4 reasons to try Pinterest ads

Social Media Strategy

Pinterest has long been known for providing creative ideas, whether that’s related to home design, fashion, food or countless other topics with the image-led nature of the platform lending itself to innovation, imagination and ultimately inspiration. However, it still remains to be an under-utilised platform from an advertising perspective – here are a few reasons why you should consider adding Pinterest to your Paid Media strategy. 

1. More Than Just Social Media

Pinterest, by any definition (including Wikipedia’s), is a social media platform. Paid advertising on these types of channels is nothing new – I’m sure most people reading this blog would’ve at the very least either contemplated or even dabbled in some Facebook, Instagram or Twitter advertising. 

However, Pinterest operates in a slightly different way to those mentioned, in that it actually operates more like a search engine. Your home feed is made up of the interests you select when you set-up your Pinterest account, and is then added to by showing relevant pins depending on what you’ve been searching for and exploring on the app or website. 

Pinterest represents a unique position within Social Media compared to the other major players. Let’s take Facebook for example –  Now, I’m not knocking it as a platform for advertisers, it undoubtedly can lead to great results with the right combination of targeting & creatives, but Facebook’s primary function, in their own words, is to connect people and give people the power to create community. People can be inspired by Facebook ads they come across, but it’s not the reason why they use the service –  the opposite is true of Pinterest. People actively go on Pinterest to be inspired, so inspire them! 

2. Capture Users Early On

To give a bit of context to Point1, I’ll explain my own personal dealings with Pinterest. If you’re anything like me, picking paint to go on your wall is far from a simple task. Despite having watched a healthy amount of “Changing Rooms” as a child, it soon dawned on me that I don’t quite have the knack of putting together colours, furnishings and decoration in the same way that only a luminary of the industry such as Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen can. 

That’s where Pinterest stepped in. 

At this stage, I wasn’t ready to be comparing prices, ordering samples or searching for specific shades. I just needed ideas, and where better to look than an app with a full, extensive gallery of them. 

Now as an advertiser, I was the perfect person to be targeting with ads. No preconceived ideas about what brands I was looking for, no loyalty to a specific provider, just someone completely new to the market, with an intent to purchase. At that point, a well placed, cleverly constructed ad could easily have set me on my way to buying, or at the very least had a great deal of influence over my final decision.

An advertiser’s dream right? Well luckily for us, there is a huge audience out there similar to me. It’s reported that 85% of ‘Pinners’ say Pinterest is where they go to start a new project. With over 450 million users, that’s a lot of relevant people you could be reaching there. 

In short, if your product or service is something that someone might look for on Pinterest and you aren’t being found on there, by the time your marketing kicks in on that user’s journey, you risk being a bit late to the party. When that user finally turns to Google (or Bing – people use it, although that’s for another blog!) and starts searching for that specific brand or shade, you could already be one step behind your competitors.  

3. Supplements other platforms 

Now, it’s really important to point out that this article is definitely not designed to make you want to switch off all of your other online channels and just focus on Pinterest – quite the opposite. Pinterest Ads are a fantastic supplement to your online efforts and not a replacement. 

As discussed in the previous point, advertising on Pinterest gives you the opportunity to capture relevant users at the first stage of their research. With the right strategy and budgets in place, this can lead to a positive trickle down-effect on your other channels. Brand awareness and recognition, which can be achieved with incredibly low CPMs available on Pinterest, will help lead to increased brand searches and website visits, boosting your efforts from a Paid, Organic and Direct perspective. The cheap clicks (Pin clicks are as low as 1p and 2p, with outbound clicks tending to range from 15p – 30p) will really help to boost your remarketing lists for both Google & Social properties too. 

You can take it upon yourself to be strategic here as well – if you’ve got your targeting right on Pinterest, why not create an audience on Google Analytics of users who have visited your site via Pinterest Ads and remarket to them with Display ads, similar to the pins they clicked through on, as they browse?

Tying Pinterest alongside your other activity is definitely the key to success and you should approach utilising it with a view of the full marketing picture, rather than looking at it as a stand-alone channel. 

4. Targeting Options

All of the above would be completely useless if Pinterest advertisers didn’t have the ability to specifically reach the most relevant users to the product or service they’re looking to push. 

Fortunately we have the ability to be laser-targeted with our approach. Pinterest Ads provide us with several ways to reach the desired audience and similarly to Google, these can be based on;

  • Locations – Whether you’re looking to reach a wide international audience, or you deliver products locally, Pinterest’s location targeting can help reach users in the right areas for you.
  • Demographics – You can show ads to only the most relevant sets of users, to very specific criteria.
  • Keywords – Reaching potential customers based on what they’re actively typing in on Pinterest – perfect right?! This is where Pinterest’s unique offering helps to set it apart from other Social channels such as Facebook.
  • Interests – Pinterest gives you the opportunity to reach out to users with interests as broad as ‘Travel’ or as niche as retirement celebration event planning. With such a huge variety available, you’ll be able to find the right type of interests for your product.
  • Audience Lists – Similarly to Facebook, Pinterest utilises a simple to set-up Pixel on your site, allowing you to retarget users who’ve already been on your site. As well as this, you can target those who’ve engaged with your pins, you can upload customer lists or you can take advantage of Pinterest’s ‘Actalike’ audience, which will use it’s learnings to target users who behave similarly to your existing customers.
  • Combination – None of those specific enough? No problem, combine them together and reach only the most likely to convert users for your offering. Be careful on going too niche though, similar to Facebook, Pinterest advise on a ‘broader is better’ policy, whereby machine learning will help to decide where your budget is best placed. 


In summary, Pinterest probably isn’t a major part of your online marketing strategy at the moment, but should it be? Granted, it probably won’t be the perfect solution for all advertisers, but if you’ve got great images and are looking to reach those hard-to-find, new and relevant users, it could certainly be your next platform to trial.