While Pinterest has definitely been around as long as some of the other bigger social media platforms, it’s not often thought of first as a marketing opportunity. And it’s even less common to have a thought-out strategy for it.
But if your brand’s target audience aligns with who you’ll reach on Pinterest, this is a mistake.
Think of Pinterest as a visual search engine, housing tons of photos, graphics, links and inspiration for nearly anything you might want to find. Yes, it’s popular for recipes and DIY projects, but there really is more to it than that.
Pinterest has traditionally had a majority-female user base, but that gender gap is narrowing, with 60 percent of users being women. It’s largest demographic, however, still is women aged 25 to 34 at 30.4 percent of all users.
So, if this is the target audience you’re trying to reach, don’t overlook the power of Pinterest. The following are six expert tips for marketing on the visual search engine to reach potential customers and drive website traffic.
Brand, optimize your Pinterest profile
First things first, take a look at your existing brand profile on Pinterest. If you’re just creating one, even better—you can start things off right.
Make sure you’re working with a business Pinterest account, so you have access to analytics, “rich pins” and other features.
From there, it’s time to brand every single aspect of your Pinterest profile. The goal is that it looks like a reflection of your business. This can include:
- Uploading a profile photo, which likely would be your logo but still should be whatever version/color of your logo that best represents your brand and intention on Pinterest. The size is a 165-pixel by 165-pixel square. Depending on your business (like if it’s all about you specifically), a professional headshot would work here, too.
- Writing your bio, which should be aligned with the bio section of your other social media profiles. It will still need to be short and succinct. Pinterest’s character limit here is 160. Hashtags aren’t as essential, though, on a Pinterest bio (as compared to Twitter or Instagram, for example).
- Choosing a cover board, which will show pins from that board at the very top of your profile. The pins themselves won’t be clickable, but there will be a link to that board at the corner of the cover itself. Take the time to identify what pins reflect your brand as well as your overall purpose on Pinterest (both visually and content-wise).
- Customizing your showcase boards, which appear directly below your name and bio. You can choose up to five boards, and they’ll slide from one board to the next. Ideally, this is a great spot to feature your product(s), service(s) or blogs.
- Branding your board covers, which will give all your boards a consistent look and match the rest of your Pinterest profile. There are two ways to do this: 1) Create and upload separate board covers to each board and link them to your website; or 2) Choose a pin from each of your boards that matches your brand color.
- Verifying your website, which will get you the access to the analytics tied to your website on Pinterest, as well as access to the “rich pins” feature that will share more information about your link(s). Pinterest can walk you through it.
Decide on your content strategy
If you’ve had more of a sporadic, buckshot approach to your content strategy on Pinterest, you’re not alone.
But it’s never too late to turn that around and get focused. Of course, at the center of your content strategy should be your audience. Who are you trying to reach? What interests them? How might you engage them here on Pinterest specifically?
In addition to that thought process, consider some of the most popular types of pins:
- Product pins, which make sense if you’re a retailer or online store. Use a striking, beautiful product image that will catch the eye of a user. Even when Pinterest users aren’t originally shopping on the platform, about 72 percent say that they get inspired to, largely because of enticing product pins.
- Blog post graphics, which work if you’re promoting articles from your website. Use a clean, eye-catching design (with photos or graphic designs) and bold text that again will catch users’ attention as they’re scrolling through numerous pins.
- Infographic pins, which are a great way to promote your business by sharing valuable information and/or data. The idea is to visually convey that content in such a way as to catch the eye. So, keep it clean, simple and bold within the vertical space.
- Lead-capture magnets, which work for promoting any downloadable content your website might be offering to generate leads. Again, strive for a clean, branded and engaging design.
Join Pinterest community boards
Pinterest allows its users to invite others to contribute to a board, and that can be a perfect way to get your content in front of brand new audiences.
To get started, look for prominent Pinterest users in your industry and see if they have any group/community boards that make sense for your brand to join.
Often, the board’s description might include some rules, as well as a link to apply to join. Otherwise, you might have to email the owner of the board, fill out a contact form and/or follow their account for them to add you. Every community board can be a bit different, just like Facebook groups.
Also just like Facebook groups, once you’ve joined, be sure to stay active on the board with a mix of content. That content also shouldn’t be just promotional on behalf of your brand. Take the time to add to the true content mix with relevant, curated content as well.
SEO does matter on Pinterest
We’ve already referred to Pinterest as a visual search engine. Therefore, you should use all search engine optimization (SEO) tactics on both your profile and your pins.
Pinterest has its own algorithm and its own SEO rules. To maximize your own ranking on Pinterest, here are some suggestions to pay attention to, such as your:
- Profile, where you can include keywords in your bio (but also in your name if appropriate).
- Pins, where relevant keywords can be included in both the title and the description.
- Boards, where you should strive for titles with keywords rather than titles that are just fun or cute. The board descriptions should focus on telling users what they’ll find on your board while including relevant keywords as well.
Just be sure not to overstuff keywords in any area of your Pinterest profile or content. You wouldn’t want to do that for regular search engines, so don’t bother on Pinterest either. It simply won’t get the results you’re seeking. User understanding and their experience with your content should always be the priority.
Schedule out your pins
Consistent, fresh content is critical to generating a successful presence on Pinterest that reaches the audience you’re seeking and driving traffic to your website.
Yes, you can visit the platform multiple times per day to post fresh pins. However, using a scheduling tool will help you stay on top of your pins and ensure proper timing (rather than dumping several all at once).
About five to 30 pins per day is best for engagement on Pinterest.
To help with this, check out these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools if you’re not already using one that supports Pinterest publishing.
Target the right users with ads
Beyond just organic content, you also can target Pinterest ads around keywords, interests, geographic location, age and more.
Pinterest ads come in a number of formats, including (but not limited to):
- Promoted pins, which appear in the home feed and search results on Pinterest just like a regular pin, except that they are boosted for a determined budget and targeted to deliver additional reach. If a user shares that promoted pin, the “promoted” label disappears. That remains true for subsequent repins as well.
- Promoted carousels, which feature two to five images that users can swipe through. These can appear wherever regular pins do. Each “card” in a promoted carousel can feature a different image, title, description and landing page. This is a great option if you have multiple products or features to highlight.
- Promoted video pins, which are just like promoted pins, except that the static image is replaced with a video. These promoted videos autoplay as soon as they’re 50 percent within view. There are two sizes available for promoted video pins: max and standard. Max spreads width-wise across the feed, minimizing distractions and competition from other pins, but this size can be more expensive. Standard size is the same as regular pins. Promoted videos are four times more memorable than non-video ads, so they’re worth considering.
- Promoted app pins, which enable users to download your mobile app directly from Pinterest. This ad type then is obviously mobile-only, but that’s not a bad thing since about 80 percent of Pinterest traffic comes from mobile devices.
- Buyable pins, which are also known as “Shop the Look.” This type of ad allows users to find and buy products directly from your pin. This is great if you’re featuring an image where multiple products are working together. For example, an outfit, decorated room or dinner spread.
If Pinterest is a platform where you can reach your target audience, you should give it the same amount of consideration and planning as you would any of your other social media brand accounts.
That attention and consistency will pay off.
If you’re not sure what social media platform your brand should be focusing on, our guide can help.