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16 Best Practices for Creatives & Strategists

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16 Best Practices for Creatives & Strategists

With a reported 450 million active users every month (MAUs), and a growing number of consumers that frequent the channel for product discovery, Pinterest has emerged as a powerful social platform for brands looking to diversify their paid social media mix. This makes sense when you consider that “shoppers on Pinterest spend 2x more per month than people on other platforms.”

In addition to exponentially growing its base—with notable increases in Gen Z, Millennial, and male users—and improving media sharing features, we’ve seen Pinterest make great strides in advertising capabilities for brands as well as strengthening its agency partnerships. In fact, 2022 was Pinterest’s best year for revenue and total active users to date, and this trend shows no sign of slowing.

In this guide, we dive into everything a brand should know about Pinterest ads: the different campaign types, targeting, creative, and some strategies from the experts.

“In recent years, Pinterest has taken leaps to improve their shopping capabilities and experience within the platform. These changes have resulted in more regular users, higher conversion intent, and more options for advertisers to attain new customers.”

Dimond Gooden-Hilton, Associate Director of Paid Social at Tinuiti

 

Table of Contents

 

Why Advertise on Pinterest?

Since 2009, Pinterest has fostered an online gathering place for people seeking gift ideas, recipes, DIY projects, and general inspiration. With enhanced business features like product feeds and on-platform checkout, it has become an important sales and marketing channel for large and small retailers alike.

While 2020 was a tumultuous year for advertisers due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic and iOS14+ impacts on signal loss, Pinterest has seen steadily impressive growth within their engaged user base since the second half of 2020. Many point to the positivity of Pinterest as a driving force for advertisers more heavily embracing the platform during the pandemic just a few short years ago.

As The Motley Fool noted at the time:

“What makes it stand out from competitors like Facebook and Twitter is that it is focused on the finer things in life while avoiding hot button issues like politics or news stories. This makes using Pinterest fun for users and “brand safe” for advertisers.”

Pinterest is specifically designed to encourage users to discover new products, explore projects, and uncover gift ideas. It’s a social marketplace where sharing and promoting products isn’t perceived as intrusive (as it can be on other social networks) — it’s actually encouraged.

pinterest ads example

Compound that with 72% of surveyed Pinners reporting that “Pinterest inspires them to shop when they aren’t actually looking for anything,” and 70% saying they “discover new products on Pinterest,” and you have a good case for your brand to be present and active on the platform.

 

Pinterest is Continuing to Grow in 2023

eMarketer chart showing Pinterest US ad revenues from 2019-2024

Source: https://chart-na1.emarketer.com/260370/us-pinterest-ad-revenues-2019-2024-billions-change

Tinuiti advertisers were among those leaning more heavily into Pinterest in 2022, with triple figure increases in adoption rates. After 2020, advertisers have become more open to exploring social platforms that historically took a backseat to Facebook and Instagram. As Facebook’s active user rate declines, consumers are becoming more engaged with other platforms, creating the perfect opportunity for brands to reach new audiences in innovative ways.

In the chart below we’ve highlighted advertisers’ year-over-year growth in adoption for Pinterest. Tinuiti client’s mirror this increase as we’ve seen an astounding 169% investment lift from 2021 to 2022 as Tinuiti advertisers have found success in the platform’s growing ecommerce capabilities.

Chart with quarterly Pinterest Ads spend increasing 2016 - 2022

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/995107/pinterest-quarterly-revenue-worldwide/

 

Pinterest Ad Types & Ad Groups

 
Pinterest uses a unique system of Pins that users can save and review later.

Retailers and creators make Pins and users can then search through them and ‘Pin’ them to their profile.

Pinterest uses associated keywords and hashtags with these Pins to help customers find what they are searching for more easily. Here’s an overview of the different Pinterest Promoted Pins that you can create.

 

Idea Pins

Pinterest Idea Pin example for styling a scarf

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/4-ways-to-tie-a-scarf–768145280194703908/

Idea Pins were launched in 2022, and are sometimes referred to as Story Pins. These Pins are designed to give Pinterest users not only inspiration, but information about how to act on that inspiration. These Pins can include up to 20 individual graphics, or take the form of a short video. Popular use cases for Idea Pins include tutorials, such as how to apply a certain makeup look or put together an outfit and accessories.

Idea Pins are packed with features aimed at increasing conversions. In addition to having the ability to tag users, you can employ unique text and graphic overlays, interactive stickers, and of course, use relevant hashtags to aid in content discovery. You can even add a voiceover and/or detail pages that outline things like the list of products used in a Pin.
 

Try on product Pins

Pinterest Try on product pins example

Source: https://help.pinterest.com/en/business/article/try-on

As much as we all love online shopping, it can be difficult to determine how an outfit will actually look on our body, or what a makeup product looks like once applied to the skin. Enter Try on product Pins, a 2022 launch that has proven successful and popular with brands and users alike.

To use Try on product Pins, brands are required to have a Pinterest Business account and active product catalog, and work with a Pinterest account manager to create and activate.

Using their mobile phone’s camera, users can virtually ‘try on’ items that are featured in Try on product Pins, which leverage augmented reality to ‘apply’ products. In addition to makeup and clothes, common Try on product Pins include accessories and eyeglasses.
 

Promoted Pins

Pinterest Promoted Pins do exactly as their name implies, sending your products and the information provided for them directly to the potential customer to save. If another Pinner then repins the Pin (that was originally Promoted) from one of that user’s boards, the Promoted label is not carried over to the repins, which will be ‘free’ earned media.

example of creative pinterest advertising using promoted pin

Source: Pinterest.com

Promoted Pins are similar to organic Pins, with the exception that retailers must pay to have them seen by more Pinterest users. Typically, these native ad units perform just as well, if not even better than organic Pins, expanding visibility to relevant search results, category feeds, and the home feed. Promoted Pins can take the form of a static image, or a video.

Brands can use Promoted Pins to:

  • Raise brand awareness
  • Promote engagement campaigns
  • Drive traffic campaigns

Within Promoted Pins, you can have Standard Pins, but we recommend installing the Pixel and meta tag to create Rich Pins.
 

Rich Pins

Rich Pins are an exciting free option for Pinterest advertising that is available to all Pinterest users. Rich Pins allow you to link metadata from your company’s web page directly to the Pin on Pinterest. Before you’ll be able to begin creating Rich Pins, you need to apply for them to ensure your data syncs properly.

example of a rich pin for sorbet recipe

Rich Pins are divided into several categories based on the type of metadata that are linked through it:

  • Product Pins
  • Article Pins
  • Recipe Pins

Rich Pins allow for more information to be displayed on Pinterest, and when you make any changes to metadata on your website, that will immediately be updated on the Pin.
 

Shoppable Product Pins

To make it even easier for consumers to surface Pins showcasing purchasable goods while browsing, Pinterest added a ‘Shop’ tab in April 2020. This allows users to easily hone in on in-stock items they can purchase now, or Pin for later, with the ‘Shop’ tab being automatically added to boards that include shoppable items pulled from your product catalog. Merchants can also transform their Shop tab into a visually appealing storefront. This helps merchants feature those in-stock products in a more organized, deliberate way.

These Shoppable Pins can also help you capture customers who saw your product—or a similar product—elsewhere, thanks to enhancements to Pinterest’s Lens camera.
 

Collection Ads

Pinterest Collection Ads

Source: https://help.pinterest.com/en/business/article/collections-ads-on-pinterest

This popular ad type is comprised of one large video or image accompanied by 3 additional images. Once a user clicks into a Collection Ad, they will be shown up to 24 images that you have included on the ad detail page. Collection Ads are primarily feed-based, with the secondary images typically being pulled in from the product feed.

Collection Ads give brands and advertisers a chance to spotlight the most important, eye-catching elements of their product lineup, providing mobile users with more detailed information and imagery once they click through. Similar to a product detail page on your website, it can be beneficial to include a variety of image types, including close-ups on features of unique details, and lifestyle shots.

Collection Ads can be created automatically by Pinterest, or created manually.
 

