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6 Targeting Options on Pinterest

Published: March 3, 2017

Author: Molly McCarty

Pinterest can be a powerful ad platform if you get your targeting right. Here’s a quick breakdown of the targeting options available.


Keyword Targeting

Similar to search, you can use keyword targeting on Pinterest to reach people as they search for something specific (e.g. things to cook, buy, or make). As someone searches for these specific terms, your Promoted Pin will show up in the search results and related pins.

Interest Targeting

Interest targeting on Pinterest is similar to interest targeting on Facebook. It allows you to reach people based on other pins they have engaged with or saved. When someone in your interest group sees your Promoted Pin, it will show up in the home feed or relevant topic feeds.

Site Visitors

Similar to Facebook, Pinterest also has site retargeting audiences. You will need to place the Pinterest tag on your site first in order to utilize this audience type. Retargeting should always be in your campaign plan. These users are generally high-quality since they have been to your site before and are familiar with your brand.


Customer List

Have a product you want to upsell to current customers? You can upload a customer list and Pinterest will match these users to Pinterest users. You can then target these customers directly with your ads. When you upload your list, you can upload emails and/or mobile ad IDs and Pinterest will match the users.

Lookalike (Actalike) Targeting

Again, similar to Facebook, you can use lookalike targeting, which is better known as Actalike targeting on Pinterest now. You would upload a customer list and build a lookalike audience to target. This targeting allows you to reach a larger group of people who look and act similar to the audience you uploaded. If you are running campaigns on Facebook and wondering what to start with on Pinterest in terms of seed list, I recommend starting with what is working best on Facebook. You may need to build a larger lookalike audience then what is running on Facebook since there is a smaller match rate on Pinterest compared to Facebook.
If you are going to be running multiple percentage lookalike audiences, you’ll want to make sure you have proper exclusions in place to best measure performance of your campaign. For example, if you’re running a 1% and a 5% lookalike, you’ll want to make sure the 1% is excluded from the 5% campaign because it is the smaller audience.

Engagement Audiences

Engagement audiences on Pinterest are built off of people who have engaged with Pins from your confirmed domain (you will need to ensure your domain is confirmed in account settings). These audiences are built off of people who have engaged with any pin that links to your site. You are able to use past traffic for these audiences as well.

As with anything, we recommend testing before investing substantially in any of the options. Good luck!

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