With the ever-growing list of social media sites available to start marketing on, it’s often difficult to choose which ones you want to actually prioritize. Facebook is almost always a given for brands to start with, and Instagram and Twitter are normally ranked high too.
Pinterest marketing has also been skyrocketing to popularity amongst marketers.
This step-by-step guide to Pinterest marketing is going to provide marketers and businesses with everything they need to build a strong content marketing presence on the platform—including how to get your individual pins noticed.
In our March 2017 update, we discuss the new features Pinterest has recently released, including Pinterest’s Lens (their latest image matching search feature), Instant Ideas, and Search Ads.
Ready to see what’s new?
If you are here just for the tutorial on Promoted Pins you can click here and go straight to the point! Or you can click here and go to the bottom of the post to see March 2017 new changes and additions!
But why don’t you take a coffee and refresh your memory going through the whole guide? Here’s the table of contents.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Pinterest 101: How to get started
- How to Get Pins Noticed
- Promoted Pins
- How to Use Pinterest’s Analytics
- Pinterest’s Buyable Pins
- How to Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic To Your Site
- Integrating Pinterest Marketing & Facebook Marketing
- How to Share Timely Content on Pinterest
- Pinterest B2B Examples from Big Brands
- March 2017 Update
Pinterest functions a little differently than any of the other social media sites listed above; for many pinners, the idea isn’t necessarily so much to broadcast images or ideas to followers, but it’s to save ideas, products, or content for later. This makes it a perfect marketing platform.
One of the key ways Pinterest is different from other social media sites is that it serves a different function; as mentioned above, the focus of Pinterest isn’t primarily to post your own ideas or content, it’s to save content that you find valuable for later. For businesses looking to have their content or products purchased, Pinterest is a great tool to have in your arsenal. I’ve saved products I liked to Pinterest and gone back and purchased them later, and I’m far from the only one.
Another key difference: Pinterest displays content differently than any other social media site, and it does so in four ways. Users can view your pins:
- On their homefeed, if they follow you or the pins are deemed to be particularly relevant to their interests.
- By searching for a keyword relevant to your pin.
- In relevant categories (like “Food and Drink” and “Health and Fitness”).
- On your actual profile, under themed/categorized boards.
This means that relevant, interested users can find your content organically, whether they’re following you (or even know anything about you) or not.
Finally, the biggest and best reason businesses should be on Pinterest: research has shown that large amounts of Pinterest users actually use the platform to research purchasing decisions before buying, and with many buying something they’ve found on the site.
If that’s not a good reason, I don’t know what is.
When I first got a Pinterest back in 2012, you had to wait at least a few days to be allowed to create an account. Now, it’s much easier—and instantaneous.
#1 – Creating an Account
When you go to create an account, you’ll see the option at the bottom of the sign in box to “Continue as a Business.” If you miss it, you can still convert your account to a business later, but it’s easier to do it now.
When you create your account as a business, you’ll be asked to fill out the additional fields supplying the information of your business’s name, what type of business you are, and your website (though this is optional).
Once you’re done, hit create account.
You’ll then be asked to follow 5 topics that interest you. This doesn’t really matter, since you’ll be using this to promote your content instead of following others, but it never hurts to select topics that are relevant to your business.
Once your account is created, your home page will look like the screenshot below. This is just what you see, not what anyone following you will see. Click on the red thumb tack in the top right-hand corner to get to your profile.
#2 – Setting Up Your Profile
Your profile starts out looking like this—blank and ready to be filled in. To do so, first click the “Edit Profile” button.
I’ve seen some businesses make the mistake of not filling out all the information here, and that’s a mistake.
Give as much information as you can—users will see this, and the more info, the better. Choose an image that best represents your brand; for many, this is a logo. Make sure to add your website so users can visit you through it. Locations matter if you’re a local or brick-and-mortar location, and always, always try to use keywords in your “about me.”
Once your profile has been set up, you can start creating your boards.
#3 – Setting Up Boards
You can create a board from your profile page. You’ll be asked to name it, describe it, what category it falls under, if it’s secret, and if you want to invite collaborators.
When you name your board, keep keywords in mind, and make sure it’s a relevant title. If you’re creating a board with candy recipes, for example, you could name it “Sweet Treats,” but this could also include cakes, cookies, and pies; adding “candy” in the title as a keyword could help your search results and help you connect with more relevant users.
The description matters just as much as the title; again, keywords matter, and describe it accurately.
If you invite collaborators, keep in mind that they can pin to and edit the board.
Once you add pins to the board, you can choose which image you want to represent the board. You’ll go to “edit board,” and then choose to change your cover image.
You can scroll through the images selected and choose your new cover image.
