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Pinterest Advertising 101

Find out how you can leverage advertising on Pinterest.

Pinterest Ads are great for getting your products and content in front of more people as they search, browse, and discover on Pinterest. With 400+ million monthly users worldwide and growing audiences that trust Pinterest as an important driver in their buying behavior, this platform bears full marketing potential for your brand.

Trust us when we say that Pinterest ads are worth the investment.

  • What is Pinterest?
  • Who Uses Pinterest?
  • Types of Pinterest Ad Formats
  • Tips For Creating Awesome Pinterest Ads
  • Getting Started With Pinterest Ads [Step-by-Step]

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share and discover new interests by posting (known as “pinning”) images or videos. It is generally a visual discovery engine that largely focuses on the concept of a person’s lifestyle — such as event planning, wellness, fashion, and home decor — allowing users to share their tastes and interests with others and discovering those of like-minded people.

Pinterest home page screenshot

With billions of Pins on this platform, you'll always find ideas to spark inspiration. When people discover Pins that they love or relate to, they can save them to customizable boards as a way of organizing their ideas.

As with most other social networks, users can perform standard social networking functions such as following the boards of their friends, liking and commenting on other users’ Pins, re-Pinning content to their boards, sharing others’ Pins on social media platforms, via email, and linking individual Pins on websites or blogs.

Advertising on Pinterest

Pinterest functions very differently compared to other social platforms. Specifically, many people don’t use it for broadcasting content to their followers. Instead, they use it to save valuable ideas, products, and content for a later time. Since many consumers save products to go back and purchase them later, Pinterest is the perfect tool for businesses selling products or content. 

Another major difference between Pinterest and other social networks is the way that content is easily accessible for everyone. Users can easily view your pins by directly visiting your profile or by searching for relevant keywords and categories related to your content, making Pinterest a powerful platform for organic content

The best thing about Pinterest Ads is that when a user saves a Promoted Pin, other people will see it in their feed as well! This will organically encourage increased engagement and drive additional sales for your brand. 

You may counter that paid ad campaigns end. Well, that may be true but you also have to note that the Pins themselves last forever — meaning, your ads will never stop appearing in front of users.

Who Uses Pinterest?

Pinterest is one of the best social platforms to use if you want to put your brand out in the know, produce great content for your brand, and/or reach a new audience altogether. Knowing who uses Pinterest is synonymous with understanding who your potential audience is and how to create effective campaigns for them.

📌 User Demographics

94% of social media marketers are using Pinterest mainly because there are about 144.5 million users that can be reached with ads on Pinterest!

🚻 Gender Demographics

Pinterest users based in the United States are 77% females and 14% are males, and the rest are gender-unspecified. There isn’t currently a more detailed breakdown than “males vs. females” as the data presented is in the gender binary.

🗺️ Location Demographics

Pinterest is widely accessible from different countries and territories — proven true with more than 50% of its users living outside the US!

🕰️ Age Demographics

A detailed breakdown of Pinterest users from the US:

  • 34% are 18-29 years old
  • 35% are 30-49 years old
  • 27% are 50-64 years old
  • 15% are 65+ years old

Types of Pinterest Ad Formats

Standard Pins

Standard Pins are one of the most popular types of ads on Pinterest. The Standard Pin format allows you to showcase products and content in simple vertical or square image or video formats. 

Pinterest Pin example

Once a user saves a Standard Pin ad to a board, the “Promoted by” label disappears. It appears no less than a native experience — or ads that don’t feel like ads. As more people save, your brand gains more exposure at no extra cost!

Technical requirements:

  • File type: .PNG or .JPEG
  • Ideal aspect ratio: 2:3
  • File size: Max 10 MB

Carousel Ads 

Carousel ads are similar to Standard Pins, except they allow users to swipe through multiple images or videos (known as “cards”) in a single Pin. Carousel ads allow you to add 2 to 5 cards. Each card has its title, description, and link. You could potentially link to 5 different URLs from one Carousel.

Technical requirements:


  • Image count: 2-5 images per Pinterest Carousel
  • File type: PNG or JPEG
  • Max file size: 32 MB per image
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1 or 2:3

Character count

  • Title: Up to 100 characters. The first 30-35 characters will show in people’s feeds.
  • Description: Up to 500 characters. The first 50-60 characters are most important.

Video Pins Ads 

Video Pins ads are a great way to share stronger stories with your audience about your brand or your product, and they’re also great for increasing viewer retention!

Example of Video Pin ad

☝️ Pro Tip: Always optimize your Video Pin ads for silent viewing. Many users watch videos with the sound off, so using text overlays is a great way to keep every viewer engaged!

Technical requirements:


  • File type: .mp4, .mov or .m4v
  • Encoding: H.264 or H.265
  • Max file size: Up to 2GB
  • Video length: Minimum 4 seconds, maximum of 15 minutes
  • Aspect ratio: Shorter than 1:2 (width:height), taller than 1.91:1
  • TIP: Pinterest recommends making your videos square (1:1) or vertical (2:3, 9:16).

Character count

  • Title: Up to 100 characters. The first 30-35 characters will show in people’s feeds.
  • Description: Up to 500 characters. The first 50-60 characters are most important.

Shopping Pins 

Pinterest’s Shopping Pins allow you to upload products from your catalog and turn them into Pins that work to reach people when they’re deciding what to buy. They can also be valuable for your brand as these can be loaded up with product details, and they’re marked with indicators that users can easily tap to see more product information.

