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Advertising on Pinterest: Tips and Tricks for Success

Taking advantage of Pinterest's powerful visual platform is a smart move for your business. As users scroll and seek inspiration, you can put your brand at the forefront of their minds. In this guide, we'll give you everything you need to know about forming a dynamic and successful Pinterest campaign.

Advertising on Pinterest

Pinterest launched as a genius and innovative tool for creating an online idea board. Filled with recipes, DIY projects, and outfit ideas, it soon became the place to be to get inspired. The visually centered social media app quickly took its place as the go-to tool to swap ideas with friends.

Since its launch in 2009, Pinterest has grown considerably. It has become a household name and a pop culture icon. It has inspired countless household projects and decor trends. Popular recipes on the site have gone viral and launched food bloggers to fame.

It has even encouraged other social media apps to develop tools that allow users to save and organize posts and ideas. 

Pinterest originally came onto the scene in tech-rich San Francisco by pioneers Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp. The three were looking to share photos and videos and serve a unique need within the social media scene. They saw the site as a “catalog of ideas”, encouraging users to take action.

The addictiveness of Pinterest scrolling helped it grow rapidly. By the end of 2011, users were popping onto the site like crazy. We’re talking eleven million visits a week crazy!

Now a publicly-traded social media powerhouse, Pinterest dominates much of the scene. It’s now worth nearly $4 billion, and its popularity doesn’t seem to be waning anytime soon.

So what does this mean for you as a marketer? Can you use Pinterest to benefit your brand? The answer is, yes, big time. 

Taking advantage of this powerful platform can be a smart move. As users scroll and seek inspiration, you can put your brand at the forefront of their brains. 

This guide will cover everything you need to know to form a dynamic and successful Pinterest campaign. We’ll discuss the best practices for designing ads and how you can use Pinterest to reach your marketing goals. 

Why Pinterest is So Special For Advertising

Pinterest started as a super unique concept, and that’s what made it so great. The ingenuity is also what has made the platform so successful.

Pinterest is a way for users to save, or pin, their ideas. The ability to create countless online idea boards allows these ideas to be organized. Creating a board for “The Kid’s Room” and “Crockpot Recipes” allows you to easily locate that DIY children’s desk or the latest chili recipe.

This format also allows you to easily hop back on to be inspired. Say you’re looking for holiday decorating ideas. All you need to do is search for “Christmas Decor” and countless stunning examples appear before you. Then, you simply pin your faves to your own board for future reference. 

That’s what makes Pinterest usership so steady and consistent. Many of those who use the site depend on their pins to look back on for reference, prompting them to return to their boards again and again. 

Many users are saving projects and decor ideas in their virtual filing cabinets for future use. They are also using Pinterest as somewhat of an online recipe box, categorizing their favorite recipes or those that they can’t wait to try by meal-type and cuisine.

As a brand, your Pinterest presence lets you tap into this. Your product and ideas can inspire these users and create a need for your product. 

Present Day Pinterest

Tips and Tricks for Advertising on Pinterest

Compared to many other social media platforms, Pinterest has remained relatively consistent since its launch. However, it has also managed to grow and stay super relevant. 

Pinterest has 88 million monthly active users in the US. The site also boasts 247 million more monthly active users throughout the rest of the world. That’s a vast audience to expose your brand to!

Not only is this a large audience, but a high-income one as well! A staggering 41% of Pinterest users earn over $75,000 a year. That’s likely a lot of expendable income your brand could be tapping into!

Not only that, but there are also at least two million Pinterest users saving shopping specific pins every single day. That means that making sure your brand is on Pinterest gives you the opportunity to make it on to all of those virtual shopping lists! 

The trick to successful Pinterest advertising is a well-crafted campaign. It helps to understand the site and the behaviors of its users. Getting to know Pinterest will help you better create your advertising. 

Types of Pinterest Ad Formats

Your objective will help you determine the best format of ads to use. Familiarizing yourself with these formats will also help you create more engaging and eye-catching ads in no time.

Standard Ads - Promoted Pins

Tips for Advertising on Pinterest

This is exactly what it sounds like; a standard pin used to promote your brand. These are great to create brand awareness and encourage consideration. 

Tips and Tricks: Keep your ad clean and to the point. Include your logo and a great caption. Make sure those scrolling by can get a memorable impression of your brand, and quickly too. 

Shopping Ads - Buyable Pins

These are perfect for increasing sales and web visits. These are also simple to make. Your brand’s pinned products can easily be converted into ads.

Tips and Tricks: This is your chance to create a need for buyers and secure the sale. Try to work in a unique benefit of your brand and instill a desire for it. 

Video Ads - Promoted Pins

Sometimes you want to share more about your brand than you can with a still image. Video ads can also be more engaging. 

Tips and Tricks: There’s nothing forcing scrollers to stop for your video ad. Get to the point. You want to get your message across in the first few seconds to capture your viewer’s attention. Remember, the volume might be muted, so use strong visuals and captions to tell your story. 

Are you releasing a new product line? Maybe your restaurant just launched a new, seasonal menu. A carousel ad is a great way to show off multiple images in one place. These allow viewers to scroll left and right through your pics to check out what you’re offering. 

Tips and Tricks: Create a common theme with your ad images to keep it cohesive. You can mix up the photos and colors but try to keep one unifying factor throughout. A steller color scheme or consistent font can create an engaging but polished carousel ad. 

Collection Ads - Interactive Shopping

Collection ads are like a mini version of your website, all packaged in a tiny Pinterest ad. Think of it as a little virtual catalog. These allow you to display your brand as well as some of your products in one place.

Tips and Tricks: These ads can get busy and quick. For a look that’s pleasing to scrollers’ eyes, use a catchy, lifestyle photo as your main image. Then, for product images, use a similar scale and sizing for an organized look.

Creating An Amazing Pinterest Advertising Campaign

Creating an Amazing Pinterest Ad Campaign

What’s so great about creating a Pinterest ad campaign is that it can be super quick and easy to launch. You can simply promote your product pins to get a quick burst of exposure. 

The trick to an efficient campaign is based around an awesome Pinterest presence. Ensuring your brand is well established and has great pins will go a long way in making your campaign successful.

A little planning and strategic decision making can also help. By knowing your goals and objectives, you can target your audience better. With a thoughtful design plan, you can create stunning ads that are eye-catching and represent your brand. 

Narrow Your Advertising Objectives

The first thing you need to decide when beginning your campaign is your objective. Not only will this allow you to decide what kinds of ads to use, but it will also drive your budget and pricing model. 

Ask yourself, what are your current and ultimate goals for your brand, and what do you want to get out of your ads?

Are you a new brand looking to expand awareness? Maybe you are looking to increase your customer base. With a huge number of users, Pinterest is a great place to grow your audience.

Many brands are looking for a new strategy to increase sales. Pinterest ads can help drive traffic and purchases on your website as well as your physical locations.

Map out your objectives and make sure they are measurable. Are you looking to gauge engagement? Set a percentage increase for your goal. This will help you analyze the effectiveness of your campaign and allow you to adjust accordingly.

Decide on Your Ad Cost Strategy

Coming up with a social media advertising budget can be overwhelming. There are a ton of options out there, and deciding where and how to divide your precious funds can be mind-boggling.

The good news is, Pinterest is a super cost-efficient option. For just a few bucks a day and little time commitment, you can get your campaign rolling. 

Use Pinterest’s tools to set your budget and forget it. Easily decide your daily max spend and the number of days you want the ad to roll for.

With a fair pricing strategy, you only pay for the results you get. With your objective in mind, decide if your goal is engagement, click-throughs, or simply views. 

You’ll only pay for the times that a user actually takes this desired action. This gives you the greatest bang for your buck and a results-driven campaign.

Define Your Target Audience for Your Ads

With 416 million users and growing, Pinterest allows you to tap into a diverse worldwide audience. However, it’s wise to narrow this down a bit to define your target audience.

Who are you trying to reach? Fortunately, Pinterest has some pretty intuitive tools to make it easy to hone in on the best audience for your brand.

Getting your ads in front of the right eyes is half the battle. You need to reach the users most likely to use your product. By targeting people with interests that align with your brand, you’re more likely to do so. Fortunately, Pinterest has valuable data that makes this entirely possible.

What about the age and gender of those likely to use your product? Many items are specific to these demographics, and marketing to the wrong group can be a total wasted effort. Narrow your audience to the age group and gender most likely to use your brand.

Are you trying to drive traffic to a physical location? Location targeting can be one of your best tools. Utilizing this allows you to reach nearby consumers and draw them in. 

Fortunately, you can also take the guesswork out of your targeting decisions if you wish. With an automatic targeting option, Pinterest will choose your audience for you. Using the details and components from your pin, they will select which users will most likely interact with it.

Create Your Brand’s Voice

The goal is to create an online personality for your brand. You want consumers to identify with you and create a purchasing relationship. Speaking to them on a personal level can help create that bond.

Your target audience can also help you develop this voice. Think of the defining features of the demographics that you are trying to reach. 

Let’s take this ad for example. Upper-middle-class families are one of the most targeted demographics. Getting a market share of this group can be a gold mine for your brand.

The trick is to speak to them and the things that are important to them. Family is one of these. This ad for Honda shows its reliable vehicle in a peaceful natural scene. 

The simple caption “Memories made.” is a subtle way to let these families know that driving a Pilot can improve their overall lives. Any time you can appeal to the emotions of your target market can pay off big time.

How to Advertise on Pinterest

It’s no secret that many of Pinterest’s devoted users are women. In fact, females make up a staggering 76 percent of the site’s users. If your target market includes women, your Pinterest ads could be a huge opportunity. 

