How to target Pinterest ads for better results

If you’ve ever thought of advertising on Pinterest, then consider targeting your promoted Pins using your own data along with Pinterest’s intimate understanding of their user base. The results can significantly increase your return on investment.

We'll show you three different ways you can improve your results using Pinterest’s new targeting tools.

Targeting previous visitors

Possibly the most profitable of all methods, targeting previous visitors to your site does require added effort to put it all together. In particular, you’ll need to set up conversion tracking, thereby creating a small piece of code to track events on your website such as visits, signups and purchases. Fortunately this is neither difficult nor time consuming.

Setting up a Conversion Tag

First you need to select Conversion Tracking from the Ads dropdown menu in Pinterest Ad Manager. Then click Create tag.
The next step is to name your tag and decide on which conversion type you want to track. The name can be changed later, so that’s no big deal. However, once you’ve saved your conversion type, it can’t be changed.

Here are the four types of conversions you can track:

  1. Checkout tracks any purchases completed on your site.
  2. Page visit tracks visitors to your site.
  3. Sign up tracks any type of signup performed on your website, although usually it’s for a newsletter.
  4. Anything else that doesn’t match one of those conversion types is labelled Custom.

Let’s use Page visit for this example.
Pinterest also requires a timeframe for views, engagement and clicks. It uses that to show how many conversions occurred within the period, after a visitor engages, clicks or views your Pins. The defaults work fine for our purpose, so let’s just go ahead and save this conversion tag.
Conversion Tag
Once it’s saved, you get a unique code snippet to copy and paste into the web page you want to track. It’s best to place this code before the closing <body> tag. That way it doesn’t get triggered by a partial page load, leading to erroneous results.
Since we’re tracking visitors, and you don’t know which page they might land on, this code needs to appear on every page. WordPress users should review their theme settings to check for header and footer scripts. In this case just paste the code in the footer script for automatic insertion on every page.
Older WordPress themes may not support these scripts. In this case, try searching the plugin database using the term “footer script”. There are many different plugins that will allow you to paste code into the footer.
In order to comply with Pinterest’s conversion tracking terms and advertising policy, you need to update your website’s privacy policy reflecting the use of third-party conversion data collection, before you start using this conversion tag.

Creating an audience

To create an audience based on visitors to your site, go to Pinterest Ad Manager, select Audiences from the Ads dropdown menu and click Create Audience. You want to target people based on “visitors who used your site”. Create a name for your audience, along with a description. From the menu select the tracking code created in the previous section.
Now you can save the audience for use in any of your Pinterest promotions. If you want, you can set how far back to track your audience, but the 180-day default usually works fine. Past traffic can also be included, if you’re using an existing conversion tag.

Customer list based targeting

Leverage the power of your email list by targeting an audience based on existing customers. All you need is a comma-separated values file (.CSV) uploaded from your preferred spreadsheet. The file needs to have just one column of email addresses or mobile advertising id’s (MAIDs) for it to work.
In Pinterest Ad Manager select Audiences from the Ads dropdown menu and click Create Audience. Select a list of customers that you upload for your target and enter a name and description for this new audience. Once the list is uploaded and the audience has been created, you can use it a number of interesting ways.
Customer List
If you’re promoting an offer specifically to new clients, you can exclude Pinterest users in this audience from ever seeing your promotions. This way you don’t spend money advertising to existing customers. On the other hand, if you have a list of V.I.P. clients, you can target your Promoted Pins specifically to these people on Pinterest.

Target using a lookalike audience similar to an existing one

If you have an existing audience that responds well to offers, and are looking to increase its size, lookalike targeting can help. This type of targeting is ideal when you’re looking to reach a broader group of followers with characteristics similar to an existing audience.
Select Audiences from the Ads dropdown menu in Pinterest Ad Manager and click Create Audience. Select lookalike audience as your choice of targeting. Provide a name and description, and select an existing audience from the dropdown menu. If you wish, you can use multiple seed audiences to create your lookalike audience.
Once upon a time, Pinterest’s marketing options were simple but limited. However, their marketing tools have become much more sophisticated over the past year. Pinterest’s new targeting option creates further possibilities for marketers to engage with their audience. Start adding devices, interests, keywords, gender and locations to these audiences, and then things begin to get real interesting.