Pinterest shopping ad example

App Install Pins

App Install Pins are action-oriented ads you can use to drive app downloads for your brand. These Pins link to any Apple Store or Google Play app URL. Whenever someone clicks on an App Pin, they can download the linked app without even having to leave Pinterest!

Tips For Creating Awesome Pinterest Ads

Ad creative best practices

The best and most effective Pinterest ads:

  • Tell a good story;
  • Make people want to learn more;
  • Are visually compelling.

Here’s some best practices and tips we've come across for how to make the most of your ads:

For Pins

  • Pick eye-catching yet high-quality, vertical images.
  • Make your brand the focal point. Choose obvious over cheeky.   
  • Provide context about your product through the description. Visualize value you're providing.
  • Include your logo in a subtle way by placing it on the lower right corner of the image.
  • Add text overlay to tell a better story (and encourage users to click on the Pin Ad). 

For Videos

  • Start strong and make your content actionable. Make people want to try something new.
  • Tailor the length based on your goals. (Aim for 6-15 seconds for promoted videos.)
  • Don’t rely on audio. Most people browse through their feeds with the sound off, so captions are your friend.
  • Pick a strong cover image to easily catch your target audience’s attention.
  • Optimize your Pin copy by creating clear titles, descriptions, and hashtags.

Getting Started With Pinterest Ads [Step-by-Step]

Through the Pinterest Ads Manager, you can create, edit, and manage your Pinterest campaigns. You’ll find step-by-step instructions below for setting up campaigns in Ads Manager, along with some tips and tricks.

Step 1: Get a business account

Convert your existing Pinterest account to a business account, or create a new account for your business.

Step 2: Install the Pinterest Tag

Make sure that you have installed the Pinterest Tag (akin to a Pixel) before starting a Pinterest ad campaign. With this installed, you will be able to track the actions that users take on your website after seeing your Pinterest ads including checkouts, sign-ups, and searches!

Step 3: Choose a campaign objective

Each campaign starts with an objective. Choosing the right goal is important because it will determine what ad formats are available and how you bid in the ad auction.

Campaign objective Pinterest screenshot

There are 3 main campaign objectives on Pinterest:

  • Get traffic to your website: Earn high-quality leads and send Pinners to your website. You will pay per click.
  • Build brand awareness: Gain broad exposure with current and prospective customers. You will be charged per 1,000 impressions.
  • Get conversions: Drive people to your website to take a certain action, such as making a purchase. 

Step 4: Choose your campaign budget

Add your campaign name, and then set your daily and lifetime spend limit. Select lifetime if you want Pinterest to use your budget evenly over the dates you’ve selected, and automatically adjust budgets based on how much there is left to deliver. Select daily if you have a specific amount you want to spend each day.

Step 5: Create an ad group

Choose a pre-existing ad group or create a new one. Think of an ad group as a container for your Promoted Pins. It gives you more control over your campaign budgets, running dates, and targeting.

Step 6: Choose your target audience

Targeting helps you reach the people on Pinterest who are most likely to show an active interest in your ads. You can target audiences based on gender, location, language, and device. You can also use any of these targeting options on their own, or combine multiple targeting approaches altogether.

Step 7: Select ad placement

If your budget permits, go with all placements default. Otherwise, there are two primary avenues for your ads to appear in: Browse and Search.

Step 8: Add interests and keywords

You can expand on your targeting by adding interest and keyword targeting. This setting will ensure that your ads are automatically targeted to relevant searches and interests.

☝️ Pro Tip: Use 25 keywords for the best results. Keywords can be formatted to indicate a broad match, phrase match, or an exact match. Negative keywords can also be added to exclude certain search terms from triggering ads.

Step 9: Set your budget and schedule

Enter the start and end date for your campaign, and then set your daily or lifetime budget. Your daily budget sets your daily spending limit for your ad group. The lifetime budget is the total amount you want to spend between your start and end date.

☝️ Pro Tip: Be careful because this cannot be edited later on!

Step 10: Tailor for optimization and delivery

Start by setting a maximum bid for your Pinterest Ads. Note that minimum bids must be above $2.00!

Step 11: Determine your pacing

There are two types of pacing options for your Pinterest ad campaign: Standard and Accelerated. Standard pacing aligns your bids with your overall spend and campaign duration. Accelerated pacing may be better for high impact campaigns because it enables faster delivery of your budget and results.

Step 12: Pick your Pin/s to promote

Click “Pick a Pin” to add Pins to your ad group. You have to note that each ad group should aim to include 2-4 Pins. You can either create new Pins or pick Pins that you’ve added before. Assign each Pin with a name and a URL.

Your chosen Pins must:

  • be saved to your profile
  • not be saved to secret boards
  • have destination URLs (do not shorten) and
  • not feature third-party videos or GIF

Step 13: Review and launch promotions

Take another peek to make sure your ads are ready to go. Click “Launch” when you’re ready to go live.  

Step 14: Set up your billing information

If it’s your first time creating a Promoted Pin, you’ll be asked to set up your billing info. If you don’t set up your billing information, the details of the Pin you started promoting won’t be saved.

Step 15: Monitor campaign performance

Click on Analytics from the Pinterest Ads Manager dashboard to measure the performance of your campaign. You just have to click on a specific campaign to drill down into its performance details.

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