You may have noticed that we have not written a lot about Pinterest marketing on our blog so far.
The reason is simply that we have not used Pinterest very much in the past. We have images for Pinterest for each blog post, but until recently that was it.
And we are not alone with that. Pinterest does not seem very favorable with many social media marketers. Some of the more famous marketing experts like Neil Patel are NOT active and/or successful on Pinterest – which you can easily see by looking at their Pinterest profile.
Note from 2020: Neil Patel is now active on Pinterest and growing a following – and traffic!
Before you read on - we have various resources that show you exactly how to use social networks to gain massive traffic and leads. For instance, check out the following:FREE Step-by-Step Twitter Marketing Guide
FREE Pinterest Marketing Ebook
And some marketers like Ahrefs try it out – but decide that it would take up much more time to get it running or it may simply not be the best network for them.
On the other hand, there are multiple bloggers, hitting it big time on Pinterest and making a living from it – without much clue about any of the other social networks.
That is an interesting discrepancy…
So, in order to provide you with all your options in social media marketing and give you the advice you need to choose the best of the networks for generating traffic for your blog or business we thought, we should get it figured out and pass the advice on to you.
We started our experiment a couple of weeks ago. We already see some developments in the form of an increase in repins and traffic to our blog – but we want to get more tests done before we give you the full story. Stay tuned, we will post about our experience here on the blog and tell you exactly what worked and what kind of advice was crap – for us.
However, there are some basics you absolutely need to do on Pinterest or you will not see any kind of measurable results. So, to get you started, here are 10 things you need to do before you can expect your Pinterest marketing to take off. Before you start looking for traffic from Pinterest, get these right:
1. Fill out your Profile
Now, this one is not Pinterest specific – but I still see far too many Pinterest accounts that have a name, and that is it. No Avatar. No Bio. No Link.
Why should people follow you or trust the content that you pin, if they don’t have a clue what you are about and what they can expect that you pin?
Hey, before you read on - we have in various FREE in-depth guides on similar topics that you can download. For this post, check out:FREE workbook: CREATE AWESOME BLOG POSTS
FREE Beginner's Guide: START A BLOG
Really: Upload a nice image, either an image of you or the logo of your brand. Write a few sentences of what you are about and what you are interested in.
2. Provide Pinterest ready images
Pinterest is a visual network. While you may even get a handful of shares on Twitter or Facebook if you don’t provide an image in the right size – for Pinterest that is not going to work.
If you want your content shared on Pinterest, you need to provide an image that is higher than it is wide and that is visually appealing.
Also, your images should not be the most brutally ugly images there are. I am not telling you that beautiful images will win, for one simple reason: I totally suck at design. And still, I manage to produce pins that get repins and traffic. There are other aspects much more important for your pins than to be able to win a design contest with them.
In addition, tools like Canva provide you with Pinterest templates that will help you create acceptable images for Pinterest. You should also browse around Pinterest and get an idea of what types of images get a lot of repins in your niche.
And that directly leads to my next point:
3. Use Text overlay
If you want a ton of repins, you can use photos and images without text. If you want clicks and that also means traffic to your website, you need text on your image. Beauty alone may get repins, but to make people click on the image you have to provide something more to make them curious.
And that most of the time means, you need to have text on your image. You can use the title of your post, or even something more provoking. As with Twitter, the title is what will lure people in and turn them into traffic. So, do your homework and learn about headlines – also, browse around Pinterest and see what kind of pins seem to get a ton of attention!
4. Get a business account
The Pinterest business account – a personal and a business account on Pinterest have different terms of service. But the main difference and the reason why you absolutely need a Pinterest business account is that this will give you access to Pinterest Analytics. And if you have been reading our blog in the past, you should be aware of the importance of data for any kind of marketing success.
Here is how to set up a Pinterest business account.
5. Confirm your website
Next, you should absolutely connect your website to your Pinterest account. First of all, this will add your profile pic to every pin that comes from your website – and this way it will give you a tremendous branding effect once your pins start moving around Pinterest.
In addition, this will allow you to get Rich Pins – see #7.
Here are instructions on how you can confirm your website.
6. Watch Your numbers
That means you have to watch your Analytics. Google Analytics AND Pinterest Analytics. You want to know if your impressions, saves of your content increase, you want to know if the activty from your website on Pinterest is increasing – and of course, you want to watch out if the traffic to your website from Pinterest goes up.
Watching Google Analytics, in this case, is not enough. That is why I told you to get a business account in #4. You also want to know which articles get pins and clicks – learn from that. Try to figure out why that pin gets more attention: Did you use a great design? Was the text awesome? Did you use a call to action? What is it that makes the difference.
7. Get Rich Pins
Rich pins give you the opportunity to add more information to your pins. If yu enable rich pins for your website, all pins from your website will include this information.
There are different types of Rich pins
- product pins
- article pins
- app install pins
- recipe pins
As a blogger or content marketing often the article pins are of first interest (if you are not a food blogger and want to go for recipe pins).
Article pins add the title of your post from your website, the description and the author of the post. That means you have more places to show information about the pin.
8. Consider search and keywords
While Pinterest is categorized as a social network, the secret to unlocking marketing success with Pinterest lies in the revelation that Pinterest is a search engine.
Pinterest itself recently hinted at the fact that engagement, as we know it from other social networks, may just not be what they are after and simply removed the like button.
If you are already active on Pinterest you will probably agree that communication on Pinterest is rare and not at the center of your attention.
On the other hand, a lot of people use Pinterest to find information and search for it by typing in search phrases. In addition, Pinterest uses a „Smart Feed“ to decide what information to show to which user. And the Smart Feed only to a smaller part depends on your followers and the people you are following – and much more on the topics you are interested in and related content.
That means you have to make it absolutely clear what you and your content is about, and that means you need to use keywords!
Places to use keywords are:
- Your Pinterest user name – you may have noticed that some pinners added a keyword to their name, that is on purpose
- Your boards – don’t get fancy and witty. Instead use the keywords that best describe what the board is about, in the board name AND in the board descriptions.
- Your pin descriptions – this one starts on your website: if you provide pinnable images for your posts, make sure you have a keyword rich description in the ALT tag of the image. Pinterest will pull this as the description whenever someone pins your post.
Keywords are one of the most important aspects to Pinterest marketing success.
9. Provide a Pinterest Share „Button“
Now, this one again is not really Pinterest specific, but if you want people to pin your content, you need to provide a pin button. The simple reasons that otherwise uploading your post to Pinterest is so much more complicated.
10. Pin it, baby!
You want your content on Pinterest? Put it there.
If you are looking for Pinterest marketing success, you need to start getting active. Pin your content, don’t just pin it once and to one board, pin it again and to other boards, where it fits the topics. Keep your boards active and pin some more, pin your pins again. If you don’t have a ton of content yet, use other people’s great pins to provide more great content on your boards and consider creating a second or even third pin/image for your posts – maybe use a different title and see which one runs better.
Final Words on Pinterest Marketing
There is a lot more to know about Pinterest marketing; these are just the basics you absolutely need to have set up. Without getting above 10 points right, your efforts on Pinterest will not be rewarded. You may even land a chance success, and get a handful (or even a couple of hundred) clicks on one of your articles from Pinterest. But the real (and huge) content marketing power of Pinterest will not unlock for you if you get one of the above wrong!
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