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Promoted Pins Now in Canada

Promoted Pins have gone international and started to show up in Canadian Pinterest feeds.

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.

Canadian Promoted Pins 2

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.”

Promoted Pins Canadian 3

Here’s another example of a Promoted Pin that’s targetted at Canadians.

Promoted Pins Canada

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.

Promoted Pins 4

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.

Canada

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.

  1. If your business is in U.S. dollars, this could be a huge deterrent for Canadians. Our dollar is well below par.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

How to Advertise on Pinterest

Explore How Pinterest Advertising Works by @mcngmarketing. In this article we explore the two different Pinterest promoted pins, and which one is right for your business.

So you’re interested in learning how to advertise on Pinterest?

Rand Fiskin from MOZ is predicting that Pinterest advertising will be a juggernaut in the upcoming 2015 year for social media advertising. He’s predicting that advertising spending on the social media site will reach $50 million dollars.  And I predict that the amount of advertising dollars on Pinterest will continue to grow as well. So how do you take advantage of this juggernaut opportunity?

The Tale of Two Promoted Pins

Currently Pinterest offers two types of advertising systems, also known as Promoted Pins.

The first type of Promoted Pin, is known as reservation style Promoted Pin.

This style of Promoted Pin was in beta testing in the later half of 2014, and a few select Pinterest partners, that had millions to spend on advertising, such as the Gap, General Mills and Target were part of this exclusive club.

As of January 1st, 2015, all U.S. based Pinterest advertising partners were allowed access to the reservation style promoted pins.

What’s wonderful about reservation style promoted pins is that these promoted pins can be seen within a user’s board.

For example, Kraft, one of Pinterest’s advertising partners, may want to advertise a new BBQ sauce. They create a pin for it, and using the reservation style promoted pins, the BBQ sauce promoted pin may show up in boards titled, “BBQ Ideas, BBQ Chicken, BBQ Party” and more.

Pinterest announced that reservation based promoted pins were open to “all U.S. based partners.” What this means is this type of advertising is NOT open to everyone, just people who have been established as advertising partners and have a pre established relationship with Pinterest.

These types of promoted pins are charged based on the number of times the promoted pin is shown, also known as CPM (cost per thousand impressions).

In an article written by AdAge, the reported price to become this type of advertising partner requires that your company have at least one million dollars to spend on Pinterest advertising. Now if you don’t have the funds for this type of advertising then the second type of promoted pin is more for you.

Could Promoted Pins be Shown Next to Clicked on Pins?

However, it seems that Pinterest may be changing the way that people see their pins on the desktop version of Pinterest. The picture below hasn’t been rolled out to everybody yet.

With the new version, related pins are shown on the right hand side, which takes away attention from the main pin. This is prime real estate for a Promoted Pin since this is above the fold and doesn’t require scrolling.

How to Advertise on Pinterest by @mcngmarketing

I believe it’s truly something to watch out for in 2015. But if you don’t have millions to spend, but you still want to get in on the action as a small business, then read on my Pinteresting friend.

How Small Businesses can Advertise on Pinterest

Before you start reading everything. I have to make it clear that Pinterest advertising and Promoted Pins in all its glorious forms are only available to U.S. based businesses, so good hearted Canadians like myself who have a Canadian based business, or if you’re like my friend Maarten Boribedi from Spain, well…we’re out of luck.

But if you’re like my friend Jeff Sieh, of the Manly Pinterest Tips show, who happens to be from the U.S. and has access to them, then you’ve got better luck than me.

The second type of Pinterest advertising is known as auction based Promoted Pins or self serving Promoted Pins. These types of pins are based on a bidding system. The more you pay for your advertising, then generally the better the position of where your Promoted Pin will be placed.

These type of ads are based on how much you’re willing to pay for per click, also known as cost per click. You don’t get charged unless someone clicks through to your website.  You don’t get charged based on impressions, nor does Pinterest charge you for repins when it does happen.

