Pinterest is great for sharing visual content and discovering new ideas. Personally, I am a huge fan of the platform and I use it as a source of inspiration – I create Pinterest boards related to my interests (travel, style, etc.).
Pinterest is a unique social platform in many ways, but a similarity to many other platforms is that it contains ads located in the feed.
Enter: business opportunity.
In a letter to shareholders last year, Pinterest said its Shopping ads revenue increased by over 100% from the first to the second half of 2019. Pinterest’s 335 million active users are always on the lookout for new ideas and your ads can be a great way to spark their interest.
An effective way to determine what types of ads grab the attention of your target audience members on the platform is to use A / B testing.
We have a complete guide to A / B testing here, but I’ll give you the long story short.
The goal of A / B testing – also known as split testing – is to run concurrent experiments between two marketing variables to determine what results in a better conversion rate.
When it comes to Pinterest Ads, the variables you decide to test might include your copy, call to action, and / or visual. A / B testing these types of variables allows you to understand what speaks most to your audience so that you can run ads that deliver the right message to your target audience at the right time.
Next, let’s review the steps involved in this process.
How to A / B test Pinterest ads
1. Create a Pinterest business account.
To serve ads on Pinterest, you’ll need a business account on the platform. Create one by registering on Pinterest home page or by adding a professional account to your existing personal account under Settings.
Some basic information about your business will be required when you register, including your business name, website, and industry.
2. Create an advertising campaign.
To test A / B ads, you need to create an ad campaign that will serve as the basis for the test. You can start by accessing the Ads drop-down menu in the top menu, then clicking create an ad.
You will be taken to the Pinterest ad creation dashboard where you can create campaigns based on a business goal of awareness, consideration, or conversion. Pick your goal and Pinterest will work hard to help you reach your goals.
Scroll down a bit more for name your campaign and assign spending limits. While it’s easier to name a campaign with something simple like “Mug 1”, it will help you stay organized and focused on your goals if you are more descriptive. For example, take a name such as “US – Brand Name – Mugs – Ocean Mug“In order for the ad location, product brand, product category and product name to be included.
When it comes to spending limit, this is Pinterest’s way of making sure they stay within your budget. This field is optional to include, but can help avoid overspending and will not affect the pace of your campaign. (More on this in step four.)
3. Define your audience.
Now is the time to target your target audience. As you go through these steps, you’ll see Pinterest automatically adjust the size of the potential audience you could reach on the right side.
Using the cups as an example product, see how Pinterest adjusts my audience size from 85m + to 158k-175k once I add cups in the Add interests section. The “Find all points of interest” search bar is a quick shortcut to help you find your niche. Decreasing the size of the potential audience is not a problem.
Basically, you want to focus on a smaller audience to make sure you’re actually targeting people who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
As you browse this page, you will have several additional opportunities to define your audience. In the section below, you can add more details about audience demographics when choosing the “Choose from…” criteria option.
4. Design your ad serving strategy.
Okay, it’s time to spend. in the Budget and schedule , you’ll be asked to allocate a budget for your campaign, which is how much you’re willing to spend to have Pinterest deliver your ads.
You can choose how much to spend per day (daily budget) or allocate a total budget and let Pinterest calculate how best to spend the money (lifetime budget). You also have the freedom to decide when your campaign will start and end on the exact time and date.
In Optimization and delivery, select how you want to bid for your ads, as the ads run based on the advertiser who wins the highest bid. The choice is yours, but it should be noted that Pinterest optimizes your budget in automatic mode.
5. Create and import the ads you will A / B test.
Here’s your chance to get creative. Design two versions of your ad with a difference in the variable you are testing. When creating ads, just focus on a variable that you want to test (eg product image, ad content, ad layout) for best results. Services such as Can go or Picmonkey are simple online design tools to get you started.
In the example mug below, the product image is the unique variable and it is the only difference between the two versions. This allows for clear and actionable results.
Then import your ads into the Ads section. Ads will be formatted like all other Pins on the platform, so fill in all the necessary information. You certainly don’t want to miss the destination link, which brings users to your site!
6. Launch your advertising campaign.
We are now ready for takeoff! Select your A / B ads and click on this red launch button – which I know you’ve been looking at throughout this process – to send those ads into Pinterestverse.
Kick back, relax, and check this task off your to-do list!
7. Observe and collect ad results.
While the ad campaign is running, you might want to constantly check its progress in the preview of announcements dashboard.
I’m here with you, but beware of jumping to conclusions. You’ll want to give your test enough time to produce statistically significant results before the scan, which can take anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. In simpler terms, you’ll want to show your ads to as many people as possible before analyzing the data.
You did it! Congratulations on your Pinterest A / B test, but the work doesn’t end there. Ads are a game of continuous experimentation. Take advantage of your test results and consider other variables that you can test in the future. Your constant efforts will improve the overall performance of your ads and increase conversions. Good luck!