Pinterest Opens Up the Advertising Gates. What's Inside?

After a period of beta testing with larger brands and businesses, Pinterest has rolled out its Ads Manager to businesses large and small. You can now easily run campaigns for Promoted Pins and Buyable Pins and incorporate Pinterest into the overall online advertising mix for your business.

Harnessing the Power of Pinterest.

Pinterest Desserts

Pinterest Desserts

The Power of Imagery

Pinterest offers some unique advantages that other social platforms don't. Like Instagram, it's visually based which opens up a lot of creative opportunities for your ads.

On the flip side, your ads better be visually compelling because you'll be competing with a lot of eye candy.

Pinterest Addicts

Pinterest Addicts

The Power of Engagement

Pinterest often scores at the top in terms of audience engagement. Its users are avid pinners and collectors and they are intensely involved in their particular passions and interests.

They are highly engaged with the content and are terrific sharers of things that capture their attention.

Pinterest Women

Pinterest Women


Every night is Ladies' Night at Pinterest. Some stats show upwards of 70% of its users are female. Because women are often the key makers of household purchase decisions, Pinterest's audience has the opportunity to really deliver with click-to-sales advertising efforts in most product & service categories. Usage for men is gradually increasing, but still relatively small. So, if you're looking for dudes and bros, you probably should look elsewhere.

Pinterest Purchasing Power

Pinterest Purchasing Power


Pinterest shines in another key performance metric: Intent to Purchase. Much like traditional Search engines, Pinterest users are on the site to actively look for something...something to inspire...something to make...something to buy. Its new ad platform provides a unique opportunity to reach potential customers as they're closer to purchase decisions.

What Makes Pinterest Ads Unique?

Pinterest has done a great job leveraging the unique strengths of its platform and audience. In addition to the features you'd expect like demographic targeting, bulk edits & uploads, and conversion tracking, the Pinterest Ads Manager offers really interesting ways to target your Promoted or Buyable Pins:

Keyword Targeting

Keyword targeting obviously isn't unique to online advertising, but Pinterest does it in a unique way. Unlike more specific Google searching, Pinners search in a more broad fashion. They're looking for ideas within a general range—they're more in an exploratory mode. Pinterest uses keyword targeting to capture current interest as well as related things for potential future exploration. Your ads will show when pinners are looking for you and when they might be thinking about you for the future. Pretty cool.

Interest Categories

Pinterest leveraged how Pinners organize content on its site into its ad targeting options. Advertisers can choose among 400+ interest categories to refine their ad targeting. Don't think "food." Think "organic healthy recipes." Add in kayaking, green living, etc. and you get the idea. It's a dream for those marketing products.

So, Are Pinterest Ads Right for Your Business?

If you sell a product or run a visual / experiential type of business (restaurant, spa, etc), we think you should run small test campaigns on Pinterest as soon as you can. It's a no-brainer. In the beta period, Pinterest found advertisers were seeing significant click-throughs/website traffic from their ads. Just make sure you've created appropriate landing pages for your campaigns.

For service businesses, Pinterest's effectiveness will really vary by industry. Can your business be translated into compelling visuals (more like real estate porn; less like tax preparation porn)? If so, a small test may be worthwhile. Otherwise, we suggest you aggregate your spending in more effective channels.

At altREVOLUTION, we'll be running test campaigns for clients in the next few weeks and will keep you posted on our results.

A few suggested resources for Pinterest: