Pinterest Launches Shopping & Keyword-Based Search Ads

Claiming that the network sees over 2 billion search queries per month, Pinterest debuted their anticipated search advertising product on Wednesday.

Pinterest search ads, which include both keyword and shopping campaigns, have been rolled-out to a select group of advertisers—including eBay, Target, and Barilla. The social network has partnered with digital ad vendor Kenshoo for initial search campaigns. At present, it sounds less like there’s an actual interface that exists for Pinterest search ads, and more like the campaigns are being managed via API for the time being.

Whatever the case, the interest in Pinterest search is bound to be significant. With 2b monthly searches & a userbase of 150 million plus, Pinterest has itself a visually captive audience ripe for apparel, home goods, CPG, and a plethora of other eCommerce goods. The platform boasts that 97% of searches are non-brand—a competitive, often tough area to achieve profitability in through the larger paid search channels.

Keyword Campaigns

For those experienced in SEM, Pinterest’s Keyword Campaign option will seem very familiar. The social network has introduced ad groups, which work just as they would on Google or Bing. Bids are optimized at the keyword level, and advertisers have the ability to see insights into how users are Pinning images, including what names they are using to save it.

Shopping Campaigns

Shopping Campaigns on Pinterest are perhaps the most inviting for those advertisers with limited creative resources, as they pull from existing product feeds that are already in place within AdWords and/or Facebook.

Ads are dynamically updated based on available inventory, and “Pins” are generated based on images and meta data within the product feed itself. Currently, an FTP is in place for Shopping Campaign feeds; additional partnerships with feed management companies will be coming in the near future.


For now, access to Pinterest search ads has been limited to select advertisers—and, once again, only through the Kenshoo platform. Expect both of these things to change, though; Pinterest is expected to grant more advertisers access via Kenshoo in the coming months, with additional third-party providers becoming available throughout the year. At some point, you can bet there will be a self-serve platform offered; though, given the slow roll-out, don’t expect this before Q4 or possibly even 2018.

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