6 Pinterest Updates Marketers Need to Know

With six significant updates in 2016 to date, Pinterest seems to be taking its competition and its advertising capabilities seriously. Pinterest has always been a strong search and discover destination, but with the recent updates listed below, the platform is clearly solidifying its place as a strong, social ecommerce platform for brands and an effective advertising space for marketers.



  1. Pinterest’s Promoted Videos + Native Video Player

With a reported 60% increase in videos on Pinterest, the platform decided it was time to integrate a native video player, and more importantly for advertisers, Promoted Videos. Promoted Video is available to businesses in the US and UK currently working with a Pinterest account team.

What does this mean for marketers?

Consumer perception of Pinterest as a shopping destination is clearly growing, and the platform is positioning itself as such to stand out; 55% of users consider it as a place to shop, while only 12% of Facebook users view it as one. This perception is a compelling value proposition for marketers, especially those in ecommerce with a primarily female target audience. And, with the new native video player, consumers will discover new ways (think personalized recommendations) to find videos that match their preferences.


  1. Pinterest’s Auction-Based Advertising Bidding + Frequency Capping

Pinterest Auction Based Bidding

Pinterest introduced CPM (cost per thousand impression) buying in Pinterest ad auctions, as well as new frequency capping functionality to allow marketers to specify the number of times Pinners see a campaign. The new offering is available to all businesses in the US, UK, and Canada now through Ads Manager and most Marketing Developer Partners. To get started today, try creating a new campaign in Ads Manager.

What does this mean for marketers?

Pinterest’s updates will allow advertisers to drive even higher optimization and performance on ads. The result? Increased efficiency and high-performance results.


  1. Pinterest’s Targeting Tools (Lookalike and Retargeting)

Pinterest ad targeting

Pinterest announced new targeting tools to allow marketers to use their business data for Promoted Pins. This update will allow marketers to combine existing customer information with what Pinterest knows about its Pinners. Using the Pinterest Ads Manager, you’ll now be able to create and target in 3 new ways:

  • Customer list targeting:Target existing customers using emails or mobile ad IDs
  • Visitor retargeting:Reach people who have visited your site
  • Lookalike targeting:Reach a larger group of people who look and act similar to your audience

What does this mean for marketers?

By allowing advertisers to target people who have visited their website, used their mobile app, or shared their personal email address, Pinterest is hoping to see increased targeting efficiencies, allowing advertisers to expand their targeting pool. Equally important are Pinterest’s new partnerships with Epsilon and LiveRamp, which will make it possible for advertisers to combine targeting based on search intent and keywords, Pinners’ interests, and even device and location information.


  1. Visual Search + Automatic Object Detection

visual search

Pinterest announced automatic object detection that allows users to search for selected items in a pinned photo. It also introduced new functionality related to visual search, which will allow users to take a real-world photo of an object on Pinterest and the app will return shopping results for items that look similar.

What does this mean for marketers?

Pinterest has officially become a leader in ecommerce: initially facilitating the information search phase of the consumer journey, these new features will help close the transactional loop. That said, it’s important to consider potential negative side effects of Pinterest’s visual search – it could siphon audiences to other brands, or encourage users to use lookalike search features to find competitive pricing on certain products featured in pins, which could affect organic traffic and sales.


  1. Buyable Pins + Shopping Bag

Pinterest Shopping Bag

Pinterest added a new shopping bag so when Pinners navigate between their mobile phone and desktop, they can add multiple products from multiple merchants (similar to Amazon).

What does this mean for marketers?

As mobile usage consistently increases, meeting consumers where they are and providing them with the best possible user experience is a necessity. As Pinners pivot from browsing, to shopping and back again, Pinterest has made it easier for them to follow through on their pins, whether they have intent to buy, create, or learn.


6. Pinterest Announces Retargeting Enhancements

Pinterest has announced enhancements to its retargeting technology that enables marketers to more effectively advertise to consumers who have engaged with a brand’s pins or website. Advertisers may now select to include (or remove) Pinterest users who have engaged with selected pins, identified by unique pin IDs, when building audiences. After selecting which pins to include, the specific types of engagements that users have taken may be selected to include or remove. The interactions available for targeting include clicks, comments, saves, likes, and/or closeups.

For Pinterest advertisers, retargeting users that have engaged with branded content might help to push them further down the conversion path. Pinterest notes in its blog that people who have clicked on a pin are 4.4x more likely to convert, suggesting significant potential for targeting these users.

On top of introducing retargeting based on in-platform interactions, Pinterest’s website remarketing capabilities have also been upgraded. In addition to being able to target website visitors, as noted in the above, advertisers may now segment visitors into separate audiences based on specific website activities. Being able to remarket to visitors that have taken a specific action – like adding an item to their shopping cart or viewing a specific piece of content – is an important addition to the Pinterest advertising toolset.

Combining these retargeting tactics with Pinterest’s unique position as a social commerce platform is certainly appetizing to digital marketers that are looking to expand into new and effective channels. Pinterest’s maturation into a major advertising network is very likely to impact many brands’ ad spends in 2017. All that remains for social marketing teams to determine is how best to attribute Pinterest’s newest capabilities and determine incremental impact on business goals achieved using the channel.




SUITE 2000

PHONE: 612.392.2427