The Do’s and Don’ts of Pinterest Promoted Pins

Kyle Reed // @kylereed


I really like Pinterest.
I check it every day.
Use it for resources, inspiration, and learning.
It is a great tool.

When Pinterest announced Promoted Pins not too long ago I was intrigued to see how brands would start using this new ad platform.

After spending some time watching different brands promote their pins it’s time we dive in and see the Do’s and Don’ts of Promoted Pins.


Let’s start with the Don’ts:

Here is an example of a bad promoted pin from
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate their effort, but let’s dissect where they went wrong.



The biggest mistake they made was not using Pinterest for its native use.

This ad (which I am sure they have all across the internet) uses a triggering image with a decent proposition.

‘Heck ya, I don’t want thieves finding my valuable stuff. But burying it underground? Is that really the solution.

Which this leads us to the problem of the pin, the user is immediately forced to make a decision, is this something I would use or not use. 

When using promoted pins, the biggest feature is getting in front of people looking to learn more.

It’s a social network made up of DIY content people want to read. Immediately going with a propositional statement of telling users the best thing to do is burying your valuables assumes users are educated on protecting their valuables or for that matter even knowing what valuables to protect.


Check out the comments.
They prove some of the confusion.

The comments also prove that people are being forced to choose right away if they agree or not.

How could this ad be improved?

Let’s go back to the native use of Pinterest.
A lot of content on Pinterest are reasons or list post.
Pins like: Top 10 ways to improve your kitchen backsplash or 10 outfits for your 10-year-old boy.

You get the idea.

Let’s look at our ad again.
What if they did a promoted post entitled:
-10 Valuables Thief’s Look For the Most?
-3 Ways You Can Protect Your Valuables Today
subtext: and why the solution might surprise you.
-5 Common Ways People Protect Their Valuables and How None of Them Are Safe.

There are tons of headlines you could come up with.
The point being, if the time was taken to write a native piece to Pinterest and have it link back to their site with a nice Call-To-Action at the end of the post for their underground safe the success of this promoted pin would change drastically.

Let’s Look At Some Do’s:

Pinterest-promoted-pin-good-example Pinterest-promoted-pin-great-example Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 4.58.12 PM


These three ads are great examples of using Pinterest as a platform.
Here are a couple things we can learn from these ads.

1. Have clear text

With each ad, there is a clear call to action with their text in the image.
This is where Pinterest shines, it’s quick and relies on scrolling. If you have clear messaging, people can know exactly what the pin is about and make the decision to act rather than having to explore. I want to make Father’s Day count, I want a great resume, and I definitely want to land more services with my freelance clients.

Each pin tells me what to do.

2. Use Great Imaging

This goes without saying, but imaging is very important on Pinterest.
Once again, we see both great CTA with text but also great CTA with imaging. Faithbox does this particularly well with their boxes being laid out in the image.
You see exactly what you are getting, and in this case, what your dad would get. Imaging is just as important as the text.

3. Make Sure You Fit In

These ads all seem to belong in your feed. There is nothing worse than being on a social network and being interrupted by an ad. These ads blend in, while also standing out.
They also have the feeling of something your friend would pin.

The next time you go are on Pinterest pay attention to your home feed and see what ads you can find.
The best ones are those that blend in while standing out.

Bonus: Here are 3 great pinners I have recently started to follow.

Trent Nelson
She creates content for the thinkers, makers, and do-ers of the online business world: Solo entrepreneurs and freelancers with service-based businesses.

Trent Nelson Pinterest Board


Jeff Sieh
Jeff host of The Manly Pinterest Tips Show, and has great marketing pins daily.

Jeff Sieh Pinterest Board


Jessica Safko
Jessica has great resources for designers. I specifically like her board of patterns and textures.

Jessica Safko Pinterest Board

And as always, you can follow my boards on Pinterest here.

Kyle Reed Pinterest Board


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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville