Ultimate Guide on Pinterest Marketing: “PIN” your brand on top of all
97% of all searches on Pinterest are “non-branded”. It can be yours too
Do you rely on social media for referral traffic? Are you looking for referral traffic from high traffic social platforms? Do you think our content stands out from the rest? If the answers were three ‘Yes’, then this guide on Pinterest Marketing will be of great help to you.
You probably already know how important is having images (multimedia) is for content marketing. Simple text-only blog posts do not work anymore. Even if you provide high value, they are not interactive and user-friendly. Therefore, in order to catch the visitor’s attention, you need to get leverage Pinterest as a marketing channel.
Unlike Facebook, organic reach isn’t dead yet. Also, Pinterest has grown multiple folds in recent times. So much that many Fortune 500 companies like Apple, Wal Mart and 27% more such companies have joined Pinterest. If this doesn’t excite you, I’m not sure what will.
As part of this guide, I will be covering the following:
- Pinterest statistics
- The algorithm that runs Pinterest
- Pinterest for Business: Perks of having a business
- How to create interactive images for Pinterest, that resonates?
- Go viral on Pinterest with your content
- Promote your pins & boards (not paid promotion)
- Leverage Pinterest Analytics
Cool Stats That Make Pinterest Marketing, Undeniable
- Around 70 million active users use Pinterest from within the US & around 80 million users are from outside the US
- 55% of online shoppers in the US prefer Pinterest
- 2 billion people search on Pinterest every single month
- 40% of Pinterest users are Men
- Roughly 8% percent of global referral traffic comes from Pinterest
- 98% of Pinterest users have tried what they saw as Pins.
- 84% of people decide what to buy from Pinterest
- 97% of the most popular searches on Pinterest are non-branded
- 5000 interests for food bloggers to target ads
- 80% of all Pinterest traffic comes from mobile phones
- Over 1 million businesses are active on Pinterest
- 10,000 plus brands have buyable pins on Pinterest
- 30% of Pinterest users have made an ecommerce purchase after browsing Pinterest
- 32% of Pinterest users have made a purchase from physical stores after browsing Pinterest
I have a ton of such stats that will go on and on and on. Maybe I will create a separate blog post on Pinterest Statistics. But for now, you get the point that Pinterest is the next big thing for social media marketing. Sure, there are big guns like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube & Instagram. But these are either saturated or expensive. For example, Facebook’s organic reach was once the most reliable source for social media outreach. But it’s dead since forever now, as in, the organic reach on Facebook is less than 1%. If you want to make use of over 2 billion facebook’s audience, Facebook ads are the key.
Though Facebook ads affordable to some extent, but why spend when you can do the same thing for free?
Understand the Algorithm for Marketing on Pinterest
Managing more than 175 billion items on 3 billion boards is not easy, even if you think it is. Apart from the search, there are 3 major areas where the Pinterest algorithm works like a charm. Let’s have a look at it one by one.
#1 The Pinterest Smart Feed
As the name suggests, the default feed is a smart move by Pinterest. Since the platform is “idea search” oriented, people are more likely to make a search and then the algorithm and billions of board & pins will do its magic.
Basically, Pinterest smart feed keeps you hooked on to the platform by pullings pins from three sources.
- Accounts & Boards you follow
- Targeted ads directly from the system
- Pins which you’ll find nowhere else
The Pinterest algorithm will sort the smart feed with various factors like account quality, domain quality (the website you link your account to), pin quality and recent pins from your account to rank pins from the above mentioned sources.
Out of all the factors, recent activity is the most important factor that pulls the user’s attention like a magnet. This makes Pinterest one of the easiest social platform to grow your audience on. When it comes to growing referral traffic to your website, I’d rank YouTube as the best platform. But it takes a lot of time & resources to create engaging videos. On the other hand, creating interactive images takes exponentially less time & resources. Once the user starts following more and boards and/or accounts, their feeds are more likely to explode with the pins from those sources. This obviously includes the recent activity of the accounts and/or boards they follow. Rest all comes after the recent activity.
#2 The Pinterest Following Feed
The following feed is the latest addition to the feature list. It lets the ends users find all the content in one place. This is an attempt towards user experience which will retain the users on Pinterest. Furthermore, the following feed will be your go-to place to target the ads and your content that will bring traffic to your webpage or landing pages.
This feed is available for both web & mobile versions of the platform. It is important to note that this feed is time-dependent. Sure, the algorithm will show the latest & recent pins for the accounts & boards a user follows. But the freshest content always gets more attention, be it on search engines or on social media platforms.
Here’s a video that shows that Pinterest focuses on first 5 pins from the pinners in the Following Feed.
This keeps the feed spam free and adds value by serving freshest pins to the end users. Furthermore, there are some content creating tips straight from Pinterest that will help you create better content to bring traffic to your website. This leads to an important question.
How long should you be posting?
Well, it’s an open-ended answer for now. Depending on your number of followers, target audience’s presence on the platform, time on the platform, likes & dislikes you should craft your content that you will feed in Pinterest. You can even use scheduling tools like Hootsuite or Buffer. Pinterest has stated that they treat pins published using such tools and those directly from the website.
Pins you publish manually will also be treated the same. There are rumors flying across the web that top social media platforms will be considering the bots that post on behalf of you separately from you posting it manually. If this turns out to be true, Pinterest is going to experience a tornado of new users.
#3 Pinterest’s Native Search Interface
This is the best part of this social media platform. The guided search uses common search terms & the user’s history to bring up the suggestions, which in turn are ranked according to the algorithm. You can even consider sprinkling a bit of SEO from the textbooks to rank higher in those recommendations.
You can even consider adding hashtags in your pin description(up to 20). This will further increase your chances of ranking higher in the recommended list. Two reasons behind this
- Users follow and search using hashtags
- Algorithm look for hashtags to serve the recommendations
Notice, the time stamp in the recommendations. Just like I did it, you too would’ve clicked/tapped on the most recent pin. This doesn’t mean you should keep pinning the whole day. Head over to analytics (needs a business profile) and you will find all the data you need to figure out the best time in the day to pin and reap the maximum benefits.
You can even dig into the “Interests” tab in analytics dashboard to find out what are the interests your audience is following so that you can create content of those interests and attract the audience to your website.
The feed changes every time a user arrives there. Also, feed also updates in real time according to the searches made. This is a very important thing to reach the feed on your target audience. Create your brand presence so that your target audience ends up searching about your brand or at least the ideas you have content about.
This trick will help you in the long run. Just like every other algorithm, if the users interact with your pins, it’s more likely for the end user to see your content more often than anyone else’s.
Note: Here are some brand guidelines for creating pins on Pinterest. Follow it to not get penalized by the platform.
Pinterest for Business: Added Perks For Being a Business Owner
If you don’t already have an account on Pinterest Business Account, sign up today, it’s free. The tools you get under business account will do nothing but help your business grow and achieve your goals. There are Acceptable Use Policy, Pin Etiquette Policy & a handful number of guidelines for business use that you need to religiously follow.
To help you be better at making most out of the platform, there’s Pinstitute, Webinars & resources for businesses to grow on Pinterest. Keep in touch with the official Pinterest Blog, if that doesn’t help, I will be creating more insightful content on Pinterest in the near future.
Another perk of having a business account is using analytics dashboard. Once you verify your website on Pinterest, you will get access to all the important data you will ever need to make an educated decision on what type of content will work for your target audience in future.
If you are into product based business and what to acquire users right on the platform, you can do that by making use of Rich Pins for business accounts. By using Rich Pins, you can provide extra information right in the pin. There are four types of Rich Pins available on Pinterest,
The best part?
This feature is available for anyone on Pinterest and is free to use. You will first need to apply & setup for Rich Pins to be available for your account. Here’s the official help guide from Pinterest on Rich Pins & here’s how you can setup Rich Pins for your account.
New Tools for Business Profiles
How to Create Pinterest Pins that Resonates?
