A recent AdWeek article claims Pinterest has 50 billion pins on its site, “and two-thirds are considered branded content in one form or another.” As a digital marketing agency, we’re constantly looking for the best ways to promote our clients online, and Pinterest consistently makes our list when we are talking about non profit marketing or marketing for contractors or other companies in the home-improvement market.
Over the last two years Pinterest has been developing a Promoted Pins program that allows pay-per-click advertising on their site. Changes in April 2015 make the Promoted Pins even more open for small advertisers. We’ve been creating Pinterest boards and driving organic traffic to client websites through Pinterest for years. One contractor drew seven times more traffic from Pinterest to his website than from Facebook. So if you’re thinking about social media for contractors (whether you’re a building contractor, a swimming pool contractor, or a plumbing contractor) it’s a very viable option.
Let’s Get Started
The first rule to any advertising or marketing campaign (and online marketing campaigns are no different) is to know your audience. Who do you want to reach? Forty-two percent of women online are on Pinterest. The users are split pretty evenly among age ranges of 18-64, with slightly more in the 18-29 age range. The numbers of users rise with education and income. So if you’re company is looking to reach women, particularly more educated women with a slightly higher income, you’re in the right place. As you break down you audience into micro-audiences, use specific ads to reach group. For instance, if you’re marketing to people who want to build a custom home as well as people who want to remodel their kitchen, you’ll create a separate campaign for each target. (Not sure Pinterest is right for you? Find out how to choose the right social media for your audience.)
Know What Your Followers Like
Before you start paying to promote pins, look at what your current followers like to repin. Check out your Pinterest Analytics to see what’s working. You’ll have insight as to who is pinning the most of your pins and to what boards and you can also see what other boards your followers may be following. Use that information to pay to promote the content your followers tend to like the most because it’s more likely other people like them will like it too. If you have boards or images that tend to be repinned to specific boards, use this to generate some new blog topic ideas.
Set Your Goal
What is it you want your campaign to accomplish? You may want to test click-throughs to your website or just increase your number of followers. You may want to increase donations for a non-profit marketing campaign or use it so spread social advocacy for your brand or non-profit. Maybe you want to increase sales of a specific product. Whatever you goal, make it specific, reasonable and set a deadline behind it. You don’t want to throw good money after bad, but you also need to make sure you give your campaign time to work.
Use Relevant Keywords
The Social Media Examiner explains the idea of “specific, broad and general” keywords in their article that also details how to setup your campaign. But how do you choose those keyword? An Ad Week article compared Pinterest to Google because of how close buyers are to making a purchase when they search on the social media site. So it makes sense they are using similar keywords to search in both places. You can use tools like Google’s Keyword Tool or if you’re a HubSpot user use your advanced knowledge of keywords from their tool to decide which ones to use.
Follow the Rules
I know, I know, rules are meant to be broken, and that may be so in some cases, but Pinterest is pretty insistent that you keep their rules when it comes to advertising on their site. Some of the major points you’ll want to keep in mind when you create the Promoted Pin:
Don’t include pricing, improper capitalization or crazy symbols.
- Don’t include promotions or hard calls to action in your image.
- Do include your call to action in your description.
- Do include full dates for events, sales, etc (ex. January 1, 2016).
- Don’t include testimonials or ratings (which means no before and after weight loss pictures).
- Don’t be spammy (which includes sending people to landing pages that have nothing to do with your ad).
We sum up all these rules to mean: be an honest genuine advertiser.
Review Your Ad Program
Pinterest is now part of your advertising plan. It’s not just a place you go to pin pretty pictures of projects your customers will like. You can use it to draw customers to your blog, become a resource for them and convert them into a lead and a customer. You can also use Pinterest to gauge what your followers really like. To do any of this, you must check in on your advertising campaign. Go back to the analytics and see how your Promoted Pin has performed. Make any tweaks to the picture, description or keywords to make it perform better. (Just make to change one thing at a time so you know what worked.)
We love Pinterest as a marketing tool. Their offering of paid Promoted Posts only increases the site’s validity as an advertising tool.