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Pinterest Releases New Report on Pin Video Best Practices

While much of the online video discussion has been around live-streaming and the rise of video consumption on Facebook and Snapchat, Pinterest has also been slowly building out its video offerings, and it’s growing to become a much bigger consideration for Pinterest marketers.

In fact, Pinterest video may be even more resonant, on balance, than video content on other networks - according to Pinterest, 75% of Pinners say they’re likely to watch a video about a topic that interests them on the site, compared to 55% of users on other sites.  

So what kinds of videos work best on Pinterest? The platform recently conducted a study of 29 Promoted Video campaigns to examine which elements performed best in order to help guide social media marketers looking to optimize their Pin video strategy.

Here’s what they found.

Video Formats

Pinterest’s key finding was that two types of video content clearly perform best via Pin - storytelling and how-to’s.

As explained by Pinterest:

“Storytelling videos bring brands or products to life, while how-to videos provide guidance and instruction. Both kinds of content performed well regardless of a brand’s category. This shows that brands should develop their content strategy based on specific marketing goals, rather than assuming a specific type of video is right for their line of business.”

This makes sense – Pinterest has become known for its fashion and food content, in particular, so how-to videos should resonate, including make-up tutorials and recipes. Storytelling, on the other hand, works in all video formats, and seems a bit of a vague classification from Pinterest in this regard, but they do go on to explain the key elements in more detail within their report.

Pin Story

Pinterest says that in regards to storytelling, story based videos on Pinterest can highlight key brand attributes, share product or business news or launch a new offering.

“Assets like brand vignettes and repurposed TV commercials work well to tell an immersive, emotional story.”

As an example, Pinterest shares this video from Hunter, which they used to launch their ‘Core Concept collection of colorful rain boots and gear’.

As you can see, the video is more like a commercial, playing on a particular story element from their product launch. This is also a good example of how Pinterest video stands out in the feed – you can see how the video moves as you scroll.

In this sense, it’s probably less a ‘story’ element than a thematic connection, but Pinterest notes that other videos in the campaign also ‘celebrated the joy of rain’ and honed in on specific products.

Really, storytelling will always resonate – it’s about finding the key voice of the product and amplifying that through your creative elements.

One way to look at it is to consider more than just what your product does - why does your product matter and how can you portray that in your video?

Pinterest says that during their Promoted Video campaign, Hunter’s Pinterest branded search traffic rose 30%.


As noted, given the fashion and food focus of Pinterest, it’s not surprising that how-to videos also perform well. Similar to storytelling, how-to content tends to resonate on most platforms, but it makes sense that it would resonate with Pinterest’s audience in particular, as the platform is less abut entertainment and more about discovery.

To demonstrate a successful how to video on the platform, Pinterest shared this recent Promoted Video from Lowe’s

The simple video – which Lowe’s has become known for – saw completion rates at double the average rate on the platform.

Best Practices

In addition to these top performing formats, Pinterest also advises that brand should:

  • Prioritize quality over length – Pinterest’s research found that video completion rates on the platform did not correlate with video length. So long as it’s relevant, people will watch, so businesses should put more emphasis no quality over a specific run time.
  • Optimize for actions, not views – Because Promoted Video on Pinterest is also shown alongside a group of related Pins, brand should look to connect the video content with the subsequent action they can take on the platform.
  • Reach people at different points in the decision journey – Pinterest says that 67% of Pinners say that video inspires them to take action, compared to 32% on other platforms. Pinterest advises that brands should look to capitalize on this by re-targeting users who saw a Promoted Video with related Promoted Pins to ‘continue to story’.

There are some good tips in here – if you haven’t considered Pinterest video before, it’s worth a look, particularly if your brand can provide content that fits into these key categories, and the sectors that generate the most interest on the platform.

You can read Pinterest’s full Promoted Video study here.

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