Pinterest is an aspirational resource. It’s for the dreamers and doers who want to plan their ideal lives. This visual search engine and the bookmarking tool allows users, or “Pinners,” to find inspiration for their wardrobes, homes, events, and businesses. Pinners scroll through “Pins,” which can be anything from photos, graphics, and videos, and save them to themed boards. Other users follow these Pinners and engage with their content by liking, commenting, or re-Pinning.
Pinterest draws millions of users to its platform with its intelligent algorithm—inspiring and motivating with seemingly endless amounts of captivating Pins. For you, as a business owner, this means a lot more opportunities for getting noticed.
Let’s look at a couple of reasons why you should market on Pinterest:
It’s used by 431 million active users worldwide. 1 in 2 millennials have accounts on the platform, and it’s quickly growing in popularity among Gen Z.
Pinterest is the 3rd most popular social media platform in the US ahead of TikTok, Snapchat, and LinkedIn and globally it’s more popular than Twitter.
There are nearly 2 billion searches per month and over 70% of users save Pins. Those who use the app, use it actively to find and discover new visuals.
One of the key metrics you should look at in a marketing platform is the potential reach of your content.
80% of Pins are Repins, which means Pinterest is a platform that values sharable content. The average lifespan of a Pin is three months. In comparison, a Facebook post’s lifespan averages five to six hours, and Twitter’s 15–20 minutes.
Visual search is growing in popularity, and Pinterest is the only social media platform to offer a visual search engine. The Pinterest Lens can visually identify more than 2.5 billion home and fashion objects.
The app comes with interactive workshops, webinars, a blog, a newsletter, and other resources for small businesses that want to learn how to best use the app.
And here are some specific reasons you should use Pinterest for business as an online store owner:
And here are some specific reasons you should use Pinterest for business as an online store owner:
Pinners are 90% more likely to say they’re always shopping compared to other social media platforms. And 30% are more likely to admit that they love shopping.
On average, shoppers on Pinterest spend 80% more than people on other platforms every month and have 40% bigger basket sizes. People on Pinterest are 2.2x more likely to say it turns their shopping ideas into reality (vs. non-Pinterest users who rely on social media competitors).
On top of that, 77% of weekly users discover new brands and products on the app.
Pinterest is the perfect place to go to display your products in aesthetically-pleasing visuals for added value.
Pinterest has a high clickthrough rate and is second only to Facebook in generating social media traffic to Shopify stores.
Pinterest ads integrate seamlessly into user feeds, making them feel less invasive. Around 50% of Pinterest users have bought a product after seeing a promoted Pin.
If your target audience is women, then you’re in luck. 71% of Pinterest’s base is women, and 8 out of every 10 moms in the US are on the platform.
These categories are in the top 5 most popular categories on Pinterest, which makes the app an ideal marketing channel for that selling in these categories.
75% of men in a recent Pinterest study indicated they’re planning to spend more this year to bring their goals to fruition. They’re more excited about their plans for 2022, compared to 2021.
Let’s dive straight into the process of creating your free Business profile.
If you’re going to use Pinterest to market your online store, you’ll first need to create a business account. Pinterest Business is an account that states you’re a business, which gives you legitimacy. It also gives you access to the Pinterest widget, which allows users to Pin from your website, and gives you more ways for people to shop from your page.
There are three ways to create a Pinterest Business account. You can either:
The process is essentially the same for each, so I’ll just cover how to build your business account from scratch.
Since I’ll touch on creating pins and running ads later in the article, let’s finish building your profile.
This encourages Pinners to re-pin your products, which ultimately increases their reach. You can do this straight from the Pinterest app or by using Pinterest’s widget builder for WordPress, Wix, Blogger, and Tumblr. Even if potential customers aren’t immediately ready to buy your products, connecting your Pinterest account to your store can give customers a way to bookmark your products to save for later.