Pinterest Carousel Ads

Similar to product carousels on ecommerce websites, Pinterest’s Carousel Ads give users the opportunity to swipe through a series of up to 5 photos on both mobile and desktop devices. These look similar to organic Pins, with a series of dots beneath letting users know there are more images in the carousel, much like on other digital platforms.

For the different images you’ll include for viewers to swipe through, each is independent, and can contain a unique title, description, and landing page link.
 

Pinterest Ad Groups

Rather than spreading your budget across different ad sets/ad groups and creative, advertisers can focus more on performance than allocating specific budgets. With the exception of Video View campaigns, which allow you to select ad set budgets, all Pinterest advertising options run on a master Campaign Budget.

While you can’t set budget for most campaigns at the ad set level, there are still other advantages to grouping similar or complementary ads. By grouping Promoted Pins together advertisers can more easily test their marketing efforts.
 

How Much Does a Pinterest Ad Cost?

 
The cost per click for Pinterest ads naturally varies, with Pinterest generally being a more affordable social media advertising platform than other popular players, including Meta’s Facebook and Instagram. You’ll decide on a maximum daily or lifetime budget for your campaign, and be able to choose from two ad group bidding models: Custom Bids and Automatic Bids.

Custom Bids: Advertiser sets the maximum bid they are willing to pay per campaign action. Minimum bids are set for each ad format. You will not necessarily pay your maximum for each click—this is simply the ceiling of what you’re willing to pay if circumstances dictate that price.

Automatic Bids: When leveraging Automatic Bids, you give the reins to Pinterest to automatically adjust your bids to give you the best exposure possible considering real-time conditions.
 

8 Creative Best Practices for Pinterest Ads

 
Pinterest users are browsing with a discovery mindset, hoping to find products, crafts, and ideas to implement within their lives. These users expect to see copy and context within the creative images they view on-site. Let’s unpack 8 creative best practices to keep your brand on-brand for Pinterest…
 

1. Stay On-Brand with Your Creative

Your brand should always be accurately represented and given appropriate focus, including ensuring you include your logo on your images and within your videos. This will help increase brand awareness, and eliminate any content attribution issues.

pinterest creative best practices shown with an example pin
Source: Pinterest
 

2. Pay Attention to Specs for Each Ad Type

As with all platforms, it’s key to ensure you provide Pinterest with appropriately sized images, video, and copy. Below we dive into the specs for different Pinterest ad types…
 

Idea Pins

An aspect ratio of 9:16 is recommended for Idea Pins, with an ideal size of 1080×1920 for “full-bleed” images and videos. Acceptable image formats include .JPG, .PNG, .BMP, .WEBP and .TIFF, with image sizes up to 20MB each. Accepted video formats include .MP4, .MOV, and .M4V, with H.264 or H.265 encoding and a recommended 1GB file size.

Idea Pin videos can contain up to 20 video clips, with each video being 3-60 seconds in length. The titles for Idea Pin images and videos can be up to 100 characters in length; text boxes can contain up to 250 characters.
 

Collection Ads

Featured images for Collection Ads are accepted in .JPG or .PNG formats, and should be 10MB or smaller in size. If you’ll be working with a featured video instead of a featured image, accepted formats include .MP4, .M4V and .MOV with H.264 or H.265 encoding.

Videos can be up to 2GB in size, and range in length from a minimum of 4 seconds to 15 minutes. Hero images have a required aspect ratio of 1:1 or 2:3, with secondary creative accepted in the same aspect ratios; 1:1 is recommended for secondary creative “to best control how they appear in people’s feeds.”

The additional images you’ll add to Collection Ads follow the same format and aspect ratio recommendations as featured images, with the option to add between 3 and 24 total additional images. Ad copy can be up to 100 characters for titles, and up to 500 characters for descriptions. Note that the description is not shown in paid ads, only organic Collection Pins viewed up close, but does factor into the algorithm.
 

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads can contain between 2 and 5 images, with each image having a maximum size of 20MB. Images can be .JPG or .PNG with an aspect ratio of 1:1 or 2:3. Ad copy can be up to 100 characters for titles, and up to 500 characters for descriptions.
 

Promoted Pin Ad Specs

An aspect ratio of 2:3 is recommended for Promoted Pin images, with acceptable formats including .JPG and .PNG files up to 20MB in size (desktop) and 32MB in size (in-app). Titles can be up to 100 characters, with descriptions having a 500-character limit.

For Promoted Video Pins, files can be up to 2GB in size in MP4 or MOV formats. Videos can range in length from 4 seconds to 15 minutes. It’s important to ensure your video is accessible and understandable for viewers who watch with the sound turned off. Video descriptions can be up to 500 characters long.
 

Standard Width Video Ad Specs

Accepted standard video ad formats include .MP4, .MOV or .M4V, with H.264 or H.265 encoding and a file size limit of 2GB. The recommended aspect ratio is 1:1, 2:3, or 9:16, with videos required to be shorter than 1:2, and taller than 1.91:1. Videos can range in length from 4 seconds to 15 minutes, with titles up to 100 characters, and descriptions up to 500 characters.

As noted by Pinterest, “descriptions do not appear for ads when viewed up close.” That said, they do help determine “relevance for delivery” for the Pinterest algorithm.
 

Max Width Video Ad Specs

Accepted file types for Max Width video ads include .MP4, .MOV or .M4V, with H.264 or H.265 encoding and a file size limit of 2GB. Video length can range from 4 seconds to 15 minutes, with an aspect ratio of 1:1 or 16:9, titles up to 100 characters, and descriptions up to 500 characters. “Note that max. Width videos can’t exceed the height of a 1:1 aspect ratio.”
 

3. Optimize Text Placement & Phrasing

Advertisers are recommended to include text overlays with actionable callouts within creative assets to catch users’ attention. Use text sparingly but deliberately, leveraging descriptions to add further context.

Examples of some short text overlays you might consider include: Let’s Celebrate, Yay for Summer, Shop New Styles, Just Add Accessories, etc.
 

4. Implement Creative Videos in Your Pinterest Campaigns

The strategic development and implementation of video is only growing across Pinterest and many other platforms, and the options and capabilities are growing along with it. As Search Engine Land land shared in February 2023, from Pinterest CEO Bill Ready, video is key in reaching Gen Z:

“We’re building an experience that resonates with this audience, specifically around video. In fact, nearly half of all new videos pinned in Q4 were from Gen Z users.”
 
“Over the long term, we also want to make every pin shoppable. To that end, we’re making video content on Pinterest more actionable using the same playbook we applied to static images. Over the course of this year, we will be deploying our computer-vision technology across our video corpus to find products and videos and make them shoppable.”

Combining short video clips with text overlays—or even using GIFS—can be a great way to compel your audience to build awareness and clickthrough to your landing pages.

pinterest video with overlays and pinterest video with gifs

We recommend keeping your videos playful and product-focused because Pinterest users are expecting to discover and potentially buy items they are interested in.

Videos Pins can be leveraged in both Standard and Max Width formats. Max Width Video ads rolled out in 2019 and dominate the viewer’s feed by spanning across both columns of their grid. Max Width Video is seeing strong success in driving increased brand awareness and engagement rates.
 

5. Don’t Have a Creative Team? Try the Pin Builder Tool & Creative Resources

For advertisers that don’t have a design team dedicated to Pinterest ads, Pinterest’s Pin Builder tool can be a great way to make light edits before publishing your Pins online. In addition to the Pin Builder Tool, the platform also connects brands with Pinterest-preferred creative developers that create assets specifically made to succeed on the platform; ensuring lack of creative is not a roadblock in launching on Pinterest!

pin builder screenshot tiramisu cakeSource: Georgia @ Pinterest UK

“To bridge the gap across additional social platforms Pinterest has implemented a Pin Builder Tool within the build flow on their UI. This tool provides the ability to crop images, and add logos and text with a variety of colors, fonts, and size options.”

Jennifer Porch headshotJennifer Porch, Paid Social Senior Manager at Tinuiti

“Taking advantage of this tool makes repurposing creative from other platforms to fit what Pinterest users expect to see simple and smooth.”
 

