How to Advertise on Pinterest?

Welcome to Pinterest, a platform that attracts a staggering 498 million people every month, all seeking inspiration and ideas through a rich variety of visual content, from professional photographs to raw digital illustrations to well-produced animations. Unleash your creative potential by crafting visually stunning ads that can captivate this massive audience.  


This comprehensive guide is all you need to harness Pinterest's ever-expanding advertising potential. We will guide you through the entire ad creation process, introduce you to the various types of ads you can run, and share the best practices for managing your ads. We'll also reveal our strategy for driving high-value traffic through optimized creatives.


Pinterest vs. Other Advertising Platforms


Often hailed as a visual discovery engine, Pinterest offers a unique experience that sets it apart from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It's not about status updates, selfies, or fleeting moments. Pinterest is a realm of 'pins' – images or videos that users save and organize on virtual pinboards based on their interests. Let's delve into its distinct qualities.


  • Purpose: While platforms like Facebook and Twitter prioritize social connections and real-time updates, Pinterest is a digital hub for inspiration, creativity, and idea exploration. Users flock to Pinterest not only to connect with others but also to discover new interests, plan events, and find solutions to their problems.


  • Nature: Unlike text-heavy platforms, Pinterest is visual-centric. This means it relies heavily on stunning images and videos to capture the attention of its users. Whether it's home decor ideas, fashion inspiration, DIY projects, or recipe collections, Pinterest offers a visual feast for the eyes, making it an ideal platform for those seeking creative inspiration.


  • Functionality: Pinterest is powered by a robust search algorithm designed to help users discover content tailored to their interests. By leveraging keywords and visual recognition technology, Pinterest delivers personalized recommendations and suggestions, ensuring your content reaches the right audience at the right time. 


  • Value: Pinterest's emphasis on evergreen content sets it apart from the ephemeral nature of other social media platforms. While posts on platforms like Instagram and Twitter quickly fade into obscurity, pins on Pinterest have a longer lifespan, continuing to surface in users' feeds and search results months or even years after they were initially saved.


  • Cost: The average cost to reach 1,000 people with your ads on Pinterest is $5. This is significantly cheaper than Facebook's $14.40 average cost per mile (CPM), TikTok's $10, or Instagram's $6.70. While the click-through rate may be lower, the ease of reaching a large audience at a lower cost is an undeniable advantage of advertising on Pinterest.  


Types of Ads to Run on Pinterest


With its visually driven interface and highly engaged user base, Pinterest offers brands a unique environment for showcasing their products and services creatively and compellingly. Here are the different types of ads you can run on Pinterest.


  • Standard: Shows products in a simple vertical or square image.


  • Video: An ad that can appear among other pins or while users scroll on their mobile device. These can be a standard video or one that takes up the entire screen when playing. You can reserve a premium ad placement through Pinterest Spotlight for better visibility. It's a program that allows advertisers to promote their products in max-width video ads that will show up on the second page of the home feed and the search page carousel for an entire day.


  • Idea: This is a video pin consisting of multiple images and videos stitched together to tell a story. You can create and publish it yourself or sponsor a creator. What's best about this ad is you can anchor a link to your website or landing page.


  • Carousel: Instead of posting multiple images of one product separately, you can stitch them together into a single pin that users can swipe through. 


  • Collection: This is a collection of pins presented in two layers. One layer showcases one pin called a hero asset, and another layer showcases the other three pins called secondary assets. This ad appears in the mobile feed.


  • Shopping: This ad consists of a single image used to target Pinterest users with similar interests. It can also appear similar to a collection ad with one large lifestyle image or video and three supporting images.


  • Showcase: You can showcase your products in a story laid through multiple cards with explorable features. Users can tap and swipe through these cards to view their content. You can even link your website.


  • Quiz: Invest in a quiz ad to drive maximum engagement and establish a connection with your audience. This ad appears as a question about the user's personal choices. When you receive an answer, you can provide the user with recommendations that ultimately lead to your brand or product. 


How to Set Up Pinterest Ads


Ready to harness Pinterest's full potential for reaching and engaging your target audience? Here's a simple guide to setting up Pinterest ads, including tips based on experience to help you navigate any challenges smoothly.


Step 1: Switch to a business account.


Only business accounts can run ads on Pinterest. Log in and click the "Home feed" in the top left corner to check if you're using a business account. You'll see several functions, including "Shortcuts," "Create," and "Analytics."


A business account will have columns for "Ads" and "Business," so if you don't see them, it means your account is still the standard one. To switch to a business account, go to your profile in the top right corner and click "Settings."