Now that you’ve created a business account, you can create your Pinterest shop or in other words, you can upload your products in Pinterest Catalogs. Here’s how:
In 2019, Pinterest launched the Pinterest Shop—a new dashboard that showcases the profiles and products of small businesses in an Etsy-style fashion.
That same year, Pinterest introduced a personalized “shopping hub” that displays at the top of users’ feeds with product recommendations pulled from retailers’ organic Product Pins and Catalog feeds.
As an ecommerce store owner, you can upload Pins via Catalogs and your products will be distributed across Pinterest’s shopping surfaces including the “shopping hub.” With Catalogs, you can turn your entire product catalog into browsable product Pins, all at once. The new Multi-feed support feature will let you easily upload products in multiple product feeds within the same Pinterest Business account. This means you can sell across multiple countries and build a global presence.
How is it different from shopping on ecommerce sites? Shopping on Pinterest is about discovery. People use Pinterest to refine their taste. They look for the thing that’s just right for them—even before they know exactly what it is. Having a Pinterest store will only add to your existing ecommerce store, so think of it as a really good billboard on a high traffic street.
To get started with Pinterest Catalogs you’ll need:
Follow this Pinterest guide to get your account ready for Printful Catalogs. Once you get this done, the next steps are to add your data source, create product groups, and create shopping ads. If this sounds intimidating, you’re not alone, but going through this process is important for you to be able to upload a full catalog to Pinterest and turn your products into dynamic Product Pins. This will in turn allow you to organize your feed so your products can be discovered and purchased by Pinners. You can also become a verified merchant which offers you several other benefits. However, for now, it’s available for specific countries only (see below).
As a verified merchant, you’ll get:
This marks you as a trusted brand, verified by Pinterest. People who come across your page will know that they can safely shop from your account. Your products will be visible on your profile under the “shop” section. As a verified merchant, your Pins may appear organically to people who are searching for products and shopping on Pinterest.
You’ll be able to tag products on your Pinterest posts—which will make your posts “shoppable.” You’ll also be able to track conversions, see how many people clicked on your product, measure return, and optimize your ads for shopping campaigns or retargeting. You can also build new audiences by finding people who’ve visited a page or taken an action on your site.
Before you use Pinterest for business and create your catalog, you’ll need to add a profile cover and showcase boards, which means you’ll need content. So let’s talk about creating content for Pinterest first. When your content is pre-planned, you can optimize your profile and start working on your Pins.
There are several types of Pinterest content you can create to promote your online store:
After you’ve chosen which types of content you’d like to focus on, it’s time to plan topics that you’ll cover as part of your Pinterest marketing plan.
Most Pinterest searches are done organically through keyword searches, so first you’ll want to create content that people are looking for—this involves some keyword research. I’ll touch on this when covering SEO later on.
Different types of Pinterest content work for different niches, so be sure to research what types of content work in your niche. Consider what topics they’re choosing to get good results, what content types work for them, and what topics they haven’t covered that you could.
To hone your Pinterest marketing strategy, you need some insight on what makes a good Pin. So here are some tips to help you throughout the planning, editing, and posting process:
Now here’s what to be aware of when editing your Pins:
And lastly, before you post on Pinterest, here are some tips about writing titles and descriptions for your Pins:
There are some great free tools you can use to design content for Pinterest. Here’s a shortlist of the most popular and user-friendly apps you can try:
Now that your profile is all set up and you’ve got some content ideas pre-planned, it’s time to add a profile cover. Profile covers show non-clickable Pins from that board at the top of your profile. Think of them like a cover photo on Facebook or Twitter.
Profile covers give users a general idea of what your Pinterest profile is about. So include your best branded content, like infographics, style guides, product shots, and new designs. The colors and fonts you use on your cover board should match your general branding.
Feature boards also aim to showcase your theme and best content. They appear underneath your name and bio and present like a slideshow. They’re a great place to feature your products and give people an opportunity to quickly learn what you’re about.
