Curious to know more about how promoted pins can work for your business? Welcome to the Promoted Pins 101 episode!

Paid advertising on Pinterest can be confusing for some folks. Does it work like Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and is the paid advertising as inexpensive as on other platforms? Today we’re breaking down everything you need to know about how to get started with Pinterest Promoted Pins, aka our Promoted Pins 101 episode!

If you’re new to the Pinterest marketing world, I encourage you to listen to this episode anyway.

Re-Introducing Monica

Monica Froese started her site, Redefining Mom, as a working mom blog back in 2013. She was working in a corporate job at the time. She eventually became a full-time blogger and honed her corporate background marketing skills on Pinterest.

She is a self-professed expert in Pinterest ads, and for good reason. Monica used to teach content creators and small businesses on how to DIY their own Pinterest ads. Her goal was to make a massive impact on their conversion rates.

white pencils, keyboard, headphones and text overlay "Pinterest Promoted Pins 101" on white desk background.

The Promoted Pins 101 Guide

What Are Promoted Pins?

I know we have some listeners who aren’t 100% sure what a promoted pin is.

Promoted pins are synonymous with Pinterest ads, they are the advertising platform for Pinterest.

It’s the way businesses can put money behind their pin to have it shown in three places within the platform:

• the home feed
• the related pins
• the search results

5 Reasons Why Promoted Pins Are Awesome

Why are promoted pins so awesome? Monica offers up five reasons that she is a huge fan:

  1. Promoted pins are low cost. This means that content creators with a small budget can have an ad strategy that doesn’t break the bank.
  2. Promoted pins are still very new to online marketing and there is a lot of room for growth.
  3. Search Ads. People come to Pinterest with the intent to buy. It is a search and discovery network. Your ads are able to pop up based on the user’s search, not just at random (like Facebook ads).
  4. Promoted pins are native within the platform. This means that the ads are not disruptive. They are part of the everyday experience of the user. Most times you don’t even know you are clicking on a promoted pin.
  5. Pinterest recently went public which means their current focus is on promoted pins. That can’t be underestimated because ads are how Pinterest makes their money. Pinterest wants promoted pins to work because when it’s beneficial for your business, it will also be good for them.

Monica wrote an amazing article on Pinterest going public. She took a 184-page document and made it much easier to read. Make sure you check it out because it’s super informative.

Will Promoted Pins Mess Up My Organic Pins?

Some of you don’t want to invest in promoted pins, because you think that Pinterest won’t show your organic pins. The more content creators are putting their pins on the platform, the more content Pinterest has to serve to the user.

The question you need to be asking yourself is:

How can I make my pins show up in search results?

You have the organic side where Pinterest prefers fresh content and no rotating images, with a heavy focus on keyword optimization. If you’re doing those things you can show up in the search results. Ads don’t have to replace your organic strategy. They should enhance to your organic strategy on Pinterest.

Getting Started With Promoted Pins

The first thing I would tell someone about promoted pins is to really think about what they’re going to promote and how it serves their target audience. We often think we are dictating what gets seen on Pinterest but it’s actually the user who decides.

We have this idea of what we want to do with our Pinterest marketing. But as marketers, we have to remember that Pinterest has grown because of the users who love the platform.

Ads do not fix a broken system.

If your content doesn’t work (your website doesn’t have a single call to action, your blog design is messy, etc.) then getting those clicks won’t do you any good. The goal isn’t to just have your content be seen, it’s to achieve a conversion.

The 3 Different Kinds of Pinterest Ad Campaigns

There are 3 main ways to run a promoted pin campaign:

Awareness campaigns – trying to get your brand out there, paying by the impression
Traffic campaigns – getting the traffic straight to your site
Conversion campaigns – optimizing for a conversion

(Update: Traffic campaigns are now Consideration campaigns)

Monica prefers traffic campaigns because they are the most mature and enable you to run the ads at a low cost.

Using traffic campaigns eases you into using Pinterest ads and allows you to grow instead of feeling overwhelmed from the beginning. Knowing your Key Performance Indicators is hugely helpful in this process. It helps you to determine how much money you should be spending.

Patience is Key When Running a Promoted Pins Campaign

There will likely be a certain amount of “freaking out” when it comes to running your first promoted pin campaigns. Because of this, Monica forbids her students from looking at their results for the first 7 days of their campaign.

If you start looking at your results too early, you will begin to worry because you don’t think it’s going well. You’re not allowing the algorithm time to work itself out. Patience is super important when it comes to Pinterest in general, but even more so when it comes to promoted pin campaigns.

Pinterest Planner sheets for strategizing promoted pins on white desk.

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The Promoted Pin Journey

The good news about running a promoted pin is that the foundation of a successful campaign is the same as it would be for an organic pin: keyword research, optimizing pin clickability, and understanding what action you want the user to take when they click over to your site.

Always be thinking about your customer’s journey, from the moment they see your pin up until the action you are asking them to take. Figure out how you can make that journey better for them.

For Further Listening/Reading:

Time Stamp:
4:46 – Re-Introducing Monica
6:34 – What Are Promoted Pins?
7:41 – 5 Reasons That Promoted Pins Are Awesome
14:12 – Will Promoted Pins Mess Up My Organic Pins?
20:34 – Getting Started With Promoted Pins
27:04 – The 3 Different Kinds of Ad Campaigns
32:35 – Put Your Game Face On and Wait
37:18 – The Promoted Pin Journey


  1. Hi Kate

    Maybe it’s the niche I’m in, but whenever I’ve tried to set up a promoted pin, usually the minimum CPC they want is $4.00 or more which is way higher than what I would want to pay. At a $5.00 daily budget, that would basically get me 1 click per day.

    I know as you both mentioned in this episode, the user intent is totally different than Facebook, but on FB I can usually get CPCs of well under 50 cents.

    Am I doing something wrong or is that just had Pinterest promoted pins work?



    1. Jeff — don’t go with what Pinterest recommends. Put the bid lower and test it out. It’s not a deal breaker to go outside their suggested bid. Good luck!

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