12 Pinterest Audiences to Use to Make More Money on Your Ads

November 2, 2020

Pinterest Advertising is increasing in popularity as the years pass by and with good reason. There are so many strategic ways to target Pinterest Audiences to make your ads work for you.

They are a non-partisan platform that isn’t focused on the happenings around the world. In other words they aren’t chocked full of political posts that stress you out.

Pinterest users are primarily future focused so they are looking for things that will help them reach their goals whether it be fitness, parenting or buying a new home. The possibilities are endless.

Promoted pins on Pinterest are a great way to get your business in front of your audience in a new way. 

That’s why I’m going to show you exactly how you can build Pinterest audiences so you can better target your ads and get the results you want.

This post contains affiliate links. I will make a small commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Read more here.

Your Pinterest ad strategy may just be to start driving traffic to your website right now but let me show you the audiences you can target and see if you can spark new strategy.

Pinterest Audiences to Target

When most people who primarily run Facebook ads get started thinking about promoted pins on Pinterest all they see are the limitations with targeting.

While Pinterest is a newer ad platform there is still a lot of possibility there for you to find and target your desired audience.

Unlike Facebook you won’t be targeting pages or people. Instead you will be targeting keywords, interests, and audiences you build. So let’s dive in before I bore you to death.

Pinterest Keyword Targeting

One of the most popular ways to target your ads is through keyword targeting. This will allow you to tell Pinterest which terms your audience is searching for and to surface your ads there and in relevant searches.

Broad match keywords 

Using this format of keyword will result in your pin showing up in various searches. For example, if you use kitchen design as a keyword your pin may also show up in kitchen decor ideas but it won’t show up in t-shirt ideas.

Your ads manager where your keywords are located will say to add a minimum of 25 keywords. I have always added more than that, usually coming in around 100 keywords.

Broad keywords will look like this in the keyword box in your ads manager: 

  • Kitchen decor
  • Kitchen decor ideas
  • Kitchen decor minimalist

Phrase match keywords

Phrase match keywords are going to surface your pins in searches matching the phrase you give it.

For example, If your keyword is “kitchen design” it will show in search results like “kitchen design ideas” or “kitchen designs” but it won’t show up in search results like “kitchen decor” unless you add that to your keyword list.

Phase keywords will look like this in your Pinterest ads manager:

  • “Kitchen design”
  • “Kitchen design ideas”
  • “Kitchen design minimalist”

Exact match keywords

Your exact keyword match will surface your pin in those exact keyword searches.

PRO TIP: I don’t start with an exact match but instead wait for my ads to start giving me data on which ones are converting then I add those as exact match keywords to my campaign.

Exact match keywords will look like this in your Pinterest ads manager: 

  • [Kitchen design]
  • [Kitchen design ideas]
  • [Kitchen design minimalist]

Negative match keywords

These aren’t used often in my campaigns but a good example of negative match keywords would be if you were targeting a search but didn’t want the algorithm to serve those ads in a specific term.

For example, you are targeting eyeglasses you could use a negative match keyword for wine glasses so you aren’t spending money on searches that aren’t relevant.

pinterest keyword targeting

Pinterest Interest Targeting

Interest targeting can be really powerful if you know what you’re doing. Typically my ads managers are telling me to start new conversion campaigns as broad with 5 relevant interests selected.

Depending on your niche you may not be able to find an interest category that fits. However, you can always use the interest where your users are active and get in front of them that way.

It really depends on your goals and how you want to show up as well as how much money you have to spend.

There are 24 interest categories on Pinterest to target.

Pinterest Interest Targeting List:

  1. Animals
  2. Architecture
  3. Art
  4. Beauty
  5. Children’s Fashion
  6. Design
  7. DIY and Crafts
  8. Education
  9. Electronics
  10. Entertainment
  11. Event Planning
  12. Finance
  13. Food and Drinks
  14. Gardening
  15. Health
  16. Home Decor
  17. Men’s Fashion
  18. Parenting
  20. Sport
  21. Travel
  22. Vehicles
  23. Wedding
  24. Women’s Fashion

Under each of these interests are sub-interests where you can really narrow in on various topics.

Pinterest Audience Insights

This is my favorite way to target interests in our client campaigns. I go into the audience insights tab to find out which interests my audience is most active in and use those in my campaigns.

Something else you can do that most people don’t realize is to upload your custom audience then have your ads manager at Pinterest to request insights on that audience.

This will tell you if you upload a list of buyers where they are most likely to be on Pinterest and you can target them that way.

Who doesn’t like extra information on their audience?! I know we do here at Team HFC.

Pinterest Audience Targeting

Audience targeting is broken down into different categories.

  • Visitors
  • Customer List Audience
  • Engagement
  • Actalike

Website Visitors

Visitors are people who have gone to your site. You can do a basic audience where you just choose a date range. Our most common date ranges are 7 days, 14 days and 30 days but you can surely make it longer if you want.

Another way you can use the website visitors audience is to create a group of people who fired a specific event.

For example, I have a client who has a very successful retargeting campaign based solely on people who add a product to their cart. We retarget those people with a new ad encouraging them to finish their purchase.

You will be able to create audiences out of the following events:

  • Checkout
  • Addtocart
  • Signup
  • Lead
  • Custom
  • WatchVideo
  • Search
  • ViewCategory
  • PageVisit

We usually stick to the events we can optimize our ads for and those are checkout, signup and add to cart.

Customer List Audience

If you upload a list of people to your audience manager you can get really segmented if you want. This is a very simple upload process. You name your audience, give it a description & upload the .csv file.

I would suggest the following types if you have them:

  1. Email lists subscribers
  2. Individual email list segments
  3. Buyers only

This will give you a good starting point for custom audience targeting. You can also request those insights on each variation if you’d like.

Engagement Audience

This type of audience can really get detailed depending on what you’re goal is and how you plan to target you people.

Your engagement audience can be defined by:

  • Destination URL
  • Action types
  • Pin ID
  • % of Video Viewed
  • Pin Category

The most common ways I use this type of audience is defining my Pin ID. So if someone saw a specific pin in my ad groups then I’ll show them a new pin. This is like a waterfall type ad strategy.

Pinner saw Pin 1 so show them Pin 2 and if they engage with Pin 2 show them Pin 3. You can see how similar this is to some Facebook Ad strategies.

Action types are another way I use engagement audiences. If they clicked, commented, saved, commented or saw my pin closeup then you can make an audience. Nifty, huh?

Actalike Audience

Actalike audiences on Pinterest are the same as lookalike audiences on Facebook. Different name, same thing.

You upload a custom audience then you will create a new actalike audience based on your seed list you uploaded.

You can choose the country you want & the percentage you’d like to create. 

Additional Targeting Options

There are a handful of additional targeting options you can define inside your Pinterest ads manager.

Those targeting options are:

  • Devices
  • Expanded targeting
  • Placement 
  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender

Let’s dive into each of these options.

Demographic targeting is pretty obvious. You can define if you want just men, women or unspecified to see your ads.

If you know your audience is in a specific age group you can check those off.

You can choose your locations down to a zip code if you wanted to.

Lastly you can choose languages and devices.

Most of this stuff I leave alone until I begin optimizing my ads.

Advanced Targeting

Placement Targeting

You advanced targeting options are where you want your pin to show up on the platform. Again  I leave this as is until I start optimizing.

You can choose all, browse and search.

Expanded Targeting

Expanded targeting is where Pinterest will show your pin in relevant searches. For example, if you are targeting recipes with your pin image then your pin may also show up in search results for snacks.

This is also something I usually wait on until I begin optimizing my campaigns.

Final Thoughts

Pinterest ads costs are going to vary depending on your targeting, budget, goals, placement, campaign type and how many ad groups you use. I do think Pinterest advertising is a great way to reach a new audience you’ve never gone after before!

If you’re looking to start using Promoted Pins on Pinterest then make sure you head over and book a call with our team. Let us see if we can help you to achieve your goals using Pinterest ads.


Learn how to be strategic with your Pinterest ad targeting so you can better run promoted pins on Pinterest & optimize your Pinterest ads. These Pinterest Ads tips will help you to build a strategic Pinterest ads ad campaign that brings you closer to your goals. I take you inside your Pinterest Ads Manager so you can build custom Pinterest ads audience. Treat this as your ultimate guide to promoted pins on Pinterest. We hope to make running Pinterest Ads so much easier to do! #pinterestads
Learn how to be strategic with your Pinterest ad targeting so you can better run promoted pins on Pinterest & optimize your Pinterest ads. These Pinterest Ads tips will help you to build a strategic Pinterest ads ad campaign that brings you closer to your goals. I take you inside your Pinterest Ads Manager so you can build custom Pinterest ads audience. Treat this as your ultimate guide to promoted pins on Pinterest. We hope to make running Pinterest Ads so much easier for you to get started doing today!! #pinterestads


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