As the landscape for ads has changed drastically in the online world, business owners are wondering where to put their ad dollars next, especially with iOS updates and increasing costs. Pinterest is a good choice, but people are confused about how Pinterest fits into their overall marketing plan. They want to know how Pinterest ads in 2022 will work.
Our SPM Promoted Pins Director, Erin, is here to help us break down where we think Pinterest Ads in 2022 are headed. She makes a strong case for why you should diversify your ad dollars by investing in Pinterest ads (aka promoted pins) for your business.
Erin is an amazing member of our Simple Pin team. She has figured out how Pinterest ads will work for many different types of businesses. I’ll let her tell you more about her role here at Simple Pin and then walk you through what she has learned.
Erin started with Simple Pin Media six years ago managing organic clients and then shifted over to the paid side of advertising on Pinterest. In the past year, she spearheaded the launch of our Simple Pin Ads Society, a membership where we teach VAs, Pinterest marketers, and business owners how to run ads on Pinterest.
Take it away Erin!
Pinterest Ads in 2022: What You Need to Know
Looking into 2022 has been very exciting for me. I feel excited about the future of Pinterest ads so let’s chat a bit about whether Pinterest ads in 2022 are a good idea.
Spoiler Alert – the answer is 1000% YES!
Back when Pinterest went public, we were warned that this free train we’ve been riding for 10 years won’t be free forever. The time has come. It’s time to buy your ticket!
Up until this past summer, I was heavily involved in both paid and organic Pinterest strategies/management. During that time, I began to see a shift — especially with accounts that focused on both paid and organic advertising on Pinterest.
We also started to see traffic dip for accounts utilizing a strictly organic marketing strategy. But we also observed that the traffic for accounts that incorporated both an organic and paid ads component was growing.
We know that when organic pins are posted on Pinterest, they are first seen by all of your followers. Then they are shown to customers who behave like your followers.
When you use paid media targeting, pins reach people way beyond your core audience. That results in a high potential for finding more people who will love the product you are offering and are ready to convert.
Pinterest Conversion Insights
A couple of years ago, Pinterest launched Conversion Insights. When that happened, I knew that moving forward with Pinterest would mean we needed both a good paid and organic strategy.
Conversion Insights is a tool that integrates organic and paid conversion reporting all in one area. It’s still in beta, but from what I can tell with clients that we’re working with right now, it’s fairly accurate.
It provides a full story of your brand on Pinterest with paid conversions, paid assisted, and organic. One thing we know from our experience is paid marketing and organic marketing on Pinterest work hand in hand. In our Pinterest Ads Society membership this past month, I offered a workshop on how to take Pinterest paid and Pinterest organic data and use them to enhance each other.
No matter what platform you’re on, each business is unique and requires its own strategy, but there’s a lot of evidence that shows that having a strong paid and organic strategy is what the most consistently successful brands are doing.
Pinterest behaves primarily as a search and discovery platform for inspiring, and planning. Therefore, when you have a proven product that people love, there is a unique opportunity for paid advertising that allows you to meet your audience when they need your ideas or your product the most.
That’s so good to know because one question many of you on the organic side ask is whether paid ads will kill your organic strategy. Rather than hurting your organic strategy we know that it results in a good synergy to create MORE forward movement. You really should take a look at that Conversion Insight tool!
When we’re running ads, we’re used to being in the ads dashboard. When you’re focused on organic results on Pinterest, you’re used to looking at Pinterest analytics. The Conversion Insight tool is a combination of both which is great because ideally what you want to do for either a client or your own business is mesh the two together in a way that accelerates your business on Pinterest.
One thing to be aware of when you start paying for ads is those ads are going to be at the top of the feed. That’s the whole point after all! We’re targeting the people that we can’t target organically.
So you may start to see what you think is your organic traffic slowing down a little. But really it’s because they’re seeing your amazing ads first before they can even get to your organic content.
