Improve your Pinterest ads for maximum ROI

When you think of Pinterest, you probably think of recipes, delicious food pics, and fashion inspiration.

But did you know that Pinterest ads (aka: Promoted Pins) can have a real impact on your business? In fact, the social media underdog has some of the most valuable ads in the social media advertising space.

In this article, we'll discuss why your brand can't ignore Pinterest ads in 2019. Then, we'll show you how to make an awesome Promoted Pin that drives sales and creates awareness about your brand.

Ready? Let's get started!

So, why Pinterest?

Pinterest has a huge impact on small businesses.

Even without using ads, it's clear why retail companies should be on the social media site: shoppers are king.

Pinterest is primarily used by people looking to buy, in fact, it's the number one shopping platform for millennials. Further, a whopping 47% of millennials that use Pinterest have purchased a product after seeing it on the social network. 

Additionally, 40% of Pinterest users have a household income of $100K or more, and another 50% have a household income of $50K or more. This means that Pinterest users are not only ready shop but they have the means to do it too.

In other words: Pinterest is screaming opportunity for retail businesses! Don't let it pass you up.

Here's why your brand can't ignore Pinterest in 2019.

And with ads, Pinterest is even more profitable

Promoted Pins feel natural when compared to Facebook and Twitter ads=

In 2014, Pinterest launched Promoted Pins—commonly referred to as "Pinterest ads"—to the U.S. market.

Promoted Pins are unique when compared to Facebook and Twitter ads. Unlike other networks, Promoted Pins blend into pinboards and search results. They appear as standard pins with only a small "Promoted by [Brand Name]" button to differentiate them from standard Pins.

This means that Pinterest ads feel natural and are not forced on users. And since they blend in with search results, users are more likely to click on them and buy a product like they would a normal Pin. In fact, Pinterest boasts that 73% of users find Promoted Pins useful when looking for new products.

Promoted Pins convert too. Promoted Pins average $2 in profit per $1 spent, a number that converts to a whopping $4.30 in gross retail revenue per dollar spent. The social media underdog also notes that it outperforms the overall marketing average by 45% (both digital and offline), making it one of the best investments in online advertising today.

Promoted Pins are global too. Earlier this year the company rolled out Promoted Pins to Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK. This means you can use Pinterest ads to reach a global audience, and sell your products in more markets than ever.

How to make a successful Pinterest ad

So, have we sold you on Promoted Pins yet?

Yeah? Good!

Now, let's learn how to make a Promoted Pin for your brand. We've broken the process down step-by-step and noted everything you need to keep in mind before and during Promoted Pin creation process.

Let's give it a whirl.

First, convert your Pinterest account to a business account

First thing's first: standard Pinterest accounts cannot run Promoted Pins. If you have a personal account already, you can convert it to a business account in minutes. Alternatively, you can create a new business account for your brand and then convert it. The choice is yours!

Now, find your keywords

Pinterest is just as much a search engine as it is a social network. People use the website to search for products from all over the web, so make sure you're targeting your ads with the right search terms.

Luckily, you don't need to shell out your hard-earned dollars on a keyword search tool. Instead, check out PinterestKeywordTool, an awesome free Pinterest keyword search tool that gives you popular search terms related to your product or service. 

Use Pinterest search to find keywords for your Pinterest ads

Alternatively, start typing your keyword into the Pinterest search box. Related (and popular) search terms will appear right below the search box, just like in Google Search.

Note the keywords that best fit the product or service you want to promote and move on to the next step.

Choose the type of Pinterest ad you want to make

It's important to understand what kind of Pinterest ad you want to make before you go through the process of actually creating your Promoted Pin. Pinterest offers five different types of Promoted Pins. Here's what each does differently.

Promoted Pin

The most common type of Promoted Pin is called, well, the Promoted Pin.

This is a standard Pin that is promoted to an audience of your choosing. When it comes up in a user's search feed, the small "Promoted by [Brand Name]" box we discussed earlier will appear underneath it. Beyond that, it functions the same as a standard Pin.

Even cooler, when a user saves a Promoted Pin, the "Promoted by" box doesn't transfer. This is a huge benefit for brands as it makes the saved Pin look like it was found naturally by the user—not because it was a paid ad.

Video Promoted Pins

As we always say: video is the king of social media.

And thankfully, Pinterest recently added Video Promoted Pins to its ad platform. Pinterest video ads automatically play (with the sound off) when a user scrolls over it in his or her Pinterest feed.

Like the rest of social media, video ads are super popular on Pinterest and provide a massive return. Pinterest's blog recently published an article on Cheetos' experiment with Promoted Video Pins. The snack company saw a huge 51% increase in likelihood to buy Cheetos products and an 18% lift in brand favorability after running the video ad. Not too shabby.

Cinematic Promoted Pins

Cinematic Promoted Pins are one of Pinterest's latest additions to its ad platform. These are essentially Promoted Video Pins that scrub the video as you scroll up and down your feed. When you stop scrolling, the video stops scrubbing. It's super neat!

See an example in the video embedded above.

Promoted App Pins

Pinterest Promoted App Pins are awesome Pinterest ads for app developers
Image via Pinterest

Running a Pinterest ad for your new mobile app? Promoted App Pins are specialized Pinterest ads for app developers. These Pins look like any other, but redirect to an app download versus a product page. 

Fitness app 8fit saw a 5% higher signup rate when using Promoted App Pins over other social media ads (Facebook, etc). Even better, the startup saw a 50% increase in subscription rates over other platforms.

One Tap Promoted Pins

When you tap or click on a standard Promoted Pin, you're taken to a Pinterest page with more details about the product in question. One Tap Promoted Pins skip this step and take the user right to the advertiser's site to learn more about the product. These Pins look nearly identical to standard Promoted Pins but are denoted with a small arrow icon.

This type of Promoted Pin is super successful too. The company notes that twice as many Pinterest users are "finding items to buy" with One Tap Promoted Pins.

What type of Pinterest ad is best for your product?

Unfortunately, there's no end-all-be-all in terms of the best Pinterest ad format.

The best type of Promoted Pin depends on your product, company, and audience. We've found the most effective way to find the best Pinterest Promoted Pin format is a/b testing multiple ad formats and then using the data to guide future ad purchasing decisions.

One you've decided on a Promoted Post format or two, make the content. Add the video or image to a standard Pin and post it like you would any other. You must publish your Pin before you can turn it into a Promoted Post—just make sure it follows Pinterest's best practices first.

Now, let's promote your Pin!

So, now you know what product you want to promote, have a keyword in mind, created all of the materials, and turned it into a public Pin. Awesome, you're almost done!

Now, let's create a new Pinterest ad campaign and turn your newly created Pin into a Promoted Pin.

Create a new ad on Pinterest's website

1. Creating a Promoted Pin

Log into your Pinterest business account and click the Ads button. From the drop-down menu, click Create ad. You may be prompted to choose your currency if it's your first time using Pinterest ads.

Creating a new campaign in Pinterest

2. Now, create your campaign

Now, you're prompted to create your first Pinterest ad campaign. Most of the fields on this page are self-explanatory, but we'll run through all of them with you below. Note that you can link multiple ads to each campaign so fill out the fields accordingly.

Campaign objective: choose what your campaign's objective is so Pinterest can accurately style and target your campaign.

Campaign details: here you can input your campaign's name (or choose to add to an existing campaign) and your daily and lifetime spend limits. If you want to run a $5 ad for 10 days, make sure you add at least a $50 spend limit.

Campaign placement: choose if you want your ads placed in search results, in the home feed and suggested Pins, or both. We recommend selecting both for maximum reach.

Create your Pinterest Ad on this page

3. Use this page to target your ads

On this page, you can target your ad to the audience of your choosing. There are a number of targeting options on this page, so it's important to know what each of these options mean. This will let you accurately target your ads to a profitable audience and achieve maximum ROI.

Here's what each of these fields mean:

Ad group name: give your ad group a name for internal tracking. This name is not publicly facing and does not influence your targeting.

Schedule: as the name suggests, here you can choose when to start and end your ad campaign.

Budget: set a budget for your Pinterest ad campaign. 

Create a target audience: click on this option to create a target audience for your ad.

Add interests: select the user interests you want to target. For example, if we're advertising dog treats, we'd target our ads to dog owners and people interested in pets. Be as specific as possible in order to put your ads in front of the right audience.

Add keywords: input the keywords you found earlier in this box. On the right-hand side of the box, you'll see Pinterest's in-house keyword planner. You can use this to find some last-minute keywords to add to your campaign.

Like audience interests, ensure your keywords are specific too. This lets you target the right searches and puts your products in front of people that are ready to buy.

Locations: choose countries and cities you want to target your ads to.

Languages: select the languages you want to target your ads to.

Devices: choose what devices you want your ads to be displayed on. For example, iOS, Android, or desktop computers.

Genders: select the genders you want to target your ads to.

Maximum CPC bid: input the maximum amount of money you're willing to spend per desired engagement (click, impression, etc) with your Promoted Pin. Pinterest uses the "second-price" auction model for CPC bids, so you're only charged as much as it takes to beat the next highest bidder.

Click the red Pick a Pin button at the bottom of the screen to continue.

Add Pins to your campaign

Select the Pin you want to promote in your Pinterest ad

At the center of the screen you'll see all of the Pins connected to your Pinterest business account. Click on the Pin you created earlier and you'll be taken to a screen where you can add a link to your pin. Input the link of the product or service you're promoting and click the red Promote Pin button at the bottom of the screen.

Tracking your Promoted Pin in Social Report? Make sure to use UTM codes!

Now, you'll prompted to enter your payment details if it's your first time creating a Pinterest ad. After submitting this info, the ad will be sent to Pinterest for review. If your Pin is approved, it will be Promoted immediately.

And that's all there is to it: your Pinterest ad is ready to go!

Keep on pinning!

Pinterest may not have the biggest user-base of all the social networks, but it shouldn't be overlooked. People go to Pinterest ready to spend money, and it's your job to put your products in front of them. Embrace Pinterest ads in 2019 and reap the rewards.

Want to up your Pinterest game? Discover Social Report's Pinterest reporting and scheduling tools.

Try Social Report for your Pinterest scheduling