Today’s episode is all about Pinterest ads, something we’ve not yet covered here on the show, and joining me to share her expertise on the subject is Pinterest expert and my friend, Cynthia Sanchez from ohsopinteresting.com.
Cynthia is a coach, she’s a consultant, speaker, blogger and podcaster all on the topic of Pinterest.
Pinterest ads is one of those strategies I’ve been really intrigued by but admittedly didn’t know a ton about prior to this interview with Cynthia.
As you’ll hear in this episode, I think we’re just at the beginning of what’s a really attractive opportunity to reach and engaged and targeted customer on Pinterest.
Count me as someone who’s excited about what’s ahead with Pinterest ads.
In Today’s Episode, You’ll Learn the Following About Pinterest Ads:
- The current state of advertising on Pinterest, what you can and can’t do right now and also the big things that are coming with Pinterest ads.
- What types of niches are best for Pinterest advertising.
- The targeting options available with Pinterest ads.
- How the pricing currently works and how to use the pricing to ensure most people within your target audience are seeing your ads.
- What’s up with the cinematic pins that are coming out this Summer.
- And why you should tap into the Pinterest community and see how they use the platform in order to create better performing ads on Pinterest.
- And a whole lot more…
My mind was exploding with ideas after this one. Guessing yours will be to.
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Cynthia’s website: ohsopinteresting.com
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Transcription of Today’s Episode
Rick Mulready: Cynthia, let’s talk some Pinterest ads. Welcome to the Art of Paid Traffic Podcast. How are you doing?
Cynthia Sanchez: I’m doing great, Rick. Thanks so much.
Rick Mulready: Absolutely. I’m really excited about this because I really don’t know a whole lot about Pinterest ads, and I feel like it’s an amazing opportunity out there that is available that a lot of people are still not taking advantage of because number one, they didn’t opt for ads for a long time and now that they are, people just don’t really understand what’s available to do on Pinterest from an advertising perspective. Let’s start there. What are options when it comes to Pinterest ads?
Cynthia Sanchez: Right now, there’s only one straightforward option and that’s one of my favorite parts about Pinterest, and it’s pretty much straightforward but they’re about to make it really complicated. Let’s start off where we’re at right now. Right now, it’s just straightforward cost per click. That’s all you’re bidding on, and that’s all you can do, and it’s only open to advertisers in the US.
The availability is limited and your options are pretty limited, but what it really does is it can help you reach beyond your current Pinterest following and help your images, your pins get seen among a really targeted audience on Pinterest. You can target it down by location or by even device. If you only want to, say, have maybe a mobile-related type of product, then you could only target to a certain mobile user. There’s still some customization and some targeting you can do with it but it’s pretty straightforward.
Rick Mulready: I want to talk about the pricing and the bidding first because you mentioned that that’s the only option at this point right now is the CPC. How does that work? Do they give you like Facebook? You know I am a Facebook ads guy so I bring it all back to that in my head. How do they do that? Do they give you a range like a cost per click range and you need to bid within that range or outside the range, or how does that work?
Cynthia Sanchez: As of this point, no. It’s pretty much the Wild West.
Rick Mulready: Really?
Cynthia Sanchez: Yeah. You set up where you would think you would like for it to be. Let’s say they recommend as far as range, no less than 5 cents per click is where they’re starting at. You know it’s at least that much that they’re wanting you to bid and then, you can go up from there. Then, you set a daily budget and a duration of the campaign. Pretty much, what your budget will allow from within that. Then, they’ll give you analytics and some reporting back, and you can see how it’s doing.
You’ll get an email saying, “Hey, you’re running out of your budget pretty early in the day. Do you want to increase the daily budget,” maybe decrease the bid amount, and see how that works. There are still a lot of testing that’s going on with ads and that you still have to do on your end and monitor what the results are, and see how you can optimize that to where you’re paying as little as you can per click but still seeing those results.
Rick Mulready: Sure. Is there a best practice for where you should start your bidding?
Cynthia Sanchez: I tend to go a little bit lower. Then, it also depends on what you’re trying to promote. Are you promoting a pin that’s in a really competitive category? Are you doing something that has to do with maybe home décor, or remodeling, or maybe a DIY type of pin? Those are really competitive fields on Pinterest, and that may drive the cost up a little bit.
If you’re doing something that isn’t quite so popular on Pinterest, maybe something about, I don’t know for some reason, landscape design, comes from one of my clients who is a landscape designer, and she had some really good success with her Pinterest-promoted pins but the way she approached it wasn’t a really competitive way to do so she was able to tweak it and get a little bit lower cost per click.
