Today I’m talking with Alisa Meredith, Content Marketing Manager at Tailwind, and owner of Alisa Meredith Marketing. If you were wondering how to get started with Promoted Pins on Pinterest, this is the episode for you! We go deep and explain everything!
You will learn exactly how to set up your first promoted pin campaign on Pinterest and why it’s such a powerful platform to drive sales.
Some links may be affiliate.
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Jillian: [00:00:03] Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast by Milo Tree. Here is your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian: [00:00:10] Hey, Everyone. Welcome back to the show. Today, my guest is Alisa Meredith.
Jillian: [00:00:16] Alisa is the content marketing manager at Tailwind, which is a company we’ve talked a lot about on the show. She also has her own marketing agency where she focuses on promoted pins that is called Alisa Meredith Marketing. So Alisa, welcome to the show.
Alisa: [00:00:35] Hey, Jillian. Thank you so much. So happy to be here. It was so great to meet you in person finally.
Jillian: [00:00:41] I know. We were friends online and then obviously, we meet people in real life.
Jillian: [00:00:45] I Remember we talked about hair because your curly hair looks so good. You gave me all your tips, you showed me all your products and we bonded over that from the beginning.
Alisa: [00:01:00] We did. But I have been neglectful in following up on this.
Jillian: [00:01:03] In terms of how my hair is going?
Alisa: [00:01:06] Yeah.
Jillian: [00:01:07] Well, I’m getting my hair cut and then, I’m going to launch into the products. I’ll send you a photo after.
Alisa: [00:01:15] I thought your hair was fabulous anyway. I think that’s how the whole conversation started, but I’m anxious to see what you think if you try this method.
Jillian: [00:01:22] Yes. Yes. But if anybody wants to know the special curly hair method, just email me and I will share it. I’ll share what Alisa shared with me and the special products.
Alisa: [00:01:33] Now, what are we talking about again?
Jillian: [00:01:35] I know. I know. So let’s talk about Pinterest. Pinterest comes up a lot on this show, and you were saying that you discovered it back how long ago?
Alisa: [00:01:48] It was 2012 or 2013.
Jillian: [00:01:50] Okay, and you, like me, loved it from the beginning.
Alisa: [00:01:53] Oh, my goodness. Yes. I used to be a terrible bookmark hoarder in my browser. I just found that I never knew where anything was and of course, you never name them properly.
Alisa: [00:02:08] Having this visual system to keep all these articles I want them to refer back to or wanted to read when I had time later, I loved it from the second I found it.
Jillian: [00:02:18] Totally, for us, my husband is my partner, he’s a technologist, I kept saying to him for Catch My Party, please build me something where I can bookmark stuff because then, I would use the content from our own site and blog posts.
Jillian: [00:02:32] I never had a place to save stuff. All of a sudden, Pinterest showed up, and I was able to bookmark all of our own content for myself.
Jillian: [00:02:39] And then what I realized was it was driving us traffic and then we were like “Whoa, this is weird. This is awesome.”
Jillian: [00:02:48] That’s also why we then built Milo tree because we need to double down on Pinterest. We need to grow our following. We need to grow this because this is a juggernaut for us.
Alisa: [00:03:00] Yes, indeed. And you must be really excited by some of the new stuff that came out from Pinterest recently.
Jillian: [00:03:06] Like?
Alisa: [00:03:07] Like the following tab that’s rolling out to everybody.
Jillian: [00:03:10] Yes. Can you explain what that is?
Alisa: [00:03:13] Yeah, sure. A couple of years ago, if you went to your Pinterest home feed, you would see the pins from just the people you follow in the order like in reverse chronological order so the newest stuff first.
Alisa: [00:03:25] Then when smart feed came in, they added all these filters because there was just too much content coming out, and Pinterest wanted to make it a great user experience.They kind of tried to prioritize what they show, when and to whom so the feed changed up a lot.
Alisa: [00:03:39] A lot of people love it because you can discover new stuff but on the other hand, some people really miss the option to have that curated follower feed where you could decide what people and which boards to follow so you could really choose for yourself what you want to see. And now, we can do both.
Jillian: [00:03:58] Yes, yes and there’s a little tab on mobile. I haven’t explored it on desktop but there’s a little tab on mobile that says “following,” I think, and if you click it, you will see the pins from only the people you follow.
Alisa: [00:04:12] Yeah, I don’t even have it on mobile yet. I have it on desktop.
Jillian: [00:04:15] Oh, interesting. So weird how they roll stuff out.
Alisa: [00:04:19] Yeah. And then there’s a page on the Pinterest site that I have bookmarked, and I check all the time because they’re always changing it.
Alisa: [00:04:26] It’s Setting Yourself up for Success on Pinterest page, and they’ve just changed it to let us know that they are sending out our content to our followers first and then based on the reaction of our followers, that’s how they decide what should be seen more.
Jillian: [00:04:41] Yes. In fact, I was just at a conference and a woman from Pinterest was there, sharing best practices. She said this interesting piece which is Pinterest tests your content.
Jillian: [00:04:51] What they do is they show it initially to your followers to see what kind of response it gets. And if it gets a good response, that’s content then that they will show to other people.
Jillian: [00:05:04] The other piece of information this community manager from Pinterest shared is your first five pins of the day are prioritized and show to more of your followers. So if you’re going to be optimizing your pins, focus on those five pins of the day. I would recommend that that be all of your content rather than pins from other people.
Alisa: [00:05:31] Yes, that’s a great idea. There are a lot of questions that came up after that was shared. I love that they’re sharing more of that kind of deep dive tactical information.
Alisa: [00:05:40] But of course, everyone wanted to know what are the first five? What time zone? So I did contact them, and I got a message back from support that it is midnight UTC.
Jillian: [00:05:51] And what is UTC?
Alisa: [00:05:52] GMT.
Jillian: [00:05:52] It’s Greenwich Mean Time.
Alisa: [00:05:58] Yeah. It’s the same thing. Here on the East Coast, we’re on Daylight Saving Time. So I think now, we’re four hours behind that. So for me, my first pins of the day start at 8 p.m.
Jillian: [00:06:11] Got it. OK. So here in California then, it would be 5:00 p.m. Look, I could do that math really quick.
