With Facebook having millions of advertisers on its network, you can easily be tempted to go there for your advertising needs. Yet there is also a lot of competition and noise to compete with. The platform hosts a lot of moving distractions as well making it incredibly difficult to have your message stand out.

Introducing Pinterest Ads, this under the radar social media platform is also not really associated with advertising and still is widely thought of as an image site for teenagers. Oh so unsuspecting but very effective at helping you target those that want what you have to offer.


In comparison to the giant Facebook, the ads from Pinterest are underutilised. The social media platform only has about 1.5 million brands that connect to users on a monthly basis but it offers huge opportunities in getting in front of people.


Ever since it launched, Pinterest has seen a constant increase in its user base and it continues to get updates that improve the overall experience. In this guide, we will provide you with tips on how to get started with Pinterest ads and make the most of them.


Attention Ecommerce store owners, these are you:

1 Why a Pinterest strategy will help you

2 Guide for Beauty & Cosmetic stores


Why You Need Pinterest Ads


Pinterest isn’t just a platform for social media, it is also a little bit of a search engine just like Google. In social media, users would often connect with one another and share content as well. With Pinterest, users find inspiration then create boards that they can visit later on with the pinned content that caught their interest.


Since ads on Pinterest show up as Promoted Pins – these are pins that are sponsored by a brand – this makes it easier for people to learn and purchase products they want to have.


Here’s an example of a Pinterest ad pin:



Before we delve into the power that these ads have to offer, you should first understand why these ads are great for your advertising strategy.


Since 2010, Pinterest has transformed into the third most popular social platform in the US. Its original concept was simple: replace corkboards and scrapbooks with something digital so that users can easily save content on the Web. From its humble beginnings, Pinterest has become a place where users can create awesome wish lists and where brands can promote their products and make buying them easier.


With more than 250 million active users on it, Pinterest has turned into one of the business hubs where companies can quickly connect with their desired audience.


Here are several more reasons why you should definitely consider Pinterest in your advertising strategy:


  • It is constantly growing. There are about 40% more users using Pinterest now compared to the year before. This just means that businesses have more opportunities to reach a big segment of their market here.


  • Users like to buy here. Research has shown that at least 50% of users who have seen a promoted pin bought it afterwards.


  • It provides access to a bigger market segment. Did you know that at least 67% of users discover new products and brands while browsing Pinterest?


  • Your products have the potential to go global. Many users and new signups on Pinterest are from different parts of the world. Its largest pool of users can be found in Brazil, India and Turkey.


  • Users who are active pin a lot. The more people are using the platform, the higher the chances that your product will be exposed. In fact, active users spend around 34 minutes on the site compared to other social networks.


  • People use Pinterest when shopping around. About 93% of users who use the platform are planning to buy something.


Now that you know the benefits these Pinterest ads can give you, let’s talk about how you can get started.


Setting Up a Pinterest Business Account


Before you can share your Pinterest ads with other users and keep track of its metrics, you will need a business account.


For those of you with a personal account already, you can convert it into a business account here. If not, you can sign up like normal or use your Google account if you have one.


This is what the conversion page looks like:



The next thing you need do is to start filling up information on your business profile. Particular fields you should focus on are your company logo, business type and a description of what your brand does.



If it’s your first time with Pinterest and you wish to create a new account, you can head over to their home page and choose “create a business account” located at the bottom as shown below.



You should then complete your business profile and agree to all of the terms.


The final step you need to take is to create your first ever board. Users will find your content easier if you have your business board set up and you can do so by adding relevant Pins to it.


Creating Pinterest Ads and Campaigns


Now that you have your own business account, it’s time to create some ads. The advertising process in Pinterest is very much like that of Facebook and Instagram wherein you need to set up campaigns, ad groups, bid amounts and keep track of all the results.


But before we get into the nitty-gritty part of creating an ad, let’s check out how campaigns are structured in the first place.


These come in three levels:


Campaign – this is where you put out the objective of your campaign.

Ad Group – the decision on your budget, where you display ads, who your target audience are and how long ads should run are made here.

