Pinterest Launches New Paid Search Ads And Lens Beta


Pinterest has announced two major search updates that will make it easier for pinners to find, save, and share what is most important to them. With more than 2 billion searches conducted within the platform per month, the new search tools are grabbing the attention of both marketers and users.

With Search Ads on Pinterest, advertisers will be able to more effectively reach users who are actively looking for products and ideas. And with its new Lens search tool, currently in beta, Pinterest will help users search for objects they see in the real world.

Comprising over 75 billion images, videos, and ideas, the social network is positioned for major growth in 2017 with these updates.


Pinterest has partnered with media platform, Kenshoo, to launch the new advertising product that will help marketers reach the platform’s 150 million pinners as they search for products and ideas. Search Ads on Pinterest, built over the social channel’s native search technology, will allow advertisers to create sophisticated keyword-based campaigns, like those created for Google and Bing.

The significant number of monthly searches means the potential to place products in front of users will be incredibly appealing to marketers. In a co-authored whitepaper, Pinterest notes that 97% of searches within the platform are based on nonbrand keywords, which provides significant potential for marketers to expose users to their brand. The whitepaper also states that 72% of pinners claim to have discovered a product or brand through the platform and that 55% use the platform for shopping.

Most unique to Pinterest search ads is the marriage of traditional paid search strategy with the visually appealing layout of native social advertising. Marketers that closely monitor their search ads within Pinterest should see higher engagement and a greater return on ad spend, compared to other Pinterest ad types. Additionally, the opportunity to retarget users who have interacted with a promoted search pin should help to push those users down the funnel to complete a conversion or purchase.

Brands already testing the new ad type include Target, Kraft, Gap, and General Mills. Search Ads will be rolled out to more advertisers in the coming months.


First announced in August 2016, Pinterest’s visual search functionality, now called Lens, enables users to snap photos of real-life objects and use Pinterest to find pins featuring similar objects. Although currently in beta for select users, widespread use of Lens could significantly impact the way people search for things to buy.

As marketers and advertisers start to turn their attention to voice search, brought into the fold by Amazon and Google, visual search should also be kept in mind. The process of mapping searcher intent to paid search queries should be mirrored for voice and visual search as these technologies become more mainstream.

Although it could be quite a while before voice and visual search ads become available for advertisers, anticipating the release of paid search ads that cater to voice and visual search will enable marketers to stay ahead of the curve.

In addition to Lens, users can now Shop the Look by tapping on select images featuring blue circles, and see related images within their feed. Combined, these search updates are designed to improve user experience and help pinners find more of the content that interests them. The hope, for Pinterest, is that with increased relevance comes increased satisfaction and more time spent within the application.


After surpassing both LinkedIn and Twitter in the number of online adults in the US using its platform, Pinterest should no longer be an afterthought for social marketers. It has shifted from being an engagement and awareness channel to a go-to destination for shopping and discovery. Pinterest is bound to continue shaking up the social advertising mix as its increasingly sophisticated suite of marketing capabilities entices more advertisers from diverse verticals.

While further testing of Pinterest’s search ads is recommended before diving in headfirst, the new ad type could have an immediate and positive impact for many lifestyle and CPG brands.

Marketers that are already working with Kenshoo and have been executing paid Pinterest campaigns should introduce budget for testing search ads. Functionally, running Pinterest search ads through Kenshoo should mirror other campaign types in setup and reporting. Analyzing keyword-level performance and creative will facilitate ongoing optimizations to increase efficiency and efficacy.

Finally, search and content marketers should pay close attention to Pinterest Lens in the coming months. After adding Google engineer Randy Keller, who worked on the search engine’s visual search technology, to its roster in 2017, Pinterest is getting serious about leading visual search. Soon the network may play a larger role in brand SEO strategies.

IMAGE SOURCE: Marketing Land 




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