Alisa: [00:06:18] Yeah, I did. I’m impressed.
Jillian: [00:06:18] So one thing that you focus on is promoted pins. I feel like promoted pins do not get the same kind of attention that ads on Facebook do, and that people don’t quite know how to start with promoted pins or what promoted pins will get them.
Jillian: [00:06:39] Can you, in a nutshell, explain what promoted pins are, and what the value is behind them?
Alisa: [00:06:49] Sure. I think that there’s a good reason for that. On Facebook, if you don’t pay, you don’t get reached. On Pinterest, that’s not the case.
Alisa: [00:06:55] Pinterest is very generous in giving us exposure for our content. So I think a lot of people can get really great results on Pinterest without promoting.
Alisa: [00:07:04] But if you’re on a time crunch or you just want more, promoted pins are the way to go because all it is is just an ad but it is a pin that you’ve already pinned.
Jillian: [00:07:16] So it’s taking your clientele and kind of accelerating it.
Alisa: [00:07:21] Exactly. It has fewer options in Facebook which, to me, is a good thing because it’s not so overwhelming. But it does have one really cool feature which we can talk about in a bit but I don’t think any other ad platform has.
Alisa: [00:07:38] It is absolutely worth a look especially as you know prices start to rise on other networks as it gets more crowded. Fewer people are using promoted pins so there is room to get started.
Alisa: [00:07:49] It Is the way it converts too. We know that 97 percent of the searches on Pinterest are non branded which means that people don’t come into Pinterest with a preconceived idea of exactly what they want to buy and from whom.
Alisa: [00:08:03] You have the opportunity to get into their minds at a much earlier stage in their decision making process which does mean that you have to be a little bit more patient with your ads on Pinterest, but it also means that you have a better shot against the people with the big ad budgets on Pinterest than you may somewhere else.
Jillian: [00:08:21] And what do you mean by that, that you can get into their minds earlier?
Alisa: [00:08:25] So, when you’re on Google or Amazon, you pretty much know exactly what you want. If you’re on Pinterest, you’re probably a lot of times in the beginning stages of planning for something. You may be planning a house remodel, and you might be looking for ideas on refreshing mid-century modern bathroom.
Alisa: [00:08:46] You’re not necessarily searching for a Moen faucet. You are searching for those bigger ideas. You can start to get people into your site, learning about your content, get them on your email list long before they’re ready to pull the trigger.
Alisa: [00:09:01] I mean people do buy from Pinterest promoted pins quite a bit. 1 in 2 have said they’ve purchased from a promoted pin but you can get in much earlier which is a huge benefit for smaller business.
Jillian: [00:09:14] Got it. Let’s walk through. Let’s say I have an Etsy shop and I sell jewelry. Talk to me about how you would recommend, I used promoted pins.
Jillian: [00:09:24] Let’s say I’d take a bunch of photos of my bracelets and rings, and I’m pinning them to Pinterest. What would you say to me? How can I increase sales using Pinterest?
Alisa: [00:09:40] The first thing to know is that lifestyle images convert at a much higher rate than do straight product shots.
Jillian: [00:09:46] Right, so you don’t want just that white background.
Alisa: [00:09:48] If you look at the fashion pins on Pinterest and especially take note of the ones that are promoted because people are probably spending more time on those, you’ll see very few faces.
Alisa: [00:09:57] If it is a product like that, you do want to zoom in on it so people can see exactly what it is. You don’t have to put the text on the image.
Jillian: [00:10:06] Got it. Would you recommend text on the image?
Alisa: [00:10:09] It depends on what it is. In this example, we’re talking about a piece of jewelry. If it’s obvious what it is, no, you don’t need that. I think it could be distracting and take away from it.
Alisa: [00:10:19] If it’s a service offering or something, absolutely, texts on images are really important. For products, not necessarily.
Jillian: [00:10:27] Okay, so I’ve got this photo or this pin of a bracelet that I made, and it’s doing well. It’s got a bunch of free pins. And people seem to like it so I’m going to say, “That would be probably a good pin to promote.”
Jillian: [00:10:44] Would you agree with that as a strategy like put it out there first, see if it gets any kind of organic traction and then, choose that as a pin to promote or do you recommend “I’m going to start fresh, new pin and promote it then”?
Alisa: [00:11:00] You can do either but I would say that we’re probably not looking at the right thing. I would back up a little bit and see which products are converting from Pinterest.
Alisa: [00:11:10] I’m not really familiar with the backend of Etsy. I’ve done quite a bit in Teachers Pay Teachers so I would want to know which products convert well when people come from Pinterest.
Jillian: [00:11:21] Like let’s say your Teachers Pay Teachers Page.
Alisa: [00:11:25] Yeah. And that you can tell pretty well. But if we’re talking about Etsy, hopefully, there’s a way to do that. Is there?
Jillian [00:11:35] I think there is, that you can see which products of yours are selling.
Alisa: [00:11:38] Yeah. Okay. And hopefully, you can tell what source they come in from. If not, you kind of probably have to give your best guess.
Alisa: [00:11:47] Generally speaking, I think the lower priced items do better on Pinterest promoted pins if you’re looking to get sales immediately. Of course, little impulse buy.
Alisa: [00:11:58] But instead of starting from the pin, I will start with the product. Think about what’s going to convert. If you then can look at your pins, you have one that leads to that, it gets great engagement, it gets a lot of re-pins, then that’s the one I would do.
Alisa: [00:12:13] The great thing about promoted pins of course is that it’s already an existing pin. You promote it. You show it to tons of people. It gets a ton of re-pins. Anyone who clicks on any of those re-pins, you don’t pay for the traffic to your site.
Jillian: [00:12:27] Wait. Say that again. So explain that. This is where I think the value of promoted pins is really obvious. So explain.
Alisa: [00:12:38] If you like a bargain, you want to hear this. When you promote a pin, you are paying to have it shown to many, many, more people. As many, many, more people see it and those many people re-pin your pin, if others then see those repackaged versions of your promoted pin and they click on it, you don’t pay for those clicks.
Jillian: [00:12:59] Great. So I’ve got this pin of my bracelet. You like it. You pin it. So it shows to you. I pay for it to show to you. Then you re-pin it.
