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The Do’s and Dont’s of Advertising on Pinterest

Pinterest is new to advertising when compared to traditional players such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Adwords and because it’s new and largely unchartered territory, we’ve put together some Advertising on Pinterest DOs and DON’Ts to help guide you through this new but exciting advertising opportunity.

Firstly, it’s worth bearing in mind that Pinterest is a visually driven site where people visit to find appealing imagery and creative ideas, not to be bombarded with advertisements. However, Pinterest has a much more targeted and highly active user base which can often provide a direct link to an online purchase. Pinterest’s rules and guidelines state that content should be “beautiful, actionable and interesting”

According to the Pinterest rules and guidelines, the principle of Pinterest is based very much on quality. They have high standards for ads and these principles should guide your content and behavior as you advertise on Pinterest.

• Be authentic. Promote content that expresses who you really are and what you actually offer.
• Promote Pins that make you proud. Your ads should be some of the best stuff people see on Pinterest.
• Don’t promote spam or other bad stuff. People should be safe from that on Pinterest.
• Obey applicable laws and regulations. Keep it legal

Advertising on Pinterest can be very successful though, given some proper planning and knowledge and by developing a sound strategy and keeping to it.

There are three types of pins on Pinterest, most are from people you are following and others are suggested for you by Pinterest. The other type is promoted pins which are sponsored and placed there by companies who pay every time someone clicks on them. These allow advertisers to add keywords and target specific areas, thus increasing visibility and conversions for your campaign.

These are a few Dos and DONTs to help you make the most of your advertising on Pinterest.

Advertising on Pinterest DOs:

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DO regularly adjust your campaigns

As Pinterest is very much a visually driven site, it can be hard to predict which images will be popular with an audience unless you try a broad range. Once your campaign is running, experiment with different variations, for example; varied imagery, photos with embedded text or with no text, different keywords, higher or lower bids and various audiences. Eventually, you should arrive at the optimum set up giving just the return you need.

DO Use ‘Call To Actions’ (CTAs) in the Description

Pinterest rules do allow the use of direct CTAs in the description of your pin, but not in the image, so for example, something like “sign up today” or “download the brochure” might work. However, being too pushy with sales on Pinterest just won’t attract the clicks. Remember, people come to Pinterest for appealing imagery, creative ideas and inspiration and don’t like to be showered with ads.

DO Use Relevant Keywords

The Pinterest platform allows you to associate up to 150 keywords per promoted pin, but it’s probably not worth using that many. Most users recommend adding at least 30 keywords, and it goes without saying that they need to be relevant to both your pin itself and the page where users will land if they click. Targeting things that aren’t relevant will not only reduce your click through and conversion rates, but will waste ad spend.

DO Use Targeted Audiences

The targeting on Pinterest may not be as sophisticated as some other popular platforms, but it does allow you to show pins to users according to their location, devices, gender and language preference. Take advantage of these different audiences and send your pins to the right users at the right time. Together with the keywords you choose, you’ll be able to target the people who are most likely to convert.

DO Bid Aggressively

Since you only pay for clicks, it’s worth bidding higher at the start of your campaign so you can see your return. This should mean that you gain a higher number of conversions, which in turn should increase your ad’s relevancy if you do lower the bid later on. Experiment with a few different options in order to optimize your clicks and conversions.

DO think Long-Term

Once a campaign is launched on Pinterest, it stays there forever like a never-ending billboard. So, when considering promoted pins, make sure your pins lend themselves to long-term movement and longevity.

This is basically how it works. You advertise your pin to a target audience. Someone sees and likes the pin so they re-pin it. Then, 10 followers of that person also see the pin and decide to re-pin it too. Then seven of those followers click on your promoted pin. Three of them make a purchase.

DO Target all users and track ‘cross-device’ conversions.

While the majority of Pinterest conversions take place on a computer desktop, be sure to target both desktop and mobile users. Repins often occur on mobile devices, and often lead to subsequent downstream conversions on all devices. Always keep track of cross-device movement and remember that every customer is different.

