How to Use Promoted Pins on Pinterest

by Wayne Sharer

International speaker, author, and entrepreneur. Retired navy officer, former commanding officer. Over 35 years of leading, coaching, mentoring, and speaking.

January 27, 2015

You likely heard that Pinterest was going to join the world of pay per click marketing by offering promoted pins. Well, promoted pins are here and Pinterest is starting to bring in advertisers.

As I write this, the field for promoting on Pinterest is wide open. The cost is whatever you want it to be with a minimum cost per click bid of 5 cents. There is no minimum budget or cost.

The good news is, like almost any large website that first gets into the advertising game, the field is pretty wide open.

So for the moment, MLM and affiliate offers are okay as long as you follow the Pinterest promoted pins guidelines and advertising rules. That shouldn’t surprise you too much.

The promoted pins show up in relevant home feeds and in related search results. That shouldn’t surprise anyone either.

How to Get Started With Promoted Pins on Pinterest

First you must request access as a business. You do this by simply going to the Promoted Pins Page.

You may get immediate access or you may have to wait for approval. Don’t fret. You will get in if you are a legitimate business and you don’t have a history of spamming all over Pinterest.

Before making your first ad you will want to review the advertising rules and promoted pin guidelines. This will help you have less difficulty in getting ads approved.

Like all advertising publishers, Pinterest will review your ad before it goes live.

Then the first thing you will do is simply pick a pin you want to promote.

Targeting your Promoted Pins on Pinterest

The next step is very important, of course. It’s all about getting the right people to see your ad. So if you have an ad for a weight loss product, you only want people actively interested in “weight loss” viewing your ad.

The first targeting step I s called placement targeting where you will add terms (ie, keywords) used to place your ads in relevant feeds and search results. As you choose terms, your estimated weekly impressions will appear at the top of the right side of the page.

pinterest estimated weekly impressions

After choosing your first term you will be shown suggestions and other related terms to help you target even more people.

< choosing pinterest targeting terms

pinterest placement targeting terms

Next you’ll be asked to target other specifics:

  1. Locations
  2. Language
  3. Devices
  4. Gender

pinterest location targeting

pinterest search terms

This is really simple. You don’t have to choose anything, or choose whatever is relevant to your marketing and market. As you add your targeting, it will also appear along the top right side of the page, under the header and next to the Placement Targeting selection area.

That’s all there is to targeting. It is less specific than Facebook ads, but the terms should allow you to get your ad in front of a select audience.

The locations are still limited, but like all new platforms, this will surely improve as more advertisers use the publishing capability.

Finishing Up Your Pinterest Promoted Pin

Now all that is left is choosing your cost per click (CPC) bid and entering the destination link for when the Promoted Pin is clicked.

Your cost per click can be set as low as 5 cents. Remember, your bid is what you are willing to pay for the click. In this model used at Pinterest, they only charge you what it costs to beat the next highest bid below you.

This means if you bid 35 cents per click, but the highest bid below you is 7 cents per click, then you will be charged 8 cents to get the click, not the 35 cents you bid. Make sense?

So bid what you are willing to spend per click. It is not recommended to enter some ridiculous inflated price. I can’t tell you what will happen if you do this, but I suspect it won’t be accepted by Pinterest if you are inflating the price simply to control all access.

Now enter your link. It can be an affiliate link and you can use a tracking link. I suggest you always use your own tracking link. Tracking links may be interpreted as re-direct links so your alternative is to create a landing page only for your Pinterest Promoted Pin.

Note that Pinterest does not guarantee your affiliate cookies will be set properly through their platform…

pinterest affiliate link guidelines

After this, you simply set your campaign name, optional start and end dates, and your daily campaign budget.

How much should your budget be? Well, you will have to test this. First and foremost, it should not be more than you are willing to spend.

Next, if it is your first ad, you probably want it to be maybe only 5 dollars a day or something small with an end date selected. This way you get a feel for the performance of the ad.

If you are not getting as many clicks as you like, you can try raising your CPC or your budget. Start with your CPC.

Click Here for the All New Guide to Great Pins

Tips for Making Good Promoted Pinterest Ads

  1. Use related, but captivating pictures. Pinterest is all about the image, literally.
  2. Review Pinterest examples on their own “Great Promoted Pins” page. This will really help you get started on the right foot.
  3. Don’t try to trick people of fool them. In the end, you will be the only one fooled with no sales, no sign ups, or banned from Pinterest advertising.
  4. Your best landing pages will be pages with real content. This page can also include an opt in offer, but it cannot take up your whole page.
  5. If you use a pop up, it must be easily exited or your ad will be disapproved.
  6. Follow Pinterest Promoted Pin Guidelines

It’s very simple. So don’t make this complicated and be wary of people selling you training products of making millions from Pinterest Promoted Pins. It is not likely they will tell much more than what Pinterest already provides you on their own pages.

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