How To Use Promoted Pins: Simple Tips For Success

McKinzie Bean
McKinzie Bean
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Pinterest is one of the most popular social media platforms that you can use to advertise your business. Promoted Pins are one way you can accelerate your growth on the platform. If you are looking for how to use Promoted Pins to reach your target audience and drive traffic to your site follow along with this in-depth guide.

Here’s what you need to know about Promoted Pins:

What is a Promoted Pin?

Promoted pins are paid ads that you can use on Pinterest in order to endorse and advertise your business.

According to Pinterest, 1 out of 2 Pinterest users has bought something after seeing a promoted pin. They also stated that a promoted pin will earn $2 in profit for every $1 spent on the ads.

There are different campaigns that you can use for your promoted pins, depending on what your goals are. You can run different types of campaign and get different results, but the cost of running these campaigns will depend on the type of campaign and how much you are willing to pay for each promoted pin.

You can choose from the following Promoted Pin campaigns:

Engagement Campaigns

This campaign will help promote your pins in a way that increases your content visibility and engagement of your target audience with your content/product. They are designed in a way that your pins will get more interaction.

This can either be through clicks, re-pins, or close-up views. The more engagement your pins get, the more the chances of increasing your ‘following’. You will be charged for every engagement your ad receives in the form of re-pins or clicks.

Traffic Campaigns

how to use promoted pins

This kind of Promoted Pin campaign aims to drive traffic to your site. This is a great campaign to choose if you want to increase sales right away or drive lead generation. This is because when your audience checks out your promoted pin, they are interested in the ad and are usually on their way to buy the item.

You will pay for every click to your website.

90% of the campaigns I run are traffic campaigns. They are great because you get the “downstream” clicks for free. So if someone repins your Promoted Pin and then someone clicks on that repin you are not charged.

My lowest cost per click (CPC) and my best return on ads spend (ROA) has been via traffic campaigns.

With traffic campaigns, I’ve been able to get clicks for as low as $.04 CPC and email sign-ups for under $.25.

Awareness Campaigns

If you want your brand or ads to be seen by many people, an awareness campaign can do this. They focus on ‘reach’ and showing your ads to as many people as possible. Your brand will then get an increase in exposure and larger visibility. The focus is more on the reach than the clicks.

These campaigns will also charge on a per thousand impression basis. This means that you will be charged for every 1,000 impressions of a pin. Video views are also linked to brand awareness since your aim is to use videos to increase awareness.

How to make the most out of promoted pins

The testing stage

When you first start with promoted pins, there is a good chance that you won’t like your results. I recommend you start the campaign and give it a week or so to see which pins are performing best, which keywords you are targeting have lower sign up costs, etc.

After that point you can start to tweak your ad. This may be archiving certain keywords and focusing on the highest performing ones, testing a new audience, moving forward with your highest performing graphic, etc.

If after tweaking your pin if you are still not getting results, consider the page you are directing them to.

Is it optimized for conversions?

If not spend some time adjusting that. Test different headlines, opt-in boxes, graphics and copy on the page.

Creativity

Try to make your pins attractive and helpful. You can also put your logo to make your pins look credible to gain social proof.

Pinterest prefers tall images so make sure that your image is at least 600×900 pixels. You can even test pins up to 600×1250 pixels. Like we talked about above, test all of your options and then move forward with your winners!

In your description make sure you are communicating with your audience. Make it engaging like it’s a real conversation. Even if the images and pictures capture the attention of your audience, your descriptions will provide context and can be the deciding factor to get your audience to engage with your pin.

You can explain what makes your product, opt-in or post, valuable instead of just writing down a simple description.

Bidding

When you are bidding on a keyword and you see that your bid is higher than the general cost per click, you can then lower your budget.

Pinterest is going to recommend a super high cost per click bid. Don’t feel like you have to set it that high. Start with a lower CPC and then work your way up if you are not maxing out your budget.

The minimum time you should run your campaign before making changes should be around 3 to 4 days.

When a pin is doing well, you can continue to run it until the performance starts to decrease. At that point take a look at the analytics of that promoted pin and see what has changed and begin tweaking and testing again.

Keywords

In order to target your audience, Pinterest recommends you use thirty to fifty keywords, although you can go higher. You don’t need repetitive keywords. When I start testing I will begin with 100+ keywords and then narrow it down from there.

There are two kinds of keywords: exact match and broad match.

Exact matches are the more specific words and phrases that one might search for when looking for specific content.

A broad match is a more general term that could lead to other expanded results.

The broader your keywords are, the more the chances of having your pin show up in search results. However, if the results are too broad you may come up in searches that are not as relevant and your CPC on those terms may become higher.

Keep an eye on your CPC for each keyword after a week or so of letting the campaign run.

You can also mix broad keywords and exact keywords. Make sure the keywords you are using are relevant to your content so that you can attract laser targeted traffic to your campaigns. Monitor the keywords that are doing well so that you can use them in your future campaigns.

Start broad

Unless you are targeting a really specific audience, it is best to leave everything open and available to all. This is so that you can reach out to as many people as possible and not limit your audience right away. You can decide to narrow your audience to the exact match type of keywords later.

Choosing the right landing page

It is very important that you use a very good landing page or lead capture page for your campaigns. This can make or mar your chances of retaining your audience and having them engage with your content or buy your product.

Don’t send them to your home page. Don’t send them to your ‘about me’, send them to the page showing the content or product you want them to see or buy.

I recommend only running a Promoted Pin campaign if you have a plan for either using it to build your email list or to sell a product. Running a campaign just to run or solely for traffic is often not worth it.

Using video

Promoted pins that have video will automatically play on a mobile device, so it will give you that extra edge over an ordinary pin with text. The videos need to be high resolution.

The videos also need to be short, kind of like a teaser, since making the video too long will also put off your audience. Using on-video text and subtitles is also better than the actual sound.

Pinterest conversion pixel

This can be found in the ads manager and you can install it. It is a very useful tool for tracking your leads and most especially if you want to increase your email sign-ups. You will be able to see what people do after they see your promoted pin.

This step is crucial in tracking the success of your campaigns. Even if you are not ready to run a campaign yet, I recommend installing the general pixel on your site so you can start to create an audience of visitors to your site. Later on, you can target those specific viewers in your campaigns.

You can use this free chrome extension from Pinterest to make sure that your pixel is installed correctly.

how to use promoted pins

Engaged click-through rate or ECTR

This is an important thing to look at when checking how your campaign is doing. Check the last 30 days of a campaign for example. If your engaged click-through-rate is increasing and your ECPC (Earned Cost Per Click) is going down, then this is a good sign that something is working.

Interest targeting

When Pinterest users browse certain categories on their home-feeds, particularly those that interest them, Pinterest can target these users and place your ads based on their interests. It is best to choose interests that are relevant and related to the promoted pin so that you can get optimum results.

You do not have to use Interests when setting up your Promoted Pins campaign but it is one of the areas that you can test when you are split testing the performance of your pins.

Tracking your results

By using the Ads manager, you can monitor how your ads are doing and stop the underperforming ones. You can see the campaigns you are running and how much you are spending. You can get relevant information like the number of impressions, number of saves, clicks, click-through-rate or total ad-spend.

How much does it cost to promote a pin on Pinterest?

Depending on your campaign, you can set the maximum bid you want to pay per click. The minimum amounts according to different campaigns are as follows:

Cost per click (CPC) – $0.10
Cost per engagement (CPE) – $0.10
Cost per thousand impressions (CPM) – $5.00

Of course, these are only the minimum amounts, and you can always increase the rates depending on your campaign goals. Pinterest will even suggest that you start with more competitive rates in order to improve your performance right away.

Later you can change this based on your performance. You can set a daily budget and Pinterest will charge you your average daily budget over a period of 30 days.

How do I promote a pin on Pinterest?

When it comes to promoted pins and campaigns, your click-through-rate will determine if that campaign is successful or not. If you have an existing pin that is already doing well organically, you can promote that certain pin since it will also most likely do well as a promoted pin.

