5 actionable tips for Pinterest advertising

You may consider advertising on Pinterest. The platform last month announced that it now has 200 million monthly active users. 100 billion pins have been created so far and the majority of searches (85%) happen on a mobile device (Source: Pinterest, September 2017).

We recently tested promoted pins on Pinterest and learned 5 valuable and actionable lessons about what works (and what doesn’t).

5 actionable tips for Pinterest advertising

#1 Ad format

Long-form ads work better than short-form ads. If you have little time, focus on long-form promoted pins. If you have time and more budget, test short-form as maybe you see different results. You should always be testing anyway.

#2 Search feed or home feed?

We had very little success with home feed ads. These promoted pins show up in your home feed as you browse through your feed. With searches being more intent-driven (people are actually looking for something), the result wasn’t too surprising. Focus on ads in the search feed.

#3 Keywords

With the search feed you need to build out a keyword strategy. For which keywords do you want your promoted pin to show? 97% of searches are unbranded. This is good news for small businesses who are looking to advertise. People are actually not searching for brands, but for products, services, interests. Test specific and broader keywords and keep monitoring and optimizing.

#4 Activate one-tab ads

If you are setting up ads to go to your website, you should consider activating one-tab ads. The standard setting is two tabs. This means when people see your ad and click on it, the first click enlarges the pin. Only on the second tab will they click through to your website. This has enormous impact on the click-through-rate as we learned. When we changed from two-tab to one-tab promoted pins, our click-through rate (CTR) increased 3x. This is important because of the fifth point.

#5 Pinterest algorithm optimizes against click-through-rate.

As of now, the Pinteest algorithm optimizes ads for click-through. This means, Pinterest uses the click-through-rate as an indicator whether to show your ad or not. They consider promoted pins with a CTR of lower than 0.2% as low quality and stop showing hem. You are able to track other metrics, such as clicks, engagement, purchases, but Pinterest’s algorithm doesn’t take these into account. According to Pinterest this will change in the future, but for now, this is it. Now you understand point 4 better: having one-tab ads increases the click-through-rate and therefore your promoted pins will be shown more often.

A downside of the one-tab promoted pins was that our CPA (cost per acquisition) increased (and several other case studies have shown the same results), but you are able to reach more people and your ads will be showing, which is the ultimate goal.

Have you had any learnings from running promoted pins on Pinterest? Please share in the comments.