Once you have the basics down in Pinterest – your target market, your optimized keywords, your pin design, and your pinning strategy – you might be thinking you want to put some money behind promoted pins to sell your latest course or grow your email list. You love Pinterest and you are ready to start paying for advertising. Facebook ads seem confusing, so Pinterest might be easier. You might be thinking when should you begin using these and how do you get started? Let me share nine key reasons you might want to begin using promoted pins for your business.
1. Jumpstart a pin’s popularity
Promoted pins are great for time-sensitive or seasonal content! It’s possible to have a successful pin without a fully-built out profile, however, I really do recommend you take the time to set up your account correctly. This way, when someone clicks to view your full profile as a business, you have more credibility. You don’t look like a flash in the pan business that could disappear at any moment.
If you’ve used Pinterest for any amount of time, you know it is a slow platform and takes a while to build momentum. There are times when pins can instantly taking off, but in general, Pinterest’s algorithm needs time to learn the keywords about what you are writing and the audience you are attracting. This process can take at least three to six months.
You can speed up this process by using a promoted pin. Again, take time to properly set up your Pinterest profile if you have just added Pinterest marketing to your business advertising. Compare this to running Facebook ads off of your Facebook business page. You want your business page to reflect you’re a legitimate business. Before you buy from someone online, you research them, read reviews, make sure they are credible and established to ensure what you will get is worth your investment. This is another reason for a website and social media, building credibility.
After you set up your promoted pin, it can take up to 24 hours to be approved. After that, you could start getting views to your pin right away!
2. Increase page views via traffic
This one probably isn’t used by most of us as service providers because we don’t just want page views, we want click-throughs to our content, but this can be important if you want business sponsorships or have ads on your website. An example would be if you are a blogger and have ads on your site, you need 30k page views for Mediavine which is a popular ad company with bloggers. MediaVine is reputable and popular because it offers a larger payout depending on the traffic to your site.
However, as a service provider, this is not a strategy that I would recommend. If you are a blogger and you have a business sponsorship agreement, then this could be for you.
3. Build your email list.
My favorite way to use promoted pins is to send traffic to your opt-in page for email sign-ups. As a service provider or for any business, we should all be building our email list. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can send traffic directly to the opt-in page. Another option is to run traffic to a blog post where you have discussed a problem and provided a solution via a strong call to action to opt-in to get your lead magnet. In many cases, a blog post warms up your audience and builds rapport before sending them directly to the opt-in page.
Whichever option you choose, I strongly recommend making sure your opt-in page is thoroughly built out. By this I mean, make sure your opt-in page explains the benefit or the pain point your lead magnet will solve. Show a mock-up of what your audience will receive. Some opt-in pages offer minimal copy, and although this might get click-throughs, it might not convert. An example would be pop-up boxes that say, “Hey, get my freebie.” maybe with or without a mock-up. Show your audience that you have taken the time to let them know why you made it, what’s in it for them, and explain your offer. My theory is if you want them to put the effort into signing up, make the effort to let them know why they should. People will be more likely to sign up, especially if they don’t know you.
Bonus tip: Pay for some of your ad spend by adding a trip-wire onto your thank you page. I started this approximately six months ago. When someone signs up for my opt-in and is sent to a thank you page, I make a one-time-only offer. I added a countdown clock, and make sure it is a super special offer that they will never see again. (If you offering it in other places, it isn’t a “one time offer” and can be seen as distrustful). I have experimented with and had success with $9 – $27 products. These are impulse buys when people are most excited to get to know you. While you aren’t going to be a millionaire, I can say it will help to off-set some of your ad money. Recently I spent $5 per day and yielded three to five sign-ups for $.18 a click. That’s a pretty good conversion rate!
If you have a good follow up email sequence (which I hope you do!) that nurtures your new leads, you can lead them to the sale of a larger product or a potential service.
4. Increase sales from cold audiences
We are in business to make money, so sales are a good thing, right? You can direct pins directly to a sales page. As I have said above, make sure it’s a fully built out sales page especially if you are selling a higher-priced course or product. Take the time to review and test your sales page with your target audience to ensure it’s effective.
You have different audiences on Pinterest, just like you do Facebook, you have cold audiences and warm audiences. Traffic to your page will not fix a broken funnel. It’s going to point out if your funnel is not working.
How would you do test this? Facebook will give you ad results faster. If you are in the testing phase, I would recommend using Facebook ads to get quicker feedback on whether or not your sales page is converting. Remember Facebook ads will take more money in your budget as well, but the data you will receive will be valuable.
Once you know your sales page is effective and who your audience is, generate a warm audience in Pinterest by uploading your email list and creating a lookalike audience. I also always recommend having a Pinterest tag on your website sooner rather than later to make it easier to run Pinterest ads when you are ready.
5. Re-engage email subscribers and past website visitors
Your warm audience is more likely to buy from you which a better audience to send to your sales page. You can create these warm audiences using your email list and past website visitors. You then can create act alike audiences (similar to look-alike in Facebook) that are going to target an audience similar to your existing audience.
6. Brand awareness
Another strategy that we would not use as a small business but larger companies with bigger budgets might. As a small business, KarrieMarie.com will likely never be a household name like Target! Spending my money to drive brand awareness isn’t really the best use of my money, but I am mentioning it here as an option in case it’s a goal for your business.
7. Affiliate opportunities
This is one of my favorite points to talk about because I teach affiliate marketing. You can read about some of my best affiliate tips here, but as far as making affiliate money using promoted pins, there are two ways to do this. You can send traffic to blog posts that are specifically written to highlight an affiliate offer. OR you can send traffic straight to an affiliate page.
