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How to advertise on Pinterest

Pinterest is a powerful marketing channel for almost any eCommerce retailer because it combines the benefits of a search engine with the reach of social media.

Pinterest ads take this to another level, actively promoting your products to the people most likely to buy them.

If you’ve never promoted a Pin or delved into the technical details of your Pinterest ads, this beginner’s guide explains the what, why, when, and how of advertising on Pinterest.

What are Pinterest ads?

Pinterest ads are pay-per-click ads that promote your Pinterest content to a targeted audience on the platform.

There are different formats of Pinterest ads, the most common are;

  1. Standard – a traditional Pin that showcases products in a square or vertical image.
  2. Video – a short, auto-play video that tells your brand or product story.
  3. Shopping – a tappable Pin that expands to display product details.
  4. Carousel – a multi-image Pin that users swipe through.
  5. Collection – a hybrid Pin that mixes lifestyle and featured product images.

Pinterest ads are promoted to users browsing the home page, category feeds, and search results, alongside organic and re-pinned Pins.

Learn more about Pinterest’s new pin-to-purchase ads here.

The benefits of Pinterest ads

Pinterest is a successful channel for online sellers because the entire premise of the platform is product discovery.

Of the 300 million monthly users, 89% of US pinners use the platform for product purchasing inspiration, and 83% have made a purchase from branded Pins.

Pinterest ads power you to scale these statistics further through:

Extended reach

Pinterest ads extend the reach of your content to new and relevant audiences actively searching for product inspiration. And, because these users are looking for products to buy, Pinterest ads aren’t as obtrusive as other social media advertisements, making users more receptive to them.

Precise targeting

Pinterest’s precise targeting tool allows you to narrow your intended audience based on characteristics, interests, and keywords. Pinterest uses this information alongside your Pin content to target the people most likely to convert.

Niche audiences

Pinterest also uses user interests and behaviors to place ads in front of relevant and act-alike audiences – perfect for niche and unique products.

Strict budgets

You decide exactly how much to spend on advertising and whether you pay-per-view, click, or engagement.

In the words of Pinterest: ”stop interrupting, start inspiring.”

When to use Pinterest ads

While it’s never too early or late to use Pinterest ads, certain audiences, niches, and sales channels perform better on the platform.

Existing traction

If you’re already seeing great results from organic Pins, ads will supercharge your results, using proven demographics to target the right audience.

Popular categories

Pinterest is popular with users looking for home decor, cooking, fashion, beauty, and handmade product inspiration.


Traditionally, Pinterest was popular with women, but in recent years more men have been searching the platform and creating their own boards. The biggest user group is those aged 18-24, closely followed by those aged 30-49.

Shopify sellers

Since Pinterest is an inspiration platform, users aren’t too concerned with big names or marketplaces. This makes it great for Shopify sellers because you can gain more visibility than on Google and access more purchase-driven behavior than on social media.

However, before you jump straight in, Pinterest is only as successful as:

  • Your landing page – product pages that are descriptive, engaging, and interesting.
  • Your sales funnel – a website that drives shoppers to and through the checkout.
  • Your customer service – fast shipping, timely tracking updates, and responsive problem-solving.

How much do Pinterest ads cost?

Each Pinterest campaign and ad has its own daily or lifetime budget, meaning you spend as little or as much as you want.

Your budget is then used to bid on ad placement, which is done automatically by Pinterest or by setting your own bid limits.

How to create a Pinterest ad

You can quickly turn any existing Pin into an ad from the app or website. However, to generate the best results, you must fine-tune the settings in the Ads Manager.

A quick note on Pinterest ad structure

Your Pinterest ad is made up of campaigns and ad groups. Each campaign has an overall goal and budget, and contains different, aligning ad groups. Each ad group has its own budget, scheduling times, audience, and Pins.

1. Create a business account and install the Pinterest tag

First, you must create or convert to a business profile on Pinterest and install the Pinterest Tag into your site’s HTML.

2. Create a campaign

Next, you want to create a campaign for your ad groups. To do this, go to Ads Manager > Ads > Create ad, and complete the:


Choose one of the three campaign objectives that best reflects your goal:

  • Build awareness  – drive high-quality leads to your website (pay-per-click).
  • Brand awareness – drive brand exposure with current and potential customers (pay-per-1,000-impressions).
  • Video views – drive brand awareness through auto-play videos (pay-per-1,000-impressions).


Give your campaign an easily identifiable name.


Set the daily and lifetime spend limits for your campaign.

3. Create an ad group

Now it’s time to create and add an ad group to your campaign, by entering the:

Target audience

Define your audience by selecting the gender, age, location, languages, and devices you want to target.

Ad placement

Select whether your ad appears in the browse or search results, or both.

Interests and keywords

Expand your targeting by adding relevant audience interests and keywords for the Pins you’re promoting. You can enter broad, phrase, or exact match keywords, and negative keywords.

As you add keywords, the audience size changes to reflect the expected audience-view over a 30-day period.

Budget and schedule

Select the start and end dates for your ad and enter a daily or lifetime budget.

Optimization & delivery

Add additional settings for the ad group frequency target, monthly frequency cap, target CPM, and ad pacing.

4. Add Pins to your ad group

Select between 2-4 pins to promote as part of your ad group. These can be Pins containing different products or Pins of different formats – the only requirements are they they:

  • Are save to your profile;
  • Are public;
  • Have a destination URL; and
  • Do not feature third-party content.

5. Review and launch

Review your Pins, ad group, and campaign settings and, once ready, click Launch.

Pinterest reviews your Pins to ensure they meet the advertising guidelines, and if they do, your advertising campaign is set to live.

6. Monitor performance

Finally, review the performance of your ads from the Analytics tab, including impressions, clicks, engagement, cost per click, and total spend.

Congratulations, you have successfully created your first ad on Pinterest.

However, remember that success through any form of advertising requires constant monitoring and tweaking until you get the results your products deserve.

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