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Maximize Your Reach: A Guide to Running Ads on Pinterest

A Guide to Running Ads on Pinterest
A Guide to Running Ads on Pinterest

Looking to drive more buyer traffic to your website? Pinterest ads, also known as promoted pins, are a powerful tool. They can give your business quick visibility on Pinterest and attract potential buyers to landing pages.

Ads on Pinterest look like regular pins, but they are given more importance when shown to people on the platform.

These promoted pins are strategically placed where users are most likely to see them, such as the home feed, category feeds, and search results.

In this detailed guide on Pinterest advertising, we will examine what Pinterest ads are, the different formats of ads Pinterest supports, and how to create ad campaigns on Pinterest.

What are Pinterest ads or promoted pins?

Promoted pins are a form of paid advertising on the Pinterest platform.

The natural look and feel of Promoted pins set them apart from other social media ads. They seamlessly blend in with the platform, making them less intrusive and more engaging for users. 


They are designed to resemble regular pins, except for a 'Promoted by' label that clearly identifies them as ads. 

Pinterest ads work based on cost per click, and the cost you pay depends on the budget and spending limits you set for your campaigns. You can either manually set bids or let Pinterest automatically set bids.

Compared to paid advertising on other social media platforms, Pinterest ads are cheaper, more targeted, and more effective.


Using Pinterest ads, you can better target your audience based on specific locations, demographics, keywords, and more to increase brand visibility and sales.

What are the benefits of paid marketing on Pinterest?

Pinterest is a popular visual search engine with 518 million monthly active users. These users are highly shopping-oriented because they come on the platform to seek inspiration and explore new brands and products.

Moreover, compared to other social platforms, most pinners on Pinterest have more buying capacity.

Therefore, paid advertising on Pinterest can quickly grow your account and generate more sign-ups and sales with less money than other social networks.

Here are the three reasons you should consider paid advertising on Pinterest.

First, people on Pinterest seek new inspiration, ideas, and products compared to other social networks like Facebook, where people are more interested in exploring the photos of their friends. So, pinners on Pinterest have strong buying intent, and they are more likely to convert.

Second, Pinterest is comparatively new and less exploited by marketers than other social networks, so ads on Pinterest are cheap. They give better returns on ad spend—2x more than other social networks. The ads on Pinterest are 2.3x more efficient cost per conversion than other social sites.

Third, Pinterest ads are not obstructive, and no one can easily differentiate a normal pin from an ad pin except a label.

Moreover, Pinterest has powerful shopping tools, such as product and idea pins, which enhance the shopping experience on the platform.

What are different marketing goals that you can achieve with Pinterest advertising?

Marketers can have different goals before starting a paid campaign on Pinterest. Some want to increase brand awareness and visibility, while others want to capture leads and generate sales.

Paid advertising on Pinterest delivers impressive results throughout the whole customer journey, from awareness to consideration to the conversion stage.

If your goal is to increase reach and brand or product awareness, then the ads manager lets you easily specify Awareness as your campaign's goal.

Similarly, if you want to drive more traffic to your website, you can use Consideration as your campaign goal.

You can specify Conversions as your Pinterest campaign goal for generating sign-ups and increasing subscriptions and sales.

What are the different types of Pinterest ad formats and their specifications?

Pinterest supports visual first ad formats. There are several ad content formats, from static images to videos to storytelling idea pins.

Generally, there are 8 types of ad types that Pinterest supports.

1. Standard ads

The standard ads are just static images that show content in either vertical or square format. They are single images and the most basic format of Pinterest ads.

This ad type should use PNG and JPEG files. The maximum size of the image on the desktop can not exceed 20MB, and 32MB on the app.

The best aspect ratio of the image is 2:3, and for better results, the size should be 1000x1500 pixels. The ads with an aspect ratio beyond 2:3 may be cut.

The title and pin description length should be 100 and 500 characters, respectively. Only the first 40 characters of the title will appear on the home and search feed.

2. Video ads

Video is the most engaging and attention-grabbing ad format for ads on Pinterest.

The supported file types for video ads are MP4, MOV, and M4V. The video should be between 4 and 15 seconds long, square (1:1) or vertical(2:3.4:5 or 9:16).

The max width video expands on the entire feed on the mobile, and they can not exceed the height of the 1:1 aspect ratio.

3. Idea ads

The Idea ads can have multimedia and are excellent ways to tell a story. You can frame an Idea ad with images, videos, lists, and texts.

These engaging ads on Pinterest bring life to your ideas and inspire your audience to take action. They are multi-format ads that, through video and image content, provide all the information needed to convert a visitor into an action taker.  

The image files supported for Idea ads are BMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and WEBP, while for video, MP4, M4V, and MOV. The video should be at most 5 minutes. The recommended aspect ratio is 9:16.

4. Carousel ads 

Carousel ads are multi-image ads that showcase different product features on cards. Users can swipe through these cards, which is a fantastic way to showcase multiple products at once.

The image file types supported for carousel ads are PNG and JPEG. Each carousel ad can have 2 to 5 images. The maximum size of an image can be 20MB, and the aspect ratio can be 1:1 or 2:3.

5. Collections ads 

Collections ads on Pinterest allow users to see a wide range of products within a single pin. They are created on the desktop but appear in the Pinterest mobile feed.