When you’re running ads on Pinterest, you get access to lot of data and you get it quickly. That same data could take months and months to acquire on the organic side. So when you start to see what’s working with paid advertising, you have great information to take to your organic side and vice versa. Clients who have a good organic strategy and a good paid strategy working together are the accounts we see accelerating right now.
Who Should Lean Into Pinterest Ads in 2022 and Who Should Pump the Breaks?
We realize that we serve a variety of different businesses here at Simple Pin including:
Whether Pinterest Ads are the way for you to go depends on where you’re at with your advertising dollars and what you’re able to spend.
If you’re a verified merchant with Shopify or WooCommerce or Big Commerce with hundreds of products, paid advertising is probably the best place to be and you should be investing in Pinterest ads. If you have fewer products and you’re just getting started, don’t dismiss Pinterest ads because they offer you a good opportunity to learn about your audience and that will help to grow your business.
I know many bloggers who are trying to build their email lists because email marketing is where they make their money. They spend ad money on Pinterest ads to grow their email list. They have a different focus than a product seller, but it still works for them.
So if you are an eCommerce product seller, it is time to get going with Pinterest ads. If you haven’t already noticed, there are a variety of businesses on Pinterest (e.g.,Volkswagen, L’Oreal, Target, Walmart, etc.) which means that ads are working. Big business wouldn’t be on the platform if it wasn’t working for them.
There’s still a ton of opportunity for small business advertising too.
We’ve heard this a million times, but it’s important to remember:
97% of searches on Pinterest are unbranded.
That means the audience isn’t searching for things like “sweatshirts at Target.” Their keyword searches are more along the lines of “soft cotton sweatshirt.” That means small business marketing has the same opportunity to pop up in the feed as a big advertiser does.
If you have never run paid ads on Pinterest before, you should be aware that the first few months need to be looked at as an investment in the future of your business on Pinterest. You’re testing approaches and you’re finding your audience.
While Pinterest is a slower game than other platforms, it is also more consistent. Prepare to be patient in the first few months because Pinterest is learning about your brand and your business.
It’s also important to note that Pinterest advertising is a full-funnel opportunity. That simply means you are tailoring your marketing messages to the particular stage of purchase a customer is currently at.
Most successful clients take advantage of the full funnel. They are getting their brand seen, prospecting, retargeting, and doing that over and over. That’s when you see the best results.
A Successful Pinterest Ad Campaign: Case Study
We started this particular client off with prospecting-based strategies for a variety of products. We layered in conversion, retargeting, and dynamic retargeting. We worked the entire funnel for them.
What does that mean?
Of course, how this actually plays out will vary slightly depending on your business, but to work a full funnel ideally, you want to create brand awareness first. You want to get your name out there because, as I mentioned, people aren’t necessarily searching for Target or Walmart on Pinterest or even searching for specific products.
The next step is prospecting to a new audience. Remember, only a specific core group of people see your organic pins so with paid advertising, we are casting a much wider net to find a broader audience who will convert.
Then you want people to really consider your brand. That’s where we talk about meeting your audience where and when they need you. It’s about inspiring them with moments. We know that the Pinterest user is on Pinterest early to search and plan, so we want to meet them at every single step of their planning journey.
Finally, we look at either conversions or retargeting to that warmer audience that is already aware of you and considering you.
Related: Types of Pinterest Ads
So an entire funnel for a particular client is putting all those cards on the table and deciding how we are going to:
- make the Pinterest user aware
- consider our brand
- warm them up
- get them to buy.
It’s a plan to meet them during all their steps of searching.
We started our example client off with a prospecting-based strategy using a variety of products, and we layered in some conversion, retargeting, and dynamic retargeting. We worked the entire funnel for them.
Again, remember this is a slower process on Pinterest. After about four weeks of prospecting, and working with that brand awareness piece, we were just starting to get our ad spend back. Those first four weeks we were spending money to gather data, figure out who their people are, and figure out who’s engaging with their products on Pinterest.
Then we started layering in retargeting. When we did, we started seeing around a 2-3X return on ad spend. That’s great for being 8-10 weeks into the process.