Promoted Pins – this is the final result in your campaign and what your users will see.


Getting Started


To make your first ad, go over to your Ads Manager dashboard, hover over Ads and then click “Overview.”


From this page, you can quickly keep track of all your campaigns in motion. Select “Create Ad” to begin.



The next thing you should do is to select your campaign objective depending on the outcome you wish to have for your ads:



Here you will find six objectives to choose from. These are:


  • Brand awareness
  • Video views
  • Traffic
  • App install
  • Conversions
  • Shopping Catalogs


Deciding Which Objective to Choose


As you plan your campaigns, it’s essential that you begin by setting them on the right objective. These aren’t simply deciding what you want your campaigns to turn out and think that they are just like a vision board that will start manifesting results. This is, in fact, a strategic decision that lets you optimise campaigns for certain actions – improving the chances that users who see this will act upon it. Furthermore, this determines how you participate in auctions, the ad formats you get and the specific results you pay for.


The following are what each campaign objectives entail:


Brand awareness – with this objective, your goal is to help people find your products and services. You want to let people know what your brand has to offer so reach will be important here. You will pay for every 1,000 impressions on your pin and you can bid on a max CPM.


Video views – your goal here is to get as many top quality views on a video ad as much as possible, improving watch times and completion rates for viewers. Your ad will displayed to users who have the highest possibility of watching your video all the way. You will also be bidding on the number of people that view your video for two seconds or more (CPV).


Traffic – with this objective, you want to optimise the number of clicks on your website. You will be paying per click so you are able to bid on a max CPC.


App installs – this focus is in pushing visits to the download page of your app or to encourage users to install it. You will be paying for each impression (CPM) here and this objective is quite different than others since your CPM bid is going to adjust dynamically. This is done so it will show your ad to people who will most likely download your app, with its cost based on each install.


Conversions – this is when you optimise for certain on-site actions such as sign ads, checkouts or add to carts that happen on your site. You will be paying for each action, also known as CPA, as people click on the pin and view your website.


Shopping catalogues – your aim here is to drive people to discover your products as they are browsing Pinterest. You will be connecting an online product catalogue to the platform and start promoting product groups to the relevant audience. In terms of bidding, you can set a max CPC or go with the CPM bid structure depending on a target CPA.


When deciding on your objective, you might want to run some split tests. Even if you already have a goal in mind, you might realise that there are other aspects you want to achieve as well. This will, of course, depend on your industry and audience.


Configuring Your Budget and Ad Group


After doing that, you should then configure your budget and decide to pause the campaign for now or if it’s ready to go live like so:



Then you should specify the ad group details next.


Begin by creating a new ad group or selecting an existing one. You can then select your audience to make sure that only relevant leads get to see your ads:



If this is your first ad, you will have to create an audience first:



Once you’re finished creating and choosing an audience, you then need to specify who you want your ads to target.


Configuring Additional Targeting


Keep in mind that you can set up several ad groups in your targeting so it’s important to be as specific as possible to make sure your ads are seen by the right people. When you segment your ad campaigns, you will most likely get better results overall despite the additional micromanagement.



When done with that, you should then decide on the ad placement. It’s possible to set your ads to show up whenever users are browsing their feed or exploring relevant Pins. You can have your ads be displayed in search results as users are looking for certain terms or you can have them show up in both (browse and search) to maximise exposure.



You can further the targeted capabilities of your ads by filling up the interests and keywords that are associated with your brand like so:



Keywords are especially important. However, Pinterest isn’t similar to Google where you have to keep your keyword groups as connected as possible. You instead have the flexibility to select more creative keywords with the help of Pinterest’s suggestions so you can appear in the most relevant searches.



Setting the Budget


Once everything has been set up, it’s time to configure your bid amount according to your budget. There is the “Ad group budget” field that lets you select between a daily or a lifetime budget. The first option lets you choose a maximum amount you wish to spend for this ad group each day while the latter indicates the total amount you want to spend as long as the ad is up and running.



