Everything You Need To Know About Pinterest Ads


Pinterest offers one of the strongest advertising platforms for online businesses. If even a portion of your target audience hangs out on Pinterest, it’s worth considering Promoted Pins as part of your marketing strategy.


But Pinterest ads are not widely known or understood by small business. And that’s actually for a great reason: Sponsored Pins seamlessly blend in with other content on Pinterest. You often don’t even know you’re looking at paid content because it’s so well integrated with the user-generated Pins.


In fact, Pinterest offers one of the only advertisements that customers actually want to see. Pinterest reported that 73% of their users (Pinners) believe that sponsored brand content makes Pinterest more useful. Imagine—having customers who actually want to see your ads!


So what do you need to know about Pinterest ads to see if it’s right for your business?


Read: The Power Of Pinterest For E-Commerce Sellers


1. Sponsored Pins show up in relevant searches and home pages.

Almost all social media offers advertising embedded within other content. However, in our opinion, Pinterest is one of the strongest at seamlessly integrating advertising with user-generated content.


Sponsored Pins are part of the regular Pinning experience. A user can search a topic that interests them or they can go to their homepage, where they’re presented with relevant Pins based on the boards they already follow. During this browsing process, Sponsored Pins show up and appear almost identical to non-sponsored ones.


But this doesn’t mean that Sponsored Pins are “useless” for businesses. Rather, it just means that the advertising is subtler. And this subtly goes over well with consumers. They don’t feel it’s invading their experience with Pinterest because they’re on Pinterest to browse, get ideas, and shop. This is especially different from Facebook, where ads are becoming highly invasive (like in the middle of videos or as unwanted Sponsored posts on their News Feeds.)


Moreover, this form of promotion helps increase brand visibility. Because the Pins are showing up naturally in relevant searches, this allows for greater brand reach and awareness. This is especially different from Instagram, where it’s much harder for brands to reach new customers through their typical browsing experience.   


Pinterest Ads 2


2. There are different forms of Pinterest advertising.

One of our favorite parts of Pinterest ads is that your campaign can be customizable and flexible based on how you want to interact with your customers. The three main types of advertisements are Promoted Pins, Promoted Video, and Promoted Apps.


Promoted Pins allows you to “sponsor” a pin that you’ve created. This is usually if you’re looking to feature something special like an event, promotion, or piece of content. This is where most small businesses tend to focus their efforts, especially when first starting their Pinterest advertising.


Promoted Videos are a great way to show off ideas, lifestyle, and products. Pinterest only allows the highest-quality videos from brands; in fact, they only enable video creation for business accounts, not from users. This sets a higher standard than other platforms, where every user can create photos and videos. Learn more about the immense benefits of video marketing here.


Promoted App Pins allow users to discover and download phone applications directly from Pinterest. This is highly effective if you have an app that connects to your e-commerce store.  


Learn more about the different ad formats on Pinterest here.


3. Pinterest campaigns are objective-based.

Pinterest’s advertising has easy-to-track metrics. On your Pinterest Ads Manager dashboard, Pinterest will automatically calculate: total impressions, total engagements, total conversions, and marketing spend.


You can even create different ad campaigns depending on your main marketing objective. Pinterest can help you set up your promotion based on your goals, like boosting awareness, engagement, or traffic.


If you’ve been struggling to track your marketing metrics, Pinterest makes it easy for you. You’ll see your ROI updated in real time, so you can pivot and grow accordingly.


"Pinterest reported that 73% of their users (Pinners) believe  that sponsored brand content makes Pinterest more useful.  Imagine—having customers who actually want to see your ads!"  Click to Tweet4. You can target based on demographics and interests.

Like other social media sites, Pinterest allows you to target your advertisements based on a number of demographic factors like age, gender, location, and even device (desktop vs. tablet).


Pinterest also allows you to easily target ads based on interests. If someone is following a board that is similar to yours or they are searching relevant keywords, your Sponsored Pin will show up. This is a great way to reach a new audience of Pinners that are highly relevant to your business.  


Like most optimization, you’ll want to include keywords in your targeting. Pinterest allows you to add up to 150 keywords for a Promoted Pin. However, you don’t necessarily want to use up all of these keywords. You want to have a focused, narrow approach to attract the most applicable users.


Targeting ads help make sure that you market to the right audience at the right time.  


5. Users can save your ads.

One of the best parts about Pinterest advertising is that your customers can actually save, revisit, and share your ads. It’s rare that users will share sponsored posts on other platforms, like Facebook or Instagram, unless they are already loyal brand fans.


On Pinterest, though, someone can “Pin” your advertisement to one of their own boards—even if it’s the first time they’ve come across your brand. This means that they can come back to look at it later, increasing the number of impressions and opportunities for conversion.


It also means that their direct and indirect followers can also see the Pin. This further improves your reach and enhances your social proof, quickly allowing your Promoted Pin to reach greater depths across the platform.


6. There are rules about the kinds of Pins you promote.

Pinterest is pretty strict about the advertisements they’ll allow. That’s because they want to maintain the trust and engagement of their customers (which is good for you, too).


You want to make sure you abide by these rules so Pinterest allows you to use their business advertising services:

  • Don’t direct the Pin to a lead generation landing page or another advertisement. Rather, lead them to a web page that offers a value proposition and the option of conversion.
  • Don’t include calls to action in the image. You can use “soft” calls to action, like text with a blog title or product name, but you can’t directly request next steps on the image itself. You can use a call to action in the caption of the Pin, though.
  • Don’t use horizontal images. Pinterest is optimized for vertical images. The longer the image, the better.
  • Don’t use hashtags, Even though they’re present on Pinterest, they’re distracting on Promoted Pins.
  • Don’t include any deceptive, misleading, or confusing information. Keep it simple, relevant, and accurate.



Basically, don’t use any promotional info. Let the content speak for itself.


7. Pinterest ads have high conversion rates.  

Pinterest advertising has some of the highest conversion rates of any social media platform.


All of Pinterest’s ads are pay-per-click (PPC). This means that you select a specific budget and duration for the advertisement’s run period. You will only pay a set amount when someone clicks through the pin to your website. So, if someone sees your Pin but scrolls past it, you won’t have to pay.


Pinterest Ads 1


This is a great way to boost your conversion rate and optimize your spend on marketing. You’re only spending money on Pinterest advertising that is actually bringing your customer to the next part of your funnel.


Plus, Pinterest is a shopper-friendly platform. Users are browsing for ideas and inspiration, so they’re already more susceptible to buying. In fact, 61% of Pinners have made a purchase after seeing business content. This kind of trust in Pinterest content creates more impulsive buys, in turn boosting conversion rate and sales.



Pinterest advertising is a great way to build your brand while getting a major return on marketing investment. You’re providing legitimate value to Pinners, and in response, you’re getting increased visibility, awareness, and traffic.


But it’s important to note that Pinterest advertising is only successful if your customers are Pinterest users. That means you want to conduct extensive customer data research to ensure that you are using the right social platform for your audience.


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