# 4 – Viewing Analytics
Pinterest has their own analytics program, available only for business accounts. You can view the analytics by clicking on the tab on the navigation bar in the top left hand corner of the page.
This account is new, so it doesn’t have any analytics information yet, but Pinterest’s analytics can tell you how many views and how much engagement your pins and boards are getting, along with information about your followers or those who viewed your pins.
For more information, we’ve got a full post about Pinterest Analytics that goes over everything you need to know here.
While setting up your profile in a way that’s optimized for success is important, your actual pins will be what matters most. Your pins need to be visually striking so they stand out against the others, whether that’s in a page of other search results or under a general category.
There are several ways you can get your pins noticed and increase their visibility, in addition to choosing the right keywords to describe them. These include choosing the right image size and following best image practices.
Best Image Size
Choosing the right image size on Pinterest can help your pin stand out from the rest, regardless of where users are viewing it.
Image on Pinterest will be scaled to fit the platform, with the width being scaled to 236 pixels.
By Pinterest’s own recommendations, the best aspect ratios for Pins fall between a 2:3 and 1:3.5 (width to height). The minimum recommended width is 600 pixels. Having Pins that are taller than they are wide can help your pins have enough space to stand out, but pins that seem to go on forever and are too long don’t get nearly as much engagement.
Best Image Practices
To help get your pins noticed, there are several best image practices you can use to increase views, repins, and engagement. These include:
- Tasteful branding. This comes from Pinterest’s own recommendations; according to Pinterest, including “tasteful branding” in the image can help increase repins and engagement, which can lead to purchases. Whether this is featuring the packaging of your product in the image or just a small logo or watermark, they recommend adding it in where possible.
- Add lifestyle images. While images of your products alone can be effective, adding in lifestyle images where users are actively using your product can help it get the attention of users. Avoid overly user-generated images, but having high quality images of someone using your product in its best use case can be effective.
- Text overlays. This isn’t Facebook; there’s no 20% rule. Adding text overlay to your image can help get your point and your ideas across quickly.
- List images. Lists and listicles are big in content marketing right now; Pinterest is no different. Having an image that demonstrates the list your pin will take you to can be a great way to stand out and increase engagement.
Promoted Pins rolled out for everyone last year, and businesses in all industries are using the platform.
Since its rolled out, it has provided businesses and brands of all sizes a major platform to connect with new and interested users.
How It Works
Pinterest’s Promoted Pins is their paid ad platform. It works on a bidding system like the other social media ad platforms we’re familiar with.
You pay to have your pin placed in front of your target audience. Your pins will show up in relevant category feeds and relevant searches, aided by the keywords that you choose.
You must have a business Pinterest account in order to access and run your own promoted pins campaigns.
How to Create Promoted Pins
To access the promoted pins platform, click on the Ads clickable tab and drop down menu, which can be located in the left hand corner.
This will take you to the dashboard, where you can see the total number of impressions, engagement, conversions, and ad spend on all your campaigns in the prior week. This information can be broken down by engagement campaigns and traffic campaigns.
To get started creating a promoted pin, click on the + in the top right hand corner of Pinterest’s navigation bar, and select “Create an Ad.”
You’ll first be asked to decide whether you want to boost engagement with your pins, which will focus on- and charge by- close up views, repins, and clicks, or send traffic to your site, which will charge by clicks.
Once you choose your campaign goal, you’ll add in information abut your campaign name, your daily budget, and the start and end date for your campaign.
The end date is optional, but I highly recommend it—keeping your pins updated and varied is as important here as it is on any other platform.
When you’ve filled out all of the information, click “Pick a Pin”
On the next screen, you’ll be asked to select the pin you want to promote.
When choosing a pin, you can search for a pin by the keyword or URL, or scroll through your pins. You can see the number of repins each has as you scroll through them. Pinterest also gives you the option of viewing your most clicked and most repined pins in the past 30 days.
On the next screen, you’ll give your promoted pin it’s name, which will be the visible title of the pin that users will see. You can also set a destination URL.
Promoted Pins Targeting
Below this, you’ll be able to select different interests, which are used as a sort of targeting criteria. These interests will help reach a relevant audience in their browsing and home feeds. They will also sort your post into the correct categories.
When you scroll down, you’ll be asked to choose keywords. I believe that this is the most important section in the entire ad creation process.
The keywords you choose will determine what searches your pin shows up in. You want to connect with users who are actively searching for content like yours. Pinterest automatically suggests searches based on their information about your pin, and they’ll provide a list of keywords for every search that you make.
Click on different keywords to add them to your campaign. Pinterest recommends using 20-30 keywords per promoted pin.
When it comes to the keywords you choose, think outside the box to help your pin show up in more searches. For example, instead of just having keywords like “beet soup” and “beets,” you can add “chilled soup,” “summer recipes,” and “liquid diet.” This gives you more diversity, expanding visibility.
When you scroll to the next section, you have the ability to have your pins only shown to those:
- in certain locations
- who speak certain languages
- use specific devices
- are a certain gender
Finalizing Your Campaign
Next, you’ll be able to set your Maximum CPC bid. This is the most you’re willing to pay for a single click to your website (or, in the case of an engagement objective, for a single measure of engagement). This must be at least $0.10. Pinterest will let you know if your bid is too high or low compared to what others are bidding.
Once you submit your campaign, it will need to pend approval. You can view your campaigns’ approval status under the Engagement campaigns or Traffic campaigns tabs.
Editing Your Campaign
At any point, if you want to edit your campaign, click on the name of the campaign you want to edit. You’ll be taken to the overview of its information, and you can choose “Edit Promoted Pin” in the top right hand corner.
From there you can pause your campaign, change your maximum bid, and add more targeting or keyword information.
Promoted Pins Analytics
Both as your campaigns progress and once they’re over, it’s important to monitor them through the promoted pins analytics.
You can find information about how your campaigns are performing on the home page of the ads platform, or find detailed information on each campaign by clicking on them.
Pinterest’s reporting shows you your total impressions, total engagement, total conversions, and your total spend over the past thirty days both for your campaigns as a whole and by engagement goals.
You can also see your highest and lowest performing promoted pins.
Most social media platforms have given us analytics to track our presence and impact on the platform, as well as our audience on it. We’ve got Facebook Insights (and Audience Insights), Google Analytics, and Twitter’s Analytics. Now, we’ve got Pinterest Analytics.
Accessing Pinterest Analytics
First of all, there’s one thing I’ve seen causing confusion that we have to note: personal Pinterest users will be unable to get analytics for their profiles. You need to have your profile converted to a business profile in order to access the analytics. You can do this by either signing up as a business, or—if you already have an account—by converting it here.
Once you’re using Pinterest as a business, you can access your analytics from your profile Page. Click on the star in the top right corner next to “Edit Profile,” and it will reveal a drop down menu. You’ll see “Analytics” as an option to click on.
When you first access Pinterest’s Analytics, you’ll be taken right to your dashboard.
On your dashboard, you’ll be able to see a quick overview of what’s going on with your profile, including:
- Number of average daily impressions
- Average daily viewers
- Amount of average monthly viewers
- Average monthly engaged
- Top pin impressions in the past 30 days (which will show you the amount of impressions, repins, clicks, and likes those pins have)
On the right hand side of the page, you’ll see a box that says “What to see more?” Once you confirm your website by installing a code they give you into your website index, you’ll be able to know what all of your content is doing on Pinterest—not just the pins you’ve actually pinned.
The dashboard is designed to give you a quick overview of what’s going on in a glance—the other tabs will give you a more in-depth look.
In the top of the analytics page, you’ll see different tabs you can click on: analytics, your pinterest profile, and audience.
Under the “Your Pinterest Profile,” you’ll be able to access detailed information about the activity on your profile. It is appropriately named.
The different tabs and information include:
- Impressions. Under this tab, you can see your overall impressions within a certain range of eye (which you can adjust), your top pin impressions, and boards with top impressions.
- Repins. You can see your average daily pins and repinners, the content that has been most repinned in the past 30 days, and boards with the most repinned pins.
- Clicks. Evaluate the number of clicks to your website from your pins (daily clicks and daily visitors). You can also see the most clicked pins within the past 30 days, and the board with the most clicked pins.
- All time data. This shows the best performance of your pins in the entire history that you’ve had your Pinterest. You can see your all time most repinned pins, the best in search, and power pins (pins with a high mix of clicks, repins, and “more”).
If you want to know how your content is performing on Pinterest, this will give you everything you need to know.
It’s no surprise that the audience analytics tab is going to give us information about the audience we have on Pinterest, which can be incredibly helpful, as we all know, for a lot of reasons. There are two tabs: demographics and interests, both self explanatory.
Under the demographics tab, you’ll be able to see:
- Number of average monthly viewers
- Average monthly engaged
- The country of your audience
Under the Interests tab, you’ll be able to see what your audience is—you guessed it—interested in. This will manifest in a list of topics and niches, accompanied by images, to show what other interests your audience shares.
You’ll also be able to see Pinner boards that have a lot of your pins on them, and other brands that your audience engages with (giving you a good look at your competition).
How to Use This Information
It’s always good to know who your audience is and how your profile is performing, in the most amount of detail as possible.
