How to Pick Pins to Promote on Pinterest

When it comes to Pinterest Promoted Pins, there is an easy formula for when you first start running paid Pins on Pinterest. Running ads on Pinterest has fantastic return on ad spend when it comes to paid advertising on social media. Paid ads on Pinterest is becoming increasingly popular with brands and businesses who know their ideal customers are on Pinterest and with ever growing frustrations with other platforms, businesses are turning to Pinterest to run Promoted Pins. I have some simple tips for creating a strong foundation by doing a little research, and picking the right Pins to promote when you first start running Promoted Pin campaigns. Many people come to me wanting to start running ads on Pinterest, but they aren’t sure where to start. Today I’m going to answer their questions and yours, cover all of the elusive bases, and shed some light on how to pick Pins to promote on Pinterest.

Planning is KEY for Successful Pinterest Advertising

Running ads on Pinterest without first laying the foundation is like painting an unsanded surface: yeah it’ll work, but you may not get the results you are looking for. Remember those kids that used to plan ahead, and map out a Halloween trick-or-treating map so that they could hit all the best houses at the right times? Those kids that got all the choice candy? THOSE kids would be GREAT at Pinterest advertising. Doing some strategic planning when it comes to planning out your Promoted Pin campaigns will help ensure you meet your campaign goals.

Screencapture of top performing pins in Pinterest analytics

Let your Pinterest data guide you – learning how to pick what Pins to promote on Pinterest is easy when you have organic data to work with

Your Pinterest data is KING when it comes to this planning platform so let the data guide you. Do a deep dive into your Pinterest and Google Analytics. What we’re looking for here is what is popular. By considering these data touch points, it will help guide you on how to pick which of your Pins to promote. Some Pinterest data questions to ask while you’re researching are:

  • What’s performing well for me organically, content-wise? 
  • What’s performing well for me Pin performance-wise?
  • What are these people loving about my content?
  • What images are attracting the most link clicks and saves?
  • What type of people are interacting with my content?
  • What other interests does my audience have?
  • What keywords are associated with your most popular Pins?
  • Do your most popular Pins have any commonalities between them? Think content, Pin designs or use of keywords.
desk flay lay with blue text overlay

When you sit back and look at your Pinterest analytics, see if you can identify any commonalities amongst Pin performance. Note how these trends align with your business goals and keep that in mind when choosing which Pins to promote.

Pinterest is growing by the DAY! It is still a relatively untapped resource by many businesses.

Define the Goal of Your Pinterest Ads – this will help you to decide what Pins to promote

Putting your data aside just for a moment, decide what you want as outcomes for your paid Pinterest ads. Are you looking for traffic? Increased pageviews on your website? Product purchases? Email list sign-ups? Completion of an action like filling out a “contact me” form on your site?

Screencapture of Pinterest ad set up campaign goals

Now take your desired goals for your ad campaign, and layer them overtop of the data you collected.

What we’re doing here is weighing the organic interest/traction of your content against what you want to happen. Then thinking from your ideal customer’s point of view, establish a connection between their mindset and your goals. I know it all feels a little complicated but once you shift your mindset to have your goals match up with your audience’s interests, it is a match made in ad heaven.

Get Ready for Pinterest Traffic

Now that we know your audience and how we’d like to attract more interested users to your content, we have to make sure that your content is ready to be viewed by the discerning eyes of the public. Can’t invite the mother-in-law over without vacuuming first, right? You want your potential new audience from Pinterest to arrive on something that is impressive and optimized for their viewing pleasure.

When doing your housekeeping on your website in anticipation for a sharp spike in your traffic, here are some questions to ask yourself before you begin promoting Pins:

  • How does my top traffic driving content map onto my sales funnel and business goals?
  • Is my landing page speaking to my most interested audience?
  • Is the offer irresistible to the people in my audience?
  • Does it have a clear call to action? 
  • Is it clear that I want to them to do something, and do I make it easy for them to do it?
  • Do I give them a reason to take action on my website?
  • Is my site optimized for mobile traffic?
  • What would make my website more user friendly?

All done your website optimization? Great! You’ve made your nice, neat bed, now go lie in it. Not really though: Entrepreneurs sleep standing up. 

