Promoted Pins Are So Underrated Don’t Sleep on Them

Since 2010 when Pinterest went live, the image-sharing platform has been growing steadily. However, many business owners overlook Pinterest. With over over 440 million users, Pinterest is more than capable of enhancing your brand and providing valuable leads.

Erin Harding visits us and shares her valuable knowledge regarding Pinterest. Her extensive experience working with clients gives her a unique perspective that will skyrocket your business.

About Erin Harding

Erin is the Director of Promoted Pins Management at Simple Pin Media. The agency works with businesses to implement their digital marketing on Pinterest. Simple Pins Media has been offering promoted pin management for three years while also helping clients with organic traffic.

User Behavior on Pinterest vs. Facebook

Erin calls Pinterest a visual discovery platform. As a visual search engine, Pinterest is a place where users go for inspiration. People have something in mind when opening the app. This purposefulness makes Pinterest a high-quality place for businesses to advertise.

Facebook, on the other hand, attracts casual users. People on Facebook are usually there to pass the time with some friendly banter.

Erin Harding suggests that now is the best time to start advertising on Pinterest. The trends show that people are increasingly using the platform to make purchasing decisions.

Use Cases

Erin's account of her personal Pinterest use is key for understanding the average user. She talks about how being a mother, searching for information on redecorating her home or building a deck, leads her to Pinterest for information.

In their quest for information, users build boards. This is where they will collect all relevant pins for their topic of interest. Taking the case of building a deck, there are several things a user would like to know. What are all the aspects surrounding the project? How does a deck affect your life? What are some good ideas for landscaping around your deck? These questions can be visually answered on Pinterest.

If you think that Pinterest is centered around a handful of topics, you'll be surprised to find out otherwise. As per Erin, you can even find people on Pinterest that create jewelry out of breast milk. So, if you think that your business is in a rare niche, you need not worry. You can make Pinterest work for your brand. Nothing is too niche for the platform as Erin has clients from fashion and food to pergola kits.

Promoted Pins

Pinterest has a more qualified user base than the other major social media sites. While Facebook members can sometimes tailor their accounts to a particular interest, with Pinterest it's baked into the cake. This is where the advertising via promoted pins stands out.

The promoted pins service was first made available to all business accounts in January of 2015. In 2017, the ad service starts to see an uptrend in usage. Erin states that Simple Media started doing testing on clients in 2018. This is about the time when big players like Walmart, Target and auto manufacturers start using promoted pins.

People using Facebook since the site's inception will recall that the ad service did not offer a lot of functionality early on. Furthermore, businesses would pass up on promoting their pins as Pinterest's business model did not depend on ad revenue at the time. The point at which this all changes is in April of 2019 when the company goes public. The social media website now had investors to satisfy and developing and promoting its ad service became a top priority.

With approximately 97% of searches on Pinterest being unbranded, the potential for your business is very apparent. The evergreen territory devoid of oversaturation presents you with the opportunity to show off your products to a prequalified audience.

Pinterest ads are native and flow smoothly with the organic content without being forced. This comes in contrast with Facebook where you can predictably expect an ad for every few pieces of organic content.

Pinterest Growth Hack Data

The main metrics for judging the effectiveness of ad campaigns on any social media platform are Cost Per Thousand (CPM) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). When considering advertising on Pinterest, it's important to know the costs per action and how they compare to other services.

From her extensive experience, Erin Harding states that CPMs are typically in the two to four dollar mark. With Facebook, on the other hand, a campaign's CPM can exceed $10 and some businesses pay upwards of $40.

The key to lowering your CPM on Pinterest is expanding your targeting. If your costs start to increase, you can make your pool bigger to drive down the cost. This may seem counterintuitive to Facebook users as the opposite holds there.

Creating a Campaign on Pinterest

When you create a campaign on Pinterest, you want to start by choosing an objective. You can focus on brand awareness, video views, traffic, conversions and catalog sales. Targeting occurs by gender, age, device and location down to ZIP code. Promoted pins also give you the ability to create act-alike audiences and use retargeting.

Act-alike audiences are akin to what Facebook calls look-alike audiences. This is where you designate a group of users and the system finds prospects that have common characteristics. Using act-alike audiences is an effective way to rapidly grow a prospect list tailored to your brand's customer avatar.


Pinterest has a tool called Trends. The tool tells you how a category or product trends over time. Pinpointing trends helps you determine what people are searching for so you can tailor your content accordingly. Erin suggests getting at least 50-100 keywords to start with. She recommends you audit this list as you go along depending on what's converting.

Pinterest Growth Hacks

With 87% percent of Pinterest users coming from mobile, you only have two seconds to grab their attention. People scroll through content looking for solutions to their problems. Having quality images and attention-grabbing copy is the key to acquiring leads.

Erin recommends that even if you're ready to start advertising on Pinterest, you should install the Pinterest tag on your website as soon as possible. This allows Pinterest to start collecting data that you can use later on when you decide to advertise.

Finally, when you decide to run ads for the first time, start with a traffic campaign. This growth hack allows you to identify your audience at a lower cost and 'warm up' your tag. Once you achieve conversions at a lower cost, switch to a conversion campaign. You can go back and retarget users with a traffic campaign. This process guarantees that you will run the best campaigns for your digital marketing budget.