Pinterest can be an incredibly powerful platform for brands that want to grow their visual footprint and make their products discoverable among a wider set of people. According to 2015 eMarketer data, Pinterest’s user base represents more than a quarter of social networkers and nearly 20% of all internet users.

With the right strategy, you won’t just be looking at greater awareness and engagement.

Building a solid Pinterest program can lead to discovery, traffic and Pinterest revenue.

By enabling brands to reach more—and more targeted—users, Promoted Pins have proved to be an important addition to the Pinterest platform. While most marketers have a sound understanding of what Pinterest’s native ad unit can do, however, many are still unsure of their true potential.

For answers, we reached out to Maggie Schulz, Digital Marketing Manager at The Grommet – an online launchpad for unique, small scale products (i.e. “Grommets”). Discovery is core to The Grommet’s business, so it makes sense that Schulz and her team are huge proponents of Pinterest as a product discovery platform. In the following Q&A, Maggie shares why Promoted Pins are a top priority for her team, along with a few ideas that can help you launch an intelligent Promoted Pin program too.

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1. Why did you decide to experiment with Promoted Pins?

Images are a powerful tool for The Grommet. Every weekday, we share the story of a new Maker, Inventor or Entrepreneur’s product. Our images are a vital piece of that story.

When we decided to experiment with Promoted Pins, we had already learned a few things about Pinterest through the work we do with Curalate.

  1. Organic Pinterest data can be valuable outside of Pinterest. For example, we saw a higher performance from our digital ads when we used images that were resonating organically on Pinterest.
  2. Pinterest drives purchases. Our organically pinned images were not only driving engagement and traffic but were also leading to orders.

With this in mind, Promoted Pins were a natural next step for our brand. Promoted Pins would allow for more people to discover the new-to-market products that we support.

2. What’s your process for identifying pins to put money behind?

We look at pins that have driven significant traffic, generated orders, or that have strong engagement in terms of pins and repins. Recency plays a role as well; we often look at which of our newest pins are performing well so we can support upcoming products.

With that said, we also account for older pins that are starting to trend as well as those that may have performed well during a specific holiday or season during a prior year.

For example, in 2014, we created a Valentine’s Day pin that turned out to be a huge hit with our audience. The following year, we decided to promote that pin in order to engage consumers with what we already knew was a great image. Our Valentine’s Day gift ideas for him pin performed really well.

Promoted Pin + Pinterest Revenue

Something else we’re doing is creating long-form images – specifically to be used for Promoted Pins. Curalate data takes the guesswork out of selecting which images to use in long pins. Once we identify our most engaging photos for a particular product, it’s easy to combine them into one pin.

3. How do you measure the impact of Promoted Pins?

For Promoted Pins, our focus is to acquire new customers at a cost that is sustainable. Number of repins as well as repin rate act as early indicators for us when identifying Promoted Pins with high potential.

4. What other social channels are you currently promoting content on?

In addition to Pinterest, we utilize Facebook ads and have started to experiment with promotion on Instagram as well. Being able to leverage our organic image analytics from Curalate gives us a head start when we go to create ads for our other social channels. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, because we have data to back up the decisions we make. We already have a solid understanding of which images are resonating with our audience.

All-In With Pins

Over the course of 2015, The Grommet saw tremendous success in their Promoted Pin program by making thoughtful, data-driven decisions. Their strategy was heavily driven by insight from Curalate. You can read more about how The Grommet delivered a 45x lift in Pinterest revenue here.