Pinterest Marketing Bible: Your Ultimate Guide to Pinterest Growth
In the last nine years, Pinterest evolved beyond the little visual inspiration board for moms looking to repurpose their mason jars. Businesses started utilizing Pinterest marketing to surge their traffic and quickly convert an audience looking to stay inspired and ready to buy products!
Pinterest hosts 250 million monthly users searching for everything from latest fashion trends to job interview coaching. This is a staggering number! Especially for a company that has remained relatively tame and quiet in the age of explosive app headlines. Snapchat v. Instagram anyone?
While the rest of the players engage in headline wars, Pinterest remains one of the quickest growing platforms.
The biggest upside to doing Pinterest marketing? This audience is ready to buy! This is inherently unique to this visual search platform.
Just starting with Pinterest marketing? Maybe you’ve seen how Pinterest can explode your traffic? This guide’s intention is to ensure you learn best practices and get actionable results.
YOU MIGHT LIKE: Angie Gensler has a Pinterest 101 course which leads you through setting up your Pinterest profile, pins and ads from beginning to end. You’ll get step-by-step actionable videos, workbooks every week, and a personal accountability coach. For every week’s homework you submit on time, you’ll receive $10 cash back!
Pinterest Marketing Snapshot: What You Need to Know
The platform might be growing rapidly, but it doesn’t mean that the users are right for your business. As a savvy business owner and marketer, you need to understand which audience you’re likely to reach on Pinterest.
- 93% of active pinners use Pinterest to plan a purchase.
- The purchase intent on this platform is much higher than other social media platforms. 87% have purchased a product directly because of Pinterest. These are great statistics for an e-commerce company.
However, you need to keep in mind what kind of demographics these numbers represent. If you’re selling car parts, you might be in the wrong place.
- 50% of all Pinterest users are US based and 81% of all pinners are female.
- While the median age of Pinterest users is 40, the majority of active pinners are under 40 years old. In fact, Millenials account for a big portion of Pinterest users.
- As far as household income, 40% of active Pinterest users have an income above $100k. This gives you an idea of purchase price ranges the audience might have. On average, a user will spend around $80 on a purchase from Pinterest.
- According to Pinterest, 80% of its users access pins vi a mobile device. Make sure the link your pin leads to is mobile-optimized!
The Pinterest Marketing Blueprint
We’ll go through eight essential parts of your Pinterest marketing efforts to ensure your business gets the maximum exposure possible from the platform. We won’t be going step by step in setting up your Pinterest profile and the steps for creating a viral pin, but the tips will touch on these points.
If you’re a complete beginner, you should definitely check out the Pinterest 101 course and get familiarized with Pinterest best practices first. It’s crucial you understand the fundamentals of how Pinterest works. Angie Gensler has over 2 million monthly views on Pinterest, and she put together a course outlining everything she learned to get there.
In this blueprint, we’ll go through the following tips that will be boost your Pinterest strategy:
- Keep things consistent despite not having many pins of your own (yet)
- Ensure pin longevity and staying power
- Leverage rich pins
- Provide value first
- Step up your Pinterest SEO
- Keep up the aesthetics
- Optimize for easy pinning
- Lean into Pinterest analytics
1. Keep it consistent
One of the biggest pieces of advice Pinterest shelled out over the past few years is to keep those pins coming! Pinning in spurts isn’t going to do your profile any favors. If you’re used to pinning on the weekends and you keep it sparse over the week, it’s time to step up your pinning game.
Pinterest suggests focusing on ensuring your first 5 pins are very high quality. These pins will dictate how Pinterest distributes your content on the front page for your followers to see. Once your followers interact, Pinterest puts the data into work deciding which pins show on the Smart Feed for the general public.
This is another reason why it’s so important to stay consistent. You get more chances for your pins to get in front of new eyes and gain viral status. Every day is a new chance to get featured. Those first 5 pins reset every day, so pinning every day gives them a chance to get you an audience.
Should I use a scheduling tool?
Scheduling tools are NOT penalized on Pinterest. In fact, Pinterest encourages users to utilize tools like Tailwind to schedule their content. So start scheduling out the content and paying attention to the first 5 pins of the day.
When we say 5 first pins of the day, it doesn’t mean midnight in your time zone. Pinterest calculates from midnight UTC. If you’re in Eastern Standard Time, that means 8:00PM. The first 5 pins after 8:00PM will therefore have that weight counted.
