Pinterest ads: a channel worthy of discovery

21 February 2022

Pinterest is used by people looking to discover something new or inspiring, but who like to be led by ideas they come across unexpectedly. Think of Pinterest as a visual search engine that guides you to the ultimate serendipitous moment.

Pinterest ads | iO

The difference with most other social media channels is that target audiences use Pinterest very deliberately to search for specific products or services. In addition, the platform has its own way of showing ads: Pinterest always shows organic content and adverts side by side. Both types of content are usually difficult to differ. This allows the user experience to flow seamlessly, without being interrupted or disturbed by adverts, thereby limiting the opportunity for the user to become irritated. The fact that most users do not see branded content as a nuisance is a huge advantage. It increases the chances of these people actually clicking (or tapping) on your ad.

Furthermore, according to Pinterest, almost half of the users discover new brands and products through this platform. The most important condition, however, remains that you have strong visual content at your disposal.

pinterest ads | iO

Pinterest ads

As for any other social media channel, you can use Pinterest to advertise according to a concrete goal. Pinterest divides its purchasing goals in three phases from the marketing funnel.

  • Awareness
    Increase your reach and support the notability of your brand and product. You can also buy video views. Moving images are usually more powerful for people who are discovering a new brand or product.

  • Consideration
    This increases the chances of people clicking (or tapping) on your content, leading them to a relevant landing page.

  • Conversions
    Push your target audience to take action on your website: a subscription to a newsletter, a guide to become inspired, etc. Perhaps stimulating catalogue sales is the most interesting form of advertising. Pinterest has two advertisement types for this purpose: Shopping Pins and Collection Pins. As soon as you are in the position of an online product catalogue, you can display your products on Pinterest in a way that inspires users and mark them with product tags. By displaying the product in a visual showroom, you immediately lower the threshold for the user to make a purchase.

Various advertisement options

Standard Pins or single image
pinterest ads | iO

Show your products and content in a simple vertical image. You can add text or a link to the website. Don’t forget to focus on the product.

Video Pins

Draw attention to your product or brand with a powerful video. This format is also great as an engager. The ideal Video Pin doesn’t surpass a minute. Be frugal with text, because an image is worth a 1000 words, and choose a strong opening frame that catches the eye of the user immediately.

Shopping Pins
pinterest ads | iO

Shopping Pins can be visualised in many different ways. The simple way to use them is to add a single image of the product with a url to the webshop.

You can also use product tags that are linked to your product catalogue. This allows you to show more than one product from your catalogue in one image. Thanks to the tags, you can view each product and the necessary information such as price separately. In addition to that, the user gets to see similar products with each product. Always present the user with a powerful image and a good link to the product catalogue for your Shopping Pins.

Carrousel Pins

You can also present multiple images side by side in order to create a Carrousel Pin. To create the most beautiful effect, it’s important that the lay-outs of your images flow nicely.

Collection Pins
pinterest ads | iO

A Collection Pin allows you to use one image or video that features a few products. At the bottom of the advert, Pinterest places a “collection” of all the products shown in the image. This is precisely the strength of this format: your target audience gets to see an individual product in a credible setting in a single glance. Furthermore, you are likely to add a number of complementary products in the same visual, increasing the chances of people purchasing multiple products via your Collection Pin.

Reaching the right target audience


Pinterest Business has a great deal of information and insights on the interests of its users. Because of various target audience tools, you can very accurately search for the proper target audience that is important to your brand. Very specific targeting helps even the most niche products successfully reach their target audience.

Many targeting possibilities

Pinterest offers four specific targeting options that are all interesting to reach your goals.

The first one is a standard option: it allows you to target people based on demographics and interests. This option is generally used for campaigns that are aimed towards a broad target audience.

But, you could also target based on keywords. This is a frequently used option within the consideration and conversion phase.

Do you have a client database? Good news: you can upload them to Pinterest. These people already have a connection to your brand and through your client data, you can do some remarketing.

Lastly, you can also use “Actalikes”. These people have similar interests and show similar behaviour to your current target audience. A handy option to broaden your horizons.

Don’t really know what interests your target audience or how to reach them? Not to worry: you can use automatic targeting. That means Pinterest’s smart algorithm will be doing all the work, such as determining your target audience based on the details in your pin.

Placing adverts

You can also control where your advert will be appearing, to a certain extent. You can choose between browse ads or search ads. Fortunately, you aren’t required to choose and you can just as easily have both options.

Browse ads are shown to the user on the home feed of your target audience and search ads are visible in the search results of your target user. Both kinds are visible via Pins that are related to the topic. The general recommendation is that you use both options at all times.

Tips & Tricks

Getting started with Pinterest ads is very simple. Always ensure that you mix it up, so your adverts stay relevant and they don’t bore the user. Set up a content plan so you can schedule your pins for a longer period in one go. To simplify the process, Pinterest offers a simple scheduling tool. This helps you save time.

A url to the website is also a must. Adding all of your product information to your advert, is not inspiring in the slightest. The url can guide those who are interested to your website immediately, giving them the opportunity to learn more about your brand and products.

Don’t forget that the essence of Pinterest lies in the use of your own images. As soon as you start using stock images for this platform, you’ll lose all credibility.

Do you feel like Pinterest could add value to your brand? Our social media experts would love to help you determine the correct Pinterest strategy. Feel free to contact us via We’ll analyse your question and we’ll figure out how to elevate your social media channels together.

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Senne van Dyck
About the author
Senne van Dyck
Social Media Marketer - iO

Senne knows it’s true: creativity deserves to be explored in a B2B marketing context. As a social media marketeer, he loves to combine advertising innovation, creativity, and conversion tactics. Simply because ads should perform, as well as inspire.

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