Pinterest Sponsored Pins: What it means for retailers and how to get the most out of them

UPDATE: Pinterest Promoted Pins are now available to all business accounts on the social network. Find out more about these changes here.


Now that Pinterest has a valuation around $5 billion the company is definitely looking to prove their worth and increase their cash flow. Cue promoted pins. Earlier this year Pinterest began working with large brands like ABC Family, Banana Republic and General Mills to bring their version of advertisements to Pinterest boards everywhere. Apparently things went well because Pinterest is now moving forward with ‘Do-It-Yourself Promoted Pins,’ which is aimed at businesses of all sizes. The purpose of all promoted pins is the same: monetize a highly engaged audience.

Premium CPM advertisers, like the heavy hitters mentioned above, pay for promoted pins based on impressions which is reportedly $30-$40 for every 1,000 impressions. For smaller businesses, however, DIY pins will utilize a cost-per-click model which will also help determine the ad’s placement and ranking on-site. There will even be an auction-based component where businesses can bid for their ads to be placed alongside certain categories and search terms that users are viewing.

So, what’s the benefit?

To start, Pinterest users are a very active and engaged audience. According to AddShoppers data, Pinterest account for around 10% of sharing activity and clicks. Pretty good considering all the social network competition that’s out there. But, if 10% doesn’t seem like much consider that Pinterest generates an average order value nearly double other networks’ users, such as Facebook and Twitter.

An added bonus is the scrutiny with which Pinterest is currently monitoring the promoted pins. To optimize the user experience and make advertisements more clickable each promoted pin is reviewed by a Pinterest team member to ensure it’s quality. Talk about being thorough!

How do you maximize this potential?

To be honest, know your analytics. If your site doesn’t perform well or have an audience on Pinterest, it’s probably not worth your time and money to set up an advertisement on the network.

But, if Pinterest is a top source of revenue for you, concentrate on developing ads that will continue to attract customers, not push them away. Take a look at the products or pins that are being shared and try to find the similarities. Then develop your ads around those common themes. This will help you to publish an ad that will engage your audience specifically and encourage them to go to your site.

Only Pinterest Business account will have access to the promoted pins feature, just like the recently improved on-site analytics. Interested businesses can sign up here.

Will you promote your pins?