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Pinterest: Ad Formats and Best Practices

Monday, May 24th, 2021
Written by Content Team

What are Pinterest Ads?

It’s really very simple, Pinterest ads are regular pins that you pay to promote and be placed where your target audience are most likely to see them. They can surface in a person’s home feed, in their category feeds or can pop up in relevant search results.

Pinterest is an ideal space to showcase the ideas and products that essentially define your business and tell your story as this is where people come to search for inspiration. Regardless of the size of your company, this is the place to create visually powerful Pins where you can categorise them into campaigns and ad groups which target your business goals and ultimately gain a loyal following on this platform. If you want to spark inspiration with your audience, this is the place to do it.    

Ad Formats

Once you have decided what you want to showcase, creating an image that sparks interest is vital for your Pin. You can promote the same product from multiple Pins should you wish to, so exploring which Pins meet your objectives and capture different audiences is something you will need to monitor along the way.

Pinterest work with four ad formats, you do not have to use all, you could use as little as one or if you have the creatives and it suits your plan and vision you can use as many as you like.

Standard Pins

Your standard ads will basically showcase your content or products in a simple format, either square or vertical. Using high quality images that will stand out in a person’s feed is essential. Put your service or product at the front and centre of your Pin creative and avoid using any imagery that has no relevance to your brand. Include your logo, on every Pin you make but keep it subtle, you do not want to take away from the actual image and message you want to get across. Adding a text overlay will also make your Pin stand out. By keeping this clear and succinct will make it readable and therefore less likely that your audience will skip over it. Look at your titles and descriptions and ensure these are also clear, you have a character limit, so make the most of it and remember the better and more concise these are, the better chance your Pin has of being discovered. Finally, check your links! Make sure these are active and leads your reader exactly where they expect. Making sure this matches the topic and creative imagery is essential.


This goes without saying, if you’re going to venture into the world of video ads, make sure you do them right. Make them strong and actionable, the first few seconds are vital in capturing your audience’s attention, so make sure you keep it. The recommended length of video ads is usually between 6-15 seconds which is not very long, so get your message across as clear and concisely as possible. Some people also watch videos with the sound off, so getting your message across without audio is important, it is recommended that you use a text overlay or captioning your ad will help your audience who can’t listen along. When choosing your cover image, remember that it needs to show what your Pin is about, help them understand that with just one glimpse. Again, clear titles and descriptions help your video get discovered, so you should optimise your Pin copy to get the best of it.  


A carousel is a Pin that has up to 5 cards available to use in the ad. This format helps present multiple items, showcase a product and it’s features or simply tell your brand story in chapters, which helps drive more sales or increase awareness. As each card within the carousel can feature a different image, each one of these can have it’s own title, landing page and description, these features offer you a range of options and therefore help create higher click through rates and more conversion opportunities from a simple Pin, so again ensuing these are all informative, clear and concise is beneficial for you.


These ads display products that appear as a combination of one large ‘hero’ asset followed by smaller secondary assets. It’s worth noting that collections ads can only be created on a desktop and targeted to people in the Pinterest mobile feed. Once a person clicks on the ad, they will be taken to a full screen experience where they can see the hero creative along with up to 24 secondary creatives. You can tie your images together and pull your entire brand or selection of products together by taking your audience on a journey. These aren’t for everyone but they are definitely worth a shot if they sound like they meet your needs and vision.    

It is difficult knowing what ad format to go for if you’re new to this game but Pinterest is a powerful acquisition channel and if done right can be very beneficial for your business.