6. Use a Clear & Concise Call to Action

Sometimes we forget the simplest rules of marketing, including making it very clear what action we want users to take. Use those precious seconds your ad is in view to entice them with eye-catching imagery and a clear call to action or other important element.

For example, if your ad features something that will be available for purchase at a specific date or time, include that prominently in the ad. Some examples include: New Color Dropped!, Buy Now, Shop it Here, Coming Next Week, Sign Up Now, Register for Free, Subscribe Today.
 

7. Invoke Feelings of Positivity & Inspiration

Pinterest can be thought of as social and shopping’s “happy place,” and that is central to how the platform operates and functions. People don’t rely on Pinterest for the latest news; they come there for the most unique ideas and inspirational Pins, boards, and how-tos. Stay true to Pinterest’s vibe in all your marketing messaging, giving users what they come to Pinterest for in both content and sentiment.

“Pinterest managed to wade through 2022’s wave of social media drama relatively unscathed thanks to its search and shopping-oriented nature. Avoiding conflict has kept it in the good graces of advertisers who are more wary than ever of where to place their shrinking budgets.”

eMarketer, on the brand safety Pinterest offers
 

8. Keep Your Creative Fresh & Original

It’s perfectly fine to use some of the same images and videos you’ve already created and employed across your website and other channels, but you’ll want to be mindful of what’s already on Pinterest, and the overall freshness of what you’re sharing.

Make it a focus to regularly add brand new and ‘new to Pinterest’ images and videos that haven’t already been posted by you or another Pinterest user. Given their prominence as a source of inspiration, Pinterest prizes brand new content and creative that they and their users haven’t seen before.
 

8 Strategic Best Practices for Pinterest Advertisers

 
Now that we’ve explored creative best practices for Pinterest ads themselves, let’s dive into some things you should keep in mind when crafting them.
 

1. Test Pinterest’s Various Ad Formats

To appeal to a wider range of Pinterest users, we recommend testing various ad formats. There will always be people who prefer one form of content over another, or even those who prefer certain types of content within differing categories. Certain ad types also work better for different initiatives, goals, and available creative assets.

For example, while some users would be more inclined to click on a static photo of a dress, others might prefer a short video showing how that dress moves when walking. Including Product Pins and Video Pins helps ensure you’re delivering interesting content in the preferred format, which can also help more of your Pins be seen thanks to controllable distribution.
 

2. Keep Relevance Top of Mind

It’s important to take advantage of Pinterest Trends as they apply to your brand, but don’t force anything! Pinterest and users understand the things that your brand would naturally be a part of or fall within, and posting non-relevant content doesn’t benefit you, users, or the Pinterest algorithm that is helping determine who to show your Pins and ads to.

This doesn’t mean that all your boards have to be purely commerce-driven. For example, if you are a brand that sells reusable water bottles, a relevant, non-sales related board could be top hiking destinations across the country. You could even encourage shoppers to share their own adventure pics featuring your product using a specific hashtag, and repin them to a board just for testimonials and your product being showcased ‘in the wild.’
 

3. Choose a Campaign Objective That Matches Your Goal

As always, it’s important to consider your goals first. Once you’ve honed in on exactly what you want your Pinterest advertising campaigns to achieve, you can map them to available Pinterest ad objectives, including:

    • Brand awareness – Help introduce your brand to new people, and keep it top-of-mind for those who are already familiar with your brand

 

    • Video views – If people watching and engaging with your video content is your top objective, mapping toward total video views is a strong option

 

    • Consideration – Designed to reach shoppers a bit further down the funnel who are actively comparing different options

 

    • Conversions – While conversions are often tied to purchases, they can also be downloads, subscriptions, or simply click throughs depending on your brand and goals

 

  • Catalog sales – If the only needle you really need to move is the sales needle, focus on lower-funnel objectives that aim to close the deal

 

4. Use Interest and Keyword Targeting

After you’ve created Pins, you will have to select a method of targeting your audience…

    • Keyword Targeting: Through keywords, you can reach customers searching for specific things associated with your product.

