Pinterest opened up their promoted pin inventory on a self-service auction bases in the summer of 2015. Now that we have had a chance to get our feet wet, we wanted to share some learnings, best practices and quirks from our first foray into the self-service auctions.
Pinterest previously only allowed advertisement with a pretty hefty minimum spend and limited targeting capabilities. The platform has come a long way since then, now allowing advertisers to bid on promoted pin inventory, giving advertisers the ability to test new targeting tactics and customize campaigns in real time.
We tested promoted pins utilizing the CPC-based model – meaning, you’re only paying when a user clicks on the pin. The campaigns were targeted using search terms – meaning you pin would show up when someone has searched for a keyword that is relevant to your pin.
Based on our first few campaigns, we saw some early wins:
- Efficient CPCs – we saw extremely efficient CPC’s, even as we lead into the competitive holiday timeframe. The campaigns were as cost efficient, if not slightly more-so than other social platforms during the same time period.
- Strong new visitor traffic – across all brands, we saw strong new visitor rates to the sites. This meant we were reaching a new audience that we were missing out on prior to the auction being opened up.
- Strong engagement rates – even though we were bidding on a click back to the website, we were seeing engagement rates that competed with previous CPM and engagement-based Pinterest campaigns.
- Tons of free impressions – since we purchased only when someone clicked, we were still able to capture a strong amount of upper-funnel impressions, at an efficient CPM. This gave the campaign a nice hybrid between an awareness and traffic driving goal.
What did we learn?
- Think like a Pinner: What do you search for on Pinterest? What kind of content are you looking for? Tailor your campaigns to help answer those questions.
- Find the right device: Different categories perform different on device. Test and track your campaign performance on desktop and mobile to find your sweet spot.
- Make it descriptive: Make your pin descriptions actionable and interesting. Give users enough direction to interact with your pins further.
Where do we go from here?
The Promoted Pin auction is still in its infancy, so we expect to see strong growth in capabilities and targeting methods in 2016. However, based on what we saw with our first few campaigns, we will definitely look to utilize the Pinterest auction for clients moving forward.