Social Media Examiner calls Pinterest as Visual search engines. Sure, there’s Instagram for images, but can people find your content?
What passes off in the feed can only be seen by visiting your profile and finding that post. However, your content is very much findable on Pinterest, this gives an upper hand to the platform. It is very important to understand what your followers are searching for, and here’s something that will help you do so.
#1 Find Most Popular Categories
Depending on your niche, find categories that are best & have high traction. Knowing those categories will help you get the idea of boards to target and the type of content that will help your business. A study by the University of Minnesota on Pinterest found that 80% of users are female, while men are not behind. Last year, the number of men using Pinterest has grown by 2 folds, hence becoming the fastest growing demographic of Pinterest.
As mentioned earlier, there are over 3 billion boards and a proportional number of categories to those boards. I’m sure you will be able to find hundreds of boards, and hence the categories, that are highly relevant to your business. Find those categories linked to those boards and create your board linked to that category.
#2 Create Images That Work
Pinterest is an image search engine. One of the perusal is how visual your website is. Hence, the images you have for your webpage becomes the cornerstone of that particular webpage. Here’s a visual that will help you understand what makes a pin popular.
#3 Recommended Size for Images in Pins
Technically, Pinterest supports unlimited length and width. Since it is an image loving platform, there is no compromise on the size of the image. However, from the user experience perspective, you can consider 736x1102 as the optimal size for your images.
If you are planning to create infographics to brand your business on Pinterest, you can use tools like Canva. Its templates are already optimized for Pinterest. Your work for optimizing the size will be taken care by Canva. Furthermore, the tools and features Canva serves is way more helpful than any other tool.
#4 Create Insructographics Relevant to Your Business
The term instructographics was coined by Pinterest itself. Considering the popularity of infographcis, Pinterest pushed instruction based infographics as a priority to the top. DIY, how-to pins are the second most popular category on Pinterest.
Maybe, converting your blog posts as instructographics would be a good idea. If it’s good, you will get the traction from Pinterest. Or even some basic instructions that would make your target audience’s life easier would do just enough to place you on top of search results within Pinterest. Here’s a good example to catch the end user’s attention.
Now that you know how to create the best content for pins to get the most of the platform. You’d be wondering how to get your content reach the masses? Let’s check that out.
How to Get Your Pins Shared & Repinned: Optimizing Your Pins for Broader Reach
It’s whole another level to take your pin you’ve created to reach to the masses. It is not as easy as creating content for a pin is. Sure, creating content is not easy, but when compared to taking the pin to the masses, it is very easy.
Think of it this way.
Why would someone find your pin useful? Especially when they are ‘searching’ for solutions? If they find your pin in the feed, it’s the different story.
Pay attention to the action your target audience does when you expect them to interact with your pin. They’re ‘searching’, just like you & I search on the web. We expect solutions.
Therefore, if your content in the pin doesn’t provide a solution to the end user in the first look, you’re gonna lose. Even if you’ve done all your homework of finding the right keywords to appear in the search results.
With that said, here are some tips to consider while attempting to market on your content on Pinterest.
#1 Best Time to Pin
Analytics dashboard with the in the Pinterest business profile will give you enough data to decide this. However, in my attempt to help you, here’s what I’ve found. According to SocialFresh, the best time to Pin content is 2Pm-4PM EST and 8PM-1AM EST. Furthermore, HubSpot has found that Morning (of your target audience) is the best time to Pin content.
#2 Make it Easy to Pin Content from Your Website
For every visitor that reaches your site, chances are that the visitor is already on Pinterest. Also, making it easy to pin your content on their boards is not something you should miss. You can use tools made available by Pinterest itself.
For some reason, the code is not working on this website. I am in touch with the developer team from Pinterest on this. I’ll update once I get the response from the concerned team. You can try using the code mentioned in the link above and check if it works for you. If not, report to the Pinterest developer team.
Alternatively, you can use wordpress plugins to have a Pin it button every time someone hovers on the images available on your webpages.
If you have a business profile on Pinterest, you can link that to the home page. Even a little interaction with the end users will be noticed by the Pinterest system and will help you rank well in the future.