If you are a U.S. based business here’s a step by step guideline on how to get started with Pinterest advertising and Promoted Pins.

Step 1: Get Your Pinterest Business Account

First you have to have to have a Pinterest business account. If you have a personal account, all you have to do is switch over to a business one and fill in the new information.

Step 2: Get Approved for Promoted Pins by Pinterest

Once you have a Pinterest business account, what you want to do next is apply to be approved for promoted pins. One of the most common questions I get is how long it takes to get approved.

For some it takes about three weeks (could be shorter), while other businesses never get approved.

If you’ve waited for a while, and haven’t heard anything back from them, then give Pinterest a shout and ask them about the advertising application. This may speed up the process.

Step 3: Create Your Pin for Pinterest Advertising

You can only advertise pins that have already been created onto one of your boards. You cannot custom make a pin exclusively for the use as a Promoted Pin and have it disappear into the night like a Snapchat after the campaign is over. 

Now before creating your pin, you need to ensure you follow Pinterest’s rules for advertising. It seems like a lot, but in reality it’s not too bad.

Some of the rules you need to be aware about are:

  • You’re not allowed to have a call to action button on your pins, such as “Click on this wonderful amazing pin, because it will lead you to Batman’s bat cave.” Not happening.
  • No advertising drugs, booze, guns or porn.

Say No to Drugs!

  • Can’t have more than one hashtag in your Pinterest description, and that hashtag should be related to your brand, not a generic one, like #SocialMedia. (One of my most popular articles on my blog is about best practices with Pinterest hashtags.)
How to do Pinterest Advertising.

Yes, Pinterest only allows up to one hashtag in their promoted pins.

Step 4: Choose the Right Pin to Promote

Once you’ve created your pin, you need to have that pin belong to a board you created. Then you can select that pin to be promoted.

How to Advertise on Pinterest by @mcngmarketing. Discover the two types of Promoted Pins on Pinterest, and which one is right for your business.

Here’s what not to do….

It’s important to ensure that you choose a pin coming from one of your own created boards, not from a group board you joined.

A client I worked with in the past didn’t pay attention and chose one of their pins that happened to be pinned to a group board that he didn’t create. So when his Promoted Pin started getting pinned hundreds of times, it also attracted new followers to the board.

Guess who got the new followers? Unfortunately it wasn’t my client, it was the person who created the group board. Make sure it comes from your Promoted Pin is chosen from your own board because every time that happens I shed a tear in my dreams.

Step 5: Choose Keywords Your Customers are Searching For

Choose the keywords you want to target that customers are searching for.

Pinterest offers some estimated numbers for weekly searches for search terms, but for any search that’s lower than 5,000 then it won’t tell you.

If you don’t have access to the advertising platform, then you won’t have access to the search numbers.

The good thing is that if the search terms you want to advertise for add up to more than 5,000 Pinterest will tell you these estimated numbers.

When I typed in the search term, natural make up, the estimated amount of times it was searched on Pinterest was approximately 10,000+ times each week.  However if you choose more options such as city, device, gender and language then you’ll get a lower number as you’ll see in step 6.

How to Use Pinterest Advertising by @mcngmarketing. Find out the two types of Promoted Pins on Pinterest and which one is right for your business.

However, while some of your promoted pins will show up for searches, you may also find that some of them will be put into specific category feeds. For example if you choose the search term, “coffee table” for your Promoted Pin, the pin may show up in the Home Decor category as well. So along with being shown in search results, Promoted Pins will also be showing up in category feeds on Pinterest.

Nifty Pinterest Tip for Finding Out Estimated Numbers:

When you’re using estimated Pinterest numbers, you’re probably going to run across a lot of searches that are less than 5,000.

The search term, marketing ideas, is searched for less than 5,000 times a week. But I still want to know how many people are searching for it.

How to Advertise on Pinterest by @mcngmarketing.

I will then search for a term that has move than five thousand weekly searches. In this case I decided to use the search term Pinterest fail. The total amount of estimated searches then jumps up to 15,000 plus for both terms, this because you can choose multiple keywords for your promoted pin. There’s no limit to the amount.