Jillian: [00:13:12] It’s now in your Fabulous Jewelry board. And then somebody, your friend or whomever is following you, sees it there and they click on it. And they even end up on my shop. I’m not paying for that.
Alisa: [00:13:26] If you’re using a traffic campaign, though that’s where you get your best bargain that way, yeah.
Jillian: [00:13:35] Okay, so versus what is it like, conversion, like where there’s actually a purchase.
Alisa: [00:13:40] No. The other options are you can pay for awareness. That one, it can generate re-pins but I find the best bargain overall is with traffic campaigns.
Jillian: [00:13:52] Got it.
Alisa: [00:13:53] Yes. Awareness really is just to get it in front of people. You’re not paying for any action on it. You’re just paying per impression.
Alisa: [00:13:59] You c an pay for an engagement ad which I thought this will be good because I thought maybe I can increase the number re-pins for very little money and then, get clicks from that. .
Alisa: [00:14:11] In My experience, and please try everything because it might be different for you, but in my experience, what I ended up paying for were close ups where people click on the pin and look at it enlarged, and then nothing else happened.
Jillian: [00:14:24] That was when you were paying for that with engagement. Yeah. So engagement, you’re paying any time somebody clicks on the pin but doesn’t necessarily go to your site. They’re just looking at it.
Alisa: [00:14:33] Yes, so I always stick with traffic campaigns. Now, I tried to make that work for me but it just didn’t.
Jillian: [00:14:41] That’s interesting. So I am going to promote this pin, my bracelet pin, and I’m going to do a traffic campaign so it just gets shown to more people.
Alisa: [00:14:52] And you’re paying for the clicks only.
Jillian: [00:14:54] I’m paying for the clicks only so it’s being shown to many more people than the number of people clicking.
Alisa: [00:15:02] That’s right. And so in effect, you’re getting awareness on top of it.
Jillian: [00:15:06] That’s terrific. And then what do you recommend? Do you recommend a follow up pin? What else would you put in that stew?
Alisa: [00:15:18] Okay, so what you could do with that, let’s see, you have just the bracelet. I think for a product like that, a standalone promoted pin campaign can work really well. You don’t necessarily have to get into a funnel if you’re selling a piece of jewelry.
Alisa: [00:15:35] What you could do then on top of that is you could build another traffic campaign where you’re targeting people who engage with that pin.
Alisa: [00:15:47] And here’s why that might be cool: if you target your promoted pin by people who have engaged with it, and bear with me because I may have to say this twice, you could say “I want to target people who have not clicked on this pin. They’ve done something else with it but they haven’t clicked on it.”
Jillian: [00:16:09] Clicked on it, meaning to see a big version of it or to actually go to my site?
Alisa: [00:16:16] Close up. Click would be going to your site. I can then target anybody who has engaged with any version of that pin.
Alisa: [00:16:27] So if I take, I have the bracelet product page URL and I’m going to say, “Okay, Pinterest, I want to target anybody who has engaged with my pin but has not clicked yet. This is the pin, whatever pin it is, has to lead to this page.”
Alisa: [00:16:42] So Pinterest will go out and find every version of every pin of the links to my page. It doesn’t have to be something I pinned. It could be something you pinned or somebody down the street or somebody across the world.
Alisa: [00:16:56] I can now target people who have engaged with my content even if they don’t follow me or they didn’t click on my particular instance of that pin. That’s the one that I don’t think is available on any other network.
Jillian: [00:17:12] Wow. Okay, so back to that bracelet pin, if you pinned it, somebody sees your pin, had enlarged it, done a closeup of it, I can then target that person who doesn’t follow me, who’s never seen my account on Pinterest but I can then target that person?
Alisa: [00:17:32] Right, because basically, what you’re doing is saying, “I know this person showed some interest in this pin or one of the pins that goes to this page at some point but they didn’t click on it to go to my website.”
Alisa: [00:17:43] So now, I want to hit them with a pin that takes them to my website.
Jillian: [00:17:47] Wow. That’s terrific. And how much are we talking about in terms of paying for promoted pins?
Alisa: [00:17:56] Right. It’s an auction like Facebook is. So it depends on your targeting and the competition of your targeting. You don’t have to spend a ton of money.
Alisa: [00:18:09] When I set up a campaign, I will typically set up multiple ad groups inside of it. Those ad groups will be separated by what kind of targeting I’m using.
Jillian: [00:18:19] Is that the same? Explain what that means. Are you using the same pin but targeting different groups with it?
Alisa: [00:18:25] Yes. So typically the way that I organize a campaign is the campaign will be for one product or one article. Underneath that campaign will be the different ad groups which are divided by targeting types.
Alisa: [00:18:39] I might have one that’s targeting by search keywords. I might have another one that’s targeting by visitors to my site. I might have another one that’s an act like audience of some audience that does really well for each of those ad groups.
Alisa: [00:18:56] I would never want to try to make it work with less than five dollars a day. Because it will take forever to figure out if it’s working.
Jillian: [00:19:07] Exactly. And I just wanted to go over that again which is so we’ve done some for MiloTree. We’ve done some paid promotion on Facebook and Pinterest.
Jillian: [00:19:17] And it’s this weird thing which is you just put five dollars in per day. What you’re really trying to do is learn.
Jillian: [00:19:25] At five dollars a day or less than that, it’s really hard. Your stuff is not going to be shown very much. What you’re trying to do is get data. So in a weird way, you do want to spend upfront so that you can learn quickly.
Alisa: [00:19:41] That’s right. You have to consider too that even if it doesn’t convert really well right away, you are building a re-targeting audience so that you can later on target people to that page because they saw your pin or you can use re-targeting on Facebook because now, they’ve been to your site. It’s a little bit of an investment upfront.
Jillian: [00:20:02] Yes. Let’s say, you create a campaign and in it, you’ve got the same pin but you’re targeting different audiences. You would put at least five dollars toward each of those pins, each of those audiences?
Alisa: [00:20:23] Yes, absolutely. I typically will have a lot more than that. Usually, you have 12 to 14 because I also separate it out by mobile and on desktop. Because your cost per conversion can be so incredibly different.
