From today (6 April), brands will be able to pay to increase the reach of their pins or target a specific audience. Known as ‘promoted pins’, the ad units look like standard pins and this is the key to their success, says Pinterest’s UK country manager Adele Cooper.
She told Marketing Week: “Our standard promoted pins looks like organic pins which is why they do so well. They are a native ad but with the same content as regular pins and so engagement rates are virtually the same. Plus the hide rate is 90% lower than on other social platforms.”
The pitch to brands
Any brand will be able to sign up to Pinterest and start running ads, with UK businesses also able to target audiences in the US and Canada – where advertising is already available.
Ads will be sold on a cost-per-click basis or a cost-per engagement basis and can be targeted based on demographics, interests or key words. Marketers will also get access to data including impressions, engagement, click-throughs to a website and activity.
Pinterest also offers what it calls a “conversion pixel” which tracks activity based on the objectives of a campaign. For example if a brand wants to drive sign-ups to a lead page it can provide data or if it wants to measure sales information on which pages people visit, what they put in their basket and what they actually purchase will be available.
Cooper said while there are many instances of why Pinterest works for brands, the main reason is that it is a “place where people go to discover and eventually do the things they love”.
“Users are looking for inspiration, for a brand this offers a chance to reach someone at that consideration moment.”
Adele Cooper, UK country manager, Pinterest
“It is very expensive to be at the top of the marketing funnel but at the bottom of the funnel the decision has already been made and it is too late. Pinterest comes in when people are actively still planning,” she explained, adding that 75% of content on Pinterest comes from brands meaning that people are expecting to engage with branded content.
However, Kevin Chase, social media account director at Fetch, which has helped its US clients advertise on Pinterest, warns against expecting direct results.
“The goal should be to disguise your native content as quality pins that people will save to their boards as part of their larger remodelling/hobbyist/travel/fashion plans to be acted upon at some point in the future.
“This should inform mobile strategists thinking they’ll be getting another quick-fix DR platform out of Pinterest to set their sights further down the funnel, knowing that over time their brand will start to bake into users’ future purchase behaviour.”
Why brands are signing up
A number of brands, including Made.com, John Lewis, Tesco and B&Q, have signed up as early launch partners and will be experimenting with different formats, targeting and creative to suss out what works best on the platform.
Cooper says the company was keen to work with a wide range of businesses from small London-based startups such as Bloom and Wild to global brands including Nestle on the trial, with initial results expected in the next couple of months.
Made.com explains why it wanted to be one of the first on board: “Pinterest, unlike other social platforms, allows us to speak to customers at the point when they are planning. And home decoration is one of the biggest topics on Pinterest so it makes sense for us as a furniture brand. We have seen great success using it from a product point of view and when we use it across the whole business,” Hannah Pilpel, social project manager at Made.com, told Marketing Week.
“Using their targeting tools we are hoping to reach people that we know could be interested in our products but might not know about us. Reaching that new audience is what we are excited to test and see.”