Click here to find out what time midnight UTC is for you.
2. Make your pins last
Unlike other platforms, Pinterest has a very long time span. It might take your pin months before it actually picks up steam and goes viral. That means your content needs to be relevant months from now.
Your Pinterest marketing strategy should have minimal time-sensitive content. In other words, evergreen is your friend!
We’re used to producing quick content with very short timespans. While viral tweets may last a day or two, most threads on Twitter die within minutes. Facebook has the potential to last several days. Pinterest, however, can last years when done right!
There’s a reason recipe pins perform so well and are such an integral part of Pinterest. Same goes for home decor DIY and other similar projects. These are evergreen tutorials that people continue to pin despite time of year.
Think different with the products you’re selling. Let’s say you have a scarf company. You sell beautiful, silk scarves. Now, you can pin the current year’s fashion trends, but by next year that will be outdated.
What you CAN do instead is appeal to the tutorial crowd (DIY/tutorial posts get the highest amount of clicks) and post an article on how to tie a scarf in different ways. This ensures your pin stays timeless.
3. Set up a Business account & rich pins
If you don’t have rich pins set up, you’re doing it wrong. Take 5 minutes right now and head on over to Pinterest to set it up ASAP. Rich Pins are an essential part of your pinning strategy.
Not only do rich pins provide better organized pins for your users, they update your pins’ information. If your original article, product, or recipe changes, the new information gets pulled over into your old pin. So, let’s say you change your title to better reflect an article on your blog. Your rich pin will automatically update.
Rich pins are also PROVEN to get double the clicks than plain pins. There are four types of rich pins:
1. Product Pin
“Product Pins make shopping easier. They include real-time pricing, availability and where to buy your product.”
2. Recipe Pin
“Recipe Pins get cooks excited with all the right info: ingredients, cooking times and serving sizes.”
3. Article Pin
“Article Pins help Pinners save stories that matter to them. Each Article Pin shows a headline, author and story description. “
4. App Pin
“These Pins show an install button so people can download your app without leaving Pinterest. For now, App Pins are only compatible with iOS.”
What about switching over to a business account?
If you’re trying to promote any content or products you may have, you NEED to make the switch from personal to business.
Your business name and bio should have a nice mix of keywords in there. Yes, your business name should have a descriptor keyword unless you’re a household name.
So, if you own a yoga studio called Lotus, you should name your Business “Lotus – Yoga Studio & Peaceful Living” or “Lotus – Yoga, Meditation & Fitness Studio.”
You should also verify your site, which gives Pinterest more reason to trust your account and take your pins seriously. 😉
4. Provide Value
Alright, so, we know that Pinterest gives us some great purchase-intent from the users. This shouldn’t be your cue to inundate them with your products. Remember, the best performing pins are DIY and tutorial based. This means your first objective is to provide the userbase with something useful.
Remember the Point 2 example with the scarf? You don’t want to just post a product shot of your scarf. Put some context in there! Your scarf needs to have some value-add for the Pinterest community. So, your scarf in the context of how it’s styled for a high-end event is a value add. Or your scarf getting wrapped in a unique way around purse handles.
Give your audience something to think about and something unique to save! If you’re selling coffee, you can produce coffee-based drink (and food) recipes. This allows people to put your product to use. They want to be inspired and they want to know how they can improve their life. Don’t try to push products on them- give them a lifestyle they’re looking for!
5. Step up your Pinterest SEO
Let’s start with some of the important elements Pinterest takes into account when pulling up relevant pins for a user. According to Pinterest, the mot important place for a keyword is the pin description. When writing a pin description, include any other relevant phrases related to the main keyword to improve the pin performance.
Your pin descriptions should be long enough to convey what the pin is about. Don’t make your description just a title or a keyword. Keep it around 100 characters for best performance. Your pin description should also include a CTA for your users. Tell them they should click and what they will find behind the click.
The board names, descriptions and your bio are the other places to include keywords. This makes content and your profile more discoverable. You want more people to find your awesome content, right? So you need to promote it correctly! Otherwise, you’re just producing content for no one. We don’t want that.
Where to pin first?
