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Pinterest Promoted App Pins goes live for all marketers today – here’s how they perform

Simon Kendall
Head of Communications

Over at Pinterest, the app install ad product Promoted App Pins are becoming available to all marketers today.

Promoted App Pins are a way for app marketers to place install-oriented advertising within Pinterest users’ feeds. These are a highly visual, premium-type social inventory that have been in testing since fall last year.

As a leading mobile measurement platform, a number of brands worldwide use Adjust to measure their marketing activities – and this includes a large number of the advertisers that were part of Pinterest’s beta for this product.

Pinterest Promoted App Pins now available

So, naturally, we asked ourselves: What has Pinterest achieved during this initial beta? Which type of campaigns have been particularly successful, and which ones haven’t? What’s the benchmark for marketers looking to try it out?

I asked our data teams to take a benchmark of the beta Pinterest campaigns to help us answer those questions.

How to generate benchmarks across apps & media channels

For this study, we’ve sampled in excess of 61 million attributions (installs or reattributions) throughout February and the first few days of March, out of which around 115,000 were generated by Pinterest. The apps that we’ve looked at for the analysis have run campaigns on both Pinterest and other premium channels, so that we can directly compare performance across the entire sample. And with this sample size, we know that no individual app or campaign will influence the metrics.

The benchmarks of various engagement metrics vary significantly across apps and verticals, and we can’t just simply average out the conversion rates and call it a day. Some comparisons are ineffective (e.g. click-to-install conversion rates are difficult to rely on for social & premium inventory, as measurement platforms often don’t have access to the raw clicks and impressions), and others can be misleading. We don’t want to compare the amount of time that users are active inside apps (session lengths) across verticals: for a taxi app like Uber, that time is just enough to order a cab, but for a “hardcore” mobile game, that can by design stretch into hours.

In fact, when we’re thinking about our marketing performance, we’re actually comparing the ratios between different channels for the same app. So if we do a broad market analysis like this, we need to first calculate the ratios, then look at what those ratios are on average.

As a next step, we calculated app-specific ratios of the Pinterest KPIs to those of other marketing channels for the same app.

Two-and-a-half times greater revenue?

What did that show us?

Outstandingly, the revenue per purchase by users that were acquired over Pinterest was 2.52x higher than average for these apps.

Chart: Pinterest driving large basket sizes

That is, if the average revenue of a single purchase for an app was $4, the users that were acquired over Pinterest would clock up $10 per purchase. Now, obviously, Pinterest is what we’d call premium inventory, and we know that user engagement and purchasing behavior varies across different segments of the userbase. And true enough, the difference was somewhat smaller if we compared Pinterest to other premium channels. In that comparison, Pinterest “only” hit 2.48x, which is still a huge number.

Revenue per purchase is a bit of an odd metric, and it’s mostly used by ecommerce marketers (under its alias, basket size). What does it infer, exactly? Well, if we multiply the average revenue per purchase with the number of purchases per user, we get the ARPU. This is more familiar territory.

But before we dig into the ARPU benchmarks for Pinterest’s early beta, we need to break it down by vertical and weight the average in slightly different ways. The ARPU curve for different types of apps will look very different from vertical to vertical, depending on their monetization profile. For these metrics, as above, we can’t simply lump together ecommerce apps that sell large-ticket items to casual games with 99-cent IAPs.

Great revenue generation for any vertical?

The primary verticals in this sample are ecommerce, gaming, fintech and fitness apps. These are also some of Pinterest’s focus verticals during the initial tests.

Chart: Pinterest displays high ARPUs in beta

Out of the sample, it’s the fitness apps that seem to have performed the very best. For the fitness apps in the sample, the ARPU from the Pinterest campaigns were almost nine times higher than from other premium inventory, and triple that of their organic users.

This was closely followed by fintech, where the Pinterest users were worth almost four times as much as other premium and 2.8x higher than the average. In gaming, the quotas were almost double.

In this particular sample, ecommerce lagged behind a little bit. The ARPU was about two-thirds lower than that of other premium inventory, but the basket sizes were roughly equal - suggesting that the ecommerce marketers first and foremost have to catch up with. This makes a certain degree of sense. Ecommerce marketers frequently use strategies heavy on re-engagement to actively retarget users with specific offers, closing the purchase funnel. In this sample, the revenue contributions of users that were re-engaged has been attributed to the re-engagement campaign. This final “push” is perhaps easier or more frequent with some of the incumbent advertising platforms than Pinterest’s nascent beta test.

What accounts for these differences?

Marketing your app with different channels will allow you to reach different target audiences and with specific formats.

So these initial numbers indicate that Promoted App Pins drive high engagement, among an audience with high purchasing power, inside fitness apps, fintech & financial utilities, and casual games than other users.

Promoted App Pins are being made available today for any app marketer. If you’re using Adjust, you already have a Pinterest integration available to you in your dashboard – which will allow you to measure the exact performance and engagement from the users you acquire over Pinterest.

Once your campaign is set up and Pinterest is driving traffic toward your app, you can use Adjust to answer questions like:

  • How many clicks and installs did you get from Pinterest?
  • How well do you retain the users acquired over Pinterest, and how does that compare to organic users, or users from other channels?
  • What is your ARPU from Pinterest users compared to other channels – and did you achieve positive ROI on the campaign?

If you’re not yet using Adjust, and these questions are top of mind, get in touch to schedule a demo and we’ll show you the ropes!