Recent news releases and statistics about Pinterest have brands weighing the advertising opportunity on Pinterest. Pinterest passed an active monthly user threshold of 100 million in September 2015. Pinterest is also reportedly on its way to incorporating video ads into the platform, which will bring their advertising product into the spotlight. In addition, according to Pinterest’s General Manager of Monetization, Tim Kendall, Repinning drives 30 free views per 100 paid impressions on Cinematic Pins, creating an opportunity for brands to garner earned media from paid advertising.

 

How can you optimize your brand’s Promoted Pins to get in on the action?

 

Avoid Pinterest Don’ts

Pinterest lists a number of don’ts in it’s Pinterest Advertising Standards. The main thing you need to know that differs from other advertising channels is this: Except when using Buyable Pins, Pinterest does not allow advertisers to include prices, direct calls-to-action, or promotional copy. This makes sense when considering the user intent of Pinterest is aspirational. It also makes sense for advertisers looking to gain earned media through Repins, where promotion and price copy could quickly become outdated.

 

What should you include in your Promoted Pins instead?

 

7 tips to get creative with your Pins

The lack of a direct call-to-action means brands need to get more creative with, well, their creative. We’ve assembled handy tips to get you started on optimizing Promoted Pins:

  1. Use 50-to-250-character descriptions with keywords users might search for within the Pinterest guided search, and avoid using hashtags, which aren’t relevant on Pinterest.
  2. Test non-transactional call-to-action words such as “discover,” “learn,” “create,” “experience,” “feel,” or “enjoy,” which lend themselves to the aspirational nature of Pinterest.
  3. Make sure your image stands on its own, in case users don’t read the description. If needed, use text overlays on your images, but remember, you can’t use overtly commercial language like “buy now” within images.
  4. Use vertical images because they tend to perform better on mobile and take up more space on desktop.
  5. Test Cinematic Pins to garner free views via Repins.
  6. Optimize images for Pinterest visual search.
  7. Use high-contrast visuals to attract attention.

 

Here’s an example of a less-direct call-to-action we like, which fits the Pinterest tone of being actionable, but non-transactional:

pinterest call to action promoted pins

 

Where to go from here

People use Pinterest for discovery, planning, and dreaming about things they want to make, buy, or do; and places they want to go. Brands have a tremendous opportunity to influence a customer’s desires and future purchasing decisions through Pinterest Promoted Pins. But, except in the case of Buyable Pins, Promoted Pins need to be optimized to further customers’ discovery process. Get out there and start testing lots of different types of creative in your Promoted Pins.