132 - Pinterest Ads With Jess Bahr (And Why They Might Just Be The Gold Mine You're Looking For)

Jess Bahr is the Director of Page Strategy at Social Flow, in addition, she offers Pinterest courses on her website JessBahr.com.  Jess has run Pinterest ads for some of today's top brands and is a huge advocate of using this social site to build your business.  I couldn't wait to sit down with her and get some tips and tricks to get the most from it.

You run some of the largest Brand Social campaigns, Tell us about yourself and How you became interested in Pinterest?

Some of my original clients were launch partners when Pinterest opened up their ad platform, but when Pinterest opened their ads to API , Social Flow became a partner for that. My clients started incorporating Pinterest with Facebook and Twitter campaigns and comparing the performance of all three against one another. Pinterest outperformed and allowed a lot of brands that you wouldn't traditional think were native to Pinterest, which allowed for so much opportunity.

This is uncharted territory, I never got results from Twitter, which served for a different purpose but can still be beneficial.  What is it about Pinterest Ads that make you think it did well?

There are two parts to this:

  1. Pins live forever even when it is not promoted. On Facebook when a promoted only that post traffic dies. On Pinterest, the pin gets more traction because it gets re-pinned and shared so that literally your pin lives forever.
  2. Pinterest users are engaged months before the event. For example, let's take a look at Halloween.  Users are looking for party ideas, recipes, crafts, and anything inspirational 2 - 4 months in advance and starting to re-pin. Closer to Halloween they are still digging and saving.  Yu have more opportunity to promote ahead of time to just drive all those re-pins people are saving to their boards.  Weeks before, they are going back to buy and your campaign is already finished, so you are not paying on all that activity for the re-pin.

It's like the Gift that keeps on Giving!

Does it get hard to measure the success of a Campaign? Can I track the person that came to my site four months later that came from that advertised pin?

There are actually three parts to that question:

  1. I always recommend using UTM tags on everything.  Set up using Google Analytics and use unique tracking tags on all the ads that you are doing because that is going to give you a full view of what people are actually doing when they come to your site.
  2. Pinterest knows that that's a question if you are in Google Analytics and you look at your landing page, Pinterest will append an either a PP=0 or PP=1, which will indicate if they came to your page from an ad or from a re-pin. You will be able to see what your traffic looks like "Downstream" when it is coming through.
  3. Pinterest allows you to set up Conversion Tags for tracking. You can set up your own Custom Attribution windows pr  have multiple tags on one page.  For example, a tracking tag to track conversions happening during the campaign with both a short window or one that last 35 days.  You can set both settings to give you a full picture.

Is there a way to track conversions, or is Google Analytics the only way?

Pinterest uses tracking tags to monitor conversion by defining an Attribution window, like Facebook, but splitting between converting after they have viewed it. You can set up or track it as it goes through an entire funnel.  You can have tags on the product page, your thank you page, or a newsletter sign up because they didn't purchase, but signed up for a newsletter.

Pinterest has rolled out the ability to do Re-targeting.

Within Facebook, Re-targeting warm vs. cold, what kind of clicks and conversion clicks is it typically cheaper or about the same, what kind of numbers should you expect to pay?

From the campaigns we have run about 1/10th of cost per click and the CPM and CPC are always lower. A click on Pinterest is an actual click to your website, that means they have left Pinterest to go to your site. Its the cost per engagement and engagement rate, that is anything not going to the site but repining or a close up.

Starting a Business page on Facebook, the more "Likes" the more your page looks legitimate. Is that less important on Pinterest?

Depends on how you're setting up the campaign.On Pinterest the best results are "Key Word" searches. You might appear on a Category page based on that search result because users are looking for similar content to yours.  They are primed to be engaged, when they see that pin on their feed they are more likely to click on it and re-pin it.  Whereas they may not come back to your page and full profile.

Facebook dives deep in your personal analytics, does Pinterest have the same level of analytics where you are looking for search terms or targeting incomes, places, etc...?

Pinterest is not as built out as Facebook, but it opening up to 3rd party partnerships like Oracle for their campaigns on the analytic side on how your campaign is performing for different platform devices. It can give you different locations for a DMA breakdown for what you are targeting and will give you the best search terms, but target for age does not exist yet.

What are some general rules for running a campaign on Pinterest should you follow?

"Keyword" targeting as opposed to interest targeting which can get expensive because serving the category pages for interest or appear on the home feed of recommended pins inventory tends to be smaller and the bids tend to be more competitive.

Using a combination of short and long terms. For example, for an article on How to Begin Blogging, some key words can be blogging, blogging tips for beginners, how to get started blogging are good key word searches.  Then start looking at the analytics to see which performs the best and then expanding out the keywords like, Blogging tips for moms.

Optimization in Pinterest is in Ad placement. Where your ad is going to appear is determined by click-through rate times bid.  The higher the click-through rate on your pin, more people want to engage and want to click, the better the bid, the lesser you cause to promote it. The lower the click rate, the higher the bid to give it the same exposure.

Is it like Facebook, do you let it ride a couple of days to determine the right relevance score or see how a pin does organically? If there is any engagement, do we promote it?

if you see any engagement organically on any platform you always want to promote it. The better organic it is the better it will do.

When you create a brand new pin and only 10 people see it, creating a small exposure rate Pinterest says it will not have an established click-through rate or impression threshold.  It will not state what that threshold is but will give it a "boost" for exposure to meet that  threshold rate.

You will not see anything the first 2 days based on how the Pinterest API is set up. You will not receive the information for the first 24 to 48 hours, so watch the performance after that to target the keyword searches the audience is searching for.

Facebook allows you to see how many times someone is seeing your ad, but what's the real key on Pinterest bidding?

If a Pin is not doing well or if your spend starts to drop off, click-through rate drops, but cost per click is raised,  kill it. Pinterest operates on an auction system.  There are other pins competing for the same space that are being prioritized and winning. Only option is to increase your spend.  So instead of paying more because it is a pin that you really want and a link to something change the Creative. See how that new Creative does.

What about time frame, when should you promote it? Like the Halloween example, or my upcoming Entrepreneur Summit in March? Should I start pinning in January or closer to the event?

Yes, I would start in January.  After the new year, they are looking on how to improve themselves and how they can improve their development.   Because it is a time sensitive event, start your campaign earlier, focus on getting the word out, and have a plan in place for when it ends.  When people go to that site, you will have " here is the event" and a place for where you can sign up for the "next" event .  It's something that can still be serving the traffic on that page after your event launches and the campaign has ended.

Remember, Pinterest is 80% mobile with someone just browsing and not ready to purchase.  You can always re-target the traffic with a Facebook campaign with a custom audience pixel.  Anyone that comes to your site with that UTM tag for the campaign re-targets them if they haven't converted yet.  Going between the platforms is always an option.

Pinterest has inspired me with my list of launches.  I love Facebook and LinkedIn can be effective but expensive.  Pinterest might be more technical on the back-end that some people may not be used to but can be very powerful. 

Jess, if someone wants to get your help and guidance and are ready to roll with Pinterest Ads. How can they reach out to you?

Jessbahr.com will have Pinterest Ad courses, but if you have specific questions Twitter: JessABahr.

Last Question, Is it like Facebook, when it comes to Christmas will your spend be higher on your bid or not quite that bad?

It depends on what you are targeting, like a holiday gift guide. YES. If you are putting out content like Top Paleo Recipes, there will not be competition.

Remember you are bidding on spots for search results on Pinterest, whereas Facebook is on placement. Pinterest inventory is impacted on search result "terms and keywords"


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