The Definitive Guide to Pinterest Marketing (2020)

By Payperlead on Aug 2, 2020
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Social media has created new ways for people to get together over the internet, either through mutual acquaintances or through shared interests. Pinterest, as you would guess by the name, falls into the latter category, as the site’s content is heavily dependent on its users’ interests.

Today’s guide will be focused on how you can make the most of your marketing efforts on Pinterest. Out of all social media networks (including even snapchat marketing), Pinterest’s community is perhaps the friendliest to advertisers, even embracing them, to a certain extent. However, don’t think that this means advertising on Pinterest is easy.

Like with any social media network, you have to get to know how the community of Pinterest works, and you need to create ads that will draw their attention away from their feed. Before getting into the details, let’s take a look at how Pinterest works and what sets it apart from other social media networks.

What is Pinterest?

While Pinterest started being developed in 2009, it started gaining real traction in 2011, near when they first launched their app for iPhone. With nearly 370 million monthly users, Pinterest is a massive social network that also incorporates elements of ecommerce, making it a prime target for marketers.

Along with being described as a social media platform and an ecommerce hub, Pinterest is known as a visual search engine. Any terms you search on Pinterest will typically find you a plethora of videos or images related to your selected keywords. Unlike Google Images or Videos, Pinterest allows its users to search for all kinds of visual results at once.

How Does Pinterest Work?

So how is content on Pinterest created? Users on Pinterest can share either content that they have created themselves or that they have found on the internet, sharing them in the form of pins. Groups of pins can be found on boards, and users can save or repin these if they are interested in them.

Let’s go into a bit more detail about how each of these systems works.

pinterest board feed

Pins

Pins are Pinterest’s equivalent of posts on other social media platforms, and they allow you to share nearly anything, but they frequently come in the form of visuals. Pins can come in the form of either images or videos, though they can link to a webpage that can help give the content a little bit more context.

Pins always lead back to their source, ensuring that artists get credit for their work, but that isn’t the appeal for marketers. If you share an image of a product, then that image can link back directly to the page where someone can buy it, and this gives Pinterest a lot of potential when used for advertising.

Boards

While you may not have any trouble finding your pins when you just get started on the site, you may eventually have too many pins to sort through. This is when boards come in handy, as they allow you to sort through all of your pins and group them into related categories that make them easier to find.

For example, you can have a board for fashion and another one for interior design. If you like the boards that someone curates, you can either follow them to see all of the boards that they add their pins to, or you can follow an individual board that matches your interests.

Saves and Repins

save pins

If you like the content that someone else posts, you aren’t only limited to following their boards, you can also save their pins for later viewing. This is also known as a repin, and it allows you to save someone else’s pin to one of your boards while providing them with the credit for the initial pin.

This means that many Pinterest users will save visually-attractive pins to their boards, but it also means that they may save products that they may wish to purchase later on. This often results in delayed sales after engagements on Pinterest, unlike other social media platforms where engagement without conversions will often lead nowhere.

Group Boards

Pinterest’s group boards allow multiple users to collaborate on a board, with each adding things that they believe matches the overall theme of the board. One user will be the board’s owner, and they will be responsible for managing it, selecting permissions for each of the users, and ensuring that the theme is adhered to.

There are two ways to add another user to a group board, with the first being through a simple email invite. If you want to add someone to your board as easily as possible, you can even copy a link and send it to them directly. Users can even react to pins in group boards to give other users an idea of what they think about their contributions.

Feed

No social media site is complete without its feed, and the same holds true for Pinterest. Based on the boards you follow and the interests you have, you’ll be able to see a wide range of things that may interest you on your feed, and you can shape it to match your interests as closely as you like.

This means that Pinterest’s users are used to seeing exactly what they like on their feeds. If you can target your advertisements correctly, then you should be able to blend your promoted pins seamlessly into your target audience’s feed, getting them even more interested in your product.

Categories

categories on pinterest

Pinterest has a range of different categories that users can select from to optimize their feed and see things that match their interests. These categories also make it easier to find boards that you will appreciate, and they also show you how different the various corners of the site can be.

Some categories are filled with infographics, recipes, and educational content, while others will contain photos, videos, or entertainment. This allows Pinterest’s users to get the kind of content they want out of the site, and it means that marketers need to pick between very disparate target audiences.

The most popular categories on the site include DIY, beauty, health, and travel. Always make sure that you post your content to the most relevant category, even if it may not be the most popular one. Making it easier for users to find your pins means that more people are likely to be interested in them when they find them.

Pinterest Account Types

There are two different account types for Pinterest users, depending on what they want to do on the platform. Personal accounts are free and require no payment info to be linked to them, but business accounts have much greater potential, and they can be used to create promoted pins.

pinterest for business

Personal Account

Personal accounts are the type used by the majority of Pinterest’s users, and they allow you to use the platform as a basic social media network. You can add your own pins, create your own boards, and interact with the community normally when you have this kind of account.

We’d recommend getting started with a personal account on Pinterest, as it allows you to see how users experience the site organically, particularly when they’re just getting started. Later on, you’ll be able to either link a business account to your personal account, or you can convert the account to be primarily business-based.

Business Account

Pinterest’s business accounts give you a bit more freedom than personal accounts, and the most obvious difference is that you can pay for the platform to host your sponsored pins. Another key difference is that Pinterest business accounts allow you to see analytics about how your posts perform.

