Promoted Pins Takes First Step to Going International
Promoted Pins, Pinterest’s advertising pins, have historically been shown to U.S. users. However, this seems to have changed in late November of 2015, as Promoted Pins have started to pop up on Canadian Pinterest accounts, in what seems to be a roll out.
UPDATE: On December 9th, Pinterest announced that they are rolling out ads to be seen by Canadians, but Canadians still don’t have access to them. You can read more about the details on Pinterest’s website.
Canadians on Pinterest may notice a significant number of “Picked for You” pins in their feed. These type of were seen a lot on U.S. Pinterest feeds before Promoted Pins were rolled out in the U.S.
A Promoted Pin is on the left hand side in the picture below that showed up on my Pinterest feed from Just Natural Hair and Skin.
What’s interesting is that when you click on the board of where that pin originates from, it lands to a Pinterest board titled “Just Natural for Canada.”
Here’s another example of a Promoted Pin that’s targetted at Canadians.
When you click on the Promoted Pin, you can see the URL has a tracking code attached. It’s labelled as a Promoted Pin, and you will also see the Engish-CA (most likely standing for English Canada). When I clicked on it, the default currency to buy the book was in Canadian.
This is definitely an exciting time for marketers that are looking to advertise with Pinterest on an international scale.
Predictions for Promoted Pins in 2016
While I can’t say if Promoted Pins are available in other countries, it would make sense that Canada is one of the earlier international test markets. According to Semiocast, and their data from 2013, Canada has the second largest amount of Pinterest users outside the U.S.
It would be interesting to note whether the U.K. has Promoted Pins rolling out as well. It would be a logical move for Pinterest as they have an office in London and comScore estimated that Pinterest received 10.3 million unique UK visitors during May of 2015.
I’m predicting that 2016 will be a big year for Promoted Pins in English speaking markets such as Canada, UK and Australia. If these markets can prove to be successful for Promoted Pins in 2016, then we can expect further roll outs in Germany and France, but these roll outs may not come out until late 2016 or early 2017 as Pinterest continues to try to grow their userbase in Europe, as Europe faces some struggles in growing.
Japan is an interesting market to watch in terms of Promoted Pins. Rakuten is one of the largest e-commerce operators in the world and Japan, and invested 100 million dollars in Pinterest back in 2012. The challenge for Pinterest Japan is growing it’s userbase, which has been a struggle over the years.
This struggle to grow in Japan means that it could be years before advertising is done on Pinterest in Japan.
Can My Business Advertise to Canadians on Pinterest?
As of December 9th, 2015 U.S. businesses that have access to Promoted Pins may start advertising to Canadians. However, this is not a reciprocal relationship. Canadian businesses on Pinterest still do not have access to Promoted Pins to advertise to the U.S. nor to Canadians.
What You Can Do Next
What seems like an inevitable move by Pinterest to make their advertising international, I would recommend brands to start creating pins and sharing them organically to see which type of pins perform well in terms of clicks and repins.
This will give you insight into whether the design of your pin is working or not, and can save you thousands of dollars in testing whether a pin can get a high click through rate.
For small businesses in the U.S. that are looking to reach Canadian customers, it is important to consider a few things.
- If your business is in U.S. dollars, this could be a huge deterrent for Canadians. Our dollar is well below par.
- Customs and shipping can be a huge added cost and a deterrent. So if you have a business that operates within Canada, and can ship within Canada then Promoted Pins can be something worth testing.
- Don’t make the assumption that Canadians are the same as Americans. In many ways we are, but we also have certain expectations, and if they’re not met, it can lead to disastrous results. Just ask Target, which lost 5 billion dollars opening stores in Canada. (Not one Target left in Canada.
Like anything else, test out your ads and see how well they are performing and measure your return on investment.