Thinking about Pinterest Shopping Ads?
If not, you’re missing out on a big opportunity.
In this article, I’ll cover some of the latest shopping features on Pinterest. By the end, you’ll know if Pinterest shopping ads are for you.
Why Brands Need to Pay Attention To Pinterest Shopping Ads
Pinterest isn’t what you think it is.
That is, if you think of Pinterest as a platform used solely for moms looking for new recipes or DIY projects, think again.
Pinterest is an idea machine. It connects users to new products and ideas they didn’t know they needed. Because of that, it’s increasingly important that brands pay attention to the impact the platform can have on their business.
Not convinced? Try these on for size:
- 90% of weekly Pinners use Pinterest to make purchase decisions, and
- Compared to other sites, Pinterest is more likely to impact what people buy.
No one’s more interested than Pinterest itself when it comes to its influence over buyers, and they’ve done some pretty extensive research on the subject.
Here are a few key takeaways from their findings:
Pinners don’t mind being advertised to.
In fact, many of them welcome it.
78% of Pinners say that content from brands is useful to them. Why? Because Pins from brands make it easier to find new products and make the best decision.
It helps push Pinners through all stages of the sales cycle.
Many Pinners note that the platforms mix of inspiring images and personalized recommendations help them move from discovery to buying decisions.
In marketers speech, we call that the sales funnel.
The goal of any marketing campaign is to push people to the top of the funnel (sales stage), and based on this research, Pinterest can help accomplish just that.
Those that use Pinterest get the most buying ideas from the site over other platforms.
Where do Pinners get the most ideas to buy?
The breakdown looks like this:
- Pinterest: 60%
- Search engines: 48%
- Friends and family: 41%
- Social media platforms: 35%
So if you’re investing your entire strategy into SEO and Facebook ads, you’re missing out on some huge buying potential.
Shoppers on Pinterest aren’t necessarily looking to shop – but shop anyways.
Of those surveyed, 72% said Pinterest inspires them to shop when they aren’t necessarily looking for anything, and 70% find discover new items on Pinterest.
Pinterest influences buying decisions. Period.
We already know that Pinners are open to branded content.
But get this: 66% of those surveyed buy something after seeing it on Pinterest, and 41% of people who shop in-store use Pinterest shopping.
What Are Pinterest Shopping Ads?
Armed with all this knowledge, it comes as no surprise that Pinterest would want to make it easier for retailers to advertise on the platform.
Which is precisely why they introduced Shopping ads.
In its initial release, these Pinterest ads were available to only a select few dozen retailers. Now, the platform is opening up the format to hundreds more advertisers.
These ads are automatically created using dynamic information directly from a retailer’s product feed, and turn those feeds into visual, actionable ads.
This will probably sound familiar to anyone who’s used Google Shopping Ads, and for good reason. The process is extremely similar.
Advertisers can take existing product feeds and export them directly over to Pinterest with minimal modifications, and Pinterest will filter it into a Shopping Ad.
Pinterest has also expressed its intention to increase feed functionality, hopefully including partnerships with feed management companies to make the process as seamless as possible.
Getting Started With Pinterest Shopping Ads
Because the format’s still in its early days, it’s not openly available to just everyone.
If you’re interested, you’ll first need to notify Pinterest – easily done by filling out this form – as well as a Pinterest Ads manager business account.
Then, it’s a waiting game.
Once your request is processed, Pinterest will get in touch with you and go over the next steps in the process.
In the meantime, you can go ahead and get your feed information ready (and if you already have Google Shopping feed, you’re good to go.)
Here’s what you’ll need to form a proper Pinterest feed:
- Product Category
- Item group ID
- Valid GTIN
- Product ID
As of now, the Shopping Ads have been tested by brands like Ulta Beauty, IKEA, Overstock, eBay, and Lowe’s.
And the results, so far, are promising.
Lowe’s, recorded their return on ad spend as being 76% better than their initial goal thanks to Pinterest Shopping ads, and IKEA Canada was able to drive a 25% lower overall cost per order.