From there, I delete the search term “marketing ideas” on the side, and it tells me that the estimated amount of search is 11,000 for the search term Pinterest fail. I then subtract that number from the cumulative total from both terms and I’m left with knowing that the search term marketing ideas has approximately 4,000 weekly searches.

Which means that marketing ideas is searched for approximately 16,000 times a month on Pinterest.

Step 6: Choose Your Location, Language, Device and Gender.

The next part is where you can choose some of the nitty gritty details of who you want to target.

With your promoted pin you can choose which U.S. cities to target (not all are available, but major ones are), which language the Pinterest users have chosen for their account, as well as their device such as iPad, or desktop and their gender as well.

You can also choose the language in which you want to target users. So if a user has their account in Japanese, but living in U.S. you can exclusively target these users.

As you start getting more granular with your details, you will notice that the amount of searches for that search term will decrease.

Step 7: Choose a Max Cost Per Click Budget for Your Promoted Pin

This is where you can bid on how much you want to pay for your clicks. I would advise that as a small business to choose a low CPC. Not too many people are advertising on the site right now, so there isn’t a lot of competition.

Here’s a bonus tip. If you find that you’re not getting results for a CPC, slowly raise the prices of CPC bidding. You may be surprised to find out that just by adding one more cent to your CPC that you may see dramatic results.

Another aspect to keep in mind for these types of promoted pins is that each pin has their own rate for CPC. So if you want a particular Promoted Pin to show up in a more prominent position then you will want to up your bid for that pin.

Ensure that you have the right URL destination. If you want to see how successful a particular pin is at converting to sales, then you may consider using a UTM tracker.

Now if you were hoping that  Promoted Pins to lead back to a landing page that requires a sign up, Pinterest says that’s a big no no, because they want to preserve the user experience and integrity of Pinterest.

How to Advertise on Pinterest by @mcngmarketing.

Step 8: Create Your Pinterest Campaign

When you create your Promoted Pin they must belong to a campaign. A Pinterest advertising campaign should be designed around one particular theme.

So if you’re doing a campaign to promote a specific holiday sale, you may want to name your campaign Valentine’s Day promotion.

Each campaign can have as many promoted pins as you want and you can have several campaigns going at one time if you like.

From there you can set the duration of how long you want your campaign to go or you can let it go for as long as you like.  From there you would be able to choose a daily maximum budget you like to spend. There are no minimums and maximums from what I can see.

And then the Promoted for that campaign needs to be approved by Pinterest, and once it does, then it’s launched and ready for Pinterest users to see.

Oh there’s one thing, you’ve got fill in your billing information and then it’s ready to roll. There’s also some really great analytics that come with Pinterest advertising to help you understand which search terms converted best in terms of clicks, how many repins a particular Promoted Pin received and so forth. I’ll be covering that in my next blog post.

But if you’re more of a visual person and prefer video, Ileane Smith made this great video about Promoted Pins.

Remember how I was talking about my friend Jeff Sieh earlier on the blog? Well he’s launched the Manly Pinterest Tips Podcast, and it’s beyond awesome. Listen to some of his episodes at his website, Manly Pinterest Tips.

Got questions about Pinterest advertising? Leave your questions in the comment section and I’ll answer them the best I can, and to stay up to date about Pinterest, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter.

How Pinterest Advertising Works (P2P Episode 19)

How Pinterest Advertising Works. Interview with Andy Hayes of @plumdeluxe by @mcngmarketing. Find out how self serve Pinterest advertising work. You can listen to the interview at www.MCNGMarketing.com/episode19

Thanks for dropping by the Pictures to Profits Podcast.  and I’m happy to be interviewing Andy Hayes, who is the founder and creative mind at PlumDeluxe.com, which is a lifestyle blog that helps people create moments that matter.

