How to Optimize Your Pinterest Advertising Strategy

Mar 05, 2020

Users are already in a purchase mindset when they go to Pinterest. Pinterest Advertising capitalizes on pinners’ intent and empowers brands to maximize ROI with targeted keywords and audience selection.



Pinterest is often grouped together with other social channels, but the visual medium is more of a hybrid between a social media platform and a search engine. Brand marketers tackle Pinterest with a unique lense compared to visual channels like Instagram and Facebook. Similarly, advertisers are tasked with combining their approach to paid social with SEO best practices to optimize their Pinterest advertising strategy.

For organic social marketers, Pinterest is already loaded with ROI potential. 84% of users head to the visual search engine when they’re making a purchase decision. Pinterest Advertising adds an extra layer to the channel’s revenue-generating capabilities. Ads are served to users in the form of “Promoted Pins.” With Promoted Pins, brands can target specific audiences based on criteria like geography and gender, as well as keywords and verticals.

Why Brands are Advertising on Pinterest

According to Pinterest, Promoted Pins typically earn $2 in profit for every $1 spent. And 1 out of 2 Pinterest users have made a purchase after seeing a Promoted Pin. It’s the best of both worlds. Advertisers can serve ads to users who are searching for their products with keyword targeting. Alternatively, brands can engage pinners who are passively browsing the Pinternet by targeting interests and specific demographics. It’s the perfect recipe to ensure you’re putting your pins in front of the right eyes—and ultimately increase awareness and revenue for your brand.

Pinterest Analytics measures the results of your ads and determines which pins are performing the best with your target audience. Brands can leverage Pinterest’s in-platform analytics to measure Promoted Pin performance and inform their advertising strategy. And the brands that are investing in Pinterest ads are seeing real results. A recent study found that for every $100 spent on Pinterest ads, brands produced $60 more in profit compared to other channels.

Convert Pinners Into Customers

Similar to other advertising channels, Pinterest ads run on an auction system. To create a Promoted Pin, advertisers need to choose an objective and targeting criteria. There are six objectives to choose from: brand awareness, video views, traffic, app installs, conversions, and shopping catalogue. Based on your brand’s product, visual strategy, and KPIs, you can select an objective that best fits your goals. From there, brands place “bids” on Promoted Pins shown to their target audience. The brand that places the highest bid has its ad served. The objective that you select determines how you bid in the auction.

  1. Brand Awareness: If you want your Pin to be seen by as many relevant users as possible, this objective will best optimize your campaign. Brands pay per 1,000 impressions.

  2. Video Views: Similar to brand awareness, the goal is to put your video in front of as many relevant pinners as possible. Brands pay per view when users watch your video for more than two seconds.

  3. Traffic: The goal is to drive traffic to your site. While all of the objectives allow brands to drive users to their website, this option is unique because brands pay-per-click rather than impressions.

  4. App Install: The goal is to encourage users to download your app. Brands pay per click for this objective.

  5. Conversions: The goal is to drive pinners to take action. CTAs include: 'Check out', 'Sign up', and 'Add to cart.'

  6. Shopping Catalogue: The goal is for pinners to discover your Promoted Pin while browsing Pinterest. Brands can choose to pay per click or per 1,000 impressions.

Data-Driven Visual Selection

Once advertisers determine what they’re aiming to achieve with their paid Pinterest campaign, selecting the visuals is the next step. Compelling photos and videos are at the heart of Pinterest—and your Promoted Pin performance. As a visual search engine, pinners are served a sea of visuals when they scan the home feed or search for a specific keyword. Brands need to have a pulse on what types of photos and videos will catch pinners’ attention based on the audiences they’re targeting and the searches they’re bidding on.

Instead of testing creative and wasting resources, start with your organic Pinterest performance. The users who are engaging with your organic pins likely resemble the audience you’re targeting in your advertising. Understanding what types of organic pins resonate with users will inform the visuals you select for your Pinterest ads—and fuel your paid strategy.

With Dash Hudson, you can surface meaningful insights that inform which pins are engaging your brand's target market and, ultimately, driving traffic and revenue. Easily uncover what visuals are inspiring action from pinners and monitor KPIs to have a pulse on your Pinterest performance. This insight will fuel your photo and video selection for Promoted Pins and ensure you have a consistent visual strategy across your organic and paid pins.

The Power of Promoted Pins

Pinterest is already built with conversions in mind and Promoted Pins equip advertisers with the tools to capitalize on pinners’ purchase mindset. Advertisers can optimize their campaign performance by selecting an objective that best suits their KPIs and targeting specific audiences. Where Pinterest differs from other platforms is its search engine capabilities. Users go to Pinterest to plan current and future purchases. Brands can bid on keywords to capitalize on pinners’ intent—and maximize ROI.


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Jennifer Meech

Contributor at Dash Hudson.