Rick Mulready: So many questions are coming out of that. Now, you mentioned before, they’ll send you an email and I apologize if you hear sawing in the background by the way, they’re building this craziness outside of our window all of a sudden, I will try to edit that out. When you get an email from Pinterest and you have a daily budget. Let’s just say your daily budget is $20, do they try to spread that out, delivery evenly out during the day or is it just like depending on what your bid is, if you’re winning all the bids here, and your promoted pin is just showing because you have the highest bid, is it just going to try to just deliver as much as possible or how does that work?
Cynthia Sanchez: I wish I could answer that for you. That is really detailed information that they’re just not providing yet. You see your analytics and you see these graphs and these ranges but they’re broad in general, like their analytics is which is a little bit frustrating at this point. You just have to go with what they’re saying to a certain extent. I wish they did provide a little bit information as far as, “Okay, by 10:00 AM Eastern Time, I’m using up all my budget,” but they don’t quite do that yet. I know they are making a lot of changes to the overall system and giving us different ad options and all that stuff coming out this summer so I think that reporting will also become more detailed when that happens to.
Right now, you still have to apply in a sense although it seemed like everybody that puts their information in the system is getting approved pretty quickly now if not immediately for accounts here in the US for sure.
Rick Mulready: Now, before we get into where they’re heading and how they’re going to come out for waters here, we have simplicity as it sounds like, you mentioned before some niches or industries that tend to perform really well, I want to talk about that and then also, what types of promoted pins, like what should your promoted pin look like? I know that that’s going to really vary depending on what your business is but is there a best practice there? Let’s start with, are there niches that are very competitive on there and also, I’m just starting tons of questions that’s here right now because they’ve been going a mile a minute.
Cynthia Sanchez: Let’s start there. Let’s start there.
Rick Mulready: Let’s start there.
Cynthia Sanchez: What’s popular on Pinterest and that of course is food. Any kind of recipe, food-related article, even if you have something like a kitchen gadget, you can still turn that into a recipe, things you can make with your gadget recipe. It isn’t necessarily just the recipes itself. Fashion, any types of clothing, men’s, women’s, kids’, all those are great. Accessories. Design as far as home furnishings and décor, and that type of thing.
Those are all very, very popular, competitive topics on Pinterest but that doesn’t necessarily mean that other businesses can’t do well. For example, both you and I are B2B very specific social media types of service-based businesses, and those too are doing well on Pinterest. It isn’t limited to those product-based businesses either.
Rick Mulready: You just have to be very visual, right?
Cynthia Sanchez: Neither one of our businesses are very visual. There’s only so many times we can show ad campaigns, or graphs, or charts. It’s just getting a little bit more creative.
For example, for my last blog or actually as a podcast episode that I did, it was an interview that I did with a Pinterest app provider, the scheduling tool, and I made up the title for the podcast episode, and then I used a picture with lamps and lights, and shining the light on the title. Really didn’t have anything to do with what we’re talking about, pin scheduling, Pinterest analytics, and that kind of stuff but it caught people’s attention. The text overlay explained what the pin was about.
Rick Mulready: Is it just that you post on your board or is that one that you promoted?
Cynthia Sanchez: That was one just that went into my show notes, and then I pinned it on to my account. Then, I could promote it later for sure.
Rick Mulready: Interesting, interesting. Now, we talked about CPCs before. What kind of CPCs are you seeing? Because, Facebook ads, it’s very developed. Let’s just call it developed compared to where Pinterest is at this point right now but what are some ranges of CPCs that generally you’re seeing across the board?
Cynthia Sanchez: Just depends on the category but I’ve seen things as 7 cents, 23 cents, 32 cents. It just depends on what it is and how specific, how narrow they’re getting with their targeting. I think it’s going to change. When I start, I was one of the early beta program people on Pinterest ads or promoted pins. There wasn’t much competition. Pretty much what I bid, I got. Now, it’s getting more and more popular. People are paying attention to it more. That competition could rise more.
I know we’re going to talk about this a little bit but the new features that they’re adding could even drive the cost up a little bit beyond that for what it is now. I think, one thing before we really move on though that it’s important to mention, what you’re promoting on Pinterest, or the images, or the pins that you’re promoting have to be different than what you would, say, promote on Facebook.
On Facebook, it seems to be okay – now, you’re the expert there – to promote specific products, buy this now type of post or ad on Facebook. Maybe advertising the features or save time with this gizmo that I have to sell or whatever it might be. That works great on Facebook but on Pinterest, it’s different.
They really recommend and I’ve seen this work, if you take something that you’ve already pinned on Pinterest, let’s say a blog post, something from your website, whatever the case might be, and you’ve seen a lot of engagement on it, they’re actually recommending and I see this work, that you promote those pins.
Not something brand new, something that’s already worked for you just so it can reach a bigger audience and actually, the transaction happens when they click through this really informational, helpful pin that helps them with whatever the topic is, and the conversion happens back on your website.
Rick Mulready: Does somebody have to have a board already going in order to do promoted pins at this point?
