The Ultimate Guide to Marketing on Pinterest

23 Apr
2019
Pinterest printable Strategy Workbook

Ready for a little secret? Pinterest is so successful in converting, yet so underused, that adding Pinterest to your marketing strategy can literally be a game-changer for your business. Pinterest drives 3.8 times more sales than other platforms and 87% of Pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest! And when you look at the spending power Pinterest users, you’ll really understand why you should be utilizing it: a survey by Pinterest found that 93% of Pinners use Pinterest to plan purchases, and 40% of Pinners have a household income of $100k+!

Also, at the bottom of this article please make sure to sign up for a free Pinterest strategy workbook.

So what type of businesses SHOULD use Pinterest?

There is still quite of a range of interest areas on Pinterest from fashion, food, auto, interiors and travel, so there are touch-points for a huge variety of users. Obviously businesses with good visual products or a good visual marketing strategy, will see better results on Pinterest.

One interesting find in Pinterest’s audience data is that Pinterest found that 85 percent of women users use Pinterest to plan “life moments” compared to just 44% on Instagram and 53% of Facebook. These life moments include big things like buying and decorating a new house or planning for a baby pr going on a vacation, to small things like meals or exercise routines.. And, Pinterest users start planning twice as early as people who use other platforms.

Interest spikes early on Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Who is on Pinterest?

Half of all U.S. millennials use Pinterest every month, and of its global audience, 66% of Pinners are females between the ages 25-54. The same Pinterest article above that talked about planning life moments, called a large portion of their audience “the Deciders”. The article wrote “They are women age 25-54 and they make the majority of purchase decisions in US households. They’re responsible for 80% of household buying, and they control more than 50% of the wealth in the US.” So this alone opens up a whole new possible strategy for connecting with your audience. And if you think about it, it makes sense, Pinterest is heaven for people who like to plan, based on the fact that you can save information, products, etc that you want for later by repinning it to your board. I think this is also why lead generation for service companies can be particularly easy because tis audience is particularly interested in your free checklists, guides, and more. But, they are also an audience with money, so they are probably more likely to convert than others from a free offer to something that costs money.

I recommend checking out this Hootesuite article, “29 Pinterest Statistics that Matter to Marketers in 2019” for a lot more data on who’s on Pinterest, how they use it, and why your business should.

Getting Started

We won’t go through account set-up in this article, its pretty straight forward, and you’ll either want to set it up as a business account (for free) or change your personal account to a business account.

One of the first steps of growing your account doesn’t even involve you needing to create your own pins. Instead, you’ll create a few boards based on different topics related to your business (and even better unlike any other social media platform, you can target different audiences with different boards). For example, I used to market a product for college students that could be bought by teachers, to assign their entire class, or by individual students to help them study. Individual Facebook pages or the like made that difficult, but with Pinterest, you can use different boards to cater to the interests of your different audiences.

Pinterest Terminology

Business News Daily was kind enough to put together a list of Pinterest terminology, some of which my seem like a no-brainer but others are certainly terms that non-Pinterest users should familiar themselves with.

PIns Pincodes, Lens for Pinterest, Hashtags for Pinterest, Archived boards

Learn about Rich Pins

Rich Pins add additional information from your site, to your pins. What the PIn looks like, ultimately depends on the type of Pin there is. As of writing this article, there are four different kinds of Rich Pins (the types of rich Pins available has-s evolved frequently over the years as the steps to implement them, so head over to the Pinterest Developers site for the most up to date info). But once your site is validated for Rich Pins, any content on your site with metadata will turn into a Rich Pin when a user saves it.

Right now the 4 types of Pins offered are App Pins, Article Pins, Product Pins and Recipe Pins.  

  • Article pins include the headline, author, story description and link
  • Product pins include real-time pricing, availability and where to buy
  • Recipe pins include ingredients, cooking times and serving info
  • App pins are available at this time for iOS (Apple) apps only and add an “Install” button that opens up your app, right in the Apple App Store.

After you decide which type of rich pins of you want to apply for, add the appropriate metatags to your site and validate your rich pins.

Benefits of Rich Pins

The ability to add extra information to any Pin anyone shares, but that it updates any and all Rich Pins to match your current metadata, so any changes in product prices, recipe ingredients, article titles, etc will be reflected in all Rich Pins when you change them on your site. Also, Rich Pins stand out because there

It’s also been speculated that an additional benefit to having all of the extra information is that it could help your SEO by decreasing bounce times. Some advertisers don’t use Rich Pins, because regular Pins sometimes do get better page traffic. But once someone sees that a recipe does or doesn’t have an ingredient someone is looking for, or a product is out of someone’s price range, they are likely to leave the site, increasing your bounce rate. With this line of thinking, while Rich Pins may decrease overall page views, the traffic it does drive is more likely to convert, helping your page and ultimately website’s overall SEO.