When pinning to multiple boards, pin to the most relevant board first. That board should have a key-word rich description. Pairing a keyword-rich pin that is relevant to a board’s keywords boosts the credibility of that pin. Pinterest implied in the past that it may hurt your distribution when pinning to irrelevant boards.
Now, how about the pin image name? According to Pinterest, that’s irrelevant. So, don’t sweat it if it doesn’t contain your keyword.
How about hashtags? This is one of the newer features on Pinterest and users are trying to figure out the correct use. It’s not recommended you use hashtags like in Instagram. More is not better in this case. While Pinterest allows up to 20, they suggest using hashtags sparingly but effectively.
Think about using hashtags on Pinterest in a similar fashion you would on Twitter. You want the content to become immediately discoverable in real time. Putting hashtags in older content will not revive it or make it more discoverable, so no need to waste your time on that.
6. Make it pretty
The entire point of Pinterest is visual inspiration, so if you’re thinking you can get away with some Paint-type graphics, you’re in for a nasty surprise. Beautiful images drive this platform and you need to visually appeal to the market looking to stay inspired.
Lifestyle images perform the best on Pinterest. So, if you’re trying to promote a product, make sure you’re not just posting product shots on a white background.
Your pins should be branded, establishing a streak of credibility for your website. Pinterest advises for your logo or website name be placed center top or bottom of a pin image. All images should be vertical 2:3 ratio.
Make sure there’s a text overlay if you’re leading them to an article. Having a text description for your pins is very important in capturing your audience’s attention, so make sure to be as clear as possible.
7. Optimize for easy pinning
Got a website? Make sure you have a “Pin It” button on it. Adding this one simple thing ensures your website content gets the clout it needs from pinners and gets the reach it deserves.
Not sure how to add the feature to your site and don’t have a developer handy? Check out Pinterest’s tutorial first. If you have a WordPress site, you can use a simple plug-in like this one or this one.
According to Pinterest, there’s an advantage to pinning directly from your site. It signals trustworthiness and that the pin has value, so having this capability on your site is a no-brainer for your Pinterest marketing strategy. Therefore, it’s good practice to pin your own pins directly from your website instead of adding them from the computer.
Additionally, the “Pin it” button allows you to track analytics for various posts. This is a great way to gauge content performance!
8. Lean into Pinterest Analytics
Pinterest considers your followers when they decide which pins to display on the Smart Feed. When your followers engage with your pins, Pinterest considers those pins worthy to show to a bigger audience. This is where your analytics come handy. Checking analytics for which pins and boards perform best allows you to see which content you should be focusing on.
You might notice some pins are underperforming. Don’t delete them, rather focus on what’s working right now and get more of that type of content out there. The underperforming pins might perform better later on, in which case you can leverage that information later. Speaking of deleting pins, simply don’t do it. There’s absolutely no advantage to it.
Pinterest recently updated their analytics dashboard, so now it’s easier than ever to isolate specific pin types and get an idea of what’s performing well.
Pinterest Marketing Quick Recap
Pinterest provides enormous advantages if you know what the audience is looking for and you provide it. Unlike other platforms, you have a much higher chance for making a sale on Pinterest. Your content also has a much longer lifespan than other platforms, keeping it fresher and continually delivering traffic.
- The audience is ready to buy! Majority of users are millennial females.
- First 5 pins should be yours and they should be high-quality. Engagement and distribution is based on audience response to these 5 pins.
- Consistent pinning is rewarded. Pinterest recommends using a scheduling tool like Tailwind to stay consistent.
- Focus on providing DIY/tutorial type content.
- Set up rich pins and enable your business account.
- Set up the pin button on your website.
- Stick to around 100 character descriptions for pins. Include keywords and pin to most relevant boards first.
- Pin directly from your own website to improve credibility and performance.
- Pin images should be vertical and have light text overlay.
- Your branded logo/website should be in center on top or bottom of the pin image.
- Never delete old or underperforming pins.
- Check Pinterest analytics and recreate content that performs well.
Looking to explode your traffic using Pinterest?
- How Pinterest Marketing Works
- Branding Your Business on Pinterest
- Creating Your Pinterest Strategy
- Building Your Pinterest Profile
- Creating Your Own Pins
- Adding Your Pins to Pinterest
- Growing Your Audience and Traffic
- Understanding Analytics
We took the course and our numbers soared within the first month of implementing the tips: