written by Michelle Buck
Pinterest is a platform where you can browse for ideas, but it’s also a tool to sell your products and services. Experts have said that users tend to spend more per order on Pinterest than on any other social media platform. Product pins are popular on Pinterest, and users pin about 2 million product pins each day.
But how do you get started and stand out? What tools do you need to be successful while promoting your products on Pinterest? In this post, I’ll highlight the features and benefits of having Pinterest in your marketing toolbox.
Pinterest & Your Business
How do you know if your specific business is a good fit on Pinterest? One way to determine this is to search the Pinterest categories to see if there is one that fits your niche. For instance, my business fits into “social media” or “blogging tips.” But what if your topic isn’t that straightforward? Browsing the categories at Pinterest Explore might help. You can also use the search icon on Pinterest and search keywords. If you get a dropdown box with other ideas, you are golden!
Caption: Search icon on Pinterest with search results.
If you aren’t sure if your brand is a good fit, then research competitors in your niche. Are they using Pinterest? If so, how are they using it? You might have to try a more creative approach, so take your time and research how similar brands are using the platform.
The Pros & Cons of Pinterest
Although Pinterest does help big brands like Target, it’s also effective at introducing new brands to customers. According to Pinterest, 77% of weekly pinners state that they regularly discover new brands, and 98% state they have tried new things after searching on Pinterest.
Some of the key benefits of marketing with Pinterest are as follows:
- Pinterest is a visual search engine, which means that people are already using it to search for ideas for their problems.
- Visual images on Pinterest are shared 10x more than on other platforms, which means your content and products are more likely to be seen and shared.
- Ads do not interfere with the user experience and blend in with every other pin, making it less intrusive.
- 70% of users on Pinterest are women who are making purchases for their households.
- Users are “warm,” meaning they are primed to buy. They are doing specific searches and actively looking for ideas.
- Pinterest pins circulate for weeks, months, and sometimes years later. A pin’s lifespan outlasts other sites that only show products for a few hours and then disappear.
Although Pinterest has many perks, it’s good to be aware of the disadvantages.
- Facebook and YouTube still top the charts for how many active users they have, which is well above Pinterest.
- Not all audiences are on Pinterest. Although Pinterest is growing their engagements with men, other platforms do a better job.
- Pinterest wants “fresh pins,” which means designing new content and pin images.
- Pinterest is not great for instant traffic. It takes a while to build an audience and get more sales, signups, or engagements.
- Pinterest thrives off manual and automatic scheduling, and it requires time to learn the tools or pin on a schedule consistently.
The Buyer’s Journey & Pinterest
You may have heard of the “Buyer’s Journey” or a sales funnel. The journey starts with education and leads to a purchase. Through the entire process, you are nurturing your audience and providing value.
Although there are many explanations of this process, here’s a simple way to remember the steps:
Let’s take a look at how each one works with the Pinterest platform.
The buyer becomes aware of the problem or pain point and begins to search for a solution.
Action: Businesses should seek out their audience’s pain points by using groups and online forums like Quora or Facebook groups. Look for questions online and create solution-based content that educates the reader about those problems. You could offer value through social media posts, blog posts, videos, and webinars.
On Pinterest, use pins to highlight the problem and tease out a solution.
Caption: (Source: Pinterest – All Natural & Good.)
In this pin, the audience is made aware of mold growth in homemade beauty products, which leads to content that can help them prevent it.
At this stage, a buyer knows about the problem, has a good idea about a solution, and considers the options to solve the problem.
Action: Your business should focus on offering value in the form of case studies, free samples, lead magnets, quizzes, comparison guides, and checklists.
On Pinterest, create pins that promote your lead magnets and guides as solutions to specific pain points.
Caption: Quizzes are a great way to help your audience understand their pain points and your solutions.
At this stage, buyers make a purchase and justify that purchase. They may also start telling others about your brand.
Action: Brands should offer coupons, free consultations, live trainings, and live demos to show their products and services and entice their audience to buy. Think about adding upgrades and membership communities to encourage customer satisfaction with your brand.
When creating pins for Pinterest, use videos to demo your product, promote coupons, or offer free consultations.
Caption: (Source: Pinterest – XO Sarah.) Using case studies and testimonials gives your audience a reason to buy your product and feel good about the decision.
Create Content for Your Audience
Reverse engineer your products by thinking about what lead magnets, emails, and other valuable content you can offer that lead back to that product’s sale. When using Pinterest, think about creating content and pins, which helps your audience through every step of the journey.
How to Promote Your Products on Pinterest: Getting Started with Pinterest
The first thing you need to do is set up a Pinterest for Business account. If you already have a personal account, you can convert that account to a business account, or you can create a business account without having a personal account.
Once you do that, you’ll need to claim your website and apply for Rich Pins. If you own a Shopify or Etsy shop, you can also claim your site on Pinterest. To claim your website, you’ll insert a code on your site which Pinterest can detect. This code confirms you own the website. For Etsy or Shopify, follow the prompts in the settings area to get started.
When selling a product, Rich Pins allow up-to-date information about your item. It pulls the price, product information, and other data directly from your website. You can use the catalog feature to keep your products updated instantly. Pinterest also rewards shoppable items by listing them as “popular” or “best seller,” helping your pin stand out in the feed. Some brands can also apply for the Verified Merchant Program, which provides more tools for visibility on Pinterest.
