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August 6, 2020·8 min read

Pin It to Win It: How to Use Pinterest Video for Business

Pinterest users rely on the platform to help them decide what to buy. Make sure they see your product in its best light by taking advantage of Pinterest video options.

Pinterest has always stood out among its social-platform peers as a community that drives meaningful user engagement. So it’s not surprising that Pinterest users are twice as likely to say their time on the platform is well spent, versus other social networks.

Unlike other social networks built around the immediacy of sharing, Pinterest is a community geared toward planning for future life events—weddings, home renovations, vacations, a new meal plan, or an updated gym routine. Pinning is a visual and aspirational act. And pinners are building a vision board for their futures.

  1. Contents
  2. 1.What Are the Benefits of Using Video on Pinterest?
  3. 1.1Pinterest Users Have an Appetite for Video Content
  4. 1.2Pinterest Gives Video Prime Placement
  5. 1.3Video Drives Pinterest User Action
  6. 2.How to Use Pinterest Video to Engage Your Audience
  7. 3.Pinterest Linked Videos
  8. 4.Video Pins
  9. 4.1Specs for Video Pins
  10. 4.2Best Practices for Video Pins
  11. 4.3How to Share a Video Pin
  12. 4.4How to Measure the Success of Your Video Pins
  13. 5.Pinterest Video Ads
  14. 5.1Specs for Pinterest Video Ads
  15. 5.1.1Standard Width Promoted Video
  16. 5.1.2Maximum Width Promoted Video
  17. 5.2Best Practices for Pinterest Video Ads
  18. 5.3How to Share Pinterest Video Ads
  19. 5.4How to Measure the Success of Your Pinterest Video Ads

Because of the aspirational side of pinning, Pinterest users are also very open to engaging with brands on the platform, if that content is relevant and useful to them. In fact, 90% of Pinterest users say the platform helps them decide what to purchase.

So how can your business engage with the visual, future-oriented audience of Pinterest in a meaningful way?

Pinterest video is a relatively new medium for engaging audiences. And because Pinterest is betting big that video content will resonate with its user base and drive more engagement, the platform is currently rewarding brands that produce quality video on their site with wide reach and prime content placement.

All that means businesses that invest in video marketing on Pinterest now could see a huge return on investment, reaching new audiences and converting more loyal customers.

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What Are the Benefits of Using Video on Pinterest?

While investing in an emerging medium like Pinterest video may seem like a risk for your business, there are several compelling reasons to include Pinterest in your video marketing plans.

Video is a perfect fit for the DIY ethos of Pinterest. Video is a highly visual tool that fits naturally with a highly visual social network. Here are some of the top reasons why you should develop a Pinterest video plan.

Pinterest Users Have an Appetite for Video Content

The main reason Pinterest introduced its latest video tools is that it was catering to its audience’s preferences and habits. According to the company’s own research, 75% of Pinterest users say they’re likely to watch video that interests them—that’s compared to 55% of users on other social media platforms. By producing the kind of video content Pinterest users want, like how-to videos and short-form storytelling, you can ensure you have an eager audience willing to engage with your content.

Pinterest Gives Video Prime Placement

To give its video tools a boost and reward businesses that use them, Pinterest prioritizes video content in internal search.

When users search for a topic, product, or brand, the first content that surfaces in their search results is relevant video content. Because of that key placement and because relatively few brands have jumped into Pinterest video, your business can get great exposure and engagement as an early video adopter.

Video Drives Pinterest User Action

Much like on other social networks, video content on Pinterest is a great tool for driving valuable interaction with your brand.

Research conducted by Pinterest found that 67% of its users were inspired by a video to take action. On the flip side, only 32% of users on other social networks said the same. With the right video strategy, Pinterest can help you turn casual browsers into committed buyers.

See It in Action

This quick video shows what Pinterest video ads look like in action, including how they show up in users’ feeds and how users can interact with them.

How to Use Pinterest Video to Engage Your Audience

Since it’s clear that Pinterest video offers a great opportunity to grow your audience and drive more sales, you need a better understanding of the video formats you can experiment with on Pinterest and get to know best practices for the platform, so you can make sure you’re sharing the best video content to resonate with your audience.

Pinterest Linked Videos

Probably the easiest way to get started with sharing video to Pinterest is to use linked videos. That just means that rather than uploading video directly to Pinterest, you’re simply pinning a link to a video that’s housed elsewhere, like on YouTube, Vimeo, or Vidyard.

There are two quick ways to pin linked videos:

  • Pin it Directly: Just as you’d do with an image, you can pin directly from the page where the video’s embedded or hosted. Just visit the page and use the “Pin It” Chrome extension. A window will appear so you can add a description, then click the button to pin the video.
  • Add a Link: You can also copy the URL of a video, navigate to Pinterest, click Add a Pin, paste the URL directly, and share it.

While linked videos are an easy way to experiment with video on Pinterest, you won’t see some of the same benefits you do with native video, including higher search placement and some auto-play options.

However, depending on where you’ve hosted your video, you may be privy to more advanced video analytics.

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Video Pins

Video pins are the name given to native video uploaded directly to Pinterest. Here are all the details you need to master video pins for your business.

Specs for Video Pins

It’s important that you use the proper specs for your video pins, so your content looks great on any device. Pinterest prefers square or vertical video, since 85% of its audience uses the platform on a mobile device.

  • File Type: mp4, mov or m4v
  • Encoding: H.264 or H.265
  • Maximum File Size: Up to 2 GB
  • Video Length: Minimum 4 seconds, maximum 15 minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: Shorter than 1:2 (width:height), taller than 1.91:1. Pinterest recommends making your videos square (1:1) or vertical (2:3, 9:16)
cover graphic for Social Video Specs Guide
Get the Social Media Video Specs Guide cover graphic for Social Video Specs Guide Every different social platform has its own requirements for videos. Every single one is in this guide. Get the Specs

Best Practices for Video Pins

Just like any other pin, the best video pins are visually interesting, give people useful information and tell a story. Here are some of the top tips for creating standout video pins:

  • Make it Actionable for Viewers: As with most content on Pinterest, the best video pins give the viewer new, useful information. Think about how you can create branded video that teaches your audience something or inspires them to try something new.
  • Tell a Story Without Audio: Don’t rely on sound to tell your video’s story. Like with most social networks, much of the video content on Pinterest is consumed sound-off using a mobile device. If you need words to get your point across, include subtitles. But try to keep your visuals strong so text stays minimal.
  • Don’t Forget the Post Copy: The post copy that accompanies your video is important, too. It can help you optimize the video for search so more people discover your content. Your title should be punchy and descriptive, with more details and relevant hashtags in the description copy.
Learn From the Pros

This video from Gordon’s Gin uses humor, bold visuals, and music to deliver a memorable and useful experience for viewers—all in just 36 seconds.

How to Share a Video Pin

Sharing a video pin is a straightforward task. Here’s how to upload native Pinterest videos like a pro:

  1. Sign in to your Pinterest Business account and select Create Pin on your homepage
  2. Click + and upload the video you’d like to pin.
  3. Slide the selector to choose the cover image for your video
  4. Write your video title and description, and use the dropdown menu under Choose a Board to pin it to one of your boards
  5. Add the URL you’d like your video to link to
  6. Hit Publish when you’re all done

How to Measure the Success of Your Video Pins

It’s important to get a good grasp of how your videos are performing—that way you’ll get a sense of what resonates with your audience and what’s less successful. Here are the metrics you can track for video pins:

  • Video Views: The total number of times someone watched at least 2 seconds of your video, with at least 50% of the video in view on their screen
  • Average Watch Time: The average amount of time viewers spent watching your video
  • Saves: The number of times someone saved your video pin to their board
  • Link Clicks: The number of times someone clicked on the URL accompanying your video pin
  • 95% Views: The number of times viewers watched at least 95% of your video
  • Total Watch Time: The total amount of time users spent watching your video, in minutes
Learn From the Pros

This video from Retail Me Not feels right at home on Pinterest and that’s entirely the point. In under a minute, it walks viewers through a useful seasonal craft in order to keep their audience engaged until the final frame.