 

    • Interest Targeting: Pinterest can be searched by customers by things they are interested in. This method is broader than keywords but can be effective if thoughtfully utilized.

 

    • Actalike Audiences: For keyword targeting, there is an opportunity to hone in on seasonal keywords like ‘back to school,’ ‘holiday shopping,’ etc. To reach people whose interests and behaviors are similar to your customers, we recommend starting with broad actalikes that cast a wider net. Once you have enough data insights to measure how they perform, you can narrow your focus to what worked best.

 

  • Pinterest Dynamic Creative: In 2021, Pinterest launched an “ad process that enables advertisers to automate the ad creation and targeting process for their campaigns based on individual user behavior.”

 

5. Retarget High Value Users with Relevant Content

Along with keywords and interests, advertisers using Pinterest can target users based on gender, language, devices, location, and more. Keep in mind that using more of these targeting options will increase Pinterest advertising costs.

    • Customer List Targeting: This tool allows advertisers to target users through already existing customer lists. Advertisers can compare their existing customers to users on Pinterest.

 

    • Visitor Retargeting: This feature allows advertisers to add conversion tags on their sites and track behaviors and movements in their existing customers. Data collected can then be used to provide appropriate content to the right users and more effectively focus ad spend.

 

    • Look-A-Like Targeting: This method of targeting allows you to target users that behave similarly to your current audience, using already existing data to determine users most likely to be interested in your Pinterest advertisements.

 

  • Pin Engagers: This gives advertisers the opportunity to deliver ads to visitors that have previously engaged with Pins from their website. Engagement types include Pin clicks, outbound clicks, Pins they saved or commented on, carousel card swipes, and Video Pin views.

You can also create Shopping Ads to dynamically retarget audiences using Pinterest’s product feed tool, known as Catalogs. Pinterest enhanced the Catalog feature with a “more intuitive interface” that makes it “faster and simpler for merchants to upload their catalogs and activate shopping ads, with faster Catalog feed ingestion, video as the main hero image in collections, collections as a new shopping ad format, and a new preferred scheduling tool that lets retailers upload all products to Pinterest on their own time.” This update also brought Catalogs and collections together “to make collections a shopping ad format.”

 

6. Experiment with Different Bidding Options

There are several different bidding strategies that you can use for your Pinterest ads, including an automated bidding option in Ads Manager and the Bulk Editor, which enables Pinterest to bid on your behalf. Here are two that we find work particularly well for brands selling on Pinterest.
 

Destination View

As a higher funnel initiative, Pinterest’s Destination View optimizes to those users that not only click on Pins, but make it to the landing page URL. This allows advertisers to drive more qualified traffic to the site.

 

7. Guide Your Strategy with Pinterest Trends and Pinterest Predicts

Pinterest Trends and Pinterest Predicts provide opportunities for advertisers to keep up with the hottest current and up-and-coming topics, keeping a pulse on what your target audience wants to see now and next. Browsing Pinterest Trends is helpful for finding ways to react to trends in real-time, while the Pinterest Predicts roundup helps in proactively preparing for an emerging trend that might make sense for your business.

Pinterest Predicts examples for 2023

Source: https://business.pinterest.com/pinterest-predicts/

Some of Pinterest’s “top 27 emerging trends for 2023” include:

  • Airy styles
  • Gemini hair
  • Sci-fi fits
  • Fringe with benefits
  • Vitamin seaweed

Think of how these and the other top predicted trends for 2023 are reflected in your offering, and design Pins to capitalize on them before the trend comes and goes!
 

8. Integrate Pinterest Ads with Other Social Campaigns

While it’s always important to consider the functions, goals, and audience of a given platform in crafting your strategy, Pinterest ads can and should be integrated with other social campaigns for the widest, most impactful reach.

Brands that already advertise and sell on Facebook know that there are serious advantages to diversifying their budget into other social channels, which is another reason Pinterest makes such an attractive choice.

Pinterest Ads offers marketers an opportunity to reach customers in the upper to mid-funnel capabilities with compelling inventory and improvements to its self-serve ad platform.
 

