Video on Pinterest – What Marketers Need to Know9 min read


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If you’re seeing more video on Pinterest lately (and I know you are), you may have more questions than answers:

  • How does video work on Pinterest?
  • What’s the best way to use Pinterest video for my business?
  • How can I get more Pinterest referral traffic from video Pins?
  • Are there any easy tools to help beginners create compelling Pinterest video?
  • Can I schedule video Pins with Tailwind? (spoiler: YES!) 🎉

How Do Video Pins Work on Pinterest?

Upload a video to Pinterest and it auto plays like this:

Pretty eye catching, eh? 👀

You’ll want to upload your video to Pinterest or schedule with Tailwind because while you can Pin a YouTube video or a .gif to Pinterest, it won’t auto play. 😞 Keep reading for an easy step by step!

Video – Front and Center on Pinterest

You’ll likely notice that videos also appear at the TOP of your search results on mobile. Though not auto playing in that spot (at least not for me!), what would you pay to get your content there – at the TOP of the feed?

If you click to “Watch more videos,” you’ll see a feed of videos that could easily keep you busy for hours. You want your content there.

While video is relatively new to Pinterest and as marketers are figuring out how best to use video there, take advantage of the prime placement and lack of competition today! Ready to get started?

If you’d prefer to watch and learn, check out this recent conversation I had with Jeff Sieh and Kate Ahl on Facebook.



How to Upload a Video to Pinterest

It’s easy! Create a video Pin the way you’d create an image Pin!

  1. Click the red + to the right of your account name at the top of the screen.

2. Upload your video, add a destination URL and description (don’t forget the hashtags!), and if you don’t have Rich Pins enabled for this site, add a title. Keep your keywords in mind all the while.

3. Choose the Board from the drop-down menu.

4. Select “Publish immediately.”

That’s it! Your video will be reviewed and posted when approved (usually within 24 hours). You’ll be able to see the video on your own account right away from the “videos” tab on your profile and it may display a notice regarding its pending status.

How to Schedule Pinterest Video with Tailwind

When uploading a video to Pinterest, you can schedule the Pin for a later time, OR you can use your favorite Pinterest marketing tool – Tailwind! That’s right, video scheduling is now open to Tailwind members, even if you are on a free trial.

Important Details about Scheduling Pinterest Video with Tailwind

  • Pinterest is currently accepting videos in English, French, and German and will add support for more languages soon.
  • Keep your videos between 1:2 and 1.91:1 (1000x2000px to 1910x1000px). Recommended ratios are square (1:1) or vertical (2:3, 9:16).
  • Minimum 4 seconds, maximum 15 minutes
  • Size limit: 100MB
  • Upload in .mov or .mp4 formats

Note: Video Pins are sent to Pinterest at your scheduled time and are subject to review by Pinterest, usually within 24 hours (community guidelines). Once approved, your Pin will be visible to others immediately. While under review, it may be visible to you on the Video tab of your profile.

Cover Photos: When you schedule video Pins with Tailwind, Pinterest will choose a frame that is most representative of the video to serve as the cover photo. This might be a frame that exemplifies dominant color palette or imagery.

Start Scheduling Pinterest Video with Tailwind!

Visit the dashboard and hit the “Enable Video Publishing!” button.

You’ll see a popup with some more details about this new feature. Give it a read and then click the “I Agree, Let’s Go!” button. Then simply head over to drafts and create a new Pin as usual! Here’s a quick walk through:

You may get a notification when your video Pin goes live and is available for others to see. Mine arrived just one minute after the scheduled time:

That’s it!

What’s the Best Way to Use Pinterest Video for My Business?

“People come to Pinterest ready to try something new, which makes it an ideal platform for businesses to feature helpful products and services, how-to videos and tutorials, and to tell an interesting brand story.” – Pinterest

According to Pinterest, searches for “inspirational videos” have increased 31%¹ since last year (April 2018-19). So, are you ready to inspire?! Doing so may drive more brand awareness, bring in more engaged followers, and help to increase the distribution of your content.

Can Pinterest Video Drive Website Traffic?

Yes! While Pinterest wants users to consume video on Pinterest, video Pins on Pinterest ARE clickable, giving you a real opportunity to drive traffic to your site. Check out some details from one of our recent video Pins:

In this case, where the video has been promoted, we see an overall 1% CTR which is higher than the average CTR on Promoted Pins in general and for ours as well!

Looking at the Promoted data specifically, the cost per impression is much lower than nearly all of my other promotions (so, this is the time to promote video!), but so is the save rate, which means that this video isn’t likely to deliver a lot of free downstream clicks for us. That’s alright though – the cost per click here is so low, it’s absolutely worth it for us. AND, the lift in brand awareness is not to be ignored either!

How to Get More Awareness, Engagement and Pinterest Referral Traffic from Video Pins

Inspire, But Give Them a Reason to Click

If you’ve ever found infographics to be fantastic for engagement (oh, the saves!) but lousy for traffic generation (wah wahhhh), you’ve may have come to this invaluable realization:

If you give everything away in your Pin, whether it’s an infographic or a video, you leave people no reason to click through to your site.

The finished product below (so cute!) makes me want to make one myself, but unless I’m a quick study, I’m not going to be able to do it just by watching the video. So, I’m going to have to click through to the site!

You could also offer a discount for some of the items you use in your video which is only available on your site.

