Dear Abby: How do targeting and bids work?

3 coffees

Abby Fromm is on our Partner Ops Team in San Francisco, and she helps businesses get set up with Pinterest Ads everyday. A couple weeks ago, she explained how traffic and engagement campaigns work on our blog—this week, she’s here to answer questions about targeting and bids.

Q: What is targeting?

A: Targeting is how you make sure you show your ads to the right people. You can target ads based on gender, location and device, as well as keywords and interests.

Q: What’s the difference between interest and keyword targeting?

A: Interest targeting lets you reach a specific audience according to interests like yoga or healthy eating. When you use interest targeting, your Pins will show up in high-traffic places that Pinners use to browse, like the home feed and relevant category feeds.

Meanwhile, keyword targeting helps you reach people as they’re looking for something specific. When you use keyword targeting, your Promoted Pin will show up in highly contextual parts of Pinterest like search results and related Pins.

Q. What kind of keywords should I use?

A: To make sure your Pin shows up when people search, include as many relevant keywords as possible. Here’s how:

  • Use relevant keyword lists from an existing search campaign (capitalization and misspellings don’t matter)
  • Use the related keyword suggestions from the Ads Manager
  • Search for keywords on Pinterest and add the words from the search guides
  • Take a look at your audience analytics to get ideas for keywords based on your audience’s interests

Q. How do bids work?

A: A bid tells us the max amount you want to pay for a click or engagement on Pinterest. You should bid what that action is worth to you, but keep in mind you’re competing against other advertisers who are targeting the same interest or keywords. If your bid is too low, your ad might not show up as often as you want it to.

We use a “second-price auction model”, which means you’ll only be charged what you needed to beat the next highest bidder in the auction. You won't necessarily pay the full amount that you bid (and you may actually see your average cost per click or engagement lower than your initial bid).

Q. How do I use targeting and bids to improve my Promoted Pins performance?

A: If you’re trying to increase volume:

  • Expand your targeting by adding more keywords or adjacent interests (interests that your target audience may have, but aren’t immediately relevant to your product)
  • Set higher bids to increase your chances of winning in the auction

If you want to increase clickthrough rates:

  • Make sure all Pins follow creative best practices and test a variety of Pins to see what works for your brand
  • Double check that your keywords are relevant, and match your creative

Q: How do I delete or pause my Promoted Pins?

A: You can pause your campaigns or Promoted Pins at any time (right now, you won’t be able to delete them).

To pause a campaign, click the campaign, then Edit campaign. From there you can either change the end date or pause the campaign by switching the Pause this campaign?toggle to Yes.

To pause a single Promoted Pin, click through the campaign and find the Promoted Pin you want to pause. Click Edit Promoted Pin, then switch the Pause this Pin? toggle to Yes.

-Abby Fromm, currently saving ideas to Jetsetting