Pinterest Ads: Lens and Shop the Look
In addition to its Shopping Ads, Pinterest’s also rolled out some new features over the past year to help retailers better connect with customers.
All of these are major parts of Pinterest’s push into powerful visual search tool.
The first, Lens, gives users a way to identify products in real time.
How it works: users can use their camera in the Pinterest app to take a picture. Then, Pinterest will pull related styles and ideas.
For example, if you see a pair of jeans you want to know more about, take a picture, and Pinterest will return similar products as well as ideas on how to style to them.
One year in, and Lens has already returned impressive stats:
- There are now twice as many Pinterest users who use Lens every day, compared to 6 months ago
- People carry out more than 600 million visual searches with Lens every month, which marks an increase of 140% year-over-year
While Lens is certainly innovative in the visual search field, it may not be quite as useful to retailers advertisers as this next feature: Shop the Look.
Shop the Look lets users shop for items they find inside Pins right through Pinterest.
Pins that use Shop the Look have a white dot located on all items that are “shoppable.” Pinners can then tap the dot to view and shop products features in the pin.
Retailers looking to use this technology must again request through Pinterest by submitting an interest form.
We’ve seen this sort of thing happening on Instagram as well with outside programs like RewardStyle and LiketoKnowIt.
And while Pinterest hasn’t yet made Shop the Look an advertising option, they do allow retailers to claim Shopping Tags, which link a pin to a specific retailer using the same white dot format.
Even more interesting is the potential this has for Pinterest to become a major player in influencer marketing.
We’ve seen influencer marketing explode on Instagram, and, due to its visual nature, it seems safe to reason that Pinterest could be next.
With its emphasis on visual discovery and inclusion of tools like Shop the Look, it seems like Pinterest is poised to finally become a notable influencer marketing platform.
How Retailers Can Leverage Pinterest Shopping Ads
Information regarding the set-up and optimization of Pinterest Shopping Ads is limited.
At this time, I can’t tell you what steps to take to get your campaign rolling or how Pinterest selects which ads to show where. Only Pinterest can do that – so make sure you send in your interest form.
But I can tell you a few ways to best leverage retailers can connect and leverage your campaigns on Pinterest.
Launch your campaign early.
Pinterest is ideal for making an impression, which also makes it a great place to catch consumers early in the buying cycle.
In fact, people reportedly use Pinterest to plan and search for holiday content 2x earlier than on other platforms.
So to make the most of your campaign, considering launching it earlier than your other social media platforms.
Focus on practical tips and how-to’s.
People search Pinterest for practical, everyday tips and ideas. About 72% of them, to be exact.
That being the case, a simple product placement ad might not speak so directly to Pinners.
Instead, focus on showing your product in action or listing ways to use it (or any products related to your industry).
Give reasons why the consumer should consider buying your product and the benefits it will provide.
Make Sure Your Ads are Optimized for Mobile
This one’s a bit of a no-brainer. These days, the rule of thumb is optimize everything for mobile.
And of course, that applies to Pinterest as well, with 80% of Pinners use the mobile app.
To do so, make sure your fonts and images lend themselves to smaller mobile screens. Pinterest recommends images be 600×900 pixels.
Find Your Customers
You may be less familiar with Pinterest targeting options, but trust me, they’re there.
On the platform, you can target your ads by interest, keywords, and audiences.
Which means you can target based on existing customers. You can use your website visitor list, customers from your CRM, or those who have already engaged with your brand on Pinterest through engagement targeting.
Don’t forget to brand.
Remember, Pinners are open to branded content. It doesn’t impede their searching experience like it does on other platforms, so take advantage of it.
Highlight your brand on your Pins so Pinners can easily identify you and find your content in the future.
Conclusion Pinterest Shopping Ads
Pinterest really doesn’t get the credit it deserves.
Its audience is engaged and willing to buy, but still, businesses pass it over for more major platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Those that do recognize the opportunity still have a chance to get in the game early; and trust me, you don’t want to keep sitting this one out.