Did you know Pinterest users spend twice as much shopping every month compared to non-Pinners?

Pinterest is a unique social platform. Its users — largely — go there to discover new products, and they respond well to ads. Pinterest offers a mix of free and paid advertising tools, and combining both can earn you 3x more conversions and twice the ROI on your ad spend, versus paid ads alone.

Plus, Pinterest has one of the lowest CPCs in social media advertising.

Sounds amazing, right? Buckle up as we dive into everything you need to know about Pinterest ads, from ad formats and specs to creative ad examples to inspire you.

What are the benefits of Pinterest advertising?

Users go to Pinterest to find new ideas and get inspired, as opposed to other social platforms, where you go to stalk your ex, see what’s new with your friends and waste your internet subscription.

Discovery is at the heart of Pinterest. Pinterest users want to discover new products, brands and projects. Pinterest ads naturally work into that because they don’t interrupt. They instead add to the sense of discovery.

Because Pinners are looking to shop, they’re more likely to interact with ads than on any other platform. Pinterest ads earn an average 2x higher return on ad spent with a 2.3x cheaper cost per conversion, compared to other social media platforms. That’s huge!

But, who are these Pinterest users, anyway?

Pinterest’s growth over the years is alarming. There are now 444 million active monthly users, up from approximately 250 million in 2019. That’s even more than the of the United States’ population. And, while there are many male and non-binary Pinners out there, over 44% of Pinterest’s advertising audience are women between 25-44 — an important demographic for many industries.

Facebook currently has over 2.8 billion monthly active users, so why would you want to advertise on Pinterest rather than Facebook?

Pinterest users are 7x more likely to say Pinterest is the most influential platform for buying decisions.

Pinterest’s quarterly advertising reach is growing at 6.2% compared to Facebook’s 2.2%.

45% of Americans with a household income of over $100,000 are Pinterest users.

Pinners are 66% more likely to give new brands a chance — and stay loyal.

The main purpose of Pinterest is to invite people to shop, this is why advertising on Pinterest is like running ads on a bus that only goes to the mall. Everyone on board is ready to shop. 

Pinterest has several ad formats and campaign types to help you get your brand in front of Pinners, so let’s dive into them.

Pinterest ad types

Idea Pins

Idea Pins (sometimes nicknamed story pins) are typically short how-to videos or demonstrations. They consists short video segments, or a series of up to 20 graphics, designed to draw Pinners in with immersive educational content.

Format-wise, they’re similar to Instagram Stories. They give you more ways to convert versus standard video or graphic Pins, such as:

User tagging

Interactive stickers and topic hashtags

Text and graphic overlays

Optional voiceovers

Option to add detail pages, such as a list of steps or materials needed

A “TikTok-ey” creation process right from your phone

Since Pinners are already wanting to learn new skills and discover brands on Pinterest, Idea Pins perfectly tie into that as a creative way to communicate step-by-step DIYs or tell a brand story. This engaging new format receives 9 times more comments than regular Pins. 

Right now, this is an organic-only format but Pinterest is currently testing sponsored Idea Pins in the United States and planning to rollout Idea Pin ads to everyone in late 2022.

Try on product pins

Try on product Pins, combine them with your content with augmented reality to create a virtual “fitting room” experience on Pinterest. Whoa.

Especially powerful for beauty and accessories brands, it allows users to see how a product will look on them by using their phone’s camera.

Though Try on Pins aren’t available in all countries yet, you’ll need a Pinterest Business account and an uploaded product catalog to get access to this feature. Additionally, creating a Try on Pin is currently only possible by working with a Pinterest account manager.

Fingers crossed, we’ll see this format become available for brands to use as ads in late 2022 as well. Right now, they’re only available by requesting it. However, if you run an e-commerce business, you should start thinking about these. 

Pinterest collection ads

Collection ads display to mobile users only, which is 82% of all users.

A collection ad consists of one large, featured video or image and 3 supporting images. If a user taps your ad, you can then show up to 24 supporting images on the ad detail page.

These types of ads are perfectly suited for e-commerce brands, especially in fashion, home decor and beauty segments. However, with the right creative strategy benefiting from it is open to anybody.

It’s especially powerful to combine video and product or lifestyle images. For example, use an editorial, lifestyle video for the featured asset and support that with product and detail shots for the secondary assets.

Another nice thing about Collection ads is that Pinterest can automatically get to create them for you, including choosing related products from your product catalog.

Pinterest carousel ads

You can tell when a post is a carousel by the small dots you’d find just underneath the image. Carousel ads look exactly like organic Pins but contain a group of images which users can swipe or allow transit organically like Instagram stories on mobile or desktop. 

Importantly, when a user saves it, the entire carousel saves to their board. You can have 2-5 images per carousel ad. With Pinterest carousel ads get a new definition. You get to show different angles of the same item, or show related accessories or items, or lifestyle shots of the product in use.

Promoted Pins

These are the simplest type of ads to run on Pinterest, because they’re “boosting” an existing Pin. Promoted Pins are a single image or video that appears in the home feed. The only thing differentiating them from organic Pins is a small label which reads “Promoted by”. When a user clicks an organic Pin, they see the Pin detail page. With Promoted Pins, they’re taken directly to the URL you specify.

Promoted Pins may be simple but they’re also very effective, especially when combined with automatic bidding (covered later in this article!).

Shopping ads

Shopping ads are similar to collection Pins as they’re pulled from your product catalog. Many platforms, like Shopify, offer a direct connection with Pinterest for this.

Unlike Collection ads, these feature only one image or video.

The great thing about these ads is how easy they are. Anyone can set them up in minutes. Through the data in your product information, as well as your industry, Pinterest automatically targets Shopping ads to the most interested audience.

You also get to set up your own targeting and advanced audience retargeting options. This is one of the most “set it and forget it”-friendly ad types out there.

