A Guide to Pinterest Advertising

by Kedet | July 19, 2021

Pinterest is a social media channel that is often overlooked when it comes to advertising. But who doesn’t have at least one Pinterest board with saved recipes that look delicious? Or of future dream vacation destinations?

It’s a highly visual and engaging platform that marketers should consider!
In this blog, we’ll give you the lo-down on Pinterest Ads. We’ll cover the following topics:
Plus, at the very end of the blog, we have a limited-time offer on Pinterest Ads (hint, you get $1,000 free ad credit). Be sure not to miss it!

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest describes itself as a “visual discovery engine” for users to find ideas and inspiration. Posts (images, videos, infographics, etc.) are called Pins, and people can create boards, then save and organize the Pins they enjoy.

By clicking on a Pin, users can visit the website to learn more about it and even make a purchase directly!

Users will have a profile and can create subfolders within boards, such as categorized sections like “Living Room ideas” and “Dining Room ideas” under the mainboard, “Home Decor.”

Common industries that have a presence on the platform include food, financial services, beauty, fashion, retail, telecommunications, entertainment, home, automobile, travel, and tourism. But if you go to Pinterest and type in any keyword, even long-tailed keyword, you will find content and others that share the same interest.

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Pinterest User Demographics

Pinterest’s userbase has been steadily growing and tripled since 2016. During the COVID-19 pandemic, people were spending more time at home and flocked to Pinterest for inspiration, hobbies, tips, etc. The number of users jumped from 335 million to 459 million!

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Here are some statistics to further convince you Pinterest is a force to be reckoned with.

  • 80% of Millenial women and 40% of Millennial men in the United States are on Pinterest.
  • 49% of US users’ annual income is $100,000+.
  • Half of Pinterest users use the app to shop.
  • Pinterest users spend 80% more in retail than those who don’t use the app.
  • Pinterest users are 3 times more likely to click through to learn about a product or service than any other social platform.
  • Pinterest ads cost 2.3 times less per conversion.

How Does Pinterest Advertising Work?

Pinterest is a social platform that gauges consumer intent by capturing people in a “future-oriented mindset.” Pinterest says,

Every time that someone searches on Pinterest, they’re thinking about what they want to try next. Because Pinterest is grounded in the future, we get an earlier indication of where consumers are headed and can help brands and agencies predict what is to come for their category.

Users on the platform are “window shopping” for their next hair color, tattoo, vacation spot, baking recipe to try…the future is endless. And that’s where brands come in.

Advertising on Pinterest is for businesses to tell their stories through visuals. They are effective for these marketing objectives:

  • Boosting brand awareness
  • Driving website traffic
  • Driving conversions
  • Increasing video views
  • Increasing sales

(We’ll discuss the various types of Pinterest ads options available in the next section.)

Ad Creation & Management

With a Pinterest Business account, advertisers can promote their most popular pins or create brand new images or videos. You will then set up ads through Pinterest Ads Manager, and users will be able to see your ads in their home feed and specific search results.

Audience Targeting

Advertisers can target users’ demographics like age, location, and interests and serve various ads, which blend into the colorful platform.

Pinterest typically decides the type of ads to display to the user based on their historical activity. So let’s say I’ve been looking up inspiration for a new haircut or self-care tips, then it’s more likely that ads for beauty and wellness products would show up for me!

Advertising Model

​​Like Google and Microsoft Bing, or Facebook, Pinterest also uses a bidding model for ad placements. You will be bidding against your competitors on keywords and placements relevant to your niche.

Campaign Planning & Seasonality

​​Pinterest says that they usually see an increase in user search activity two to three months before the seasonal moment. The search activity surrounding a seasonal occasion (such as Thanksgiving or Christmas) begins even earlier than Google.
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This means that brands should be planning out their Pinterest Ads a few months in advance!

Here is Pinterest’s 2020 report on how to prepare for the Holidays early. It has excellent stats and consumer insights, as well as visual examples of effective creatives.

Types of Pinterest Advertising

Pinterest Ads are all visual-oriented, and different formats can help achieve your advertising goals. Pinterest’s current ad offerings include:
  • Standard Pin
  • Video
  • Shopping
  • Carousel
  • Collection
For all ads, they will appear in the format of a pin, which is a vertical or square format.

Advertisers can get creative and showcase great, branded visuals to capture people’s attention and tell a strong story.


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Standard pins are simple, static ads in a vertical format. They blend into a Home feed and search results. The only distinguishing factor is the caption saying “Promoted by ____.” Much like Facebook Ads that have a little “Sponsered” label in the news feed!


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Video pin ads are the same as Standard Pins but just animated! It is reported that there is a 53% increase in a user’s likelihood of purchasing a product after seeing a video.


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Brand advertisers can create a “Shop” tab on their accounts. Then, they upload their product catalogs and turn them into individual Pins. People can then see a variety of the products offerings when they’re browsing. Shopping pin ads are often used to promote the latest collection and other eCommerce products.

These pins are helpful because it can incorporate your product details, so users can tap on them to learn more, click through to your website, and even complete a purchase!


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Carousel ads are essentially Standard Pins, but users can swipe through multiple “cards” (images or videos) in one Pin. You are allowed 2 to 5 cards per Pin.

Each card can have its own title, description, and link. So you could have users go to 5 different links from one single Carousel ad.


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Collection Pins and ads show one main image above 3 smaller pictures. Pinterest designed this streamlined format to help retailers drive eCommerce sales.

It works like this: a user sees a primary video or image in their feed. Then when they click on it, they are taken to the collection: a little shop front where brands can showcase up to 25 products. It creates an enjoyable shopping experience for Pinterest users!

Pinterest Advertising Best Practices

Pinterest says that great Pins are:
  • Visually compelling
  • Tell a good story
  • Make people want to learn more
Here is a list of best practices for your Pinterest ads:

1. Vertical images will stand out. Keep a 2:3 aspect ratio (for example, 1000 x1500 pixels) to stand out.

2. Optimize copy for your pins. Show up for relevant searches with clear descriptions and titles.

3. Text Overlays go on your ad creative. Be sure to keep it short so it’s legible on mobile.

4. Your landing page should match whichever ad users click on. Ensuring relevancy is what creates a good user experience.

5. Video ads should hook audiences immediately in the first 2 seconds. Use a strong cover image so people can have one glance at your ad and know what it would be about.

6. For your video creative, show, don’t tell. Many users have audio turned off, so utilize visuals, overlayed text, or captions instead of audio and dialogue.

7. If your ads target different countries, you should create separate ads for each country and translate the text overlay and copy to the local language.

8. Use Pinterest analytics to track your ad performance (metrics such as impressions, saves, clicks). Be proactive: if any ads are underperforming–make optimizations!

9. You can find Pinterest’s most up-to-date, complete list of advertising specs here.

Pinterest Advertising Costs

Pinterest offers advertising with different campaign objectives. This includes brand awareness, video view, consideration, conversions, and catalog sales. Here is a glance at the ballpark prices for the most common objectives:
  • Brand awareness: $2.00-5.00 for 1000 impressions
  • Engagement: $0.10 – $1.50 per engagement
  • Traffic: $0.10 – $1.50 per click
As mentioned above, your ad costs will depend on how competitive your field is and may vary with Pinterest’s bidding model.

Here’s an example: your company is a new food prep subscription box, and you want to run a brand awareness campaign. With HelloFresh, GoodFood out there, it’s probably going to be a tight competition! So, instead of the minimum of $2, you can expect to be spending $5 or more.

If you’re interested in exploring Pinterest ads for your brand, connect with us today! Plus, you’re in luck; we are currently running a great incentive program.

For a limited time only:

pinterest advertising war room promotion 2021

Spend $2,500 in Pinterest Advertising and get $1,000 credit for the next month!

This incentive program is available to:
  • Any new advertiser who wants to launch on Pinterest for the first time.
  • Any advertisers who:
    • are not currently spending on Pinterest;
    • have not spent on Pinterest in the previous quarter (April – June).

War Room will be your digital advertising partner! We specialize in hyper-targeted, programmatic advertising. We’ll create a customized strategy and execute ad campaigns with your business goals in mind.

Check out our Case Studies or What We Do to get a better sense of our expertise.

There is limited availability for this incentive, so if this is something you’d be interested in, fill out the form below and mention you’re interested in our exclusive Pinterest offer!
Drive Results with Strategic & Effective Pinterest Ads

Say hello to customized advertising strategies that convert.
Get in touch with our digital ad experts today!

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