Jillian: [00:20:45] Interesting. What do you find because, do people buy on mobile?
Alisa: [00:20:48] Yes, they do but it depends on your product. If you have a SaaS product or if you have a software product, people are probably going to find it on desktop.
Jillian: [00:20:59] MiloTree, for example. We get very few conversions on mobile. You’re not going to sit there on your phone and be optimizing your pop up. Almost all of our conversions are desktops so when we have run ads, we only target desktop.
Jillian: [00:21:17] If I’m a jewelry designer, could I get sales on mobile?
Alisa: [00:21:21] Oh, totally and just talking to my ad rep at Pinterest, she shared with me that it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, the vast majority of the conversions, the sales are happening on Apple products like your iPhone and your iPad.
Jillian: [00:21:39] How about like Apple computer or does she mean more mobile?
Alisa: [00:21:43] She’s talking more mobile because Pinterest is so mobile. What we promote a lot of times is somewhat unique. We’re not selling a physical product.
Alisa: [00:21:52] For physical product, you’re going to probably get a lot more on mobile but you might find it super expensive, and you still get a few on desktop, I would try it anyway.
Jillian: [00:22:04] So you are now promoting to 12 to 14 different audiences at five dollars a day.
Alisa: [00:22:10] Yeah.
Jillian: [00:22:13] That is an investment.
Alisa: [00:22:14] It is but you know what? I’m a bargain hunter. No one knew this about me.
Jillian: [00:22:20] I like that.
Alisa: [00:22:21] Because I told you to find some products on Groupon.
Jillian: [00:22:25] Groupon. Totally. You just have to say the name of the hair products just so in case anybody sees.
Alisa: [00:22:29] Yeah, Diva Curl.
Jillian: [00:22:31] Diva Curl.
Alisa: [00:22:36] So if I had an Etsy shop and I’m looking at this and I’m thinking, “No way”, can I do 12 ad groups at five dollars a day for a month to figure this out?
Alisa: [00:22:46] I totally understand that especially if you had 10 products you wanted to promote. It’s just impossible.
Alisa: [00:22:53] So there are two different ways you could do this. One way is you could create a promoted pin that had a whole collection of items that you wanted to promote.
Jillian: [00:23:03] Within the pin?
Alisa: [00:23:05] Yes, like a collage. That can work really well. Pinterest even recommends a strategy having multiple items in an image because it appeals to a much wider range of people when they see it.
Jillian: [00:23:17] That makes a lot of sense.
Alisa: [00:23:19] Yeah. And then, that’s a way to really figure out what kind of audience is going to work for you without having to manage and pay for 10 different campaigns.
Alisa: [00:23:29] You just have one and then, the pin would lead to a page where you would have all those items very easily purchased.
Alisa: [00:23:38] Target does this really well. In my presentation for Social Media Marketing World, I showed a pin that they had of two different dining room setups and then if you click on that pin, it takes you to all their dining room setups.
Alisa: [00:23:52] So you could do that in the pages. It’s basically a catalog page with just all items that’s easy to buy, easy to put in your cart.
Jillian: [00:24:01] So I make bracelets. I have a variety of bracelets in a collage. I put, let’s say, three bracelets and I link it to my bracelet page. So instead of just those specific products, I could link it to some sort of catalog of all of my 20 bracelets.
Alisa: [00:24:21] That’s right. You could do that. So that’s one way to kind of keep the cost down when you’re just starting.
Alisa: [00:24:28] The other way is to try to prioritize your ad groups, prioritize what kind of targeting you’re going to try.
Alisa: [00:24:37] There are a bunch of different ways you could target. You could target by broad match keywords which is basically Pinterest looks at your keywords, matches them to a prescribed interest and serves them up in the home for people they think might be interested in it.
Alisa: [00:24:53] That’s one way to reach strangers. You can also use phrase in exact match keywords which only will show your pin when somebody searches those terms.
Jillian: [00:25:04] So broad matches exactly what it says which is if it’s an exact match, you would have to say pearl bracelet. Somebody has to be searching for pearl bracelet but if it’s a broad match, it could be some other type of bracelet or just the word “bracelet” like some sort that Pinterest knows.
Alisa: [00:25:26] No.
Jillian: [00:25:26] Okay, tell me.
Alisa: [00:25:27] What you just described is exactly what you would think. And that’s what I thought too. But then I exported some of my promoted pin campaigns that were just using broad match keywords, and I found that they were showing up in the home feed.
Alisa: [00:25:43] And I said to Pinterest “What’s this about?” Because I thought it would be people searching these broad topics. They said “No, it has nothing to do with search.”
Jillian: [00:25:53] Wow. That is different than Google ads, just so you know.
Alisa: [00:25:57] I think it’s different than everything.
Jillian: [00:26:01] Definitely look into that. Broad match is not what I think it is.
Alisa: [00:26:04] It is not.
Jillian: [00:26:05] So broad match means it’s going to show up in somebody’s feed that they’re not searching for bracelets. Pinterest thinks you might like bracelets so my pin’s going to show up in your feed.
Alisa: [00:26:16] Yeah, and they do have good reasons to think that. So they can look at the boards that I create the pins, that I engage with and think that person might be interested.
Alisa: [00:26:23] But I ran an experiment, and the results will not surprise you. So I did two sets of 74 identical ad groups, same pin, same descriptions, same everything.
Alisa: [00:26:34] The only difference in the two sets is that one, I used broad match keywords; the other one, I use the phrase in exact match type keywords. The phrase in exact match converted at 60 percent higher into sales.
Jillian: [00:26:51] Interesting.
Alisa: [00:26:53] The broad actually gave me, I think, it was two thirds more re-pins which makes a lot of sense because it’s searching what you are going to buy. People who are just interested are probably going to save it for later.
Jillian: [00:27:07] Exactly. They are higher up in the funnel.
Alisa: [00:27:12] Yeah, which is fine. There’s value in that as well.
Jillian: [00:27:16] That’s interesting. Alright. So sorry. I had taken you off the path.
Alisa: [00:27:20] I know. We kind of had to go there because it was confusing to me as well. So we have our broad match, our phrase and the exact match. So those are how we can target strangers really easily.