#3 Share Pins in Your Newsletter
There’s no harm in self-promotion. If you are into email marketing and have a list, you can send out emails to your list with your popular pins from Pinterest. This will not only keep your subscribers hooked onto your Pinterest boards, but it will also attract new users to the platform.
#4 Spend Some Time on SEO for Pinterest
Just like every other search engines, Pinterest also considers search engines optimization that brings the search results to the end user. Since the optimization, you carry out is for, within Pinterest, it doesn’t take much to optimize your pins. Here are some steps that will ensure SEO for your pins:
- Do keyword research on Google Ads Keyword Planner
- You can even use keyword research tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs or keywords research tool in Pinterest Ads (it is a country dependent feature)
- Add the most searched keyword in your titles & description
- Add your target keyword in pin images file names
Just like every time, I’d like to emphasize on not stuffing the keywords in your title, description, and pins, that will sound like a robot. You will end up signaling the Pinterest algorithm that your pins are spam. Maintain a safe distance with the keyword stuffing in your pins, you will be safe.
#5 Create a Call-to-Pin
Considering Pinterest as a platform to engage with your audience, it is never less important to not retain the users. Call-to-Pin will keep considerably increase your end users engaged, which will, in turn, increase the visibility across the platform.
Studies have found your 80% higher engagement from the end users. Create your own catchy CTP that will make your end user want to repin it.
#6 Keep Users Busy While On Your Profile
Social media is a great place to build a relationship with people you don’t even know. The same thing is applicable to businesses too. In fact, building relationship with people for business on social media has proved to be one of the best tactics to grow as a brand for many business owners.
Building a relationship with your end users will help you reach further, deeper and longer. Building relationship will make the end users loyal and that’s how the mouth publicity will begin, people will share your content and your brand awareness will spread like a forest fire.
Take care of your users like that girl/guy you’re dating. Know their likes & dislikes, feed them what they are looking for. In ways, no one else could. I’d like to quote a study from the University of Minnesota on Pinterest, where they found three factors that the end users consider before following your business profile on Pinterest.
- Number of followers & number of accounts you follow
- Number of pins & boards
- Content quality & most important
- Coverage of your niche or in other words, content features
If you want to be on top of the search results and feeds, you should focus on content coverage. If you are running a gym and want more leads from this platform, it would be better if you don’t only focus on ‘how to build a ripped body’.
Instead, focus on everything a person wanting to join a gym or a gymolcoholic would need. Attention to these minute details differentiates brands from rest others. This is the secret sauce of all brands out there. They focus on details, coverage than quantity.
#7 Posting Frequency
As far as ranking in the feed is concerned, the Pinterest algorithm considers the number of followers the board has. That being said, if you want to climb the ladder of the feed, you should aim to get more followers. And to that, you need to pin at least 15–30 times a day.
This doesn’t mean pinning all the 30 pins in five minutes. This will raise a flag and the algorithm will straight away consider you as a spammer. Spend some time and keep pinning throughout the day. Find the best time to pin from the analytics and pin the most number of content during that duration.
Furthermore, you should keep a balance between repinning content from other boards and pinning your own content. This acts like salt & pepper creates a perfect taste that everyone would love.
Here are some more ways you can up the number of followers.
- Engage with people in comments and engage like human & not a business owner
- Comment on your follower’s pins. This makes them feel great. If not that, at least see your brand’s name
- Follow & engage with popular brands. They have people you want to target
- Invite others to contribute to your boards. Yes, you can do that. Here’s how you can do it.
- Find friends from other social media platforms & follow them
- Collaborate with influencers
- Create an open community where you can grow as a brand & smaller business owners can gain visibility under your brand
Now that you know the basics of creating engaging content. Let me share some strategies that will help you establish as a brand on Pinterest
How to Promote Your Brand on Pinterest Like a Pro
#1 Make use of Rich Pins
We’ve already discussed this. Rich pins are the way to make the end users take action on your pins. Well established brands have seen an 82% increase in their repin/pin ratio. Implementing rich pins will not ensure a ton of money, but surely this is one of the best strategies to gain some extra attention of the people running their thumbs in the smart feed.