Once you validate your site with Pinterest and opt-in for Rich Pins, any image pinned from your site will show the additional rich pin information, which means that you need to carefully consider and update the meta description to all of your images. The absence of a meta description will cause the first couple of sentences to be displayed instead, which likely won’t convert well. Instead update the meta description for each page.

A good formula to follow is:

a well written description with keywords that pinners may be searching for and a call to action.

Strategy

People see pins in 1 of 4 different ways: Pins from those they follow (or boards that they follow), suggested pins, popular pins and promoted/paid pins.

So now that you have a better understanding Pinterest you want to think about strategy and how to get your Pins seen by more people, get more leads, and get more customers!

  1. Since having popular pins greatly increases the number of people who see it, you might want to consider joining (or creating) some group boards. A group board is when a Pinterest account invites other accounts to be contributors to their boards. Anything pinned to the board is seen by the followers of every single contributor! So you are getting it seen by more potential customers, and increases its ability to become a “popular pin”. One way to find group boards to join or contributors for your board is using Pinterest’s Analytics. Just click Analytics in the upper left of your Pinterest account, then People You Reach, then Interests. Toggle to Your Followers not All Audiences. Then scroll down to see Brands: Businesses Your Followers Engage.,
  2. As mentioned you’re going to want to set up multiple boards for different topics and audiences. You can use different boards to reach entirely different audiences, and use entirely different lead generation strategies. Some of your boards may have nothing to do with your business, and you might not have pages on your website that you link to from it, but its an interest that your audience shares and the hops is that when following that board, your target audience will follow you in general and also see the boards that have the pins that do link to your website or affiliate content!
  3. Your next major piece of advice is to think of Pinterest like a search engine. People often use it to learn about things they are interested in and to get informed when they are ready to buy. Yes, this means SEO isn’t just for Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the like. It means you want to be thinking about keywords in the meta descriptions, titles, boards and regular descriptions. You have a possible 500 characters to use (first fifty shown before the “read more” button) . You’ll also want to be careful in your consideration of which pictures you chose at the cover photos of your boards as well as the placement of boards in your profile, as in which boards you list closer to the top of your profile and which ones you’ll see further down.
  4. While you can and should save your pins to multiple boards, always save it to the most relevant board first. And your branded board with all of your blog posts is NOT the first board to save to. Te first board you Pin to help Pinterest define and understand that pin, so that it can show it to the correct people.
  5. As far as hashtags, different people say different things. I do some with and some without. And when I do use them, I keep them to about three. Do a search you think your audience might do, Try it with hashtags and without. were the results different. That should help determine whether you think hashtags are for you.

Getting an Audience

Okay, you’ve got the basics but hold on! You aren’t ready to create Pins just yet! First of course you want to get followers and get some content on your site. That means repining other pins and getting people following your boards, as well as just building content so when you add your own pins, and people travel to your Pinterest site or boards, they don’t disregard you because of a lack of content. Go find influencers and boards similar to your business. Re-pin some of their pins, follow their followers (as they are likely to be interested in your content) and comment and like their Pins. Simply get engaged in the community!

Creating your Pins

Okay, now once you been repinning, building up your content, and getting engaged in the community you’re ready to start sprinkling in some pins of your own..

Longer, thinner pins do much better because of Pinterest’s layout and best practices for aspect ratio is of 2:3 for your photos is considered. In face luckily we have a great (pinnable) cheat sheet right here on all the various Pinterest’s related sizes from Pin sizes (in feed), expandable pin size, thumbnail sizes, and more. Size is important to think about for your website as well, particularly if you have buttons to share on Pinterest. Often images in a store are small square photos that simply don’t take up enough room to get noticed and clicked. You will want to create custom vertical images for your website and for your Pins. Canva and PicMonkey both have free plans that allow you to easily create custom visuals and have lots of templates to help you get started. Lumen5 makes it easy to turn any webpage or blog post into a video and you can utilize this to create video pins.

You then offer these custom vertical graphics on any page you allow people to pin from on your website. But no, you don’t need to replace all your photos or make your product photos crazy vertical Pins. Instead, you can hide the Pinterest image on the web page, so that its only visible if someone pins that page, and will only be seen on Pinterest. Or, if you can certainly add graphics like infographics to your blog posts. You can even insert several different images to give people choices.

