Here’s a fact: Pinterest is not just for wedding planners and food bloggers! Yes, the users are largely female (about 80%), but a) one could argue that’s a net positive, and b) there is room for all of us in the gorgeous, image-based wonderland that is Pinterest. Women hold about 70%-80% of all purchasing power. In addition, the average Pinterest user (who is female) has some disposable income, which makes it an attractive proposition for advertisers. Driving traffic with Pinterest is different than other social platforms, but it offers a powerful and unique vsaue.
For example, did you know that the average life of a tweet is 15-20 minutes? That a Facebook post lives for about 90 minutes? That’s not a lot of time if you’re trying to reach the masses. Pins, however, are basically immortal and can continue to live for weeks, months, and even YEARS after they are created.
Yes, you heard me right. YEARS.
8 years after its record-setting launch, Pinterest is continuing to grow at an insane pace. In 2019, the platform saw a 26% year-over-year user increase, and they recently overtook Snapchat as the 3rd largest social platform behind Facebook and Instagram (4th if you throw in YouTube.) Basically, it’s a big deal. In a social media world of shouting and clutter, Pinterest offers a beautiful, focused environment, largely devoid of the political tirades or poorly targeted ad clutter. Because your readers would much rather look at delicious food than political tirades from that girl they met in middle school who is selling diet products, amirite?
The beauty of driving traffic with Pinterest is that you are reaching people who are actively looking for exactly what you have to offer. It is that simple. Done well, your content can reach the people who are searching for it, eliminating all of the noise of other social platforms. Pinterest users are on the platform because they are searching for something, and maybe it’s exactly what you’ve got.
Getting set up for Pinterest traffic success
If you’re like most publishers, Pinterest is an afterthought. Facebook is the behemoth that you’ve probably figured out how to slay, but you only do it because you have to. You likely also have some form of Instagram and Twitter strategy. But Pinterest? It feels daunting, with the devotion to high-quality images and more niche content. Don’t be scared!
Start by getting a business account
When you create your account, make sure you set it up as a business account. Enter an email to get started, and follow the prompt to enter your country. Then you’ll get to this screen:
Answer all the questions accurately! This all matters in searches. Be sure to link to your website on this screen:
If you’ve already got an account that isn’t a Pinterest business account, maybe an old account that you’re shaking the dust off of, here’s a step-by-step on converting your existing account. If this is the case, you’ll definitely want to go back and make sure all of your profile/website information is up to date. The Pinterest business account conversion will give you access to analytics and other free tools to help you navigate Pinterest.
Claim your other accounts
If you’re setting up a new Pinterest business account, you will be prompted to attach your other accounts during setup. If you’re polishing up an older account, go into your settings and select “Claim.” In there you’ll be able to add your website, Instagram, YouTube, etc under settings.
Note: You can set up auto-publish from Instagram, but it’s probably best to stay away from this. You want to make sure you’re publishing the most Pinterest friendly content possible, which is not going to be the same thing you publish to Instagram.
Setting up successful Pins
There’s a science to it! To drive the most traffic from Pinterest, you need to have a winning combo of image, text and a solid metadata driven SEO strategy.
It’s no secret that a Pinterest search is visually stunning. In order to succeed, you have have beautiful images, custom made for the platform. Here are some important things to take into consideration when you’re selecting and creating your images:
- First, they need to be beautiful. High quality, stunning, and eye catching.
- Vertical orientation is the way to go – shoot for an aspect ratio of 2:3 or 4:5. 80% of Pinterest users are mobile. Don’t make it harder for them.
- Make them long! Extra long Pins are hard to scroll by.
- Text on the image is a good thing here. If the Pin can stand alone as an image, it is much more likely to be RePinned.
- Don’t include faces. Images perform better without them.
- Don’t overbrand it. Keep logos to a minimum.
- Light and bright! Keep Pins airy and beautiful.
- Keep it simple and know what you’re selling.
Words matter! At minimum, you need to include a description beneath the pin with a basic content recap. However, you need do a little better than this, right? Your description should:
- Be really easy to find. Describe it well, and use terms that you think your audience would use. Don’t make them work for it.
- Be detailed enough to stand out. You want to be specific! A vague description only makes you a part of the clutter.
- Be captivating. Tap into the reader’s emotions. Pick a cause, sentiment, image, or message that will resonate deeply and capture the attention of a scrolling Pinner.
- Include a call to action. Be clear with the action you would like them to take. Do you want them to read more? Click to buy? Tell them.
- Be search friendly. Treat Pinterest like a search engine and think SEO. What are your keywords? Have you used them effectively in your description? Are they an accurate representation of your content?
Pinterest is a visual search engine. This is an incredible opportunity if you’re trying to gain traction, because users are telling you exactly what they want to see. However, to do it well you need to take a few extra steps.
When you are creating content, think of Pinterest purely as a search engine. You’ll need to consider all of the things mentioned above: Adding keywords to your description and making sure it’s as detailed and accurate as possible is NOT OPTIONAL.
Rich Pins show metadata right on the Pin itself, giving Pinners a richer experience and increasing engagement. Information in a Rich Pin is independent of the Pin description, ensuring that important information is always tied to the Pin. There are 4 types of Rich Pins: app, article, product and recipe Pins.
Rich Pins aren’t something everybody has the option to create. You have to add the metadata on your site. Open Graph or Schema.org are the most common. Once you’ve gone through this process, you have to apply.
Once the URL is validated, you’re good to go! Every time someone Pins your content from that point on, the Rich Pin will be created.
Other tips and tricks
Group boards are a good way to drive traffic. Do some research, find boards that fit your brand, and request to join. They have rolled out some recent features that have been rolled out to make group boards even more powerful.
Make it easy to shop
Selling something? Make sure you make it shoppable. Using the Shop the Look feature, you can add clickable product tags to images and make shopping easy for the user.
Like any good content strategy, you need to think about your content in advance. Set up an editorial calendar and know which holidays, anniversaries, events, launches, and other key content hooks are coming up. Know what you’re going to do, and have things ready to go in advance. You want to be there when people start planning their holidays and events.
If you’re struggling with organizing your content, start with a basic content calendar that your team can use to pitch, organize, collaborate and execute your plan. Here are some free and easy places to start:
Google Sheets: A free and easy way to start. If may take you some time to set things up the way that you want them, but there’s a lot of functionality and everyone uses it.
Trello: The free version is a little sparse, but it’s a fantastic collaboration tool. If you just need a way to organize things, keep track of links and make sure people know what is going where, this is an obvious and effective choice. A little paid upgrade gets you the calendar, which some people prefer.
Read up on Pinterest’s best practices
They’ve given us some pretty great advice. Know what they have to say. Some examples:
- Brand your content, but make it subtle.
- Choose images that give your content some context.
- Add text overlay to tell the full story.
- Tailor the length of your video Pins based on your goals.
- Remember that people usually have the sound off on their phones. Videos shouldn’t rely on the audio component to tell a story.
Take the time and reap the rewards
Pinterest is a hidden gem. If you’re not doing it well, figure it out. Facebook and Twitter have long been bled dry, and driving traffic from Pinterest can fill the gaps and prove immensely valuable. Figure out what your niche is, automate your Facebook feed, and spend time on Pinterest.