When you apply for Rich Pins, just like Facebook, you get detailed analytics for each pin. Also, considering the engagement Pinterest has, you’ll get a good number of leads.
And the best part, it’s all organic. No ads, no fuss.
Here’s how you can create Rich Pins
- Go to Rich Pins setup page
- Choose the type of pin you want to create
- Add the relevant tags to your site and save it
- Once you add the tags, validate the webpage you’ve added the tags to
#2 Have Mixed Content on Your Boards
Have a look at this board from official Nike for Women. Not only they have pins on their hottest products they also have a board for motivation.
Nikes honors the sportsmanship. Following sportsmanship needs motivation. Hence, the board with a pin on motivation. By pining such content will not only provoke to buy Nike products, but it will also keep the people following that board motivated.
That’s the whole point of pinning content, helping the users.
#3 Include The Direct Link to Your Website
Not everyone is going to just interact with your pins. People reach your profile and may even visit your website. Apart from leaving links to your website in pins, having it in your profile is going to help you nag more leads.
Say one of your pins helped a random user big time, they are more like to come to the pin and find the URL to your website. That’s how you gain loyalty from end users.
#4 Organize your Profile with Most Popular Boards on Top
Best things should be at the top. Doesn’t matter if you have 10 followers or 1000, you should have the best at the top. As you grow in the number of followers, people reach out to your profile to see what else you have to offer.
#5 Create Contextual, Relevant & Seasonal Content
This goes from top to bottom. Contextual content is important and is evergreen. Furthermore, contextual content has the highest percentage of engagement & resonance. I’d say, contextual content has a 100% success rate. Contextual content makes the end users feel that that content was posted just for them.
Furthermore, seasonal content will create a sense of urgency and make the end user act on it. You can create a separate board for blog posts, that will home the referral traffic to your blog.
Now, you know how to create great pins, how to promote it and a lot more about Pinterest Marketing. But how would know if your efforts are actually working?
Here are some strategies that will help you track your success.
Analyze What’s Working for You & What Isn’t — Pinterest Analytics
One of the most important feature business profile owners get is analytics dashboard. It makes your life so much easier. With the help of analytics tool, you can analyze the following
- Most loved pins and/or boards people love the most
- What content is saved the most from your website(so that you can create more such content)
- Details about your target audience like Gender, location & interests
- Device details
- …. and lot more of such raw data that you can process to create more specific content
The analytics dashboard is not available for all, you will need to switch to business profile and verify your website. Another reason linking your website is important is to you is the fact that a verified account has great authority. When the user sees the red tick mark against your profile name builds trust and hence you reach a broader & highly targeted audience.
Final Thoughts on Pinterest Marketing
I know I’ve served a lot to consume. If you’ve made this far, I’ll make your life even easier. Here’s a summary of everything we’ve discussed so far.
Pinterest comes with great power. And as Uncle Ben said, “With great powers, comes great responsibility”
Create catchy images that are:
- high-quality image & content
- relevant content for popular categories
Time your pins well
- Pinning between 2PM-4PM EST and 8PM-1AM EST
- Use target keywords in title & description
- Adding the pinit button to your webpages
- Pins in newsletters
- CTP in your descriptions
Engage with followers to grow your audience
- Pin 30 piece of content every day
- engage with users in comments
- follow popular brands & engage with them
- Inviting followers & influencers to contribute
Promoting your profile for brand awareness
- Leverage Rich Pins
- direct links to your website
- contextual content
- Board just for blog posts
Utilize Pinterest Analytics
You’ve already read about it in the previous section. All I’ll say is utilize the analytics dashboard to the fullest before it kills the organic reach just like Facebook did.
I’m sure you’ve liked the tips & tricks served in this guide. Which one was the best for your business? Did I miss any tactic that you use? Let me know in the comment section below. Furthermore, do you know someone who’s looking for this information? Share with them,