How to use Pinterest advertising to promote products and attract customers

Pinterest is often undervalued by social media marketers and viewed as an unnecessary part of a marketing strategy. Unfortunately, if your team doesn’t, you could be missing out on an important source of traffic and income.

Pinterest offers marketers many unique ways to reach leads and influence consumer buying behavior. In fact, pinners are more likely to shop online. If you want to find out how Pinterest advertising can help you attract customers, read on.

Pinterest advertising

With over 442 million monthly active users, Pinterest is a great place for businesses to promote their products. Ads are shown in users’ feeds and search queries in the same format as a normal PIN. This makes the experience unobtrusive to users while your content is placed right in front of them.

When you create ads for Pinterest audiences, there is a lot of potential reach. Best of all, users are also actively browsing the website for products to buy.

Why advertise on Pinterest

  • The range can be incredible. If your content is engaging and valuable, you can pin it over and over to different users’ boards and keep bringing consumers back to your website.
  • Pins have a much longer lifespan than tweets or Instagram posts. This longevity makes them a particularly strong asset. Pins can appear in a user’s feed months after they were first posted.
  • Pinterest users spend 27% more clicking and collecting purchases. This means your Pinterest ads or Sponsored Pins will be shown to a remarkably responsive audience.

All in all, a paid advertising strategy for Pinterest isn’t such a bad idea and could help boost your organic presence by getting a foothold with potential buyers and increasing brand awareness.

Pinterest advertising costs

After addressing your target audience, you’ll see the option to set a maximum cost-per-click (CPC). If you want to make sure that you never pay more than a certain bid amount for a single impression or click, you can enter that here. Pinterest shows you whether it’s competitive or not.

Pinterest ad types

There are several ways to promote your content on Pinterest. To determine which ad format is best for your business, you need to understand the goals of your campaign and the attributes of each Pinterest ad format.

1. Pens

At first glance, Sponsored Pins look and act like regular Static Pins, but have a little “Sponsored” label to make them stand out from the crowd. Sponsored Pins are amplified and targeted to reach more people. Users can even pin their Sponsored Pins to their boards, share them, and comment on them.

As soon as a user has released a sponsored PIN, the “sponsored” label disappears and subsequent re-pins are considered earned media. After the initial PIN, organic exposure to the content is free.

When creating an advertisement for Sponsored Pins, keep these guidelines in mind:

  1. The file must be PNG or JPEG.
  2. Their content must not be larger than 10 MB.
  3. There is a description copy limit of 500 characters.
  4. Your aspect ratio must be 2: 3 and should be oriented vertically.

2. Video pens

Sponsored Video Pins are just like Sponsored Pins – except that the static image is replaced with a video.

90% of customers say that video helps them make purchasing decisions, and the same percentage of Pinterest weekly users are on the platform to make purchasing decisions. So Pinterest and video advertising go hand in hand.

Pinterest offers two options for video size: maximum width or standard. Standard video is the same size as regular Pins and costs less than a maximum-width Pin that spans a user’s entire feed.

Regardless of the selected size, Pinterest videos will automatically play as soon as they are 50 percent displayed. In addition, the Sponsored Video Pins have a conversion optimization option to better serve advertisers with traffic or conversion goals. This new option takes the user to a landing page on the advertiser’s website as well as a close-up view of the video.

When creating an advertisement for Sponsored Video Pins, keep these guidelines in mind:

  1. The file must be either MP4 or MOV.
  2. Your video cannot exceed 2 GB.
  3. The video must be at least four seconds long and no longer than 30 minutes.
  4. Your aspect ratio must be between 1: 91: 1 and 1: 2.
  5. There is a description copy limit of 500 characters.
  6. Make sure to create videos that do not rely on audio for better accessibility and those that scroll with the sound off.

3. Carousels

Sponsored carousels contain up to five images that users can swipe through. Carousels are used to convey a deeper brand story within a pin.

This function behaves like other pins, except that there are dots below the images that indicate additional content. Each carousel image can be different and have a different title, description, and link to a different landing page.

When creating an advertisement for a sponsored carousel, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • File type: PNG or JPEG
  • Ideal aspect ratio: 1: 1 or 2: 3
  • File size: Max 10 MB
  • Title copy: Maximum 100 characters
  • Description copy: Maximum 500 characters

4. App Pins

Sponsored App Pins are mobile-only ads that allow users to download your app directly from Pinterest.

These ads are available on iOS and Android devices and include an “Install” CTA that allows a seamless transition from Pinterest to your app.

While most of the guidelines for these Pins stay the same, your copy, picture, or video should contain important attributes of your app.

Here are some Pinterest ads in action.

Pinterest ad samples

Each of these ads is an example of Pinterest advertising with actionable tips to take away while creating your own:

1. Robust

ruggable pinterest ad

In this ad, the image speaks for itself, which goes well with the visual nature of the Pinterest platform. The rug sits in the front and center of an attractive living area that will grab attention (and likely spark the shopping tendencies of those who enjoy decorating). It comes with a catchy slogan: “Back to Homeschool”. Because who needs a start to school to buy cool things?

2. Love sweat fitness

Love sweat fitness pinterest ad

A large audience on Pinterest are the foodies who love to find and share recipes. Love Sweat Fitness, a fitness brand, appeals to this audience with simple and healthy vacation sites. The best thing about the ad is how it combines high quality imagery with attractive typography.

3. Acuity Scheduling

Focus planning pinterest ad

One thing to take away from this ad is that Pinterest advertising isn’t just for homeware, recipes, and e-commerce. Those in the B2B space can definitely take advantage of the advertising opportunities … and who knows, your audience may be looking for homeware too.

This ad sets up the value proposition in a text format and gets the audience’s attention to the point: “Don’t devote more time to planning customers.” You then couple it with a call to action: “Book Now”.

4. MissNowMrs

missnowmrs pinterest ad

MissNowMrs quantifies the time brides spend changing their name so they can use it as a value proposition in this ad. The benefit to the audience is therefore clear and convincing.

5. Torrid

hot pinterest ad

In this Pinterest ad, Torrid uses retargeting options to get its products in front of people who have already visited the Torrid website. After visiting this product’s page on, the ad “followed” me on Pinterest to keep track and earn the sale.

Now that you’ve seen what Pinterest ads can look like, let the examples above inspire you and use them for your own promotions.

How to Advertise on Pinterest

  1. Choose your campaign goal.
  2. Set your campaign budget.
  3. Maximize Your SEO Efforts.
  4. Choose your target audience.
  5. Added value.
  6. Mix your content.
  7. Monitor campaign performance.

1. Choose your campaign goal.

Each of your Pinterest campaigns starts with a goal. The selection of your campaign goal determines which ad formats are available to you. There are three categories to choose from: Awareness, Drive Consideration, and Conversions.

Conversion optimization is a new campaign goal that optimizes your ads for specific actions outside of clicks. Advertisers now have the opportunity to directly inspire people to take action – for example, by directing a user to an online checkout or newsletter registration without additional steps.

If you want people to discover your company, choose Brand awareness for standard pins or Video views for sponsored video pins as a campaign target. For these two goals, you can set a maximum cost for every 1,000 impressions your ad receives.

If your Pinterest goals are to drive qualified leads to your website or drive traffic, choose Traffic or install app for your campaign goal.

You set a maximum price per click for these campaigns. This means you will only be charged when people click through your Sponsored PIN to visit your website.

2. Set your campaign budget.

If you want to spend your campaign money evenly over a period of time, choose Lifetime. Choose Every day to choose the amount spent each day. You’ll need to adjust budgets automatically based on how long you want your ad to run.

Next, you’ll set a maximum bid. A bid determines the maximum amount of money you would like to pay for an action like an engagement or a click on Pinterest. Pinterest recommends an amount that depends on your target audience and what your competitors are spending.

Make sure your Pinterest ads budget reflects your overall marketing goals and the importance of the platform to your business.

3. Maximize your SEO efforts.

Adding an interest and keywords to your descriptions will make them more relevant to people who are actively searching for that content. Note that hashtags don’t add a rank value.

Interesting categories are already sorted and categorized on Pinterest. You should research the available topics that are relevant to your business and specifically answer these questions. For inspiration, check out the seven categories that work particularly well on Pinterest.

Their boards also provide an opportunity for SEO. Boards tell Pinterest’s search engine how to categorize your Pins to improve visibility. Focusing on both will help your SEO efforts.

4. Choose your target audience.

Targeting enables you to reach people who are looking for your content and ready to get actively involved. Targeting is an important part of advertised ads because without it you will get less interest.

Pinterest offers six targeting options that you can use individually or combine to create a unique targeting approach.

  • audience Combine your customer knowledge with behavioral insights from Pinterest. If someone recently bought something from your website or looked into your Pinterest content, you can target that person to an ad.
  • keywords Show your ad to someone looking for such content. If you include certain keywords like “tropical vacation” or “apple pie recipes”, your ads will target people who are looking for those things.
  • Interests Audiences based on the types of content they regularly engage with. Your apple pie recipe ads will most likely be serving people interested in baking or preparing for Thanksgiving.
  • Extended You will get additional interest and keywords based on the content of your ad and the one you are trying to reach.
  • Demographics This option allows you to select a specific location, language, device, or gender.
  • Placements You can choose where you want your ad to be delivered. If you don’t want your Promoted Pins to appear while browsing and only appear in search results, you can specify that here.

5. Create added value.

Endless product promotion on a Pinterest feed isn’t the best way to get an audience’s attention – and keep it. Most likely, you will just become a disruption and no longer be followed. You need to add value to each point of contact with your customer so that they can engage with your content.

To add value to Pinterest, add Pins that your audience wants to engage with that don’t contain your product or business. You can add value by presenting services or interests that complement your own.

For example, if you sell cars, share content about maintenance or car accessories. Alternatively, if you run a Pinterest page for a coffee shop, try jotting down playlist ideas so users can listen to them as they work. There is a wealth of content available that you can curate for the benefit of your audience.

6. Mix your content.

If you’re busy targeting your content with one person, you are missing out on your audience’s organic connections and interests. While personas are helpful to get you started, they don’t provide everything you need to know about the people who will interact with your ads.

Keep your content seasonal and relevant. Yes, creating evergreen content is good – but don’t miss out on pop culture or vacation opportunities to generate interest. Research has shown that Pins with vacation copies or pictures increase online sales by 22%.

7. Monitor campaign performance

Finally, you need to keep an eye on your campaign performance to determine the success of your ads or to determine why they weren’t performing as expected.

Once in the Pinterest Ads Manager, click Analytics It also shows an overview of all your campaigns and important metrics. These metrics include impressions, total clicks, cost per impression, effective cost per click, and more.

Each campaign has the opportunity to increase brand awareness or to encourage buying. After looking at your analytics, you can determine whether you need to expand your audience, increase your budget, or try a different ad format. Pinterest advertising isn’t an exact science, so experimentation is key to being successful on the platform.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been updated for completeness.

Pinterest templates

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