I remember the first time my mom saw a remarketing ad – those omniscient banner ads that seemingly stalk you on the web. She couldn’t believe what she was just shopping for appeared on numerous websites after she decided to leave it in her cart and not purchase it. She probably thought, “it’s a sign I should go back and buy that!” Clever move marketers. It’s funny how advertising has changed. Marketers have had to get more creative as we have become conditioned to “filter out the spam” in pursuit of the content that matters.
Full disclosure: Every business is different and what works for a photographer might not work for a wedding planner, or even another photographer for that matter. I have paid for advertisements, ones that actually helped build my brand, my presence in the wedding industry, and even facilitated relationships with some of my dearest friends in the event world. But, my investment in ads for my six-figure business has been very minimal.
So, as you can imagine, when I received an email about Pinterest’s Promoted Pins, I was indifferent, even skeptical, to say the least. This was also due to our growing successes investing in increasing our Google search traffic. But, advertising is a strategic form of marketing, and marketing is a crucial part of owning a small business. And knowing the amount of traffic we were receiving from Pinterest (just over one thousand new visitors on a monthly basis), begged me to withhold my doubt and give it a try.
I looked at some of our most successful wedding planning posts on our blog, created a few specific pins to accompany the post, and hit promote with a slight cringe. After carefully monitoring our ads for two weeks, I quickly realized what works and what doesn’t when it comes to Promoted Pins.
What Doesn’t Work on Pinterest
As I mentioned before, marketers are changing the way we consume ads. Another example – while scrolling through Instagram, you’ve likely noticed sponsored posts that make you do a double take because you didn’t know you were following that account. Whether or not we choose to engage with that post, we noticed it. The same is true for Pinterest. Gimmicky, straight forward ads (that stick out as ads) will be unsuccessful. People don’t get on Pinterest to browse advertisements, and they also don’t want to re-pin images that don’t reflect their interests and curated Pinterest board aesthetic.
Think about the way you interact with Pinterest – you want to be lured in with lovely visuals, tutorials and content that makes you feel good about being on Pinterest when you could be doing a million other things. When brides are searching for information or planning tips, they want to feel like you care and are there to help them by providing thoughtful content.
Creating Promoted Pins That Reflect Your Goals
It’s important to think strategically about what you’re looking to achieve from an advertisement. If you simply want more clicks back to your website, consider digging a little deeper. My main objective behind running my Promoted Pins was to get people to buy one of my e-books, which are all geared toward creatives or brides. In order to achieve this goal, I selected a couple blog posts that offered free, helpful advice and added a link to my books for further insight. I then created stunning graphics that would lead people to click to read the post on my site, where I would gain their trust and ultimately get them to buy my book.
What I found – some of the pins worked, while others didn’t. The process of creating your Pinterest campaign, selecting a budget, using targeted words, etc. is easy. The content and the corresponding visual was challenging.
Relevancy is key! Do a quick search to see if your idea is viable. Is the topic popular or is the competition too high? Is it a helpful topic? Is it an easy read? From there, focus on the title. The pin in my campaign that received the most engagement was titled, “How to Allocate Your Wedding Budget” (see below).
It generated over 27 thousand impressions, 140 re-pins and over 200 clicks in about 15 days. And I spent only $20. In terms of ROI, that’s an amazing return! As many wedding professionals know, creating your wedding budget is a very popular topic, so the initial “sell” was easy. The next step is ensuring you deliver what is promised in your pin once viewers arrive to your website. You don’t want to sell first, but rather offer the insightful information they came to read – and then pursue the sale. Because I focused on the content, I had a large number of brides buy my wedding planning book after reading my post.
Equally as important is the visual, as it’s what first engages the viewer. No matter how captivating your words are, if your visual is lacking, you won’t draw attention to your pin. Consider putting the title of your post right on the pin, as well as in the description. This makes it easy for brides to know that this pin would lead them to the information they were looking for, without having to read what the pin is about in the description.
I also used a popular font in the wedding industry, bombshell pro, that I knew would be aesthetically pleasing. And, finally the image. Ahh, just look at it – wispy, romantic, lovely perfection! Who could resist pinning such a beautiful image for such a hard topic?
I can honestly say that I will continue using Promoted Pins grow Chancey Charm’s following. Advertising on Pinterest may not be for you, but as a fellow entrepreneur, I encourage you to try new avenues – whatever they may be – at least once. Whether you have $10 or $100 to test out a new marketing tool, it’s all about finding out what works best (and what doesn’t) to grow your specific business and reach your specific goals.