Pinterest to Begin Testing Advertising with Selected Brands

Pinterest Pins


Recently, Pinterest announced it will soon begin testing advertising with a select group of businesses. The advertising will be called promoted pins. While Pinterest has not yet released all the details of how promoted pins will work, they have announced the ads will not disrupt the Pinterest experience that users have grown accustomed to.  The ads will follow guidelines outlined by Pinterest: tasteful, clearly labeled as advertising, and relevant. During the test period and moving forward, Pinterest will welcome user feedback to improve the ads served to them.

How it Works

The advertisers included in the test stage will not pay to have promoted pins while Pinterest works to better understand how users will engage with the promoted pins.  The pins will appear in search results as well as category feeds.  The promoted pins will be relevant depending on category or search term. For example, a cruise line may have a promoted pin in the travel category example below; while a shoe company may have a promoted pin in the search results for a phrase like “purple shoes.”

Category Page
Category Page
Category Results Page
Category Results Page


Search Page
Search Page
Search Results Page
Search Results Example


Promoted pins present a great opportunity for brands to increase reach on Pinterest, drive website traffic and ultimately increase revenues.

Advertisers must keep in mind:

  1. Pinterest is new to the advertising space and most likely will not provide the breadth and depth of targeting options that are currently available on other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
  2. This could provide advertisers with a first mover advantage on this rapidly growing social media platform.
  3. As with other advertising, testing and re-testing are necessary to find the search terms and categories that drive the best results.

Advertisers who would like to begin advertising on Pinterest should:

  1. Establish a baseline for Pinterest KPIs – considering using engagement metrics, website visits and revenue.
  2. Identify their top performing boards, to help them better understand which categories the brand should focus on once promoted pins become available to them.
  3. Research top performing keyword in paid search and paid social targeting. Identify the volume of pins for those keywords to prioritize which ones should have promoted pins created first.
  4. Leverage existing rich pin options, such as product, recipe and movie pins until promoted pin advertising is available for your brand.

Promoted pins are the first step in the awaited advertising offerings from Pinterest. Brands should research their current Pinterest performance now to set KPIs and decide on the best ad placement to full take advantage of promoted pins once they are available.

For more information, visit the resources below: