Google Ads don't work for every business, especially not for those with low budget. Facebook is becoming a little overcrowded with ads and people don't pay much attention. Is that the end of PPC? Oh, no. Not at all!
The right platform to drive cheap, relevant and consistent traffic to your website is Pinterest. And better get on it now, while the competition is still relatively low.
Pinterest is already the third most popular social media in the USA. It is also steadily growing in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and other countries with developed economies. But there's more charm and magic to this platform you need to know about.
What's Special about Pinterest
Pinterest is a social network like no other. The way it works is very different from the well-known big social spots. The philosophy of the platform focuses on the future instead of the present. When we go on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter we do it with the intention to stay connected with our family and friends, see how our favourite celebrities are doing, what they are saying right now. In other words - be in the now. Buying products while on those channels is more accidental than intentional.
When we go on Pinterest, we are there to look for inspiration, ideas and often with the intention to buy.
Pinterest is a visual search engine with an enormous traffic driving power. If you are working on SEO for your website then a well-maintained Pinterest account is an absolute must. And traffic ads are a brilliant move.
Who's on Pinterest
The key to why Pinterest ads and engagement on the platform are so effective lies within the user demographics.
Stats show us that the main Pinterest user is a professional female over 30, with a considerable amount of disposable income and desire for comfortable lifestyle. In most cases she doesn't mind spending her money if she finds what she's looking for.
How does Pinterest Work
On Pinterest you can upload images or videos, called pins and arrange them in boards. Each board has a specific topic and each pin represents a particular idea, relevant to the topic. Pins can have a title, short description, hashtags and a destination link. You can pin on your own boards (think like Facebook albums) or on group boards (think like groups on Facebook or LinkedIn).
And this is where it becomes interesting and extremely valuable. Once someone sees your pin and they like it, they might decide to repin it. It's an equivalent of the share button in other social media, but only better!
Having your pin repinned to other users' boards increases massively the reach of your publication, as well as the total reach of your account. And no matter how many different people repin your post on their boards, every click on it always leads to your website. This results in massive traffic to the page you linked on the pin.
That's incredibly useful for bloggers who are trying to increase the reads of their posts and rank higher on search engines.
But it's not only blogs that can benefit from the Pinterest-driven traffic.
What are Rich Pins
Rich pins are types of publications on Pinterest that allow you to tag a product from your eCommerce shop, show a recipe or an article directly from your website, or showcase features of your app.
To be able to create rich pins you need to connect your website to Pinterest from the settings in your business account.
Tagging products on rich pins helps conversions. Remember, the average Pinterest user is on there to look for inspiration and solutions to current problems. They often have the intention to buy as long as they come across what they are looking for.
How do Pinterest Ads Work
Pinterest ads work very similarly to Facebook ads. I must admit that interest-based targeting options you get on Facebook are still much better and more extensive than those on Pinterest. However, Pin ads have their advantages.
Traffic ads, in particular, would show your pin to people who are most likely to click on the it and be taken to the relevant page on your website. However, even though the objective of the ad is simply to drive more traffic to your website, it may also result in many repins. Sometimes, you can even get sales from those ads if your landing page offers a product, it's easy to navigate and presents a convenient buyer's journey.
Traffic ads at the moment are not expensive for most industries. Of course, the more competition there is in a particular niche, the higher the cost per result. As a rule of thumb, though, you could generate a good amount of traffic to your website with a budget under £50.
But that's not why you should run Pinterest ads regularly.
The actual reason is this. 👇
Pinterest ads ensure large exposure for your pins and your account as a whole. The more your pins get repinned to other users' boards, the more traffic you get to your website. You grow your audience and that audience is interest-based. What's more, the traffic you get as a result of your pin being shared to other boards doesn't stop after a particular time period. It can drive visits to your website for months and even years after the pin was originally posted.
This happened to several articles in this blog. Most of them were published in 2018. After a couple of Pinterest ads with a budget lower than £20, these articles still get daily traffic from Pinterest 2 years later.
Imagine if those pins led to a product page! How many sales we would be able to complete over all this time!
Size and Content Matters
Ok, there are a few important details I must outline in this article. To be successful your pins need to be attractive, unique and vertical.
The right format or size of the best performing pins is 600x900 pixels or 2:3. Same applies to videos. And the reason for it is quite simple. The longer the image, the more space it takes on the screen. Especially for mobile users! You get their full attention.
The pin also needs to be unique. Remember, Pinterest is a visual search engine, so if your pin looks exactly like the pins of a few other users, the algorithm wouldn't know which pin to prioritise.
Last put not least, your pin has to catch the eye and provide solutions. Pinterest is a sanctuary for new ideas, trials and inspiration.
So, after all this, creating a good pin may sound like quite a complicated task. But in reality it's not.
There are different online tools, which will help you create the perfect pins for each blog post or each product on your website in just a couple of minutes. You don't have to worry about the formatting as there are built-in templates you could use. You'll have access to a huge library of stock images, graphics, motion graphics, videos and other elements to play with.
It takes just a dose of creativity and a pinch of thinking outside of the box.
Here are some of the tools that make graphic design for social media a much easier, time-efficient and pleasant activity.
To maximise the initial reach of your pins you should also include keywords in the title and description of each pin. Don't forget to add a few relevant hashtags. They work perfectly fine on Pinterest and help you reach the type of accounts, who would be genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
In your ads you have the ability to choose from 4 targeting options.
Option 1: Trust Pinterest to select automated audience to show your ads to. This works once your account has had a large exposure and Pinterest has enough data on who engages with your content on the platform and how. For example, our account on Pinterest maintained a reach of 400k monthly unique viewers a year ago. Those rates continued for about 5 months and were achieved mainly through the viral spread of just 2 pins. So, for an account like ours, automated audience based on Pinterest data works well. I would doubt its effectiveness, though, for new accounts or accounts with much lower visibility.
Option 2: Select your audience by specific interests. Pinterest has many categories for user interests. Unfortunately, there are some industries and niches, for which there aren't relevant categories yet. That said, if you are an artist, photographer, hand crafter, wedding planner, business consultant, home organiser or a fashion retailer you would love this targeting option!
Option 3: Use a custom audience from people who have already been on your website and have a Pinterest account. This is basically retargeting people who are familiar with your business and brand. That's a warm audience, which usually converts much easier. More on that you can read in our previous post Why Your Facebook Ads Don't Work. To be able to use this option, you need to have connected your website to your business Pinterest account and have at least 1,000 unique visitors to your website, who are also on Pinterest.
Option 4: Create a lookalike audience of a custom audience. This is a good option for those who have tried option 3 and it worked well. The next step is expanding this audience with new users, who may not have visited your website before and don't know your brand, but have the same or very similar interests as the accounts, who fall in your custom-built audience.
Pinterest ads and organic posts have an avalanche effect on your traffic. This network is an absolute gold mine for every blogger or small handmade products business with limited advertising budget.
It takes consistency, creativity and effort, but the results are undoubtedly worth it!