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Pinterest boosts sales with targeting based on purchase history

Pinterest’s new update for sponsored pins gives brands the tools to generate higher sales by incorporating past purchasing history to serve more relevant content to consumers.

Along with the social media platform’s recent privacy updates, Pinterest introduced more well aimed sponsored posts for marketers that takes into account users’ past transaction history.  The social media site will now generate sponsored posts that coincide with items that individual consumers have purchased in the past.

“Retailers need to keep two things in mind,” said Jason Howie, marketing manager at Mobile Commons. “First this new feature allows retailers to more precisely target their audience, but the impetus is on the retailer to create even more relevant content than before.

“And secondly creating the ads with the relevant content is only half of the process, tracking consumer behavior and adjusting campaigns in real-time are also essential for program success,” he said. “By being able to target users based on their pin history, brands, retailers, and even B2B advertisers can take advantage of consumer trends to maximize the effectiveness of their advertising.”

An accurate experience
Sponsored posts can be frustrating from a user perspective, as these consumers are accessing social media platforms and applications for personal use. Marketers entering these spaces must be wary of intruding on the user experience.

Unrelated brand content is a disadvantage for both the consumer and the brand. Sponsored pins will fall flat on consumers who are uninterested in that particular service or product, which can cause annoyance for users and is a waste of resources for brands.

Brands now have a better chance of engaging consumers and driving sales by serving accurate content to an interested user. A Pinterest user that has purchased fitness and nutrition related products is less likely to purchase from a sponsored post featuring unhealthy rich-foods, but would be interested in content related to exercise apparel and vitamin supplements.

Pinterest has given brands the devices to more accurately target their demographics, but it up to them to fulfill its potential. Marketers now know their content is reaching the right audience, now they must research to find what resonates best to drive sales with their individual demographic.

Researching what attracts a brand’s specific demographic and products that are trending in that field can make the difference for marketers. Content that works in the mobile and social media space is constantly transforming, and it is important to stay current in these fields.

Creepy vs. correct
The new update to sponsored pins is beneficial to both marketers and consumers, but many social media users have found these tactics to be a borderline breach of privacy. Pinterest was keen to include an option for users to prevent the use of their pin history in marketing, after backlash to many of its predecessors introducing similar tactics.

For instance, many social media users found Facebook’s ad targeting to be intrusive and creepy as it incorporated their likes and browser search history into advertisements on the site.

While recent mobile campaigns show a more sophisticated grasp of custom audience creation methods, marketers need to overcome challenges related to efficiently collecting, storing and accessing data at scale to gain a complete picture of a consumer and the likelihood he or she will engage with a particular ad (see more).

Pinterest focuses on its marketing accuracy not just for brands, but also for itself.  The social media app recently increased installs by more than 100 percent by unlocking the potential of tracking data and running test campaigns (see more).

“Before brands were able to serve up their content to influencers, various demographics, and topic areas, but now they’re even more empowered to identify and target brand evangelists, especially to ones that may have not been known previously,” Mr. Howie said. “And unlike before this update also could have implications for B2B marketers, enabling them to target their infographics, whitepapers, and other visual guides to marketers and young women who use social media for both work and play.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily