Pinterest is quickly becoming the advertising platform of choice for many marketers. The image-based site has become more attractive to marketers since the app expanded its advertising options to include promoted pins, video ads, and ‘one-tap’ pins, which allow marketers to reduce the path to purchase by linking the user directly to the website after just one click.
The platform is highly targeted and offers a visual source of inspiration to 175 million active monthly users, so it’s no surprise that retailers are using Pinterest’s audience tools to engage new and existing customers.
So, how is Pinterest a unique marketing channel compared to other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter? According to CPC Strategy, Pinterest users are the most primed to make a purchase.
“Not only do 70% of Pinners engage by searching, saving, or clicking to learn more — but Pinterest drives 5x more incremental sales per impression, compared to industry averages*,” said Kyle Wiebalk, Senior Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy. “And even though the Pinterest ad platform is still evolving, its CPCs are 30% lower than other platforms, which makes it easier for a brand to dip their toes in the water.”
According to Pinterest, roughly 47 million US shoppers used its platform to find back-to-school product ideas in 2017, and this trend is expected to continue during this year’s holiday shopping period. According to Shopify, orders from Pinterest on mobile devices have increased by 140% since 2013.
Retailers can take advantage of the upswing in Pinterest purchases and increase their visibility among potential customers with unique ad formats that emphasize a strong visual style. “As a ‘catalog of ideas,’ Pinterest is a great place to catch attention with strong display and video, especially with a vertical orientation similar to Snapchat or Instagram Stories,” Wiebalk said. “Not only does the big vertical canvas give brands a lot of creative flexibility and room to play, but video is one of the fastest growing formats that is made-for-mobile.”
Pinterest’s advertising options have become more sophisticated over time, and it is quickly becoming a strong rival to other popular social media platforms. In February, Pinterest hired its first COO, Francoise Brougher, to expand Pinterest’s global operations and advertising business, and it now offers full funnel advertising targeting — from remarketing to previous website visitors, to upper-funnel prospecting for potential new customers.
“Retailers can increase their customer acquisition through Pinterest by introducing a brand with more lifestyle-oriented images and video, allowing a chance for someone new to become familiar with the brand's personality and community,” Wiebalk says. “As the potential customer learns more and moves down the purchase funnel, marketers can offer more content focused on the brand's products — but keep the tone fun and light.”
Retailers can optimize their Pinterest customer acquisition strategy by pairing first-party customer data with Pinterest’s "Actalike" audience creation tool. Using a customer analytics platform, marketers can identify high value customer segments and stream customer profiles into Pinterest, so pins can be used to target customers with similar ‘high value’ attributes. This will result in a significantly higher ROI compared to traditional ad targeting approaches.
Last year, Pinterest launched an interest-based targeting tool called ‘Taste Graph,’ which analyzes over 100 billion Pins — and the trillions of interactions people have with them every week — to better understand what users are interested in. Advertisers can use this tool to unearth and effectively measure the impact of thousands of affinity groups based on Pinterest user behavior.
According to CPC, while Pinterest offers the standard industry KPIs (impressions, clicks, engagement, etc.), it also supports more advanced measurement programs, such as studying brand lift, online conversion lift, offline sales lift, and multi-touch attribution.
Pinterest can successfully create value for a brand, including building brand awareness and product consideration, and even driving purchases. As its number of users grows, the Pinterest model will continue to cater to the customer-obsessed marketer by equipping them with tools to better understand and engage their customers.
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*Source: Pinterest official decks, 2018