Cynthia Sanchez: You have to have a Pinterest account so yeah.
Rick Mulready: Okay, but you could have … I don’t have anything on. I have an account but I have not set up a board yet just because I don’t know. I just haven’t done it. I want to do it, I just have not done it yet. Since I have an account but don’t really have anything on the board, would I be able to do it?
Cynthia Sanchez: You could. You just wouldn’t have that information yet. You wouldn’t have that data to tell you what’s already resonating with the Pinterest community. If you had an article telling me the top ten ways to optimize my Facebook ads, I could see that doing really well on Pinterest among the social media community and marketers.
Rick Mulready: I’d just take a note of that.
Cynthia Sanchez: Yeah. If you did that, I am sure that would do well. Then, maybe you did something else about Facebook and it didn’t quite do as good as that one did. Still do good but maybe not as good, you would want to promote that one that did better. You don’t have that background data to help guide you in what to promote.
Rick Mulready: I got you, okay. Now, you mentioned before, you touched on the targeting. When you’re doing these promoted pins, talk a little bit more about the targeting and the capabilities that we currently have available.
Cynthia Sanchez: Yeah, we have gender. We have language which, of course, that means we’re definitely going to … we can’t target two different languages here within the US but that would indicate that they’re going to open that much more broad fairly soon here. Device. I guess I mentioned location. I should have written all these little things down. I think that’s about it right now. Not too much.
Really, then, the real targeting to really focus – I guess, I can’t even speak properly today – it happens when you’re using the keywords. That’s really where the targeting happens. It’s not so much the person or maybe the area or the zip code so much as it is the keywords.
Rick Mulready: Got you, okay. If somebody happens to be on there, searching for Facebook ads, that could be a keyword for me.
Cynthia Sanchez: Yes, exactly. You would want to target Facebook ads and social media marketing, and Facebook, and Facebook for business, and all those kinds of things. You can have your spreadsheet with all your keywords, and then upload it to your ads each time you use it so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time. It’s a little bit of a timesaving tip there. Then, they also suggest keywords. Pinterest will help you find keywords. They may suggest other things related to what you’re trying to promote.
Rick Mulready: Now, how well have been are those? Because on Facebook, I don’t recommend people really take a whole lot of those, just take it with a grain of salt. How are they on Pinterest?
Cynthia Sanchez: They’re pretty good. They’re not 100% perfect. You’ll start getting off into the weeds really quickly if you just use all of theirs but it gives you some good ideas. Another thing to keep in mind is the keywords that people use on Pinterest aren’t necessarily going to be the same keyword searches that they use on other places.
For example, Google. Google and Pinterest are getting a lot of comparison especially lately as more and more people are using Pinterest instead of Google for certain things but the phrasing, the terminology may be a little bit different than what you see on Google or another search engine. Do some research on Pinterest by typing in keywords and phrases into the Pinterest search bar and see what comes out, and you might be surprised the way people describe certain things as opposed to how you as a pro in that field would describe those things.
Rick Mulready: Got you. I think the lesson there is that if you’re not currently using Pinterest a whole lot and you want to start testing some paid advertising on there, and this is not unlike any other platform out there if you’re not using it already, but just to get on there, and play around with it, and see, just get a taste of how people are using it, what types of pins work really well on there, and just start using it yourself, and then start to incorporate the paid side to it.
Cynthia Sanchez: Exactly.
Rick Mulready: Let’s talk about how they’re going to advance things here and you mentioned confused things a little bit.
Cynthia Sanchez: Yes, yes.
Rick Mulready: Let’s talk about that. What’s on the horizon here?
Cynthia Sanchez: They announced last week that they are going to. They definitely announced last week that they’re going to start incorporating these other types of pins over the summer. The first to come out are these cinematic pins and they’re actually pretty cool when you look at them. Most Pinterest traffic happens through their mobile app. When you’re on your phone, and looking at the app, and you start scrolling, the pin itself will start to have a bit of animation or movement to it.
For example, if it’s maybe about a hair product, and you see this woman in the pin, her hair is blowing in the wind but the movement is based upon how you scroll, up or down. It’s a movement feature.
Rick Mulready: Really?
Cynthia Sanchez: Yes. It’s not a gif, and it’s not a video. It’s a weird hybrid.
Rick Mulready: It’s like a MiM?
Cynthia Sanchez: Yeah. It’s like these little flipbooks that you used to play with as kids. You can make it go one way or the other depending on which way you flip.
Rick Mulready: Interesting.
Cynthia Sanchez: It’s kind of that but those are right now going to be for the big boys, the big corporate boys, the big budgets, and that type of thing. Coming up down the road for everybody else is different forms of paying, I guess. They’re starting something cost per engagement. Instead of paying just for the click, you could pay a certain amount just for people who enlarged it or if they re-pin it. When you see pins in the feed, you can click on them, and enlarge, and they get more information about it.
