Everything You Need to Conquer a Pinterest Promoted Pin Campaign

Have you ever thought about running a Pinterest Promoted Pin campaign? On the off chance you haven’t, consider this: 45K website clicks and 600K social ad engagements. Those numbers are the results of Pinterest Promoted Pin Campaigns.

Not only is Pinterest growing, but its user base shows purchase intent. As a result, Pinterest has become a go-to advertising channel for many of the world’s biggest brands. For example, Walgreens more than tripled its average referral traffic using Promoted Pins. Moreover, Wayfair.com found Pinterest referrals spend 50% more than referrals from comparable social channels.

Do you want to see how Promoted Pins can help you? Here’s everything you need to know to set up your Pinterest Promoted Pin Campaign:

Setting up a Pinterest Promoted Pin Campaign

As Pinterest grows, so will the competition for ad space. The increase in competition also means that optimizing your campaigns will be more important. But, with an understanding of Pinterest’s campaign structure, you can create a Promoted Pin campaign that’s destined for success.

Step 1: Objective & Lifetime Spend Cap

Once in Pinterest Ads Manager, you’ll see three icons at the top of your page. Click on the three dots and then “Promoted Pins.” You’ll see an overview of current campaigns. This is also where you’ll select your campaign type.

Pinterest has three campaign types:

  1. Awareness to build your addressable audience
  2. Engagement to capture intent and boost engagement
  3. Traffic to send visitors to your website

Remember, your campaign type should reflect your marketing goals. So, if your goal is to create an audience of engaged users, choose an engagement campaign. If your goal is sales, opt for a traffic campaign.

Once you’ve selected your campaign type, name it. This will help differentiate your campaigns in the future. You’ll also set a lifetime spend cap, which is the total amount you’re willing to devote to a specific campaign. Note that this number isn’t related to how your particular ad group(s) spend.

Step 2: Budget, Campaign Duration, Bid Type & Targeting

At the ad group level, you’ll set your budget, campaign timeframe, bid type, and targeting.

First, give your ad group(s) a name. Ad groups give you a more granular look at your audience—Pinterest calls these “containers for Pins.” For example, a fashion retailer could have one ad group targeting men interested in casual styles. It could then have another targeting women interested in formal attire. In addition to creating ad groups around targeting, you can build them around product lines, Pin performance, and more.

Regarding timeframe, you have two options: continuous or specified. If running continuously, you have to set a daily budget. If running over a specified time frame, you can choose between a daily or lifetime budget. A daily budget represents how much you want to spend per day, while a lifetime budget represents how much you’re willing to spend overall. With a lifetime budget, you have to specify an end date, and Pinterest will spend your budget as evenly as possible during your campaign.

Pro Tip: Once your campaign is up and running, take note of its performance. If individual ad groups are performing well, allocate more budget to them. For poor performing ad groups, lower your bid and reduce your budget to improve efficiency.

(Note: These numbers aren’t the same as the bid that you’ll set later.)

One of the most important steps at the ad group level is targeting. Targeting makes sure your Pins are being seen by the right people in the right places.

Here are Pinterest’s targeting capabilities:

  • Interest targeting lets you reach users based on interests they’ve shown on Pinterest. When targeting these, users will see your Pins in their home feeds. There’s no limit to how many of Pinterest’s nearly 400 interests you can target.
  • Keyword targeting lets you reach Pinners based on their search behavior on Pinterest. When targeting keywords, your Pins will show up in search and related Pins. If targeting only keywords, Pinterest maps keywords to broad categories to improve the chance that your Promoted Pins reach people who may not be searching for your particular keyword(s). There’s no limit to the number of keywords you can target.

Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to combine interest and keyword targeting. This gives you more control over who you target and where your Pins appears.

Pinterest Promoted Pin Locations

Other Pinterest targeting capabilities include location, language, device, gender, and Pinterest Audiences.

Pinterest Audiences:

  • Visitor retargeting uses the Pinterest tag to identify users who’ve visited your site. You can then track nine events on your website, and group visitors based on their actions.
  • Customer list targeting works like this: You upload a list of customer email addresses or mobile ad IDs to Pinterest. Pinterest compares your list to its user database and returns matches. You can then use these matches for inclusion or exclusion targeting.
  • Engagement retargeting lets you target Pinterest users who’ve engaged with Pins linking to your verified website. Engagements are clicks, saves, close-ups, likes, or shares.
  • Actalike audiences let you reach users similar to existing audiences. Created from information Pinterest knows about its users, actalike audiences can be built from audiences created from engagement targeting, visitor retargeting, or customer list targeting (as long as they’re over 100 people).

Once you set your targeting, it’s time to set your bid. This number reflects how much you’re willing to spend for each desired action. Pinterest suggests a bid based on what it sees from other advertisers, but you can bid any amount as long as it’s greater than $0.10. The bid type is determined by the campaign type you selected at the Campaign Level.

Pro Tip: Pinterest suggests aiming for a strong bid from the beginning to establish a baseline for performance. Once established, adjust bids every couple of days based on performance.

Pinterest Bid Types:

  • Auction CPM to drive awareness. You bid per thousand impressions and only pay for what’s delivered.
  • Cost per engagement (CPE) to drive engagement. You only pay when a unique action (save, closeup, or click through) occurs.
  • Cost per click (CPC) to drive traffic to your site. You only pay for a click to your site.

Step 3: Pick Your Pins

Now that you have a structured campaign, it’s time to decide which Pins to promote. Right now, you can only promote Pins from public boards. The Pins you select should reflect your goals and the ad group they fall under. So, if your goal is to boost engagement amongst women to your ecommerce site, promote Pins relevant to them.

Pro Tip #1: While you can promote any Pin you’d like, build off the momentum of your best-performing organic Pins. Filter your most-clicked or repinned Pins from the last 30 days, and promote those.

Pro Tip #2: If Pins within an ad group are performing well, allocate more budget to them. If some Pins aren’t performing well, lower the budget. You can also pause a campaign and re-evaluate your strategy.

If you have multiple Pins within an ad group, Pinterest will optimize your Pins according to your objective. It does this to make sure they aren’t competing. Keep in mind that this may skew delivery toward a handful of top-performing Pins.

Once you’ve selected your Pins, you’re given the option to name them and review destination URLs. We also recommend adding tracking parameters so you can track performance. After some formalities, you submit your Promoted Pins campaign to Pinterest. If approved, you’re ready for launch.

As social advertisers realize Pinterest’s value, it’s going to become increasingly difficult to stand out. But, by understanding Pinterest’s core ad offering, you’ll be one step ahead in what we expect to be a valuable social advertising channel for years to come.

Do you want to learn more about advertising on Pinterest? Download our free ebook:
The Pinterest Advertiser’s Playbook