Here’s a fact: Pinterest is not just for wedding planners and food bloggers!
Yes, the users are primarily 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. Also, the average Pinterest user (who is female) has some disposable income, making it an attractive proposition for advertisers. Driving traffic with Pinterest is different from other social platforms, but it offers a great and unique value.
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 much time if you’re trying to reach the masses. However, Pins are immortal and can continue to live for weeks, months, and even YEARS after creation.
Yes, you heard me right. YEARS.
Eight 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.) It’s a big deal. In a social media world of shouting and clutter, Pinterest offers a beautiful, focused environment, mostly devoid of the political tirades or poorly targeted ad clutter. Because your readers would instead look at delicious food than political diatribes 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 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 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 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, it will be prompt you to attach your other accounts during setup. If you’re polishing up an older account, go into your settings, and select “Claim.” 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 post 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 an image, text, and a reliable metadata-driven SEO strategy.
It’s no secret that a Pinterest search is visually stunning. To succeed, you have beautiful images, custom made for the platform. Here are some essential 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 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. For this reason, search is an incredible opportunity if you’re trying to gain traction because users tell you precisely what they want to see. However, to do it well, you need to take a few extra steps.
To start, when you are creating content you should 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.
Beyond that, there are other things you can do to drive traffic from Pinterest search. Rich Pins use metadata from your website to create a more robust Pin with external, searchable data. From Pinterest:
Rich Pins show metadata right on the Pin itself, giving Pinners a more luxurious experience and increasing engagement. Information in a Rich Pin is independent of the Pin description, ensuring that relevant information ties to the Pin. There are four 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 to 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 is 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. A good place to start could be setting 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. In fact, 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 a distinct and practical 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 Pinterest has to say. For example:
- 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
All things considered, 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.