The Benefits and Pitfalls of Advertising on Pinterest

September 27, 2016
pinterest advertising tips

By: Drew Wilkinson

The visual discovery and ‘bookmarking’ platform Pinterest hit 100 million monthly active users back in 2015, the same year that it began selling ads, or “promoted pins” on the site. Since then Pinterest has been working consistently to improve the ad platform (necessary in a competitive and evolving space) and look set to provide a video ad option in the near future, challenging marketers to consider Pinterest advertising tips and strategies. 

Given the shifting social media landscape with the rise of Instagram and Snapchat and the ubiquitous need to spend marketing dollars wisely, smart marketers are asking questions about the value of advertising on Pinterest, the potential pitfalls, and how to ensure high-performing promoted pins.

Here find the answers to all of the above, throwing light on one of the more intriguing social media channels.

Why Advertise on Pinterest?

People are on Pinterest specifically for ideas and inspiration, meaning that they are already higher in the sales funnel. A whopping 89% of daily Pinterest users have bought something that they have seen on a pin promoting products and in general have money to spend with 71% of Pinterest users earning more than $50,000 a year. Couple the above with the fact that Pinterest generates more referral traffic than Twitter, LinkedIn, and Reddit combined, and it seems a no-brainer to include Pinterest in your paid social advertising strategy.

Pinterest’s Pitfalls

However, it’s important to acknowledge that Pinterest – like all ad platforms – is not without its downsides.

For one, the majority of the platforms users are women which make it less valuable for certain gender-specific products or campaigns. Men only represented 29% of users in 2016, and while Pinterest has witnessed significant growth in this demographic, males do remain the minority. Another issue that marketers experience with Pinterest is a relatively high Cost-per-Click (CPC) and lower Click-Through-Rate (CTR) when looking to drive web traffic compared with other paid social channels.  Finally Pinterest still doesn’t offer as many demographic targeting options as other social media platforms.

Best Practices for Pinterest

Despite the above gripes, Pinterest users represent 29% of the total digital population and are highly engaged. With this in mind it is definitely worth making room for Pinterest in your paid social advertising strategy.  This raises the question of how you can ensure the best performance for your promoted pins. Here are two of our top tips to get you started:

  • Creative is king on Pinterest. An entire blog post could be dedicated to what makes creative perform on Pinterest. One notable point here is that vertical images are the most preferred style on Pinterest.  
  • Include only relevant keywords when targeting. It seems tempting to include even tenuously linked keywords to your ad but irrelevant keywords in the context of your pin will lead to low click-through rates and conversions.

As is always the case with social media advertising, you need to consider how users navigate the specific social site that you are advertising on in order to fully optimize your ads. The nuances of Pinterest require an eye for design and a strategic understanding of how best to place your ads on a search-driven social site.

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  • Scott Duncan

    Personally, I like to visit Pinterest because I prefer to see images. Images in Pinterest are quite interesting, especially if the image is related to my hobby or my work.