Meet 37 million wealthy customers you are not marketing to, yet
At this year’s Agora Digital Marketing Summit in Baltimore, one of the hot topics of discussion was diversification. And as Brian York, Director for Agora Integrated Marketing, said: “There are other ad platforms out there. Just because you assume our target market doesn’t use them, doesn’t mean that you don’t have an audience on them.”
Of course, Brian was talking about Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest – channels that we at The Agora, traditionally don’t take too seriously.
Today, I want to focus on Pinterest – the home of DIY weddings, fat-burning workouts, and cupcakes. Okay, maybe not in that order… but let’s face it, none of those are ideal sources for leads unless you have a very specific demographic.
Now, I’m not here to argue against all the odds stacked up against Pinterest, but what I will say is: Don’t knock Pinterest until you’ve tested its potential.
And I mean, REALLY test it.
Of course, as is the case with almost everything else, there is no guarantee it will work.
But that’s not a good enough reason to simply dismiss Pinterest as a potential ad platform, because if you delve a little bit deeper, you might just discover that it could have potential staying power.
The thing that really impressed me was Pinterest’s robust set of targeting options. Of course, the platform offers the basics like targeting by location, gender, and device as well as interests and keywords.
But then they take targeting to another level with their lookalike audience generator. And since we know that lookalikes tend to perform well, that’s one tick mark in the “pro” column.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the ad options available. Obviously, you’re limited to the visual style of a pin. But beyond that, there’s a bit of flexibility on offer. The platform actively encourages text cover on images and you are not limited by the 20% coverage enforced by Facebook.
You also have the ability to send your pin straight to a landing page on click, instead of first landing on an intermediary page. And you can set up “removable pins” that don’t remain in your account after your campaign is over, which means you can cash in on the urgency and timeliness that is key for promotional efforts.
My favorite ad option by far is the auto-play video pin. In keeping with our strategy of “one step removed,” you can take an existing, high-performing ad and create a video unit. It’s a new feature, and unproven, but that just means that first-mover advantage is still there for those who figure out how to make this feature work.
One Hurdle… But it’s An Important One
When it comes to your audience, the great thing is that roughly 37 million Pinterest users have an average household income of $100k or higher.
And, if you’re based internationally, the two biggest markets outside the US are Brazil and India, which are both very strong markets.
However, Pinterest is very open about the fact that its users are usually at the beginning stage of the buying cycle. This is slightly negative for most of The Agora businesses because we are primarily interested in capturing people at the last stage of the buying cycle.
The customer journey also tends to be longer. It’s harder to pinpoint (pun not intended) what stage in the buyer cycle a viewer is at, although you can qualify via ad copy.
In addition, currently the primary audience on Pinterest is female, with 81% of active users being female and only 7% attributed to men. So, while the set of targeting options on Pinterest are great, for a business who traditionally markets to men over the age of 55 a platform with 81% female users presents a challenge.
However, I suspect the audience demographic may change, albeit slowly, over time – 40% of new signups are men, but that doesn’t mean the top demographics are actually shifting from female to male. Not just yet.
The Devil is in the Detail
The ad interface, and particularly the bulk editor, is clunky. Launching my first campaign, I probably spent 2 or 3 hours trying to figure out what the #$!&% had gone wrong. As the support team is exclusively located on the west coast, it was also particularly difficult to get support when I needed it.
Another negative bit is that once you’ve got your campaign started, you can’t view which audiences you’re targeting with different ad groups, so you’d better be certain your bulk upload was on-point!
However, the biggest drawback, in my opinion, is that once you’ve uploaded your audience targeting to the ad interface, you can’t view them to verify. You simply have to trust that everything went through all right.
Top Tips for Getting Started
The bottom line: With Google and Facebook increasingly changing their algorithms, community guidelines and platform policies, having your eggs in one basket just isn’t an option anymore. So, reaching beyond Native and exploring other platforms that traditionally would be ignored has now become a necessity. My guess is that for the financial markets, Pinterest may be a difficult nut to crack, but I’d love to see someone in the health space give it a shot.
I’ve just launched my first test on Pinterest. I can’t say how it’ll turn out. But I can give you a few tips for getting started.
- Remember “one step removed.” Take your best performing creative and adapt it for Pinterest. Frankly, if you have a Native ad that’s performing well, adapt it for Pinterest.
- Start with actalikes. We know the overall Pinterest market is pretty far removed from our target market, but we increase our likelihood of finding the right market by utilizing highly targeted lookalikes.
- Get your best call-to-action in the image itself. It’s encouraged, and it’s the most visible location you’re going to get. Repeat the call-to-action in the headline too.
- Pay close attention to your bulk upload sheet. If you don’t pay close attention to detail, you may not get all the little details into the sheet in the way they were meant to be included.