The good people at Pinterest decided it was time to show us raving fans some real love by giving us direct access to Sarah Hoople Shere (Head of Product Marketing at Pinterest), via one of our favourite Pinterest experts, Alisa Meredith (Content Marketing Manager at Tailwind). For professionals and pin aficionados alike, the tips that came from this Facebook Live event were pure gold. Here I’m going to share the top 7 Pinterest marketing tips from the event, that you can apply to your Pinterest business account.
See the full video here (the "First 5 Pins" information has since been retracted by Pinterest).
Pinterest Marketing Tip # 1 – SEO
(Search Engine Optimisation)
If you really need to up your Pinterest marketing game, SEO is the first place to start.
The places that keywords are important on Pinterest are:
- Board Names. Giving your Pinterest board a name using longtail keywords helps individual pins perform better because it provides more information about all the pins on that board.
- Using longtail keywords in your Board Description also helps individual pins perform better.
- Include keywords in your Pinterest Business Account profile settings.
- The most important place to include keywords on Pinterest is in pin descriptions. Include keywords about the item itself, but also any themes that might be related to that pin eg. "This grilled asparagus recipe (keywords) is great for a quick weeknight dinner (theme), but also special enough to be a dinner party side vegetable (theme)." Focus on what that specific pin is about and then all the broad things that people might search on when looking for it.
If you’re saving the same pin to multiple boards, save it to your most relevant board first because wherever it's pinned to after that, it takes all the keyword rich data from the original board with it.
MYTH BUSTED: Including keywords in your image file names doesn't help you rank on Pinterest.
My free Pinterest Keyword Checklist shows you how to find keywords and where to include them on Pinterest.
Here’s the lowdown on hashtags on Pinterest.
- It makes no difference whether you incorporate #s within the body of the pin description or as a list at the end of the description.
- Add up to 20 relevant #s to each pin.
- Go for quality #s, rather than loads of #s.
- Focus on thematic #s eg. Spring style, one pot recipes, anything people might want to see the latest and greatest of. That's where Pinterest is seeing a really great uptake in engagement with #s.
- #s get significantly more distribution the first day they're saved to Pinterest.
- #s are great for people who are looking for fresh content because they're displayed in chronological order.
Pinterest Marketing Tip # 2 – Pin Descriptions
Pin descriptions are the most important place to include descriptive keywords. They’re also your best opportunity to encourage your audience to visit your site. Once your pin has been found and if they love your image, your audience will want to learn all they can about your product, service or blog before clicking through to your site.
- Pinterest recommends pin descriptions contain the same keywords as your product title or blog post title, because Pinterest tries to match them to verify the content is yours.
- Make sure your pin description is helpful and as long as it needs to be (up to the 500-character limit), because Pinterest sees stronger performance on longer, more helpful descriptions. People who are interested in your pin will read and expand it.
- Make your description sound natural, human and with an editorial polish to it, but remember it needs to contain the keywords that are going to bring it up in search results.
- A strong call to action, such as “shop”, “make”, “find more like this” encourages people to click through on pins. If you're trying to drive traffic to your site, encourage your audience by telling them what they can find when they get there eg. “Shop new styles at <URL>”.
Avoid keyword stuffing if you want customers to click through to your site. If you saw a cute item in a store with a sign saying “Cinch Western Women | Cinch Clothing Women | Cinch Clothing Products | Cinch Clothing Style $15” would you buy it? This is keyword stuffing and it provides no vale to your customers.
DEFINITION: Engagement means going in for a close up on a pin, clicking through to the website via the pin’s URL, or saving a pin for later.
Pinterest Marketing Tip # 3 – Followers
The role of followers on Pinterest has been downplayed since the Smart Feed (Pinterest algorithm) was introduced in 2014, but followers are now more visible on Pinterest with the introduction of the Following tab. So just how important are your Pinterest followers?
- Pinterest distributes your pins to your followers first. The pins that get great engagement from your followers are then distributed to a much broader audience in their home feeds, search results and related pins. 💡 Make sure your content is engaging for your followers.
- Most of the distribution of your pins happens beyond your followers. This is where your SEO best practices and image quality become really important, giving your pins a better chance of showing up in search because Pinterest knows what to do with them and where to distribute them.
- For the reasons above, it’s better to have a small number of highly engaged Pinterest followers than a large number of disengaged followers.
- Most people's reach is far broader than just their followers. You can see this if you check your number of followers against your monthly unique viewers.
There’s a new Following tab on the menu bar, which allows you to see the most recent pins from the people you follow. This is a great way to get fresh content delivered each day from the people you want to hear from.
Before the Following tab, your content was still distributed to your followers first, but they couldn't easily separate it from the other recommended ideas in their Home Feed. Now they have a dedicated space to see content from people and brands that're following. As a business, you should focus on growing a following of people who are genuinely interested in what you’re creating, so you’re marketing to the right Pinterest audience on a daily basis.
How to Get More Quality Followers
- In the Follower tab, Pinterest makes recommendations to pinners about eligible creators/businesses to follow. To be eligible for Pinterest to recommend you, you need to:
- Save pins regularly - ideally your own pins
- Have a business account
- Claim your website
- Encourage people to add photos or comments to pins that they've tried. "Try this out and leave a photo or a comment on the pin so I can see how it's going". This has been shown to help pin engagement.
- Add a Pin widget on your website and encourage your visitors to follow you on Pinterest.
Another way to get more quality followers is by using Pincodes. Read 5 Easy Ways to Get More Customers With Pinterest Pincodes for ideas.
Pinterest Marketing Tip # 4 – Pinning
How Often to Pin on Pinterest
Pinterest loves active pinners - people who regularly save content on Pinterest.
- There’s no such thing as pinning too much, but Pinterest prefers consistency over volume. It's better to pin every day than do a bulk pin or repin session on just one day.
- There’s no particular Smart Feed advantage to pinning live versus using scheduling tools. If you pin regularly through a scheduling tool and don’t even log in to Pinterest for a while, you're still considered to be just as active as if you were doing the same thing from within Pinterest.
- If you don’t have enough content of your own to pin every day, or you only have products and no articles or blogs, repin others' content that will resonate with your audience, because Pinterest loves consistent pinning every day. There’s no magic ratio of your own pins versus repins of others’ content.
Online store owners can be really effective on Pinterest by using great product photography and SEO in their descriptions. Some of the marketing tips from Pinterest are:
- Use lifestyle images. Show people how they can use your products. If you sell artworks, pin images of the artworks on display in a lounge room. If you sell jewellery, pin images of your jewellery being modelled so people can get an idea of the size of the jewellery and how it looks against skin.
- If you don't have lifestyle images:
- Try to use vertical pins and get your products to show up as prominently as possible in the image.
- If your product doesn’t stand out in the image, use a text overlay to describe it.
- In your pin descriptions, tell people what it is, how it can be used and encourage people to click through to your store to see more
- If you have pins for physical products that are no longer available, don’t delete the pin. Try one of these options instead:
- Update the URL on your pin with that of a similar product that's still in stock;
- Redirect the pin (either through the pin URL or your website) to a general category of stock that you will have available for a long while;
- Redirect the pin to your home page or main products page;
- Put a message on your site where that product used to be, that tells people it's no longer stocked but provides a clickable link to similar products. This means:
- Your pin won't be penalised by no longer being distributed
- You don't need to update all your versions of the pin
Using these options, anyone who has saved the pin for a future purchase will be redirected to something similar (that they might want to buy) instead of receiving a broken link message, potentially turning them off shopping with you at all.
For more tips on Pinterest images, see Pinterest Marketing Tip # 6.
Pinterest Marketing Tip # 5 – Content
Pinners love fresh content. One of the reasons Pinterest decided to introduce #s is so when fresh content is pinned, pinners can find it in the chronological # feed. The Following tab gets your pins in front of your followers while it’s fresh. Fresh = brand new content in the world. A new pin from an old blog post is also considered fresh.
- Distribution priority goes to the content creator. It's best for you to be the first pinner of your content, instead of repinning it. This also allows you to keyword and # it correctly. Pinterest prioritises pins created by the owner of the website the pins link to.
- When people pin content from your website, it tells Pinterest that everyday pinners find your content valuable and the more times Pinterest sees it, the more they'll see it as a pin worth distributing.
- Most pinners are currently engaging with pins in feeds, search results etc. rather than on a creator’s profile. The new Pinterest profile was designed to encourage more engagement with a creator’s profile and therefore their brand, so use this new profile to your advantage.
Pinterest Marketing Tip # 6 – Images
Images give pinners their first impression of your products, services or blogs and you want that first impression to be “wow”, don’t you? Here are some tips for creating great pin images:
- A ratio of 2:3 is recommended for pin images, that is 2x wide and 3x tall eg. 600px x 900px. Stick to 2:3 or lower and you're safe. Square images work but vertical pins perform better because they take up more space in the feed and are easier for pinners to see.
- Lifestyle images, tasteful branding and (limited) helpful text on images is recommended.
- People are looking for help contextualising a product or image. They're looking for recommendations on how to use or style products in their everyday life. Use both your images and pin descriptions to help them.
- Product pins that are non-lifestyle shots that tend to be really successful are beautifully shot, dimensions are great (you can really get a feel for the product), often have helpful text overlays or descriptions that do the work of a lifestyle image eg. "Wear it to the beach". If you don't have lifestyle images, you can use helpful pin descriptions.
- Pinterest has seen that if you include a small logo or branding on your pin, it doesn't hurt performance of your pin and can actually help build credibility. If people recognise your branding and they like what they see, they're more likely to click on your pin next time or follow you so they can keep up with your content. Branding is great for associating your content with your brand and also for pins that get saved numerous times by numerous pinners, so that people who see it down the line realise it's from you, rather than the last person who pinned it. The pin maintains your legacy. Try to put your branding on pins in a tasteful way that is unlikely to hurt the pin's performance.
- Avoid putting your logo in the corner of a pin - at Pinterest HQ they experiment with the best placement of the Visual Search point and these experiments usually take place in the corners of pins. Also, the Visual Search point can be in a different place on each platform. Try putting your branding and text overlays elsewhere, such as top centre, top or bottom centre.
- Put text overlays on images when the image itself can't tell the whole story of the underlying content. A good example of this is blogs, where the image can rarely tell a pinner what the blog post is about.
Learn more about creating engaging Pinterest images in 8 Tips for Pinterest Images That Rock.
Pinterest Marketing Tip # 7 – Group Boards
Pinterest group boards have been decreasing in popularity as a tool for follower growth, but they can still be helpful in distributing your pins to a wider audience.
- Sarah confirmed that Pinterest prioritises distribution of pins to people who follow all of your boards, not just a group board.
- People who follow the board but don't follow you should see your pins (on that group board) in their follower tab, but not your other content on other boards.
Sarah thanked everyone for all of their engagement and for bearing with Pinterest's "ever-changing guidance. It takes a lot of work to keep up with a platform like ours, where we're constantly experimenting and making new product changes." That’s where my services can help. I keep up with the changes for you. Check out my services here...
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