The definition provided by Pinterest for business is that, “Promoted Pins are just like regular Pins, only you pay to have them seen by more people. They’re native ad units that perform just as well, if not better, than organic Pins, helping people discover and save ideas.” Advertisers can choose to pay for engagements with their pins or visits/click throughs to their site.

If you haven’t noticed them, they look like this:

promoted pins

Currently only available to business users with UK or US accounts, promoted pins, “capture intent and boost engagement”. Pinterest claims that, “when you reserve premium inventory on Pinterest, you get access to top placements, desired audience targets, more creative ad units and the greatest reach—all when it counts the most”.

They conducted a study that showed that ‘Pinners’ who have seen Promoted Pins had 40% greater awareness of new products and 50% higher purchase intent than Pinners who haven’t seen Promoted Pins.

In order to set up promoted pins an advertiser must have a UK or US business account and login at There you can choose from two different types of campaign; Boost engagement with your Pins or Get traffic to your website. Once that option has been selected you can give your campaign a name, choose a daily or lifetime budget, and pick a pin.

If you select ‘Get traffic to your website’ you then choose the following:

  • Destination URL
  • Audience

Pinterest audiences

  • Interests
  • Keywords
  • Locations
  • Languages
  • Devices
  • Genders
  • Max. CPC

pinterest promoted pins setup
People use Pinterest very differently compared to how they use Google search. Pinterest is somewhere visual people go to get inspiration and ideas, not necessarily to buy something, so you need to think about this when setting up a campaign and optimising its performance.

When selecting a pin to promote, think about the fact that the image will appear alongside a whole page full of images, so you should pick something that is going to stand out. Also remember, like with any type of advertising, it is important to do split testing with different photos to find out what performs best – let users tell you which they prefer, don’t just guess. Advertisers should also note that the promoted image and description is not allowed to contain a call to action, promotion or price.

You also need to think hard about the keywords you select. You could try two different campaigns using specific and generic keywords; one to hopefully drive clicks and sales/leads and one to increase brand awareness in people who are looking for inspiration around your field. Keep in mind that keywords are set to broad match.

In the best practice advice provided by Pinterest, it recommends users “include a set of keywords and at least one interest representing your target audience” and that means that you reach your audience as they search, but also as they browse. Pinterest also suggests keywords based on popular searches and shows a list of related keywords that are recommended, based on trending searches relevant to your Pin.

I haven’t had the chance to use promoted pins as yet, but hope to in the near future. Once I do I’ll provide feedback on how they performed for our clients.

Are you using Promoted Pins to drive traffic from Pinterest? Let us know what your experiences have been, in the comments below.