Advertising on Pinterest DON’Ts:

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DON’T use CTAs on the image

Although Pinterest allows CTAs in the image text, the only way you might get away with it in the image is by using an overlay which compliments the image and doesn’t appear too pushy or ‘salesy’.

DON’T use a “Hard Wall” Landing Page

The practice of directing someone to a ‘hard wall’ landing page isn’t completely prohibited by Pinterest, but you are required by the guidelines to be clear about it as follows: “If you require people to take an action (like signing up) before they can see certain content, your ad should make that clear. Also, your ads can’t suggest or imply that a product is available on your landing page if you don’t actually offer that product.” An alternative way around this is to send them to a blog post where the landing page is easy accessible.

DON’T Use Horizontal Images

Pinterest is designed to accommodate vertical, portrait images rather than horizontal or landscape formats, just because of the layout of the page and the ease of flow on the page. For this reason, if you try to use a horizontal or landscape format your image will probably never be seen. So vertical is best, but make sure users won’t have to scroll down to see the whole thing. Upload colorful, eye-catching, beautiful photos that make it clear what users can expect if they click.

DON’T Use Redirect Links

Pinterest makes it very clear that any pins which redirect will not work: “Our systems will block most affiliate and redirect links, so if you include them, your ad’s landing page won’t load”. Check the URL before you order your ad and make sure you have a direct path to where you want consumers to arrive

DON’T Use Hashtags

One hashtag per ad is allowed on Pinterest, although the platform isn’t really geared for hashtags as they look spammy, and don’t work in the same way as say Twitter. Pinterest will allow one per ad according to the rules as follows: “Hashtags don’t work on Pinterest like they do on other platforms—they don’t help you track what’s trending and they can confuse Pinners. If you do include a hashtag, try using your business name or tagline. And stick to one hashtag per ad”.

Conclusion

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Unlike other platforms, Pinterest is both visually and search-driven which means it is really important that you prioritize creative and keyword strategies proportionally. Pinterest is about sharing and communicating, but it’s also about searching and gazing.

This is why on Pinterest, both ecommerce and lead generation rule. It’s always worth remembering that Pinterest is very much about creativity and design, which attracts people looking for inspiration in areas such as interior design, architecture, fashion, photography, luxury goods, vehicles, in fact almost anything as long as it’s created and photographed in a stylish and quality way.

Pinterest is still a relatively new social platform when compared to Facebook and Twitter, but has recently seen enormous growth with over 72 million users interested in specific types of content. This number will continue to grow as the site expands, introduces new features, and improves its capabilities for both advertisers and users.

With the promoted pins still in their infancy, there is still a lot to learn and develop when it comes to advertising on Pinterest in order to get the returns required. The underlying feeling of this site emphasizes stylish design and an understanding of its users, but with a carefully developed, tried and tested strategy, can bring high rewards by driving quality leads to your site.

By using promoted pins you should achieve significant growth, especially if you focus on initial goal conversion behavior (ecommerce sale or lead) plus customer engagement (re-pins) that then go on to prompt downstream engagement. By thinking ahead, you will be able to maximize and optimize pinned and re-pinned campaigns, while maintaining cost-per-action (CPA) goals within your budget.

Advertising On Pinterest: Key Points to Remember

To summarize the guidelines for advertising on Pinterest, the following is an excerpt from the website:

• Be authentic and honest. Authenticity means being truthful and honest about the product or service you’re promoting. It also means being transparent with Pinners about what they should expect when they interact with your ad, your site and your products or services.
• Accurately reflect your product, service or brand.
• Don’t make misleading or exaggerated claims.
• Disclose your billing practices.
• Stick to one advertiser per account, and be clear about who’s advertising
• Be honest about your relationship with Pinterest
• Be transparent about conversion tracking
• Respect our community’s data and privacy
• Respect the rights of others
• Be thoughtful with your editorial
• To keep ads beautiful, actionable and interesting, we set high standards for the editorial quality of promoted content.

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