Tell An Inspiring Story

Pinterest is all about inspiration and aspiration, after all! And just as lifestyle images work well because they help people imagine your product or service enriching your life, so can your videos!

Show the progression of a simple project you want to teach, or illustrate your product in action. There’s so much more you can “say” with video!

And while you can try out clever and simple “video” tricks like stitching together images to create a video, Pinterest reports that people watched actual videos with story lines 32% longer than they watch a gif or series of animated stills.

Try Something New

There’s also a lot of room for experimenting. This clever Pin with the dynamic background stopped me in my tracks:

There are already quite a few “videos” showing up in the feed that just swap out the color of the text, or move one element. At the top of the feed, this feels a little too obviously a ploy to grab attention, but not for the right reasons, and not in a way that adds much value. Still, if it works (for now), there’s no harm, either!

Start Off Strong

Hook people in fast! My Promoted Video opens with a white screen, which was not intentional (still testing here!), but it still has a great click-through rate. Maybe the blank video made people curious?

Don’t rely on such happy accidents though – make sure your opening scene will stand out in the feed – and choose a good cover image when uploading (hint: you can upload a custom cover image when you upload on Pinterest).

This opening scene sucks you right in!

Brand Your Videos

While many small businesses don’t make “awareness” a priority and may not even be tracking their progress in that area, there’s no reason to ignore it – especially when you can get so much for free!

With Pinterest investing in featuring video and encouraging its use by offering priority placement and affordable ads, you can get your brand in front of people with your videos in a way that might not be possible with still images right now.

Make sure your logo or brand name features prominently, but tastefully in your videos. If it’s practical to leave the logo up for the length of the video, go for it!

American Eagle gets it.

Don’t Count on the Sound

Video plays without sound unless someone clicks on the Pin to enable audio – and most people aren’t likely to do so – especially if they’re browsing Pinterest while standing in line at the grocery store!

If a spoken message is important to your message, use a text overlay.

Short and Sweet Videos

Pinterest reports that shorter videos work best. Since Pinners are accustomed to scrolling and tapping rather than settling in to watch a video, keep it around 20 seconds or so. I’m seeing view times between 4 and 11 seconds, but will be working to increase that!

Easy Ways to Create Pinterest Video Pins With These Simple Tools

I asked Manly Pinterest Tips’ Jeff Sieh for his recommendations. No surprise, he had a bunch!

  1. Wave – with built-in stock video and the ability to upload and resize your own video, Wave makes it easy. Pricing starts at forever free.
  2. VideoLeap – mix videos, use green screens. There’s almost nothing you CAN’T do with this iPhone app! Pricing starts at $5.99/month.
  3. Promo – one million businesses have used Promo to create stunning video for all kinds of uses! $39/month. Industry-specific templates make it easy.
  4. Swish – create videos on your iPhone in three minutes! Templates and music clips included. $9.99/month or $59.99/year. (iPhone)
  5. Slider – (wordswag) – create animated stories on your phone. Brand with your logo and colors. Free (mobile app).
  6. Instagram Stories – repurpose your Stories on Pinterest! Free 🙂
  7. Adobe Rush – shoot, create, and edit – across devices. Free to start, $9.99/month
  8. Filmora – simple, and $59.99 for lifetime access with free trial. Add titles, effects, and overlays.

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know!

In Conclusion:

Can video Pins play a central role in your marketing strategy – increasing brand awareness, engagement, and website traffic? Absolutely! Following suggestions provided by Pinterest and running your own video Pin experiments can help you take advantage of a standout format on Pinterest for the good of your business.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, either. There’s a video-editing program available for every level of skill and every budget.

Have you tried video Pins on Pinterest? What’s your experience been like? Please let us know!

Start a Free Trial of Tailwind for Pinterest!

Pin it for later 📌:

13 thoughts on “Video on Pinterest – What Marketers Need to Know9 min read

  1. Thank you for the insights, Alisa!

    Last week when I started uploading video I got messages that the video had to be less than 10mb and woudn’t upload. Which was yikes because I was having trouble keeping them that small. Will have to revisit that notice again. Hopefully it was a glitch. 2GB is so much more useful!

  2. (video size part 2 🙂 ) I went back today and Pinterest let me upload a larger file just fine! That’s a relief.

  3. Now that I’ve upgraded my Tailwind account to Premium, it’s time to go blogging again with full speed… 😉

    Thanks Alisa!

  4. Wow, I scheduled video pins to tribes and didn’t know they weren’t working! Also I think videos take a longer time to appear, because when I shared a link to my video pin immediately after the upload, no one was able to see it.
    Thanks so much for sharing this information, Alisa!

    1. You’re very welcome, Alina! Yeah, it takes a couple of business days for videos to be reviewed and start circulating. I started to see notification of that in my “videos” tab on my profile – have you seen that?

        1. Hi Stacy! Right now, with video scheduling in Beta, it’s only possible to upload and schedule. Video Pins cannot be added to Tribes at this time. If that’s something that interests you, please do write in. Not only does it help us prioritize development, but it allows us to tag your account so we can notify you if/when that feature is released. Thank you 🙂

  5. Thanks for the extra push! I love using video. Since hearing Kate talk about it on her podcast, I’ve really been focusing on creating more video pins and testing out various forms of it. I recently started using the Unfold app and it’s been great for incorporating static images and video together, and you can overlay text as well.

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