If you had told me a year ago that Pinterest would be our #1 source of website traffic, I’d have laughed.
Because, while you might look to Pinterest for a dinner recipe, it’s not really a platform you’d think to use to generate new leads or build an email list. But for us, it has done just that.
With under 400 followers, our account is still in newbie territory, and yet, Pinterest has already helped us connect with new customers and add thousands of people to our email list. The increased website traffic has positively impacted our search engine rankings too. And, while you don’t have to advertise to see results, we've intermittently used Promoted Pins, and have found the cost per click on pinterest to be a lot lower compared to facebook and instagram ads.
I think Pinterest is underrated, and underused, probably because many businesses don’t even think of it as a viable marketing channel. But, with over 200 million monthly active users, 93% of whom said they use Pinterest to plan for purchases, and 55% percent who use Pinterest to shop for and find products, it can’t hurt to at least consider adding Pinterest to your marketing strategy.
So, today, I wanted to share 3 easy steps you can use to get started with Pinterest marketing.
1. Plan content that attracts the right people
Every effective marketing strategy begins with knowing your customers, so first, you’ll need to focus on who you’re trying to reach and how you can help them.
Make sure your ideal customers are using Pinterest by digging into the user data available online. Contrary to what many people think, Pinterest isn’t just for females. Males make up about 30% of the total audience, and account for 40 percent of new signups to Pinterest. But, Pinterest does tend to attract a younger audience, with 66% of users aged between 25 and 54, and 1 in 2 millennials using Pinterest every month. (Source: Pinterest)
Once you are confident that your ideal customers are using Pinterest, then you can work out what they’re searching for so you can create and pin content that is helpful to them.
Just like your other social media platforms, you want to make sure your content has a general theme so you can establish yourself or your business as an expert in your niche. For example, if you are a wedding photographer, your ideal customer might be someone who is newly engaged and planning their wedding. So, you could provide a range of content that they would find helpful and interesting around the subjects of weddings and photography, including wedding photography inspiration, location inspiration, prop inspiration, wedding makeup inspiration or questions to ask a photographer before you hire them.
So, before you begin pinning anything, ensure your ideal customers are using Pinterest. Then, determine the types of content they’re searching for and brainstorm how you could provide valuable help, advice, products or inspiration.
2. Optimise your profile & pins
While it gets labelled as a social media platform, Pinterest actually works a lot more like a search engine. Just like Google, when you type in what you’re searching for, Pinterest will use an algorithm to rank its pins in an order that they think will be most relevant to you. And, just like how you would optimise your website to ensure it shows up in search engine results, you can also optimise your Pinterest profile and pins to show up in Pinterest search results too.
Here are 4 quick tips—
- Optimise Your Bio: Use target keywords in your Pinterest bio and description to increase the likelihood it will show up when someone searches for those keywords.
- Clean Up Your Boards: Remove or make ‘secret’ any boards that are irrelevant to your ideal audience. Then, add new boards that your target audience might be searching for. Instead of using abstract board names, make sure you use clear, keyword focused names.
- Add Keywords to Your Boards & Pins: When writing your pin descriptions and board descriptions, it’s important to use targeted keywords. Just like with SEO for your website, the more specific you can be with your keywords, the better, so use the ideas that pop up in search results (like the image below) to come up with more targeted keyword ideas e.g. instead of ‘wedding photos’, you could use ‘creative bridesmaid photos’.
- Create Good Lookin' Pins: Like instagram, Pinterest is a highly visual platform, and ugly just doesn't cut it here. Create branded pins that stand out in the feed and encourage people to click on them — you can build a template for this in Photoshop or Canva (roughly 800x1200px) to streamline this process.
3. Pin, re-pin, repeat.
Now that you’ve optimised your profile, boards and pins, it’s time to start pinning. So what should you pin?
- Pin Your Own Content: First, and foremost, always pin your own blog posts, products or work examples. Just make sure sure you’re adding keyword rich descriptions to your pins and including a link to your website in the URL field.
- Pin Content That's Not on Pinterest: This might include articles you read (like this blog post), inspiration or ideas from websites or photos you’ve taken. In this instance, make sure you include a link to where you found the content.
- Re-Pin Content That's Already on Pinterest: This can include other people’s content and your own content. Because Pinterest is search based, pins can continue to drive traffic months, or years into the future and re-pinning your old pins can give them new life.
For the best results with Pinterest (or any other marketing strategy!), consistency is best. So, it’s recommended that instead of posting 100 pins once a week, you pin a 10-30 pins everyday. But, before you start to panic, it’s not as hard as it sounds. This count can include pinning the same pin to several boards and you can use scheduling software to automate the whole process.
We use a platform called Tailwind, which allows us to batch all the content we want to pin and it will automatically post them throughout the week. This makes our process really simple and easy, as opposed to pinning manually! If you want to try Tailwind for yourself, you can sign up for a free trial on their website. They also have a great feature called 'tribes' where you can post your content to be shared by others, in exchange for sharing their content.
So, there you go! 3 steps to get started with Pinterest and start driving more traffic to your website. What I love about this strategy is that it’s low maintenance. I can spend 30-45 minutes once a week and then forget all about it. And, because Pinterest is search based, your follower count, while still important, doesn’t carry as much weight on this platform, so you can still see results, even if you don't have a tonne of followers yet.
What do you think? Will you try out Pinterest marketing in your business? Or are you already using Pinterest? Let me know in the comments. And, if you found this helpful, we'd be so grateful if you decided to share it (or pin it)!