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Pinterest, PPC reporting

How to Set up Effective, Successful Pinterest Ad Campaigns

By Team Swydo
16 April 2024

Pinterest is an excellent advertising site, with over 400 million people using it monthly. Users are engaged and active, spending around 22 minutes daily looking at pictures, recipes, and ideas. And with most Pinterest users searching for things to do or make, promoted Pins can have a higher click rate than regular website ads. 

This guide will help you set up a Pinterest ads campaign and share how to tweak your ads to better engage people. 

Following the guidelines should improve the performance of your campaigns and help you achieve your goals. Ready to start tapping into Pinterest’s large audience? Let’s begin!

What Are Pinterest Ads?

Pinterest is a social media network where users discover, save, and share images and videos related to their interests, hobbies, and aspirations.

Pinterest Ads are a type of online advertising that is available on Pinterest. They help businesses and marketers reach more people than just their current followers. The advertising platform leverages Pinterest’s visual nature. 

Benefits of Pinterest Advertising

Pinterest Advertising is ideal for marketers wanting to engage their target audience in a visually rich, intent-driven environment. Here are some of the key advantages of using Pinterest Ads:

1. Access to a High-Intent Audience

Pinterest users frequently use the platform to discover inspiration and ideas for future purchases. They are typically ready to buy or interact with content aligned with their interests. This makes Pinterest a great place to boost sales and conversions.

2. Long-Term Engagement

Unlike content on other social platforms, which can quickly fade away, Pins (including ads) have a longer lifespan. They drive engagement and traffic over time as users discover and save pins on their boards for future reference.

3. Visual Discovery Platform

With its visual focus, Pinterest is an ideal platform for brands with strong visual content. It allows you to display your products and services in an appealing manner. By capturing users’ attention, you can encourage them to explore further.

4. Targeted Reach

Pinterest offers robust targeting options, including interests, demographics, keywords, and retargeting. These choices let you target specific Pinterest users with personalized messages, making your ads more effective.

5. Shopping-Focused Features

Pinterest has ad formats like Product Pins and Shop the Look to help users easily go from ideas to purchases. These features directly offer a seamless shopping experience on the platform, which benefits e-commerce brands.

6. Enhanced Brand Awareness

Pinterest is an excellent channel for increasing brand awareness and building brand identity through consistent and engaging visual content.

Pinterest Advertising is unique for its ability to connect brands with a highly engaged, intent-driven audience. This makes it a compelling choice if you are looking to drive awareness and performance outcomes.

7 Steps to Set up a Pinterest Ads Campaign


Creating an impactful Pinterest ads campaign involves strategically planning goals, target audience, creative assets, campaign format, and ongoing optimization. Here are the standard steps to set up a Pinterest ads campaign:

Step 1. Choose Your Objective

When creating a Pinterest Ad campaign, you can choose from different goals that match your marketing aims. Each goal influences your bidding in the ad auction, who views your ads, and how your campaign performs.

Here are the primary goals you can choose from when setting up your Pinterest Ads campaigns:

1. Brand Awareness

This goal will help you reach people who are more likely to recall your ad or brand after seeing it. The objective is ideal to increase your brand’s visibility and mindshare among a broad audience on Pinterest.

2. Video Views

If your campaign focuses on video content, choose this objective to get your ads in front of users who are likely to watch it. This goal is suitable for engaging users with dynamic storytelling or showcasing your product/service.

3. Traffic

The focus of the traffic objective is to drive clicks to your website. This is ideal to encourage people to learn about your offerings or content off Pinterest.

4. App Install

The App Install objective directs users to your app’s download page in their app store. This goal is crucial for mobile-focused businesses looking to boost app user bases.

5. Conversions

This objective supports Pinterest users in taking specific actions on your website. This could be making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a contact form. To track and optimize for conversions, you need to set up the Pinterest tag on your website.

6. Catalog Sales

For businesses that have a product catalog, this goal automatically shows your products to interested users, boosting sales.

Choosing the right campaign objective is crucial as it determines how Pinterest optimizes your ad delivery and measures success. Matching your campaign objective with your marketing goals helps you connect with your audience and succeed on Pinterest.

Step 2. Select your Pinterest Advertising Audience (Targeting)

When creating a Pinterest Ads campaign, you can pick various targeting options to reach particular Pinterest users. You can customize your ads to target users who are interested in your content. Start by by considering their behavior, location, age, gender, and interactions on and off Pinterest.

Here are the available audience targeting options on Pinterest:

1. Interest Targeting

Interest targeting helps you reach people according to their hobbies and the content they engage with on Pinterest. Pinterest groups interests into general topics like “Home Decor,” “Fashion,” “Food,” and others. This helps you customize your ads for users who are probably interested in your products or services.

2. Keyword Targeting

This option enables you to target users based on the search terms they use on Pinterest. Choose the right keywords to ensure that users actively searching for similar topics or products see your ads. Keyword targeting is beneficial for reaching users with a clear intent that matches your offerings.

Types of Keywords targeting:

  1. Broad Match: This is the default keyword targeting option where your ad shows when a user’s search includes any word in your keyphrase in any order. For example, if your keyword is “garden furniture,” your ad might show up for searches like “furniture for garden” or “garden chairs.”
  2. Phrase Match: With phrase match, your ad is shown to users whose search includes the exact phrase or close variations of the phrase in the order you specify. Using the “garden furniture” example, searches could include “buy garden furniture” or “garden furniture sets.”
  3. Exact Match: This option allows your ad to appear for searches that match the exact keyword phrase without any additional words before, after, or in between. Exact match offers the most control over who sees your ad but might reduce the volume of traffic compared to broader options.
  4. Negative Keywords: This allows you to exclude your ads from being triggered by certain words or phrases. Adding negative keywords can help you reduce wasted spend by avoiding unqualified traffic. For instance, if you sell new garden furniture, you might want to add “used” as a negative keyword.

3. Demographic Targeting

You can specify your audience based on basic demographic information, including age, gender, language, and location. This basic level of targeting helps ensure your ads appear to the core demographic you are trying to reach.

4. Audience Targeting

Reach specific groups of people based on their previous interactions with your content or website. You can break audience targeting down into several sub-categories:

  • Customer List Targeting: Connect with your current customers by uploading a list of email addresses or mobile ad IDs.
  • Website Visitors: Target people who have previously visited your website by using the Pinterest tag to track their activity.
  • Engagement Audience: Target users who have engaged with your content on Pinterest, like those who have saved your Pins.

5. Actalike Audiences

Actalike Audiences, similar to Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences, help you connect with new users similar to an existing audience group. For example, your website visitors or those who interact with your Pins. Actalike Audiences help you reach potential customers who are likely interested in what you offer.

6. Retargeting

Pinterest lets you retarget users who have interacted with past ads or visited specific pages on your site. This helps in reconnecting with users who have shown an interest in your brand or products, increasing the chances of conversion.

7. Placement Targeting

Placement targeting allows you to select where your ads appear on Pinterest, like in the home feed, search results, or related Pins. This ensures that your ads appear in contexts that align with the audience’s intent.

You can use targeting options to create customized Pinterest ad campaigns. This will help you reach the right audience. As a result, you will see better campaign results and return on investment.

Step 3. Pinterest Ads Advertising Formats

Pinterest offers several advertising formats, each designed to meet different marketing objectives and engage with audiences in unique ways. 

Choose an ad format that matches your campaign goals. These goals may include increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or boosting conversions.

Here’s an overview of the various Pinterest ad formats and suggestions on when they might be most applicable:

1. Standard Pins

Promoted standard Pins look like regular Pins but boosted to reach more people. They can include an image and a description, making them suitable for a wide range of uses.

Standard Pins are best for driving traffic to your website or landing page. They offer flexibility and serve various objectives, such as brand awareness, product promotion, and content distribution.

2. Video Pins

Promoted Video Pins allow you to use video content to catch the attention of Pinterest users. These videos can play automatically in users’ feeds and come in standard, square, or vertical formats.

They’re great for telling stories, showing products in use, or presenting your brand’s message in a more captivating way. Use them when you want to increase engagement or highlight features that require motion to appreciate fully.

3. Carousel Ads

Carousel ads let you showcase multiple images (up to 5) within a single ad. Each image includes a title, description, and landing page link.

Carousel ads are perfect for highlighting product features or telling a brand story with multiple images. Another use is for showcasing a collection of products. They are also great for engaging users interested in exploring more content in a swipeable format.

4. Shopping Pins

Shopping Pins are a type of Promoted Pin that makes it easy for users to shop for products directly from your Pins. You can link these Pins directly to the product page on your website, where users can make a purchase.

Shopping Pins are best for e-commerce brands looking to drive sales. Use them to make it easier for users to find and purchase your products, shortening the path from discovery to purchase.

5. Collection Ads

Collection ads combine a hero image or video with several product images underneath. When a user taps on the ad, it expands into a full-screen experience showcasing up to 24 products.

Use Collection ads to share a captivating story about your brand or product line while showing a range of products. This format is helpful for launching a new collection or highlighting a group of products related by theme or use.

6. Story Pins (now called Idea Pins)

Idea Pins allow creators to tell stories through up to 20 pages of images, text, and videos. Businesses can leverage them for organic engagement.

Idea Pins are great for fostering community, offering value with tutorials, recipes, or DIY projects, and boosting brand recognition. While not traditional ads, they can be crucial in a content strategy meant to captivate and motivate Pinterest users.

7. Try On Product Pins (AR)

With augmented reality (AR) tech, Try On Product Pins let users virtually test products using their phone’s camera.

These ads work well for beauty and fashion brands aiming to provide a more engaging and immersive shopping experience. This format can help reduce the uncertainty that sometimes accompanies online shopping, potentially increasing conversion rates.

Picking the right Pinterest ad format depends on your campaign goals, who you’re targeting, and content that fits your brand or products. Combining various formats based on campaign goals and audience engagement can enhance the effectiveness of your Pinterest advertising strategy.

Step 4. Set a Budget 

Pinterest Ads offers various bidding and budgeting options. These options help you manage your ad spend effectively. They also help optimize the results of your campaigns. Understanding these options is crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of your advertising efforts on Pinterest.

Here’s an overview of the key bidding and budget options available:

1. Daily Budget: This is the average amount you’re willing to spend on a campaign daily. Pinterest aims to even out your spending each day to match your chosen daily budget for the entire campaign.

2. Lifetime Budget: You can also set a total budget for the entire lifespan of your campaign. Pinterest will optimize your spending across the campaign duration to efficiently use your total budget.

Choosing between a daily and lifetime budget depends on your campaign duration and spending flexibility. A daily budget helps you manage your spending on a daily basis, while a lifetime budget is useful for campaigns with a fixed total spend and end date.

Step 5: Pinterest Ads Bidding Strategy

Pinterest Ads offers different bidding options that allow you to manage bids for ad placements on the platform. These options enable you to optimize your ad spending based on specific campaign objectives and desired outcomes. 

Here’s a detailed look at the bidding options and important considerations:

1. Automatic Bidding:  Pinterest automatically adjusts your bids to get the best results at the lowest cost within your budget. Automatic bidding is ideal if you prefer a hands-off approach or are new to Pinterest Ads.

2. Custom Bidding (Manual Bidding): Pick the highest amount you’ll pay for a result, like per click or per engagement. Custom bidding is helpful when you have a specific cost in mind for your desired results. It is also useful if you want to adjust bids based on your campaign performance.

Optimizing Your Bidding Strategy

1. Start with Automatic Bidding: Automatic bidding is a good choice if you’re new to Pinterest or starting a new campaign. It leverages Pinterest’s algorithms to optimize your bids for the best possible results within your budget.

2. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly review your campaign performance. If automatic bidding isn’t working for you, try custom bidding for greater control over your bid amounts.

3. Test and Learn: Experiment with bidding strategies and budgets for various campaigns or ad groups. This can help you understand what works best for your specific goals and audience on Pinterest.

By carefully choosing and tweaking your bidding and budgeting choices, you can better control your ad spending on Pinterest. This helps you meet your campaign goals while maximizing cost-effectiveness and performance.

Step 6: Pinterest Advertising Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Tracking KPIs and evaluating campaign performance is vital for gauging their effectiveness, refining your strategies, and boosting your ROI.

Here’s how to track and analyze your Pinterest Ads KPIs and campaign performance:

1. Define Your Campaign Objectives

Before launching a campaign, clearly define your objectives. Your goals, like driving website traffic, increasing engagement, or boosting conversions, dictate which KPIs you should prioritize.

2. Use Pinterest Analytics

Pinterest provides an analytics platform that gives insights into your campaign’s performance. Access it through your Pinterest business account to monitor various metrics directly related to your objectives.

You can also use Google Analytics4 by linking it to track website traffic and conversions from Pinterest ads. This provides a fuller picture of return on ad spend. 

3. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Track

Depending on your campaign objectives, here are some of the critical KPIs to monitor:

  • Impressions: The total number of times your ads were shown. Useful for brand awareness campaigns.
  • Clicks and Click-Through Rate (CTR): The number of clicks on your ads and the percentage of impressions that resulted in a click. High relevance for traffic and engagement-focused campaigns.
  • Total Conversions: Monitoring total conversions helps gauge the campaign’s effectiveness in driving the desired actions.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of clicks that result in a desired action, such as a sale or sign-up. Essential for performance marketing campaigns.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC) or Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM): The average cost for each click or per thousand impressions. It helps manage the budget efficiently.
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): The total revenue generated for every ad dollar spent. Critical for evaluating the financial effectiveness of your campaigns.

Further reading: Pinterest Ads KPIs and Metrics to optimize your campaigns

4. Utilize the Pinterest Tag

For conversion-focused campaigns, install the Pinterest Tag on your website. It’s code that tracks what users do after clicking your ads, giving you detailed info like purchases, adding to cart, visiting pages, and more.

5. Regularly Review and Adjust Campaigns

  • Monitor Performance: Regularly check your campaign performance against your KPIs. Pinterest Analytics lets you dive deep into metrics that matter the most to your business.
  • A/B Testing: Try out different parts of your ads (like images, text, and targeting) to find what’s most effective.
  • Adjust Strategy: Based on your analytics insights, adjust your campaigns’ targeting, bidding strategy, and creative elements to improve performance.

6. Leverage Third-party Tools

Consider using third-party analytics tools for more detailed insights, especially if you’re running multi-platform campaigns. These tools can offer consolidated reporting, advanced analytics, and additional data visualization options.

7. Learn from Analytics

Use the data to better understand your audience, refine your advertising strategy, and make informed decisions on future campaigns. Identify patterns and trends that can lead to improved ad performance over time.

By tracking and analyzing your Pinterest Ads KPIs, you can gain valuable insights into what drives campaign success. This enables continuous optimization and more effective use of your advertising budget.

Pinterest Ads Best Practices

Creating an effective Pinterest Ads campaign involves strategic planning, creative execution, and ongoing optimization. 

Here are best practices to help maximize your campaign’s success on Pinterest:

1. Define Clear Objectives

Begin with specific, measurable objectives that match your overall marketing goals. For instance, raising brand awareness, getting more website visitors, gathering leads, or making more sales.

2. Understand Your Audience

Use Pinterest’s audience insights to understand your target audience’s interests, behaviors, and demographics. Tailor your messaging and visuals to match their preferences and needs.

3. Choose the Right Ad Format

Select the ad format that best suits your campaign objectives. Use standard Pins for broad objectives, video Pins for engagement, carousel ads for storytelling, or shopping ads for product sales.

4. Optimize Your Visuals

Pinterest is a visual platform, so high-quality, eye-catching images or videos are crucial. Ensure your visuals are on-brand, relevant to your target audience, and optimized for Pinterest’s format. Vertical images with a 2:3 aspect ratio work best.

5. Craft Compelling Copy

Although visuals are essential, pay attention to your ad copy. Use clear, actionable language that includes a call-to-action (CTA) to encourage users to take the next step.

6. Use Keywords Strategically

Incorporate relevant keywords in your Pin title and description to improve visibility in search results. This can help your ads reach users who are actively searching for related topics.

7. Leverage Targeting Options

Use Pinterest’s targeting options effectively to reach your desired audience. This includes demographic targeting, interest targeting, keyword targeting, and retargeting based on past interactions with your content or website.

8. Set Up the Pinterest Tag

Install the Pinterest Tag on your website to track conversions and retarget visitors for your Pinterest Ads reporting. This tool is essential for measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns and optimizing them based on performance data.

9. Monitor and Optimize

Regularly review your Pinterest Ads campaign’s performance metrics to understand what’s working and what isn’t. Experiment with various aspects of your campaigns, like ad content, target audience, and bidding tactics. Then, make adjustments based on the insights you gather.

10. Focus on Mobile Optimization

Since many people use Pinterest on their phones, make sure your ads and landing pages are mobile-friendly.

11. Consider Seasonality and Trends

Align your campaigns with seasonal trends, holidays, and current events relevant to your audience. Pinterest users often search for ideas and inspiration related to upcoming events.

12. Use Rich Pins When Applicable

For ads featuring products, recipes, or articles, think about using Rich Pins. They automatically add extra details from your website, like prices or ingredients, making them more informative and useful.

Follow these best practices to create effective Pinterest Ad campaigns. These campaigns will connect with your target audience and deliver positive outcomes for your business.

Monitor and Improve Your Pinterest Ads Campaign Performance

Using a reporting and monitoring platform like Swydo allows you to automate your Pinterest ad reporting. You’ll gain critical insights into how your Pinterest ads perform across multiple campaigns over time. 

Leverage Swydo’s pre-built Pinterest Ads report template to save time and easily monitor key metrics. With your customized Pinterest Ads dashboard, make informed decisions to optimize budgets, ad creative, targeting, and more. This ultimately helps improve campaign ROI and develop the most effective Pinterest Ads strategy to achieve your business goals.

Pinterest Ads Unleashed: Secrets to Running a High-Converting Campaign

Carefully planning your Pinterest ads campaign, including choosing targeting options and creative assets, helps you invest your budget wisely. Regular testing and evaluating performance data helps you optimize ad formats, copy, and visuals throughout the campaign. 

With a platform like Swydo to automate your Pinterest Ads reporting, you will gain invaluable insights from metrics on various campaign elements. Leveraging these insights enables consistent refinement that strengthens results over time. Request a demo for a customized walk-through, or start your free 14-day trial.