My contact in the Promoted Pins department at Pinterest let me know this secret tip.

You want your pins to have at least a .2-.3% click-through rate in order for you to get traction with your Promoted Pin. If your pin does not have that it is less likely that they will show it.
Your click-through rate is simply the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions.

If you get really good with your targeting you can easily get higher than that number. I run multiple campaigns where my click-through rate is over 1%.

If your click-through-rates are higher, you will get better placement and performance and there will also be a lower bid for you to get a higher ad rank.

Here’s how you can quickly promote your pins:

Choose a pin to promote

Pick a pin that already has good engagement. When choosing a pin, you can use Pinterest analytics to help you decide. By using this tool, you can determine your top performing pins or sort the ones that were the most clicked on or saved for the past 30 days. You can also promote app installations in a promoted pin by creating a new pin for it.

Once you have chosen your pin go to “Ads” and then “Create Ad”

how to use promoted pins

Pin information

Once you put in the description of your pin, a campaign name will be created. You can also create updates later in the Ads Manager. The pin should also be linked to your website that you want the traffic to go to. You can use tracking parameters to see how the pin is doing.

Daily budget

how to use promoted pins

This amount is how much you are willing to pay per day for your ads running. When you have just started your ad campaign, you will be asked to put in your billing information.

If you are just starting it is okay to keep this low. Many of my campaigns during the testing stage I start at $2 a day and then work my way up.

Length of time for the campaign

Decide on how long you want your campaign to run. You can schedule your campaign or run it continuously.

Targeting using keywords

how to use promoted pins

The keywords you choose will help promote your pins by showing your pins in relevant search results and other category related feeds. Make sure the keywords you use are relevant to your content.

The cost of the keyword depends on how much other people are bidding for the same keyword and how many people are also targeting that certain keyword.

Bonus tip: If you are running a traffic campaign and you set your bid at $.20 per click and the next highest bid is $.14 per click you would only pay $.15 per click because that is what was necessary to outbid the second highest offer.

Promoted pins

Once you click on continue, you will be able to create the ad. You can go to Ads Manager to update your information or edit your campaigns later.

Benefits of Promoted Pins

Targeting a specific audience

If you are on point with your targeting when you use Promoted Pins, you are providing your target audience with the type of content they are looking for.

Since they are actively seeking your content and are looking for it, you won’t be wasting your time and money. Promoted Pin is great for helping you reach a new audience!

Boost audience engagement

Promoted Pins will increase your visibility and popularity when you are just starting up by driving targeted traffic to your website and facilitating engagement between your audience and your content.

Pinterest is a great platform for you to advertise your business. It is a fun platform where people are looking for content and at the same time engaging with it. With Promoted Pins, the key is to test to see which ones work for you and which ones don’t. With the right strategies, you can promote your brand and get sales at the same time.

You May Also Like These Pinterest Tips:

how to use promoted pins

McKinzie Bean
McKinzie is a mom of two, and a personal finance enthusiast. She loves teaching other moms how to save money, make money, and take control of their financial situation. She has started five profitable businesses and in college, she double-majored in Financial Planning and Psychology. You may have seen her in publications like Forbes, The US Chamber of Commerce, Yahoo Finance, Money.com, The Penny Hoarder, & more.

4 thoughts on “How To Use Promoted Pins: Simple Tips For Success”

  1. Hi McKinzie,
    Thank you for such an in-depth article. I have a question. Is Pinterest Ads available for all the countries across the globe? I am from India. I tried to create Pinterest Ads, but couldn’t do.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Soumya!

      Great question 🙂 currently Promoted Pins are available on business accounts in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand. Hopefully, they will open up in other countries soon!

      1. Hi! Just FYI, they recently added Switzerland (where I live 🙂 ) and I think it was part of adding multiple countries – so I think there are now more to that list!

        If it isn’t available for India yet, it might be very soon 🙂

        1. Yes, they’ve been adding more countries! Here’s the list according to Pinterest: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands

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