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What Type of Ads Are Available to Your Small Business on Pinterest

Over the past few years, visual results have become the preferred format of search result for the average internet user (especially on mobile devices). Pinterest is a platform that was created to deliver this preferred result - an image or a video that shows the user what they’re looking for.

The majority of Pinterest users are using the platform to discover new products or services because they’re currently in research mode for a planned future purchase.

This is a very unique position for a social platform.

Even YouTube, which is owned and run by Google, can’t boast that the majority of their users and searchers have buying intent. Most YouTube users are looking for information or entertainment...which might eventually lead to a purchase, but it’s not likely the initiating intent.

With Pinterest, searches almost guarantee a buying intention, which makes Pinterest a powerful platform and Pinterest Ads invaluable for small businesses.

What Types of Pinterest Ads Can You Run?

Like every advertising platform, there are several types of ads available to small business owners.

For Pinterest, those are: Promoted Pins, Promoted Videos, App Installation Ads (not explained here), Promoted Shopping Pins and Promoted Carousel Pins.

The Standard Promoted Pin was very first advertising product Pinterest made available was the Promoted Pin. It’s a very simple advertisement. Its primary requirement is that you upload an image. The purpose of the Promoted Pin is to showcase a single product or service.

Because of the way Pinterest Ads are structure, you’re able to choose any of their [objectives] and apply that objective to your Promoted Pin.

Promoted Video Pins are very similar to the Standard Promoted Pin. The difference is that a Promoted Video Pin is showcasing a video.

There are two types of Promoted Video Pins: Standard and Max Width Video

A standard video is the width of a standard pin. The Max Width Video is the width of two columns

in Pinterest and behaves a bit like a [“Masthead Ad” in YouTube]. If you choose to run a Max Width Video, you’ll have the option to upload a widescreen or square video.

Of course, with a video there are a few other requirements. The promoted video cannot be longer than 15 minutes or shorter than 4 seconds. This means that a standard 3 second gif cannot be used as a promoted video on Pinterest.

Although you’re allowed to advertise videos up to 15 minutes long, Pinterest suggests that your video be between 6-30 seconds long for best results.

With Standard Promoted Video Pins you can use a cost per impression (CPM), cost per view (CPV), cost per click (CPC) or cost per acquisition (CPA) bid type. The Max Width Promoted Video can only use the cost per impression or cost per view bid types.

Regardless of which you choose, these video pins will play without audio, until the user taps the video to turn the audio on.

This means that you should be sure to create and use videos that are not audio dependent. Your ad should be able to communicate your message, immediately and without reliance on verbal compulsion.

Promoted Shopping Pins are one of the most interesting and potentially complicated, but also potentially most impactful type of pin available to small business owners.

If you have an ecommerce store with Pinterest integration, you can create product pins (formerly buyable pins).

With a [product pin] or a pin with a product tag, you can create an advertisement which will drive people to directly purchase your product using your own ecommerce platform.

This is a high impact ad because Pinterest users already have high purchase intent. If a person is searching/shopping for a product and your pin is delivered to them, you’ve removed all of the friction between you and the potential customer.

Having product pins require an ecommerce integration and it also requires that you have your website linked to your Pinterest Business account. can get similar results by using a standard image pin with [a product tag.]

This means that small businesses without a permanent ecommerce platform (including service based businesses who don’t usually have inventory), have the ability to create Promoted Shopping Pins - or at least to create pins that behave like Standard Promoted Pins that behave like Promoted Shopping Pins.

Promoted Carousel Pins are very similar to carousel ads on Facebook and Instagram.

With a Promoted Carousel Pin, small businesses can use a series of images to tell a story about their product or service to their potential customers.

The biggest difference between a Standard Promoted Pin and Promoted Carousel Pins is the fact that you can upload between 2 and 5 images in a single pin.

All of the images in your carousel have to have the same aspect ratio (be the same size) and they will all have the same title and description.

Where’s the power in Promoted Carousel Pins for small business owners?

It’s in the ability to use the images to tell a story. If you’re uncomfortable on video or don’t have the budget and time to create and test video content, Promoted Carousel Pins might be your way to go.

You have up to 5 images to tell a story to get the potential customer to click through and follow your call to action.

That’s up to 5 opportunities to get a person who already has a buying intent to take an action. It’s a great opportunity.

How To Create A Pinterest Ad

The Pinterest Ads platform is different from other advertising platforms. If you already have a Pinterest Business account, you can be up and running with a Pinterest Ad in just a few minutes.

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Set the objective of the campaign

  2. Specify your budget

  3. Create the ad-group

  4. Select your target audience

  5. Choose where to place the ad

  6. Include keywords and interests

  7. Define a schedule and daily budget

  8. Campaign optimization settings

  9. Set Ad Pacing Options

  10. Include your call to action links

  11. Review its performance

Are Pinterest Ads Expensive?

This visual platform ensures a higher click-through rate, conversions, and most visitors are receptive to purchase products. That makes Pinterest cheaper and more effective than most advertising platforms.

Currently, according to Pinterest, businesses advertising on the platform are getting nearly a $4 return on every dollar they spend on the platform.

If you combine the buyer intention, types of ads and objectives available and the average return on investment with the east of use...getting your small business started with Pinterest Ads in 2020 is a no brainer.


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