One of the biggest perks of using Pinterest as an ecommerce store owner is how easy the app makes it to shop. Here are some of the ways the app encourages buying:
Shop the Look Pins allow users to click on a specific item on a Pin that interests them and directs people to buy right through the app. Adding buyable Pins is free and Pinterest doesn’t take a portion of the sales. However, some limitations exist—Shop the Look Pins are only available for Android and iOS in the US, and only for select platforms like Shopify.
The Shop Tab for Business profiles are a feature of business profiles and lets users shop your products right from your profile.
Rich Pins gives users real-time information about your Pins. There are 5 types of Rich Pins: movie, recipe, article, product, and place. They showcase information like price, brand, product description, price drops, and calls to action. However, Rich Pins is an advanced technique, as it involves adding meta tags to your website and being validated by Pinterest.
97% of Pinterest searches are non-branded, which means everyone has a fair shot of getting discovered on the app—as long as you use the right keywords in your Pin titles, descriptions, boards, and image file names. This involves a little search engine optimization (SEO) magic.
Hop on Pinterest and Google AdWords Keyword Planner and search keywords people would use to find your business. If you run a store that sells African art prints, your list could include “Kenyan art” and “African woman canvas.” Then type your shortlist of words into the Pinterest search bar and jot down any new terms that pop up in the suggested results. Use these keywords to then come up with topics to cover.
After you’ve discovered your keywords, you’ll then need to use them to optimize your profile and content for maximum discoverability. Here’s how to do it:
To learn more about SEO, check out our beginner’s guide to SEO.
Pinterest suggests Pinning something once per day. This is easier to do when you’ve created a stockpile of content and is more effective than posting a board all at once. Pinning often ensures that your content will get more traffic.
To increase your followers, post between 5–30 new Pins per day, throughout the day. Given that it’s difficult to create 5–30 pieces of new daily content, plan your content in advance and save your pre-created Pins on a secret board. Then, when you’re ready to post, grab them from your private board and repost that content on your public boards. Think of it as bookmarking your Pins. You can also use an external scheduling tool to automatically post your Pins for you.
The best times to post on Pinterest depend mostly on your target audience’s habits, so look at your analytics to see when your audience is most active. However, Pinterest users are less active on weekdays during work hours, and more active on weekends.
In general, the optimal times to post are 2–4PM and 8PM–1AM EST, with Saturday morning being the best time. Although there’s no formula to pin timing, I’d suggest pinning at different times throughout the day and observing how your audience responds.
If Pinning manually seems like a chore, you’re in luck. There are some great tools out there that simplify the process of Pinning:
As much as Pinterest is a visual search engine and bookmarking tool, you can’t forget that it’s a social network, too. So get social!
You can build an online community on Pinterest by doing the following:
Another tip is to join community boards, which are collaborative boards where multiple Pinners share content about a specific topic.
Here’s the general technique to join existing boards or create boards of your own:
One key to any successful social media strategy is to watch your analytics closely to see what sort of trends emerge over time. Pinterest Analytics allows you to see information such as:
Be sure to use Pinterest Analytics and Google Analytics to track your success each month. Pay special attention to which Pins give you the most impressions, which Pins fail to receive clicks, and which Pins give you likes vs. saves and shares.
Once you’ve mastered your organic Pin strategy, consider advertising on Pinterest. Pinterest’s native ad format makes ads feel noninvasive so try out Promoted Pins! They help you get to the top search results, give you access to keyword information, and details about your conversions.
Pinterest lets you target your target audience around keywords, interest, location, and age. You can also target people who have engaged with your Pins or similar content, people who have visited your website, and email lists like newsletter subscribers.
Whether you want to post a style guide or videos of your design process, using Pinterest for marketing should be on your ecommerce marketing bucket list, so get Pinning!
Do you have any Pinterest tips or ideas we missed? Share them in the comments!
Noni loves to learn about digital marketing and stay on top of cultural trends. You can often find her watching movies, creating video content or lost in online click holes.