How to Start Creating Ads on Pinterest

 
Now that you know which ad types are available and how to optimize them for performance, it’s time to get started!

    • Create a Business Account — If you don’t already have a business account, you’ll start by creating one. You can also convert an existing personal account into a business account if needed. Once your business account is set-up, navigate to the Ads dropdown menu to Create an ad

 

    • Choose your campaign objective — Different ad types are available depending on your primary goal. Overarching campaign objectives are broken out into a few primary options, including building awareness, driving consideration, and increased conversions

 

    • Set your campaign budget — With your objective set, decide how much you’ll allocate to that campaign, and whether you’ll set a daily or lifetime budget. You’ll also dictate whether your ads will run on specific dates, or continuously

 

    • Create an Ad group — To make budget adjustments, insight gathering, optimization, and reporting easier, group related ads together

 

    • Choose your target audience — Next, you’ll decide which audiences you want to reach with your ads. Some popular options include behavioral targeting, keyword targeting, demographic targeting, and retargeting site visitors

 

    • Design Pins & Pinterest Boards — Now it’s time to get creative! Keep the Pinterest ad specs and overall platform experience in mind, and get to work creating fresh Pins and adding them to relevant boards

 

    • Use Pinterest SEO strategically — While descriptions within ads don’t appear when a user is browsing, along with the title they do greatly influence who your ads appear for. Be sure to mention appropriate keywords and interests within your organic Pin and ad descriptions to increase their visibility for the right audiences

 

  • Monitor campaign performance — Pinterest Ads Manager offers valuable insights that help show you which campaigns are performing best with which audiences, and where adjustments could benefit your bottom line

 

Pinterest Ad Campaign Examples

 
As Tinuiti clients have leaned more heavily into Pinterest advertising, our teams have had increased opportunities to experiment with the many ad types and unique opportunities Pinterest offers. Let’s take a closer look at the top notch creative and campaign management that spelled Pinterest success for
JOANN and Boston Proper.
 

JOANN

The below 2 Pinterest creatives have been top performers in our Paid Social team’s lower-funnel conversion campaign (LAL website visitors targeting) for JOANN, with a focus on ROAS + CPA performance.

JOANN fleece bedding Pinterest ad example

Performance stats and creative highlights that illustrate some of the best practices we’ve explored above include…

 

    • The ad features a how-to for making fleece quilts and pillows, a relevant topic for JOANN customers that ties directly to their large fabric offering

 

    • The ad further ties into the how-to nature with a “Learn More” CTA

 

    • In addition to showcasing some of the available fleece patterns, the ad shows you what your items might look like once created, and underscores the value and importance of comfy bedding with a humorous text overlay

 

  • The JOANN logo is highly visible in the ad without drawing attention away from the main messaging

JOANN Your Fabric Headquarters Pinterest ad example

 

    • The “Explore Now” CTA makes sense for the ad as well as the content, which calls on people to get out in nature wearing clothes they create from JOANN’s cotton fabric collection

 

  • The JOANN logo is in a consistent, highly visible location that maintains solid branding without drawing attention away from the primary messaging

 

Boston Proper

Boston Proper New Destinations Pinterest ad example

“Imagery with single shots of models in statement pieces have been top performers. These photos are more likely to stand out within the Pinterest feed than images with 2 models or heavy text overlays. These 3 ads accounted for nearly half of total revenue. We’ve also found static ads have a 17x higher CTR and result in more than double the amount of revenue than video ads.”

Alyssa Piciucco

Alyssa Piciucco, Paid Social Strategist at Tinuiti

Boston Proper Mindfully Designed Swimwear Pinterest ad example

Boston Proper Detailed Textures Pinterest ad example

Conclusion

Pinterest advertising is becoming a more viable marketing channel each year, especially for brands that have an audience that frequents the platform for product discovery and ideas.

Ready to learn more about how advertising on Pinterest can benefit your brand? Contact us today to chat with an expert.
 
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published by Greg Swan in April 2020 and has been regularly updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
 

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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MARKETING

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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