Plum Deluxe was inspired after Andy witnessed her mom go through a wonderful transformation of living life during her six years of living with breast cancer. After her diagnosis, she spent time traveling the world, spending quality time with family and friends and created memories and moments that mattered.

Unfortunately Andy’s mom passed away, but her legacy and inspiration lives on with PlumDeluxe.com. Andy also shares in the podcast his journey of how Pinterest became Plum Deluxe’s number one traffic driver (yes even over Google), and how he continues to use Pinterest grow a new audience.

He’s also share with us about how the self serve Pinterest advertising platform, also known as promoted pins, works and how he is using to promote his online tea business.

Here are some key highlights from our podcast discussion.

How the Pinterest Advertising Platform Works

Currently the Pinterest advertising platform is only available through application.

Andy and PlumDeluxe.com were invited to test out the new platform, and he’s been using it to help promote the sales of his teas. He says he’s seen some success with it, and explains that Pinterest advertising works in the following ways.

  • Self serve advertising pins must be connected to a specific keyword.
  • The pin will show up as a promoted pin for that search term when approved.
  • Your promoted pin can show up for more than one keyword or search term.
  • Pricing is not allowed to be mentioned in the pin descriptions at all.
  • You are allowed at most one hashtag to use in the pin descriptions. So make sure you use hashtags properly.
  • You must create the pin first and have it pinned onto your Pinterest feed first before it can be promoted.
  • They will look at your pin and the url to ensure that they do match and that the pin is not misleading.
  • No nudity, gratituous violence, or promotion of hate.
  • You are can geo locate by metropolitan area. So if you want to target Los Angeles in your ads, you can.
  • You can target based on gender.
  • You can target based on device used.
  • You can choose the type of budget you want to allocate for a day, or for a certain period of time, or for an ongoing campaign.

Here was some helpful advice from Andy when it came to the advertising platform.

If you don’t have rich pins for your e-c0mmerce product, ensure that you do first. This way you can include the pricing in the actual pin. Depending on your e-commerce platform, this can be as simple as using an extension, or you may need to the help of a developper.

The Pinterest platform does offer insight into how many people generally look up specific search terms on Pinterest, however Andy advises on also use Google Adwords (Keyword Tool) to understand more in depth of potential keywords that people are searching for.

In terms of how long it takes for your pins to be approved for the advertising process, Andy says it only takes a couple of hours. That’s a pretty quick turnaround time.

However, there is a catch. The advertising platform is only available to U.S. businesses on Pinterest, and is not available to the rest of the world yet. If you are a business on Pinterest, you can apply to be an advertising here. You need to have a business account on Pinterest before you get approved.

Pinterest is Great for Reaching a New Audience

Andy doesn’t have some top level secrets for growing a new audience with Pinterest, instead he suggest st focusing on the fundamentals for your own blog.

This means creating images that contain text in your blog post so that it encourages people to repin content on Pinterest, as well as getting others on your site to pin your blog posts.

It’s also about taking your visual game to the next level. While Andy and Plum Deluxe, have their own studio for taking photos, Andy advocates learning how to take better photos and create better visuals. This can be especially important if you have sponsored blog posts.

A great pinnable image can help attract people to a sponsored post and keep you, and your sponsors happy.

Since starting on Pinterest about two  years ago,  Plum Deluxe has seen their followers grow beyond 18,000. A big part of this was because Plum Deluxe had several of their boards featured in Pinterest newsletters across the world.

He credits part of the reason he was featured so often was because of the incredible content that Plum Deluxe would curate.

That’s part of the reason that Pinterest is their main traffic driver.

Andrew

Links and Resources:

PlumDeluxe.com

Plum Deluxe on Pinterest

Andy Hayes on Twitter @AndrewGHayes

How to  Get Rich Pins for Your Business

P.S. I’ll be attending Social Fresh West

Are you heading off to Social Fresh West conference in San Diego on October 28th-30th. If you are, I would love to meet you in person and chat with you all things Pinteresting. Drop me a line in the comments or e-mail me if you are going.
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