Pinterest is proving to be an amazingly powerful traffic driver for us and for our clients.
So, when Pinterest announce the release of Promoted pins, we couldn't wait to try it!
We have found promoted pins to be effective and extremely affordable, and while there aren't a huge number of options for targeting, with skillful use of keywords, images, and descriptions, you will likely find you can reach just the audience you were hoping for.
A nice bonus feature of promoted pins is that you only pay for clicks on the orginal pin you promote. So, if someone repins your promoted pin and another use clicks on that REPIN, you don't pay. Amplification is free! So pin something good and make your advertisting dollars go even further.
Let's set one up together, step-by-step, using a real example. We just released a Houzz Marketing A to Zz ebook and want everyone to see it. Along with utlizing other organic and paid advertising to get more visibility for this piece, using promoted pins was a given!
Promoting Pins - First Things First
You must have a business account to use promoted pins. If you have been using a personal account for your business, go ahead and log in and convert it now. We'll wait. Then you'll need to apply for promoted pins. Used to be it took weeks or months to be approved, but now the process seems to take only hours or days. Last caveat: you must be in the US, at least for now.
Create and Publish Pins to Promote
You'll need to promote a pin that's already been published. Obviously you can create an image just for this purpose and you can promote it just as soon as it hits a board - you just can't publish directly from the ad manager.
There are quite a few rules. Here are the big ones:
- You cannot promote a pin that goes right to a landing page that requires the visitor to fill out a form to access the content,
- The pin cannot have any potentially time-sensitive text such as "sale," "special," or pricing.
- The description can contain only one hashtag.
- Also, gifs, videos, and pins on secret boards cannot be promoted. Yet.
See all the rules here.
Log in to your ad account. Click on "Get Started" if you've never advertised before. Otherwise, click on "Promote."
Now, find the pin you want to promote (use search if you need to). Hover over it and click to promote.
Targeting Promoted Pins
Arguably the most important method for targeting your audience involves smart keyword choices. Enter in the exact string of word for which you want your promoted pin to show.
As you enter keywords, Pinterest will suggest others. Select at least 10 for best results. Pinterest will show your pin for what it considers "related" keyword searches too, so be specific. And don't try to pull a fast one, either. If your image is a fluffy kitten and you enter the keyword "buy red shoes," unless kitty is sporting some ruby slippers, you will be denied - not to mention the fact that you'll be attractng the wrong people to your content!
Another great way to find related keywords you might otherwise overlook is to do a Pinterest search for a very basic keyword. For example, a search for "marketing" brings up many other terms that can help me start narrowing down the keywords I want to target.
I progressively added "strategy," "social media," and "platform." Since "Houzz marketing" a is pretty specific keyword and Pinterest predicts few searches, I might actually use that keyword string "marketing strategy social media" or "marketing strategy platform" especially in conjunction with a specific home-related business word (builders, architects, etc.) to draw in people who might benefit from Houzz, but might not be thinking about it as an option. Because it is rather a broad term, I would likely set up a separate capaign so I can see how well it performs compared to the more closely-targeted keywords.
If you plan to promote more than one pin to the same audience, do yourself a favor and keep a running list so you can just paste it in to the next pin's keyword field. Maybe at some point this will be a part of the setup at a campaign or ad set level. It's all brand new, after all!
A note about Pinterest's "related" keyword additions - Pinterest defines these as related terms (more of a subject match and may not have any actual words in common), singular or plural versions of your terms, and root words (so, your "dance shoes" pin might show up for a "dancing shoes" search). You do have the option to contact Pinterest if you want only your entered terms targeted.
Since ads are only open to US users, by default it's show to all US users! You can, however, target by a limited list of metropolitan areas. I tried targeting, "Wilmington," and it worked, but didn't tell me which state was included, so I'm going to assume it's not North Carolina!
You can target users based on which language he or she has selected in account settings. I'll go with English (US) for this campaign.
Just like it sounds - limit your ad to certain devices if you like. This could be particularly useful if you had a different landing page for different platforms.
Some ads might be designed more for men, some for women, but I'm not sure why you would choose unknown! Well, maybe if you wanted to exclude people who were definitely male, you could select women and unknown so you don't risk missing some ladies.
Set Your Budget
How much is it worth to you to get someone to click on your pin and go to your website? Enter that amount in the Maximum CPC Bid field. It is unlikely you'll be charged that much. Instead, you'll be charged up to that amount, but no more than required to beat out the next highest bidder. I'm going to start with $.75. While your CPC is set at the individual pin level, you will set a campaign budget separately.
Choose or Create Your URL
We're going to use a tracking URL we set up in HubSpot, but if you prefer Google analytics for tracking, you can use their campaign URL builder. We are also including a URL in the pin description (they tend to generate more clicks) but since we can't use a shortened URL in a pin description, and the tracking URL is obnoxiously long, we'll just use the stripped down URL to the page and cut our tracking losses in the name of more clicks.
Create Your Promoted Pin Campaign
Give it a name, a start and end date (understand that approval can take up to 7 days), and set your daily campaign budget.
Hit "Promote this pin" and you're done. Now just wait for Pinterest to review your pin and check back at ads.pinterest.com to see the progress of your campaign.
When you have a few thousand impressions, check on the status. See which keywords are working well for you and see if you can expand on them.
Have you tried promoted pins? We'd love to hear how it works for you. Let us know in the comments!
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