Pinterest Advertising with Promoted Pins. Ready. Set. Hold.

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Written by: Nice Branding Agency

Categories: Other Tips

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a cyber rock for the last few years, you’re likely aware of Pinterest and its magical powers for personal purposes.

With their recent launch of Promoted Pins, Pinterest, a platform where users are actively looking for content, has finally stepped into the advertising ring. Now is definitely the time to look into Pinterest Advertising for business use, especially if your target is of the female gender.

The total amount of users on Pinterest is 44.5 million. Of that, 81% are female. 31% of those women are between the ages of 25 and 34, and 21% are between the ages of 35 and 44. The average user spends 20.8 minutes per day and 145.6 minutes (2.43 hours) per week on Pinterest. Currently, Pinterest Advertising is not available for all businesses; however, you can apply for acceptance until it is available to the general public.

With the amount of content sharing sites that exist at this point, it’s easy to see them as all one-in-the-same. How many times have you seen the same image posted by the same person on both Instagram and Facebook? Pinterest has a couple of solid characteristics that separate it from the rest of the social media pack. Before getting into the Pinterest Promoted Pin specifics, let’s just quickly brush up on those characteristics.

How Pinterest Differs From Other Content Sharing Sites

Pinterest Is Mainly Image-Based

Differing from other text-based content sharing sites, Facebook and Twitter, for example, Pinterest is mainly image-based, allowing members to “pin” an image or video, linked to its original source, to their pinboards for reference, now or in the future. Additionally, their followers see the content they have pinned and have the opportunity to pin it on their personal boards as well. Though Facebook and Twitter are flooded with images, the accompanying text is equally as visible. Pinterest’s main focus is on the image; while the accompanying text is secondary, pinners must engage with the image by clicking on it to reveal the source and text.

Focus on Future Content Viewing/Longevity

The content of most social media platforms—again, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram— “live” in the present. Think about it for a second. When you check out your News Feed in Facebook, you probably scroll through for a bit to see recent posts from friends, but you’re not likely to go back and see what your friends posted two months ago. Any content posted has a very finite shelf life before it’s buried under newer posts. Pinterest, on the other hand, allows users to “pin” to a “pinboard,” saving content, recipes, home-improvement tips, fashion, you name it, for future reference. If you’re searching for something specific, you’ll see pins posted recently alongside pins from months or even years ago.

In June 2014, Pinterest introduced and began testing their advertising strategy to a handful of different types of brands. Though they are currently accepting applications to join the waitlist for Promoted Pins, a full launch isn’t set until later in 2015.

What Does Pinterest Advertising Look Like?

Created to look nearly identical to common pins, Pinterest Promoted Pins are specifically created with content to target prospects based on location, sex, and topics of interest.

How It Works:

1. Pick a Relevant Pin: Promote your best pins so they appear in the most relevant place.

2. Decide Who Sees It: Set up targeting so the right people see your Promoted Pin.

3. Pay for Visits: You will only pay when people click through to your website.

4. Track Results: Once your campaign starts, see how it’s doing and make tweaks as needed.


With Promoted Pins you can target locations, demographics, and devices in order to reach users who have shown interest in what your business offers. Promoted Pins run on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis; you choose your timeline and specified budget and only pay when a user clicks your pin.


Just like any other social network, there are rules when it comes to advertising content. Pinterest suggests that you be authentic, strategic, and intentional when choosing what pins to promote. The Promoted Pins must be accurate to what you are offering and must lead to a compatible landing page. Pin images can not include any of the following: Call to Action, Price Listing, Service Claim, Promotional Information, or Deceptive Content.

Initial Results of the Soft Launch of Pinterest Promoted Pins

Pinterest Promoted Pins Perform Better Than Organic Pins

Pinterest Promoted Pins have thus far shown some pretty impressive results. Promoted Pins were “re-pinned” or shared by other pinners an average of 11 times per ad, and as a result were viewed, on average, 30% more often than the marketing strategists paid to show them. That’s huge!

Pinterest Promoted Pins Have Longevity

Studies have shown that Promoted Pins received an extra 5% increase in earned media even after the campaign was over. Unlike Facebook, Pinterest Promoted Pins stick around long after your pin has been paid for and have a pretty solid chance of popping back up for pinners’ viewing. It’s kind of like a billboard you stopped paying for that’s still up.

Results of Pinterest Promoted Pins Are Common Across Brand-Type

Pinterest has been careful to pick and choose a broad range of brands for this testing period. No matter the brand category tested—financial services, food, automotive—the results were positive.

Auction-Based Promoted Pins (CPC) Are Seeing Success as Well

Though they’re still making tweaks to their advertising platform to get all of the kinks out prior to public rollout, many self-serve beta advertising partners are seeing major gains in traffic and impressions.

Getting Started With Pinterest Promoted Pins & Pinterest Advertising

Pinterest is still in the pilot phase of this “self-serve” advertising platform. Though they are only inviting big business partners to join the testing, they are eventually aiming to assist small- to medium-sized businesses and are allowing businesses to join a waiting list. Create a free business account (or convert your existing account to a business account), and you can apply for Pinterest Advertising.

The Pinstitute

Creating custom content can be labor intensive and, if done poorly, can be costly and ineffective. Because Pinterest is having to play catch-up with other social media platforms, they’ve had to strategize a way to persuade advertisers to create custom content for yet another platform. The Pinstitute is being launched with this in mind.

The Pinstitute is a new program Pinterest is introducing in order for businesses to learn how to connect with pinners and see an even greater return from the up-and-coming social media advertising program. It will have two main focuses: creative ideas and marketing measurements. Marketers will learn what kind of pins perform well, what pinners care about, and how Pinterest is thinking about their future products. Pinterest will also get feedback on what customers would like to see them do in the future and how they can get even better results.

Pinterest is inviting a select group of brands and agencies to attend quarterly Pinstitute workshops where they can learn, exchange ideas, and meet with the Pinterest product team. For small businesses, Pinterest is planning on a series of webinars and other online learning tools in order for all partners to see measurable results from their marketing strategies.

Pinterest Advertising: The Bottom Line

Pinterest is a place where helpful, creative inspiration or information can lead to extensive and measurable marketing results. Advertisers can look forward to major upgrades to Promoted Pins throughout this launch process, including new brand ad formats and more advanced targeting. Though this advertising platform will require experimentation, it’s a great resource for getting in front of your potential customers and like-minded individuals.

Interested in learning more about social media marketing and advertising? Contact Nice Branding to set up an overall social media marketing strategy, or give us a call to discuss your online marketing needs.