Pinterest Marketing Strategies: A Business Guide to Marketing on Pinterest

Social media marketing doesn’t stop with Facebook or Twitter. Pinterest is an engaging image-based platform that’s also a marketing channel. It started as the go-to place for interior design ideas, researching exotic travel destinations, DIY hacks, and gourmet recipes.

Users share, discover, and store image-based content that they find engaging. You can store, or pin, your content on boards that share a theme for better organisation. This helps users find the type of content they’re looking for.

Boards contain the pins you’ve saved that you can share them with followers to enjoy.

Pinterest has grown to be more than a social media platform – it’s a visual search engine. It’s the only social media app that performs the ‘visual search’ function. Users head over to Pinterest to find inspiration in the images, links, and graphics hosted on the platform.

Image Source: Later

This is important because 62% of Gen Z and Millennial consumers prefer to use visual search.

The Advantage Pinterest Has Over Other Social Media Platforms

Your content on Pinterest has a longer lifespan than posts on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. For instance, a tweet has a half-life of 24 minutes. A half-life describes the time it takes to earn 50% of all clicks and views. A post on Facebook has a half-life of approximately 90 minutes.

So, how does Pinterest compare? What’s the half-life of a pin on Pinterest?

It’s an incredible 3.5 months! The reason why pins enjoy such a long lifespan is that they’re easier to find than content on other social media channels.

Pinterest users can find pins on their homepage feed, boards made by other users, and in search. Pins are almost eternal in the sense that they can pop up in a user’s feed even months after you’ve posted them. Provided that they’re relevant to the user’s search.

This also means that you can post at a staggering frequency. If you have a limited number of pins, then aim for 5 pins. However, if content is abundant, then shoot for 30 per day. You’d be spamming your followers if you posted at this frequency on other social media platforms.

There’s no chance of that happening on Pinterest. Instead, each pin is an opportunity to build brand awareness and increase your reach.

I hope this doesn’t need saying, but just to be on the safe side – don’t post all 30 pins in 10 minutes. Rather, spread out your posts throughout the day.

Why You Should Start Marketing on Pinterest

Think about it this way. When your Facebook page makes a post, then between 2% and 47% of your Facebook fans will see it if you’re lucky (and the content is high-quality).

The situation with Twitter is even worse. Since Twitter is a fast-paced platform, tweets get buried almost immediately. As of 2019, almost 400 million tweets are sent each day. That’s why many businesses tweet 14 times per day. The more you tweet, the more engagement you’re likely to get.

Pinterest is a unicorn in the social media world. The aim isn’t to start a conversation with your audience as is the case with Facebook. Rather, you want Pinterest users to pin your brand’s content.

Users on Pinterest have the highest purchase intent of all the other social media platforms. Pinterest is like Instagram in that it’s an image-based platform. Therefore, businesses should use Pinterest to show their story instead of writing it.

Small businesses should use Pinterest to conduct market research. It’s easy to look at the tactics companies in your industry are using to build awareness. Also, marketing on the channel is both affordable and impactful.

Therefore, marketers (and especially small businesses) can’t afford to ignore Pinterest with its 322 million users. However, what’s truly remarkable is that 90% of people on Pinterest go to the platform to make purchase decisions.

Building a presence on Pinterest is necessary because you’re reaching people when they’re on the lookout for items. Pinterest is a great way to drive traffic to your website.

By marketing on Pinterest, you’re targeting people who are willing and able to make purchases.

Brands can use images and videos to tell their story. It’s important to give your business an identity that goes beyond your products/services. The foundation for your Pinterest marketing strategy must be to present your values and guiding principles. And Pinterest lets you do that engagingly and memorably.

Table of Contents

Quick Overview of Pinterest Stats

Getting Started with Pinterest Marketing

Proven Pinterest Marketing Strategies

Engage with Followers

Engage with Popular Boards & Learn from Brands

Schedule Seasonal Content

Best Times to Post

How to Get Followers on Pinterest

Post Pinterest Video Pins

SEO for Pinterest Marketing

Shopping on Pinterest

Final Thoughts on Pinterest Marketing

Quick Overview of Pinterest Stats

To better appreciate the marketing potential of Pinterest, let’s take a look at what the numbers say:

Before you start with Pinterest marketing, it’s important to understand the user base. Is this the audience you’re after? Can you leverage user behaviour to your advantage? These questions will help decide if marketing on Pinterest makes sense for your business.

