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As a Pinterest Strategist, entrepreneurs reach out to me all the time with questions about their accounts. Usually it’s after they have run into some problem with their Facebook ad account – maybe it’s been shut down, or they have gotten burned from Facebook ads in some way, or they are ready to expand into a second platform. While Pinterest is my first love for many reasons, I don’t take offense to the fact that many business owners still haven’t discovered this platform’s potential. So I’ll share some insight on using organic Pinterest to help your Pinterest ads as well as answer the two biggest questions I get around promoted pins: Does organic Pinterest help paid Pinterst ads? and Do you need to be an active Pinterest user to run Pinterest Ads?

The short answer is YES! to both questions, but I’ll explain the why and the how more below. Prefer to watch the video instead? Click below!  

Start with the Basics: Create A Business Account for Your Pinterest

You may already know all the benefits of Promoted Pins. Before you can make the most of your organic reach OR your Pinterest ads, you’ll want to have your business account set up properly, if you haven’t done so already.  My course, Pinning Foundations, walks you through all the steps from setting up your business profile, claiming your site, installing pin tags in the proper places in your website’s code, and more before you are evening thinking about running ads. 

Why is this important? You’ll want Pinterest to know you are a legitimate website and business.  Plus, you’ll want your potential clients and customers to know that too. People are savvy with online practices these days, and they want to know who they are doing business with. Think about your own online shopping habits: you don’t go into a store with undecorated windows and empty shelves with no inventory, do you? Similarly with online shopping. You’ll want to take the time to set up your profile correctly, let people know who you are, who you serve and how, and have boards filled out, ideally with some of your own content so people know you are an active Pinterest user who won’t “ghost” them once they start engaging with you. 

How Does the Pinterest Tag Work?

This is one step I see so many people miss, probably because they don’t know what a Pinterest tag is. Similar to a Facebook Pixel, a Pinterest tag is used for tracking information about users in your account. It can give you valuable data about the visitors interested in your content, especially when you are ready to start with Pinterest ads.

When should you do this? As soon as you set up your website and your Pinterest account. I recommend you place your Pinterest tag even if you aren’t thinking about running ads right now. It’s never too early to begin gathering information about the people who are signing up for your lead magnet on your website. 

Organic Pinterest Help Ads 3

Understanding Your Targeting Options on Pinterest

Visitor Audience

As the name implies, creating a visitor audience will identify those who have already visited your website and retarget them on Pinterest. Initially, Pinterest only allowed you to have one tag, but they have since changed this and now allow you to have multiple tags. The benefit of this is you can now track individual lead magnets, sales pages, landing pages, individual steps in your funnel, blog pages, and so on.  Your pixel is differentiated based upon the unique URL to each of these pages and actions.

Engagement Audience

Just like you can track those who visit different pages on your site, you can also track those who engage with different pins from your website or sales page within a set time frame. Pinterest allows you to filter the URL and select the actions such as saves, clicks, or engagement, the identification of the pin they interacted with, and the category or interest of the pin.

Actalike or Lookalike Audience

Actalike audiences are going to help you find new clients and customers who act like your current clients. Maybe they will be more likely to engage with your pins, visit your website, or purchase from you! You will use the data collected from the actions of your engagement and visitor audiences to create your actalike audience.

The key to all of these is having your Pinterest Tag in place before you need it for your Pinterest ads, and start using it with organic Pinterest. Otherwise, you will have to wait while you spend money to warm up the pixel, drive traffic to your website or sales page and have that tag gather the information you need.

Which Pinterest Ad Campaign Should I Run?

Most small business owners will be using one of two types of Pinterest ad campaigns: a consideration campaign or a conversion campaign.

Consideration Campaign

If you are new to Pinterest ads, or Pinterest in general, you’ll want to start with the consideration campaign. This will allow you to warm up your pixel and gather the important information you need about your audience in order to have an effective campaign and make the most of your time and your ad spend.

 You can start with a conversion campaign but you will spend more money trying to find the people to convert, which is much cheaper to do as a consideration campaign first. I usually recommend people start with consideration, or use this as a way to test creative aspects such as the performance of various pins before running a conversion campaign. 

Organic pins are another great way to test your creativity and warm your pixel if you don’t want to invest in a consideration campaign before running your conversion campaign. You can create multiple pins for a lead magnet and schedule them out. After 30, 60, or 90 days, go back and review which received the most engagement. This is a budget-saving, but can take a long time compared to running a 14-day consideration campaign.


Conversion Campaigns

If you set up your account correctly in the beginning, installed your Pinterest tag on your website, and perhaps even on multiple pages once that became an option, you may be ready to run a conversion campaign to help you get more traffic, leads, and sales. In order to create effective conversion campaigns, you will need to have approximately 50 conversions in a week.

Summary of Using Organic Pins to Help Your Pinterest Ads

  1. Organic Pinterest can help you collect important information before running Pinterest ads
  2. Being an active Pinterest user helps your potential clients and customers know you are trustworthy and a legitimate business; it also allows Pinterest to collect valuable information about those who engage with your content.
  3. Set yourself up for success by setting up your business account properly. My course, Pinning Foundations, walks you through step by step how to write your profile, claim your website, install your Pinterest tag (this is in module 8!), choose your initial boards, and more.
  4. Once your Pinterest tag is installed, you can choose to create various audiences such as a visitor audience, an engaged audience, or an actalike audience each with unique behaviors to support your business goals.
  5. Consideration campaigns are great for testing creatives, warming up a pixel, and gathering data in a hurry; organic Pinterest can do the same thing but may take longer (sometimes one to three months) whereas a consideration campaign can be run in as little as 14 days.
  6. A conversion campaign is what you typically think of when you think of ads.

Pinterest ads can be a great way to support your business, and organic Pinterest is just one tool you can use to gather data and drive traffic to your content year-round. The most important thing you need to remember is to set up your Pinterest tag ( I mentioned it several times in case you missed it!).

If you’re interested in running Pinterest Ads for your business, you can learn more here how we can work together. 

Karrie Chariton

Karrie Chariton

As an Online Business Manager, Launch Manager, & Tech Specialist, I remove the tech and systems barriers for women entrepreneurs so they can strategically grow their business without sacrificing time with their families. I am a wife, home schooling mom to 3, and cat mom. I live in Chicago, IL. I love reading, traveling, trying new restaurants, and watching movies.

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hi! I'm Karrie!

Online Business Manager (OBM), Launch Manager & Strategist, Tech Virtual Assistant, Pinterest Strategist, homeschooling mom of 3, wife, and cat mom!

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