Rick Mulready: That’s interesting.
Cynthia Sanchez: They may start charging for that or if they re-pin it which that’s one of the things I love about Pinterest-promoted pins especially right now because people can re-pin them. Essentially, the people who re-pin them, let’s say you come up with something about Facebook ads and I re-pin it to one of my social media boards, that pin will live there forever and continue to advertise for you forever. That’s just, I think, awesome.
Rick Mulready: Really? While not paying for it?
Cynthia Sanchez: While you’re not paying for it.
Rick Mulready: Nice, okay.
Cynthia Sanchez: You paid for it once when I clicked through and read your article but I’ve pinned it to my account. Everybody that re-pins it from me, you’re not paying for at all.
Rick Mulready: Interesting. The gift that keeps on giving.
Cynthia Sanchez: It is so take advantage of that now before it changes.
Rick Mulready: Okay.
Cynthia Sanchez: Before it changes, hurry up.
Rick Mulready: Okay.
Cynthia Sanchez: Then, they’re coming up with something called cost per action. Earlier this year, they started this collaboration with Apple where you can download apps straight through your Pinterest account. If I’m on my cellphone or my iPhone, and I find a pin for an app, I can install it straight from there.
Now, those cost per actions are going to be great for apps like that where the advertiser pays every time I download their app, but then there’s maybe a prediction that this will also relate to the buy button that everybody is talking about that they might enable here really quickly. You don’t have to go to website, I can buy it straight from Pinterest. That would be another form of advertisement.
Then, they’re also bringing in CPM. We’ll see how well that goes but the straightforward, just cost per click ads are promoted pins that you bid on, you set up your campaign, and just monitor. I think it’s going to get a lot more in depth now.
Rick Mulready: Yeah. Do you have to spend a certain amount of money each day? I get that question all the time for Facebook ads is, how much do I need to spend to my ads in order to see results? I’ll ask you the same thing. Is there a minimum budget that you need to be spending in order to see results on a daily basis?
Cynthia Sanchez: There’s definitely a range but I’ve tried things with $5 a day and ran that for two weeks, and I saw great results. It’s really, I think, more tapping into the Pinterest community and how they use Pinterest. People use Pinterest for themselves to find information, to be inspired, to get ideas. If you can create pins like that based around your business, then I think that’s worthy than advertising, straight up forward advertising your products and services.
Rick Mulready: The last question I have for you here, Cynthia, what easy way? Again, going back to Facebook, when I think about the questions that I get from people is that, they’re like, “I’m not design-oriented and I have no idea how to put together an image, and you have tools like Canva or PicMonkey, are there any tools out there that you recommend people use that you don’t need to be … that take a ton of resources in order to use that they can use in order to put together these types of images that really would resonate as you put it with their Pinterest community?
Cynthia Sanchez: You mentioned my two favorite tools there, Canva and PicMonkey. Canva definitely has those inspirations for those layouts there but you still need to know what to put in there. You still need to know and figure out what it is that makes sense and I suggest using Pinterest. Use the source itself. Do a couple of searches with the keywords that are relevant to your business and see what’s popping out in the search results and what catches your eye, what kind of image would be likely to catch your customers’ eye.
You know your audience, are they going to prefer something really slick and modern or maybe something a little bit more retro-y and funky. What are they going to connect with? I see some businesses making the mistake where they use a lot of either grainy pictures, bad pictures, and maybe pictures with just somebody’s headshot, and that can not be really informational enough or maybe give off the wrong message about your business.
You want something to look nice. It doesn’t have to be ready for a magazine by any means. It just has to look nice and it has to provide information in a way that they’re looking to receive it. Unless you’re interviewing or you are a famous celebrity, if you’re Brad Pitt, put your picture everywhere but if you’re not, then maybe not so much. Put pictures that will catch people’s eye and you can always help push that message a little bit more by adding some text on the top.
Rick Mulready: Okay, awesome. I think it goes back to what you’re talking about before is just spend some time on there, just do your due diligence, and it’ll tell you a little bit to see what’s working on there, and then take your learnings from there, and incorporate that into some a paid strategy on there.
Cynthia Sanchez: Exactly.
Rick Mulready: It’s a really good advice, Cynthia. This has been great. My mind is blowing there. As I asked you 16 questions all at the same time, the wheels are turning. As I’m sure, many of our listeners here are experiencing the same thing. Where can people connect with you? Where can people find out more about Pinterest and everything that you’re doing with Pinterest right now?
Cynthia Sanchez: The best place would be over on my website at ohsopinteresting.com.
Rick Mulready: I love that. I love it. This has been great. Thank you so much, Cynthia. I really, really appreciate you coming on today.
Cynthia Sanchez: Thank you, Rick. I really had a great time.