Getting Started with Pinterest Marketing

As a business, the first step is to set up a Pinterest business account. This gives you access to analytics, rich pins, and other useful tools. Then, you need to brand your profile so that users know it belongs to your business. The customisation features you choose should be consistent on all of your social media platforms. We need to quickly go over Pinterest jargon before we take a deep dive into this extremely engaging app. Let’s see how you can customise your Pinterest profile.

Pinning on Pinterest

A pin is the basic type of content on Pinterest. If we think about it in Facebook terms, a Pinterest pin is like a Facebook post. Your feed is made up of pins. When you post a pin, other users can comment or share it. 

Rich Pins

Pinterest has designed rich pins to make marketing on Pinterest more effective. Rich pins are packed with information to provide context to your posts. They do so by using metadata from your company’s website. Therefore, they are a powerful lead generation and sales tool.

There are several types of rich pins designed to give your Pinterest marketing a boost:

  • App pins contain an install button so that users can download apps in Pinterest
  • Product pins show pricing, availability, and places where users can buy the item
  • Recipe pins display the ingredients that go into the posted dish
  • Article pins include headlines, summaries, and authors

Each type of rich pin is created for a certain type of content. Most businesses either use product pins

Image Source: Sproutsocial

or article pins that promote content published on websites. Make sure to use appealing graphics along with bold text when pinning article pins:

Image Source: Sproutsocial

Rich pins make your content stand out by providing more information, which is excellent for SEO – you can include more keywords. They’re also great for online retailers because they update automatically. So, your customers always have relevant product information.

Finally, your content has a logo and a link to your website. Therefore, you generate leads while building trust with your audience.

Promoted Pins

They appear in the home feed and search results and behave just like regular pins. You can pin them, share, and comment on them. The only difference is that they have a “Promoted” tag:

Image Source: HootSuite

However, they are pushed and targeted for a wider reach. The great thing about Promoted pins is that once someone shares it, the “Promoted” tag disappears.

Boards

Users save pins to their boards. This is how Pinterest organises its content. In fact, you can’t save a pin without a board:

Image Source: Guiding Tech

A Pinterest profile consists of boards. Use them organise your pins according to themes. For example, you’ll have boards for blogs, for business ideas, quotes, etc.

Now that we got Pinterest lingo out of the way, let’s see how to customise our profiles.

Profile Photo

Use your company’s logo and set it into a 165 x 165 pixel image. If you’re the face of the business, then obviously use a professional headshot.

Bio

Have a clearly written bio that doesn’t exceed 160 characters. Make sure to include your company’s philosophy and what you offer. Also, there’s no need to overdo it with hashtags. If you want to use hashtags, limit yourself to 1-2.

Finally, include a call-to-action; brands typically include a link to their website.

Board Covers

Think of a board cover as a book cover for your Pinterest profile.  The board cover should have your board name and pins related to your business. The pins themselves aren’t clickable, but there’s a link to the board at the corner.

Add a board with your posts, product shots, and various designs from your business. Make sure that at least one of your boards focuses on your website content.

Take a look at this example:

Everything is well-organised and easy to navigate.

Get Verified

Finally, you need to get your website verified. You can only gain access to analytics with a verified website. You can paste a code snippet on your website or you can use WordPress plugins.

A verified account will improve your Pinterest marketing efforts because it builds trust with your audience.

Image Source: NEILPATEL

Users will see a checkmark next to your URL and they’ll know that your business has a seal of approval from Pinterest.

Pinterest has its own analytics platform. Make sure that you’re keeping track of your performance. It only works with a Pinterest business account and you can see:

  • Your most popular pins and boards
  • The demographics of your Pinterest audience
  • What devices people use to pin your content
  • Whether the Pin It button on your website generates referral traffic from Pinterest

This data will help you see whether the Pinterest marketing strategies you’re using are paying off.

Connect Your Other Social Media Accounts

It’s likely that you already have followers on other social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Let’s face it, most businesses don’t start with social media marketing on Pinterest. Most of us begin with Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

The great news is that you don’t have to build your followers when you start with Pinterest marketing. You can connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts to Pinterest Business account. Therefore, you’ll be able to hit the ground running and it’ll be easier to attract new followers.

To connect your accounts, go to account settings and click on social networks. Then simply link up your Twitter and Facebook accounts:

Image Source: NEILPATEL

Note that you can only connect your personal Facebook account to Pinterest and not a page.

Link Pinterest to Your Website

One of the great features of Pinterest marketing is that users can link their websites to their profiles. This means that you can share content while sending users to your website. For instance, clothing companies can use Pinterest to display their items while sharing content. This is what Madewell does:

Image Source: HubSpot

Their board has content with scenic destinations and products meant to inspire users to buy their clothes. Install Pinterest widgets to let your website visitors interact with your profile and the content you post:

The platform’s widget builder makes the integration process simple.

Proven Pinterest Marketing Strategies

Social media marketing best practices apply to marketing on Pinterest as well. The goal is to get your pins seen and grow your followers. The most important thing is to post relevant and engaging content. As a business, your social media strategy is to educate your followers.

Everything else will fall into place if you demonstrate expertise in your field. Of course, avoid shameless self-promotion that comes as off as pushy and fake.

Engage with Followers

Respond to your followers promptly and in a friendly tone. Make sure to use their names in your conversations with followers – they’ll appreciate it.

Also, don’t forget to take initiative from time to time. Head over to your followers’ boards and leave a comment on their pins. Not only will this delight your followers, but their followers will see your comments. This is a great way to create loyalty to your business and keep your brand at the forefront of their minds when they’re on Pinterest.

Finally, consider using incentives – prizes, discounts, updates on your products/services – to attract followers to your profile.

Engage with Popular Boards & Learn from Brands

Take a look at how popular brands relevant to your industry are doing marketing on Pinterest. Take a page out of their playbook. Look at the type of pins and boards they post along and along with their engagement tactics.

You should also learn from the competition. Follow some of your competitors’ followers. Since you share the same target audience, if they follow your competitors, they’ll likely follow your business as well.

To find your competitors, search for the keywords in the search bar that they may use. For example, if you have an SEO agency, then search for terms like, “SEO best practices,” or “SEO audit tips.”

Schedule Seasonal Content

Holidays and seasons are an excellent Pinterest marketing opportunity. For instance, 227 million searches were made for Halloween alone in 2018! Timely content performs the best, which is why you should plan. That’s why businesses plan content 30 – 45 days ahead. Pinterest reports that content that’s aligned with the holidays has a 22% boost in sales.

To get started, check out Pinterest Seasonal Insights for inspiration. Create content around a holiday that aligns well with your business.

Image Source: Hootsuite

And make sure to use relevant keywords.

Best Times to Post

As a general rule of thumb, the best times to post during the day are between 2 PM and 4 PM EST. The best time to post in the evening is between 8 PM and 1 AM EST:

Image Source: NEILPATEL

And Saturday morning is the best day to post according to HubSpot.

How to Get Followers on Pinterest

Three factors decide whether a Pinterest user will follow an account:

  • Number of accounts you follow and the number who follow you
  • Number of pins posted
  • Number of boards you have

So, be sure to post a lot, like we said, between 5 – 30 pins. Try to post your own unique pins instead of only repinning other people’s content. This will give your Pinterest marketing a boost.

Join Community Boards

You can set up a community board, which is a board owned by one user who adds creators to post. Research community boards directly related to your field. Find leading pinners in your industry and join their community boards. Once you’ve joined, add your own pins but also help organise other content. This is a great place to find your audience and people you can ask to collaborate on your board.

