What You Need To Know About Pinterest Promoted Pins

Pinterest recently introduced promoted pins to a select number of Pinterest users with business accounts.  This is a game changer for Pinterest as a whole and a huge opportunity for bloggers and businesses.

What Are Pinterest Promoted Pins

Promoted pins are exactly what they sound like. They are pins that show up on your Pinterest feed based on what you have pinned previously or what you are searching for. Promoted pins will always say “Promoted by” and who is promoting them. This is included at the bottom of the pin where the name of the board and pinner would usually be. They do a good job of blending in with regular pins, something users might not love but bloggers and businesses will appreciate (i.e. they don’t really look like ads).

What You Need to Know About Pinterest Promoted Pins - A Guide for Bloggers and Business Owners

Why you should have a Pinterest Business Account  – not a personal account – for your Blog or Business

Since switching over to a business account instead of a personal account about a year ago, almost nothing has changed in terms of my user experience or my viewers experience. If that is a concern for you (as it was for me), put your worries aside.

Here are a few key differences between a personal and business Pinterest account:

  • Ability to make your business name your username i.e. I no longer had to be listed as first name “east” last name “&”.
  • Pinterest analytics are available to business accounts.
  • Business accounts allow you to create rich pins.
  • It’s free either way (though promoted pins are not…we’ll get to that later).
  • Different Terms of Service. Pinterest specifically states “If you’re using Pinterest for business purposes or as part of how you make a living, you should sign up for a business account and agree to our Business Terms of Service.” (source)

That last bullet is the most important. If you make money off your blog i.e. “as part of how you make a living”, you need a business account.

So You’re A Blogger or Business with a Business Pinterest account. Now what?

If you have access to Promoted Pins, a notice like this may appear at the top of your Pinterest page.

Pinterest Promoted Pins - Start Promoting Your Pins

You can also visit www.ads.pinterest.com to see if you have access to promoted Pins.

If you do not currently have access to Pinterest promoted pins and you have a Pinterest business account, you can request access here.

Setting Up A Promoted Pin

Once you have clicked the link above or clicked “access promoted pins” you will see a red “promote” button at the top of your page. Click that and you’ll be brought to a page like this:

Pick A Pin

Promoted Pins - Pick a Pin

You’ll see all the pins you pinned most recently and will have the ability to search all of your pins. Pick one. For this example, I’m choosing my 10 Things No One Tells You About Wedding Dress Shopping pin from a recent post I wrote.

Add more details

This is where you choose who to target for your promotion.

Terms

My guess is that people who are going wedding dress shopping are interested in all things wedding. In the “search for terms” bar, I started with “wedding” and “wedding dresses”. Pinterest will automatically provide you with related suggestions and you click the + to add them to your Terms list to the right.

You’ll notice that the “estimated weekly impressions” in the top right corner updates as you add more terms related to your pin.

Pinterest Promoted Pins - Add More Details

Audience

If you scroll down a bit, you’ll select your target audience. For this promoted pin, I’ve set language to English, as that is the language of the blog post I’m promoting. I also set the gender to Female, as I’d imagine very few men are wedding dress shopping (my blog readers are primarily women as well, something to consider when you choose your audience). I leave location as “All locations” as I believe that people from anywhere in the world might be interested in this article, as long as they are able to read the post (i.e. English speakers).

CPC Details

Now comes the money part. How much do you want to spend? CPC = Cost Per Click. That’s how much Pinterest is going to charge you every time someone clicks on your pin as a result of it being promoted (your followers who re-pin it directly from you will not cost you anything).

I experimented with several different variations on this page – higher CPC with lower daily budget, lower CPC with higher daily budget, etc. For the 4 campaigns I experimented with, the average CPC was $0.23. Here is an example of what I chose to set my CPC details to:

Pinterest Promoted Pins - CPC Details

During this step you also choose a campaign name. This is for your use to view the analytics of the promotion. Click “Promote this Pin” and your promoted pin is sent to Pinterest for approval. It is pending until it is approved, at which point your promotion begins.

What Happens If Your Pin Is Not Approved

If your pin isn’t approved, you get an email like this from Pinterest.

Pinterest Promoted Pins - Pin Not Approved

In this case, my Pin contained “excessive hashtags” (it had 3, which I previously thought was a good thing…oops) and was therefore not approved. They give you the opportunity to update the pin description to remove the hashtags and then they’ll approve it. I’m sure your pin could be denied for a number of other reasons, though this is the only one I have experience with.

My Results From 4 Promoted Pin Experiments

Just to note, analytics are not available for the first 24 hours of an approved promotion (which feels like an eternity when you’re wondering what’s happening).

Here are the analytics from the few days I tried a couple of different promoted pins:

Pinterest Promoted Pins - Results

Note, I did not intend to spend $42, but what seem like little numbers sure add up quickly!

My takeaway from this experiment is that if I have a post that I feel might be popular on Pinterest, if it has a quality pinable image and links to a post that I’m proud of, I’ll consider minimally promoting it on Pinterest. I just wish that you were charged by re-pins, not by clicks.

As many bloggers and business who utilize Pinterest know, it only takes one person pinning a pin to get the ball rolling. Re-pins can be seemingly exponential and once a pin takes off, it can mean major traffic for your blog or business. Promoted pins can help get the ball rolling and the effects of a promoted pin might be seen long after your promotion ends.

Have you tried promoted pins? What was your experience like? If you haven’t, do you have any questions?

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  • I’m not sure how I feel about promoted pins yet, but this post was SUPER informative so THANK YOU!

    • You’re welcome! I’m not sure how I feel about them as a Pinterest user but as a blogger who may utilize the service, I appreciate the option.

  • Excellent post! I have used promoted pins and like it, though I would definitely do it differently if I do it again. i ended up spending WAY more than I thought I would!

    • How fast it added up absolutely stunned me. I’d set all my max daily cost to around $2-3 and BOOM, $40 later. Woof. I’ll try it again sometime in the future but will only do one campaign at a time.

  • this was super helpful! i played around with it a little but then got overwhelmed so thanks for the thorough assessment!

    • You’re welcome! I’m so glad you found it helpful.

  • haha this was such perfect timing! I was playing around with it this weekend and got to the payment page and got super confused so I gave up and watching my DVRed The Bachelor episode. 😉

    • Well then I hope this helps. Good luck!

  • A bloody great post

    • Thank you, Jo-Anne! I worked really hard on it so I’m glad people liked it and found it helpful.

  • Great post! Ive been ignoring that little pop up when I log onto Pinterest but this post def makes me want to try it out now!

    • It’s worth trying, for sure. I feel like it did get the ball rolling for one of the pins that I tried it on.

  • Is there a way to set a total max. limit instead of a daily max limit? For example: stop promoting this pin once I’ve spent $50, etc.? I know that you can set an end date for the campaign, but is that the only way?

    • I think that it is, at this time. I think you’d have to just determine your budget and spread that out between the number of days you’ll be having the campaign. And because the stats don’t seem to update super quickly, it’s hard to see how much you owe in real time.

  • I love that you can now promote pins for business purposes! BUT as a user, I hate that all of the promoted pins clutter up the top of the search results. I feel like they should be scattered throughout, not just all clumped at the top. Thank you for this post! Off to go make a business account.

    • I’ve been having a lot of pins that show up as “picked for you” but those are different than promoted posts. I actually don’t see too many promoted posts in my feed (yet).

  • Yes, love this! I’ve actually been loving the promoted pins I’ve seen lately but had no idea how to get my own up there, so thanks! I’ve discovered some new blogs and cute boards through these pins and they don’t look like ad’s to me so I really enjoy it!

    Chelsea | East Willow Grove

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  • Thank you for sharing this post — I was curious about how it all worked. I do not like how quickly the cost ads up though… I prefer to know exactly what will be spent, not have it up in the air.

  • Cat

    Many of use long term Pinterest users hate the promoted pins and are banding together to boycott the companies of any promoted pins we receive.

    I have a business and understand the need to attract customers. But this is just an invasive and highly annoying way of going about it.

    If you are considering this method realize you are seriously pissing off a lot of people.

    • Kevin

      That’s a little unfair for a company that has provided a valuable free tool. How do you expect them to continue to offer a great resource for free if they do not have some sort of revenue stream? They obviously need to streamline this new service but to boycott companies of promoted pins seems unfair.

    • KIM

      I loath promoted pins. Pinterest used to be an “oasis” away from advertising .. it was just the items we wanted to see or follow. They send me TONS of advertising for things I have absolutely no interest in (writing resumes … REALLY! I’m 65)! Fabletics? Holy cow … GO AWAY!! Come on Pinterst – give us a chance to opt out of this horrible intrusion into our previously fun time on the net. Need to charge us like Pandora to stop the advertising? If you need the money, OK … I’m willing if it means no more Promoted pins and for that matter, hate the “picked for you” also. It has never been something I would be remotely interested in.

  • Jackie Marshall

    I am reporting the promoted pins that don’t fit with my feed as spam, and they are a frigging flood of stupid crap I will never buy anyway. I make clothes so I don’t want to see slave made stuff from Asia AT ALL. I make a mental note of these spammers and like Nestle, Koch Industries, Monsanto, and other evil corporations they go on the boycott list. Spam me at your peril, Pinterest.

  • Sharon

    Just tried promoting two of my pins. Glad to read this. Made sure to set a low budget because I don’t want to spend a lot on my first try at promoting.

  • Great post! Did you experiment setting a start and end date to avoid spending over the daily budget?

  • This is so helpful! Thank you for taking the time to explain everything in such detail with screenshots. Amazing.

  • Coleman

    I’m very confused by this whole process. Can you let me know if I have this right?

    The cost of these campaigns is based entirely on the amount we choose to pay divided by the number of impressions our ads generate. There are two prices we set during a campaign; A daily maximum,which determines how many clicks we are willing to receive before an ad is no longer displayed on other peoples Pin Boards, and a daily Bid, which determines wether or not our ads are seen before other bidders?

  • if you have a business page, what determines if you will get approved to have access to promoted pins?

    http://www.footnotesandfinds.com

  • Amanda Kanashiro

    Very helpful in understanding how this works. Thanks for taking the time to write it out! I have been confused about promoted pins.

  • Liz Stephenson

    love this. so useful.. however it looks like promoted pins are only available to US residents. booo

    http://www.thetongueinchic.com

  • Kristyn Schultz

    Am I the only one who’s promoted pins an picked for you pins have been ones I actually did like? Reading some of your comments – wow. Haha anyway, this was very useful! I only just switched over to a business account & I’d like my blog to have more Posts before I start promoting but I have been wondering how promoted pins work & I think you answered all my questions. Thanks!

  • I tried to promote a Pin once and I really found the whole process confusing and a waste of money. I saw some engagement, but only slightly more than normal pinning behavior.

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