You probably know Pinterest as a go-to place to find DIY ideas and inspiration boards. Maybe you’ve personally used it for these reasons. But there is so much more to the platform, and it’s time for marketers to get on board (no pun intended.)
Pinterest isn’t slowing down. In fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing social platforms. And with 85% of weekly users saying they’ve purchased something from a Pin, this platform deserves to be in your social media marketing stack. Let’s get into how to market on Pinterest.
What is Pinterest marketing?
Pinterest marketing is the practice of posting branded content on this visual-forward platform to cultivate and build awareness, connect with your audience and drive traffic to your website.
Since many are looking for buying inspiration, marketing on Pinterest is a powerful way to reach new customers.
Benefits of marketing on Pinterest
Adding another platform to the mix is no easy ask. But using Pinterest comes with benefits that make it worth the additional effort. To name a few:
Boost brand awareness
Every month 460 million people use the platform, so there’s an active audience waiting for you. Crumbl Cookies discovered this recently: In less than a year, they grew their Pinterest following from 7,000 to 1 million.
Drive people to your website
Pinterest is a popular discovery platform for shoppers looking for inspiration or new products. In fact, 80% of weekly users have discovered a new product or brand on Pinterest, according to the platform.
And Pinterest knows this. That’s why they’ve optimized unique Pin types that can be used to promote products and articles. This type of content is a powerful tool for driving new users and customers to your website.
Create and expand your community
Pinterest is a prime place to create and cultivate an engaged community through content—specifically content that taps into creativity. According to Pinterest, 85% of Pinners say they go to the platform to start a new project. Offering content that taps into this provides Pinners with the spark they’re looking for.
And that brings us to a superpower Pinterest has: It makes people feel good.
According to the platform, 78% of weekly Pinners feel positive after interacting with it. So Pinterest is a prime spot for you to create feel-good and helpful moments for your audience.
Your 6-step Pinterest marketing strategy
Now let’s get into how to market on Pinterest by creating a strategy in 6 steps:
1. Brand your profile
The first step to having a presence on any social media network is to brand your profile. Before you get started, double check that you have a business Pinterest account—not personal. This gives you access to additional tools like analytics and ads.
Then, brand your Pinterest profile so that it’s easily recognizable as belonging to your company. Here are a few ways to do that:
Customize your profile visuals
Your profile visuals are prime real estate to enforce your branding. Just make sure your visuals are high-quality and match your brand to give your profile a branded look.
There are two main profile areas you’ll want to brand: your profile photo and cover.
Upload a profile photo that best represents your business. This is likely just your logo set into a 165 x 165 pixel image.
Your cover is the perfect place to add graphics, product shots, an image of your office, seasonal imagery and other visuals that represent your company.
For example, Free People’s cover features seasonal clothing.
IKEA’s cover is a stunning photo featuring their products and decor.
Write your bio
Your social media bios should be consistent across platforms. Most have a similar character limit (Pinterest’s is 160), making it easy to write one bio and use it across the board.
Hashtags aren’t essential for your Pinterest bio, but you should clearly and succinctly communicate your brand’s mission statement and offerings. And try to naturally include relevant keywords—more on keywords later.
Brand your board covers
Choose covers for your Pinterest boards so they match your branding and the rest of your profile.
There are a couple of different ways you can do this. First, you can create and upload separate board covers to each board and link them to your website.
You can also simply choose a Pin from each of your boards as a cover. To give your boards a cohesive look, choose an image for each cover with a similar theme—like the teal colors in Sprout’s boards.
Verify your website
Last but not least, you’ll want to claim your website. This gives you access to Pinterest analytics for your website and turns on the Rich Pins feature that shares more information about your link, whether it’s an article, product or recipe.
To verify your website, Pinterest will provide you with a code snippet that you’ll need to place on your site. There are WordPress plugins that can help, or your developer can handle it for you.
2. Develop a Pinterest strategy for your content
Just like any other social platform, you need to post regularly, and intentionally. That’s why you need a Pinterest marketing strategy for your content.
What types of content will you be sharing on Pinterest? How often? Will you change your content and profile elements seasonally?
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you work out your Pinterest strategy, and some Pinterest content tips:
Decide on your content types and themes
There are many different types of content that perform well on the platform like product Pins, infographics or blog posts. And now that all Pins can have links, the opportunities are endless. But what you post will depend on what makes sense for your brand.
This is a single-image post, and probably what you immediately picture when you think of the Pinterest feed.
Simple and straightforward, these fit well with Pinterest’s highly visual platform and you can get creative with how you use them. Think: graphics to tease a linked blog post, interesting vertical infographics, product or lifestyle imagery and user-generated content.
We live in a video-first world, and Pinterest is no exception. Create Video Pins featuring one or several videos. Similar to Reels or TikTok, you can add interactive elements, like stickers, text and tunes.
You don’t have to start from square one. Consider re-using clips or videos you’ve posted on Reels, TikTok or even your Stories. And don’t overthink it: Videos can be as simple as behind-the-scenes looks, customer testimonials, employee spotlights and product demos. Or, partner with creators to create unique video content.
Idea Pins allow you to include multiple videos (up to five minutes) or photos together in one Pin. They’re like a combination of Stories and carousels.
Use this format for in-depth storytelling, how-tos, broken-down listicles and more—perfect for those using Pinterest to start a new project.
Once created, your Idea Pins will appear on your boards. But they’ll also show up in a “Created” tab, where all of your Idea Pins will live in a featured hub.
If your business is a retailer or an online store, Pinterest is the perfect place to share stunning product photos to help shoppers envision how they would use or style them.
Pinterest is a major discovery engine for shopping. Over half of Pinners see Pinterest as a place to shop. Sharing your products on this platform makes it easy for shoppers to buy straight from Pinterest, or drive traffic directly to your product pages.
Start selling on Pinterest by making shoppable gift guides with linked products, or a virtual lookbook featuring 2-5 products in Carousel Pins. Or, tap into AR with Try On product Pins, which let users virtually try on your products on their phone.
Rich Pins offer more information to you as a marketer, and to your audience.
They pull information from your website into Pins—for example, if the price of a product changes on your website, it changes in the Rich Pin as well. To use them, you’ll need to apply for them and to add a code to your website.
There are three types of Rich Pins you can use: recipe Rich Pins, article Pins and product Pins.
It’s always ideal to stay ahead of trends and adopt them early. Enter Pinterest Trends dashboard.
At the time this article was updated, Summer nails, festival, home outdoor and summer outfits 2023 were all in the top 7 trends—invaluable information to inform seasonal campaigns. Keeping track of what keywords people are searching for more, or less, is crucial for creating proactive content that taps into what audiences are looking for. This is also helpful for shaping what keywords you include in your topics and Pins.
Consider using Pinterest ads
Marketing on Pinterest doesn’t mean you need a paid strategy. But investing in Pinterest ads is a way to boost brand awareness as you grow on the platform.
Pinterest advertising also brings more bang for your buck. According to Pinterest, brands see about 2.3x more efficient cost per conversion on Pinterest compared to other social platforms.
There are a number of creative formats to leverage, from cinematic Pins, to promoted carousel Pins and paid partnership Idea Pins.
On the content front, ‘engaging with the community’ means creating Pins that inspire people to comment, or simply to click through a carousel or Idea Pin.
But it also means responding to Pinners when they comment on your content—don’t leave your audience hanging.
Adding another platform into the mix doesn’t need to complicate your social monitoring. A social media management tool streamlines messages and DMs. For example, with Sprout Social’s Smart Inbox, answer your Pinterest comments alongside messages from all of your other social channels in one centralized location.
You can also cultivate a community by joining and creating group boards that users contribute to, which gets your content in front of new audiences.
Search for prominent Pinners in your niche and check to see if they have group boards relevant to your industry. Many users will include rules or a link to apply to join a board within the board’s description. Once you join, remain active within those boards, pinning your content and also curating other entries so you’re not only promoting your business.
And if you want to create group boards, there are plenty of safeguards you can put in place. You have the power to assign collaborators, set parameters for what they can do, create notes containing rules and remove anyone who violates them.
4. Focus on Pinterest SEO
Pinterest is essentially a visual search engine built for discovery—in fact, nearly all searches on Pinterest are unbranded. Focus on your Pinterest SEO and implement these rules on your profile to see your ranking increase.
Do some keyword research on Pinterest to find search terms related to your product, industry and trending content. The Pinterest trends page mentioned earlier is a great place to identify search keywords that are on the rise.
But simply searching on Pinterest will help you identify related keywords people are using. In the example below, notice the suggested search terms for the keyword “diy plant hanger.” If I created a Pin about a DIY macrame plant hanger, I might also include “Easy DIY plant hanger” and “Macrame tutorial” in my Pin to capture related searches.
There are three different places where you need to be focusing on your keyword usage:
- Your profile: Add keywords to your name and bio to help your profile appear in search results. You have 65 characters to fill out your Pinterest name and 160 characters to write your bio. Include the most popular keywords in your industry.
- Your boards: Notice how Crumbl’s board titles below include keywords people are likely searching for. Like “Mood boards,” “gift ideas” and “Halloween costume ideas.” You also want to add board descriptions that tell users what they can find on the board and include your main and secondary keywords.
- Your Pins: Include relevant keywords about your pin within both the title and description. This tells users and the Pinterest algorithm what your Pin is about and helps it show up in search results. Avoid “keyword stuffing,” i.e. unnaturally filling the description with tons of keywords. In this example from Crumbl Cookies, the Pin title “End of the school year teacher gift ideas” is informative but also includes search-friendly keywords like “teacher gift ideas.”
5. Schedule fresh Pins
Continuously sharing fresh content improves the quality of your Pinterest profile, furthering the likelihood that the algorithm will share your content in search results.
While you could jump on Pinterest throughout the day everyday to share new Pins, who has time for that?
Using Sprout Social’s Pinterest management tools, schedule your content on the platform ahead of time and fill out your content calendar across multiple social networks. With our Publishing features, create and schedule Pins to various boards—or platforms. Simply upload your image(s), add the link, create your pin description and schedule.
Publishing content at your best times to post for the most engagement is another benefit of scheduling. Sprout’s Optimal Send Times feature suggests seven optimal posting times. These suggestions are based on engagement factors, helping you reach your audience with less guesswork.
6. Measure what works
Regularly analyzing your Pinterest data is the best way to iterate on your strategy by understanding what content works.
Pinterest offers Pin metrics for business accounts, including video metrics. But a data automation tool like Sprout gives you a 360-degree view of how all of your social channels are performing in one centralized hub.
Sprout’s Pinterest Profiles report gives you an overview of how your profiles are performing when it comes to metrics like impressions and follower growth—especially helpful if you have multiple profiles you want to compare. And these reports are presentation-ready and easy to share with other stakeholders.
Get started with Pinterest marketing
It’s never too late to start marketing on Pinterest. You have an audience on the platform, waiting for you to join and start sharing your creative content.
Use this 6-step strategy to kick off your Pinterest marketing. And once you’re up and running, check out Sprout’s article about Pinterest analytics to measure your success.