One of the most effective Fashion label, Scotch & Soda tried Pinterest Shopping ads for the first time and brought in over 800,000 new users and a 7 times higher return on ad spend than previous campaigns elsewhere.

While Shopping ads are perfect for e-commerce, they can also work well for brick and mortar businesses, too. Flooring retailer Floor & Decor doesn’t sell online, but they earned a 300% sales boost when they had an auto-uploaded Pinterest Shopping ad campaign.

Sometimes the most effective ads are the simplest in appearance, but the best targeted, and that’s where Shopping ads really shine.

 Product Rich Pins (Tip)

Rich Pins allow you to include much more detailed information than standard Pins. Anyone can use Rich Pins. Before using this feature, you’ll need to add some code to your website first.

There are three types: Product, Recipe and Article, but I’m going to focus on Product Rich Pins.

Here’s what a Product Rich Pin looks like. It shows price and stock availability as well as the title and description from your website. And, it even updates that information — including price — if you change your website’s content.

What’s Pinterest ad objectives?

Brand awareness – Best used with Promoted Pins, Shopping ads

This is for getting your name out there, either for your company or a specific product launch. This is the loose craft glitter of advertising goals: get discovered everywhere by everyone in every nook and cranny (of the internet) for weeks and months to come.

Video views – Best used with Video Pins

This is a straightforward goal for getting the most views possible on your content. This works for any type of video Pin, including for specific product promotions or general videos about your brand story.

Consideration Best used with Collection ads, Carousel ads

This goal is basically about getting clicks on your Pin. In other words, web traffic. The goal for this is to get people who are already aware of you deeper into your funnel.

Conversions Best used with  Shopping ads, Collection ads, Idea Pins

Get that money, honey. Conversion campaigns focus on obtaining a specific result, whether that’s a sale, event sign-up or other opt-in type activity. These use a tracking code on your website to auto-adjust the campaign based on past performance.

Pinterest recommends giving your campaign a good 3-5 days before making any adjustments, so that it can use your tracking code to automatically adjust the campaign targeting and goals once it gathers sufficient data.

Catalog sales Best used with Shopping Pins, Collection ads (or even Product Rich Pins for free!)

Whats Pinterest ad sizes

Idea Pins ad specs:

Aspect ratio: 9:16 (minimum size 1080×1920)

Format: Video (H.264 or H.265, .MP4, .MOV or .M4V) or image (.BMP, .JPG, .PNG, .TIFF, .WEBP). Maximum 20MB per image or 100MB per video.

Length: 3-60 seconds per video clip, max 20 clips per Idea Pin

Copy: Maximum 100 characters for the title and 250 characters per slide in a text box.

Safe zone: To ensure text and other elements are viewable across all devices, keep important content this far away from the borders of your 1080×1920 image or video:

Top: 270 px

Left: 65 px

Right: 195 px

Bottom: 440 px

Collection ad specs:

Option 1: Hero/featured image: .JPG or .PNG, 10mb or less with an aspect ratio of either 1:1 or 2:3

Option 2: Hero/featured video: .MP4, .M4V or .MOV H.264 or H.265 format. 2GB maximum. At least 4 seconds long, 15 minutes maximum. Recommended aspect ratios: 1:1 or 2:3.

Secondary image assets: .JPG or .PNG, 10mb or less. Minimum of 3 images and maximum of 24. Recommended aspect ratio of 1:1, although can use 2:3 but they will show as 1:1.

Copy length: Up to 100 characters for title and up to 500 for description. Description only shows in organic collection Pins, not ads.

Carousel ad specs:

Aspect ratio: 1:1 or 2:3

Format: .JPG or .PNG, max size 32MB per image

Quantity: 2-5 images per carousel ad

Copy: Up to 100 characters for title and up to 500 for description.

Promoted Pin ad specs:

Aspect ratio: 2:3 recommended, 1000 x 1500 pixels

Format: 1 image (.PNG or .JPG)

Copy: Up to 100 characters for title and up to 500 for description.

Additional requirements: Must be uploaded to a public board you own, not contain third party material, have a URL specified, and not contain a shortened URL in the description field.

Video pin ad specs:

Standard video ads:

Aspect ratio: Either 1:1, 2:3 or 9:16 recommended.

Format: .MP4, .MOV or .M4V, H.264 or H.265 encoding, maximum 2GB

Length: Minimum 4 seconds, maximum 15 minutes.

Copy: Up to 100 characters for title and 500 for description.

Max-width video ads (mobile only):

Same as above, except aspect ratio must be either 1:1 or 16:9.

Shown to mobile users only.

How much do Pinterest ads cost?

While every campaign and ad format varies, the average cost of Pinterest ads in 2021 was $1.50 per click. Cost-per-click (CPC) of ads on selected social media platforms worldwide as of October 2021. Not only are Pinterest ads much less expensive than Instagram and YouTube, they’re also exceptionally effective.

You can set a maximum daily budget for your Pinterest ad campaigns. There are also two options for ad group bidding:

1. Custom bids

You set the maximum amount to pay for each action in each campaign. There are minimum bids, which vary by ad format and competition, but you’re in control of the maximum bid.

For example, if a minimum bid for a click is $0.25, you can set your maximum to $2.00. But, if the current rate at the time a user clicked your ad was $0.75, you will only spend $0.75.

2. Automatic bidding

Launched in 2020, automatic bids lower your ad spend and increase results. It’s like having your own personal ads manager. Pinterest automatically adjusts your bids throughout the day, every single day, to get the most bang for your buck

Automatic bidding helped furniture retailer MADE.COM lower their CPC by 80% while increasing clicks by 400%.

If you need any help learning how to implement Pinterest Ads effectively, sign-up for our inexpensive course below.