It is an exciting arrangement that includes a hero image or video and a collection of up to 24 small images. The collection ad takes the entire screen when the user taps the hero image. So, it is an excellent way of showing the full range of products.

The supported file types for image hero creative are JPG and PNG. The file should not exceed 10MB, and the aspect ratio should be 1:1 or 2:3. For video hero creative, MP4, MOV, and M4V are supported. The size should not exceed 2GB.


Only JPG and PNG files are allowed for secondary creatives, not videos or gifs. A minimum of 3 creatives and a maximum of 24 are recommended. The image size should not exceed 10MB.

6. Shopping ads 

Shopping ads allow you to reach customers early in the purchase journey. They have one image at a time, allowing users to purchase the product on Pinterest.

They include the product's availability, price, and reviews. Standard shopping ads feature a static image, while video shopping ads use video clips.

The specifications for shopping ads are the same as standard ads.

7. Showcase ads 

Showcase ads have a title pin with swipeable multiple cards. You can use images and videos to tell a detailed story about your brand. Moreover, each card has a clickable link so users can visit your landing pages for more information.

The title pin should have an aspect ratio of 2:3. It can be an image or video. The title pin will also be on the first card. You can add 4 more cards to your ad besides the title card. On each card, you can add up to 3 features that the user can tap to go to an outbound link.

8. Quiz ads 

The Quiz ads are exciting ways to interact with the Pinterest audience. They have multiple-choice questions and answers, and when users answer questions, they receive recommendations or result pins from the brand or advertisers that further increase their connection with the target audience.

The Quiz ad has a title pin with an aspect ratio of 2:3. It can be an image or video. The Quiz ad can have 2 or 3 questions and 2-3 answers to each question.

The results pin includes an image, a title, a description, and an outbound link. The more answer options to each question, the more result pins there will be.

How to target the right audience for Pinterest ads?

Targeting the right audience is essential when running paid campaigns on Pinterest to get maximum ROI. Your Pinterest ads will perform well if you have rightly targeted your audience. This is where Pinterest's targeting tools help reach the right audience on the platform.

There are many ways to target your audience, which will be interested in your product and service and will convert into sales.

The automated targeting determines the target audience based on the pin's content.

You can create audiences from your customer lists, website visitors, and users who have already engaged with your content on Pinterest. You can also reach new audiences who act like or behave like your existing audience.

Based on interests, you can choose niches that resonate with your products and create a new audience. You can select topics that your audience likes.

You can closely target an audience that uses terms or keywords to search for their intended products and services. You can include or exclude some keywords to target an audience ready to act. Your ads will be shown on search results or related pins.

You can also narrow your audience using demographics like gender, age, location, or device.

You can also define your audience based on placement, such as where you want to appear and your ads, whether on search results or related pins.

Step-by-step guide to running ads on Pinterest

Setting up a paid campaign on Pinterest is easy, and the Pinterest ad manager beautifully guides you through each step. It has an intuitive user interface and clear ad setting up and running guidelines.

There are two methods of setting up ads on Pinterest.

First, you can mostly automate tasks by letting an ad manager do them. This method lets you quickly set up and run your ad, even in a few minutes.

Second, you can manually do each task, which will take longer.

Here is a step-by-step guide to running paid ads on Pinterest by using an automated campaign:-

#1 Business account

Before you start Pinterest advertising, you must have a Pinterest business account. If you already have a personal account, you can convert it into a business account.

#2 Create campaign 

First, log into your Pinterest business account and click on the hamburger icon at the top left of the page.

how to launch a Pinterest campaign
how to launch a Pinterest campaign

From the Ads drop-down menu, select Create campaign. On the screen below, tick the Automated campaign box.

Select the campaign method
Select the campaign method

Now click on the Get started red button.  

#3 Select your main objective

Now select the goal of your campaign, whether you want to build brand awareness, drive traffic, or increase sales.

Select the  campaign goal
Select the campaign goal

After selecting the main objective, click on Next.

#4 Select or create pins

To promote them, select the pin already saved to your account. Alternatively, there is an option to create fresh pins.

Select or create pins
Select or create pins

For example, we have chosen the first option, the Select Pins option. The screen below will show all the pins and boards in your account, from which you can select the pin you want to promote.

Now click the Add Pin button below.

Selected pins
Selected pins

The screen will be populated with the ad name and destination URL.

After adding pin
After adding pin

Now click on Next.

#5 Choose age and location options

From the screen below, you must select the age group for which your ad will be displayed and the countries where you want to promote it.

Select audience age and locations
Select audience age and locations

Now click on Next.

#6 Choose budget criteria

Here, you need to choose a budget and how you want to spend it. For example, what is the daily limit, and how many days would you like to spend it?

Choose campaign budget
Choose campaign budget

If you are a beginner, you can start with a low budget, like 5-10$ per day, then increase gradually.

Click on Next.

#7 Review and set up billing

Review all the campaign details, set up the billing option, and publish your ad. Once your ad is published, you can monitor its performance and adjust campaigns for better results.


Pinterest ads are effective ways to reach a brand new audience in your niche. They are also cheap compared to other social media sites. Setting up an automated campaign is easy; your ads can be published within minutes.

Running paid ads on Pinterest is like publishing a new pin because there is little difference between an ad and a regular pin.

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