Once approved for Rich Pins, make sure you’ve set up your Pinterest profile by adding a photo, your website URL, business information, and other details in the account settings area.
If you want to be seen and heard on Pinterest, the name of the game is keywords. You can research keywords using the Pinterest search or Pinterest Trends. Look for long-tail keywords such as “how to cook lasagna” instead of “recipes” or “lasagna.” Think about how you search on Pinterest or Google and then look up keyword phrases for the following areas:
- Your profile title (example: Happy Pin Design | Graphic Design + Digital Strategist)
- Your profile description
- Your board names and descriptions
- Your pin titles and descriptions
- Your pin hashtags
You can learn more about keyword research on my website.
Products on Pinterest
Almost any product can work on Pinterest if it relates to an inspirational idea. The features offered on Pinterest are mainly for hard goods such as clothing, makeup, jewelry, and office or home furnishings. But I’ve also seen product pins for Etsy shop items such as digital art, Cricut graphics, and other non-traditional items. The best way to know if your product will work is to search it on Pinterest and see if others are promoting similar items.
Pinterest has made it easy for anyone to shop on Pinterest with “lens.” Just click on the magnifying glass on an image and get similar results. This feature helps shoppers find what they want to buy and allows brands to show up in more places on Pinterest.
Tips for More Engagement
If you think about the buyer’s journey, they are not staying on Pinterest. If done well, they see your pins, click around your website, and explore your brand. On your website, make sure your content is written for your specific audience. Your visuals need to be appealing and work with your content, not against it. Also, make sure to include an opt-in form for signups or buttons for purchasing products. If your website is slow, consider using Google PageSpeed Insights to improve your website issues or ShortPixel for smaller file sizes on images.
For Pinterest, make sure your pins are well-designed with high-quality images or video, clear and readable text, and a strong call-to-action. It’s best to use 5–10 pins for each piece of content and pin those to your most relevant boards first before scheduling them. Keywords should be used on the pin, but also on Pinterest in the title, description, and hashtags. You can also A/B test your pins to see which ones work the best for your audience.
Your audience can see and purchase your products right on Pinterest with the “buyable pins” feature. Product pins can become promoted pins with ads. Use these ideas to think through your marketing strategy with Pinterest pins:
- Set up an ad account on Pinterest.
- Run promoted pins if you want to give new content a boost in traffic.
- Run ads on pins that are already performing well.
- Conversion campaigns work best for products. You will need to install the Pinterest tag on checkout pages for this to work. (Redefining Mom has simple instructions.)
- Run ads for 30 days or more. Pinterest suggests spending more money initially, and then you can adjust your spending based on the results.
- Learn about ads on Pinterest here: Product Pins.
How to Measure Success with Pinterest Tools
There are a few tools I suggest using when trying to evaluate if your Pinterest strategy is working. The first one is Pinterest. You can view analytics using the analytics dashboard.
Caption: Pinterest updated their metrics in 2021 to help better see the performance of your pins.
The Pinterest dashboard helps you see insights about your audience and specific pins. It’s important to track the numbers over months, not days. You can get to the Pinterest dashboard by going to “Analytics” and then clicking on “Overview.”
If you scroll to the bottom of the dashboard, you can see your top boards and pins. If you click on a pin, you’ll get more stats on that pin. You can change the filter to show a date range such as 30, 60, or 90 days and sort it by claimed accounts, format, and source. Sorting it by source allows you to see just your pins or every pin you’ve saved to Pinterest (that includes other people’s content).
Clicking on one of your pins allows you to see more stats on that pin, such as views, outbound clicks, and saves. You can click on the button that says “See more stats” to drill down further into the pin details.
Pinterest suggests focusing on the following stats instead of “monthly viewers,” which is a vanity metric.
- Pin Clicks (previously called “closeups”)
- Outbound Clicks (previously called “link clicks”)
Audience Insights allows you to see more details about what your audience likes on Pinterest, as well as their devices, locations, and genders. This data can help you create more useful content based on what you learn about your visitors.
Caption: Audience Insights shows you interests and affinity information for your visitors.
The Ads Manager specifically tracks your ad campaigns, so use that tool to see how well your ads are doing.
A few other tools for analytics are:
Each of these tools offers more details about your boards and pins. You’ll want to evaluate how each pin is doing after 30 or 60 days.
You can also track how well you are doing by looking at your email signups or purchases using Google Analytics. To drill down into Google’s Metrics, go to Acquisition🡪All Traffic🡪Referrals and analyze the pins that bring your website the most traffic. Based on the results, you can adjust your strategy and learn which types of pins are the best for sales.
For example, if you learn from the metrics that a board is getting a lot of traffic, you might want to make more content for that board. Sometimes you will notice someone else’s pin is ranking well so you might want to create content around that idea and create a pin to see if it does well.
The most important aspect of using Pinterest is to remember the buyer’s journey from awareness, to consideration, to making a purchase. At each step, you can use Pinterest to nurture your audience with lead magnets, valuable content, and great products that they can see themselves using. With keyword-rich product pins, you can give viewers up-to-date information on your products, helping them find your solutions faster. By analyzing and testing your pins, you can fine-tune your strategy and content. Although learning the platform takes time and effort, your business can increase visibility and sales and help your growing audience with their needs.
Michelle Buck teaches marketing, design, and strategy for bloggers who want to grow their business using Pinterest at https://happypindesign.com. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, three children, and her two rowdy dogs. She lives in Minnesota.