Hunter Jones-Volpi

by Hunter Jones-Volpi |

Pinterest continues to prove its value in numerous ways to performance-minded advertisers. With its successful IPO on April 18 and its drastic user growth, Pinterest should definitely be considered in your ecommerce media plans.

Pinterest Monthly Active Users

Source: Statista

Pinterest ads have multiple objectives, bidding types, and ad formats that can support a wide range of KPIs and business goals. If you’re looking for affordable, quality placement (and who isn’t?), CPMs on Pinterest are some of the lowest of all the major platforms (for now), and they have some of the most unique audience data available, such as people’s food preferences, their favorite color palettes, and what their dream wedding rings, or even dream houses, look like. Imagine introducing that to your ad personalization.

But the real power of marketing on Pinterest is their level of understanding of purchase behavior. With all the data from pins related to your brand, Pinterest sits on a wealth of knowledge of your purchasing cycle. In fact, Pinterest is able to map purchase cycles up to nine months before you’re going to purchase, everything from that air plant hanger to that woodshop desk you’ve been wanting to add to the garage.

Historically, Pinterest’s user base skews toward women more than other social channels, but that is changing – the platform has seen a 50% growth in male users in the past year, and men currently make up about a third of the overall audience. But even the fact that the platform is so much more popular with women can be an advantage – that audience is predominantly affluent women with household incomes over $100,000.

Let’s hop into each part of the marketing funnel and dive into what we’re working with.

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is most likely what you’ve always heard people use Pinterest for, and that’s usually where it’s placed in the media plan as well.

Targeting:

Pinterest has some great options for targeting broad, but also relevant, users. The targeting mainly used here would be predefined behavior and interests. I’m sure you’re thinking, Sure, predefined interest segments, big whoop. Well, Pinterest has gotten incredibly smart here and has very specific segments that will most likely match exactly what you’re trying to promote.

For example, if I’m trying to promote my new business (SucCUTElents – selling cute succulents for you to accidentally overwater), most platforms would offer ‘Gardening’ as an interest, but that’s just the tip of iceberg for Pinterest. Gardening breaks into five subcategories, including Supplies, Types, and Design. These subcategories then all have their own subcategories, which will eventually lead you to the interest segment of ‘Succulents,’ an audience with over 200,000 active monthly users. That’s a massive audience looking for exactly what I’m trying to sell. Recommended CPM for Succulents is also $4.62 – so not only is this my exact audience, but also they’re relatively cheap to target.

Ad Types:

Recommend ad types for brand awareness:

  • Static
  • Video
  • Max Width

Pinterest likes to keep the ads on its platform feeling organic, and these ad types will be perfect for kicking off your customer journey, while also matching to what both Pinterest and your audience is looking for.

Brand Engagement

Pinterest also massively differentiates itself compared to other channels with its extremely unique keyword targeting.

Targeting:

Keyword targeting is so unique within Pinterest because Pinterest searches are very different from what we’re used to seeing on search. Only 3% of searches on Pinterest are branded; compared to Google or Bing where you need to be bidding on your branded keywords, Pinterest does not require the same strategy. Unlike with search, they also are much more likely to be research-oriented than purchase-oriented, which is why we’d consider them more engagement opportunities than intent.

At Metric Theory, we have agency Pinterest representatives who help us pull what keywords your organic pins have been showing up for, along with their metrics. This helps us find, hone, and later expand on keyword targeting that makes sense for Pinterest exclusively.

If you don’t have access to a Pinterest representative, I’d recommend digging through your Google non-brand keywords, find what’s been working well, and start there.

Also, I want to quickly touch on Act-A-Likes, which, if you’re familiar with lookalike audiences on Facebook, are virtually the same – an audience built on AI that shares tons of behavioral and demographic characteristics with a given seed list. Nothing mind-bending here, but of course something that you should test for prospecting.

Ad Types:

Recommend ad types for prospecting:

  • Static Pins
  • Removable Pins
  • Shoppable Pins (if it makes sense of course!)

Retargeting

As with keyword targeting, you might find that retargeting shifts slightly up the funnel on Pinterest, definitely compared to search, but even compared to other social channels. From experience, we’ve seen retargeting on Pinterest perform well for generating conversions if your purchase consideration cycle is short. If your consideration cycle is long, we would still recommend a test, but keep in mind Pinterest shoppers tend of have a longer consideration cycle already, which affects immediate impact.

The main reason I usually recommend retargeting on Pinterest is that it’s so incredibly cheap (CPM- and CPC- wise) that it would be silly not to, especially given that this audience is already primed and aware of your brand. Depending on your audience and product, it can act as anywhere between a way to extend brand engagement, to bolstering consideration, to driving direct conversion.

Targeting:

No surprise here, you’d want to target your past site visitors. Audience exclusions are also available if you want to separate past purchasers from brand new customers.

Ad Types:

Recommend ad types for retargeting:

  • Static Pins
  • Removable Pins
  • Video Pins
  • Shoppable Pins

Retention

Like with retargeting, it makes sense to run ads for this stage of the funnel, given that users are so qualified, and it’s incredibly cheap to advertise. You could advertise new products to this audience or special insider deals for current customers using verbiage like “VIP” or “Exclusive.” Make them feel appreciated, because they are!

Targeting:

Target your previous customers, and if you can, parse them out into segments with different expected messaging and/or business outcomes. Disengaged purchasers, holiday purchasers, frequent purchasers, whatever makes sense for your business.

Ad Types:

Recommend ad types for retargeting:

  • Static Pins
  • Removable Pins
  • Video Pins
  • Shoppable Pins

Conclusion

Pinterest’s engaged audience, many ad formats, and unique targeting make it a versatile advertising channel for brands. Its value may skew more toward the top of the funnel than direct conversion, but designing your customer journey with Pinterest as a component can deliver lasting performance benefits.

Looking for a new partner to help you launch Pinterest campaigns? Contact our team.