Maybe you know someone who has run Facebook ads only to have it shut down for seemingly no reason. Or maybe it’s happened to you. Frustrating for sure! Especially when you’ve invested your time and money into creating a campaign and were really dependent on it for traffic to your offer. I wanted to share my simple tips of what NOT to do when running Pinterest ads, so you can continue to get paid traffic for months (and years) to come!
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Millions of entrepreneurs think of Facebook ads like faucets they can turn on and off to make fast money. But, unfortunately, that’s not always the case, especially if the ad is suddenly shut down. And it does happen. As a result, more and more savvy business owners are taking the time to diversify and learn about other marketing strategies, like Pinterest, for their ad campaigns.
What NOT to do When Running Pinterest Ads:
Pinterest has been a huge traffic driver for my business, and my clients, since 2016. In 2021, advertisers were estimated to reach over 200 million users on Pinterest, so it might be worth some of your ad spend! I love the organic reach it has on its own. The use of ads, or promoted pins, is unique because, unlike Facebook ads, once you stop paying for ads on Pinterest, they continue to remain active within the platform and remain in circulation. There are actually nine reasons I have fallen in love with Pinterest ads, and that’s just one of them!
Knowing that, let’s make sure you follow Pinterest’s rules and avoid the five common mistakes when running Pinterest ads.
1.) Don’t Expect Big Results Fast
Many business owners, especially when comparing promoted pins to Facebook ads, expect similar results with respect to time and money. In reality, that’s not even the case on Facebook. Both platforms take time to test ad creative, copy, audiences, etc.
Facebook will work faster than Pinterest, though; Pinterest is a slower-moving platform, and that’s true for its ads too. So if you approach promoted pins expecting quick results, Pinterest is not the right place for you.
2.) More Money Doesn’t Mean Better Results
You know the saying ‘money doesn’t equal success?’ Well, it applies to Pinterest ads! Throwing more money at ads does not get you better results or faster results.
If you are accustomed to running Facebook ads, I think you may know the data takes about three days to show up in analytics; possibly it’s changed due to the latest iOS updates. As for Pinterest, it takes a minimum of a week to find out if your testing is yielding good results. More than likely, though, I suggest at least 14 days before you start actually tweaking your ads to let Pinterest do its thing.
3.) Do or Do Not; There Is No Try
“I’m just going to try them. I’m just going to dabble.” If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone in my business groups say that! It’s true. Pinterest ads look deceptively easy to set up. There are plenty of blogs and YouTube tutorial videos to help you out with the basics.
A lot of DIY business owners left struggling, though, because no one really helps them with what they are supposed to do NEXT. Sure, you have your Pinterest ad campaign all set up. But what are you supposed to do now? What are you looking for in analytics? When are you supposed to start tracking the results? What is “good?” How do you know what to adjust? Are they getting better? I didn’t make any sales. Is there hope? All these kinds of questions come up in people who think that I’m just going to try it.
With Facebook ads, it’s easy to decide, “Eh, I’m just going to throw some money in, and if I make a couple of sales in a few days, that’s great!” Pinterest doesn’t work that way. Chances are, you’ll set up the ads and then lack the strategy of what to do next. Just trying doesn’t work with promoted pins.
4.) Set It and Forget It
Some people tell me, “Okay, I get it. Pinterest is a long game. I’ll commit to 30 days.” They set up their ad, forget it. Then they’ll open their account three or four weeks later. . . whomp, whomp, whomp. . . they didn’t hit their goal. Or any goal. Now they are disappointed.
You can’t just ‘set it and forget it.’ As I mentioned previously, at least seven to 14 days before you can start making decisions about what to do next, you need to know how to read your analytics and then learn the next step.
Strategy matters. You still need to know what to do next. That does not change. And so that is why I recommend working with a Pinterest ad strategist. So much of the information you cannot piece together just from watching a video or Googling things. Why? Because having someone who understands the current ads algorithms, strategies, and how to apply them to your unique business and specific goals matters.
5.) Make Too Many Changes Too Quickly
You know you get feedback pretty quickly if you’ve run Facebook ads. You can easily run a campaign three to five days before reviewing your analytics. First, you’ll want to discover whether or not the ad creative is resonating with your audience; you can change those things on the fly.
The opposite is true on Pinterest. Typically start with three to four images and set up the campaign. Then, about seven to 14 days later, review the data and see which creative attracts people. You’ll discover which pin has the higher click-through rate, meaning people either liked it or they didn’t like it.
From there, you can begin to adjust your campaign. Choose to increase your ad spend, but you have to be particular in the way you do so because there is an algorithm that you have to satisfy. When you see results, start optimizing and increasing your budget, but you cannot do that too quickly.
On the other hand, if ads aren’t performing, you should turn them off, switch the creative and try again, but give it some time. Avoid being hasty and within three to seven days, deciding a low click-through rate means it didn’t work, and changing up the ad campaign completely. I compare Pinterest ads to fine cheese or wine: they get better with age.
Once you have that one image, that one piece of creative that people are really clicking on, then go with it. However, after a while, ad fatigue exists, the click-through rate will start to go down, and this will signal to you that it’s time to make some adjustments.
Summary of What Not to Do When Running Pinterest Ads:
Overall, Pinterest gets smarter with age. So as people click on your pins, Pinterest gets smarter and will find that audience and serve your creative up in front of those people to get even more, whether it’s email, signups, or sales to a product. And so you want to let it ride and slowly increase the budget and really start to optimize for the conversion and don’t do it too fast.
I recently helped a client generate over 25,000 leads to her email list in just 6 months, resulting in over $278K in sales with just $20K in ad spend using Pinterest ads. This was after having her Facebook ad campaign shut down. You can read the details here.
If you keep these simple points in mind of what not to do when running Pinterest ads, you should have good luck with this platform!
- Don’t expect big results quickly – it can take at least two weeks to get data.
- Spending more won’t yield faster results or better results; get your analytics first before increasing ad spend.
- Prompted pin setup is the easy part. However, understanding the strategy is trickier and where you may need more support.
- Tracking your analytics and making adjustments as needed is necessary. Set it and forget it is not a thing.
- Pinterest is a slow platform, and making too many changes too quickly won’t allow time for the results to show up in the analytics and give you the information needed to make informed decisions.