Get Ahead of the Curve with Promoted Pins

Photo credit: @pixelperfect__
Photo credit: @pixelperfect__

With over 70 million users, Pinterest has quickly become a vital place for businesses to build a presence. The social network has embraced mega-chains and small businesses alike, allowing an even playing field for content to be discovered based on its quality and popularity.

Advances on the business side (such as user-friendly plugins, a straightforward verification process and in-depth analytics) have been widely celebrated in the marketing community. However, the comfortable world of Pinterest has been shaken by something a little less popular: the smart feed. Now, pins that would have been a slam dunk a few months ago are starting to require the same thought and attention that we’d usually reserve for *gasp* Facebook.

To ensure that businesses aren’t left behind, Pinterest has rolled out an affordable ad solution almost simultaneously with the launch of the smart feed. This paid content is displayed just like regular Pins, but shows up more frequently and carries the “Promoted Pin” label.

This form of advertising is currently available only to a select number of businesses, and early adopters can use this head start to gain an advantage over their competition. At the same time that late-bloomers are learning the program, marketers already familiar with the platform are creating better content based on their experience. Even if it takes a little longer to find that advertising sweet spot, an uncrowded space gives a better chance of success.

Are you interested in promoting a Pin or two? Here’s what you need to know:

Traffic trumps impressions. Promoted Pins are structured on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis, with content showing up in relevant search results and category feeds.

Choose your Pins wisely. When investing money to make content more visible on Pinterest, it’s a smart move to pick quality content that points back to your webpage. Pinterest describes the site’s best content as beautiful, actionable and interesting—make sure your pin checks off all three criteria.

Ads can be controlled at the campaign and pin levels. Daily budgets are managed at the campaign level; bids and targeting are set at the Pin level. Promoted Pins live inside campaigns, signaling that the ability to create a campaign with multiple pins may be in the future.

Targeting focuses on basic demographics. At the moment, targeting is based on location, language, device and gender, all of which are turned on by default. As your audience narrows or grows, Pinterest estimates and displays the number of available impressions. Your Promoted Pin’s targeting can be adjusted at a later time, but this puts your ad back into review.

Terms focus on interest. Specific interests are referred to as “terms” and are used to determine who sees your content. Pinterest recommends adding at least 20 terms, and you can see how the estimated weekly impressions increase as more are added. However, it should be noted that terms unrelated to the content of your Promoted Pin might not be approved.

Bids are relatively affordable. Pinterest uses a second-price auction model, meaning that your price is based on what it would take to beat the next bidder in auction. For each term you target, your bid amount competes against the bids of others targeting the same term. The higher you bid, the more likely it is that your Pin will show up in search results and category feeds.

All forms of content aren’t supported. GIFs, videos, Pins on secret boards and uploaded Pins without a source URL cannot be promoted. This unsupported content won’t show up as an option when selecting Pins to boost.

Pins are subject to approval. Pinterest reviews Promoted Pins to ensure their advertising rules are followed. To ensure timely approval, it’s recommended that Pins are submitted 7 days before they’re scheduled to run.

Are Promoted Pins going to make an appearance in your social media strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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KWSM is a digital marketing agency made up of journalists. We specialize in social media management, website design and video. Our offices are located in Orange County, CA and Atlanta, GA, but we serve clients all over the country. Read More