The Ins and Outs of Sponsored Pins

By now you’ve probably noticed “Promoted” pins as you’ve been scrolling through your Pinterest feed. So what are these “promoted” or “sponsored” pins and how are they making their way into your line of sight when you’re hunting for new recipes or Summer nail trends?

Thinking about investing in Promoted Pins on Pinterest? Make sure to read this blog post before investing to see if you have your images, audience, and costs covered correctly!

Pinterest is great for discovering ideas for things you want to try and do (Pinterest fails, anyone?) If you are a blogger or a business and are looking for a new way to promote your content to a new audience, this might be the perfect tool to expand your reach. But before you pull out your wallet, here are a couple things to know about Promoted Pins:

It all depends on the user’s preferences or recently pinned items which Promoted Pins will show up in their Pinterest feed.

  • Promoted Pins are easily distinguished because they are always labeled with “Promoted by” in the pin description.
  • However, Promoted Pins do blend in perfectly with regular pins in the feed, which can be both good and bad, depending on how you look at it.
  • You must have a business account in order to promote your pin. But don’t worry, a business account is free and also gives you access to Pinterest Analytics and the ability to create Rich pins!

So you’ve decided you want to go ahead with your investment - how much do you want to spend? Well, the beauty of Promoted Pins is you don’t pay a flat rate, but rather cost per click, or CPC for all you ad experts out there. If you aren’t familiar with CPC, it simply means that Pinterest is going to charge you each time someone clicks on your pin as a result of it being promoted. You will set a daily campaign budget and once you reach your limit, Pinterest will stop promoting your pin.

Ok, so it’s time to get started on creating your Promoted Pin! Here are a few things to keep in mind when crafting your pin.

Eye-Catching Images

I’m sure you know how easy it is to aimlessly scroll through Pinterest without really reading or engaging until a certain image catches your eye. Pinners may not necessarily take the time to read your description, so make sure the image is capable of standing on its own. A few tips for a compelling image are:

  • Stay away from images that are too busy or overly complicated. Lifestyle images, rather than a plain product shot can be more engaging when trying to make a first impression.
  • Images with detail such as infographics or visual lists offer more information to Pinners who are hunting for idea, so if you’re offering a tutorial or product comparison, adding detail to your image might bring in more clicks.
  • If you’re selling a product with your Promoted Pin, having an image of multiple products is a good idea because they can speak to different tastes and offer options. For example, if you’re selling a handbag that comes in a variety of colors, posting an image of all the colors together opens your pin up to a wider audience with different tastes.
  • This is a no brainer, but the higher quality the image, the higher the likelihood you’ll receive more clicks!

Text Overlays

Adding a bit of text to your image allows you to offer more detail and can also include a call to action that will drive in more clicks. For example, instead of just promoting a pin with the image of a capsule wardrobe, add a text overlay with a call to action such as “How to Change Your Life by Condensing to a Capsule Wardrobe in 4 Easy Steps” not only tells the Pinner why they should click on your pin, but what they can expect to achieve from the interaction as well.

Detailed Descriptions

Your Pin description can serve a lot of different purposes when engaging with your audience. Use your text description to:

  • Build awareness
  • Drive engagement
  • Inspire and teach

The best Pin description should mention the most compelling aspects of your Pin and hint that there is more to find if they click through to your site. This should also go without saying, but correct spelling and grammar set the stage for your first impression, so always proofread before promoting!

Stay True to Your Branding

The visual impact of your brand is the first impression a potential client or follower has when engaging with your content. Make sure to find a way to include your branding into your Pin, whether that be in the photo, the overlay or a tasteful logo watermark.

Bonus - including your branding with your Pins will help build your overall brand awareness and recognition!

A Couple of Rules for Promoted Pins

  1. Promoted Pins can’t contain any time-sensitive descriptions such as “sale” or “clearance”.
  2. You can only include one hashtag in the description, anymore than that and Pinterest will not approve your Pin.
  3. You aren’t allowed to promote a Pin that only goes to a landing page that requires the reader to enter personal information or sign up to view the content.
  4. Sorry! No videos, secret pins or GIFs allowed.

With Promoted Pins you can easily target certain demographics, locations, and even tech options. Having a good understanding of who your ideal audience is will give you an advantage over your Pinterest competitors. If you need helping defining your audience, our online course Embrace Your Brand + Define Your Audience is essential before getting started with paid ads! It’s vital to do your audience and keyword research before setting up your Promoted pins. Having these keywords locked in will facilitate your Promoted Pin appearing in a larger amount of search results and also reaching your target audience.

Love them or hate them as a user, Promoted Pins are one of the best ways to increase your exposure and maximize your engagement for your blog or business. Just make sure you do all your research and fine-tune your product before investing!

Samantha Welker Social Studio Shop