Targeting

To reach the right people at the right time, use targeting to show your Promoted Pins to specific audiences. Aside from location, gender, language and device, you can also target your ads by using interests, keywords or audiences—or a combination of all three.

Interest targeting
Keyword targeting
Audience targeting
Best practices

Interest targeting lets you reach audiences based on other Pins they’ve saved and engaged with. Your Promoted Pin will show up in the home feed or relevant topic feeds.

Reach people as they’re searching for something specific, like things to make, buy and do. Your Promoted Pin will show up places like search results and related Pins.

Consider adding keywords related to the thing you’re promoting—for instance, if you’re promoting kid-friendly snacks, try targeting people interested in “parenting” and people interested in “healthy snacks”. However, make sure any keywords you add are relevant and compliant with our policies, or your ad may get rejected.


Audience targeting helps you reach a more specific group of people, and combines the info you know about your customers with info we have on our end about people and the way they use Pinterest.

When you use audience targeting, your Promoted Pins will show up in the home feed, as well as the everything and popular feeds. (If you use keyword targeting as well, they’ll show up in search results too.)

To create an audience, just go to your Ads Manager, Ads, then Audiences.

Note that Pinterest will never share audiences you’ve created with anyone else, or use them to target anyone else's campaigns, unless you ask us to.

You can create four different types of audiences:

1. Retarget people who visited your site: Get more relevant information about the actions that users take on your website to create custom targeting on your Promoted Pins. Visitor retargeting identifies people who have already visited your site, and lets you target them on Pinterest, where they are more likely to take action.

You’ll need to set up the Pinterest tag in order to track and create visitor audiences. Add the base code across every page on your site, and add the event code to pages where you want to track the actions you care about. In Audience Manager, you can use these events to create audiences to retarget people. Check out this help center article for steps to install the Pinterest tag if you haven’t already.  

Once you've added the Pinterest Tag, to create a visitor audience head to Ads Manager, hover over Ads in the dropdown menu on the top of the screen, then click Audiences. Click ‘Create Audience’ in the upper right and select the first choice for visitors who went to your site. From here you’ll select your Pinterest Tag, and you can add filters to create audiences based on specific events or pages on your website.    

Filters available for visitor retargeting: 

  • Events - Create an audience based on one or more specific event tags on your site, and the event data associated with that event. For example, you might retarget people who’ve added a specific type of product to their cart, but haven’t yet checked out.
  • URL - Create an audience based on one or more pages that people have visited on your site. You can include specific URLs or a portion of the URL and can retarget people who’ve landed on those pages, like your checkout or confirmation page. 

Example of a visitor audience - filtering by an event Example of a visitor audience - filtering by an event

Example of a visitor audience - filtering by an event

Example of a visitor audience - filtering by a URL Example of a visitor audience - filtering by a URL

Example of a visitor audience - filtering by a URL

Filters can target or exclude specific events or URLs. Once you’ve created your audience, the audience size will update within 24 hours. Keep in mind you must have at least 100 people in your audience in order to target it on your Promoted Pins. 

If you’re having trouble with your visitor audience, double check:

  • Your Pinterest Tag is verified in the tag dashboard
  • The spelling of your event code in your audience exactly matches the event on your website  

2. A list of customers you upload: Upload existing customers’ emails or mobile ad IDs (MAIDs) through a CSV file—and then we’ll compare that list to people who use Pinterest so you can either include or exclude that audience in your targeting. (Use inclusion targeting to reach existing, high value customers with a specific message, or exclusion targeting to drive new customer acquisition goals.)

When your customer list is uploaded to Pinterest, it is immediately hashed and cannot be re-downloaded or accessed again. If you want to edit your customer list you'll need to upload a new one to the audience.

Once you create your customer list it will be visible in your audience manager. Pinterest will look for people in your audience list that match existing people on Pinterest. Once your list has at least 100 matches available, the status will turn green and you’ll be able to target that audience on your Promoted Pin. It can take 24 hours to process your list. Keep in mind your final audience list will likely be much smaller than the total number of emails or mobile Ad IDs you originally upload, since the final list will only include people who match to existing Pinterest users.

The nitty gritty: You can use email files with cleartext, or with a SHA256 or MD5 hash key. For MAID files, you can use cleartext, SHA1, SHA256 or MD5 hash keys. IDFAs must be uppercase and AAIDs must be lowercase.

3. An engagement audience that engaged with Pins from your confirmed domain: Target people who’ve engaged with Pins that link to your site: If you’ve confirmed your website in your Account Settings, then you can target people who’ve previously engaged with Pins from your website. You can confirm your website in your Account Settings

Add filters to your engagement audience to target or exclude people who take specific actions on your Pins, specific destination URLs, or Pin IDs.

Example of an engagement audience Example of an engagement audience

Example of an engagement audience

If you're having trouble with your engagement audience, double check:

  • Your website is confirmed in your Account Settings
  • If adding a filter for Pin IDs, make sure to copy the organic Pin ID, not the Promoted Pin ID

4. An actalike audience that behaves similarly to one you already have: Actalike targeting helps you easily reach even more people who are similar to an existing audience. We create actalike audiences using info we know about Pinners and their behaviors. 

Each audience needs to have 100 people before you can start using it. For example, if you uploaded a customer list of 120 people, but our system detects that only 80 of them use Pinterest, you’ll need to add more customers.

On each Promoted Pin, we recommend you include a set of keywords and at least one interest representing your target audience. This allows you to define your desired audience, and reach them as they browse AND search.

  • Consider including adjacent interests to reach Pinners who could also be interested in your business. For instance, if you’re promoting kid-friendly snacks, try targeting people interested in “parenting” and people interested in “healthy snacks”

  • If you don’t add interests to your Promoted Pin, we’ll use your keywords to figure out which audiences should see your Promoted Pins in home and category feeds.

  • We’ll make a few suggestions for your Pin based on popular searches—add these keywords by clicking the + button

  • If you already have a list of keywords, you can import them all at once by clicking on Import keywords and copying your keywords into the lightbox

  • Make sure your keywords are relevant and compliant with our policies to avoid being disapproved for irrelevant targeting in the ad review process