When promoting affiliate opportunities, you have to say that it is an affiliate link. You can call this out directly on the pin image, but this isn’t my ideal choice because I find people might not click on it. The other place is to disclose that it is an affiliate link in the pin description. A typical disclaimer indicates the person will be taken to such and such a page, and if a purchase is made, you will receive a small commission as an affiliate. The third thing is that you cannot use any link shorteners like PrettyLinks or Bitly links. Unfortunately, they require you to use the long ugly affiliate link (which most likely they are). 😉
If you are finding difficultly getting your ad for an affiliate opportunity approved, first double-check that you are compliant with the points I listed above. If you are still running into obstacles, remember it is an automated system. Simply respond back and ask them to review it. If you’ve done everything you should, Pinterest will then approve the pin.
8. Video pins become one click
You may have noticed a lot more video and story pins lately. This is strategically done by Pinterest which is similar to other social media in that they want you to stay on their platform. The longer you are on the Pinterest platform, the more likely you are to be targeted by a promoted pin. Pinterest is now a publicly-traded company and makes money through ad revenue.
When you click on a video pin, the video starts, stops, and can be replayed. If your pin a teaser video, obviously I’m going to click through to see the rest of your content. With most organic video pins, you’ll get a ton of impressions, but not click-throughs to your website because the pinner has to click multiple times to get to your content.
BUT, with a promoted video pin, it now takes only one-click to the URL. Basically becoming pay to play similar to Facebook.
9. Easier set up than Facebook Ads
Simple for the win! Pinterest ads have less moving parts and the backend doesn’t change compared to Facebook. I’m not a big Facebook ads user but if you have been around for any amount of time, you know Facebook changes things constantly (and that new interface they just rolled out? No thank you!).
If you have ever gone into your Pinterest analytics and seen a popular pin, you might see the option to “promote” the pin. This is similar to boosting a post on Facebook (which by the way, the advice is never to do – it’s far better to use your business manager to run an ad).
Take the time to run a Pinterest promoted pin properly. Go into your business account at the top, click ads, and then build your ad. You can choose proper targeting via audiences and keywords.
When to Use Promoted Pins over Facebook Ads
There are several benefits to using Pinterest promoted pins but Facebook ads are still a very real part of your marketing strategy. So why run Facebook ads versus promoted pins? What’s the difference?
Facebook is like a faucet. You turn ads on and off. The ad disappears when the ad money stops. Facebook ads yield quick optimization, with an estimate of at least three days to get feedback. One example is testing a sales page or ads to attract various audiences and get data in that respect.
Promoted pins work best for evergreen products. The Pinterest platform, as a whole, is much slower. Pinterest ads are the same. Once your pin has been approved, Pinterest will start showing it in the feeds. You’re not going to get good data for at least seven days vs. Facebook is about three days.
Pinterest pins stay on Pinterest. Even after a promotion ends, the pin remains on Pinterest. You probably got a lot of saves but not clicks during your promotion. That pin is saved and re-saved so there is still future potential for clicks. There is a 20-30% residual benefit after ads are turned off. The mindset of a typical pinner is to research, save ideas, and return to it. That’s what I mean by residual as well as just the sheer number of volume of impressions )or people who have seen the pin) even though you’ve stopped paying it. BONUS!
Because Pinterest is slow at optimizing keep in mind it really takes 21 days to start scaling ads (although they will start delivering quickly, you need a minimum of 7 days for good stats to start to analyze). You can’t turn them on and off quickly for time-bound promotions. This can sometimes be a disadvantage. You are waiting to see if your ad money is being spent and you feel like you aren’t seeing a return right away. You need to have patience with Pinterest as a platform. Whether Facebook or Pinterest, it’s a risk to run ads or promotions. Analyze your results and do what you need to do after reviewing the results.
Promoted pins are fantastic for affiliate campaigns. Yes, I said it before, but I’ll say it again! You have two options to set these up: one to the affiliate’s page or to an affiliate blog post. I prefer a blog post because you can update the blog post to reflect a holiday or contest offer, for example. Then change it back after the affiliate contest is over. You can also use your own branding rather than the company provided graphics. I go over my six best tips when affiliate marketing here so you can stand out from the crowd, especially when other affiliate marketers are sharing the same product at the same time. (If you ever have been around with Marie Forleo launches B-School!)
You can easily do the same thing with seasonal campaigns. Especially if you are a product seller, this may be a perfect time to ramp up your traffic so you can get more eyes on your products. You can easily run ads and then turn them off before the holidays. Holiday pins still float around so it’s slightly different than FB ads where you might have a drop-dead date for a promotion.
Similar to affiliate campaigns, simply go into the blog post and change it up to reference your seasonal campaign. I mentioned in my post, Prep Your Pinterest for the Holidays, Christmas searches during 2020 have been up since April.
BONUS: Don’t forget because people are saving your pin, once you stop paying money for the ad, those pins still live and you’ll still see an increase in activity and hopefully sales!
How You Can Make Promoted Pins Work for You
Pinterest ads may be easier to set up than Facebook ads but there are still things you need to know about how to set up Pinterest ads and to scale them. You need to analyze the data and know what to do next if pins are performing. Also, what do you do when you create a budget and Pinterest isn’t spending it all? What do you do? When do you run a traffic campaign vs. a conversion campaign?
My client Ester had fantastic results with Promoted Pins after having her Facebook ads account shut down unexpectedly for several months. Because we were able to leverage Pinterest in such a powerful way for her business, I’ve been able to help her make over $270,000 in sales with only $20,000 in ad spend. Plus, she has increased her email list with leads by over 25,000! You can read more details in her case study to learn more and see how we can make promoted pins work for your business.