Pinterest is increasingly seen as a popular advertising alternative to the larger players like Facebook. In 2020, the Pinterest user base increased by almost 40% and the platform now has more monthly users than Twitter.
But Pinterest, like all social media platforms, has a distinct set of rules for advertising, in addition to a bunch of best practices. Before you go Pinning all over the place, it’s important to first understand the basics.
What Are Pinterest Ads?
Pinterest is a social media platform designed around searchable images, as well as GIFs and videos. It has been called a “visual search engine”. The great thing about Pinterest is that it actually wants advertisements front and center. This is as opposed to Facebook, for example, where an ad might be limited to the margins. Pinterest ads look just like other Pins, so in many ways, they appear seamlessly alongside ‘non-threatening’ Pins from normal users.
Moreover, a lot of Pinterest users are actually interested in doing a bit of shopping while looking up a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. Some people think of Pinterest as a cross between a social media platform and a farmer’s market, where you can find niche and unique products. According to Pinterest itself, the platform inspires shopping among those who did not start off wanting to buy anything. So – advertise away.
How Pinterest Ads Work
The concept of Pinterest advertising is based on, you guess it – Pins. Pins are bookmarks that users save and click on to learn more. Pinterest Pins are very image-oriented, but ad copy plays an essential part in targeting because the Pinterest search mechanism looks at text to determine relevance.
In addition to conversions from the Pin itself, Pinterest business account owners can link back to their website to promote all of their products. It is important to note that uploading a Pin is free, and if a certain Pin is attracting attention, then you can promote it by creating an ad, but that comes with a fee.
Why Is Copywriting for Pinterest Ads Important?
Pinterest allocates two forms of copy to its ads – the headline and the description. The Pinterest search engine relies on the copy to display the most relevant results (in addition to promoting certain Pins based on payment). There is an option to create the headline and description using a website link that advertisers can include, but that’s not the best way to go because there are many considerations for top-performance Pinterest ad copy:
Keywords – Pinterest lets you choose from keywords that it generates, but you should think of it from the user’s point of view. For example, if you are selling waffles, Pinterest will give you “waffles”, “chocolate waffles”, and “classic waffles”. To grab the casual browser, however, you should also write about “breakfast ideas” and “griddle recipes”.
CTAs – writing the optimal CTA is an art in itself. However, it must be adjusted by the copywriter to match the goal of the ad campaign and the rest of the text. If the ad is about educating the consumer, then the CTA should be about finding more information, and not pressuring the audience to buy something.
But the real trick of good copywriting for Pinterest ads is illustrated by the platform’s character limits and display settings.
Pinterest Ad Types and Formats
There are various basic Pinterest ad formats. Each varies according to appearance and number of images that are displayed (while video is also an option):
- Static and Shopping Pins – One image only, plus headline and description
- Carousel Pins – Users can swipe through up to 5 images and add a headline and description per carousel
- Collection Pins – A main image plus three smaller images, as well as a headline and description
- Standard Width Video Pins – Videos can go up to 15 minutes in length, plus ad text in the form of a headline and description
- Maximum Width Video Pins – Same as above but the video plays on the whole screen
Pinterest ad specs for each format can be found here. However in terms of text, all Pinterest ad types allow 100 characters for the title. This might be shortened to 40 characters, according to device. Only upon clicking will the user see the whole title.
Secondly, all Pinterest ad formats permit 500 characters for the description, but descriptions do not appear unless the user is logged in and clicks on the Pin. Moreover, if the Pin appears in the user’s feed, it might be truncated to as few as 30 characters.
What do all of these details mean for a copywriter? In a worst case scenario – when a user is simply browsing the dozens of images on a Pinterest page – it all boils down to 40 characters of headline and 30 characters of description. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s all about the image, because the screen is full of them. A combination of an attractive, brand-wise picture and eye-catching, relevant ad texts will keep users clicking. If your message isn’t interesting or doesn’t match your image, users won’t have the patience to find out more.
Awesome Pinterest Ad Examples
A general fact that is extremely important for advertisers and copywriters is that the Pinterest audience is very specific. 77% of users are female, while usage follows an almost 30-30-40 split in the age groups 18-29, 30-49, and 50-64 years old, respectively.
For this reason, the best Pinterest ads are focused on women. As stated above, Pinterest revolves around images, so to create a Pinterest ad, choosing the right visual is the best place to start. The ad headline and description copy should then match the image while also incorporating the keywords in a way that is not too obvious.
Here are some examples of Pinterest ads that really know what they’re doing:
Thoughtful Baby Shower Gifts That Aren’t on the Registry. The text creates curiosity and is perfect for women. Also, what in the world is that kid wearing?
Design & print custom Business Cards online. This image is great – it looks very professional and intriguing, which is exactly the concept that they are trying to sell, i.e., “These are not your average business cards.”
Best of Fitness, Get the Box Every Season. What’s in “the box”? This company is selling surprise fitness gifts, and using just “the box” makes you want to discover what they mean. To see more examples, Pinterest has a section devoted to showing the most popular current Pin categories and their ads. This is a great feature for advertisers because they can see what images and texts are getting pinned, while it also indicates what topics are trending. If they have a product that can fit with a trending area, advertisers can immediately jump in with a relevant ad.
How to Create a Pinterest Ad with an AI Copy Generator
There is another option to consider as an alternative to spending your time stuffing all of those product and branding ideas into the few words that Pinterest allows. AI copy generators build text automatically, using a few pieces of basic information about the product, industry, and the type of copy that you want to create. Then, with the click of a button, you’ll get numerous variations of ad texts that meet Pinterest guidelines.
But there’s more, if you are using the right AI copywriting platform. Anyword goes a vital step beyond creating Pinterest headlines and description versions by calculating what’s called a predictive performance score. This is a numerical grade assigned to each line of Pinterest ad copy that indicates its conversion potential. It means that, if the headline/description is doing its job and packing the right information into the first few dozen characters, then it will get a good score.
This analysis is based on millions of existing ads, their messaging, and their conversion rate according to certain demographic factors like age and gender. (Note that this segmentation ability is really important when considering that the vast majority of Pinterest users are women!). With AI, Anyword understands what works and applies that knowledge to writing copy.
This is just for starters. Anyword also handles the copy for many social media platforms in addition to Pinterest, not to mention websites, blogs, and other formats. It allows you to choose the mode of writing that you want – it can even copy styles from existing social media pages, for example. Anyword will even automate the entire process of ad copy creation, posting, and optimization.
So if you want to start Pinning ads the pain-free way, Anyword’s free trial has your name written all over it.