4 Quick Pinterest Ad Hacks to Boost Your Ecommerce Pinterest is an effective -- but often underutilized -- advertising platform. Why not look into it?

By William Harris

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Chayantorn | Getty Images

Every month, more than 250 million people use Pinterest to find inspiration, discover and shop for products and interact with brands. Since it was first conceived and launched nearly 10 years ago, the site has quickly risen to the top of the ranks and become one of the most popular social media sites in existence.

Related: 4 Pinterest Hacks You Can Adopt to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

In the years since, too, other social media sites have come and gone, but Pinterest, like Facebook and Twitter, has endured, evolved and effectively positioned itself as an invaluable tool for individuals and brands alike.

Perhaps one reason is the suite of advertising tools Pinterest has built and refined, aimed at helping brands connect with customers, increase sales and grow their businesses. (Note: I own a small amount of Pinterest stock, but not enough for it to matter if the company succeeds or fails. I write about Pinterest because it's an effective, and often underutilized, advertising platform.)

If you've been wondering if Pinterest could be a worthwhile growth and revenue driver for your store, the best way to find out is by simply creating and launching your first ad. To build winning ads on Pinterest, keep the following four tips in mind:

1. Focus on your story.

Every successful piece of content on Pinterest -- whether organic or paid -- has one thing in common: Each is created with storytelling in mind. While the visual you create and promote on Pinterest will undoubtedly determine how successful you are at getting viewers to engage and take the desired action,

I'd argue that the story you're trying to tell with your ad is actually more important. You can, after all, have a beautifully designed visual that aligns perfectly with your brand standards and personality, but if your audience can't understand or relate to the message you're trying to get across with your ad -- if they can't connect to it on an emotional level -- you're going to have a hard time achieving your objective.

Related: How to Turn Your Company's Pinterest Efforts Into a Lead-Generation Machine

Here are a few tips that will help you ensure that your ad is telling a clear story:

  • Pick your protagonist: Make it easy for viewers to recognize whom you're trying to address in your ad. Who is the main character, and what are you offering that can help the customer achieve his or her goals?

  • Position the enemy: Help viewers understand what challenges or obstacles you can help them overcome. For example, if you're selling athletic clothing, the enemy you might focus on, the one that prevents people in your audience from working out, might be excuses, fear or lack of motivation.

  • Make a promise: Give viewers a clear idea of how you can help them overcome a shared enemy that they all face. Make a specific promise that will motivate them to take the intended action you want them to take after seeing your ad.

Focusing on elements of storytelling when creating your ads will help you build trust and connect to your customers on a human level.

2. Delight with text.

The text you use can also influence how effective your ad is at driving Pinterest users to take action. When you build your ad, text and messaging can be placed in the following areas: in the title, on static images, overlaid on top of video or included within the description of the pin you're promoting.

To build winning ads, you have to develop and use text that delights viewers and supports the overall message you're trying to get across with your ad. Your goal should be to use text, to give viewers more context about the product or service you're trying to promote.

To see how brands are using text effectively in Pinterest ads, take a look at these examples:

When creating your own Pinterest ad, spend time thinking about how to use text to reinforce the message, promise and call-to-action you're trying to express via your visual. Every word and letter can add additional value and context for the Pinterest users who see your ad, so make these things count.

3. Experiment with ad formats.

To launch ads that persuade your ideal customers to take action, you have to be willing to experiment with different ad formats, like these:

1. Promoted Pins: These ads look like standard pins and are the best place to start when you're trying to understand how to build and launch ads on Pinterest.

2. Promoted Video Pins: These are ads that leverage video to grab the attention of users. They can appear in feeds, search results or in the "more like this" section below a pin. To learn more about this ad type, click here.

3. Promoted Carousels: These ads allow viewers to swipe through multiple images in a slideshow. You can see an example here and learn more about this type of ad here.

4. Promoted App Pins: These are ads that make it easy for viewers to download apps right from Pinterest. You can learn more about them here.

4. Don't forget about Your landing page.

If you're trying to drive viewers to take a specific action and you're sending them away from Pinterest to your website, make sure you spend as much time building and optimizing the landing page they ultimately see as you spend on the ad. Here are some tips to keep in mind when building a landing page that you intend to connect to a Pinterest ad:

1. Keep the messaging and visuals the same: Make sure that the messaging, images and graphics you use on your landing page align with the content you're using in your ad. Your visitors should not feel confused when they click through your ad and arrive on your website.

2. Keep it simple: Don't over-complicate your landing page with information or media that Pinterest viewers won't care about. Keep your design simple and visually pleasing.

3. Make the call to action clear: Make it easy for viewers to know exactly what you want them to do within a few seconds of arriving on your page. Don't make it easy for them to get lost or wonder why they are there.

Related: 4 Success Lessons From the Entrepreneur Who Quietly Grew Pinterest Into a $12 Billion Company

When you're building Pinterest ads, it's important to remember that what works for one brand may not work for you. Ongoing experimentation is the best way to know what your audience responds to best.

Wavy Line
William Harris

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

CEO and Entrepreneur

William Harris has been critical to driving growth for multiple startups in ecommerce and SaaS, has helped facilitate both sides of acquisitions, and consults for the CMOs of multi-billion dollar Fortune 1,000 companies — all while running Elumynt, an advertising agency.

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