Do's and Don'ts for Pinterest Ads

By
Linsey Knerl
December 1, 2022
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According to Pinterest, 445 million people browse pins every month, with many of them making purchasing decisions based on the inspiration they find there. A highly visual platform, it’s ideal for brands that have figured out their aesthetic and are proud to show off what they have to offer while meeting customer needs through recipes, crafts, DIY ideas, and fashion advice.

Is the Pinterest ad platform for you? We think it could be. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your ad dollar.

Do:
1.  Install Pinterest tracking

Once you have a Pinterest account and have enabled Ads Manager, start using the Pinterest tag to track how people interact with your pins and website. (Note: This will eventually phase out and be replaced by the Pinterest Conversion API, so, be sure you are working with both.) Data collects over time, giving you insights into audience demographics and which pins and ads perform the best. In addition to monitoring paid and organic conversions, you can opt to enable Enhanced Match, which helps track cross-platform conversions for even those visitors without Pinterest cookies.

2. Take advantage of tailored recommendations

After you use Pinterest Ads for a while, each login to your account will bring up personalized recommendations from Pinterest. These tweaks may be small, but they can create a big ROI. This advice is free and based on your unique user and ad data.

3.  Mix up assets

Often, all a pin needs to take off is a better aesthetic, but it can be hard to know what your audience will like. Play around with various asset types, including video, and test each pin for effectiveness. Poke around Pinterest to see what creatives are rising to the top of your own feed, and use these winners as inspiration.

4.  Refresh creatives often

Every few weeks, put new covers on pins. If you can tie them into a holiday theme, do so! Think about the themes with cross-over (fall and Halloween, for example). Use search suggestions to guide your experiments.

5.  Build on existing wins

Non-sponsored pins can always be promoted, but you can also make new pins based on what organic pins have worked in the past. See what organic wins you have, then try to replicate keyword combos, graphic fonts, and callouts to build traction on other pins.

6. Be a planner

One of the most common ways consumers use Pinterest is to help plan their own lives, from special events like weddings to holiday-themed meals. To get ahead of the game and reach them in time to make buying decisions, run your seasonal ads at least 4-6 weeks before the season starts. It takes time to build steam on Pinterest, so the more ramp-up time you allow, the better. (Launch as early as October 17th for winter holiday pins, for example.)

Don’t:
1.  Set up a campaign without a target audience segment

Who are you marketing to? Define this early and have segments established before you invest. While it’s possible to discover completely new segments as you go, not having a baseline that represents your average customer is a recipe for wasted spend. Use your other social platform insights as a basis.

2.  Fail to establish measurable KPIs

Pinterest is like any other ad partner in that you have to determine your goals and set a way to track them. Define what’s a “win” and what’s a “loss” early on. You may change these KPIs frequently, but at least be tracking conversions, clicks, shares, cost per conversion, and impressions. 

3.  Ignore mobile

If your pins are sending people to landing pages that aren’t mobile-friendly, stop! Pinterest is a mobile-heavy demographic, so make sure you aren’t frustrating users by leading them to places they can’t truly experience on their phones and tablets. Test each landing page on multiple devices, including those that haven’t had necessary system updates, if at all possible.

4.  Take a hands-off approach

It takes time to see what will work, but Pinterest does offer daily guidance to help you optimize as you go. If you can't invest in a dedicated ad manager, at least check in on your account to see what Pinterest recommends. Don’t take a set-and-forget mindset with Pinterest ads, as your account balance will continue to grow even without satisfying results.

5.  Get started without an established Pinterest presence

Finally, Pinterest users are savvy and can sniff out a brand-new commercial account. Make sure you have plenty of boards for people to peruse and become familiar with. Don’t buy ads until you have interacted with the platform and understand how consumers use it. It is very different from other platforms, and only experience will help you get a feel for how it’s unique.

Bottom line: Pinterest is still incredibly popular after many years, and prioritizing it in your ad strategy makes sense for legacy and new brands alike. Since it does require an eye for the aesthetic, put your best people on it, or consider bringing on a partner for the best ROI. If you can’t dedicate much time and money to creating new pins, spend time discovering and interacting with the community. It is time well spent. 

Linsey Knerl

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