Pinterest may have just made a bid update without anyone knowing about it. The update was quiet; it wasn’t advertised and there was no announcement, presentation, or summit. What’s the update? Pinterest just rolled-out Awareness campaigns and here’s what you need to know about them.

What are Awareness Campaigns?

It was just another Wednesday morning on August 11th when I went to check on the status of a client’s Pinterest campaign – and that’s when I saw it. Cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) bidding in the form of Awareness campaigns.

Later that same day Pinterest would eventually release a blog post announcing the quiet roll-out to all accounts, but in those wee, early hours of the morning, there was no news of what and why this new feature was available.

Instead of the platform tailoring the campaign to serve based on who will engage with the pin or who will most likely click to site. Awareness campaigns will focus on reach as the objective of the campaign and charge advertisers by CPM.

Awareness campaigns used to only be available to Fortune 500 companies. All other business accounts had access to Promoted Pins that only allowed the option to choose an Engagement campaign, where you were charged by CPE, or a Traffic campaign, where you were charged by CPC.

This created a problem because there was no specific option to help campaigns focus on reach. For smaller, local campaigns it was difficult to access a large enough amount of audience with Engagement and Traffic campaigns in order to see a quality amount of action.

But now, with CPM bidding, Pinterest will optimize these campaigns to reach more people. This new feature also allows the option to place a cap on how many times a user will see the promoted pins within that campaign.

My Thoughts on Awareness Campaigns

Pinterest isn’t at the forefront of Social Media Advertising, because the platform focuses more on the element of sharing quality information on a user-friendly basis. But for certain industries, this platform can be the key element to crack into that specific audience the brand or business would like to reach.

The platform released promoted pins about a year ago. They’re just like regular pins, only you pay to have them seen by more people and drive action on them. They work in a native ad format within the platform and unlike other Social Media Advertising, the promoted pins earn additional impressions and engagements long after the campaign is over.

Like I mentioned earlier, Engagement and Traffic campaigns weren’t ideal for our smaller campaigns that were targeting a very narrow geographic location. The pool of potential audience was small and there results would receive minimal reach which in turn gave us few engagements and clicks. It wasn’t ideal for us or our clients that were interested in targeting smaller areas.

A Future with Awareness Campaigns

Since experimenting with the new Awareness campaigns we’ve seen a huge improvement in results for our smaller campaigns. We’re able to get a good quantity of reach each day and because of those results, we’ve received more engagements than our Engagement campaigns that were targeting the same areas.

My final thoughts about this new feature is that it isn’t the perfect solution for all campaigns. If brands and business are focusing more on a national level, than I believe Engagement or Traffic campaigns would be the better option. But when working with a smaller scale of audience or geo, Awareness campaigns can receive more bang for their buck.

For more information on Pinterest and if it’s the right platform for your business check out my past blog post “To Pin or Not To Pin”.