The retailer’s guide to awareness campaigns on Pinterest

People looking at a shop window

It’s never been more important to build brand awareness. People see more than 300 ads a day across platforms—and breaking through the clutter is critical for growth.1 Brands that reach people right as they’re starting to shop are more likely to win them over as customers down the road. When people are open to switching brands, 69% of the brands they end up purchasing were in their initial consideration set.2

Pinterest is an ideal place to build brand awareness because it’s more likely to be an early marketing touchpoint than other platforms. And people use the platform specifically to broaden their consideration set: 72% of Pinners say they find new brands and services on Pinterest.3

We recently hosted a webinar with tips for effective awareness campaigns on Pinterest. Two marketing leaders from Walgreens, Andrea Kaduk, Director of Performance Media and Robyn Phelan, Manager of Performance Media, joined us to chat about Walgreens’ recent success using video campaigns to achieve awareness goals.

Ad format recommendations

Here’s some tips to create a strong awareness strategy on Pinterest:  

Promoted Video can help you get more out of your awareness campaigns, and it’s now available to everyone who uses Ads Manager. People who watch videos on Pinterest are 1.6x more likely to say that branded videos add to their experience.4 As a result they’re 2.7x more likely to make a purchase after watching the video. During Holiday 2016, Walgreens used Promoted Video to drive awareness of them as a gifting destination and found that the format over-indexed for boosting brand associations with gifting.5  

Targeting and placement recommendations

Use interest targeting  

Interest targeting helps you find the audience that’s most likely to be excited about your category and your message. Once you’ve run a set of Promoted Pins or Promoted Videos, use retargeting to build stronger relationships with the people who engaged with the campaign.

Layer in keywords

Use keyword targeting to find people engaged with your category and ready to take the next step. You’ll maximize exposure to people who are looking for your product or service in both the Pinterest home feed and in search results.

Leverage your customer list

You can reach existing customers on Pinterest by uploading customer emails or mobile IDs and matching them anonymously to your customers’ Pinterest profiles. Customer targeting helps you keep customers engaged, and also enables exclusion targeting so you can focus on acquiring new customers instead.  

Auction strategy

CPM allows you to reach a mass audience with guaranteed impressions, while CPC auctions optimize for efficiency and reach.  

Optimize based on Pinner behavior

When people save your Promoted Pins to boards, it’s proof that your content is resonating. You can figure out where your Pins end up by appending “/repins” to a Promoted Pin URL. Use that information to inform future keyword strategies, as well as creative improvements.

Creative recommendations

Optimize for mobile

80% of Pinners use the mobile app.6 Tailor your font size to phone rendering to make sure your fonts are legible on small screens. And design for a vertical aspect ratio: ideal dimensions are 600 pixels x 900 pixels.

Show, don’t tell

Pinterest is a visual platform—make sure your visuals tell a strong story about your brand. Use lifestyle imagery rather than plain product shots so you capture people’s attention.

Highlight branding

Pinners welcome branded content, and so make sure to include branding in your Pins. That helps Pinners find you when they’re ready to take the next step.  

Measurement recommendations

Look at resonance

When you’re running awareness campaigns, it’s critical to understand how format, creative and frequency impact metrics like brand lift. You can partner with research firm Millward Brown to study how Promoted Pins impact your brand metrics.

Optimize ad frequency

Lean on your measurement solution to help you figure out what’s the optimal frequency to achieve your campaign goals. Walgreens determined that showing someone more than four Promoted Pins was the “sweet spot” for their gift-giving campaign.

Embrace earned media

Because people will save your Promoted Pins to their personal boards, your reach goes further than what you pay for. You’ll likely see earned media as other Pinners stumble on content from your campaigns, and that might bring down your costs.  

Want more retail tips? Check out our other two webinars for tips on developing best-in-class Pinterest campaigns the meet your acquisition and retention objectives.

—Amy Vener, saving to Julian's next bike

1SJ Insights, New Research Sheds Light on Daily Ad Exposures, 2014

2McKinsey Quarterly, February, 2017

3Millward Brown

4Internal Pinterest study, May 2016

5Blinded study hosted and sample provided by 3rd party research firm

6Pinterest internal data, last updated March 2017