An average user knows Pinterest as a time-sucking platform full of nice pictures that just don’t come to an end. And for affiliate marketers, Pinterest is a well-known traffic source for nutra and e-commerce offers. It seems that just like any big social platform with strict policies and Community Guidelines, Pinterest will not tolerate gambling and gating content. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into this photo abyss and find out the approaches that will work with said niches on Pinterest.
Table of Contents
Type of content
Pinterest is a “visual discovery engine for finding ideas”. Based on the search query, the algorithm provides users with image suggestions called “pins”. Multiple pins form an endless puzzle-like SERP feed.
Once opened, a pin shows a card featuring the pin itself, its name, description, and (most importantly) the source link. Usually, it is also possible to access the source of the image by clicking on the image once it is opened as a separate card.
Users value Pinterest because searching for references is easy, fast, and fun. The image database is growing non-stop because users add new pictures manually. They do this to create picture boards (or mood boards) that will hold multiple references sorted by topics in one place. Also, the feed is kind of addictive: if you want a quick look into the 19th-century architecture, you can be gone for hours on end because the algorithm keeps providing suggestions and similar topics.
According to Statista for January 2022, Pinterest ranks 14th among the most popular social networks, with 433 million monthly active users (~230 million of them are from the US). At the same time, according to the platform itself, 97% of search queries are not branded, which means the chance of getting your pin into the search results is rather high. Pinterest also reports that 85% of their users regularly search for ideas before starting a project or making a purchase.
The audience is very diverse in terms of age and gender: the platform attracts people of all ages. The legal threshold is 13 years for most countries and 16 for others (check the guidelines on the website). More than 60% of the audience are female, while the share of the male audience increases by 40% annually, and so does the share of users aged ~30 y.o. (generation Z or millennials).
To promote offers via Pinterest, you can register a business account and access the on-platform targeting options and analytics. Or you can just register a “live” page and keep adding pins from third-party websites and social networks like YouTube or Instagram.
If you have an ad account, you can select an ad objective (campaign goal) from the list: brand awareness, video views, conversions, or catalog sales, for example. Your ad dashboard will also hold the following targeting options:
- Auto targeting: the platform’s algorithm analyzes your content and selects the audience automatically.
- Demographics: targeting based on age, gender, language, country, or city.
- Topics: selected topics are embedded into the search results feed based on the interests of your audience, the ads are also visible on the main feed-page.
- Keywords: your creatives will be displayed in response to specific search queries, surrounded by similar non-sponsored pins.
- Similar interests: your pins will be displayed among the suggested content in the “related searches” block. This option covers a very wide audience.
You can also add your own user database (email) and target your audience if the users have a Pinterest profile.
The in-built analytics stores the data for the past 30 days and shows:
- Your engaged audience: the total number of interactions with your content, as well as the pins from your (verified) website and associated social media accounts.
- Pinterest’s total audience: the total number of people who have seen or engaged with pins across Pinterest.
- Pinterest’s engaged audience: the number of users who have clicked on your pins or saved them.
Ad formats and guidelines
Pinterest has static images, animated images, and also video pins. Static, shopping, and video sponsored pins contain a single image and are the same size and format as organic posts. Max. width video pins expand across two columns on mobile devices. Carousel pins contain several images, collection pins — several products (3 or more), and idea pins — a set of videos, lists, or texts.
You can read more about creative formats and requirements in the Pinterest Help Center.
As with many social platforms, certain categories of types of content are prohibited on Pinterest, this includes:
- Adult content (graphic descriptions of sexual activities, images of naked people, etc.)
- Alcohol, tobacco, weapons, depiction of dangerous actions
- Instructions for or equipment to illegally access or tamper with software, servers, cell phones, or websites
- Gambling products, apps, and lotteries
- Financial advice aimed at personal gain
Offers in such verticals as dating, gambling, sweepstakes, utilities, and mobile applications may fall under these restrictions. To bypass these limits, however, you simply need to use vanilla approaches and add non-sponsored organic-looking pins.
You can learn more about the community guidelines in the “Policy” section.
iGaming and dating campaigns on Pinterest
Due to the restrictions, we have mentioned above, it is more difficult to run dating and iGaming campaigns via Pinterest Ads than through “organic” pages. The organic feed features many creatives within these niches: all dating, betting, and gambling pins are (obviously) non-sponsored. Many pins have a YouTube or Instagram source link, some redirect users to the product page.
Creatives for gambling ad campaigns
For this vertical, we mostly see “getting rich” videos and casino bonuses.
Creatives for betting ad campaigns
Betting creatives feature bonuses and mostly lead directly to the betting shop platform.
Creatives for dating ad campaigns
Dating creatives follow the traditional soft (or vanilla) approach, the copy is also mainstream. We have found both direct links and links to YouTube or Instagram accounts.
Tips and insights
- Do not upload more than 30 pins per day, you will attract the anti-spam filters and will likely be banned. However, it is better to post every day to make the account look more organic. On a new account, post 2–3 pins daily for the first couple of weeks, then make it 5–10, this is optimal.
- Add keywords to the pin description, use the search bar for inspiration: it has an auto-suggest feature with the most frequent queries.
- Register more than one account, but keep up to 3 accounts per IP.
- Creatives that feature a CTA both in the image and in the description show better performance.
Pinterest is a promising platform with a wide and solvent audience (mainly Tier 1–2). It attracts users and keeps them scrolling for hours by suggesting more related topics. You can run nutra and e-commerce campaigns via Pinterest Ads, however, such verticals as betting, gambling, or dating require the use of “organic” accounts with vanilla creatives and loads of keywords in the description.