Pinterest Video Ads

Pinterest video ads are basically video pins that you pay to promote and reach a wider audience. Here’s the lowdown on how to make your video ads pop amid all the other pins.

Learn From the Pros

It might be a little weird, but DiGornio really knows how to make a video that jumps out from the feed. In this ad, the brand played with perspectives to really highlight the lengths people will go to to enjoy their product.

Specs for Pinterest Video Ads

One special perk of using video ads on Pinterest is you’ll have access to a larger, full-width video format. Here are the two video ad formats you can choose from, with full specs:

Standard Width Promoted Video

  • File Type: mp4, mov or m4v
  • Encoding: H.264 or H.265
  • Maximum File Size: Up to 2 GB
  • Video Length: Minimum 4 seconds, maximum 15 minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: Shorter than 1:2 (width:height), taller than 1.91:1. Pinterest recommends making your videos square (1:1) or vertical (2:3, 9:16)

Maximum Width Promoted Video

  • File Type: mp4, mov or m4v
  • Encoding: H.264 or H.265
  • Maximum File Size: 2 GB or less
  • Video Length: Minimum 4 seconds, maximum 15 minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: Square (1:1) or widescreen (16:9). Max-width videos can’t exceed the height of a 1:1 aspect ratio
cover graphic for Social Video Specs Guide
Get the Social Media Video Specs Guide cover graphic for Social Video Specs Guide Every different social platform has its own requirements for videos. Every single one is in this guide. Get the Specs

Best Practices for Pinterest Video Ads

  • Keep it Snappy: With ads in particular, shorter is better. People have short attention spans and will keep scrolling if your video isn’t quick and to the point. Pinterest recommends you keep video ads between six to 15 seconds long for optimal performance.
  • Tell Your Story: With video ads, it’s important you give viewers a sense of what your brand stands for and why they should care. You don’t have to tell your story with words: Get creative and rely on visuals, colors, and style to give people a sense of your brand identity.
  • Consider Your Cover Image: Pick a cover image that’ll encourage users to stop scrolling and focus on your video content. Your thumbnail should be visually compelling and give users a good sense of what the video will be about.
  • Add a URL: Make next steps easy for your viewer by adding a URL to drive them back to your website.
Learn From the Pros

This timelapse video ad from Home Depot is right up the alley of many of Pinterest’s devoted DIY users. It’s an aspirational video that shows people just how much they can change their living space with the help of tools and items from hardware store.

How to Share Pinterest Video Ads

Here’s a guide to promoting video pins to reach more users:

  1. Make sure the video you want to promote is already uploaded to your account
  2. Sign in to your Pinterest Business account and click Ads
  3. Select Create Ad
  4. Set your campaign objective as Build Brand Awareness Through Video
  5. Set your campaign start and end dates, budget, and audience targeting
  6. You’ll be prompted to Pick a Pin—that’s when you select the video you’d like to promote from the screen
  7. Click Promote Pin
Learn From the Pros

This video ad from Glad is whimsical, simple, and shares great tips for how to use Glad’s Cling Film product. The use of stop-motion creates a compelling visual that feels like a story, even though it’s just showing you how to use something you likely already have in your kitchen.

How to Measure the Success of Your Pinterest Video Ads

Since you’re spending money on your campaign, you’ll want to get a good understanding of how it’s performing. Here are the video ad metrics you’ll want to track on Pinterest:

  • Video Views: The number of times someone watched at least 2 seconds of your video, with at least 50% of the video in view on their screen
  • Average Watch Time: The average amount of time viewers spent watching your video
  • Saves: The number of times someone saved your Video Pin to their board
  • Link Clicks: The number of times someone clicked on the URL accompanying your Video Pin
  • 95% Views: The number of times viewers watched at least 95% of your video
  • Total Watch Time: The total amount of time users spent watching your video, measured in minutes
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Phoebe Powell

Phoebe is a freelance copywriter and content strategist who writes for tech companies, startups, and nonprofit organizations. When not at her desk, you can find Phoebe cycling the streets of Toronto, checking out local breweries, or exploring Ontario's parks with her dog Pippy.

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