Select "Account Management" from the menu on the left and look for the "Convert Account" button. Click that button to convert your account to a business account. 


There's not much difference between a personal and business account, except for the accessibility of the ad-creation features, so there's no reason for you not to switch. It's also free and doesn't require a monthly subscription.


Step 2: Install Pixel into your website.


You'd want to track the performance of your ads to know which ones to spend more money on. One way to do this is to install a pixel on your website. A pixel is a code you add to your website's program to track events, such as sales and leads, generated by your Pinterest ads.   


To set up your Pixel, go back to the home feed, and under "Business," select "Conversions." Then, select "Tag Manager." Scroll down until you see "Use an integration partner." This option allows you to integrate your Pinterest account with your website. Click "Get started" to view the content management systems (CMS) that Pinterest can integrate with.


Select a supported CMS and activate it for integration on your website. The process varies depending on your CMS, so research what it requires for integration and follow the procedure. To complete the integration, you'll need to add Pinterest as a sales channel. 


The next step is to add the Pinterest Tag Helper to your Google Chrome. This extension lets you check if your Pixel is working. You can find it in the Chrome Web Store. 


Another way to check if your page tag has been set up correctly is via "Test events" on your Pinterest account. Just enter your website's URL and click "Launch." Wait a few seconds and return to the "Test events" page. You should see a record of the action you've just taken there. If nothing shows up, the page tag isn't firing and must be reinstalled. 


Step 3: Create ads. 


Click the home feed again, and under "Ads," click "Create." You will see three options: Create a Campaign, Promote a Pin, and Bulk Editor. Choose "Create a Campaign" since you want to run ads. Pinterest will give you two options for running your ads: Automated Campaign or Manual Campaign.


If you choose "Automated Campaign," you'll let Pinterest set up your ad campaigns. The downside is that you'll have less control over your targeting and might not get accurate data to inform your choice of ads to continue or discontinue. 


For best results, we recommend manual ad creation. The setup takes longer, but it's guaranteed to offer precision targeting, which enables you to make the most of your ad budget. It's not even that long. Manual ad creation only takes 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how big your ad groups are and what variables you'd like to include.


After clicking "Manual Campaign," you'll be taken to the "Campaign details" page, which you must complete to set up your ad campaigns. First, choose an objective. You have three options: build awareness, drive consideration, and get conversions. 


Tip: Opt for "Get conversions" or "Catalog Sales" as your ad campaign's objective, as it offers a triple benefit, streamlining your efforts and maximizing results in one fell swoop. After all, conversions or sales only happen when customers become aware of your brand and consider trusting it. Plus, the ultimate goal of every business is to see a significant return on investment (ROI).


Next, add a campaign name and status. A rule of thumb is to use a name that describes your objective, scope, and target audience. This can be particularly helpful when you start building more ad groups because it prevents confusion and helps with tracking. As for status, select "Active" since you're planning to run the ad after setup.


When setting a budget for your ad campaign, Pinterest will let you choose between "Lifetime" and "Daily." A lifetime budget means you let Pinterest decide when to spend the funds you've deposited and for how long. Conversely, a daily budget means you choose how much to spend each day.


Tip: Because Pinterest ads are cheap, you can set a daily budget of as low as $3. But if you decide to start your ad spend that low, opt for a daily budget instead of a lifetime budget, especially if you want to spread it out throughout the day or across all available channels.


For your campaign schedule, choose between running ads continuously or on specific days. Running your ads continuously is ideal if you're testing campaigns and need uninterrupted data flow into your tracking system. This allows you to make changes to your ad campaigns in real time.


Conversely, running your ads on specific days is ideal if you're looking to sell seasonally or within a predetermined period. Set a start and end date based on the duration for which you can profit the most.


Click "Continue" to move to the "Ad group details" page. This is where you will set up the ad groups under the campaign you've created. Unlike on other platforms, ad setup on Pinterest is done one layer at a time, starting with the ad campaign, followed by the ad groups, and finishing with the individual ads. 


This structure allows you to create various combinations that yield different results. For instance, under the same campaign, you can create an ad group targeting keywords and another targeting specific audiences. You can create as many ad groups in a single campaign as you deem fit.


Choose one of Pinterest's three targeting strategies after adding a name for your ad group. All these strategies will require you to create an audience list: 


  • Reconnect with users: This allows you to target Pinterest users who are already interacting with your brand, such as those who visited your website, reacted to or viewed your pins, or are included in your customer list. In short: remarketing.  


