How To Use Pinterest For Marketing - The Ultimate Guide

The Ultimate Guide On How To Use Pinterest For Marketing 73

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How To Use Pinterest For Marketing

Pages that have images get 94% more page views than those without!

Are you taking advantage of this awesome visual bookmarking tool? If so, you’ll want to know that CoSchedule now integrates with Pinterest to help you share your visual content easier than ever before. Pinterest is right inside your CoSchedule marketing calendar.

The Pinterest feature is one of the most requested integrations we’ve gotten from you. So we’re super excited about this! And that’s why we’re bringing you the world’s most comprehensive guide to marketing on Pinterest.

Here’s how to use Pinterest for marketing. For real. So let’s get to it.

Get Your Free ‘How To Use Pinterest For Marketing’ Infographic Now!

How To Start Marketing On Pinterest

Who are the 100 million people who use Pinterest, with more Pinners coming in every day to make it the fastest growing website by overall member growth?

Infographic showing demographics on Pinterest

Your audience is present. You just need to share great stuff to discover their interests and help them find you. From there, you can use minimum viable data to understand what they’re looking for. Then you'll be able to share even better content.

Focus on publishing really good content that'll establish you as an expert in your field.

The same applies for gaining traction on Pinterest and for growing your follower base in general.

Create Boards That Reflect Your Content Core

Your content core is a special place where you take into consideration what your audience really cares about and combine it with what you want to say.

On Pinterest, your boards are where you share your Pins, so name your boards in a unique way.

Pinterest suggests you should set your boards up like window displays. You want them to appeal to your audience's tastes and also keep them coming back for more. Here's a basic look at it from their perspective:

Rebekah Radice takes Pinterest's advice one step further with a few great ideas that'll help you choose awesome names for your boards. Make them eye-catching, keyword rich, and content specific.

She's right.

Start With:

  1. If you're just starting out on Pinterest, come up with two different board ideas. Build those to start with. If you've been on Pinterest for awhile now, focus on cleaning up two of the Pinterest boards you already have.
  2. When going through your boards, make sure there aren't any exact duplicates, make sure the links work, and add keywords into the descriptions. Maybe even rewrite descriptions so they are stronger.

Repin To Understand What Works

Something like 80% of the content shared on Pinterest are Repins.

Start out by exploring Pinterest for content you think your audience will enjoy, and Repin that awesome stuff.

When Pinning, abide by the 80/20 rule: Share 80% of other people's content and only 20% of your own.

For every piece of content that you share, that is yours, Repin four Pins from others.Click To Tweet

As you begin, your goals will be:

  1. Make connections with other Pinners by following them, liking and Repinning their Pins, and commenting on their Pins.
  2. Build your content foundation with curated content to find your audience and build a following.
  3. Know what your niche likes so you can share more of that.

Include Awesome Visuals To Improve Your Blog Content

If you look at your blog, I'm sure you'll find that you have some awesome visuals that are Pin-worthy. There are probably also a few images you could improve.

Steps To Improve Your Visuals:

  1. Go through your blog and make a list of all the blog posts that have great visuals.
  2. Make another list for blog posts that need to be updated with their visuals.
  3. When you're looking to update visuals on your blog, look for content that would look awesome in visual format (example: quotes, stats, graphs, or even unique research). Use a program like Canva or Piktochart to make them Pin-worthy.

After you've gone through all your posts, you'll be able to share the ones that have great visuals to Pinterest. Easy!

What Should My Pins Look Like?

You'll need to have high-quality imagery to get noticed. That doesn’t mean you have to be an artist or designer. It just means you have to take some visual guidelines into account when you use Pinterest for marketing.


1. Get More Repins And Clickthroughs With Effective Colors And Custom Imagery

In this day and age, stock photography is out and custom imagery is in! According to Pinterest, Pins should be helpful, beautiful, and actionable. So get creative and use some awesome tools.

Your graphics will help you stand out from other brands, so when you create your imagery, remember that images without faces receive 23% more Repins than those with faces.

Curalate found a few key characteristics that can make your Pinterest images successful. Red and orange colored Pins get twice as many Repins than images that are blue—and Pins with multiple dominant colors, too. Color can be vital to your Pin’s success, so do a little research on the emotion behind color, and you’ll do great!

Lastly, Curalate found that Pins with smoother, less distracting backgrounds received more traffic. This follows the idea that simplicity in design is more. Plus, it’s great for mobile viewing!

2. Use Overlays To Include Text On Your Imagery

Another element you can add to your imagery is an overlay. Text overlays can be great for clarifying an overall message of the Pin since your photo might have a broad context.

Overlays can also be handy when you use them in embedded Pins outside of Pinterest (say embedded into your blog posts).

Tell us your ideas for Pinterest

Pro Tip: You can also install the Pinterest button plugin so you can easily save your ideas to your Pinterest board!

3. Stand Out On Pinterest Boards With Longer Images

Keep in mind the size of your visual so it displays nicely on Pinterest.

When you design your image, choose 735 pixels as your width. You can choose for your Pin to be any length that you'd like it to be.

Curalate found that Pins with a 2:3 (1,102 pixels tall) or 4:5 aspect ratio received the most traffic. Test out which size works best for you. At CoSchedule, we like to design graphics to specifically complement our blog posts, so in cases such as an infographic, the longer the better.

Pro Tip: Include one tall, Pinnable image at the top of your blog posts. Buzzfeed found out that this simple hack increases the clickthroughs they get from Pinterest.

While it's important to make your images look awesome, it's even more important that you understand your content, and the message behind it. Experiment with your Pins so you can stay true to your brand. Don’t be scared to try new design tools and to share new ideas.

How To Write For Pinterest

Mitt Ray writes about Pinterest a lot. And he compiled some pretty interesting data to help you write better descriptions for your Pins so you can get the attention your content deserves.

Mitt suggests that by writing a great Pin, your audience will have a better chance of finding your awesome content.

Writing An Awesome Pin:

  1. Longer descriptions get the most Repins. Aim for slightly more than 300 characters. Buzzfeed found that solid descriptions, especially if your image isn’t beautiful, interesting, or useful, combined with positivity help get them more Repins and clickthroughs.
  2. Include a link back to your blog. Adding a link back to your blog will make your entire description a clickable link.
  3. Write an awesome call to action. If you want your Pins to convert, inspire Pinners to click through with an awesome call to action.
  4. Use keywords. Your audience uses keywords to find the content they want. If you’ve focused your blog on an SEO content strategy, you’ve already found the keywords you know your audience is searching for, so include those in your descriptions.
  5. Mention others. When you share other people’s content, mention them as a thank you. Plus, you'll make more friends that way!

How to write for Pinterest

A Note On Hashtags: They don’t work on Pinterest like they do on Twitter. They don't help your content show up in search results and are more like a categorical element that you can add to your descriptions to help Pinners find related content.

Vincent Ng took a stab at describing the value hashtags provided on Pinterest and how to use them efficiently, coming up with a handful of solid tips:

  1. Hashtags lead to search results for the specific keywords that you use. When you include a hashtag in your description, your Pinners can click through to find related content for that word.
  2. Hashtags can actually take your Pinners away from viewing your content with no clear point of return. Especially if they decide to click on the hashtag and it leads them away from your content.
  3. Just because you use a hashtag, it doesn't mean that Pinterest will index it.
  4. Hashtags are clickable on mobile now, which is how 75% of Pinners enjoy Pinterest.
  5. Don’t use tons of hashtags like you might on Instagram. Pinterest has mentioned that they may even demote the value of your Pin in their search results if you oversaturate your Pin with too many hashtags.
  6. And finally the best advice: If you do use a hashtag, make it super unique.  To figure out what words you should be using, look at your competitors and the influencers who inspire you.

Only about 75–100 characters actually show up in your Pin description in the grid view on a board, so don't bury the lede: Put the most important information in your description first.

There Are Four Kinds Of Pins

Did you know that?

Besides the typical ‘Normal’ Pin and Repins, Pinterest also has Rich Pins, Buyable Pins, and Promoted Pins you can use to enhance your reach.

Four special types of pins

1. Give Some Character And Perspective To Your Content With Rich Pins

Rich Pins are normal Pins that you can add additional context to, thus the name 'Rich' Pins.

There are five categories that Rich Pins fall into: product, recipe, article, movie, and place.

By creating a Rich Pin, you get to define what the open-graph meta tags are so your Pins automatically populate in the Pinterest categories and searches. That'll help people find your content faster and easier than ever.

This can make quite a difference for brands who are trying to sell their product, especially when two million people save Rich Pins to their boards every day!

2. Sell Your Products Directly From Pinterest With Buyable Pins

Buyable Pins are one of Pinterest’s newest features!

Buyable Pins have blue buttons that are located up near the 'Pin it' button. They help you to make a purchase right there without ever having to leave the Pinterest app.

Buyable pin screenshot

Source: Business for Pinterest

Pinterest does this to keep people on Pinterest, so they don't "take a cut from your sales and you still get to handle shipping and customer service the way you always have."

Today, any business that uses Shopify has access to Buyable Pins, and those that use Demandware should see this option soon.

Pro Tip: To include your price in the rich elements of your Pin, you'll have to make it a Buyable Pin. Your Pinners will see when you drop your prices by more than 10%, which gives you another opportunity to easily reach your audience.

3. Increase Engagement Rates By 2–5% With Promoted Pins

Pinterest has continued to make changes and updates to promoted Pins in order to make them work even better. Promoted Pins are similar to Facebook Promotions since you can purchase them to reach more followers.

Promoted Pins increase engagement rates up to 2–5% and are cost-per-click. Promoted Pins are only available in the US and in Canada.

4. Are 80% Of Your Pins Repins?

Did you know that over 80% of all Pins are Repins?

Cision noted that several studies have found that you can optimize your Pins for Repinning by using 200—300 characters in your Pin description.

When we Pin at CoSchedule, we include the headline that we created with the Headline Analyzer Studio in our Pin description. Then we create a Repinning task in our marketing calendar specifically to remind us to Repin great content marketing content to our board. More than half of our traffic comes from Repinning alone!

While Pinning is the first step to growing your presence on Pinterest, these four different kinds of Pins can greatly impact your followers, sales, and traffic. Consider what your business is trying to achieve, and pick the one that works best for you!

Remember, though, never stop Repinning. Repinning works, and should be a daily practice.

Help People Find And Share Your Content On Pinterest

Well, you've learned a lot about creating the best content for Pinterest—including how to design your visuals and how to write your Pin descriptions. You even know the right types of Pins that'll work best to help you reach your marketing objectives.

So now it's time to optimize your work to make sure you reach the most people every time you Pin.

1. Pin To The Most-Browsed Categories

Makes sense, right? If some categories get more browsers, you'll get more attention for your content when you categorize them accordingly.

Here are the most-browsed Pinterest categories:

  1. Food & Drink
  2. DIY & Crafts
  3. Home Décor
  4. Home Feed

About a year ago, Pinterest also released the most popular categories per day:

  • Sunday: Food, Craft Ideas
  • Monday: Fitness
  • Tuesday: Technology
  • Wednesday: Inspirational Quotes
  • Thursday: Fashion
  • Friday: Humor
  • Saturday: Travel

And if you're feeling like any of this just isn't what you need for your marketing, Pinterest has a great resource for you to see what categories are popular any day you'd like. I've found as you refresh the page, new categories appear, which could inspire some ideas for your categorization.

2. Pin At The Best Times

Recommended times to post on Pinterest

We recently took a look at the top 10 studies on the best times to post on social media. The research has a handful of takeaways to help you get the most out of your new Pins.

Quick Sprout suggests that the best day to Pin is on Saturday. Neil Patel’s deeply researched post says that 8–11 p.m. on Saturdays should get you the best results. Neil also pulled together some information from several sources that suggests 2–4 a.m. and 2–4 p.m. are awesome times to Pin.

Elle & Co. and SurePayroll agreed with Neil’s findings, saying that 8–11 p.m. on Saturday is a great time to Pin. SurePayroll also found that anytime on Saturday morning and Fridays at 3 p.m. are great times to Pin, too.

Data from Pinerly and presented by Social Fresh suggests that anytime from 2–4 p.m. and 8 p.m.–1 a.m. are good times to Pin.

Comprehensive Data Says The Best Times To Post To Pinterest Are:

  • Saturday mornings and at 8–11 p.m.
  • Any day at 2–4 a.m., 2–4 p.m., and 8 p.m.–1 a.m.
  • Fridays at 3 p.m.

That seems like a lot of good times, right?

3. Post The Best Number Of Pins Per Day

The data for Pinterest's best posting frequency differs quite drastically depending on the source.

So what’s the verdict? It’s perfectly acceptable to share lots of content every day, including a rich amount of Repins from other Pinners mixed into your overall sharing strategy.

Sujan Patel even confirms that Pinning regularly can help you grow your followers.

So I’d suggest the average of those three sources if you're going to take Pinterest very seriously: Test the waters with 11 pins per day, then add or detract as necessary.

4. Empower Pins Right From Your Blog And Website

Buzzfeed found out that “When a reader comes from the Pinterest app on mobile, we show the 'Pin it' button right on top of the image. We found that this increases Pinning by 10 times!”

Yikes, that’s a big change Buzzfeed saw when their Vice President Of Growth And Data, Dao Nguyen, and her team added a Pin it button to their graphics.

We have also noticed on our blog here at CoSchedule that when we include a hover button over the images, that we tend to get more Pinterest shares. SumoMe has a great tool to help you do this yourself.

5. Inspire Repins By Embedding Pins Right Into Your Blog Content

It’s pretty easy to embed single Pins or even entire boards right into your content to help you prove a point. And this is a way to get more Repins for your content simply because you've made it easy to share:


Simply use the Pinterest code generator to grab the widget and embed it right into your blog posts. Done.

6. Encourage Readers To Pin Your Content To Read Later

Brian Honigman provided a Pinterest marketing tip that Peg Fitzpatrick and Rebekah Radice taught him on Social Media Examiner.

Essentially, create a great visual in a blog post, schedule a Pin, grab the URL of that Pin, and share it on Google+. In your Google+ post, share the link to read your blog post, and also suggest that people Pin the image if they don't have the time to read it now so they can save it for later.

Pinterest post on Google+

While Rebekah uses this strategy for Google+, I'm sure it would also work well in emails, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.

7. Provide Fresh Content By Pinning Regularly

Pinterest itself gives this marketing tip, suggesting:

Get into a regular cadence of saving Pins to your boards. That way, your audience gets fresh content in their home feed (and they get to know what your brand is all about).

As you plan consistent content with your editorial calendar, it just makes sense to share your content consistently on Pinterest. And now that you can schedule your Pins with CoSchedule, there's no reason to hold off.

How Will You Use Pinterest For Marketing?

You've learned a ton about how to use Pinterest for marketing.

You now know:

  • How to create boards that reflect your content core, which is a special place where you take into consideration what your audience cares about and combine it with what you want to say.
  • That you should be Repinning more often and abiding by the 80/20 rule when it comes to sharing content online anywhere.
  • How to improve your visuals on Pinterest, including the size they should be, and which colors you should be using to bring the most clicks through to your blog.
  • To write great copy for Pin descriptions and how to use keywords.
  • The difference between the four Pins: Normal Pins, Rich Pins, Buyable Pins, and Promoted Pins.
  • The best times to post to Pinterest are: Saturday mornings and at 8–11 p.m., any day at 2–4 a.m., 2–4 p.m., and 8 p.m.–1 a.m., and Fridays at 3 p.m.
  • The best amount to post on Pinterest being around 11 Pins a day.

Now, go and implement what you've learned into your own content on Pinterest.

About the Author

Ashton is CoSchedule's graphic designer who takes written content, throws it through an unbelievable design brain, and makes everything we do even better. Photographer, designer, artist.

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