By looking at your audience analytics and comparing it to your audience on other platforms, you can see who you’re missing. Sometimes the answer will be that a large percentage of that demographic just doesn’t frequently use Pinterest; sometimes, though, you’re missing them for another reason. You can either create new pins, boards, and content to try to engage with them.
Analytics can also help you to gear more content towards the audience that you do have on Pinterest. In a lot of cases, the audience you have on Pinterest may not be identical to the one you have on Facebook or Twitter or YouTube—and that’s ok.
Different people use different platforms, and you’ll want to adjust your content to that. If, for example, I noticed that my cooking site had an audience with a large interest in camping, I could create content about food to take or cook on a camping trip.
Promoted Pins are doing exceptionally well, and buyable pins are driving major conversions.
Pinterest alone, even without their ad platform, is a valuable marketing tool, allowing businesses and marketers to showcase their brand in a variety of different ways. Promoted Pins allow businesses to guarantee that users are seeing their pins. Buyable pins enable users to purchase directly off of a pin, without ever leaving Pinterest.
Here’s everything we know about Pinterest’s buyable pins…
What Are Pinterest’s Buyable Pins?
Buyable pins are identifiable to users by a blue “Buy It” tag that shows up right next to the red “Pint it” button. Users can see the price of the item, and will be taken through a swift check out process, all on Pinterest.
If you’ve ever wanted a way to boost impulse buys, I think buyable pins just might be your answer. As users are browsing through Pinterest, creating their wishlists and getting ideas, they’ll be able to see your product, the price, and purchase it all with a few quick taps or clicks on their mobile device. They don’t even repeatedly enter in their payment information, making the process go swiftly—before they get the chance to talk themselves out of it.
With the assistance of Shopify and its store owners, Pinterest plans on having roughly 2 million Buyable Pins active by the end of this month.
Buyable pins are currently starting with testing just for iPhone and Ipad users in the US (users must have recently updated IOS systems). They just started rolling out buyable pins on June 30th, so apple mobile device users are just starting to get a glimpse of them for the first time.
After testing is completed, it seems that Pinterest fully intends to release buyable pins for Android and even desktop users.
How Pinterest is Keeping Buyers’ Information Secure
Right now, there is a simple, fast, and secure check outPintrest designed specifically for mobile users. Normally, checkouts and purchases on mobile can be cumbersome and exhausting tasks, so Pinterest made sure to change that.
Pinterest will never actually be a “middle man” for buyers’ financial information; they will use a secure checkout that will deliver the payment information right to the vendor, and not store the information themselves. Apple Pay is one option for users to make purchases securely on buyable pins, and Braintree is working behind the scenes to help with other methods of secure payment.
Long story short: Pinterest doesn’t store your information, keeping your payment information and privacy off as many platforms as possible. The payment process will be secure, but fast and simple. It will be easy for both buyers and merchants, and safe for both to use. Who can say no to that?
Why Pinterest’s Buyable Pins are a Game Changer
As far as I know, on no other social media platform has there ever been the opportunity for marketers to enable buyers to purchase directly off the social media platform (I’m not counting sites like Shopify and Groupon, where people purely go to purchase). Instagram has announced a competing “Buy It” button, which is proof that this could be a feature that’s here to stay (and potentially revolutionary).
Pinterest at its very core is a fascinating (and addicting) blend of wish list creation, window shopping, and recipe hunting. Especially when it comes to the wish list creation and window-shopping, a buyable pin could be a really powerful thing. Just imagine the revenue that could bring in at Christmas time alone, when people are desperately hunting for that last minute gift.
Even better—users can potentially continue on through Pinterest, making multiple purchases, encouraged to do so since they never leave the site and risk not coming back.
The benefits for marketers are huge. And here’s one of the biggest and best parts of buyable pins: Pinterest doesn’t take a cut of your sales. There’s no commission. You keep every dollar you make on the sales you get from buyable pins. Though that has the potential to change down the line if buyable pins see a lot of success, for now marketers are using them with no drawbacks.
With Pinterest weighing heavily on many users when they’re making buying decisions, it’s essential to use best practices to drive more traffic to your site so they can make the decision to buy with you. Fortunately, there are 4 incredibly easy ways to help your pins stand out, driving traffic (and eager customers) to your site.
1. Use Taller Pins
Choosing taller pins (but not too tall!) can make all the difference in how much traffic you’re getting to your site. While most pins will be slightly taller than they are wide, pins of a certain dimension are likely to perform the best.
On Pinterest, all images will be scaled to a width of 235 pixels (with an expanded width of 736 pixels once you click on it). The ideal ratio seems to be closer to 1:3.5 (or 600 pixels wide by 2,100 pixels tall, for example).
Taller pins stand out in the Newsfeed automatically, and can be quick to draw the eye. While you don’t want it to be much taller than 1:3.5, you can test out different lengths and see what resonates best with your audience.
2. Post at Peak Times
Posting at peak times will help more users to see and click on your pins. Most importantly, it will also encourage more repins, will which continue to cycle through the site. Peak times for Pinterest are 8-11PM, particularly on Saturdays.
- Fridays at 3PM
- 2-4 AM and PM, every day
- 9 PM daily (which is considered to be the true peak time)
Even though you do want to post at peak times, space your content out, with no more than one pin per hour. Since Pinterest has traditionally had rules in place so that only one pin per hour per user will show up in a certain category, you don’t want to take any chances.
3. Add CTAs to your Descriptions
Some of the best advice you’ll ever see in any blog post about marketing is to slap a CTA on whatever it is you’re sharing, whether it’s a Facebook post or an email. The same applies to Pinterest, though they’re overwhelmingly underused on this platform for some reason.
If you scroll through Pinterest, it’s a little surprising how few pins actually have CTAs attached. Encouraging users to “click to learn more” or “sign up now” can be enough to actually inspire action.
Don’t believe me? Call to action pins can increase engagement and conversions by up to 80%. If that’s not enough motivation, I don’t know what is.
Add CTAs to the end of your descriptions, and keep them brief and to the point. You can also add your CTA to the image itself as text overlay if you choose.
4. Install Rich Pins
No matter what type of business you have, Rich pins can automatically help send traffic to your site from Pinterest. Rich pins are dynamic, and offer more information than a regular pin. The idea is similar to Twitter Cards.
There are different types of rich pins available for businesses to install and use. The types of rich pins currently available are:
- Article Pins, which feature article title, a description, date of publication, and the author’s name.
- Recipe Pins, which feature ingredients, serving information, and cooking times
- App pins, which include install buttons and are currently available to iOS apps only.
- Place pins, which are ideal for local businesses and include a map, address, and phone number
- Movie pins, which include ratings, prominent cast member names, and reviews
- Product pins, which include up-to-date pricing, and purchasing information
Rich pins are synced up with your site, and will continue to automatically update and provide the most accurate information. This means that product pins, for example, will update the price listed automatically; if your product goes on sale, that’s reflected in the pin.
The extra information from rich pins can help drive more relevant and engaged traffic to your site. They’ll have all the up-to-date information that they need before they even get there.
You can find more information about installing rich pins here.
Facebook is a social network dedicated to connecting people from all around the world. Pinterest is visual discovery tool designed to link people with similar interests or projects. Together, they can be a match made in social media heaven.
While Facebook is clearly the king of social media, Pinterest can be used in conjunction with Facebook. Think of it the best of both worlds; you’ve got Facebook’s reach and engagement with Pinterest’s potential for discovery.
In addition, check out this data:
Although Pinterest doesn’t have Facebook larger reach, 55% of Pinterest users have engaged with brands through Pinterest. This is opposed to 48% of Facebook
43% of Pinterest users note that they use Pinterest to “associate with retailers or brands with which I identify.” Compare this to the 24% of Facebook users who agree to the same use with Facebook
Pinterest users are more loyal than Facebook fans in terms of showing support
The above shows the following: While Facebook has the userbase, Pinterest has the engagement and the loyalty factor. Pairing the two together can provide you with some great results. So, what are some ways to combine the span of Facebook with the library of wealth Pinterest provides? You just have to follow a few easy steps…
Pin content from Facebook
The great thing about Pinterest is that you can “pin” or save a recipe, craft idea, DIY resource, and even how-to guides.
Plus, with over 10 million users, Pinterest has cultivated an audience of users, innovators, and as with any social network, addicts. However, if fans are able to pin content directly from Facebook, you can create twice as much usership than with one platform alone.
The Four Seasons of Boston combines the power of Facebook with the usefulness of Pinterest by pinning valuable content straight from a business page:
For example, The Four Seasons posts the hotel chef’s food inspiration, such as a recipe for beef bourguignon. The recipe has a “pin it” button in the corner, making it easy for users to save the recipe directly from Facebook.
Users won’t be able to pin straight from your Facebook Page; however, using third party software like Shortstack you can easily create a tab that has pinnable images in it.
Hold a contest
Contests are a great way to boost engagement, drive sales, and involve your followers in your product or service. However, if you post a contest on Facebook with the intention of directing your followers to Pinterest, your contest can hold a larger significance.
