Social Media

Getting Started with Pinterest Ads


If you already have a blog then you must have already discovered just how powerful Pinterest can be when it comes to promoting your blog posts, products and services, and getting them in front of your target audience. Pinterest is possibly the friendliest social media platform out there, however being successful on Pinterest does require some digging into, especially when you are just starting out, or don’t have that many followers.

As you may have heard, Pinterest changed its feed algorithm recently and is now prioritizing pins which are popular (have lots of saves or repins) to people’s feeds. It’s no longer about who you follow, but quality and popular pins. This makes it harder for new users to tap Pinterest’s wide audience, hence Pinterest ads come into play.

The good news is “sponsored pins” are here to help us get our content or products in front of more people, thus making them more popular. This seems like an ideal scenario, but once your pins are popular enough, it is not so hard for a snowball effect to be created and many other saves or repins will end up making these pins even more popular.
This guide will show you how to get started with Pinterest ads, how to navigate around the Pinterest Ads Manager, as well as tips and tricks for setting up your first campaign. You’ll also learn how to track your campaigns and how to make sure they are bringing in the right results for your blog or website!

1. Define Your Campaign objective

You can setup Pinterest ads for a few different reasons and Pinterest has 4 different campaign types to choose from when creating your ads.


  • Awareness – Build brand awareness and get discovered by people on the most visible parts of Pinterest based on your audience. You get charged per 1,000 impressions.
  • Engagement – Stimulate your audience’s interests. You get charged for each engagement (open, repin, click) on your pins.
  • Traffic – Get traffic to your website by using your pins links. You get charged for clicks to your website.
  • Promoted App Pins – Use this type of campaign to increase installs for your app. You can drive downloads directly to your App Store app link.

If you are using Pinterest Ads to promote your blog, your most effective campaign type would probably be Awareness, Engagement or Traffic.

Both the Awareness and Engagement campaigns are excellent when it comes to building a stronger Pinterest community and also making your pins be more popular. These could be the first types of campaigns to try if you are just starting out with Pinterest and if you want to build a presence and engaged audience.

The Traffic campaign is suitable for when you want to promote a particular post or offer on your blog or website. Pinterest also has a tracking code that allows you to track conversions on your blog, thus making sure that besides getting people on your website you can actually see if they complete a desired result. Depending on your pins, the Traffic campaign may also bring you awareness or engagement. The cool thing is that you pay for clicks, so impressions and saves do not cost you anything! By creating visually appealing pins you can in fact achieve both engagement and also traffic to your website.

2. Choose your Pins Wisely

Similar to Instagram, Pinterest is driven by beautiful imagery and high quality photography. Try to find or create images that resonate with your audience and are professionally shot. I would recommend pinning only high quality photos on Pinterest in general, as those get more chances of becoming popular pins in the long run.

Start with these 4 Tips for creating successful sponsored pins:

  1. Research the most successful pins when searching for keywords like the ones you are targeting. See how these are created from a photography and composition style. You can also explore the Analytics area in your Pinterest account and see which ones of your pins are getting the most repins and clicks. This will help you establish the initial direction when choosing what pins to promote.
  2. Experience with different messaging on your pins as well as descriptions. As in all paid advertising programs, you will be able to narrow down the successful ads after a few days of running your campaigns.
  3. Whatever you do – go for vertical images that look best on Pinterest. The recommended size should have an aspect ratio of 2:3 and 600 pixels wide by 900 pixels high. Check out Pinterest’s guide when it comes to creating successful pins.
  4. When creating a sponsored pin using a CTA on the image is now allowed, so try incorporating these in the caption or description of your pin. You can still have text on the image, but it should be mostly a value or soft sell copy as opposed to something like “Buy Now”, “Order Now”.

3. Don’t be scared of the initial bid

When you are setting up your campaigns you might encounter a higher bid than you would expect, or that you would like to pay for. This is just an initial estimation of how your campaign will be targeted and it is up to you to monitor the bids and make sure your campaign performs well. Pinterest is a second price auction, which means you’ll be charged only what was necessary to beat the next highest bidder in the auction. Pinterest usually recommends a “Strong Bid”, however I have had great results even starting with a “Low” or “Good” bid.

4. Targeting is everything

What’s really interesting about Pinterest’s targeting is the fact that most Pinterest users browse the platform with a particular mood in mind, rather than an actual search term. Although people might search for something in particular, they are open to new ideas that would fit on one of their board to have as a reference for the future (eg. a wedding next year). When creating a Pinterest ads campaign you have the option to select interests, keywords or populate the description of the pin with a relevant phrase people would search for. Make sure you consider related interests to reach Pinners who could also be interested in your business.


5. Monitor and tweak your campaigns frequently

I am checking my Pinterest ads even 3 times/day. Sometimes I don’t make any changes, however I like to stay on top and monitor my stats and especially my costs. Pinterest allows you to keep track of your engagement metrics (impressions, saves), traffic metrics (clicks, conversions), as well as your average cost per click (CPC) and daily spend. You also get to see your paid vs earned impressions and here is where the quality of your pin matters a lot! Earned impressions are the free views you get based on your promoted pin showing to other people feeds or being pinned to other people’s boards.


By keeping an eye on what pins perform best, you will be able to focus on those pins that bring a higher ROI for your campaign objectives and get you more free earned impressions. You can pause pins that are not so successful and thus lower your campaign costs and your overall spend.

Ready to dive into creating your Pinterest Ad Campaign? Stay tuned for the next guide in the Pinterest series: The Step-by-Step Guide to creating a Pinterest Ad Campaign.

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