Post Pinterest Video Pins

Video is the most engaging medium today. That’s why people love watching videos on all the major social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

That also includes Pinterest. In fact, video pins are one of the best Pinterest marketing strategies. Businesses can create visually appealing tutorials, recipes, product demos, and ‘about us’ stories. By using video pins, you’re increasing the chance that users save the pin on their boards. As a result, Pinterest will boost your Pin ranking in search results.

Image Source: Later

Pinterest lets you add links to your video pins. If someone engages with your pin, there’s a good chance they’ll click on the link. So, you can also drive traffic to your website.

Video Pins Best Pro Tips

Try to grab the viewer’s attention immediately. Include lots of colour or compelling text at the beginning of the video:

Image Source: Later

While your videos can be anywhere between 4 seconds – 15 minutes, I recommend going no longer than 40 seconds. Anything longer is too much, for any industry. 40 seconds gives you enough time to create interest in your story without giving too much away.

SEO for Pinterest Marketing

When discussing effective Pinterest marketing strategies, we have to go over SEO.

Like with any other search engine, keywords are the key to success. However, keyword stuffing is also discouraged on Pinterest. Don’t pack your pin description with a list of keywords that don’t fit naturally into a sentence.

Let’s take a look at Pinterest’s SEO rules so that you know how to increase your profile’s ranking.

Profile

Include relevant keywords on your profile. You can take up 65 characters in your name and 160 in your bio. Make sure that you’ve added popular keywords that read normally. Take a look at Chloe West’s profile:

Image Source: Sproutsocial

She includes keywords in both her name and bio. This way her profile appears when users only search for one of the keywords.

Pins

Add keywords in both the title and description. Your title should focus on your main keyword. Include the main keyword along with a couple of secondary ones in the pin description. This will help the Pinterest algorithm understand what your content’s about.

As a result, your content’s ranking will improve and it will show in related pins.

Pin According to Category

Posting content in the relevant category will make your pins and boards more searchable. Users can search for categories or use the “Categories” section on any profile to find relevant content.

So, if you properly categorise your content, then your audience will have an easier time discovering your business.

Notice that the board titles are clear and straight to the point. Don’t try to be cute with your titles, just stick with relevant descriptions.

Shopping on Pinterest

A good amount of users are in the shopping mindset. So, provide them with a seamless shopping experience. The best way to do this is with the Shop the Look Pin feature. These pins let businesses tag products in their pins.

This streamlines the shopping experience by allowing users to pick a specific item that piques their interest. For example, a clothing brand can use a pin with a model wearing several their items. Each accessory (purse, jacket, shoes, etc.) is tagged in the photo with a link to the product’s page on the brand’s website:

Image Source: Social Pilot

This is similar to how Instagram Shopping works. Each tagged item will have a white dot. When a user clicks on it, relevant product information will be displayed. Another click lets users buy the item.

Upgrade to a Verified Merchant Account

Pinterest introduced its Verified Merchant Program to make consumers feel comfortable about shopping on the platform. And it lends credibility to verified brands.

Essentially, it works just like a blue checkmark on Twitter:

Image Source: Later

To be verified, a business needs to respect Pinterest’s community guidelines and have an online presence outside of Pinterest. Only brands with high-quality items, websites, and customer experience are eligible.

Image Source: Later

Verified businesses can early access to the newest updates to analytics tools and will have a Shop tab on their profile. The Shop tab allows users to browse through your store’s inventory:

Image Source: Later

This is a great feature that gives shoppers a frictionless experience with Pinterest. And brands can attract more traffic to their pins.

Final Thoughts on Pinterest Marketing

Pinterest is great for promoting your content. For example, you can pin an image to a board and add a link to your blog or landing page:

Image Source: HubSpot

Make sure that the image is related the content to which you’re linking. Also, be sure to add URLs in your profile, and on your brand’s pins and boards.

As you can see, Pinterest is a great marketing platform that can help you generate leads, increase sales, and establish long-lasting relationships with your audience.

Pinterest seems to have been flying under the radar for so long, but as an image-based search engine, it’s a golden opportunity for small and big businesses alike.