Also, make more than one pin per page, some people make five or more pins that link to the same page. Not every color scheme or graphic is going to interest every person. Maximize your traffic by having different options to grab attention. Also instead of just changing up the style, you can change up content and try to make the pin a surprising statistic or fact you pulled out of the post, or a tip. Plus, you may now also create video pins!

Your Pins, Titles, Descriptions: SEO on Pinterest

There are many ways in which you just don’t engage the same as on social sites. People aren’t there to see the behind the scenes. Instead, your content needs to inspiring, educational, and in some way about planning and action when possible. Instead of a blog post about mistakes to avoid, wrote one about things to remember. Anything that gets in with the Pinner’s planning and desire for action. .

Also, you can now tag your products, similar to Instagram, so that people can see the price right on Pinterest, and it makes a board solely of tagged Products.

Boards

Think about what type of content does well. Remember we talked about how pinners are planners? Tips, seasonal (i.r. summer fashion, spring flowers, etc) are examples of some do well. You can even create different boards for them. Other examples of board topics includes quotes, guides, group boards as well as boards for your products, and/or your blog posts. You should also look at the Top Pinterest board categories and see which are ones that you could name your own boards after.

Make sure that you really think about keywords and make board names that make it easy for Pinterest to make sense of it. Remember, Pinterest should be treated more like a search engine.

This means don’t name your boards l i k e t h i s. Pinterest doesn’t know what that means. And even clever names could searches on hurt your board coming up in searches. Also, since 98% of Pinterest searches are unbranded, you want to stay away from using your business name or branded name in most of your boards. Some accounts will have one branded board that’s made up of all of their blog posts, products or whatever but the majority of your boards should not be branded.

Don’t spend too much time on custom board covers (it won’t hurt and they look cool) but the sizes are always changing and few are going to see your posts from your profile.

Finally, make sure to save your pins to your most relevant (non-group board( first as it will be tied to some of the SEO on that first board.

Group Boards

While as I;ve mentioned, group boards are a great way to get in front of people, you shouldn’t go crazy applying to group boards. Because many group boards are basically dumping grounds, they are often seen as poor quality and do not help you get seen by Pinterest because of the Smart Feed.

You should find boards that:

  • don’t allow people that allow pins that perform poorly (pins that frequently don’t have any repins)
  • groups that don’t have too many contributors,
  • groups with a lot of followers (use PinGroupie, mentioned at the bottom). Use PinGroupie to also look at the overall repin rate of the group).
  • Don’t have too many contributors
  • Are active (but not crazy active (again don’t want spammy boards)
  • Boards where reciprocal pinning is encouraged

Your Pinterest Analytics


When you sign up with a free business account, you also get access to Pinterest’s free analytical tool, which has a lot of great information.

Pinterest has just updated their analytics. There used to be multiple different pages but now they have an overview page and an audience insights page. You can sort the pins into All of your pins, your pins that lead to your website, the pins you have shared of others, and your Instagram pins (we didn’t touch on this but you can share your Instagram posts to Pinterest, and the link will actually be your Instagram post link, so if people click to follow the link, it will bring them to your Instagram). You can also sort it into devices, which they define as where your pin traffic is coming from and the options are all, desktop, tablet, or phone. Finally, you can look at pins by source, so pins from you, pins by others, or all. Now you can use these different filters together. So you can look at pins from your website, but that is not from you, and that will show you the pins people saved themselves from visiting your website. Similarly, you could look at just pins from your website that you share. You could look at pins that you had repinned from someone else that doesn’t go to your website, etc. Or of course, you can leave all the filters set to all and see all of your pins. However you filter your pins, you’ll see a list, and above that list, you can then filter them by and look at the stats for, impressions, engagements, closeups (people who used the magnifying glass to open your pin to full size), link clicks, and saves. It will show you the top pins for whatever you choose and the related data (ex, 3,000 impressions for this pin, 2,500 for that pin, etc).

The audience insights tab gives you a list of the categories your audience is interested in. You can sort this list by all of your followers and your engaged followers. If you don’t have a lot of followers yet, you may not have enough data for them to show you your engaged followers. Anyways, for each category, you will be given an affinity score which will show how much your audience is interested in that category compared to all of Pinterest users. You will then see in the third column the percent of your audience interested in that category. For each category, you can select it, and it will further break it down, giving you interest. For example one of my clients, their top category is travel and when I click on travel I see another list set up the same way with the affinity score and percent of the audience and I see that interests “travel destinations, North America travel, Asia destinations, travel ideas…” Now the really cool part of this, is that you can click on these interests, and it will open up a page of the related pins, so these are pins that you can either repin yourself, or that you can use as ideas for new pins and blog articles for your site if you don’t already have that topic.

