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Pinterest marketing offers a wealth of potential, and there are many different post options to consider for success. Pinterest Ads, in particular, are highly effective for certain brands and offer a positive return on investment (ROI).

Once you’ve established a Pinterest business account, you can launch your brand to new heights. If you’re wondering where to begin, this Pinterest Ads checklist for beginners will get you off on the right foot — and help you keep the momentum going.

A Quick Guide to Promoted Pins

Promoted Pins are paid adverts on Pinterest and run on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. A campaign is structured according to a specified daily budget and duration of the campaign. 

Essentially, Promoted Pins boost the reach of an existing pin, pushing the image or video higher up the home feed. Results show that Promoted Pins work especially well when combined with automatic bidding. 

As Pinterest is a discovery platform, the benefits of Promoted Pins are extensive, such as the following;

  • Reach a targeted audience of users intending to spend money (Pinterest shoppers spend twice as much per month as users on other platforms)
  • Higher engagement rate compared to organic Pins 
  • Efficient cost per conversion than ads on social media
  • Higher return on ad spend for retail brands than ads on social media

The following guide breaks down the finer details of Pinterest Ad campaigns, helping eCommerce brands boost profit, increase brand awareness, and grow their Pinterest following.

Paid Advertising on Pinterest vs. Google and Facebook

ECommerce retailers use a variety of social media platforms to advertise their products and expand their reach to their desired audience. Pinterest is a favorite among retailers and online brands because of the platform’s nature as a discovery tool.

Before deciding which platform to invest your marketing budget in, it’s important to understand the main difference between Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Pinterest Ads.

Google Ads

Target certain keywords that are the assumed search terms. When investing in Google Ads for specific keywords, the website URL will appear at the top of the search engine results. The result will have a badge labeling it as an “Ad” to show that it is not organic. 

Facebook Ads

Rely on data and an assessment of social behavior to help brands target specific users. Small businesses benefit from Facebook Ads as they provide the opportunity to pinpoint a target customer with a smaller budget.

Pinterest Ads

Offer a unique purpose by serving as a top-funnel initiative and discovery platform. The platform is used by shoppers who want to browse and buy online. When compared to paid advertising on Google and Facebook, Pinterest has a history of positive performance.

Pinterest advertising is more cost-effective, offering a lower CPC rate than other social media platforms. That’s why so many big brands invest in Pinterest advertising over other options. For example, Sephora’s Pinterest followers spend 15 times more than their Facebook followers.

In addition, Pinterest posts have the longevity of content that surpasses other platforms. The opportunity for future saves and clicks from promoted pins expands beyond the immediate impact of posting a Pin. 

Consider the following benefits of advertising on Pinterest that aren’t relevant on other platforms;

  • Pinterest users browse, search, and surf Pins to shop
  • Pinterest categories and Pins appear in search results
  • Infinite scrolling keeps users on Pinterest for longer periods than Google
  • Pinterest Pins are accompanied by metadata
  • As a platform, Pinterest’s wish list feature keeps a brand’s product front-of-mind

The downstream activity on Pinterest makes the platform a prime choice for brands looking for far-reaching impact through paid advertising.

Getting Started with Traffic Campaigns

Traffic campaigns are intended to drive traffic to an external website, landing page, or eCommerce website. From here, brands convert traffic into sales.

Pinterest traffic campaigns offer an impressive ROI, even with a smaller budget. If your brand has an existing business account and posts organic content, you can expand the reach by putting a little bit of money behind the well-performing organic posts.

Even if you don’t have organic posts, you can incorporate Promoted Pins into your Pinterest marketing strategy and run a traffic campaign from there. 

Setting Up a Pinterest Ad

Establishing the fundamentals of a Pinterest Ad provides a launchpad for future success. The key to reaching your ad campaign goals lies in strategically setting up your Pinterest Ad. 

The following steps and considerations are necessary before you can begin.

Convert to a Business Account

If your Pinterest account is not a business account, then you need to make the switch. 

Choose a brand new business account on Pinterest, create a linked business account to an existing one, or convert your personal account.

Create a brand new business account on Pinterest:

  • Click Sign up in the top-right of Pinterest’s landing page
  • Click Create a business account
  • Enter relevant details (email, password, and age)
  • Click Create account

Create a linked business account to an existing account

  • Log into your personal Pinterest account and click the drop-down arrow at the top-right of the screen
  • Click Add account
  • Select Create a free business account
  • Select Create a linked business account 
  • Select Create linked account

Convert your personal account

  • Log into your personal Pinterest account and click the drop-down arrow at the top-right of the screen
  • Select Settings
  • Select Account management
  • Under Account changes,select Convert to a business account 
  • Select Convert account

Once you’ve linked your business account, you need to optimize the page for peak performance. 

Take time and effort to describe your business, incorporate targeted keywords, and create relevant Pinterest boards. 

Claim Your Website

While setting up your business account, you need to verify your website so that users can click directly on your site. There are different options to claim your website: adding an HTML tag to your website, uploading an HTML file to your website, or adding a DNS TXT record. 

If this sounds overwhelming, not to worry. Pinterest offers detailed steps on how to claim your website.

Pinterest Tags

Another way to optimize your profile is to include Pinterest tags in your website content. Pinterest tags are pieces of code you put on your website’s pages to see what type of Pinterest content delivers the most traffic.

The data is collected and sent back to your Pinterest profile for analysis. With the feedback in mind, you can analyze and adjust your campaign for better results.

Essentially, Pinterest tags are used to track and optimize conversions, measure campaign performance, build audiences for targeting and offer access to conversion insights. 

Pinterest tags include two main components;

  • Base code — the foundation of the Pinterest tag, which should be placed on every page of the website
  • Event code — placed on pages to track specific conversions

Add Save Button to Your Webpages

Pinterest campaigns intend to drive traffic to the website and convert visitors to paying customers. Improve the chances of conversion by making it easy for your customers to engage with your content. 

One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to add save buttons to your web pages, helping customers save posts from your website to Pinterest. In this way, your content receives a wider reach.

Rich Pins

Rich Pins allow users to condense a lot of information into a single Pin, which is especially useful for product posts, recipes, and articles. Rich Pins are SEO-focused in nature and designed to raise brand awareness by adding additional context to a post. 

Rich pins pull metadata from website pages to support the content. They are especially useful when accompanied by an install button, helping users download apps directly from Pinterest. 

Product Catalog

If you’re selling a collection of products, then uploading a product catalog is an effective tool. Product catalogs allow businesses to showcase products for sale in a shopping capacity. 

Product catalogs allow users to shop for a brand, get personalized shopping recommendations, and search for items. Adding product Pins from catalogs to product groups promotes the post as a shopping ad.

Establish the Campaign

Promoted Pins allow you to target locations, demographics, and even devices. Establish a daily budget and set the campaign duration.

Begin by choosing one of your recent Pins to promote and follow the prompts to set up your ad. Conduct research to determine the best keywords and target specific keywords to help with the Pins discovery. Pinterest offers advanced suggestion systems to use to your advantage.

Keywords should also be considered when creating boards for your profile. Make sure that you make your boards SEO-friendly by adding searchable terms to the boards. 

Create your target audience by selecting a region, device, gender, and other parameters. Finally, you’ll set your budget and bidding. 

Budgets and Bidding for Ad Campaigns

One of the most important steps in setting up a campaign involves establishing a budget and bidding preference.

Before you put a large amount of money behind a campaign, it’s best to start with a small amount to test the waters and get an overview of how the Pin will perform. As a guideline, $5 per day is enough to gather analytics on click-throughs and engagement.

Keep coming back to your analytics and adjust your campaign goals based on performance.

There are two options for setting bids on Pinterest.

  1. Custom bidding 
  2. Automatic bidding 

Custom bidding is a manual process that offers more control throughout the ad campaign, but it takes a lot more time to optimize. With custom bidding, you enter your maximum CPC bid amount and monitor the analytics to adjust your bidding. 

With automatic bidding, Pinterest manages your bids on your behalf. The platform strives to get the maximum clicks for the lowest possible cost, helping you maximize the predetermined budget. The campaign may get off to a slower start as the algorithm takes time to learn about the Pin performance, but it saves time (and often money) in the long run. 

Tracking Your Campaign Progress

A Pinterest campaign needs to be monitored regularly for small opportunities to improve the ROI. Insights from a Pinterest campaign help make the most out of the existing campaign, and the insights also assist with future campaigns. 

There are various plug-ins to help monitor campaign progress. For example, a Conversion pixel can be installed on the website ahead of time. There are also WordPress plugins that help track site visits and traffic sources.

As a platform, Pinterest offers valuable insights into Pin performance. Pinterest analytics offer details on how many times people have saved your Pin to their boards, the number of outbound clicks, impressions, and other valuable insights.   

Best Practices for Tracking Pinterest Conversions

Once you’ve set up your Pin for promotion and established the bidding, you need to keep an eye on Pin’s performance by tracking the campaign. 

Consider the following tips and steps for tracking Pinterest conversions;

  • Place the Pinterest tag on your website
  • Ensure that you’re tracking a minimum of one supported event (namely Checkout, Add to Cart, Signup, or Lead)
  • Avoid making changes to the campaign until Learning Mode is complete
  • Don’t make more than two rounds of changes per week
  • Allow 3-5 days for the campaign to recalibrate, learn, and adjust after each set of changes
  • When choosing a conversion window, consider your business’ purchase cycle and how your followers use Pinterest
  • Keep targeting broad keywords when creating ad groups to expand the reach

Viewing Results in the Ads Dashboard

Pinterest Ads dashboard offers valuable information on current and past campaigns. Analyzing these insights and using Pinterest Ads tools will help you to optimize campaigns and achieve efficient results.

Depending on how deep you want to dive, there are three main sections to study and consider. 

  • Overview — showcasing general results and top-line metrics
  • Delivery — delivery metrics like paid and earned results
  • Performance — conversion metrics for events captured by the Pinterest tag
  • Video  — views and completion rate metrics for specific video Pins

The reporting page features a graph with filters where you can see a visual representation of your ads based on various metrics.

  • Spend — the total amount of money spent during the reporting time period
  • Cost per result — average cost per result
  • Impressions — total number of times the promoted Pin was seen
  • Pin clicks – the total number of times people tap on a Pin and are diverted to a different destination
  • Outbound clicks — the number of times that users are diverted to a destination off of Pinterest
  • CTR — total Pin clicks divided by the total number of impressions

The reporting dashboard can be customized by using the filters on the dashboard. The filters are used to change the date range, objective, status, and conversion settings. 

If there is a specific metric that you want to follow, then you can create a table filter to customize the metrics included in the reporting table. The custom data view in the reporting table can also be exported. 

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