Alisa: [00:27:38] If I were going to do like three ad groups to start, I would probably do one that’s phrase and exact match. Then I would do a visit or audience.
Alisa: [00:27:47] So, depending on how big your email list is, you can just target people who went to any page on your site or you can really break it down.
Alisa: [00:27:55] On Etsy, I don’t think you can do this unfortunately because you can’t put the pixel. If you think you’re ever going to want to run a promoted pin ad, do this now.
Alisa: [00:28:07] So go to your conversion tracking in Pinterest ads, grab the pixel, put it on the header of every page of your site. What that does is allows Pinterest to collect information on people coming to your site.
Alisa: [00:28:21] You can even break it down by “I want to target someone who went to this page” or this list of pages but didn’t go to this page, and that’s how you can create a funnel once you get enough information.
Alisa: [00:28:33] The tricky thing about Pinterest, of course, is it’s not as big as Facebook or Google. So audiences that are below 100,000 in size, it can be difficult to scale.
Alisa: [00:28:45] So for an Etsy seller , it’s probably going to be tough to scale that kind of audience.
Jillian: [00:28:52] So what you’re saying is that you need at least a hundred thousand visitors?
Alisa: [00:28:57] Yeah.
Jillian: [00:28:57] To your site.
Alisa: [00:28:59] Yes.
Jillian: [00:29:00] Is that per month or there’s a total?
Alisa: [00:29:02] No, you can set the time frame. So when you create your audience, you can put in – I want to target people who’ve been to my site in the last, and it goes up to almost two years, I think.
Jillian: [00:29:12] Wow. But remember, those people who came to your site two years ago are much less valuable to you than the people who came yesterday.
Alisa: [00:29:19] That’s right.
Jillian: [00:29:22] So this might not work as well if you are a small shop, a small Shopify store, let’s say.
Alisa: [00:29:33] Getting into Etsy mode, I’m still going to stick with the phrase in exact match keywords. That’s going to help us reach a new audience and then, it might make more sense to try to do an engagement audience.
Alisa: [00:29:47] So, people who have engaged with pins that go to your site. Particularly if you have a lot of re-pins out there. You’re probably going to get a bigger number that way and then, what else would I want to do?
Alisa: [00:30:01] I think in that case where you don’t have a lot, like you don’t maybe have an email list, we’ll say you don’t have an email list, you don’t have much of a visitor list.
Alisa: [00:30:12] Phrase and engagement, and maybe try the broad match keywords. So that would be my three I would start with.
Jillian: [00:30:29] Okay. Now, if I do have, let’s say, I happen to have a big email list, tell me what I could do with that.
Alisa: [00:30:36] You could upload it and target those people who ever Pinterest could find.
Jillian: [00:30:42] That’s pretty interesting. I’m collecting emails on my site, let’s say. So if I’ve been an Etsy shop member, I can’t collect them on Etsy but let’s say, I have a blog, which I highly recommend you do, that links to my Etsy shop.
Jillian: [00:30:54] On my blog, I can collect email addresses. Again, you can do it with MiloTree. You can do it with a whole host of tools. You can give content away in exchange for their email address, whatever.
Jillian: [00:31:06] Let’s say I’ve got 40,000 email addresses.
Alisa: [00:31:12] Awesome. My first question would be is it segmented at all?
Jillian: [00:31:16] Let’s say, and what that means is like I’ve tagged certain groups like maybe I collected a group of e-mails who loved my How to Clean Jewelry free content or something, like I know these people are interested in jewelry.
Jillian: [00:31:33] I know this group is interested in scarves, let’s say. Maybe I have added tags to those different emails, email addresses based on where they came from, how they got on my list.
Alisa: [00:31:46] Yes, you can upload each of those separately. That’s a different audience so then, you target smarter.
Jillian: [00:31:52] So I’ve got my jewelry list, I’ve got my scarves list.
Alisa: [00:31:55] You probably have a customer list too.
Jillian: [00:31:58] Yes, definitely, who have actually made purchases.
Alisa: [00:32:01] Every time you come out with a new item, you can promote that to them.
Jillian: [00:32:05] So then I am going to upload these email address lists and then Pinterest is going to say “I know people’s email addresses who are on Pinterest.”
Jillian: [00:32:15] If there’s a match, if somebody is searching on Pinterest with the same email address that I have, I’m going to show them that promoted pin.
Alisa: [00:32:25] That’s right.
Jillian: [00:32:27] And if they’ve purchased from me in the past, then chances are they might purchase from me again. And so I will put that in my, let’s say, purchase email list, target and those people are probably the most valuable to me.
Jillian: [00:32:42] That is incredibly cool. How have you found that working?
Alisa: [00:32:47] It depends on the quality of the email list and what you’re promoting. I always try everything. That’s where I would start with the three.
Alisa: [00:33:00] I would start with just a few to keep your budget down and then after a month or so, look at whichever one is not working as well as the other two. You can turn that one off and try something else.
Jillian: [00:33:09] Okay. That’s my question. How long does it take to learn?
Alisa: [00:33:39] Count on about twice as long as other platforms.
Jillian: [00:33:18] Because like Facebook, I’ve heard at least run them a week.
Alisa: [00:33:20] Yes. I would go more than that for Pinterest.
Jillian: [00:33:25] So you would go up to four weeks?
Alisa: [00:33:28] You can tell in a couple days if it’s just not going to get any impressions and then, you try something else. But as far as waiting to see about sales, yeah.
Jillian: [00:33:37] And the one thing that I struggle with, I see my results, my early results, I want to get in there and I want to start mucking around. I want to start. It is hard.
Jillian: [00:33:49] I want to let you know it is hard to watch that money going like you are spending. Every day seeing your bank account go down, and you’re going, “Oh my God. It’s just not working.”
Jillian: [00:34:02] I want to get in there too early and start turning ads off, turning ads on. And I kick myself. I really have to not look, force myself not to look at my results because my human nature is like I could figure this out. Bleeding money, how do you deal with that?
Alisa: [00:34:24] I have the same issue. I mean if you’re on Etsy, too, it’s really hard because you’re not seeing the conversion data.
Alisa: [00:34:32] So on a site that you own, you can install pixels that will allow you to tell which promoted pins and which targeting is actually resulting in sign ups, resulting in purchases, resulting in add to cart, all these cool things.
Jillian: [00:34:48] Can you explain what that means?
Alisa: [00:34:50] Yeah. So when you install that conversion pixel on your site, all you’re able to do at that point is basically track clicks and also keep track of the people who go to your website.
Alisa: [00:35:05] So in your Pinterest ad dashboard, you’re going to see conversions but you don’t really know what that means. Was it converted to a click through to your website? Was it a sale? What was it?
Alisa: [00:35:17] But if you do a little more advanced tracking, which I highly recommend for people who are going to spend a lot of money on promoted pins and/or who have a lot of products to sell and you really can’t do it on a site like Etsy or Teachers Pay Teachers.
Jillian: [00:35:32] Right, because you don’t own that.
Alisa: [00:35:35] So you’d want to do it on a store that you own. Unfortunately, I know that’s not one of the options for everyone but if you can do that, then when you go to your ads dashboard, you’re able to see over time what targeting does to impact your sales.
Jillian: [00:35:51] Right. So when there is a sale, Pinterest can determine whether that sale came from that promoted pin so you’re going to actually see, “Oh my God. I spent $20 on an ad but it drove $50 in sales.”
Alisa: [00:36:12] That’s right.
Jillian: [00:36:13] And that was good. That’s worth investing more money in.
Alisa: [00:36:18] Right. You can also do it with UTM codes. In Teachers Pay Teachers, they have a dashboard where you can see where the sales come in and you can see if there’s a UTM code used.
Alisa: [00:36:29] We can kind of figure it out that way but ideally, you want to be able to see it in the Pinterest ads dashboard if you can. I’ll tell you what happens to me when I go in there, I had to do a little test to calm myself down.
Alisa: [00:36:44] But when you go in and look, it’ll be like a month ago, things were going along pretty good. And then, the last two weeks or so, it just tanks. It looks like you got no sales at all.
Alisa: [00:36:56] But if you’re patient and you wait a week or two and then you go back and screenshot that exact same time frame, you’ll see the conversions were good all along in the past because of the way Pinterest tracks the conversion.
Alisa: [00:37:12] If you saw the bracelet pin on April 1st and maybe you re-pinned it, then on, let’s say, April 15th, you did a Google search and you ended up on that same bracelet page, then you bought it, Pinterest looks at that sale and says, “That was because of the promoted pin.”
Alisa: [00:37:35] It attributes that to April 1st, that day you acted on the pin. Not to April 15th.” So on April 15th, you’re looking at your ads dashboard and thinking nobody bought anything that day, but they did. It was just on April 1st to get credit.
Alisa: [00:37:50] Got it.
Jillian: [00:37:50] It’s crazy but that plays into our little panic.
Alisa: [00:37:55] Is this really working? Should I change it? Do I need to turn it off? Try to give it time. Go into it. I like how you said it’s about learning so make a commitment that you’re going to stick it out until you learn something.
Jillian: [00:38:09] Yes. And a couple of other things: one, UTM parameters. I just want to say what they are. It’s a unique URL. So I’ve got my URL to my bracelet. And then what I can do is I can add some code beyond just the regular Etsy URL that makes it a very specific URL.
Jillian: [00:38:30] If somebody buys from that URL or comes to my site via that URL, I can get data on that specific URL which is going to land me on the same page, the same bracelet page but it’s going to look different.
Jillian: [00:38:44] I can tell where my traffic is coming from which is how you would describe it. If you don’t know how to set up, Google it.
Alisa: [00:38:52] It’s really easy. You’re right, and that’s how we use it for Teachers Pay Teachers. But the limitation on that is if they don’t purchase in that moment when they’re using that UTM code, we aren’t able to capture the sale.
Alisa: [00:39:07] So if there’s any way you can put that conversion tracking in that event tracking pixel on a website you own, that’s what you want to do.
Jillian: [00:39:16] Okay. Here’s the other thing: Tell me if you think this is true which is you want your data to direct you to what is working.
Jillian: [00:39:26] However, there are other times where, for example, we were running Facebook ads for MiloTree. We could not connect exactly how that sale came to our site but when we were running ads, our sales went up.
Alisa: [00:39:44] Yeah, and I think a lot of people do it that way.
Jillian: [00:39:46] So it’s like it wasn’t this direct. You want to be able to say ,”Wow, I read this ad. This ad led to this many sales. I can see that direct line. I could see the conversion pixel.” But sometimes, the story is murkier.
Alisa: [00:40:05] That is so true.
Jillian: [00:40:07] So this is where by getting in there, experimenting and trying, you start to get a sixth sense. Do you agree?
Alisa: [00:40:15] Yeah, I do.
Jillian: [00:40:17] And so when you can’t fully determine it, you have to look at it and say “Wow, I started ads on April 1st. My sales went up.” I don’t know. I can’t tell you why or how that happened but they did so I’m going to keep running those ads or you can then do an experiment, turn off the ads and see if your sales drop.
Alisa: [00:40:41] Yeah. And I think that’s why it’s important to not change anything else. If that’s what you’re relying on, then don’t turn off your Facebook ads. Leave it all running to leave everything the same so you only change one item, and that’s how you know it’s working.
Jillian: [00:40:57] And this is another piece of human nature that I fail this test and I have to like literally tie my hands.
Jillian: [00:41:08] I wanna start changing more variables and then gets me in trouble because you want to only test one change at a time so that you can identify, “It was this, and I want to get in there and start changing audiences, whatever.” And I then learned nothing.
Jillian: [00:41:29] So I’ve spent a ton of money. Maybe I’ve gotten sales. Maybe I haven’t. But at the end of the day, I know nothing.
Alisa: [00:41:34] I know, like easier said than done. I totally understand.
Jillian: [00:41:38] So if in fact, you’re in this situation and you’re like me in that you want to know immediately, you don’t want to be kind of bleeding money, just know that your instincts are probably not going to help you. They might hurt you.
Alisa: [00:41:53] Right. But over time, like you said, you will start to intuit it what’s going to work, what is working and you’ll be able to trust that a bit more.
Jillian: [00:42:02] Exactly. Again, we talked and you were talking about promoted pins, do you recommend them? I am a small Etsy shop, and I sell bracelets, should I dig in, spend the time learn how to do this? Is it worth it?
Alisa: [00:42:18] Yes, you should. Particularly, if you have tried advertising elsewhere and in it, the price has gone up.
Alisa: [00:42:29] I wouldn’t say if you’ve tried elsewhere and nothing works and you don’t get any sales, then maybe there’s a problem with the pricing, the presentation or something but if you’re feeling priced out of other options for sure or if other things are working, you just want to try a new audience, yeah.
Alisa: [00:42:46] You know your people are on Pinterest. You know you’re getting sales from Pinterest. Yeah.
Jillian: [00:42:52] And that is a really good point. I mean Pinterest’s audience keeps growing, keeps evolving but if you are in that sweet spot of women who love beautiful things, who want to remodel their house. Isn’t food like the number one category on Pinterest?
Alisa: [00:43:11] I think so.
Jillian: [00:43:15] Go where your people are. If they’re not on Pinterest, don’t advertise on Pinterest. But if on Facebook, there probably is that audience on Facebook
Alisa: [00:43:26] Yeah. So if you know where your traffic comes from, if you know where your sales come from and you’re seeing it’s coming from Pinterest, obviously it’s a good bet for you.
Jillian: [00:43:36] Wow. I have learned so much.
Jillian: [00:43:38] Dissect this with me: We ran two ads on Pinterest for MiloTree. They were traffic campaign ads which is what you recommend. One led to a blog post, and one led to our sign up page in our homepage.
Jillian: [00:44:03] Our pin that led to a blog post, it was something like 10 Ways to Grow your Instagram Followers. It performed so much better than our pin and I think it was the same pin. Would that make sense?
Alisa: [00:44:25] No.
Jillian: [00:44:25] I know, then it was different pins. That’s where, again, I have too many variables. The one that was like grow your social media followers, an email list or something that was more general that led directly to our home page did not perform anywhere near as well as our 10 Tips to Grow Instagram.
Alisa: [00:44:42] Well, that didn’t surprised me but let me ask you another question first.
Jillian: [00:44:45] Go.
Alisa: [00:44:46] When you say it didn’t perform as well, what do you mean?
Jillian: [00:44:49] Clicks.
Alisa: [00:44:50] Okay, so what you really want to look at is conversions because if you think about it, people are going to click because they want to learn about 10 ways to make their Instagram better. But, does that mean that they’re necessarily going to sign up your email list or sign up for your products? Not necessarily.
Alisa: [00:45:06] You have two steps when you’re doing that. They have to click on the pin. They have to go to the blog post, and they have to convert whereas if you’re promoting a landing page with a sale sign up, definitely put a pin, they have to sign up.
Alisa: [00:45:18] You have removed a step in between. I would guess that even if you got far fewer clicks to the landing page, you’re probably still overall converted better than the blog post.
Jillian: [00:45:29] Interesting because I think you’re right. This is back, I don’t know, maybe a year ago where I wasn’t sophisticated to know this, and I was just looking at clicks. I have to check to make sure we have our conversion pixel on. I think we do.
Alisa: [00:45:46] Okay, but remember, you can have your conversion pixel in there. It’s tracking clicks. It’s tracking traffic but you need to set up your event tracking in order to figure out what’s really converting.
Alisa: [00:46:00] It’s going to depend so maybe your blog post converts amazingly well, the sign ups and then, that would be great. You should promote that.
Alisa: [00:46:10] Maybe you could have a slide in for converting to sales. If your landing page converts ten times better than your blog post, then send them there.
Jillian: [00:46:20] That’s where I want to send them. I was just actually talking about Facebook funnels. What is your thought about setting up Pinterest funnels versus, I’m just going to advertise my bracelet? Are there Pinterest funnels like is that a thing?
Alisa: [00:46:39] Yes, absolutely. So if you had a huge amount of traffic, you got a huge amount of engagement, you had just massive numbers going on, you could create a funnel exclusively in Pinterest.
Alisa: [00:46:52] You could target a person who went to this blog post and then, target them with an ad that goes to the next blog post which is bringing them further down in the funnel.
Alisa: [00:47:04] And then you could target the people who clicked on that pin with another ad that brings them to a landing page. So you could do that kind of all on Pinterest funnel if you had a huge audience.
Alisa: [00:47:18] But, for most of us, what we’re going to do for a funnel instead is to get them from Pinterest to our website to our e-mail list and then, we can work from there.
Jillian: [00:47:28] So it’s a way to drive email sign ups.
Alisa: [00:47:32] Yeah.
Jillian: [00:47:33] I’m just taking notes because this is so good.
Jillian: [00:47:37] Okay. And then therefore sell them. The relationship that I can build once they’ve signed up for my list.
Alisa: [00:47:43] That’s right. Yes.
Jillian: [00:47:44] So the final conversion probably then wouldn’t happen on Pinterest. It would happen via the connection that we built.
Alisa: [00:47:51] That’s right. But if you had your event tracking set up on Pinterest and the conversion happened within a set period of time, you would be able to see that in your dashboard.
Jillian: [00:48:00] Can you explain? So that means that Pinterest is watching, listening or tracking is a better word so that if in fact you’ve clicked on my pin, you’ve gone to my site and then ultimately, let’s say, I put it for 30 days. 30 days later, you make a sale.
Jillian: [00:48:17] I make a sale. You buy my product. Now, it might be that you’re getting emails in the short term because I’m reaching out to you and telling you about my product. You make a purchase. Pinterest will say “Aha, that sale came from that pin.”
Alisa: [00:48:35] Yeah, that’s right. I love the way that the Pinterest does that. It’s not always that last touch attribute so it doesn’t have to be that the last time before they bought was that they were on Pinterest.
Alisa: [00:48:46] It’s them kind of helping you see how it fits into your larger sales cycle.
Jillian: [00:48:53] I love that.
Alisa: [00:48:54] Yeah, me too. There are limitations though. Certain browsers will remove that tracking information, and certain ad blockers will remove it.
Alisa: [00:49:01] You have to figure it’s under reporting a little bit only because there’s no way to get that information.
Jillian: [00:49:08] And this is again where you get that sixth sense, and you start to like go ,”Well, I am getting sales even though it’s not exactly showing me the direct path but there’s something working there.”
Alisa: [00:49:25] That’s right.
Jillian: [00:49:26] Oh, gosh. We are going to have to do a part two to this because what I’m going to do is I’m going to use this information, and I am going to run some more ads, some more promoted pins and then I would love to check back in with you. Go over how that worked.
Alisa: [00:49:46] It’s a date.
Jillian: [00:49:47] Is that a date?
Alisa: [00:49:48] Yeah.
Jillian: [00:49:48] And anybody else who wants to try, start with the first, the basic stuff that Alisa has talked about.
Jillian: [00:49:56] Add a very simple campaign where you are doing a traffic campaign, you’re targeting very few audiences, you’re going to do five dollars a day and you’re going to start collecting information.
Jillian: [00:50:14] Start at your site, start at what is already selling and start promoting that. And in terms of imagery, do you then try different images and see which one of those is the best?
Alisa: [00:50:31] Yes, you do. There are some suggestions for promoted pins like you should use a little bit of subtle branding so either your logo or your website. Then, you want to put it at the top, the bottom, in the middle so it doesn’t get covered up by all the buttons. Text on image if it’s not clear what it is.
Alisa: [00:50:52] If you want to test images, you can put more than one image inside an ad group just like you do on Facebook.
Alisa: [00:50:58] However, it does not test for you. On Facebook, if you have two ads in an ad group, it will figure out which one works best and show that one more. Pinterest, unfortunately, that does not work at this time so you could find that your pin that isn’t doing very well is getting all the impressions and not converting; and the other one that maybe could do really well isn’t. You have to break it out. You have to do two different ad groups.
Jillian: [00:51:27] Got it. There is a lot of branching. I’m willing to dig in.
Alisa: [00:51:35] Yeah, which is probably why you start with one or two products. Otherwise, it becomes unwieldy.
Jillian: [00:51:42] Totally. Where do you see promoted pins going?
Alisa: [00:51:45] I love where they’re going. They just released a brand new reporting dashboard which I adore.
Alisa: [00:51:52] Because, the way that I run pins, I might have, like I said, 14 different ad groups. If I want to see what’s working with this one piece of content, now, I can just search for that one piece of content. It will pull everything out of all the groups.
Alisa: [00:52:05] It shows me everything I need. Love it. So their reporting is top notch, and they’ve put a lot into that. I appreciate that.
Alisa: [00:52:14] The other thing that I can see coming is more targeting. We have some really great targeting options now but I think they’re going to give us more because they learn so much about us.
Alisa: [00:52:28] They learn so much about us that they could do more.
Alisa: [00:52:31] They’ve been talking about doing like column personas so targeting like new parents, people getting ready to move or people in certain life stages. I’m anxious for that. They’ve been talking about that for a while.
Jillian: [00:52:45] And are they look alike audiences?
Alisa: [00:52:47] Yeah, they call them “act alike.” So, if you start running an audience ad like to your email list, and it’s doing really well but you’re just not getting enough impressions, definitely try an “act alike” on whatever audience works.
Jillian: [00:53:00] And again, the beauty of that is that Pinterest understands your email list and then can create an audience that looks like your email list but isn’t your email list and usually, that audience is bigger.
Alisa: [00:53:14] Yes, it’s always bigger even if you choose the one percent similarity.
Jillian: [00:53:18] It’s so true.
Alisa: [00:53:19] 720,000 people or something big.
Jillian: [00:53:23] Exactly, and like for me, I have found that’s the power. That was the power of Facebook for us. It’s the look alike audience . I haven’t tried that yet on Pinterest.
Alisa: [00:53:31] Yeah. I think that the challenge there, that what I have seen, is if you have a really tiny source audience.
Alisa: [00:53:37] Let’s say, your email list converts or works really well as an ad but it’s only 3,000 people. So then if you’re asking Pinterest to match your 3,000 with 720 million on their platform, that’s a lot to ask. It may not be completely relevant.
Alisa: [00:53:59] What I would do if that was the case, if I had a small audience source audience, I would add on top of that a couple of keywords. I try to make it a little bit more relevant for people.
Jillian: [00:54:10] So you’re kind of telling Pinterest here’s my email list, and Pinterest is inferring stuff from these people.
Jillian: [00:54:19] Let’s say they’re all married. Pinterest now knows that they’re all married but if you say crafts or jewelry, then you go “Pinterest now has two pieces of data.”
Jillian: [00:54:32] They know that audience is all married, and they like jewelry so when they’re building their audience for you, they can at least have more information.
Alisa: [00:54:42] Yes, I like to give them help because that’s a lot to ask.
Jillian: [00:54:45] It is a lot to ask. That’s terrific. And then explain how people can reach out to you like via Tailwind.
Jillian: [00:54:52] Remember, Tailwind, again, we’d be lost without it. It’s our scheduling service. We use it for Pinterest. We use it every single day. It’s terrific. Definitely check it out.
Jillian: [00:55:06] So how can people reach out to you via Tailwind or via Alisa Meredith Marketing?
Alisa: [00:55:12] Yes, you can reach me on Twitter. It’s a great place to find me. It’s just @AlisaMMeredith. That’s the same on Pinterest, Instagram. Tailwind, you can reach me at email@example.com.
Jillian: [00:55:29] Awesome. Well, Alisa, thank you so much for being on the show. I’m taking notes. I’ve got like two pages of notes just talking to you.
Alisa: [00:55:38] I’m so excited to see what you do.
Jillian: [00:55:41] Yes, I will be reporting back to you.
Alisa: [00:55:42] Thank you.
Jillian: [00:55:43] Alright. Thank you again.
Alisa: [00:55:45] Yeah, my pleasure. Thank you.
Jillian: [00:54:55] Well, if you’ve got two minutes, I’ve got a product for you. It’s MiloTree.
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Jillian: [00:55:27] We show a Google friendly popup on desktop and a smaller Google friendly popup on mobile. Check it out. Sign up today and get your first 30 days free.
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