Upload videos to Pinterest

Want to ramp up your Pinterest marketing? Uses video pins! Here’s how to upload videos to Pinterest (plus why you should do it vs. share videos from YouTube). Part of my Pinterest Growth series. Click through to start uploading videos and doubling your reach on Pinterest! Have you been recording videos lately? Did you know that you can upload them directly to Pinterest?

I’m doing a happy dance about video pins right now. ????

And I totally get that I may be late to the party on this one. Video pins have been around for some time now.

Still, video is top of mind for me right now. Between YouTube and Facebook, I’m spending A LOT of time in front of the camera. So anytime I can get more mileage out of video, I’m all in.

And I’m intrigued by the idea of autoplay video pins.

Just imagine…

Your videos “waving” at people as they go through their feeds… What a way to stand out above the others, no?

So, today, I’m going to show you how to upload videos to Pinterest.

And if you’re wondering WHY you should upload videos to Pinterest vs. share them from YouTube, I’d say the main reasons are:

  • Pinterest recommends a vertical or square format (not horizontal).
  • You’ll be driving traffic to your website rather than a social channel.
  • You’ll see the player icon on your pins.

Ready for the deets? Let’s dive in.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something. No worries, I only recommend products that I love and use in my business, and that I think you’ll find helpful as well.

1) First, who can upload video pins?

If you want to squeeze the juice out of any pin, you need a business account. Video pins are no different here – make sure you switch to a business account to access the video upload option.

Next, you’ll need to create a billing profile. According to Pinterest:

Only advertisers can add their own videos directly to Pinterest. You might see these as promoted Pins, or on their boards. You can still save your favorite videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and TED, but they’ll only play if you view them close up.

So to upload video pins, you’ll have to give Pinterest your credit card.

But here’s the thing:

You can *advertise* without having an active campaign, with me?

This is similar to Adwords and the Keyword Planner. To get the real data on search volumes, Google expects you to pay. But if you create a campaign and immediately DEACTIVATE it, you can have your research and eat it too. Same thing with Pinterest. ????

2) Next, what format + size works best?

Most of the specs for uploading video are straightforward, and you’ll see them on the right side of the upload window:

Pinterest specs for promoted autoplay video pins

Here are those specs:

File type: .mp4 or .mov
Max size: 2GB
Length: Min 4 sec up to 30 minutes
Resolution: Minimum 240ppi
Frame rate: Minimum of 25fps
Recommended aspect ratio: Square (1:1) or vertical (9:16)
Recommended length: 6-20 sec. video length

Now, about that recommended aspect ratio.

My first video pin was horizontal, the same video I posted on YouTube, and my pin looks perfectly fine. But since Pinterest encourages vertical pins, I’ll use a 9:16 aspect ratio next time.

#PERK The 9:16 aspect ratio also works for Instagram.

Now I’m wondering…can I promote my horizontal video pin with autoplay? I’ll have to check on that. If you’re curious, you can advertise your video pin fo’real with an active campaign. See more on that in the next step.

Side note: This 360-degree tripod mount makes it easy to switch between vertical and horizontal mode on your smartphone:

3) Upload your video.

This part is easy peasy.

First, select the + button, same as you would to upload any pin. Then, Upload video.


Upload a video pin to Pinterest.


While Pinterest is uploading the video, you can select a thumbnail image.

Edit your video pin thumbnail for Pinterest.


As with YouTube, you can use a captured thumbnail image or upload a custom image. I recommend going the custom route and adding a title and/or graphic to the image, so it really pops.

Whew! Almost there. Only two steps left:

  • Choose your board
  • Edit the pin

That first’s ones easy. It’s the last one that most people forget.

Make sure you edit your new pin so that people can find it. Include a title, website, and keyword-rich description (always, always!).

The Edit Pin window in Pinterest

#PROTIP Upload the video to YouTube also. Then, embed the YT video in your blog post and link your video pin to the post.

Here’s what the uploaded video will look like on your board:

uploaded video pin with the player icon

See that cool player icon? That’s what you get when you upload directly to Pinterest. 🙂

4) What about promoting your video pin?

Absolutely! To do that, you would create an ad from the top left menu, then select Awareness > Video Views.

Pinterest Video Awareness Campaign

Give your campaign a name and set a daily budget for it. This will help you control ad expenses.

On the next page, you’ll see Ad Group details.

As a general rule of thumb, you want to name ad groups according to the audiences you’re targeting. This will help you determine which audiences give you the best results at the lowest cost. (You can create custom audiences based on website visits, engagement, subscribers, and more).

Even though you set a daily budget for the campaign, it’s important to set a budget for the ad group. This way, you can test multiple audience/targeting combos within the campaign.

Another thing you can do here is to add keywords. Enter a keyword and Pinterest will suggest related keywords, along with their monthly search volume. Just click the plus sign to add them to your targeting.

Pinterest keyword targeting for ads

Next up, choose the video you want to advertise, give it a title and a website destination, and select Promote pin. You just created a video pin. Woo hoo!

5) Repurpose Instagram Stories.

If you’ve been recording Instagram Stories, why not pin them on Pinterest?

Since Pinterest prefers videos under 20 seconds, and InstaStories are built from 15-second videos, you can easily pin a snippet from your story. Then, next time you record a video, keep both Instagram and Pinterest in mind…

Maybe you record a quick tip “intro” to a blog post…

Or, record a highlight from your free offer and drive people to a landing page to download…

Is your head spinning with ideas yet?

When you pair Instagram with Pinterest, the possibilities are endless (especially now that Pinterest supports square images).

6) What types of video pins perform best?

Off the top of my head, I’m thinking short videos (2-3 minutes, tops) that pull people into a story.

Think of a video pin as an InstaStory. Record short soundbites that grab people’s attention and make them curious to find out more.

You can share a video that walks people through a recipe…or shows them how to make a new dress…or gives them a quick tip on how to do *anything*.

In fact, if you already share pins that help people make / do / learn something, use that as a jumping off point for your next video. Focus on inspiring your audience to take the next step, and you’ll be on the right track.

7) Work backward from your end goal.

The big question when it comes to Pinterest is Where do you want to drive traffic?

If you want more page views, upload video directly to Pinterest. If you want to grow, say, your YouTube channel, share the YouTube video – or follow step #3 and upload to Pinterest, then change the URL.

Same thing applies to other channels. Let’s say you want to use Pinterest to grow your Instagram following. You can pin the IG post to Pinterest. Then, when people click on your pin, they’ll be directed to the Instagram post.

#PROTIP The comment will become your pin description. Make sure you go back and edit it for Pinterest…add keywords, remove hashtags + mentions, and so on.

And if you DO decide to use video pins to increase website traffic, you now have a method to double your reach for all your content…landing pages, blog posts, product pages…all of it. Helloooo traffic!

That’s a wrap! Have you tried video pins yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!



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