Are you considering using Pinterest for Business? Everywhere you turn, there are stats telling you that Pinterest is a great marketing tool. Some say it’s great for reaching moms, others claim it’s they best place to market your products. There’s even a lot of talk lately about paid advertising on Pinterest through promoted pins. For the Pinterest novice, the wealth of information on Pinterest Marketing can be overwhelming, and often misleading. That’s where I come in. I’m here to cut through the chaos and bring you a true beginner’s guide to Pinterest for Business.
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Pinterest Marketing Simplified: A Beginner’s Guide to Pinterest for Business
You’re a busy blogger, business owner or entrepreneur. No time for fluff. Let’s get to the good stuff…
What is Pinterest?
In order to be successful in Pinterest Marketing, you need to understand what Pinterest really is. Is it a social media platform? Kind of. More than anything, it’s a visual search engine. Think of it like a prettier version of a Google Image search.
It’s like Facebook and Twitter in the sense that you have a profile and followers, people share each other’s content, and you can comment on pins (though it’s not a commonly used feature). But, truthfully, those are about the only similarities.
It’s like Google in the sense that SEO goes a long way, it takes time to rank well, and most of the activity happens in the search feed, where pinners are looking for new ideas.
Who should use Pinterest for Business?
While Pinterest was once home to moms, DIYers and foodies, it’s reach has extended far beyond these audiences. Anyone and everyone is on Pinterest now and businesses in just about every niche are finding success on the platform every day.
Pinterest is where people go to plan. They want new ideas, helpful resources, and inspiration. 93% of pinners say that they use Pinterest to plan purchases, making it prime real estate for marketing products, both digital and physical.
So who should use it? Everyone! There’s room for every niche, and audiences across the globe waiting to discover your business. Whether you’re a blogger, an eCommerce business owner, or a local shop, marketing on Pinterest can help you to increase brand awareness, gain loyal followers and subscribers, and sell your products.
Why does Pinterest Marketing Work?
Do you know why I chose to become a Pinterest expert instead of a Facebook Pro or an Instagram guru? I chose Pinterest because it is a severely underutilized resource with so much potential! So many brands either aren’t on Pinterest or aren’t using it correctly and are missing out on a great opportunity. I just couldn’t help but share this knowledge with the world.
But what is it that gives Pinterest so much potential?
First off, it’s not a followers game. The number of followers you have on Pinterest is not the priority in a Pinterest strategy. There are plenty of big brands out there with a high follower count, simply due to their established identity, with low engagement. They aren’t getting much out of the platform, if anything! On the flip side, there are entrepreneurs out there with a relatively low follower count who are killing it on Pinterest. Their business thrives because of the traffic that Pinterest drives to their site.
While Pinterest may not provide immediate results, your growth builds on itself over time. Pins can sometimes takes weeks, even months, to gain traction, but when they do, it lasts a while. When you post something on Facebook or Twitter, if you don’t get immediate results, you likely won’t get any at all. And even when you do get the engagement you’re looking for, it’s short-lived. On Pinterest, when you put the work in, it pays off over time, and can often pay off big time.
You have control
While Pinterest uses an algorithm just like the other social media platforms, the keys to success are pretty straight forward. Pinterest is very open about what business can do to succeed, and encourage businesses to thrive on the platform. If you implement a strong Pinterest Marketing Strategy with great pinnable images and SEO best practices, you will undoubtedly see the results of your efforts.
Before you jump in
Alright, you’re convinced. Pinterest Marketing is the way to go. But before you jump in, there are a few things to consider.
Do you have content to share
Take a moment to think about what you want to share. Do you have blog posts or articles to share, and do they have a strong call to action to sign up, make a purchase, etc.? Pinterest favors fresh content, so you’ll want to make sure you can frequently share pins that link to something new.
Are you ready to learn?
Are you ready to learn the ins and outs of Pinterest marketing? Having a thorough understanding of Pinterest best practices, and keeping up to date on the frequent changes, is key. Are you ready to invest the time to learn the platform well and maintain that knowledge?
Do you have time?
Before you jump in and immediately find yourself overwhelmed, think about how much time you have to dedicate to Pinterest? It may be worth looking into a Pinterest scheduler or investing in Pinterest Management Services.
How will you design your pins?
Are you design savvy? Do you have design software, or know how to use free software like Canva? Pinners expect high-resolution images and quality design. Decide whether you will be doing the design work yourself or outsourcing these efforts.
Ready? Let’s talk about how to get started with Pinterest for Business!
Start with a strategy
Before you tackle Pinterest Marketing, you’ll need a strategy. I have an entire post dedicated to this here, but it is summarized by these main points:
- Define your target audience (Click to learn more and get a FREE Audience avatar worksheet!)
- Define your business objectives
- Select the topics you will focus on (board ideas)
- Know where you plan to send pinners (Blog posts? Landing page? Online shop?)
- Establish your branding (logo, colors, theme/aesthetic)
- Find your keywords (More on this in my post on Pinterest SEO)
- Decide on a pinning schedule
Get a Business Account
If you don’t already have one, you’ll want to get a Pinterest Business Account. Don’t worry it’s free! If you already have an account, but it’s your personal one, you can either sign up for a new account separately or convert your existing account to a business account. Keep in mind, either way, you’ll want to do your best to create a username that aligns with your brand. Preferably, this would be the same username, or handle, that you have on your other social media sites. For example, all of my social media accounts can be found under @thisjessicapins (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram)
I cover how to do this step by step here >>> How to Set Up Your Pinterest Business Account
Once you have set up your business account, you’ll also want to make sure you claim your website on Pinterest and set up rich pins. Both of these steps will help to show Pinterest that your content is real, quality content. I cover how to do this in the post linked above as well.
Set Up Your Profile
Finally, it’s time to get things going! Start by creating a winning Pinterest profile. Decide whether you want to use a professional head shot or your logo as your profile photo (depending on how you want to portray you brand). You can then enter your name (with a keyword next to it, if it will fit within the allotted character count), and your bio. Make sure to use your best keywords so that your profile will appear in searches and Pinterest will recommend your profile to the right pinners.
Don’t forget to add a call to action to your bio as well. Ask pinners to visit your site, check our your shop, sign up for your email list or download your freebie!
Build your foundation
Next, you can start creating boards. Remember those topics you picked in your strategy? Now is the time to apply those to your boards. Use Pinterest search to find the best keywords to use for each board title and description. Again, make sure it is clear, through the use of keywords, what your boards are about. This tells Pinterest who to recommend your boards to, but also helps to further define what the pins on that board are about, helping each pin to rank more appropriately in the feed.
If you want to take your branding up a notch, you can also add custom board covers. These are a different ratio than pins. Personally, I create my board covers at 500×500 pixels. Once designed, you just pin it to the board you want that cover on, and then edit the board settings to select that pin as the cover.
To get started, I recommend creating at least 10 boards, and pinning at least 10 pins to each. For now, they can just be relevant repins of others’ content to get the board up and running.
Design your pins
Ah, my favorite part – designing pins. This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there are many great options out there now. If you’re familiar with adobe products, feel free to use Photoshop, InDesign or whatever other design software you like. Otherwise, in terms of free and easy to use design software, I love Canva. With a simple drag and drop style interface, it makes creating pinnable images quick and easy. Pins should be in a 2×3 ratio. Pinterest suggests 600×900 pixels, though the standard Pinterest image size in Canva is 735×1102 which works as well.
If you need free stock photos to use in your images, I recommend Pexels and Pixabay. They have a wide selection to choose from, but be aware that you may see the same stock photo used on other pins. If you want to make your pins more unique, you’ll need to get creative with image placement, filters, and cropping.
There are no magic tricks when it comes to designing pins, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- You want your pins to stand out in the feed. Bright, high contrast, striking pins will typically perform well.
- You want your pins to represent your brand. Include your logo and design your pins with your brand aesthetic in mind.
- Text overlay can work wonders, especially if design isn’t your thing. Use bigger, bolder, or brighter text for the most important keywords and get creative with wordplay. Pique the pinners’ curiosity.
Don’t forget the pin description
Make sure to craft a well-written pin description featuring relevant keywords and hashtags. Typically hashtags are just added at the end, not within the text. Don’t forget a call to action as well. Make them want to click!
And you’re off! Get pinning and stick to it. Remember, Pinterest is the long game, so it may take a couple of months to really start to see the payoff, but if you are consistent and patient, you’ll be glad you gave it a go.
Now that you’re up and running, here are a couple of other resources that you may find helpful along your Pinterest Marketing journey…
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Hi, I’m Jessica and I’m a Stay at Home Mompreneur. The success I had with my mom blog through the use of Pinterest led me to a career in Pinterest Management where I help other bloggers, businesses, and entrepreneurs grow their business with Pinterest.