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Pinterest changing tack with new search ads
Knct Social / 17 Mar /

Pinterest is a content sharing platform like no other. Its vibrancy, its emphasis on colour and images and the sophisticated interaction it encourages makes it unique among sharing platforms. Little wonder then that Pinterest has been quite the driver of revenues for many online marketers and right from the time it gained in popularity, Pinterest has been a significant part of big-time digital marketing strategies of companies such as Walt Disney, ASOS etc.

Recognising the fact that this mutually beneficial partnership could be taken further, Pinterest has now introduced search ads after preliminary testing with some major brands. With this move, Pinterest hopes to provide better opportunities for marketers to reach consumers and vice versa.

What are Pinterest search ads?
Called ‘promoted pins’, these are paid ads that show up in the most relevant places on the platform -- such as its search results page. With these promoted pins, marketers are able to target specific consumers; they can also track data and pay the platform on a click-per-ad basis or on engagement. Pinterest officials have earlier said they are trying to do for the platform what Google has done for its search listings. This essentially means that Pinterest is presenting the consumer with a bouquet of ideas as it were -- tailored to their interests and needs.

The whys of promoted pins
A marketer might wonder what is so unique about these ads and why he should care. Pinterest today has more than 100 million users and a wide variety of items such as food, clothing, drink, art and craft are 'pinned' daily. Research has shown that when a consumer engages with a promoted pin, he is two to four times more likely to buy the product. This is because Pinterest, with its accepted tendency towards all things beautiful, is a natural place for advertising.

Since Pinterest encourages individualistic activity wherein consumers are looking to 'discover' new pins, the advertising will not seem as intrusive as they might on other social media platforms.

How do the search ads work?
When the consumer enters a search query, Pinterest displays the search results on a page, consisting of the pins relevant to the query. Usually, there are more than 50 pins displayed per page. Search ads are displayed as advertiser inserts and are clearly marked as promotions. The number of search ads displayed per page changes with the query.

Prominent features of search ads
Pinterest is following the Google model for selling its ads. The pins are sold through auction where advertisers specify how much they are willing to pay per click for their ads.

The promoted pins are of two kinds -- keyword campaign and shopping campaign.

With keyword campaigns advertisers can employ keywords to target their consumers. These also have the option of grouping. Since Pinterest is slightly different in nature from other sharing platforms (because of its visual nature), the keywords a consumer uses might also vary. Which is why Pinterest itself will suggest keywords that might be more appropriate.

With shopping campaigns marketers can generate ads from product feeds. With this option, advertisers can create big-time campaigns easily and Pinterest also allows them to update the campaigns as the inventory changes.

Advantages of search ads

  • Pinterest handles more than two billion search enquiries every month. This is a significant number and because these queries are visual, the value of the queries for marketers is higher -- which might mean that the ads turn out to be more productive.
  • Nearly all of Pinterest searches are not brand specific and this is a great opportunity for marketers to target consumers who are interested in particular products rather than brands.
  • Pinterest targets consumers in the 'upper funnel' and thus it becomes a powerful tool for marketers who are aiming to reach this section of the society.

Looks like this pulsating, visual platform, which was already a hit with many advertisers, is likely to become all the more popular with the addition of this new feature of search ads.

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