A creative approach to Pinterest

The best creative is, well, creative! It’s part art and part science. There’s no single approach that works for everyone, but the following advice will help guide you to creative ideas that work on Pinterest.

Our insights team ran a one year study of the performance over 50,000 Promoted Pins. They tested performance differences across more than 20 creative attributes, and looked at everything from save, click, and checkout rates to the the image, text overlays, promotional language and branding.

Some aspects of creative design influence Pin performance more than others. In this guide, you’ll find tips for what’s proven to work best.

Bring your best ideas

Pins should represent your actionable, inspiring ideas. People come to Pinterest to find ideas from brands and businesses like you, and they want Pins that help them to give something a try or do something new.

Design for Pinterest first

People start looking for things on Pinterest well in advance of their planned event or activity. So start saving to Pinterest around 45 days early. That’s probably earlier than you’ll post to other channels, so design for Pinterest first.

Use compelling images

Because Pinterest is a visual platform, using images that stand out and say something about what you have to offer will give you an edge.

Here’s three tips for images that will support your success: Lifestyle images are often more effective and attention-grabbing than product shots. High-resolution, high-quality images will always look best. Steer clear of images that are busy—80% of Pinners use Pinterest on mobile, so check out your Pin on mobile to make sure the message is easy to digest (and text is legible in the feed and closeup).

Use a vertical aspect ratio

Pins are organized into columns, so vertical Pins take up more space and tend to stand out more on our platform. The ideal aspect ratio for a vertical Pin is 2:3—600px wide x 900px high.

Square images—600px wide x 600px high—can work well, too. Pins longer than 1260px high will get cut off, and people will only see the entirety of the Pin when they tap it for a closeup. Pinterest optimizes Pins that fit within these preferred aspect ratios.

Consider adding copy to your image for clarity

If your Pin image doesn’t provide quite enough context on its own, try incorporating some copy onto the image to help land your message. You can add headers, subheads, annotations or take a creative approach to how your type interacts with the image.

Add tasteful branding

Tasteful branding conveys credibility and helps people understand who the content is coming from. Ideally, you can include your product or packaging in your Pin image, or you might want to incorporate your logo.

Make sure people are aware of your brand, but don’t overdo it! Choose between a product shot or a logo, but try not to use both on the same Pin. Avoid logo placement in the bottom right corner of the Pin, or it will get covered up by our visual search icon.

Provide detailed descriptions

When someone taps a Pin for a closeup, they’ll also see your description. A good description can make your idea more compelling and actionable. If your objective is to drive clicks, use the description copy to hint that there’s more to see on your website. A strong call to action—like "shop," "make," "find" or "buy"—will encourage people to take the next steps.

Optimizing for search on Pinterest

Make sure your Pins show up in relevant searches by having an image, title and description that match the keywords you’re targeting. Think about when you want your Pin to appear, who you want to see it, and don’t use keywords that aren’t relevant to the Pin.

For example, if you're a food company that wants to surface a recipe Pin for Thanksgiving season, make sure you use words like "Thanksgiving" and "recipe.” Or, if you're a financial services company that wants to reach someone who may be buying a new house, use words like "home purchase" and "financial help.”

Search can help you find keywords. For example, if your Pin is a roast chicken recipe, search for “roast chicken” on Pinterest. You’ll see suggested searches for “roast chicken whole” and “roast chicken oven,” and search guides like “simple” or “cast iron.” All of these are great keywords you can add to your description (if appropriate!).

Add up to 20 relevant hashtags. Pinners use hashtags to discover trending, relevant content. Hashtags should act as broad search terms, not niche humor (#springfashion is great, #ilookterribleinhats is not).

Promoted Video on Pinterest

Sight, sound and motion can be the most compelling way to bring your ideas to life on Pinterest. To use up as much screen space as possible, make sure your videos are designed for mobile and are either square (1:1) or portrait (9:16).

Shorter length videos tend to work best when you want Pinners to discover your idea—maybe your goal is awareness or storytelling. Go longer when you want people to do something with your idea—for example, you’re providing education or a tutorial. Either way, make sure your message comes across even if the sound is off.