How to Achieve More Success with Pinterest Promoted Pins Campaigns

By May 31, 2015 March 16th, 2017 No Comments

Pinterest promoted pins, when used correctly, can get your business in front of the right audience at the right time and drive real results for your brand. In our latest social advertising blog post, we’re going to share five tips to add to your Pinterest promoted pins strategy to ensure you make the most of promoted pins from Pinterest.

(*Note – The original version of the post, written by Unique Influence CEO Ryan Pitylak, can be found on Social Media Examiner.)

Listen to the Social Media Examiner Show sharing an overview of Ryan Pitylak’s tips for achieving more success with Pinterest Promoted Pins campaigns or read on for the complete article.

Promoted Pins Primer

Pinterest recently opened up their Pinterest promoted pins beta version to all users. These pins look like other Pinterest pins. But unlike those pins, the promoted option allows you to set up targeting and other campaign options to increase visibility and drive results.

If you are unfamiliar with this Pinterest advertising option, here’s a quick primer on how to set up a promoted pins campaign. Start by selecting a pin to promote and then follow the steps to set up your ad. Choose your promoted pin targeting from a number of selections to refine your audience, set up a maximum CPC bid, pick a campaign and enter your budget. While your promoted pin campaign is running, use the tools provided by Pinterest to track and evaluate your promoted pins campaign.

That’s all there is to it. Of course, if you want to achieve high success rates with Pinterest promoted pins, you will need to take those basic steps a bit further. Use the following five tips to take your promoted pins to another level.

#1: Focus on Creativity and Fluidity with Pin Images

Businesses using Pinterest promoted pins who want to successfully achieve a goal of driving a high click-through rate (CTR) must focus on capturing their target audience’s attention with a strategy that begins with a creative use of images.

Eye-catching pins are only the tip of the iceberg, but capturing the attention of Pinterest users is a critical first-step. To do this, start by promoting high-quality, vertically-oriented pins. Also, focus on image composition, ratio and color contrasts.

Remember, catching the eye of Pinterest users is only one part of the equation. If you wish to drive specific actions (e.g., clicks to your ecommerce website), then the following steps are critical.

Use relevant keywords to ensure the right audience finds your promoted pins. Promote images that connect emotionally to your target audience – images that they will share which spreads your advertising efforts to other Pinterest users. And also, make sure you use a soft call to action in image overlay text.

When it comes to creatives, fluidity is key. Test a number of creative elements with split-tests to determine what is working and what is not working. Always pay attention to split-testing results so you can make changes to your Pinterest promoted pins strategy in real time. Simply put, dump the creatives that aren’t working and amplify the ones that are working.

Remember, a key number to pay attention to when testing is click-through rate (CTR) as this drives impression volume and cost-per-click (CPC).

#2: Craft a Comprehensive Keyword Strategy

The second Pinterest promoted pin tip we want to share with you is a simple one. Don’t spend a huge amount of time and energy putting together your creative strategy if you aren’t going to develop and implement a comprehensive keyword strategy.

Using the right keywords is immensely important to your Pinterest advertising campaign. Without an effective keyword strategy, your promoted pins will not be discovered by enough Pinterest users. And worse yet, the audience that does discover your promoted pins will not be the right audience.

Pinterest allows you to use around 150 keywords with each promoted pin. Your keyword strategy should use specific, broad and general terms that your target audience searches for when looking for your products/services. Don’t try to game the system by using highly-popular keywords that are irrelevant to your promoted pins as your ad will most likely not get approved.

Remember this important bit of advice – the more micro- and macro-relevant your ad is to what people are searching for, the higher your CTR will be.

And just as it is necessary for your creatives to be fluid and adjusted in real time, the same goes for your keyword strategy. Continually research new and popular keywords while also reviewing your analytics to drop those keywords which may generate impressions but do not drive clicks.

#3: Invite Engagement by Understanding Your Audience

One of the reasons why Pinterest promoted pins campaigns are highly effective is that Pinterest users are highly engaged and motivated. When pins resonate with Pinterest users, they engage with those pins and they love to repin (share) those pins. Think of that for a minute: Your target audience will not only click your promoted pins, but an engaged audience will also spread your promoted pins to other users for you.

As long as you have a good understanding of your primary and secondary audiences, Pinterest targeting enables you to pinpoint those highly-engaged audiences. With promoted pins, your audience targeting options include location, language, device and gender. So, the key here is to understand what resonates with your audience, develop separate campaigns for each audience and use creatives and keywords to engage directly with each audience.

#4: Envision Longevity and Downstream Actions

Do not focus solely on a short-term goal (e.g., Prompting a conversion behavior such as capturing a lead or making a sale) from your target audience. To make the most of your Pinterest promoted pins campaign, you should focus on long-term movement and longevity. This type of focus allows your brand to maximize and optimize pinned and repinned campaigns, while maintaining cost-per-action (CPA) goals.

What do we mean by this? Take a look at the following example.

Your brand begins a Pinterest advertising campaign by promoting a product-related pin to a specific target audience with the goal of making an ecommerce sale. That pin resonates emotionally with one of your target audience members (Marsha) who then repins it. Ten of Marsha’s followers engage with your promoted pin and also repin it. In the meantime, seven of those followers click on the promoted pin with three completing a purchase.

Notice what happened here: Your promoted pin campaign achieved significant growth with customer engagement (repins) which prompted more downstream engagement and downstream conversion behaviors. When you focus on long-term goals (e.g. downstream engagement and conversions), you will be able to maximize and optimize pinned and repinned campaigns while maintaining cost-per-action (CPA) goals.

#5: Shove the Snowball Downhill with Aggressive Bidding

Give your promoted pin campaigns a push – a shove downhill to generate momentum – by bidding aggressively from the start. Do not, however, go with a one-size-fits all approach to your campaign spend. Think back to tip #2 where you learned the importance of fluidity and making real-time adjustments based on testing and monitoring outcomes.

Use this same approach with your campaign spend by taking advantage of Pinterest’s capability to set up specific budgets per device (by campaign breakout). Now, you can monitor the results and increase or decrease spend with more speed, precision and efficiency.

Let’s get back to the reasons behind starting your promoted pins campaign with aggressive bidding and a speedy, significant increase in spend. This strategy helps your promoted pins gain traction quickly which then may enable your business to drive lower CPC and higher CTR. The reason for this is that an aggressive, max CPC bid drives a higher predicted CTR – making that metric more relevant and prevalent – earlier in the lifespan of your campaign.

There is also a secondary reason for giving your campaign a spending shove. As you begin to see conversions from your promoted pins, you should then optimize your bids to achieve your ideal CPA and increase your spend to maximize the number of conversions.

Two Bonus Promoted Pins Tips

Here are two more important tips for maximizing your next Pinterest promoted pins campaign. Both of these tips involve measuring promoted pins.

First, target both desktop and mobile users and pay attention to cross-device movement. This is important due to the ways your target audience uses Pinterest. The majority of Pinterest conversions take place on a computer. Mobile users, on the other hand, repin more often. And remember, these repins may lead to downstream conversions and those conversions may take place on computers or mobile devices. As you can see from the above, targeting all users and subsequently tracking cross-device movement is very valuable to your promoted pins campaign.

Second, measure engagement conversions to gain deeper insight into customer behavior. Once a pin is clicked by an individual, that click opens up the image. Even if the person doesn’t click from the pin to your website directly, make sure to keep track of conversions that happen after this type of engagement.


Pinterest, unlike other social advertising platforms, is both visually and search-driven. These factors make tips #1 and #2 essential to your Pinterest promoted pins success. Being visually and search-driven also means creative and keyword strategies are equally important in promoted pins campaigns. Remember, Pinterest users love to share and communicate. Just as much so, they also love to search and look. When you prioritize search and social display equally, you will understand why Pinterest campaigns for ecommerce and lead generation are highly successful.