Understand the auction

Partners can create Promoted Pins to achieve their business objectives. Each time Pinterest shows a Promoted Pin to a Pinterest user, eligible Promoted Pins compete in an auction to determine which Pin is served.

Here’s an overview on how the Promoted Pin auction works:

When you first create your Promoted Pin you’ll set a goal for your campaign: Traffic, Engagement, or Awareness. Depending on your campaign goal, you’ll enter a maximum bid for your promoted pin: a cost per click (CPC), cost per engagement (CPE) or cost per thousand impressions (CPM). This bid is how much you’re willing to pay for your goal.

Let's take an example: If you choose a traffic campaign and set your maximum bid at $2, you’re willing to pay up to $2 for each click from your Promoted Pin to your website. Pinterest multiplies your bid by the Predicted Pin Performance for your Promoted Pin to get your Predicted Pin Value:

Predicted Pin Value = Bid * Predicted Pin Performance

Then the auction occurs: Pinterest compares the Predicted Pin Values for each eligible Promoted Pin. The Promoted Pin with the highest Predicted Pin Value is shown to the Pinner.

Pinterest uses a second-price auction model, meaning you won’t necessarily pay your maximum bid on your Promoted Pin. If you win the auction you’ll only be charged $0.01 more than the next highest bidder in the auction or the minimum bid, if applicable. That means you may notice that your actual CPE, CPE, or CPM is lower than your bid.

If you want to increase the delivery for your Promoted Pin, you’ll want to either improve your Predicted Pin Performance or increase your bid (or both!). At any time you can see how much you’re spending in the Ads Manager dashboard. You can see how much you’ve been billed in the Billing Dashboard at ads.pinterest.com/billing.

Learn more about our auction terms here