• 'how to' pinterest pins

New Pinterest Pins.

28 April 2016

Pinterest have been spoiling the UK recently.

First, they introduce their new how-to pin, embracing their identity as the go-to source of creative inspiration by providing step-by-step instructions.

Then they finally allow the UK to enjoy a slice of the Promoted Pins pie, an advertising feature launched in the US last year and one that’s proved pretty successful.

Taking advantage of Pinterest’s pseudo-search engine format and the platform’s role as a secondary shopping catalogue, Promoted Pins fit in seamlessly with all those Regular Joe organic pins.

And that’s the beauty of it.

None of it is disruptive, fitting into the existing format of Pinterest with only a subtle ‘promoted pin’ label differentiating it from organic results.

As Adele Cooper, UK and Ireland Manager for Pinterest puts it when talking to the Drum, they provide “branded ads on a platform where brands live.”

This means a hide rate that’s 90 per cent lower than other digital ad formats, simply because “the content is so similar to the content that people are already going on to the site for,” according to Cooper.

Pinterest have already been working with brands such as John Lewis, B&Q and Made.com as early adopters to kick start the features in the UK. 

For Promoted Pins, it’s good that CEO Ben Silbermann has remembered us folks across the pond.

With the number of UK Pinners doubling since last year, and over 1.6 billion items pinned from this country alone, we’ve become hard to ignore.

Apparently, it’s our passion for food, gardening and DIY that’s fuelled this new pinning frenzy.

How very British.

Which explains the other big change to Pins as we know it: How-to Pins.

This dynamic Rich Pin provides step-by-step guides on various activities from cooking and baking, to DIY, gardening and beauty tips.

Pinterest is already the 21st century scrapbook for inspiration, not to mention idealistic window-shopping, so adding in social media’s answer to Ikea instructions makes sense.

Besides, people were doing this on Pinterest anyway.

From cooking a turkey to building your own Lightsaber, Pinterest has been your surrogate teacher for longer than it would admit.

Pinterest are trying to reinvent themselves as a destination site of its own, as opposed to a catalogue of external links.

In other words, come along for the beautiful creations – stay to find out how to make them yourself.  

Makes sense for Pinterest themselves, but is it necessarily a good idea for brands?

With limited interaction beyond re-pinning, a comments quieter than an opera crowd, and the tendency to build your own board often outweighing the need to check a brand’s carefully crafted board, the major draw of Pinterest lies in its status as a referral tool.

By providing everything the consumer wants to know directly in Pinterest, you take away the urge for them to click through to your site.

You take away further interaction with the brand itself.

However, a How-To Pin can promote a much better kind of interaction: going out and actually purchasing the product, and not just using it, but using it to create something incredible.

It puts the consumer in mind of how they’ll interact with it, which for brands intrinsically linked with creativity, like cooking products, home improvement and arts and crafts supplies, can make for more impactful brand loyalty than merely staring at the product on a screen.

We expect to see a wealth of How-To Pins come out over the coming months, especially once they’ve integrated it into the mobile app, which at the time of writing hasn’t happened.

Though at the minute, it looks quite sparse on the How-To front.

Time to roll out that “How to create a ‘How-To Pin’ ” pin.

Strawman Says

Promoted Pins add a bit of Google Ads oomph to your existing pins, and fit in as well as a fish in water. How To pins are offering the same inspirational experience with a newer lick of paint, but has plenty of potential for more creative, crafty brands.