Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 | 11 min read
There’s a reason major retailers like J.Crew launch their product catalogues on Pinterest: It’s not just where consumers go to find inspiration; it’s also where they go to make purchases.
With over 100 million monthly active users and a largely-wealthy user base, the numbers say it all: 93% of Pinners use Pinterest to plan or make purchases, and pinners spend an average of $50 per order—higher than purchases that come from Facebook and Twitter. What’s more, Pinterest is 5 times more efficient at driving in-store sales than any other platform.
It’s no surprise, then, that Pinterest is ripe with opportunity for holiday advertisers. Here are some more impressive stats (holiday-themed, this time) that should perk up your ears:
Ready to tap into Pinterest’s highly-engaged audience? Here’s everything you need to rock your Pinterest advertising this holiday season.
Promoted Pins are Pins that you’ve already posted but want to boost to a target audience. By putting money behind a Pin, you can make sure it shows up in relevant search results and category feeds. For instance, here’s a Pin that L’Occitane promoted for its holiday fragrances:
Compared to other social ads, Promoted Pins have been found to drive 5 times more in-store sales per impression. They’re also a great way to connect with people who have never purchased from your brand, since 70% of Promoted Pins sales come from new customers. This should be particularly good news for marketers who want to expand their audience during the holidays.
To help you achieve your goals, let’s look at the three types of campaigns brands can run with Promoted Pins:
Have a new holiday gift catalogue you’re looking to share? Want to get on people’s radar so your brand is top-of-mind on Black Friday? You can run an awareness campaign and pay only when people see your Promoted Pin. Brands like L’Oreal have seen double digit lifts by using this strategy to spread their messages.
If you’re looking to boost engagement, this campaign will measure and charge for each time someone clicks on your Pin, repins your Pin, or zoom in for a closer look at your Pin.
This is a great way to insert yourself in the buyer journey and gauge purchase intent. If someone engages with your Promoted Pin, it’s more likely that they’re interested in what you have to offer and might eventually buy your product.
If you’re looking to direct traffic to your online store, this campaign will track each time someone clicks your Pin and goes to your website. By using this strategy, you can help Pinners act on their inspiration and take a big step in the buyer journey.
After using Promoted Pins to get their content in front of consumers, Walgreens tripled their average referral traffic back to Walgreens.com. The company also created a Pinterest Board called “An Effortless Holiday Season” to help Pinners plan their best holiday events.
Add some motion to your Promoted Pins by getting cinematic. This dynamic feature lets brands use looped animations in their Pins. They’re less like videos and more like GIFs that only move when you scroll, so the user is always in control. Here’s one that American Eagle Outfitters used to promote its holiday gift guide:
During the holidays, Cinematic Pins provide an opportunity to show off your best products in motion and tell more enhanced stories for your audiences.
Buyable Pins help customers complete the buyer journey right on Pinterest. If you purchase a Buyable Pin, a blue price tag and “Buy It” button will show up on your Pins, and users can order your products without missing a beat. As the company notes, “People can find your buyable Pins all over Pinterest—in search results, in related Pins and on your business profile.”
Last holiday season, jewelry and gift retailer FlyAway BlueJay used Buyable Pins to reach new customers. As a result, Pinterest drove 20% of the brand’s overall sales and 28% of overall website traffic. Pinterest was also the shop’s number-one source of social traffic and sales.
Sixty-seven percent of Pinterest users say videos inspire them to take action. That’s why Pinterest launched its newest ad feature to help marketers get their videos in front of the right audiences.
With a goal of boosting holiday sales, advertisers can use Promoted Video to share product demonstrations, tell heartwarming stories, or offer behind-the-scenes peeks for their customers.
Pinterest provides a number of resources to help marketers generate leads from their campaigns. Let’s take a look.
Brands can target their ads across a variety of categories, including interests, location, device, gender, language, and even personas like Millennials and travelers. Brands can also target by keywords, which they can select by searching Pinterest or accepting recommendations from the Ads Manager. If you want your Promoted Pins to show up when users search for “holiday makeup gifts” or “holiday home decor,” you’ll want to include those relevant keywords.
Beyond those criteria, Pinterest allows marketers to retarget people who have already visited their site or app. Similar to Facebook, Pinterest also lets advertisers upload their own customer lists for targeting purposes and create lookalike audiences of people who are similar to their most engaged customers.
Most recently, Pinterest introduced the ability to target people who click on or save brand-related Pins. This way, you know you’re targeting an audience that’s receptive to brand content and might even be on the lookout for products like yours.
Tracking tags allow you to follow user actions by planting conversion tracking tags on your site. Whether you want to drive customers to checkout pages, sign up forms, or special offers, these tags can help you see exactly how many people are contributing to your goals.
Say you promote a Pin in hopes of getting customers to click through to your holiday catalogue. By putting a tracking tag on your purchase confirmation page, you can see who saw your Pin, clicked to your site, and eventually made a purchase.
By logging into the Pinterest Ads Manager, marketers can evaluate the performance of their Promoted Pins. For one, they can see the metrics they designed their campaign around, such as impressions, engagements, or clicks to their website. They can also sort analytics by targeting a category; you can determine whether women are responding to your add more than men are, or if mobile users are more engaged than desktop users.
With these analytics, advertisers can edit their campaigns right in the Ads Manager, or create new campaigns with optimized targeting and creative features.
There are a few caveats when it comes to choosing which Pins to promote. According to Pinterest’s Advertising Standards, Promoted Pins can’t include images with prices and discounts, or images with testimonials and ratings. The site also restricts ads for alcohol, contests, and sweepstakes.
While these rules help keep Pinterest a purely content-driven platform, they also make it a bit tough for brands to plug big holiday sales and offers. Indeed, on Pinterest, you have to rely on the quality of your products and creative assets to drive leads.
If you want to include prices and promotions in your Pins, you can rely on Rich Pins. These tools let you add extra information onto your image, such as app install buttons, addresses, maps, phone numbers, and real-time pricing and product availability.
Engage with Pinners outside of Pinterest by putting a “Save” button on your website. This way, when people visit your site pages, they can click to add their favorite product to their Pinterest boards. From there, more people can discover what you have to offer. Pinterest analytics will even show you which content was saved and Pinned most, so you can either deliver more of the same content or promote pins to drive more engagement.
The “Save” button is already available on popular platforms like WordPress, Wix, and Tumblr. But you can easily create and customize your own for any website using Pinterest’s widget builder.
Pinterest recommends creating Pins with an aspect ratio of 1:2.8, since vertically-oriented Pins look best on mobile screens. These longer Pins also take up more space, so they’re more likely to catch the eye and grab people’s attention. By making your Pins bigger, you can even include multiple products in one ad. For holiday advertising purposes, this means you can feature a collection of seasonal gifts or maybe gift suggestions for the whole family. Just don’t make your ad too cluttered or users might scroll past it.
Since it launched in 2010, Pinterest has gone from a place to find inspiration and cool ideas to a dynamic platform built for planning purchases and following through with actual buys. Armed with tools like Promoted Pins, Buyable Pins, and off-site “Save” buttons, Pinterest has also become one of the most effective advertising networks for brands.
Considering 1.1 billion holiday pins were saved in 2015 and 75% of all saved Pins come from brands, this holiday season should be full of opportunity for marketers to drive leads on the image-based website.