July 10, 2015 / by Neal Gregus

Pinterest has evolved far beyond a place to find the perfect wedding dress, and the most delicious gazpacho recipe or the dreamiest pictures of Chris Pratt as a dinosaur hunter. The social bookmarking platform that allows users to discover and save inspiration for projects from a number of different searchable categories is now diving into exciting advertorial opportunities for businesses of any size.

For a beginners guide to site, check out our tip sheet for becoming a Pinterest pro. Once you have a firm grasp of the basics, it’s time to utilize this rapidly growing platform in your client’s next social media campaign by boosting brand exposure with Promoted Pins.

What are Promoted Pins? Promoted Pins serve as Pinterest’s paid advertising platform. They’re an affordable and, when used properly, extremely effective means of driving organic brand amplification from primary and secondary audiences. Facebook and Twitter provide similar opportunities for businesses that seamlessly integrate into the overall user experience. Pinterest began testing Promoted Pins last year, and in January 2015 rolled out an accelerated advertising strategy that gives businesses (only U.S.-based businesses, for the time being) an opportunity to increase pin visibility via search results and category feeds. And the best part? Amplification is free: you pay only for the clicks on your pin directly, not from re-pins clicked by other users.

Listed below are our five tips for creating your first promoted pin that are guaranteed to increase the chances of a click (or hopefully a save) from users:

1. Target audiences wisely, not widely

Audience is first on this list because it’s the most important element to identify from the outset of any campaign. People use Pinterest out of a desire to explore their interests and spark their personal creativity. Since people are actively searching within topics that interest them, it’s the perfect setting for PR professionals to imbed promoted content that could potentially increase brand exposure and overall sales. The more tailored your promoted pin is to the target audience’s is niche category, the greater the chance they’ll respond positively to it.


photo via @richardofengland on flickr

2. Keywords are key to success

Once you have defined the audience you want to reach, optimizing the keywords to reach them is the next step. When considering the right keywords for your pin, it’s helpful to sort by gender, location, language and device choice to put your pin in front of the right eyes. Pinterest users have the option to hide Promoted Pins that are irrelevant and provide feedback on why they did not find the content relevant, which should be a huge incentive for PR professionals to take extra care when choosing the keywords for their intended audience. Starting a search simply with only one or two words will often generate related auto-fill terms that can positively impact your chances of reaching your designated audience.

Additionally, category choice for your pin can either set you on a path for success or for missed opportunities. Understand the way users are searching and what keywords they might use that will draw them to your pin in that category.

3. Quality images produce quality return

Pinterest differs from Facebook and Twitter as a social media platform because users’ searches and shares are driven visually by images, so your choice of image is the first impression that your pin will have on a user before they even read a single word once it pulls up. High resolution images are the best bet for creating a positive relationship between pin and audience.


photo via @leguiphoto on flickr

4. Don’t scream your Call To Action (CTA’s)

Now that you’ve created an aesthetically pleasing pin, optimized with relevant keywords and categorized accurately for your intended audience, it’s time to make it actionable. Pinterest is very particular about the types of CTA’s that you’re allowed to use within a promoted pin. Promotional information such as “SALE!” and “Limited Time Offer!” are not going to fly. CTA’s make your pins more than pretty; they make them useful to your client.

5. When appropriate, use Rich Pins for bigger pay off

Rich Pins are designed to give the viewer larger details about a promotion, including price and availability, which increases the chance that a pin can translate into a purchase. The objective is to give greater context to the pin in which your audience is interested. There are six types of rich pins: app, movie, recipe, article, product and place. Determining the best type of rich pin to use will be specific to your intended audience and will differ based on campaign goals.


Have you used Promoted Pins for your business? Let us know any additional tips you’d like to share!

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About Neal Gregus

Neal T. Gregus is a Features Writer for Cision Blog. He is also a research aficionado focusing on print media in Cision’s Research division. He is hopelessly addicted to live music and can be found front row anywhere in Chicago. Or find him on Twitter at @NealGregus.