It’s also possible to input a maximum bid, whether you’re paying for installs, clicks, actions or impressions. This informs Pinterest that you’d want to pay this set amount to ensure your campaigns aren’t overspending.


Selecting the Pins to Add in Your Campaign


Now the last step in setting up your campaign and ad groups is to choose the Pins that you want to show up to your ad group. The saved Pins are going to become the Promoted Pins which your audience will see.



Pinterest will outline the criteria that your Promoted Pins will have to follow so that they are guaranteed to be seen. These include:


  • Saving Pins to your profile
  • Not using Pins that are saved to secret boards
  • Including destination URLs in each Pin
  • Not using link shorteners in the description or destination URL
  • Not including third-party GIFs or videos
  • Following Pinterest Ad Standards


The very last step in the creation of an ad on Pinterest is to have it reviewed. This review is going to take no more than a day, so you should plan your campaign accordingly.


How to Make the Most of Images on Pinterest


Since Pinterest is a visual search tool, users are going to see images rather than text when they are looking for content. This can be quite helpful especially because people can find what they need without much effort.


The search feature works two ways on Pinterest. The first one is that users can quickly type what they are looking for via the Pinterest search bar:



You can also use Google like so:



Once the resulting Pins come up, users can then scroll and select the Pins until they get what they want. Upon clicking on a Pin, you can find a search icon at its bottom right corner like this:



When you click on it, a section will appear where people can find additional images similar to the original.



Solid, top-quality photos are a critical part of Pinterest. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when you choose yours. There is so much visual content found on Pinterest and the only way you can get recognised is if your images stand out.


  • Use bright but warm colours like brown, orange and red in an effort to gain more clicks for your Pins. Images that have 50% colour saturation may also get ten times more repins than those with higher saturation.
  • Go with light and airy images. If you have images that are medium-light in colour, you may get more repins compared to going with darker photos.
  • Get close-up images of your product. Users will find it easier to view zoomed-in images since too much whitespace can make photos blend with others around them.
  • Utilise the Rule of Thirds. As you divide your photos into thirds across their vertical and horizontal axis, be sure that most of the image is either in the bottom or top third of the frame to the left or the right. With this approach, images will be more appealing to look at compared to those that sit squarely in the centre.
  • Make sure there’s room for text. If your pin has some space for text, it is going to stand out more than others that don’t have them. Rather than layering the text on your image, you can instead leave some room for it to make it more visible.


Now you can use these techniques to make your ads and images stand out and make your offer clearer to your users.


Using Text to Get More Clicks


Although images are the main focus in promoted pins, you shouldn’t think that text won’t be important as well. In Pinterest, your text will have to be the pillar that supports the pin and tell users why they should click on it.


Here are some ways you can incorporate text in your Promoted Pins and improve your clicks and conversions:


Using text overlay for context

Unlike Facebook, you’re not limited to a 20% rule here so you can always include additional text on your image. Using any text overlay tool can help you with this and it will give you a better chance to explain to your users what your brand has to offer, in a visually appealing manner. By doing so, you increase your chances of people noticing text on your image compared to just keeping the text on your caption.


Apply text overlay to add a CTA button on your image

A click anywhere on your Pin is going to send users to your desired destination. That said, CTA buttons are great tools and by making them readily seen can encourage people to take action quickly.


Use keywords in the caption field of your pins.

For organic marketing on Pinterest, this is one of the best practices you can apply as it helps your pin show up in searches more often. It is also good for PPC campaigns. Each time a user sees the keyword that they have searched in your pin’s caption, this will give them an idea that their search aligns with what you’re currently offering. This helps your pin stand out too and gain clicks faster.


Final Thoughts


With everything that we have provided here, you are now ready to start your marketing campaigns on Pinterest and make the most out of the platform. You can use the information we’ve provided here to help you make effective targeted campaigns test various types of ads to find the one that best suits your needs.


You don’t need to be a popular brand or have a huge budget to make the ads on Pinterest work for you. With creativity, you can showcase what your products have to offer and interact with your target audience without much hassle. Thinking about how you can sell more products using Pinterest? speak to us about how we can help you sell more on Pinterest.

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