About 12 weeks into managing the account, I went in and checked on this client. At 12 weeks we had a 23X return on ad spend with our dynamic retargeting campaign, an 8X return on ad spend on a web visitor retargeting conversion campaign, and a 5X return on ad spend with our prospecting campaign that was still going. That’s huge!
Keep in mind we were right in the midst of the holiday season, so it’s a little bit different. But when you work that full-funnel, you start to see results.
Pinterest ads are not a magic wand
So, you can see that when you take advantage of all of the opportunities that Pinterest gives you within paid advertising it really does work. Now it is true that it’s not going to work for everybody because you have to have a lot of things in place before running ads.
We have some Ads Society members who say they are doing everything we tell them to do and they are not getting anywhere. We encourage and help them to take the journey they have set up for their audience to figure out if it is an easy journey for people to buy. We look for problem spots where they are losing people.
For example, you may notice a ton of people adding a product to cart but then you don’t see any checkouts. You need to figure out where the problem is that has people adding to cart but not checking out. Are your shipping costs too high? You need to ask what the obstacle that prevents a person from purchasing.
REMEMBER: Pinterest will drive the traffic to you, but it’s YOUR responsibility to make sure that once those people land on your page, you have everything set up for success.
To Erin’s point, I listened to one of Emily Hirsch’s podcasts a long time ago and she said you can’t put ad dollars behind a broken funnel. If you have a problem in your funnel you can’t just turn on ads and hope it will magically fix the problem.
I think that’s something in our online industry that we’ve kind of bought into. We see people having success with ads so we think this will then fix my problem. The reality is it’s going to make your problem worse because you’re spending money without keeping your return in mind.
If you want to dive into Pinterest ads, joining the Simple Pin Ads Society is an excellent way to get started. If you want to have somebody manage for you, you can reach out to us here at Simple Pin Media and we’ll be excited to help.
But I want to stress what Erin said about this full-funnel approach. We talk about it in the Simple Pin framework of Inspire, Inform and Decide when we consider how you move people through these processes to hit them where they’re at and then show them that you’re the solution to their problem. You have to connect with them via their pain point.
Pinterest users are in the search and discovery mode and they’re a cold audience. I always think of the Pinterest user as somebody who’s in their own little room. Picture somebody opening up your door abruptly and trying to sell you something that doesn’t matter to you right then.
The Pinterest user says, “Oh my gosh, get out of my space! I’m in my own world here and you’re intruding.”
That’s important for marketers to consider before they dive into Pinterest ads. Pinterest is different from your other platforms. You can’t just leap from Facebook or Instagram ads into Pinterest ads and hope they work. Users have such a different mindset on the Pinterest platform.
Pinterest has been changing and will continue to change moving into 2022. We are and will continue to see more brands on Pinterest. That tells us that they want to be a part of the positive place that Pinterest has created. Pinterest has kind of always been the positive place to be on the internet. A lot of brands are wanting a piece of that.
I’m seeing a ton of really cool advertising on Pinterest. You can tell it is just different from every other platform.I’m excited for Pinterest ads in 2022.
I agree with Erin. I’ve read through the 2022 Pinterest Trends predictions and I look at the Pinterest stock prices because I know that Pinterest ads reflect what investors are going to continue investing in.
I think it is a wise bet to put some dollars behind Pinterest ads to diversify your marketing platform, reach a new audience, and try to connect with future buyers that you can’t get on Facebook, Instagram, or even on Tik Tok. I agree with Erin that there’s such a different ecosystem on Pinterest.
SIGN UP FOR Pinterest ads kickstart
Pinterest Ads Kickstart is a free training opportunity where we go over the three essentials of Pinterest advertising. It is an opportunity for us to give you some knowledge and a little bit of homework to get you started. If you’re just starting, this is a great opportunity for you.
I’m excited to give you an intro to what you need to understand to get started with Pinterest ads in 2022!
For Further Listening/Reading: