7 steps to launching your ad campaigns on Pinterest

Pin images
Step 1: Create your ad

You’ve created a business profile, defined a clear campaign goal and have your creative assets ready to go. In other words, you’re ready to promote your business to the over 250 million people on Pinterest!

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Go to the Pinterest Ads Manager at ads.pinterest.com
  2. Click on “Ads” in the top left of your browser and select, “Create ad”
Step 2: Select your campaign goal

There are four different goal options available in Pinterest Ads Manager—pick the one that fits your campaign. Based on your choice, our system will then automatically determine how your Pins are promoted to give you the best possible results.

Here’s how to pick a goal:

  1. If you want to build awareness for your business via a static (non-video) Pin, opt for Brand awareness.
  2. If you want to get more eyes on your videos and help people discover your brand, choose Video views.
  3. If you want to drive more clicks to your site and encourage people to take actions on your site, pick Traffic.
  4. If you want to encourage people to install your app, select App install.

While selecting your goal, keep the content you’d like to promote in mind. It’s important to make sure that your Pins and goal work together.

Step 3: Enter your campaign details

Give your campaign a name and, if you’d like, enter a daily or lifetime spend limit. A daily spend limit specifies a max amount you’d like to spend per day, while a lifetime spend limit specifies a max amount you’d like spend over the course of your ad campaign. Both ensure that you always stay within your precise advertising budget.

Want to review your campaign before it goes live? Make sure the “Pause campaign” box is checked.

Step 4: Set up your ad group

Ad groups organize all of your ads for a specific campaign in one convenient place—making it easier for you to control your budgets and test different targeting options. You can think of each ad group as a different audience you’re trying to reach.

To get started, group similar Pins together into an ad group, making sure that the same targeting can be applied to each. If you feel that this is not the case, consider breaking your Pins out into separate ad groups.

Step 5: Define audience targeting to reach prospective customers

To reach the right people, you need to have the right targeting. In addition to gender, location, language, device, and placement, you can also target your ads by using audiences, interests, keywords, or expanded targeting—or any combination of these.

Here’s what each of those mean:

  • Audience targeting lets you reach Pinners based on information you know about them, information we have on our end about how people use Pinterest or a combination of both. With audience targeting you can target people on your customer lists, retarget people who have visited your site or engaged with your ads or create actalikes from people who behave similarly. For visitor retargeting, you’ll need to install the Pinterest Tag as detailed in the first post in this series.
  • Interest targeting lets you reach Pinners based on boards they’ve created, Pins they’ve engaged with and other things they care about. Add interests related to what you’re promoting, or other topics your audience might be interested in. For instance, if you're selling mid-century modern living room furniture, try targeting Pinners interested in “modern living” and “living rooms.” You also might know that your audience tends to like wallpaper, so you could save Pins about that, too.
  • Keyword targeting lets you reach Pinners based on Pins that they’re searching for on Pinterest. Add keywords related to what you’re promoting. For instance, if you’re promoting living room furniture, try targeting people searching for “living room decor” or “home decor ideas”.
  • Expanded targeting lets you find new people to reach with your ad based on the content of your ad and what we know about people on Pinterest. We’ll automatically show your Pins to relevant people, without you needing to add any additional keywords or interests to your campaigns.

You might notice the “Potential audience size” box, in the upper right corner, shift as you enter campaign targeting details. This is an estimate for the number of people that we expect to see on Pinterest over a 30-day period that meet your targeting criteria.

Step 6: Set your schedule, budget and bid

Once you have your ad groups and targeting set, it’s time to lock in your schedule, budget and bid.

Select the date you want to start your campaign. You can also choose an end date, but for non-seasonal campaigns, we recommend running your campaign continuously, as Pinners are always looking for new inspiration on Pinterest.

Next, add your budget. Select “Daily budget” if you have a specific amount you want to spend per ad group, per day. Select “Lifetime budget” if you want us to use your budget evenly over the dates you’ve selected. (You may recall setting a daily or lifetime spend limit in step 3, this is different from your budget. Your lifetime spend limit caps the total spend for your campaign, while your budget is tied to each specific ad group.)

If you’re just getting started, try spending $50 per ad group, per day—if you have 2 ad groups try a budget of $100 a day or if you have 4 ad groups try a budget of $200 a day. Additionally, for ad groups with clear start and end dates, we advise setting a lifetime budget, so our system can do the work for you and keep you on track to reach your goal.

Finally, set your bid. Whether you’re looking to increase clicks or impressions, a bid tells us how much you’d like to pay for a desired ad action on Pinterest. We’ll recommend a bid for you based on the keywords, interests, locations, languages, devices and genders you’ve specified. This number is based on what other advertisers are bidding to reach similar people.

  • If you set up a campaign with either the goal of Brand awareness or Video views, you’ll set a maximum cost per thousand impressions (CPM). This is how much you’re willing to pay for every 1,000 people who see your ad.
  • If you set up a campaign with either the goal of Traffic or App installs, you’ll set a maximum cost per click (CPC) that you’re willing to pay for someone to click through on your ad.
Step 7: Pick your Pins

You’re almost there! Add Pins that you want to promote. You can either create a new Pin or select an existing Pin that you’d like to use as your ad. If you know what Pin you want to promote, you can use the search bar or go to a specific board to find it.

Note: You can only promote Pins from public or protected boards. If you can’t find the Pin you want to use, check to make sure it’s not on a secret board.

Once you’ve selected your Pins, toggle to the “Selected” tab to add additional details, such as Promoted Pin name, and a destination URL. Here, you can also remove any Pins that you’ve selected, but no longer want to promote.

Remember, that the landing page should reflect the content in the ad so that the experience from ad to website is seamless. In other words, you’ll want to confirm that the imagery, language and subject matter on the landing page align with the Pin you’re promoting, as well as the targeting you’ve selected.

One more step! Give your Pin one last look and then press the “Launch” button in the lower right corner. Once submitted, your Pin will be reviewed by our team to make sure it follows our advertising standards—this should take no more than 24 hours. Keep an eye out for an email letting you know that your ad has been approved!

Still have questions? Get answers to all of your Pinterest Ads related questions at our Pinterest Business Help Center.

–Lisa Fong, saving to Aussie cooking