  • Find new customers: If you choose this targeting method, Pinterest will use your sales data to look for people who act like those who have already purchased from you. This is ideal if you have rich sales data.


  • Choose your own: This is Pinterest's most commonly used targeting strategy. In this ad setup, you can narrow your target audience by demographics, interests, keywords, placement, and tracking. 


A gage will appear at the top right, showing you the possible size of audience your ads can reach. Your goal is to ensure your ad configuration allows you to get halfway through the spectrum—that's the ideal. If it's too narrow or too vague, adjust your settings until it balances out.


Duplicate the ad group and change the clone's targeting to either audience or keyword, whichever you haven't used yet. You can create a third one targeting your audience and specific keywords for more variety. The more up groups you run, the more data you can collect, and the more accurate the insights you'll get from your Pixel.


For placement and tracking, you have three options:


  • Browse: Target people who browse through the Pinterest feed.
  • Search: Target people who perform relevant searches.
  • Both: Target people who browse and search.


You will also be asked to choose a specific conversion event to track. Your choices will depend on the events you've set up your Pixel to track earlier—checkout, add to cart, sales, etc.


As for bidding, you can either automate or customize, depending on your budget and how long you want your ads to run. Automating bidding is ideal for beginners, as it gives them an idea of their costs.


Finally, you'll be asked where you want to anchor your ads. You have three options:


  • Select Pins: Choose any of the pins in your profile or the pins from your partner creator.
  • Create a Pin: Upload a new pin relevant to your ads.
  • Create an Idea Pin: Stitch multiple images and videos together to tell a story.    


Ideal Creatives for Pinterest Ads


Here comes the challenging part—creating or choosing pins to turn into ads. Unfortunately, not all ad creatives work on Pinterest. Only those that meet specific criteria lead to conversions. 


First, your ad creatives must follow Pinterest's required size:


Ad Types

Aspect Ratio / Resolution


Standard ads

2:3 / (1000 x 1500 pixels)


Standard video ads

1:1, 2:3, 4:5, or 9:16


Max-width video ads

1:1 or 16:9


Idea pin ads



Carousel pin ads

1:1 or 2:3


Shopping pin ads



Collection pin ads (static images)

1:1 or 2:3


Collection pin ads (video)

1:1, 2:3, or 9:16



Then, you need to ask yourself the following questions when conceptualizing your ad creatives:


  • Does your pin have a hook? Will viewers stop scrolling to watch your entire video?
  • Is your pin's description optimized? Does it naturally mention all relevant keywords? Does it answer all possible questions viewers may ask?
  • Is your video longer than 15 seconds? The general rule is to keep the video between 6 and 15 seconds. It's okay to go beyond that, but make sure your scroll stopper is within the first 6 seconds.
  • Does your pin offer value to the viewers? Is it interesting and valuable enough for them to save for future use?
  • Is it optimized for sound-off viewing? Unlike TikTok or YouTube, Pinterest viewers don't usually turn their sound on. Create pins that work even when on mute.
  • Does your pin have text overlays? Text overlays are a proven effective attention grabber. 
  • Does your pin look organic? Ads anchored on organic content are more likely to get clicked.
  • Did you use bright or unique colors in your pin? The idea is to make your ad pop, not blend with its surrounding pins.
  • Does your pin include a person? Is their face shot up close? Images or videos with human faces attract more views than those with only text or inanimate objects.
  • Is your text overlay an exciting call to action? You only have limited space and time in your video. Make the most of it by using a powerful CTA for the text.
  • Does your pin include lifestyle images? Viewers prefer images that show how your products are used.


These guide questions can help you create high-quality and compelling Pinterest ads. These creatives can also double as standard pins that drive organic traffic to your website should you decide to not use them for your ads.


Once your ads start running, wait 24 to 48 hours for data to come in. Then, analyze the data to determine which ads or ad groups are working and which don’t. Duplicate successful ads and deactivate the ineffective ones. Keep an eye on trends, policy changes, and other factors that can impact ad effectiveness.


Advertise Your Brand on Pinterest Today!


 Pinterest is the third largest search engine, next to Google and YouTube. People visit this platform not to watch videos and be entertained like they do on TikTok or Instagram. They visit because they want to search for images or videos they can use as inspiration for their projects. 


Running ads with pins your target audience searches for will bring steady traffic to your website. Combine the power of pay-per-click and organic marketing to achieve the most reach and following. Increase your click-through rate by creating pins that offer value to viewers.