Pinterest Advertising: Why Paid Pinterest Is Worth The Spend

5 min readDec 9, 2020

We’ve discussed before how Pinterest seems to be in a league of its own as a social media platform. Almost more of a search engine than a platform the likes of Facebook or Instagram, Pinterest has its very own set of rules for reaching an engaged audience, driving impressions, generating link clicks — and enabling businesses to use their advertising budgets effectively.

Let’s talk about the latter. Here’s what makes paid advertising on Pinterest worth the effort, plus tips for bringing your campaigns to life.

What Sets Pinterest Apart

Before we get into the nitty-gritty about Pinterest ads, let’s take a look at what Pinterest ads are not.

Think about Instagram ads and how they appear on the app. They often pop up mid-feed, clearly distinguished as paid content by the “Sponsored” tag above the ad visual and/or a bold, color-changing CTA (like this one below from indie cosmetic brand Lemonhead LA).

Though it appears among other organic posts, there are some pretty clear differences that set it apart from the rest of the posts, right?

Now, let’s consider Instagram’s brother-in-arms: Facebook.

Similar to Instagram, the paid content is clearly labeled as a “Sponsored” post and the numerous “Shop Now” CTAs are a pretty dead giveaway. No questions here about whether or not there were ad dollars put behind this Forever 21 post.

Pinterest ads, however, hit a little bit differently.

Why Pinterest Ads Work

Like its social media competitors, Pinterest also discloses which pins have been paid for. But despite that, there’s something that just seems…sneakier about the ads on this particular platform.

Pinterest is all about the visuals. The way its users peruse the platform’s content is by navigating and toggling through various collections of images. Whether they’re scrolling through their home feed, their search results, or another user’s board of carefully curated images, their screens will look consistent: plastered with images. The focus is almost always on the visuals.

Consequently, the pin titles & descriptions might be the second or third thing you pay attention to on Pinterest, but rarely ever the first…which also means that the “Sponsored” tags that the platform displays on paid content might go unnoticed before users decides to click on the photo and navigate to the promoted website.

This is all to say that paid Pinterest ads are particularly valuable for their ability to blend in with surrounding organic content. For an ad to be successful, all you need is for a visitor to see your post and find your visual click-worthy before they wind up exactly where you want them to be: on your website or landing page.

How Your Pinterest Ads Succeed

A paid ad’s undercover ability is the major benefit that sets Pinterest apart from other paid social media platforms. However, there are a few other great aspects of Pinterest advertising that can give businesses an edge — from visual capabilities to audience behavior.

Image Text Is Commonplace

…especially on paid ads, which provides another opportunity for advertisers to engage their target audience. Image text is a great way for brands to include more information about their promotion or add another compelling CTA to their post.

Users Visit For Educational Purposes

Tutorials and DIY guides are extremely popular on Pinterest. If your business is seeking to promote informative content, this platform could be a valuable tool for reaching audiences that are already ready to learn.

Curating Content Is Easy

On Pinterest, implementing a curated content strategy and engaging with users is as easy as pointing and clicking.

It’s not always in your best interest to toot your horn and constantly share your own content or images-but it’s also not always easy to find and share other content that aligns with your social media strategy. But on Pinterest, it’s easy to search for content that pertains to your focus and share it with your audience as a curated Pinterest board. Plus, each post you pin will send a notification to the original creator with your brand name a nice side effect that works as a brand awareness strategy!

Where To Go Next

Pinterest advertising is definitely not for everyone. But these unique characteristics make it, in our opinion, at least worthy of a test campaign!

If you agree and are interested in joining forces to create a killer Pinterest advertising strategy for your business, you’re in luck. We’re now offering support services to in-house marketing teams looking to bring their social media strategies to new heights. In other words, we’ll talk you through the Pinterest paid advertising process from brainstorming your positioning to realizing your ideas into a fully fleshed out campaign.

Learn more about becoming an Altos Social Maximizer.

(Pssst… don’t miss Part 2 of our Pinterest Advertising Guide!)

Written by Megan O’Keefe | Content & Social Media Specialist at Altos




We are a digital marketing agency specializing in web design and development, eCommerce, search, and social media marketing.