June 19, 2014
It only seems appropriate, doesn’t it, that the do-it-yourself social media site would introduce a do-it-yourself promotional option. Pinterest is now offering DIY Promoted Pins, which allow businesses to pick and choose which pins they’d like to promote to which audience. It’s aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses.
It’s a big step for Pinterest, which only recently began serving up advertising of any kind on the site. The social network has been adamant about making its advertising feel organic, so as not to alienate users who have gone so long without ads of any type on the site.
What exactly does the program entail, who’s eligible, and how can it be used? Here’s an in-depth look at the new DIY Promoted Pins.
Pinterest Comes of Age
First, a bit of background on Pinterest. The site has moved past the web ingénue stage and become one of the most firmly established social media sites. Pinterest now has more than 70 million users, and the typical pinner:
- Is female
- Posts an average 158 pins
- Tends to use the site in the evening
- Has an average of 67 followers
Perhaps most interestingly, Pinterest drives more traffic to websites than other, longer-lived social networks including Twitter and Reddit. That makes it an incredibly valuable marketing tool, because it means people will actually use the site to find new destinations. While they can easily get sucked into an Instagram or Twitter vortex, looking at new photos or reading new tweets for hours without ever going off the site, Pinterest sends people somewhere else.
For businesses hoping to get potential customers to look at their products, that’s incredibly valuable. And DIY Promoted Pins can play a big role in that.
How DIY Promoted Pins Work
The DIY option was created for smaller businesses interested in a pay-per-click model rather than a straight CPM model, in which the advertiser pays a standard rate for every 1,000 impressions. Small businesses tend to have much less robust advertising budgets, and so it makes sense to pay for only the traffic that turns into actual leads, rather than just who saw your ad.
There are four steps to the new DIY Promoted Pins:
- Pick the pin you want to promote: It can be anything on your page, but preferably something that connects to a product or concept you’re most interested in promoting.
- Choose who you want to see the Promoted Pin: Like other social networks, Pinterest allows you to target by demographic so that you’re reaching a very specific slice of users.
- Pay: You’ll only be responsible for clicks to your web site. You don’t pay for impressions of people who don’t click through.
- Track and monitor your performance: Like any PPC campaign, you’ll need to modify your settings based on what is and isn’t working. For instance, you may find that you want to target a different demographic after you see who’s been clicking on the ad, or you may realize that a pin you posted months ago would be a better fit for the campaign than a recent one.
Availability of DIY Promoted Pins
This new program is rolling out in beta, and at this point the availability of the program is limited. Pinterest is inviting businesses to submit their contact information in order to become a part of the program, but it has not specified a timeline for when that will be.
Nicole Miller, Shutterfly and Vineyard Vines are among the first advertisers to test out DIY Promoted Pins.
As part of the rollout of DIY Promoted Pins, Pinterest announced that it has improved the analytics available to advertisers, which is always welcome news for marketers. The more in-depth look at who’s clicking on your ads can help inform future ad programs. Pinterest said it had heard from many advertisers eager to get better insight on which pins work so as to better shape their campaigns.
The improved analytics will include:
- A list of top pin impressions from the previous month
- Detailed breakdowns on impressions, clicks, repins, likes and rich pins
- Reports on how pins are driving engagement on other platforms
- Information on how people interact with your pins, including what type of device they’re using (mobile, laptop, etc.)
Of course, the report will also include a rundown on total impressions and unique viewers for your Pinterest site.
Possible Uses for DIY Promoted Pins
The big question, as with the rollout of any new advertising platform, is how to make the best use of the DIY Promoted Pins. Since Pinterest advertising of any type is so new, most businesses are still trying to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. Here are a few ideas to get started on how to employ DIY Promoted Pins to greatest effect:
- Run a contest: Contests are Pinterest’s bread and butter,
- because of the visual and hands-on nature of the site. By using DIY Promoted Pins, you can keep the contest top-of-mind for visitors while also tracking how many people are interacting with the pin.
- Be mindful of mobile: Pinterest says 75 percent of its users are on mobile devices. Whatever pin you’re promoting, make sure it links to a mobile-friendly site so as not to frustrate your smartphone and tablet users, who will make up the bulk of the audience.
- Start small: Since this is a new program, there will be changes as it develops, and you’ll also need to keep an eye on customer reaction. Don’t worry about making a big splash to start. Choose a very narrow target for your campaign and learn from the initial data before you waste time on a huge push.
Using Pinterest to Greatest Effect
DIY Promoted Pins level the playing field for small businesses that are interested in advertising on Pinterest but don’t have the money-or the expertise-to invest in traditional Promoted Posts. With so many small businesses now using Pinterest to keep in touch with their customers, this new program should see strong usage immediately, and any socially adept business should try it out.
Adrienne Erin writes twice weekly for SiteProNews about online marketing strategies that help businesses like S&D Kids succeed. Follow @adrienneerin on Twitter to see more of her work or get in touch.