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Put A Pin(terest) In It: The social platform changing the advertising game

Why brands must make use of Pinterest to better connect with their audiences

Bogdan Carlescu

VP of Marketing, Creatopy

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Twitter, Facebook, Instagram — all social media platforms that have entered the advertising fold over the past decade.

Marketing strategies are constantly evolving. Brands are always searching for new, exciting ways to develop relationships with their audiences. And Pinterest—despite being the best visual search engine out there—remains underutilised by advertisers in comparison to other platforms.

There are more than 240 billion pieces of content for users to explore. Pinterest is an inspiring platform—but it is so much more than that. Users flood to the channel in their droves, some looking to discover new brands and others to purchase new products.

Pinterest marks an incredible opportunity for advertisers— and offers untapped potential for end-to-end discovery and purchase. But there is much work that needs to be done before it becomes a mainstay in advertising strategies.

So what challenges is the platform facing—and why should brands be open to exploring?

Keeping Up With The Competition

It hasn’t all been plain sailing for Pinterest over the past year.

Its Q1 2022 results showed that global monthly active users fell 9% compared to the same period last year - from 478m to 431m. With Snap reporting an 18% year-on-year increase in daily active users during Q1, Pinterest clearly needs to tailor its approach to gain users and shift this trend back in a positive direction.

The current social media landscape sees ecommerce taking on newfound importance. And with short-term content on the rise thanks to TikTok, Pinterest needed to realign itself to maintain pace with the competition. It had previously demonstrated willingness to venture into uncharted waters with 2020’s Try On. This feature—built using augmented reality (AR) technology—allows users to virtually experiment with products such as lipsticks.

Idea Pins - a hybrid of TikTok’s traditional videos and Stories, popularised by Snapchat and Instagram - is a more recent innovation. Pins builds on Pinterest’s image sharing capabilities and incorporate selling opportunities. The feature has two noteworthy differences:

-        Pins remain discoverable once published - there is no set time limit which causes them to elapse

-       Pins are purpose-driven rather than designed to entertain - this capitalises on users’ desire to both explore and purchase

But how can marketers unlock the full potential of Pinterest - and Idea Pins?

Learning Your Platform

Pinterest - despite a drop in active users - isn’t going away anytime soon. Q1’s results also featured $575m in revenue - slightly above initial expectations - and earnings per share of 10 cents.

Brands must appreciate that content campaigns that perform well on other social channels - such as Twitter and Instagram - won’t necessarily resonate on Pinterest. Success relies on companies getting their tactics spot-on - this requires a comprehensive understanding of the platform.

Pinterest’s carousel format encourages scrolling - this means a vertical mindset is crucial. Short and snappy content will trump longer pieces every time. Brands must also consider the ad format they want to proceed with.

Creatopy’s recent experiment focused on the three primary video ad types - vertical, landscape and square - with the objective to see which was most effective on Pinterest. Landscape ads were clearly the consistent underachievers, ranking lowest in click-through-rate (CTR) and video views - they also had the highest average cost-per-click (CPC).

The experiment also found short-form videos to be most effective at increasing brand awareness compared to their long-form counterparts. Long videos remain useful assets - Creatopy’s research highlighted their proficiency in creating conversion opportunities.

Tapping Into Creativity

Recognising Pinterest’s marketing value is one thing - but brands must produce content in line with these principles to succeed.

Whether you are exploring Pinterest’s latest ecommerce capabilities or trying to enhance your advertising strategy, three factors should be taken into account.

Tone of Voice

Pinterest’s brand feeds are reliant on tone of voice. Consumers are particularly receptive when brands clearly convey their personalities - this requires consistency across ads.

Frequent Uploads

It is a relatively simple concept - the more a brand uploads pins, the greater its visibility. Pinterest’s algorithm will ensure that your posts remain at the top of your feed.

Consumer behaviours are changing. They want contact to be relevant. Pinning content from other Pinterest pages - as well as other websites - can create a new touchpoint.

High-Quality Images

It should go without saying, but your uploaded images are a reflection of your brand. Pinterest’s reputation as a premium visual content channel means pictures have to be high-resolution. This level of professionalism can go a long way.

Take A Picture—It’ll Last Longer

Pinterest’s decision to roll out Idea Pins—whilst a sign of great innovation—shouldn’t be heralded as groundbreaking. This is more a sign that the company understands how social platforms should evolve to better-accommodate consumer behaviours.

Now is the perfect moment for advertisers to expand their horizons. Pinterest belongs in modern marketing strategies. Pin’s short-form format—coupled with its ecommerce capabilities— is too good to be passed over. Brands could do a lot worse than pinning their hopes on Pinterest.

Guest Author

Bogdan Carlescu

VP of Marketing, Creatopy

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Bogdan Carlescu is VP of Marketing at Creatopy