On this Expert Access, the DLN audience was joined by Vikram Bhaskaran, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Creators and Content at Pinterest. The first half of the discussion was spent reviewing the platform’s audience and tools, followed by a robust Q&A with participants. Please see below for highlights from the webinar.

As they evolve, Pinterest is moving towards the editorial space where they curate content under the new “Today” tab. They have found that users like professionally curated branded content, and find it useful.


4 Pillars of how Pinterest suggests design professionals use the platform:

  1. A place for your own home inspiration
  2. A place to showcase your work and collaborate
  3. A place to make your products shoppable and your brands shine
    1. There are many new shopping features for consumers
  4. A place to create and tell stories (new + exclusive)


You might wonder, “How do I build an audience on Pinterest?” The focus is shifting from inspiration and product to people and native publishing, which will play a large role in audience building moving forward.


The newest tool for users in this native publishing effort is Story Pins. Though not available to the general public, DLN Members will get early access to begin using Story Pins and can apply on the Pinterest business website.


Q: How do these stories compare to Instagram?

A: It’s video and narrative-based. It doesn’t disappear though like other platform’s stories.


Q: How do shopping features relate to trade-only brands without ecommerce, beyond tagging products with URLs. Do you have to have ecommerce to become a verified merchant?

A: Yes, you do have to have an online shopping presence to be a verified merchant.


Q: Can you promote story pins?

A: Right now that is not a feature, but it’s not off the table down the road.


Q: How do you tag your brand to pins of your work?

A: If they are pinning from your website, there is a standard attribution tool built into the platform. If they are re-pinning from another source, like a blog, it will link back to that blog instead of your site.


Q: What is the best practice for tagging to be found through search?

A: Have relevant text in your description and have a clear name for your board.


Q: Access to Story Pins? Verified merchant program? Shopping ads?

A: Everyone on the call will get access to Story Pins. For verified merchants, there is a robust set of criteria necessary to get setup in the program.


Q: Are hashtags useful?

A: For now yes, but moving forward don’t use them. The Pinterest algorithm will find the topic in your post and organize it appropriately. @ mentions are encouraged, however, as a way to tag others in collaborative work.


Q: How much do designers use boards with clients, or share them between users?

A: In general, Pinterest is used a lot for collaboration. They recommend sitting down with a client and building a board with them as quick and effective way to begin to understand their tastes and visual preferences.


Q: More about the Shopify and Pinterest connection?

A: If you are a Shopify merchant, you get direct access to Pinterest catalog and automatically upload your catalog to Pinterest.


Q: Would you recommend hiring someone to assist with ad creation, or is it intuitive?

A: It’s intuitive, Vik says he creates his own ads and can do it in under five minutes. Where it gets tricky and needs time is on the creative side. Pinterest has partners with turnkey creative solutions on this.


Q: What makes a good piece of advertising content?

A: Novel, relevant, visually appealing, positive, actionable. Create for Pinterest vs. taking an existing ad and placing it on Pinterest.


Q: How can authors promote themselves?

A: Building new formats that will allow you to promote your brand and ideas. On the “Today” tab, there is an article feature that allows for more text content to complement the visual.


Q: Does Pinterest have brand analytics to review performance?

A: If you are logged in as a brand, you can access your analytics. You can also see analytics on ad campaigns all natively on the platform.


Q: More on real-time engagement with brands and consumers, like Facebook and Twitter?

A: Moving forward, Pinterest is increasing their focus on recency.


Q: Is an ecommerce integration the best way to import and maintain catalog on Pinterest?

A: The app has a bulk catalog import API. If you are an ecommerce site, test Pinterest advertising to reach shoppers on the app.


Q: Can you add a link on a Story, and to what if not for selling purposes?

A: Pinterest has decided Story Pins will be native without links. You can @mention, but not include links.


Q: Are all ads on Pinterest native?

A: Today, yes. We want advertising to be inspiring and not interruptive.