The PPC Pro’s Intro to Pinterest Advertising

Pinterest Logo

Pinterest started in 2010 and has since expanded to include 31% of adult internet users, according to Pew Research Center. In January 2015, Pinterest opened up their Promoted Pins advertising platform to the masses. Despite having been around for a little over a year now, Pinterest still isn’t a widely talked about advertising channel.

If you haven’t used Pinterest ads yet, this post is what you should know before jumping in. If you have already been Pinning, I am including some useful links, strategies and tidbits for you as well.

First Things First, Start A Business Account

Jump on over to Pinterest to start a business-level account for your client, if they don’t already have a personal Pinterest account. If your client has a Pinterest account, but hasn’t upgraded to the business account, you can convert a personal account easily.

Why should you get a business account, you ask? You’ll get access to Pinterest Analytics which will give you a rundown of profile impressions, audience insights, and information on how your pins are performing. See the screenshot below to see an example of what the geographic audience insights look like in Pinterest Analytics. Without a Pinterest Business account, you won’t be able to take advantage of their advertising platform.



While both Traffic and Engagement campaigns are meant to get your pins seen by more people on the platform, they work a little different (we’ll get to that in a minute). Pinterest “boosts” the pins that you choose to include in your campaigns so that more people see them – once this happens they’re called Promoted Pins. See the example below of a pin that recently appeared in my Pinterest feed. As you can see, it has a picture with a text overlay and descriptive text.


Pinterest works much like other social channels – you can set specific budgets and a max CPC – both of which can impact your campaign if you bid too low. Regardless of which campaign type you decide to run with, you’ll want to make sure that you are choosing optimized keywords for each of your pins by creating a keyword list. Pinterest recommends 20-30 keywords or terms per pin – and it’s important to remember that the more broad the terms are, the wider more people your pin will reach.

I would suggest taking a look at these Pinterest Guides, which include best practices and tips on several Pinterest dashboards.

Let’s take a look at both campaign types.

Engagement Campaigns

If you select Engagement in the Ads navigation dropdown, you’ll be taken to a dashboard that has an overview of your activity, spend and, go figure, engagement with users on Pinterest.

Engagement campaigns are best for advertisers who are looking for some insights on how users are interacting with their pins. Engagement campaigns track closeups (clicking a pin to see it at a larger view), repins (saving a pin to a board) or clicks on a pin. Just like in PPC, you only pay if someone interacts with your Promoted Pins through a click, repin or closeup look. If you want to better understand what people want to do with you ideas or products, the Engagement campaign is for you. If you’re looking for a way to dip your toe into Pinterest and see how it goes, this would be a great campaign strategy to start out with.

Traffic Campaigns

If you’re looking to drive sales or boost traffic to your site, a Traffic campaign is for you. This campaign style is different because it targets users who are ready to leave Pinterest and start taking action. You only pay if someone clicks your pin to visit your website or landing page.

The dashboard for Traffic campaigns shows the same metrics you would expect from other paid channels. Below is an example of what the dashboard looks like when you have a Traffic campaign live.


Buyable Pins

Soon to be available to all advertisers, Buyable Pins will offer the ability to purchase items without ever leaving the Pinterest app. Originally launched in June 2015, the new pin option has been shown to attract customers who purchase mid-priced items and are often new customers. The “buy it” button will be blue, unlike the other Pinterest buttons which are typically red. See the example below.


Photo Belongs to Pinterest

According to Pinterest, these new pins will be free, as Pinterest won’t take a cut of the sales and the retailer will still control shipping and customer service. Right now, it’s closed to only a few major brands and 5 commerce platforms, but they’re accepting interested retailers to sign up for their waitlist.

Other Useful Information About Pinterest

In addition to using paid campaigns to generate traffic and sales, there are a lot of optimization strategies you can use to boost your pins’ performance organically. Strategies like making sure you create pins linked to your website, choosing the correct categories for your pins and more will help you get more out of Pinterest. In addition, there have been some tools created to make Pinterest easier for marketers and some created for Pinterest Analytics.

It’s important to note that right now, Promoted Pins are only available in the US & UK.

Pinterest has a lot of possibilities and this is just the tip of the iceberg. What’s your favorite thing about Pinterest as a paid channel? Let us know in the comments.