Pinterest 101: The Complete Guide to Pinterest Ads

Pinterest advertising clicks so well with Pinners, it’s kind of inspiring.

Pinterest is a discovery platform. Almost all searches on Pinterest are unbranded, which means Pinners are open to new ideas and products. In fact, 73 of Pinners say content from brands makes Pinterest more useful.


We’ll dive in to the differences between Pinterest ad formats and provide a step-by-step guide on how to advertise on Pinterest. Plus, we’ve assembled the most Pin-worthy ad tips along with Pinterest ad examples you’re going to want add to your next mood board.


Why use Pinterest ads?

Pinterest ads offer marketers the chance to earn awareness and consideration from Pinterest’s 250 million users early in their consumer journeys. And connecting early works: 98 percent of Pinners say they’ve tried new things they found on Pinterest, versus 71 percent on other social media platforms.


Beyond driving awareness, brands using Pinterest ads’ targeting capabilities see results. More than half of Pinterest’s users have made a purchase after seeing business content on the site.


And Pinners spend 29 percent more than non-Pinners, delivering an average of $2 in profit for every advertiser dollar.


With that in mind, it’s time to get pin-spired about advertising on Pinterest.

Just one catch: For the time being, Pinterest ads are only available in Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.


Types of Pinterest Ads

Your Pinterest ad campaign type will determine what ad format you use, as well as your bid type and available placements. So it’s good to know the attributes of each format before starting a campaign.


Promoted Pins

Promoted Pins appear in the home feed and search results just like a regular Pin except that they’re boosted and targeted to deliver way more reach. Other than the “Promoted” label on the Pin, they look and behave the way other Pins do. Users can Pin them to boards, share them, and comment on them.




Perhaps the best feature of Promoted Pins is that after a Pinner shares it, the “Promoted” label goes away and subsequent repins are considered earned media. In other words, you get added exposure for free. When a user taps or clicks your ad, they’re taken directly to your landing page.


Promoted Pin Specs:


  • Campaign objective: Brand awareness

  • File type: .PNG or .JPEG

  • Ideal aspect ratio: 2:3

  • File size: Max 10 MB

  • Description copy: Max 500 characters


One-tap Pins

Pinterest tells us that, as of 2019, all Pinterest ad formats have officially been migrated to the one-tap system. That means that when a user taps or clicks your ad, they’re taken directly to your landing page.


“Two-tap” ads (where the first click resulted in a zoom-in) no longer exist. And since all ads are technically “one-tap,” it doesn’t make sense to use that term anymore either. “One-tap Pins” are no longer a category of Pinterest ad.


Promoted Carousels

Promoted Carousels were introduced in November 2018. They feature two to five images that Pinners can swipe through.


These multi-image ads can appear wherever Pins can, and they behave the same, except for the dots beneath that signal the swipe option.


Each card in a Promoted Carousel ad can feature a different image, title, description, and landing page. This format is great if you have multiple products or multiple features to showcase because different images and selling points can speak to different Pinners.


CoverGirl used a Promoted Carousel to show every shade of its TruBlend Foundation, resulting in a 3.8 point lift in brand awareness.


REI’s Experience the Outdoors campaign earned strong engagement and a 32 percent higher click-through rate using a Promoted Carousel.

Promoted Carousel Specs:

File type: .PNG or .JPEG

Ideal aspect ratio: 1:1 or 2:3

File size: Max 10 MB

Title copy: Max 100 characters

Description copy: Max 500 characters


Promoted Video Pins

Promoted Video Pins are just like Promoted Pins except the static image is replaced with video. Like Promoted Pins, Promoted Video appears in the home feed, search results, and the “more like this” section under a Pin close-up.


Pinterest videos autoplay as soon as they’re 50 percent in view. For greater accessibility, and because many viewers watch video with sound off, it’s important to produce video that’s not dependent on audio.


Pinterest offers two sizes for Promoted Video Pins: Max width and standard.


Standard width videos are the same size as regular Pins, whereas max-width video spreads across the feed, minimizing distraction from competing Pins. Maximum video exposure can be more expensive since minimum bids start higher.


Videos are ideal for awareness campaigns, and a good format for telling a brand or product story.