It’s important to speak to women about the things that are important to them. Make sure to show them why they need your brand. 

Check out this ad for IT cosmetics. Against a backdrop of soft, feminine colors, they clearly state the benefits of their moisturizer. 

Help with Pinterest ads

Whatever you decide about your brand’s voice, it’s essential to be authentic and cohesive. Customers should feel like they know your brand, whether interacting with your website, your Pinterest ads, or with any of your other marketing channels. 

For example, here’s the website for Rothy’s shoes:


Now take a look at their Pinterest ads:


Yeah, they are all different. But they all just feel like they go together. This is a feeling that speaks to consumers.

Similar themes and components make your brand feel consistent, reliable, and trustworthy. And customers love to engage with brands that they trust.

Consider Search Terms When Advertising on Pinterest

When users hop on to Pinterest, they love browsing through pins. However, many get on to look for inspiration for their next project, meal, or idea. 

This prompts them to the search bar where they can see thousands of pins related to exactly what they are looking for. As an advertiser, you can make these habits work for you. 

Your caption and title are some of the most important parts of your ads. Not only are these chances to get your message across, but they are an opportunity to situate your ad to pop up in users’ search results. 

Your title should include words that users are likely to search for. Check out this title:


Solo Stove knows that Pinterest is a popular hangout for those wanting to enhance their outdoor living spaces. When those DIYers search for “fire pit” ideas, they will likely encounter this ad. This creates an ideal placement, putting the ad directly in front of someone likely to be interested in the product.

Descriptions are another good way to end up in search results and grab additional views. When your descriptions appeal to users, they are more likely to pin your idea or product to their boards. Then, your ad shows up organically on the news feeds of their friends. 

Check out this well-crafted description on an ad from Ruggable. 

Pinterest Ad description

It touches on so many buzz words to make it uber-successful and give it exponential reach. By including the phrase “virtual and home-based education”, they are likely to reach parents that didn’t even realize they were shopping for a new rug. Throwing in “machine-washable rugs” touts one the biggest benefits and helps the ad reach shoppers looking for this exact feature. 

Take a few minutes to check out the search terms that are related to your product. Say you’re selling wine, what other words could you include in your captions to get yourself more views?

Check out the search terms when advertising on Pinterest

A well-crafted caption and description can win you some significant views. A good strategy can also help your ad place higher in search results, making it much more effective.

Engage with Existing Customers to Improve Your Pinterest Advertising Campaign

Sometimes even the most loyal customers need a reminder to engage with your brand. One of the greatest benefits of using Pinterest ads is the ability to target your current customer base. 

It often takes a new customer several exposures to make the leap and complete a purchase. With Pinterest, you can target those that have visited your website and engaged with your Pinterest page in the past, reminding them to return.

You can also target past purchasers by uploading your customer list. This strategy can keep your brand at the forefront of the minds of past buyers. 

Your current customers can tell you a lot about potential future customers. Using the Actalike tool, you can utilize Pinterest’s data to target an audience with similar characteristics to your current customers. 

Keep it Visual in Your Pinterest Ad

In a world where scrollers are looking for visual inspiration, it’s essential that your posts be super visual. Many users may have their devices on mute as they interact with the app, so make sure you can get your message across, even without sound.

This ad from Whole Foods is a great example. It includes a ton of information, right in the graphic. However, it’s clean, organized, and to the point, allowing them to get a lot of product info into the eyes of users.

Make sure to keep your Pinterest ads visual

Even with video ads, it’s essential to communicate your message visually. 

Use compelling images when advertising on Pinterest

The above video ad can share all of the intended message, sound or not. The entire recipe and all of its steps are clearly displayed. With Pinterest ads, text overlay is your best friend.

Measure Your Pinterest Ad Results

One of the greatest things about Pinterest, and many social media marketing campaigns for that matter, is being able to analyze your results. 

The data that you can receive is super helpful in managing and adjusting your marketing strategy. You will be able to see how well each of your pins is performing, giving you the insight to what works great for your brand and what doesn’t do as well.

When you can see which of your pins are doing well, you can instantly promote them to transform them into ads. This valuable tool saves you tons of time as you can expose your basic pins as an ad to a wider audience in just minutes.

Utilizing the Power of Pinterest For Your Ads Campaign

tips for advertising on Pinterest

Pinterest can be a powerful tool to add to your marketing arsenal. The platform’s reach is far and wide, allowing you to tap into a seemingly endless audience. 

Dynamic, visually appealing ads can earn you some great engagement. Using Pinterest’s wealth of user data allows you to target the users that are most likely to interact with your brand. Your presence on Pinterest can give your brand the personified voice that can appeal to so many consumers.

The trick is to make your brand stand out from the sea of recipes, DIY projects, and decorating ideas. Attract scrollers to your brand and show them why they need it in their lives. With a carefully crafted campaign, the power of Pinterest can skyrocket your marketing success.

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