Pinterest recently introduced promoted pins to a select number of Pinterest users with business accounts. This is a game changer for Pinterest as a whole and a huge opportunity for bloggers and businesses.
What Are Pinterest Promoted Pins
Promoted pins are exactly what they sound like. They are pins that show up on your Pinterest feed based on what you have pinned previously or what you are searching for. Promoted pins will always say “Promoted by” and who is promoting them. This is included at the bottom of the pin where the name of the board and pinner would usually be. They do a good job of blending in with regular pins, something users might not love but bloggers and businesses will appreciate (i.e. they don’t really look like ads).
Why you should have a Pinterest Business Account – not a personal account – for your Blog or Business
Since switching over to a business account instead of a personal account about a year ago, almost nothing has changed in terms of my user experience or my viewers experience. If that is a concern for you (as it was for me), put your worries aside.
Here are a few key differences between a personal and business Pinterest account:
- Ability to make your business name your username i.e. I no longer had to be listed as first name “east” last name “&”.
- Pinterest analytics are available to business accounts.
- Business accounts allow you to create rich pins.
- It’s free either way (though promoted pins are not…we’ll get to that later).
- Different Terms of Service. Pinterest specifically states “If you’re using Pinterest for business purposes or as part of how you make a living, you should sign up for a business account and agree to our Business Terms of Service.” (source)
That last bullet is the most important. If you make money off your blog i.e. “as part of how you make a living”, you need a business account.
So You’re A Blogger or Business with a Business Pinterest account. Now what?
If you have access to Promoted Pins, a notice like this may appear at the top of your Pinterest page.
You can also visit www.ads.pinterest.com to see if you have access to promoted Pins.
If you do not currently have access to Pinterest promoted pins and you have a Pinterest business account, you can request access here.
Setting Up A Promoted Pin
Once you have clicked the link above or clicked “access promoted pins” you will see a red “promote” button at the top of your page. Click that and you’ll be brought to a page like this:
Pick A Pin
You’ll see all the pins you pinned most recently and will have the ability to search all of your pins. Pick one. For this example, I’m choosing my 10 Things No One Tells You About Wedding Dress Shopping pin from a recent post I wrote.
Add more details
This is where you choose who to target for your promotion.
My guess is that people who are going wedding dress shopping are interested in all things wedding. In the “search for terms” bar, I started with “wedding” and “wedding dresses”. Pinterest will automatically provide you with related suggestions and you click the + to add them to your Terms list to the right.
You’ll notice that the “estimated weekly impressions” in the top right corner updates as you add more terms related to your pin.
If you scroll down a bit, you’ll select your target audience. For this promoted pin, I’ve set language to English, as that is the language of the blog post I’m promoting. I also set the gender to Female, as I’d imagine very few men are wedding dress shopping (my blog readers are primarily women as well, something to consider when you choose your audience). I leave location as “All locations” as I believe that people from anywhere in the world might be interested in this article, as long as they are able to read the post (i.e. English speakers).
Now comes the money part. How much do you want to spend? CPC = Cost Per Click. That’s how much Pinterest is going to charge you every time someone clicks on your pin as a result of it being promoted (your followers who re-pin it directly from you will not cost you anything).
I experimented with several different variations on this page – higher CPC with lower daily budget, lower CPC with higher daily budget, etc. For the 4 campaigns I experimented with, the average CPC was $0.23. Here is an example of what I chose to set my CPC details to:
During this step you also choose a campaign name. This is for your use to view the analytics of the promotion. Click “Promote this Pin” and your promoted pin is sent to Pinterest for approval. It is pending until it is approved, at which point your promotion begins.
What Happens If Your Pin Is Not Approved
If your pin isn’t approved, you get an email like this from Pinterest.
In this case, my Pin contained “excessive hashtags” (it had 3, which I previously thought was a good thing…oops) and was therefore not approved. They give you the opportunity to update the pin description to remove the hashtags and then they’ll approve it. I’m sure your pin could be denied for a number of other reasons, though this is the only one I have experience with.
My Results From 4 Promoted Pin Experiments
Just to note, analytics are not available for the first 24 hours of an approved promotion (which feels like an eternity when you’re wondering what’s happening).
Here are the analytics from the few days I tried a couple of different promoted pins:
Note, I did not intend to spend $42, but what seem like little numbers sure add up quickly!
My takeaway from this experiment is that if I have a post that I feel might be popular on Pinterest, if it has a quality pinable image and links to a post that I’m proud of, I’ll consider minimally promoting it on Pinterest. I just wish that you were charged by re-pins, not by clicks.
As many bloggers and business who utilize Pinterest know, it only takes one person pinning a pin to get the ball rolling. Re-pins can be seemingly exponential and once a pin takes off, it can mean major traffic for your blog or business. Promoted pins can help get the ball rolling and the effects of a promoted pin might be seen long after your promotion ends.
Have you tried promoted pins? What was your experience like? If you haven’t, do you have any questions?