Pinterest has evolved from a playground for hobbyists, wedding planners, and generalist creatives to a site that offers serious advertising advantages. However, many marketers do not realize they can leverage it for everything from brand recognition to direct sales. (More than 80% of weekly users have purchased something based on content they’ve seen from brands on the site.)

This social network could be a fantastic opportunity for you. It just depends on who your buyers are, what you offer, and where you are targeting.

What to Know About Pinterest’s User Base

What makes Pinterest so compelling? It’s not just a social media site. It’s a search engine, too. That’s part of its power. Plus, its in-house statistics show that 97% of searchers type in brand-agnostic keywords. This means a lot of people are willing to diverge from the brands they know and love.

Pinterest users are by and large very open-minded; they want to discover new things. Even if they are not quite ready to buy, they are eager to learn what’s available. And with their augmented reality capabilities, users can feel more confident shopping for tangible products.

Plus, users span a variety of demographics. For instance, Pinterest found that women make up 60% of the site’s global audience, and men and Gen Z users grew 40% year over year in 2020. However, users might not want what you are offering. Its users mainly want to peruse national and global goods. Local searches don’t usually serve up great results, and goods translate better than services because of their visual nature.

To be sure, Pinterest might not match every company’s marketing strategy. However, if your products, personas, and goals align, you could benefit from using this channel.

Adding Pinterest to Your Marketing Mix

Maybe you’ve never thought about Pinterest as a viable marketing channel. Now is the time to dive in. Remember: it can be tough to get high-quality top-of-funnel traffic online. This social network offers an alternative platform to help you target more audiences.

Just don’t treat Pinterest like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Google. The platform has its own nuances that you must keep in mind. Here’s what you should know before adding Pinterest to your marketing lineup:

1. Pinterest has a delayed attribution factor.

By now, you are likely familiar with multi-attribution models. Its attribution model can best be described as deferred. For example, a Pinterest user will see an image they like and save it. They intend to revisit the image, unlike an abandoned shopping cart. They just want to browse more. In time, the user will likely return and make a purchase.

The problem is that this means purchases can have weeks-long windows. If you are accustomed to fast-moving attribution, you are not going to get it with Pinterest. You have to be comfortable exercising more patience than you might with other search engine marketing options. The upshot of this reality is that ads and campaigns won’t fizzle quickly. Often, you can get many weeks of mileage out of a single ad, thanks to its slowed-down attribution and conversion pacing.

2. You might need to develop unique reporting solutions.

Pinterest doesn’t give you the same data you would find on Google or Facebook. Depending on how long you’ve been in digital marketing, you might be able to piece together disparate data to collect key performance indicators and other information. Alternatively, you can work with a third-party provider to help you become more data-driven in your approach.

Remember that you will need to keep the tip above about delayed attribution in mind. For instance, let’s say you typically pull weekly advertising data reports. Because you’re dealing with a longer attribution model, you would be better off pulling monthly data reports.

Don’t worry about getting too complicated with your metrics. Even if you’re just looking at keywords, interest categories, best-performing images, and similar measurements, you can start to get a strong handle on the inner workings of your campaigns.

3. Your graphic standards might not translate to Pinterest.

Many organizations that try Pinterest want to use the content they already have. Although both static images and video can work brilliantly on Pinterest, they need to have a special vibe. This is reminiscent of how TikTok and Instagram videos differ.

Experimenting requires you to go beyond your comfort zone and preexisting graphics standards. You will need to dive into a tool such as Canva to produce Pinterest-ready images. Photoshop and InDesign will work as well, but they’re less beginner friendly.

Look at this as a chance to try something you haven’t done before. Case in point: You might want to try an Idea Pin, which is akin to an Instagram story. Don’t be surprised if you find that some target audiences respond better to images than videos or vice versa. Plan to do a lot of testing, especially as you first get started.

4. You have to budget a healthy amount for Pinterest marketing.

A limited budget won’t get you results on Pinterest. You can’t spread your money too thin to see a good investment return. Small campaigns probably won’t reap the best results. Its algorithm budget cap is highly sensitive. Setting your cap too low will mean it is less likely your audience pool will see your assets.

You’ll know you’re rolling when you see a return on ad spend of about two to three times. Just give all your traffic campaigns the timelines they deserve. Its users are notorious for finding cool items (such as tech gadgetry, trendy clothing, or kids’ toys), pinning them for a few weeks, and not making their next move until they revisit everything they’ve looked at.

If you are a marketer who’s ready to dabble in something new, Pinterest could be the uncharted territory you’ve been looking for.

Take a few online courses, read some guides, and dig in. Just don’t dismiss the platform without trying it.

It’s is a compelling advertising solution that could be your ticket to greater visibility, leads, and revenue.

Drew McLellan

For over 30 years, Drew McLellan has been in the advertising industry. For 26 of those years, he has owned and run an agency. Additionally, Drew leads the Agency Management Institute, which advises hundreds of small- to medium-sized advertising agencies on how to grow and build their profitability through agency owner peer networks, consulting, workshops, and more.

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