Effective Pinterest Marketing is Empathetic

The first thing we did was take note of the organic traffic flow and engagement. If we just throw marketing techniques on our audience and ignore the tendencies and interest of our biggest fans, we’re missing a big opportunity for traffic. Pinterest allows advertisers to take advantage of interest targeting which allows for the marketing to be embedded rather than disruptive.

The same is true of using Pinterest marketing as a tool for your business. Don’t fight it, and if need be, sit down and take stock of what Pinterest actually is before you get going with your paid Pinterest ads. Remember, Pinterest:

  • Is a visual search tool
  • Uses keywords to direct Pins to the right users
  • Is very dedicated to providing a positive user experience, meaning, they want to show Pins to their users that they will love
  • Uses technology to predict and anticipate it’s users interests and needs
  • Wants to get people off of the platform and onto your site (“live your life”)

How to Pick Pins to Promote on Pinterest

Let’s take those Pinterest definition points, and elaborate on them a little more. This is going to help us choose or make the best Pins possible for our Pinterest advertising campaign.

Pinterest is a Visual Search Tool
Appeal to the eyeballs first! The first thing is to make sure that your images are the right size. The perfect aspect ratio is 2:3, or in pixels 1000 x 1500. For more information on Pinterest image sizing check out this post

Make sure your images are visually appealing. You can learn more about how to make Pins that convert here, but the short form is:

  • Use vertical images
  • Use the correct aspect ratio (2:3)
  • Use, clear, well-lit, high-quality images
  • Use text overlay to help clarify if needed
  • Add an unobtrusive logo
Pinterest SmartFeed

This is important: The different-strokes-for-different-folks rule applies to Pinterest too. For every landing page you have, consider making 3-4 different Pins for each, appealing to as many people as possible. Always staying within the confines of your branding, but speaking to different personalities with the visuals.

This Visual Platform Uses Keywords to Direct Pins to the Right Users
I know it’s a little confusing since we talk so much about Pinterest being visual… But this app also relies heavily on keywords to GUIDE search.

Pinterest keywords are just like SEO – they help Pinterest to organize and categorize your content so they can show it to users based on their search entries

Using keywords in your Pin descriptions puts the KEY in keyword, when it comes to getting your content in front of the right people. Remember back in the first stage of your research exercise, when you were pondering what keywords your users were using to find your content? Well this is where THAT comes in handy.

Try to group your content by what category it falls into so you can select relevant interests and keywords to use in your Pin description. Consider affinity interests and if people interested in similar topics would find your content useful. For example, an article on Instagram marketing may want to include “Facebook marketing” in their keyword phrase as most people who are interested in Instagram marketing are also interested in Facebook marketing.

Again, remember to go with the flow here and pick from the fruits that are already there. No need to go digging for too much more, when we already know what your audience is searching for.

Pinterest is Very Dedicated to Providing a Positive User Experience
This isn’t about YOU! It’s about the END USER experience. Pinterest wants your Pins to be seen by people that will love them. So lean into it. Help Pinterest select users for you by using keywords they’ll know and love.

This gift also bears the weight of responsibility. You have to make sure that your Pins are clear and never deceptive to its viewers. Make sure that you are using clear images and text overlay to explain what your viewer can expect to find once they click on it.

Pinterest Predicts Interests and Anticipates Needs
Use relevant keyword phrases to get your content into the people/users searching for it! Pinterest WANTS to categorize and understand what your content has to offer it’s users, so make it keyword rich.

This Social Media Platform Wants to Get People off the Platform and Onto Your Site
Crazy right? Pinterest is unique in this respect, and unlike other social platforms that confine you to their platform, they want to deliver their users to your site. 

Make your Pins irresistible and Pinterest will get the users to you. But make sure your site is prepared and a good, solid reflection of what was offered in your Pin, to make sure they stick around.

Screencapture of completed ad campaign results on Pinterest

Pinterest Advertising is Advertising Living Its Best Life

When you do your research, notice your traffic flow, and use Pinterest to direct that flow to places that serve your business, you can’t lose. Paid Pinterest ads are incredibly effective, but when you put a little research behind it then look at that research through your empathy goggles, Pinterest will deliver huge increases in traffic to your site. So be sure to get your site ready for it, then sit back and watch the magic unfold.

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