One of the great things about Pinterest is that a business account lets you see analytics for both your organic content and your paid content. This makes it much easier to compare the performance of the marketing that you’re paying for and the publicity that you’re getting for free.

While business accounts are free, you’ll need to link a payment method to the account if you plan on using the sponsored posts function since ads on Pinterest use a CPM bidding process.

How to Get the Most Out of Pinterest

If you want to maximize your effectiveness on Pinterest, you’ll need to understand how the platform operates and how you can relate to the community instead of looking like you’re out to make a quick buck. These tips can make it easier to integrate yourself into the community and make people want to engage with your pins.

Your Boards Should Be a Two-way Forum Instead of a One-way Billboard

Like with most other social media networks, Pinterest users don’t take kindly to being treated like cattle and being spoon-fed advertisements, especially if you’re trying to market organically. To get the best results out of Pinterest marketing, you have to start engaging with the community.

Once you’ve started creating some pins of your own and you’ve amassed a bit of a following, you can’t focus solely on boosting the number of sales you get. It’s also essential to start replying to comments and providing updates with your future pins. Ensure that your following feels like they mean more to you than just potential customers.

People all around the internet are used to feeling like they’re just another number on a marketer’s analytics, but if you make them feel like your boards and pins are something special, users will be a lot more loyal to you. This can also reduce the amount of money you have to spend on sponsored posts, as people will start embracing your organic marketing instead.

Spread the Word About Your Pinterest Account on Other Forms of Social Media

You can exponentially improve the effects of Pinterest marketing if you combine it with other forms of social media. This is especially true if your business already has a following on other platforms, as you can then redirect your followers over to your new Pinterest account.

Even if the majority of your followers across Facebook or Twitter don’t end up following you over to Pinterest, you’ll still have some loyal people who can help you get the ball rolling. It’s often hardest to find those few loyal fans to get things started on a new social media platform, and this is a great way to migrate them over with you.

Letting your followers know that you now have a presence on Pinterest may also get the word out about you. Some of your followers on other networks may have friends who use Pinterest instead of other social media networks and haven’t been able to follow your business up until this point.

Follow Users in Similar Communities

When you’re just getting started on Pinterest, you’ll want to start building up your rapport with the community and interacting with other users. While most users will start by taking a look at categories, this can quickly grow stale, and you’ll find that it has less potential than interacting with users directly.

For example, if you sell home decor products, then start poking around the interior decorating section of Pinterest to see who the most popular users are. Take a look at how they manage their accounts and how they publish their pins to make the most out of them.

Learning from established accounts is the best way to get used to operating on Pinterest, as they likely have years of experience. If possible, try to interact with the users behind these accounts and ask them how they established themselves and for any tips to succeeding on Pinterest as a platform.

Know Your Target Audience Through Research

Especially when creating promoted pins, Pinterest gives marketers the ability to target their advertisements very precisely, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Targeting too broadly will be sure to get you many impressions, but it will likely result in lost conversions and plenty of overspending (as you pay per 1000 impressions).

On the other hand, if you target your audience too narrowly, then nobody will see your ad in the first place, and you may as well not even be marketing on Pinterest. The best way to determine how to target your ads is through sufficient market research, which may or may not already have available.

If you have market research from a prior platform, then it may be able to come in handy when setting up your Pinterest campaigns. If you don’t have any research about potential buyers, you may want to start hosting surveys or asking your followers about their preferences, which brings us to our next point.

Ask Your Followers for Feedback

One of the biggest mistakes that Pinterest marketers make is that they get too comfortable and start getting complacent with their marketing strategies. Remember that just because something works right now, it doesn’t mean that you can expect it to do so a few months down the line, so you always need to be innovating.

One of the most overlooked aspects of Pinterest is the community and the feedback that they can provide you with. If you have a semi-loyal community, then they likely want to see more quality content from you, and some of them are likely full of ideas with how you can improve your pins and boards.

Of course, not all community advice will be useful, and much of it wouldn’t work at all, but all it takes is one veteran follower to give you a good idea that can snowball into something viral overnight. If you ever feel like you don’t know what to do next on Pinterest, see if your community has any ideas.

Keep a Close Eye on the Competition

Along with your community, you can also get some help from more unlikely sources like the very people that you’re competing with. If you have a popular competitor who also uses Pinterest to market their product, take a look at what they’re doing right and figure out how you can emulate that.

Of course, you want to stay unique and retain your individuality if you’re going to start your own marketing campaign, but your competition can help you fill in the broad strokes. This is particularly helpful if you’re just getting started, as it will let you learn more about Pinterest posting habits and etiquette.

Keep in mind that the last thing you want to do is copy your competition directly, as you will lose all of your credibility if you get caught doing that. Pinterest’s community is made up of many creative individuals, and they respect it when you put effort into developing your brand’s image independently.

Creating Quality Visual Content

feed of interesting pins

You’ll also want to ensure that the content you post to Pinterest is exciting enough to get noticed. While things like text-based posts may work on another social network, Pinterest is extremely visually-oriented, so you’ll need to create photos and videos that draw the attention of your followers.

Other than grabbing users’ attention, you’ll also want to make sure that the content you’re creating all has a purpose. Every pin you add to your boards should mean something, or it should have a goal in the grand scheme of your Pinterest marketing campaign.

Whether it’s learning more about the community or expanding your brand recognition on the platform, make sure to always have a reason behind your pins.

Later on in the guide, we’ll take a look at some ways to improve the quality of your visual content and get more engagement from the members of your community.

Giving Followers Incentive to Include Your Brand in their Pins

You don’t want to be the only person on Pinterest who’s trying to push your brand, even if you’re the only one who knows that you’re doing so. Getting your followers to create pins with your products in them should be the end goal, as that’s self-perpetuating marketing that you don’t even have to pay for.

The best way to get your followers to start posting your stuff is to build up their brand loyalty. To your followers, your brand has to be a lifestyle. You may even want to come up with a special name for your fanbase, but you may want to wait until you have more significant numbers before you name your community.

There are also other ways to get your followers to post your products on their pages, including offering them discounts for doing so. To ensure that events like these don’t get taken advantage of by people who make new accounts looking for a quick deal, marketers will usually make them time-limited and have some restrictions about who can participate.

Share Exclusive News About Your Brand on Pinterest

A great way to make sure that people are following you on Pinterest and engaging with your community is by sharing exclusive news on the site. We’re not saying that you should share critical news that all of your customers should know on a single platform, but sharing things like a specific release exclusively on Pinterest will give people a reason to follow you.

This is a common strategy when you’re trying to build a user base on any social network, and it can help get some fans to migrate over to Pinterest. The more people you have watching each of your social media profiles, the more likely you are to get some engagements.

Discount Codes and Coupons

Another great strategy to get more engagement on your Pinterest profile is to offer exclusive discounts and coupons to users that are quick enough to see them. Usually, these offers will be time-limited, and they will reward followers for keeping a close eye on their Pinterest feed.

The possibility that you will host another giveaway or give out another discount code in the future will keep people coming back to your Pinterest page and will naturally improve your conversions.

How much of a discount you give out depends on your profit margins and whether you’re willing to break even on a few sales for additional exposure. However, if you can’t cut your costs that much, many customers will even appreciate something as small as a 5% discount code.

Integration of Website Links With Visual Content

One of the best things about Pinterest is that it allows you to link potential buyers to exactly where you want them. If you share an image of one of your products, users will click on it and be brought right to the source, which is ideally a place where they can purchase it.

This eliminates a lot of the clumsiness of advertising on other social networks, and it ensures that users can buy things that they see if they like them. It’s a running theme on Pinterest that you should be able to replicate or purchase anything you see in a pin. While this may not always be the case, it certainly makes things easier for marketers.

Of course, this also means that both elements of your pins need to mesh together well. You can’t have an outstanding product page being represented by a mediocre visual. The same is true in reverse. If you make your product look great but make it difficult to purchase, you likely won’t see much success on Pinterest.

While other platforms like Reddit may provide you with a thumbnail before you click on a link, they won’t give you a preview that compares to Pinterest’s.

Pinterest Website Widgets

widget lists

Pinterest also allows you to host its widgets on your website, and you can integrate them using the offered Pinterest Widget Builder. These widgets come in many different shapes, sizes, and functionalities, so let’s take a look at them and how they differ from each other.

Follow Button

The most popular widget offered by Pinterest is also the most straightforward of them. The follow button allows someone to follow your Pinterest profile directly from the webpage that you have it installed on.

Save Widget

Similar to the follow button, the save widget allows a visitor to save something that they liked while they were browsing your site. You can also use a custom image with this button, and you can choose between a large, square, or round shape for the button.

Profile Widget

As you would expect, the profile widget links directly to a selected Pinterest profile (in most cases, it will be yours or your business’). This type of widget will create a small preview of your feed that is about 420 pixels wide and 349 pixels high.

Pin Widget

The pin widget will allow users to pin something to one of their boards without having to go all the way back to Pinterest to do it. This is a popular widget for marketers because it makes it a lot easier for site visitors to share something they like with their own followers.

Board Widget

The board widget is similar to the profile widget in dimensions and almost the same in function. Instead of linking directly to an account, the board widget will instead display a chosen board, perhaps giving visitors to the site further inspiration to do some more shopping.

Linking a Business Account to Your Personal Account

business account for links

If you started using Pinterest with a standard account, you might be daunted by the prospect of starting an entirely new account just for your business. Thankfully, you have a few different options when approaching this situation, and starting an entirely new account can sometimes be beneficial.

You may be wondering why someone would ever want to start fresh with a Pinterest business account. One of the main reasons is when people first start using Pinterest, and they want to start over with all of the lessons they’ve learned to maximize the effectiveness of their profile.

On the other hand, if you want to retain all of your pins and boards, you can also convert a personal account into a business account. To do this, you only have to log in to Pinterest, head to your account settings, and select the option that allows you to convert your personal account.

You can also add a new business account to your existing personal account. In fact, you can add up to four separate business accounts to a single personal Pinterest account. This allows you to keep your logins separate if you’re doing marketing for different brands.

To link a new business account to your personal Pinterest account, you open up your menu and click the “add a free business account” option. Go through the steps of creating your account, select the focus of your business, and let Pinterest know whether or not you’re interested in running ads on their platform.

The Potential to Go Viral

Like with other social media networks, a huge advantage of Pinterest is that you have the potential to go viral. While many people oversell the ease of going viral when marketing on social media, it is still a distinct possibility, and there’s an argument to be made that it’s easier to do so on Pinterest.

Since Pinterest’s users are more likely to purchase things, they also tend to react more favorably to advertisements. This means that even ads on the platform can end up going viral if enough people like them, something that’s typically only possible on other platforms with massive expenditure.

To maximize your chances of going viral on Pinterest, you’ll want to become a valued member of the community. Even if you don’t end up going viral due to your product, you can use the boost in followers to potentially increase your sales since you’ll have an even larger audience at your disposal.

How to Make Your Profile Look Professional

One of the key differences between personal Pinterest accounts and business accounts is that the latter tend to have higher standards. People expect a certain degree of quality from businesses on any social media platform, and Pinterest isn’t that much different from the rest of them.

Some of the most important things you can focus on to improve the look of your business profile is adding a high-resolution logo and improving your bio. Later on, when you’ve added enough pins to do so, you can also add featured boards to your account to show people browsing your profile what to expect.

Add a High-quality Logo

One of the most important things you can do on a visual platform like Pinterest is to ensure that your logo is of adequate quality. The most noticeable thing about your logo is its resolution, as you won’t want it to look pixelated to people who are visiting your page since that looks quite unprofessional.

However, there is more to a good logo than just the right resolution, as it will need to represent you and your business properly. The best logos are instantly recognizable and potentially implement a bit of imagery without going overboard. Try keeping things minimal, as that allows the art to remain simple and the logo to remain timeless.

Whether you already have a logo or if you’re coming up with one from scratch, you’ll need something visual that people can associate with your brand. Beyond just putting it on your page, you’ll also want to include it on images and videos to ensure that people know to associate your brand with your pins.

Spruce Up Your Bio

The next thing that you may want to take a look at is your bio, as that will be the first thing that most people read about you when they visit your page. While we gave some tips about integrating keywords into your bio earlier on, we also emphasized the importance of keeping it legible and concise.

The best Pinterest bio will seamlessly blend the right keywords with a descriptive paragraph that lets visitors know exactly what they need to know about your brand. Make sure you make it clear what kind of products you create and potentially include a bit of a backstory about your brand.

Since the amount of space you have for your Pinterest bio is limited, you don’t want to make things too wordy. A long bio will also probably get skipped by a lot of people who visit your page, but it has the added benefit of increasing the number of keywords you can comfortably fit into it.

Add Some Featured Boards

boards that are featured on pinterest

This tip will only work if you’ve been using Pinterest for some time, and you’ve managed to pin enough things to create one or more boards of your own. When you’re comfortable with the content on a board, you can add it to your featured boards, which are the ones that people see when they first visit your page.

You’ll want your featured boards to be representative of your brand, and they should showcase everything that your customers love about you. Feel free to include your best-selling products in your featured boards, but be sure to balance them out with purely aesthetic contributions that the community will appreciate.

Remember that your boards shouldn’t be 100% focused on marketing, as Pinterest community members will be able to see right through that and understand that you’re not using the platform out of passion.

Keeping Up With Pinterest Trends

trending on pinterest

Pinterest Trends is a new system that has been implemented, and it shows just how much of an influence the platform has. The Trends feature combines the latest posts in certain categories with graphs showing how much they’ve risen in popularity recently, allowing you to decide what to pin next.

While you obviously can’t base your business around keeping up with Pinterest Trends, this can help you select what kind of additional content you can post. Using Trends, you can find something that’s hot right now and implement it in a video or photo shoot with your product.

For now, Pinterest Trends is in early access, and it only works in the US, UK, and Canada. For now, you’re also only limited to the trends that are popular on the current day, and the options may be more limited for a country like Canada than they are for the US due to fewer users.

If you sell your products in two or more of these countries, you can also use Pinterest Trends to see how topics differ between the two countries. Trends can help you further refine your geographically-targeted advertisements by focusing on topics that are popular in the market that you’re selling in.

Since Trends is still a work-in-progress, it’s possible that it can expand even further. On the other hand, Pinterest can also deem it a failure and abandon the project if it doesn’t show any signs of working out. While Trends has immense potential, there’s no guarantee that it will work out.

The Best Kind of Content to Share on Pinterest

While we’ve discussed the basics of using Pinterest and getting started with business accounts, you may still be wondering exactly what kind of content to post to the network. Here are some of the most effective types of images or videos to post to Pinterest if you’re looking for a positive response.

Inspirational Pins

Pinterest’s users will always appreciate a bit of inspiration, and images that make them feel better about themselves will usually go a long way. There are many ways to inspire your audience, and you don’t need to take a stock image and attach a long-winded quote to it to do so.

Whether you’re inspiring someone to be a better person or just to keep their room tidy, it’s a good way to connect with your followers. A little bit of inspirational advice can make your followers feel like they have a deeper connection with you.

DIY Tutorials

DIY is one of the most popular topics on Pinterest, ranging from ways to reupholster a couch on your own to dying your own carpets a different color. Of course, DIY doesn’t always need to concern interior decorating, as it can also be used to create clothes or accessories on a budget.

Most DIY content on Pinterest comes in the form of tutorials, showing users how they can replicate the results themselves. For images, they’re usually step-by-step guides combined with a photo collage showing each step. Videos make these tutorials a little easier to wrap your head around.

Infographics

infographic examples

Pinterest’s users also like infographics because they tend to condense a lot of information into a single image. Pins with infographics in them tend to get saved more often than other kinds of pins because users often find some info that they find helpful or would like to reference at a later date.

Making branded infographics can allow you to extend your outreach on Pinterest while also increasing awareness about your brand. However, making an infographic can often be challenging, and it will require some research and citations on your part.

Visually-striking Images

Whenever you post an image on Pinterest, take a look at the thumbnail, and see whether or not it immediately draws your attention. Many of the most successful pins on the site feature bright colors or stunning contrast that immediately draws the eye to them and gets people to check the closeup.

That split-second in which someone decides whether or not they want to see more of your post is crucial and ensuring that your visuals are striking enough to get that response is essential. While this is typically more true for images, you’ll also want your videos to start off with a bang to immediately grab hold of the viewer’s attention.

Checklists

Checklists are another relatively simple type of image that you can create and publish on your Pinterest account. Whether it’s a morning wellness checklist or something a little more niche, users will have an incentive to save the pin as they may want to use the checklist themselves.

The more pins you have saved by other users, the more likely you’ll be to have someone return to your page at a later date to see what you’ve been pinning. If you aren’t able to make a sale on the first impression, you may always be able to make it up on the second one.

Case Studies

Case studies are another way to draw people’s attention on Pinterest, particularly if you can condense them down into a single image and source them properly. Pinterest has a lot of curious users who like to learn for learning’s sake, and case studies will be sure to grab their attention.

While this kind of content won’t typically link to your brand’s site unless you’re in the business of doing case studies, you can keep the studies you pin related to your business. Some of the most effective case studies will scientifically support the product you’re selling and act as a way to back it up.

Branded Images and Videos

Of course, you’ll also want to release your own branded images and videos, even to your personal Pinterest page. Instead of making your branded visual content a direct advertisement, try to spin it in a way that people will still find it interesting.

While this means that the product may not always be the main focus, it will also help your content fit into what Pinterest users expect to see on the site. In all of your branded materials, ensure that you at least include the name of your brand and (ideally) your logo.

Tips for Creating the Right Content

Visual content is everything on Pinterest, and you want to be sure that it has the best chance to succeed and be saved whenever you post it. There are a few tricks to getting better responses out of your pins, regardless of whether they’re organic or sponsored.

Some of these tips are fairly logical, like keeping your videos short enough that they don’t start to bore your viewers. Other tips may surprise you, like the fact that images without faces in them tend to perform better on the platform than pictures that have people’s faces in them.

Images Without Faces Perform Better

image with no headshot

With only about 20% of images on Pinterest featuring faces in them, there’s a clear bias towards a lack of faces in images in Pinterest. Pins without faces also have a higher chance of being repinned by the community, and there are a few reasons why this may be the case.

Most likely, it has to do with self-insertion, as it’s a lot easier to picture yourself in a fancy living room or in a nice set of clothes if there’s no one’s face there to disrupt your imagination. No matter the reason, if you want to release branded images on Pinterest, try and omit the faces.

Make Sure to Publish Pins of Your Products Being Used Instead of Static Images

If you’re going to publish images or videos of your products, you don’t want them to just be sitting there while you film or photograph them. Many Pinterest users find it important to be able to see a product in action before they decide to purchase it, and exactly what this means depends on the product you’re selling.

For example, someone selling clothes will want to display them on a model instead of hanging in their closet. If you’re selling something like a pen, demonstrate somebody using it so that your potential customers can imagine themselves doing the same thing. It will often get you better results.

Crop Blank Space Out of Images Before Pinning Them

One of the worst things you can do when posting an image on Pinterest is to leave plenty of blank space in the margins. Along with looking unprofessional, this makes it more difficult for a user to see more of the detail in the image without manually zooming in.

You’ll want your image to be clear when it’s in closeup mode, as users will be unlikely to take a much closer look at it than that. Ideally, your product should be clearly visible outside of closeup mode so you can draw people’s attention to it before they engage with it themselves.

Videos Should Be Between 30 and 90 Seconds Long

To ensure that you can retain people’s attention throughout your video pins, you’ll want to make them last between 30 and 90 seconds. Anything shorter than 30 seconds will be forgotten too soon unless it’s extremely memorable. Anything longer than 90 seconds will take too long to get to the point, and you’ll lose the viewer.

You can use Pinterest’s video analytics to determine the ideal time for your audience, as different viewers have varying attention spans. If you find that your fanbase is a little more patient, you can stretch your videos closer to 90 seconds. If you don’t have a high rate of 95% views, you may want to shorten the videos.

Using Keywords to Your Advantage

Keywords are a crucial part of Pinterest because searches play such a big role in users finding the kind of content that they want to see, especially compared to other social media networks. If you want to maximize your exposure through the visual search side of Pinterest, you’ll need to use the right keywords.

As on any other site, keywords are phrases or words that will make your content pop up when searched. Keywords on Pinterest can work in the form of exact matches or approximate phrases, depending on how they’re inputted.

You also want to make sure that you don’t string a bunch of keywords together and stuff them into a section, as that will make the algorithm work against you. Position your keywords strategically and make sure that they’re relevant, and you should start seeing more traffic coming from users conducting searches.

Where to Put Keywords

You may have a list of keywords ready to go, but you may be wondering where on Pinterest you can put them so that people can find your content easily. Any text related to you or your pins can be a keyword, so feel free to put them nearly anywhere that the site allows you to include text.

Bio

Your bio is a key location to include keywords related to your business, but you want to make sure that you don’t oversaturate it with them. Your bio should give someone a quick and concise rundown of what your business is about, but if you can stuff a couple of keywords in there naturally, think of it as a bonus.

Descriptions on Pins

Pin descriptions are one of the most crucial places to put your best keywords, as those pins will be a lot easier to find if they contain keywords that are searched often. Descriptions also aren’t as crucial as your bio, so you can sacrifice some legibility for keyword density, but remember to never stuff them in there excessively.

Board Names

While your board name should reflect what’s in it so that it’s easier for people to know what to expect from it, you should also include at least one popular keyword in the name. So many Pinterest users have their boards visible to the public, so use any method at your disposal to get the algorithm to boost you up a little.

Board Descriptions

Your board descriptions will typically go unseen by all but the most eagle-eyed of users, but they give you some prime real estate to include some keywords, much like your pin descriptions. Making it easier for people to find your boards will also improve the likelihood that you build up some followers.

Pinterest Hashtags

hashtag pins

Hashtags on Pinterest work like they do on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You take a search term or interest, and you place a “#” before it. Whenever someone searches that hashtag, they’ll be able to find pins and boards that include it in their description, almost like keywords.

Unlike keywords, hashtags are a little bit more seamless, and users can click them to be brought directly to a search for that hashtag. This makes it easier for people to find interests related to the page that they were just on, and they don’t have to go through the hassle of searching up a keyword themselves.

It often helps to keep your hashtags separated from the actual description of the pin or the board, typically by a few spaces. This allows you to benefit from including hashtags without ruining the flow of your description with a long string of them near the end.

Pinterest Metrics and Analytics

Pinterest offers a range of analytics that you can use to see how your marketing campaign is performing on their platform. This information can help you make future decisions when you’re taking the next step in your Pinterest marketing plan, and you can glean plenty of info from both the basic analytics and those from the Pinterest Tag.

When you first enter the analytics section of your Pinterest business profile, you’ll be greeted with an overview of all of your active campaigns. From here, you can select the campaign that you want details about and get the in-depth info about how your audience is reacting to your ads.

This kind of info can let you know whether you need to broaden or narrow your target audience or if you’re overspending or underspending on marketing. Here are some of the analytics that Pinterest presents you with:

metrics and tracking

Impressions

The number of impressions is the number of times that your ads have been seen by a user. This doesn’t necessarily mean that someone has interacted with the ad. An impression counts whether someone sees your ad and scrolls right by it or if they see it and decide to click on it.

Engagements

If your target audience does click on the ad, then that counts as an engagement. Keep in mind that many different things on Pinterest can count as an engagement, including when someone saves your pin, zooms in for a closeup, or even swipes to see the next card on a carousel.

Closeups

This next metric is relatively self-explanatory. Your closeups count is the number of times that a user has expanded your sponsored pin to see a closeup.

Saves

Yet another self-explanatory metric, the number of saves is defined by the number of people that have saved your sponsored pin for later viewing. Keep in mind that Pinterest’s users tend to follow through on buying products that they’ve saved more frequently than members of other social media networks.

95% Views

This analytic only applies to sponsored video posts, and it lets you know when people have watched your video to at least 95% of its total length. This number is chosen instead of 100% since many videos have credits and parts at the end that many users will skip through, so it’s still representative of someone watching the full video.

10-second Views

Compared to 95% views, 10-second views lets you know when your sponsored video pins were watched for at least 10 seconds before the user closed the stream. On its own, this analytic won’t tell you much, but it can let you know more about video engagement when used alongside average watch time.

Analytics Filters

If you want to learn more about your performance over a certain time period or just for a certain kind of content, analytics filters allow you to filter the metrics that you see. You can filter your analytics based on time, or the type of content that’s being reacted to: organic or paid.

Date

As can be expected, the date filter allows you to see your metrics within a certain time period. The default date setting is all data past January 2019, but you can adjust your analytics to start and end at your selected dates. This makes it easier to see how your performance has changed throughout a specific period.

Organic Content

Organic content allows you to see the analytics for things that you or others have posted to Pinterest that lead back to your business. Being able to see the performance of organic content compared to paid content allows you to determine whether or not it’s worth investing in marketing on Pinterest.

Paid Content

The filter for paid content allows you to see how your promoted pins are performing. Keep in mind that this info can also be related to previous campaigns that have since expired since users may still have those pins saved somewhere and may one day decide to act on them.

The Pinterest Tag

tags on pin boards

Working closely to figure out analytics on your own platform, the Pinterest Tag is a useful tool that can give you data like the number of conversions you’ve made off of your promoted pins. Installing the Pinterest Tag will also allow you to determine how much of a return you’re making off of your ad spend.

To get the Pinterest Tag on your site, you’ll have to delve into its HTML and make sure that everything’s running smoothly. If you’re not adept at coding, most developers know how to install the Pinterest Tag using JavaScript. Pinterest also recommends using their Enhanced Match feature to make your data more reliable.

Pinterest also offers the Pinterest Tag Helper Chrome extension, and this allows you to verify that everything is running smoothly once you’ve installed the Tag. If it finds something wrong, the Helper can also give you some common troubleshooting methods so that you can fix the installation.

While getting the Pinterest Tag set up properly isn’t the most straightforward thing, especially if you’re not the most technically-savvy person, the insights it can provide are worth it.

Pinterest recommends a 30-day attribution window for when people engage with your content since so many users plan their purchases on the platform in advance.

Setting Up Your Pinterest Ad Campaign

If you’ve decided that you’re willing to spend some money on your Pinterest marketing campaign, then you’ll need to take the next step and start running ads on the platform. As you may expect, you can only publish sponsored pins on the platform if you have a business account, so you’ll need to link or create one.

There are a few different steps to getting your Pinterest marketing campaign started, but the process is pretty similar to running ads on any other social media platform. It all boils down to selecting campaign objectives, creating ad groups, targeting your ads, and deciding on a schedule and budget.

Campaign Objectives

The first thing you’ll need to do when you start an ad campaign is to clearly define its objectives, and Pinterest gives you a choice of four different goals. Your ad campaign can exist to increase traffic to a particular website, boost the number of views on a video, grow your brand, or get people to install your app.

Increase Website Traffic

A common goal for Pinterest advertisers is to increase the amount of traffic on their site. Pinterest makes this easy because of how simply linking works on the site and many marketers will even argue that Pinterest is the best social media network for people trying to build up a site’s user base.

Build Brand Awareness

Getting more people to learn about your brand through Pinterest is another one of the more popular objectives. Since so many of Pinterest’s users also use the platform for shopping, it’s a great way for a fledgling brand to start building up a loyal following of customers, both current and potential.

App Installations

While app installations aren’t the most popular advertising goal on the platform, they can work really well when paired with an enticing pin. You’ll want to be straightforward and explain what the app can do for a user concisely. The goal should be to convince a user that they want to use your app in as few words as possible.

Increase Video Views

The final campaign objective is to increase the exposure of a particular video. This objective is particularly helpful if a video has just been released, and you’re trying to maximize the number of views it gets early on so that the algorithm keeps bumping it higher.

Set a Daily and Lifetime Campaign Budget

The next step to getting your Pinterest marketing campaign started is to decide the maximum amount of money that you’re willing to spend on it. Keep in mind that this is separate from the bidding process, which will be addressed in a later step once the campaign is nearly complete.

The first limit that you can set on your budget is a daily one, and that’s the max amount of money that you’re willing to spend on the platform per day. The lifetime budget, on the other hand, is the cap that you want to place on that particular campaign.

How Do Ad Groups Work?

ad group controls

Ad groups are designed to make things easier for marketers on Pinterest, as it allows them to organize ads into categories. For example, you can create an ad group that only targets users who are interested in beauty and wellness, while another ad group may be designed around members looking for DIY tips.

A Pinterest campaign can consist of several ad groups, allowing the marketer to be more flexible in how they operate. Just like how each campaign can feature several ad groups, your ad groups can be composed of several promoted pins, all of which will share the same budget, start and end dates, and targeting.

Select Your Ad Targets

Selecting a target audience is an essential part of ensuring that your sponsored pins get the reception they deserve. The right audience can make the difference between an ad campaign being astronomically successful and flopping before it even had a chance. Pinterest gives you a few different ways to target users.

The first category is gender, allowing you to pick between all genders or specific ones. You can also select different age ranges, including a 21-and-over limit, if you plan on doing age-restricted advertising. Next, you can pick which locations you want to target (restricted to your country).

You can also market to users based on their language if your product only works in a certain tongue. Finally, you can further refine your targeting by the device that the user is on, including options like Android phones, Apple tablets, and so on.

Ad Placement

You can also select where on the site your ads show up, though most users will stick with the default “All” setting, as that will spread your sponsored pins all around the site. However, if you have a specific plan in mind for a Pinterest marketing campaign, you can also select between “Browse” and “Search” placement.

“Browse” placements show up in areas that users are most likely to be browsing, including on their feed and in their related pins section. On the other hand, “Search” ad placement will only show up when people search for a keyword that you’ve associated with the ad.

Interest and Keyword Targeting

The next step to making the most of Pinterest marketing is to set up targeting based on user interests and keywords. The main difference between the two is that interest targeting will be based on a user’s pins and boards, whereas keyword targeting will work based on their searches.

Interests can range between broad categories like Art, Design, and DIY, whereas keywords are a little more specific. You can also set up exactly how keywords will function based on their formatting.

If you want a broad match, just input the keyword with no formatting. If you want it to match a phrase, add quotation marks (“”). Finally, if you want an exact match, put it in between brackets ([]).

Budget and Scheduling

Finally, you’ll have to decide how long you want your advertising campaign to run and how much money you want to spend on it. This is different from setting your max daily and annual limits, as here is where you’ll be setting a max bid for your ads, also known as your CPM rate.

Like most social media advertising systems, Pinterest uses auctions to determine which ad shows up where, and the competitive rate is determined by the options you’ve selected. You can also select how you want to pace your campaign. You can either pace your spending evenly throughout the campaign or opt for a high-impact campaign with earlier spending.

Types of Promoted Pins

promotional pins

Of course, a marketing campaign isn’t complete without any ads, and that’s where the promoted pins come into play. Promoted pins are similar to regular pins in many ways, except you pay Pinterest to show them to its user base in strategically-located areas based on how much you bid for your impressions.

There are several different kinds of promoted pins that you can share, and the kind that you select will depend on what you want to accomplish with your marketing campaign. One of the main distinguishing factors between a regular pin and a promoted one is that Pinterest will show users that a pin is being promoted and for who.

Pinterest has gone through a few different iterations of promoted pins, as they’re always looking for ways to make their platform more appealing to marketers. Your ads can range from the equivalent of a standard pin all the way to a carousel, much like Facebook’s ads.

Standard Promoted Pin

Your regular promoted pin contains all of the same content that a standard pin would except it features a disclaimer that lets users know it’s a promoted one.

There used to be a distinction between one-tap and two-tap promoted pins, but Pinterest has since moved fully to the one-tap system. If you see any guides discussing two-tap promoted pins, then their info is likely outdated.

Standard promoted pins are available for the “brand awareness” campaign objective, and the image type must be either a .png or a .pg with a max size of 10 MB and an ideal aspect ratio of 2:3. If you want to include a description with it, it should not exceed 500 characters.

Promoted Carousel

A promoted carousel shares many of the same features as a standard promoted pin, but it allows you to include two to five images in one ad instead of just one. This feature was launched in late 2018, and it has been one of the more popular kinds of promoted pins that Pinterest has tried out.

While you can link to different products and landing pages within a carousel, many advertisers choose to keep the ads within a carousel at least tangentially related. This is because it makes it easier to appeal to the same target demographic, especially compared to a carousel that’s filled with products of countless different types.

A promoted carousel shares many of the same specs as a standard promoted pin, but it also gives you an extra 100 characters for title copy, and you can use 1:1 images in addition to 2:3 images. Brands like REI have used Pinterest’s promoted carousels to great effect, resulting in significant engagement.

Promoted Video Pins

Promoted video pins are exactly what they sound like: promoted pins that use video instead of images to reach out to their audience. These videos will appear in all of the same areas that you can expect to see a promoted pin, including your search results, feed, and in the related pins when zoomed into another pin.

Much like on other social media networks, promoted videos on Pinterest autoplay, and they typically start off with the sound off. This is why it’s essential to create a video that can be understood and enjoyed without the sound on, and you may want to include subtitles or descriptive text.

There are two different kinds of promoted video pins, with the standard option only taking up a maximum of half of the feed’s width. On the other hand, a max-width sponsored video pin will take up the whole feed’s width, ensuring that it draws more of the audience’s attention.

Of course, since max-width sponsored video pins take up more screen real estate, recommended bids tend to be higher for them, so you’ll need to be willing to spend a bit more for them. Video pins are compatible with the “video views” campaign objective, and they also have recommended specs, like the image pins.

Your video will have to come in either the .mpr or .mov file type, and it will need to be encoded with the H264 codec. Aspect ratios can either be 1:1, 2:3, 9:16, or 16:9.

The max size of the file can be up to 2 GB, and the video length must range from a minimum of four seconds to a maximum of 30 minutes. The description copy remains capped at 500 characters.

Promoted App Pins

Much like on other social media networks, the vast majority of users on Pinterest use their mobile devices. This makes Pinterest a great place to market an app, as users will be able to download an app that they like with a couple of taps on their screen. Unsurprisingly, promoted app pins are linked to the “app installations” campaign objective.

From the perspective of the user, a promoted app pin looks just like a video or standard promoted pin, with the same required specs for both categories. The only major difference is that a promoted app pin leads directly to an App Store or Google Play Store link that you’ve provided.

Plenty of different kinds of apps are marketed on Pinterest, including games and quality-of-life apps. Keep in mind that Pinterest’s users are also more likely to open up their wallets compared to people on other social media networks, meaning that they will also be more likely to spend on in-app purchases.

Buyable Pins (AKA Shop the Look)

Buyable pins are similar to Instagram ads where an influencer can tag the different parts of their outfit and link to them directly. Also known as “Shop the Look,” buyable pins ensure that users can buy something they like directly instead of having to root around in your description or find it themselves.

While buyable pins are mostly used for fashion, they can also be used for decor or even cuisine. Any image that has multiple elements that you can link to would do well as a buyable pin. Most advertisers will tag four to six elements of the picture with dots, and each of those should lead to a link where you can buy the individual products.

As long as one of the links leads directly to the product that you’re marketing, Pinterest will also let you link similar products for the other elements of the image. This is helpful when you’re not selling every element of an image, but you want to market something that’s similar enough to what’s in the image.

Keep in mind that the ad will let the user know what is an exact match and what isn’t so they won’t be disappointed if they find out one of the links isn’t exactly what they saw in the photo.

Conclusion

pinterest logo

As with any form of social media marketing, making the most of Pinterest as an advertiser requires some research and experience on your part. Most importantly, you need to experience Pinterest as a user and get to know the community so you can understand what kind of advertising they’ll respond best to.

One thing to keep in mind is that Pinterest is a lot more consumer-oriented than other forms of social media, but this doesn’t mean that marketing to its users will be easy. While Pinterest’s users are willing to buy, they aren’t willing to buy anything, especially if it’s not presented to them in the way they expect it to be.

That being said, Pinterest’s community is a little more open to advertisements than members of other social media networks. Instead of the combative nature and hostility that you may see on sites like Reddit and Facebook, marketers on Pinterest are seen as part of the community, especially if they can follow the trends.

Whether you’re looking to do some guerilla marketing and spread your product through Pinterest grassroots-style or if you want to make the most of promoted pins, this community can cater to every marketer’s needs. We hope that our guide has made Pinterest a little more approachable and easier to understand.

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