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April 27, 2017

For years, advertisers have been anxious for more insights, more tools, and more ads to reach the growing mass of pinners on Pinterest. It seems advertisers wishes have been granted. After crossing the 175 million user mark, Pinterest has just fully rolled out the crown jewel of mobile direct response advertising: app install ads.

Having gotten a head start in closed testing with multiple clients, we’re about 100 days into operating campaigns on Pinterest. Now, we’re ready to share the results we’ve been able to drive, and 5 best practices to take away and use in your own Pinterest app install ad campaigns.


Performance Results (hint: they’re very good)

Let’s start with the most exciting part: the results. After months utilizing Pinterest App Install ads for a productivity app, we’ve seen:

  • 23% Better CPI on Pinterest compared to overall paid CPI
  • 13% Better CPA on Pinterest compared to overall paid CPA
  • Greater Scale than Twitter

It’s important to know what the rewards are because operating campaigns on Pinterest right now is a more taxing endeavor than on more mature channels like Facebook. This is to be expected given the early stage we’re in, and we’ve already seen the Pinterest team move quickly to address top issues and make significant strides in the offering.

1. Without a 20% Text Rule, Emphasize your Copy

Feature Copy as Your In-Image Headline
Without the dreaded 20% text rule that Facebook imposes, you can make copy a much more significant part of your creative.

This may not last, so experiment with increased copy on your images it while you can.

2. Include App Store Icons

Improves CTRs by up to 30%
As Pinners get used to seeing app install ads in their feed, we’ve found that being deliberate in having app icons – either the app itself, or the app store icons – works to improve both CTRs and click-to-install.


3. Adjust to New CTR Expectations

.3% is the new 1%
On Facebook, marketers typically shoot for 1% CTR or above. You’ll need to adjust your expectations on Pinterest.

On Pinterest, .3% is the new 1%. Use this as a threshold for your campaigns – anything below it, and you’ll have high costs and low volume, while moving north of this goal will accelerate volume and improve costs.

An example of how your ad would appear in the Search placement flow. Image via Pinterest.


4. Lean on Search Placements First

11% Better CPIs 
There are two types of placement on Pinterest: search placement and search plus home feed placement. Like Facebook Audience Network’s relationship to Facebook, you cannot run Pinterest ads on the home feed without likewise running them on search.

We’ve found that campaigns that run on exclusively search placement perform better in early testing:
  • Search placement saw 11% better CPIs than home feed plus search
  • Search placement saw 17% better CTRs than home feed plus search
  • Search placement saw 19% lower CPCs than home feed plus search

5. Ditch Your Stereotypes of Pinterest

Males Audience? Non-Lifestyle App? It can still work. 
We’ve yet to test a vertical or audience on Pinterest that has not produced appealing results. Productivity, Lifestyle, and E-Commerce apps have seen success, and a new Adjust report calls out Fitness and Fintech as high-value verticals.Pinterest has slanted towards female audiences in all campaigns we’ve seen, but Male audiences perform well though at a lower share of volume. With Pinterest actively working to grow their male user base, we don’t expect the imbalance to cause problems for reaching any audience.

After 100 days with Pinterest app install ads, we’re ecstatic with early returns and are eager to continue partnering with companies that are ready to invest in the new channel. If these early results are any indication, Pinterest is likely to be a key channel for performance advertisers for years to come.

Interested in optimizing your Pinterest campaigns? Learn more about Bamboo’s Pinterest advertising services > 

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