Finally if you scroll down you will see your audience demographics which shows the age and gender distribution, the devices your audience uses, and their location.

Use this information to inform the type of content and calls to action you use in your pins. Look at who your audience really is and then look at the following tabs to see what type of content you’ve already posted is doing well.

The Older Pinterest Analytics

Now because you can still revert to the old analytics, I’ve kept my explanation for that too, which starts right here:

It’s split into three sections: audience, profile, and website analytics.

The audience insights (as discussed above in the new analytics page) includes the most popular categories and interest of your followers, as well as the location, gender, devices they are using and their age.

“Your Pinterest Profile” analytics provides you the following analytics related to your Pinterest feed, for any period of time (autoset to last 30 days):

Impressions: Average daily pin impressions and average daily viewer as well as lists the pins with the top impressions, and boards with pins with the most impressions. In these last two sections, on each tab, it does that analytic for Pins and the boards they are in, and the last column says pin type, and once you have Rich Pins validated, it will show you whether that is a rich pin, so you can compare the performance of your rich pins vs. regular pins.

Saves: Average daily saves, average daily people saving, as the pins with the most saves over your set period and boards containing the most saved pins.

Link Clicks: Average daily link clicks, average daily visitors, and most frequently clicked pins as well as boards containing the pins that are most saved.

All Time: A list of pins for each of the following categories

  • Most saves: Your most shared pins overall
  • Best in search: Pins that rank higher in search
  • Power Pins: Pins with a high mix of saves, link clicks and more

Based on your current business and strategy goals, you can choose pins that performed well in your desired analytics and you can share them again, especially if you have a different board it could be used on.

The TailWind app, which we talk about in the next section, has a cool feature called Smart Loops, where you can choose these top performing Pins, and have them automatically repinned for you every set period of days (ex. 90 days/3 months or 180 days/Six months).

To access the additional analytics on the third tab related to your website, you have to validate your website with your Pinterest account. You also will need to set up the save button to be added to all of your blog images, so that people can pin them on Pinterest.

Then, you’ll also have access to all of the data related to pins your blog audience shares, and any pins performing well that again, you can save to your own boards, and get them in front of even more eyes.

Pinterest Tools

*Note This section contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase. While I may receive compensation for some Tools, I only mention ones that I recommend and utilize myself.

Tailwind: This is one of the main tools in Pinterest management tool with a TON of important and helpful features.

The original use of Tailwind was for scheduling. So you can schedule your own pins, as well as other Pins, so that you have news ones being adding every hour or every few hours, but plan that all at once. It also lets you schedule them from people blogs, so that you can save those to Pinterest boards yourself, and even schedule them to multiple different boards over a period.

A second important mention aboutTailWind is their Tailwind Tribes. The tribes are similar to group boards, in that you share your content with other members of the tribe, and the idea is that you share each of others. Watch the following quick video to get a really good understanding of their Tribe function:

Another great feature of TailWind we mentioned earlier is SmartLoops, which allows you to schedule pins to be repinned to your desired boards every few months, or which every time frame you sent. As you grow, you’ll have more and more content you don’t even need to worry about scheduling ,because its already done for you! You just want to make sure that there is a good timeframe and amount of other pins, between repins.

PinGroupie:A Pinterest group board directory, so that you can find group boards to request to collaborate on, any Pin you post on a group board will be shown to each of the collaborators audiences,, giving you huge audience possibilities.

PinFollow: If you know Instagram, you know there are TONS of apps that help you “grow your followers,” pretty much tools that help you follow people who follow you and unfollow people who don’t follow you back. So Pinfollow is the Pinterest version of these apps. What this really does, is helps your Follow/followers ratio. Since mass following people is considered Spammy, because its an attempt to get follows that aren’t really relevant to you, your follow/unfollow ratio is a metic that social media accounts look at, that other brands look at etc. So unfollowing those that don’t follow you back can help. that ratio. But you have to be careful because mass unfollows will also look bad to the Pinterest (or Instagram, wherever) sand can get you spammed, so its definitely a tool I utilize and can be helpful but you want to use it with caution.

ClipRise: Previously known as Pinterms, is a chrome extension for help with Pinterest keywords that helps you select the best keywords for you Pinterest descriptions so that they are more likely to get be seen and by the right people.

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Shannon Murphy
author

Shannon was born in Upstate NY and received her B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience form Northeastern University. She has worked as a digital marketing freelancer for over 3 years for several different agencies and freelancing before starting her own small start-up agency, Murphy Strategic Marketing.

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