New study shows how to succeed with Promoted Video

ripped jeans mobile phone Pinterest Pin

Pinners have a huge appetite for video: 75% say they’re likely to watch videos about topics that interest them, compared to 55% of people on other platforms.1 Since we launched Promoted Video last year, we’ve seen brands try a range of content strategies. To test which videos work best, we ran a study on 29 Promoted Video campaigns that ran during the same four month period. Our analysis looked at closeups, completion rates and engagement patterns.

We found that two types of content work best: storytelling and how-to’s. Storytelling videos bring brands or products to life, while how-to videos provide guidance and instruction. Both kinds of content performed well regardless of a brand’s category. This shows that brands should develop their content strategy based on specific marketing goals, rather than assuming a specific type of video is right for their line of business. Here’s how to decide:

Storytelling Promoted Videos are best for highlighting brand attributes, sharing news or launching products. Assets like brand vignettes and repurposed TV commercials work well to tell an immersive, emotional story. Hunter used storytelling videos to launch their Core Concept collection of colorful rain boots and gear. Longer vignettes celebrated the joy of rain, while shorter videos zeroed in on specific products. For these types of videos, consider measuring success via reach, dwell time and increases in branded search. During Hunter’s Promoted Video campaign, their Pinterest branded search traffic rose 30%.2

How-to Promoted Videos help people learn more about how a product works or how to incorporate an idea into their own lives. They’re best for tutorials, educational moments and process overviews. Lowe’s created how-to content to show its expertise in action. Their Promoted Videos feature home renovation projects that Lowe’s can support with product and project guidance. These videos can be measured with metrics like engagement rates, time spent and completion rates. It’s clear Lowe’s created helpful, inspiring content: their completion rates were double the Pinterest benchmark for videos longer than 25 seconds.3

Our study also revealed three consistent best practices, regardless of content type:

Prioritize quality over length  

Surprisingly, our study showed that video completion rates on Pinterest do not correlate to video length. Content quality is what matters, so make sure to choose relevant topics and produce high-quality videos with compelling visuals and strong cinematography. Businesses can work with content creators in our Pin Collective for production help if they don’t have the right video resources in-house.  

Optimize for actions, not views  

Promoted Video provides more than views: it also includes an in-feed preview and a cluster of featured Pins. The best Promoted Videos tell a cohesive story across all three units. In-feed previews should pique interest so people want to click. For example, the La La Land team added text overlay to their in-feed preview to call out their Golden Globe victories. Featured Pins should tie back to the main video so people can save topics that interest them, or click to learn more. The featured Pin carousel can include additional videos or gifs to keep the motion going.

Reach people at different points in the decision journey

67% of Pinners say video inspires them to take action, compared to 32% of users on other platforms.4 Brands can leverage that behavior by running sequential Promoted Pins during video campaigns. For example, brands can retarget people who saw a Promoted Video with Promoted Pins that continue the story or offer additional detail. The initial video drives awareness, and successive Pins keep people engaged and drive them closer to action.  

For more Promoted Video inspiration and creative tips, check out our success stories for Lowe’sHunter and Old El Paso.

—Raashi Rosenberger, currently saving to Art

1. Pinterest study, 2016; 2. Hunter and Pinterest analysis, 2016; 3. Lowe's and Pinterest analysis, 2016; 4. Pinterest study, 2016