Several great examples that showcase how a Pinterest and Facebook integration can be beneficial include:
Logitech posted a contest on Facebook asking followers to follow them on Pinterest. They then request fans to pin the place they would most likely want to work, study, or create on their terms with the Logitech tablet folio. After, fans are asked to click on any of the pins to fill out an entry form for a chance to win a Logitech product of their choice, plus a $500 gift card towards a tablet
In the Esurance Fantasy Tailgate Sweepstakes, Facebook followers are asked to create a Pinterest board containing items such as who they are cheering for and game day activities. They are also asked to fill out an entry-form on Facebook. Winners receive $2,000 worth of tailgate swag.
Timex asked Facebook followers to pin their favorite Timex and accessories from their Pinterest inspiration board for a chance to win a featured Timex and a $100 Visa gift card.
When send traffic from Facebook to Pinterest, you encourage your followers to get involved in a fun way.
Promote specific Pinterest boards
The beauty of Pinterest is that it allows businesses and users to create different boards, which are essentially categories that group together the best pieces of content.
For example, companies like HubSpot have categorized their boards into great sections, such as marketing eBooks, helpful webinars, or holiday marketing techniques. However, when you promote specific Pinterest boards on Facebook, you are able to target a bunch of content through one update.
For example, Entrepreneuress Academy, an online membership site that teaches people how to grow their businesses online, promotes certain boards on Facebook. For example, a board with inspirational quotes and wise words is linked in an update, complete with a teaser image. This promotes both the board, plus the mass amounts of content within it, through Facebook.
Facebook and Pinterest are a match made in social media heaven. By using the best features of both sites, you’ll be able to optimize each platform and interact with your followers in fun and creative ways.
Due to the long lifecycle of pins, tons of content that is shared is designed to be evergreen, meaning that it will stay relevant for long periods of time. This is a solid strategy, and it’s one I highly recommend.
That being said, timely content does have its place on Pinterest and can perform incredibly well. Let’s not even get started on the drool-worthy, holiday-specific recipes that pop up every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Superbowl.
Timing can be everything in marketing, and having the right content be cycled through at the right time can provide huge results. Education companies can benefit from having content like “10 Products All Teachers Need to Go Back to School” go live in August, and a landscaping business could get a ton of business from relevant content just in time for spring gardening.
What Makes Sharing Timely Content on Pinterest So Difficult?
Timely content can be challenging in a way that is unique to Pinterest. Because pins have a longer life cycle than most social media posts, content may take some extra time to get traction compared to other platforms. This can result in your valuable, relevant content never getting enough traction at the right time, which means that it won’t get the kind of results that it could have.
There’s another challenge with timely pins. When pinners find a pin and share it, it replicates as being a new pin from that day; we don’t necessarily see the date of the original pin unless we go digging (and let’s be real, nobody does that). Because of this, time-sensitive pins (like pins advertising contests or sales) may be shared long after the relevant deadline has passed. This can result in confusion and frustration.
Simply put: if your pin has a time limit before it’s no longer relevant, it can be difficult to get it the visibility or traction needed before that deadline is up.
To make sure all your timely content is being shared at the right time (and not after), and your pins are always as accurate as possible, we’ve got 5 tips to help you share timely content on Pinterest for better results.
#1. Use Rich Pins
The biggest problem with the average pin is that it’s a stagnant post that continues to be shared as if it’s current.
While we can go into Facebook and comment on an old post to keep users updated on what’s happening, or they can see a time stamp on the original post, this isn’t necessarily true for Pinterest; our pins can be repinned again and again until we lose track and can’t update everyone. This makes Pinterest a difficult platform to use when advertising products, especially when listing timely content like sales prices.
Rich pins (which we’ve talked about above) are the solution. Rich pins are synced up to your website, and will automatically update themselves will relevant information. If price changes on a product, for example, the price on the pin will automatically update, without any efforts on your part. This allows us to share timely product information in a pin, without worrying that a temporary price discount will aggravate users later when they click to our site after the sale has expired only to see the full price. If your products are out of stock, this will also be reflected in the pin.
There are a few different types of rich pins, including recipe pins, app pins, product pins, place pins, and article pins. To see how to install rich pins, you can see an awesome guide here.
#2. Place End Dates on an Image
This tip can be important for content that’s not only timely, but also time sensitive. If you have a pin with a deadline, like a contest, event/ event registration, or a sale, you want to make it clear to everyone looking at your pin when that deadline is. This can prevent the pin from continuing to circulate after it’s no longer evident.
While mentioning end dates for the sale/contest/event/etc. in the description can be helpful, plenty of users will repin a pin and change the text, sometimes without ever reading the original text. For this reason, placing a date on the actual pin image (in the text) can be useful.
This can also help increase urgency when a user first sees the timely content. With nothing inspiring action quite like a deadline, this can help drive immediate results in both engagement and clicks to your site. When an expiration date is in plain sight, users are also much more likely to convert immediately instead of just saving the pin for later.
#3. Change Visibility (with Third Party Tools)
On Facebook, there are scheduling tools that allow your posts to no longer show up in the Newsfeed after a certain period of time. This allows brands to share time-sensitive and relevant content, but can keep it from continuing to appear once it’s no longer relevant. While Pinterest doesn’t offer a tool like this (at least not currently) there are third party tools that do.
Shortstack’s contest software, for example, has an awesome visibility feature for Pinterest. With this tool, you can control what your audience sees at different times. You can, for example, display discounts, sales, and contests, for a limited time.
I haven’t seen any other tools yet that offer adjustable visibility settings like Shortstack (though there are some incredible scheduling tools like ViralTag that I do recommend), but I’m keeping my eye out for more!
#4. Promote Your Pins
If you’ve got timely content (especially if it has a deadline) and want to get a lot of eyes on it fast, Promoted Pins is your best bet.
Promoted Pins has been popular with marketers, and can give your content the instant visibility boost that is sometimes necessary with timely content, launching it in front of the right people instead of waiting for it to be seen. If you’re actively promoting a campaign, like a contest or a sale, and want a ton of eyes on this particular campaign, paying for increased visibility, engagement, and clicks is completely worth it.
You can see more about how to run promoted pin campaigns here.
#5. Capitalize on Keywords
If you’re posting timely content that’s relevant based on a specific event, holiday, or season, users might come to Pinterest searching for it. You want to make sure your pin is the one that pops up when they hit enter on that search button. A deliberate use of keywords will help with this.
Keywords are just as important on pins as they are on blog posts. Pinterest’s search engine is frequently used by pinners who are looking for specific content, and you want to make sure that yours is what you find. Having relevant, timely content is a great way to help you rank well in a lot of those searches, as there will be a surge of interested users looking for your content at exactly the right time (think wing recipe searches come Superbowl time).
Keywords can be placed both in the pin title and in the pin description, and you can use both opportunities to try to rank for a different keyword. These keywords can even help your pin show up in Google search results, increasing reach and visibility further.
Although Pinterest does not have the same reach as other platforms, 55 percent of Pinterest users have engaged with retailers and brands through Pinterest, as opposed to 48 percent of Facebook users who have engaged with retailers or brands through Facebook.
Further, Pinterest also appears to be a better bridge to brand association: 43 percent of Pinterest users note that they use Pinterest to “associate with retailers or brands with which I identify,” as opposed to 24 percent of Facebook users who agree to the same use with Facebook.
So, as a B2B organization, what are some specific ways to optimize Pinterest in your overall strategy?
#1. Create boards your audience will love
Pinterest boards are essentially categories that group together the best pieces of content. For example, companies like HubSpot have categorized their boards into great sections, such as marketing eBooks, helpful webinars, holiday marketing techniques, as well as amusing boards like “Meme-tastic marketing.”
HubSpot’s boards are carefully pieced together to contain the right information for their audience: Those looking to improve the marketing process.
In addition to creating awesome boards, be sure to link all the content in your boards to your website or a landing page — within reason, of course — so you’re reiterating your messaging, as well as your organization.
#2. Up the visual content
Pinterest is all about the visual. From infographics, to charts, to advice guides, your brand should increase your visual content in order to reach your audience.
General Electric (GE) is a great example of a company that has used Pinterest to show off their products. GE has a board called “Badass Machines.” which illustrate different technologies produced by the company. Examples include wind machines, aviation engines, and locomotives,
GE does things a little differently: They post visually stunning images which are either filtered through an editing program or taken at an interesting angle. The combination of the two amps up their Pinterest page, while promoting their brand in a cool new way. This is something any B2B organization can do, no matter the product or service.
#3. Put a face to your organization
Sometimes your audience wants to know more about you, your processes, and your accomplishments before they sign on or commit.
While you can show what you’re all about on platforms like Facebook, studies show Pinterest users are more loyal than Facebook fans in terms of showing support. When you have a more supportive fanbase, you should tailor your content in such a way which makes you relatable.
For example, let’s say you wanted to promote your company culture or a new face in your organization. You can use Pinterest to communicate this.
Headshots of the new CEO or the team, pictures of a company event, photos of your office, or even an infographic which shows how you make things happen are all ways you can use Pinterest to illustrate why your organization is one to follow.
#4. Focus on trends
Trends or patterns can show what’s happening in your industry, as well as what you’re doing to make strides based on these trends.
Promoting industry trends via Pinterest gives your audience some different perspectives, as well as direction, into their current strategy and what you can do to help.
For instance, IBM has a board called “Big Data and Analytics,” which demonstrates how certain types of data helps them to make better decisions.
Another board, “IBM Social Sentiment Index” illustrates public opinion from a range of social data. Both of these boards show why IBM is ahead of the curve; they’re actively promoting and engaging in the latest trends.
Pinterest has been slower to release new features than other platforms like Facebook or Instagram, which seem to roll out additions almost constantly. Within the past few months (especially last month), however, we’ve seen some big features roll out. This update is going to go over all the new updates and what they mean for businesses and marketers.
Pinterest Lens Beta
One of the biggest developments to Pinterest is their latest image matching search feature. If you’ve ever found something that you loved out in the real world but then couldn’t find it online later when you tried to search for it (which is all of us), this feature was created with you in mind.
Pinterest’s Lens tool is the answer to all our searching problems as users. Now, you can take a picture of something through the Pinterest app, and Pinterest will automatically offer search suggestions and ideas for you.
For example, you could point the Pinterest Lens at a dining room table. Pinterest will show you similar products, and you can also view ideas for how it can fit into your home, with décor examples and inspirations.
What does this mean for businesses and marketers?
The more people using Pinterest to search for objects they’re interested in, the more valuable the platform becomes (and it’s already extremely valuable for selling purposes). To ensure that users can find your products when they’re looking for them, try to have large product inventories online. That way if someone is ready to buy, they can find you right away instead of your competitors.
As Jeff Sieh and Kate Ahl mention in their live podcast, just imagine the potential of users snapping an image of a shirt and getting ideas for what to wear it with, along with suggestions for shoes you can purchase with it. That’s huge. Also, listen to the rest of the podcast- it’s fantastic!
The lens is currently in a Beta version, and Pinterest itself has stated that the more the feature gets used, the smarter it will get.
Instant Ideas is another search/browsing feature designed to enhance the user experience. Now, users can save “ideas” on Pins they find interesting just by clicking on a small circle on them. This will instantly show users related ideas and similar pins.
Use case: you can tap the circle on a pin of a pizza, and you’ll be shown a list of pizza or Italian recipes.
This can help users find the content that’s the exact best fit for them.
What does this mean for businesses and marketers?
This feature will make it easier for users to compare products and brands against each other; Pinterest does some of the work for them, automatically prodding users to view similar ideas instead of just letting them search.
While this can help you increase visibility, it can also immediately set you against your competition. To combat this and ensure that you get the sale, click, and/or repin, find ways to set yourself apart. Mention distinct features in the pin description or (if applicable) in your image. Is your pizza low calorie? Does it have hidden veggies to trick kids? Does it have an insanely unique concept, like sushi pizza (I do not recommend this)? We know what sets our products apart; now it’s time to start mentioning it on Pinterest, too.
Shop the Look
This new feature works like an add-on of the 2015 update that allows us to pinpoint different items and products within a pin. The new Shop the Look feature lets users track down the individual items within images to purchase them. You can check out on Pinterest. Right now, Shoppable Looks will be exclusive to bigger-name brands like Target, Macy’s, and Wayfair.
What does this mean for businesses and marketers?
Right now, not a lot will change for most businesses and marketers on this front, since only a few big name brands have the ability to create Shoppable Looks, like Buyable Pins. This will hopefully change at some point down the line, with more brands having the ability to create these images. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but not holding my breath.
Pinterest’s Search Ads are officially announced and in testing. These ads will provide a new way to connect with users and introduce them to your products and services. These ads will give you the option to create Keyword campaigns and feed-based Shopping campaigns. These ads can work like rich pins, automatically updating according to price and inventory.
What does this mean for businesses and marketers?
It might take a little while, but there’s a much better chance of us getting these ads before most brands get access to Shoppable looks. The Awareness campaigns on Promoted Pins, for example, were tested by a small sample of brands for a while, and you could only purchase them through Pinterest directly instead of the ads creator. We’re going to keep a close eye on them, but they could provide more potential to sell and connect with your target audience, which Pinterest already excels at.
Pinterest is a valuable tool with marketers, providing a huge potential opportunity for increased sales—and for free. With paid options like promoted pins and additional features like buyable pins, that potential has only increased. Add in best practices and cross-platform integration, and it because an invaluable tool all businesses should be using.
When it comes to Pinterest, sticking to the basics—simple keywords, straightforward image, clear description—can help improve your results, making our job as marketers and businesses much easier. This step-by-step guide to Pinterest marketing gives you everything SMBs need to get their campaigns up and running. And it will get updated on a monthly basis, or as soon as some big changes roll out.
What do you think? Is there something we did not cover? Do you use Pinterest as part of your marketing strategy? How do you increase your pins’ visibility? Have you tried the latest features? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!