I’ve been telling creators and businesses to build an exit plan before it’s too late. The way social media algorithms are evolving. There will be only a content engine.
No Influencer, No Creator, No Social Media business. What we would have left is an AI-controlled content engine.
That engine never gives a creator or business enough time to build that connection. Or brand messaging. We all are going to be affected by this. Me too.
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June 25, 2023 - 32 min read
I have always loved Pinterest because of my love for fashion & graphic design. And I have learned a lot about Pinterest from marketing clients on the app & using the app for my own interests. And from a single conversation with Pinterest employees.
This guide will focus on understanding pinterest as a platform & marketing channel. I have similar guides on each social media app. And sharing why different Pinterest myths are told to sell expensive courses, the hidden truth of Pinterest.
Pinterest falls under the category of niched social media platforms. What are niched social media apps? The social media platforms like Tumblr & Snapchat are currently utilized by a variety of audiences. But they aren’t like big and essential social media platforms. A lot of niches & Industries are too small on Pinterest. There aren’t enough people searching for your industry or product on the app. Meaning you have to work even harder to find the small communities built around your business.
For that reason, You have to do the market research first before you go all in on Pinterest marketing. I would suggest beginning with doing research on Pinterest Trends. Through Pinterest Trends search engine, you can find how big your market is and what people are searching for on the app.
And you can read the latest 2023 Pinterest trends report discussing growing conversations on the app. Yes, pinterest marketing data doesn’t lie but manual research is necessary too. Your manually curated data and insights are foolproof and you learn a thing or two about creating Pinterest content.
Pinterest is known for its positive user and content culture. The recent research from Pinterest shows that brands & businesses positive brand content boosts shopping incentives. Andmakes pinterest users take faster buying actions.
From a practical perspective, This means you should use positive social media copy for Pinterest content. And prefer to use positive brand colors for your pinterest content design. In terms of having a positive colored Pinterest templates database, Canva is a great tool. But you’re only one search away from finding everything about Positive content colors.
Pinterest, sister of Google. I refer to Pinterest & Reddit as brother & sister because both of these platforms can help you indirectly build your SEO authority. Pinterest Boards rank on a variety of google searches because Pinterest acts as an authority in X amount of niches.
That is why you need to think of your Pinterest marketing from you building authority in a specific niche across the pinterest (social media platform) & Pinterest Website (Your SEO authority builder).
Packing it all up, Understanding “What is Pinterest?” means:
You could say it is simple, take these points and try to do marketing for Pinterest using only these 3 with sustainability. You will be 90% successful on Pinterest.
Joining various discussions on twitter & reddit, I found out there was a recent shift in Pinterest Algorithm. As after a recent problematic incident on Pinterest in March 2023. The platform had to take new actions to protect young users of the social media app. Those actions lead to introduction of new safety & policy changes. After that, Many Pinterest users saw a change in content discovery, they reported seeing irrelevant content for a few weeks In April 2023.
In May 2023, the Pinterest engineering team announced new changes to the Pinterest algorithm. You can read the blog here, but it is too technical for a non-engineer to understand. I asked for help from my engineer friends to simplify the pinterest changes & how the algorithm works.
Pinterest ranks new content based on your feed based on previous content interactions. And the content with the highest probability to get clicked on by you, is shown when you open the app next time.
For Content ranking on different keywords & Boards, It is ranked higher based on number of engagement factors. Different engagement metrics: Like, Save, share, Repin & comment have different points allocated to them. Making the content ranking possibilities go higher for your Pinterest Pin.
And practices like organized Pinterest Boards & posting Topical Pins also play a major role in helping you rank higher on Pinterest & Google search.
This is a general overview of how the algorithm works from years as revealed by engineering teams at Pinterest & Pinterest Board Advisors I listened to at an private product management event.
Here are the recent changes to Pinterest Algorithm, The simple yet powerful changes are Pinterest trying to promote diversity on the platform & trying to maintain a more positive environment for fashion, beauty & cultural content.
Why this affects these body-related content & brands is simple. Pinterest wants to end the bias around the perfect skin & content focused toward one community & neglecting others. For that reason, I recommend diversifying your pinterest content & boards. To promote a shared interest rather than a perfect interest to pinterest audiences.
The second change focuses on relevancy. Pinterest improved their keyword targeting search engine. The platform will show more relevant posts now through improved search. That is why focus on better keyword research for relevant Pinterest content creation.
Other than these two main changes, we don’t have many changes coming to Pinterest Algorithm.
Pinterest influences my purchase decisions a lot but you can’t track my journey as a marketer. Because I leave the platform to make those decisions. And this is a huge issue for my marketers, Pinterest isn’t direct marketing. It is referral & word of mouth marketing at its best.
A pinterest user’s saved pins are shared to the public building the word of mouth for your business indirectly. Many only download pinterest images, and look for products on google. You aren’t there, a big mistake. Pinterest content is always flowing and marketing your business, but you only doing Pinterest and neglecting other channels will keep you at a money loss.
That is why Pinterest marketing leaders figure out your consumer search & social media marketing to get 99.9% juice out of your Pinterest marketing efforts.
Pinterest businesses & marketers are often seen complaining about not getting outbound clicks to their website. People are saving & engaging with content, but it's hard to get the desired CTR. The reason: Unoptimized Pinterest Design.
Your content design & aesthetic is the design identity of your business. When someone saves your pinterest content, the likelihood of them seeing another post of yours increases. But when your business has an inconsistent design, the dots don’t connect. Your content doesn’t reach that same audience consistently. You start a CTR problem on Pinterest by doing that!
Pinterest is home to graphic designers & users who love to consume visual content. You have to think about that element. To find what type of design & aesthetic is working for your competitors and how you can remix that design with your current web or brand design. You have to find a common point between both.
Use Lightroom presets: For your product photos, Fashion photography try to use adobe lightroom presets. With this you can match the aesthetic to similar viral pinterest pins. And do marketing for pinterest very aesthetically.
My Design Strategy: I simply audit the business client and look at their current business design. Visit Coloors, to generate different palettes to find the most relevant alternative color that is working on Pinterest. And advise them to create content in that design color, by doing that they won’t lose the appeal to other customers. While creating mainly for Pinterest.
Whenever you start with any social media platform, you feel like what to do next after hitting publish on your first post. And this process is different on each platform. For Pinterest, it is important to figure it out or you will have to wait longer to see any result. A good content structure built from the start is the key to early pinterest success.
First step is to plan your pinterest board names & topics based on the keyword research. Head over to Pinterest Trends or do a regular Pinterest search. Brainstorm a few Pinterest boards based on the search results. And create those Pinterest boards with detailed descriptions about that topic and include the keyword within the text. Including the Pinterest keyword is recommended, not Keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing ruins the user experience for users with screen readers on google & Pinterest.
Second step is to define what other Pinterest creators you are planning to engage with and repinning their content to your own Pinterest board. Why? Because those creators have built their topical authority on Pinterest for years or the past few months. You are building your Pinterest board’s authority faster off them.
Third Step is to plan your content formats and what you want to share in terms of content. For Example, Pinterest Idea Pins are great to reach an engaged pinterest audience as that audience isn’t looking forward to an instant solution. Rather to discover new Ideas and content interests, use Idea pins to build onto that audience base. Sharing product behind the scenes, business story & educational content.
The Regular Image Pins are utilized by all pinterest users but at best this pinterest content format reaches the users looking for an instant solution. That is why create content focused on product usage, tips and education to make them click through instantly. Why I have education mentioned on both is because regular pins have a more recognisable button that leads to more clicks.
The Pinterest Video Pins are the best for engaged audiences that are following you. Yes, these don’t have the best CTR. But these are very useful for community building and many times short-form content reaches Google search page. Bringing in the best traffic to your Pinterest website.
The last step is trying to get your pinterest pins repinned to established Pinterest Boards of other businesses & creators. In 2023, it is harder to get your pinterest pins repinned to those boards. Because many people either are charging for joining those boards or putting the Pinterest board behind a Pinterest marketing course.
You don’t have to pay for that, I would say skip this step. Or reach out to the Pinterest board creator directly through email or through other social media channels to get a response about joining the board.
In the previous step, I already mentioned a few distribution parts of PInterest. But Pinterest needs overall distribution to work at its best and you will in return have better ROI over time & money spent on Pinterest.
As mentioned in the Pinterest content structuring part, it is important to distribute your content to a number of Pinterest boards. First, don’t distribute your pinterest pin to a single board. Repin the content to all the relevant boards. And try to create at least 2-3 relevant boards on one topic or product. That helps you to get the most out of your distribution.
And the second act is to invite other pinterest users & creators to join your board. Because more industry relevant profiles repinning to the board will give the algorithm a positive signal.
Outside the platform, you can embed pinterest pins into your Website: blogs or Product pages. As that shows pinterest a website authority and a relation between your website and pinterest page. I have seen blogs rank better on google if the topic is highly relevant on pinterest and Google. The chances of your website page showing up goes up considerably.
Besides website integration, Pinterest content repurposed to Instagram does pretty well. It used to do very well, but now Pinterest-Instagram integration is no-longer available. Creators used to love that feature, as many instagram businesses had a ritual to automatically share their IG posts to Pinterest. No longer possible, but I recommend you to repurpose the valuable content to Instagram on a consistent basis.
Using Pinterest Ads to boost organic content that already works is one of my favorite strategies. But don’t do it without paid media buying guidance. As running pinterest Ads & filtering audiences isn’t as simple as using Facebook Ads. You can spend all your budget and have zero return on Pinterest Ads. When done wrong. That is why I recommend you to read this Pinterest Ads guide before running a paid Pinterest campaign.
What I have experienced with Pinterest with many businesses is content deliverability issues. Meaning we had 100k Pinterest followers, but the last 30 pins didn’t reach more than 10k Pinterest views combined. And with engagement research, I can confirm that Pinterest is not a follower-first platform, it is more of a viewer-first social media app.
A follower first platform is Instagram, sharing the content with existing followers first before pushing it to a bigger audience.
A viewer-first platform is Tiktok, Reddit and Pinterest, content is likely to be pushed to a number of audiences not only followers. And that is why you don’t reach your majority of the followers on these platforms.
To fix that, I would recommend focusing on community management from the start. Build onto that message of moving your pinterest audience to either following your pinterest board or your product/blog email list. That will help you to reach the followers that really want your content.
Additional Tactic would be doubling down on Pinterest Idea PIns because of research and client insights. I have learned that Idea PIns are very much like a combination of IG stories + TikTok. You reach more existing followers through Idea Pins.
Community building needs to be on your Pinterest strategy board in real-time.
Listen, I love pinterest but I can’t ever reach the desired results. And Pinterest content on my personal board is almost with either no-keywords or irrelevant pinterest post titles. What is the problem here? From my perspective, the issue here is Prompt-engineering. Now, we’re very much aware of AI. Almost all social media apps are working on LLM models to give your target audience better results. For now, the content moderation to distribution on Pinterest is controlled by moderators & content systems.
The end user seeing a relevant result relies more on the visual identity & Heading formatting of your Pinterest content. Why I say that Photo recognition models are the most developed systems and having relevant visual content & including the specific keyword in that post is the best practice.
To prove that, Upload a Pinterest Pin with a text over it and a very recognisable design to Dall-e, even though you shared the best design. The regenerated content will have different words in the AI-generated image. Kind of proving that even if you have a highly relevant design, the system/algorithm will not make a perfect prediction. It will always be a little off.
For that reason, using keywords in the visual content is important to increase the probability of ranking on that keyword. This is the visual keyword strategy to do marketing for PInterest.
The text keyword strategy is to never do keyword stuffing and attentive captions for Pinterest content. Do the passive pinterest captions to make them read and feel confident about visiting your website.
I recommend including a keyword once in the post title & twice in Pin description. Do the research manually through Pinterest Trends.
Or you can follow this strategy of mine. I search for the keyword I want to target. And analyze the first 10 Pinterest posts ranking, submit their website url into Google keyword planner. By doing that, I get more refined pinterest keywords that are easy to target & rank on. The more personalized your keywords are, the better quality traffic you get from Pinterest.
The last part of your pinterest strategy should be being patient. Most Pinterest business & creator accounts take time to scale as authority & content posting signals are recognised by the algorithm slowly. And it takes a little more time to make people revisit your Pinterest boards on a regular basis to learn more about your business. And after that your Pinterest growth will slowly take off and when it does. The important part becomes studying your Pinterest analytics to build upon the existing growth.
Pinterest Analytics are easy to understand and you can essentially track them to always enhance your strategy. Here is what organic Pinterest analytics tell you.
First, Impressions are the number of content views gained from Pinterest users. When they opened the app, website or searched about something within the app. A good number of impressions leading to little Engagement showcases, a content design appeal problem. The content doesn’t showcase the need to click.
Second, Content engagement is a form of interaction with content from users. It could be clicks, saves or comments. A bad engagement to outbound clicks ratio showcases that you have a Call-to-action & social media copywriting problem.
Third, Total vs Engaged Audience is a statistic based on audience that engaged with content vs audience that saw first impressions of the content. The same rule mentioned in the first point applies here.
Fourth, Likes & comments are very rare. Saves/bookmarks are the likes of Pinterest. The common currency. Making the likes & comment interactions more valuable to learn about the end user at Pinterest.
Fifth, Pinterest has percentage analytics for Pin Clicks & Outbound clicks. You are able to see the percentage of clicks vs real-time pinterest/outbound clicks.
Overall from all different analytics you learn about X problems or loopholes in your Pinterest Strategy which is very useful for all business owners & marketers. Always build your pinterest marketing strategies around the right data & insights.
I try to focus on a number of people reading this blog, meaning this guide is a mixed juice of everything pinterest marketing. And this section aims to provide a set of beginner practices for marketers & business owners.
This is more of a confession because I got started with Pinterest blogging before I started with social media marketing. And since then, I have been using this strategy for my blog & few of my clients too. I don’t hold back my secrets, Here is my first Pinterest marketing strategy created years ago:
This strategy stands for Copy, Copy, Action & Write. It is very simple and even though I didn’t write this guide to rank on google. I used this strategy to do keyword & competitor research.
Copy - Go to Pinterest or Google keyword planner, search your industry topic. Copy the top ranking keywords. And come back to the Pinterest In-app search box.
Copy - Search the Pinterest keyword and copy urls of the first 10-15 ranking pins. And go to a website traffic checker.
Action - The website traffic checker will give you insights on what keywords that blog or product ranking is on. And from my experience, most pinterest blogs don’t rank high on Google. By doing this you have a chance to take action.
Write - The action is to write a blog or Product page copy targeting that specific keyword. By doing that, you will be able to rank on both Pinterest and Google search.
It is a quite simple Pinterest keyword strategy, I only recommend one addition to this strategy to include that specific long-tail pinterest keyword in your Pinterest image pin. It can enhance your chances of ranking even more.
First, you need to have an AI tool like Bing AI, Midjourney or Dall-e. Why? Because these tools have photo recognition and regeneration features. Bing AI recently introduced a photo recognition feature, you might have it or not. It is still in beta.
First Step is give the keyword or Pinterest content title to generative AI and find what you get in terms of relevant results for that keyword.
And compare the results to Pinterest content ranking for that keyword. The results will not match, but you can see based on knowledge of AI. The tech still can’t create relevant Images about that topic. Showcasing that systems make errors, even when you have highly relevant Pinterest Pin Design.
For that reason, create pinterest content for your brand and keep the design identical to stay relevant and connected to the core topics.
Second Step is to upload your original Pinterest content and upload the example to Dall-e or Midjourney. And analyze what type of regenerated results you get from your own content. And compare those results again to top ranking Pinterest content.
You will learn what more identical versions you can create for your Pinterest Business account. I have a video tutorial recording about this strategy coming out. Till then you can subscribe here to get informed about it through The Social Juice newsletter.
Why this strategy works: I believe this strategy is for all Pinterest businesses that have a strong consideration for pursuing pinterest marketing. As it is a little time consuming, you will always create relevant content for your business. And you get rewarded by the Pinterest algorithm for being the relevant business.
In my newsletter, I cover the latest pinterest trends & news every week. You can find the latest ones here, there could be chances I haven’t edited this part in a while. And you are reading old updates, that’s why visit this social media updates page with new updates every week.
Is Pinterest Marketing Effective for your little biz?
Yes, Pinterest delivers traffic to your business based on relevancy & credibility. After doing market research, You will know if the Pinterest audience for your little biz exists on the app. And it does, you only need the right visual & pinterest copywriting strategies.
Should you invest in a Pinterest marketing course?
No, I would say after reading this guide. You can go on to experiment with Pinterest and with patience and strategy you will achieve desired results. Pinterest courses are often overhyped and never regularly updated. Yes, There are various famously appraised courses on pinterest marketing.
One that comes into my mind is The Pinterest lab by Jenna Kutcher. Her course is one of the most viral pinterest marketing courses, and it is somewhat valuable. But not $297 because Pinterest is very simple and you can master it with time and understanding of your niche.
What I would say is when you are hard on time, consult with a social media strategist. I would be happy to assist you with pinterest marketing. You can book a strategy call (it’s free). Plus, if my schedule doesn’t allow me to work with you, I will be happy to help in finding a pinterest marketing consultant.
But don’t waste your money on a Pinterest marketing course costing hundreds of dollars.
What's the most important component of Pinterest marketing?
I would say the Visual storytelling component is the most important part and you have to educate yourself a little bit about visual marketing. Before pursuing Pinterest, as you will get the best out of pinterest with this education about telling a story visually. Here is an amazing guide from the School of Visual marketing.
Is Pinterest part of a marketing mix?
Pinterest is an important part of the content marketing mix. Alongside Wikipedia, twitter, facebook & google because all of these platforms are go-to sources for valuable information. Reddit is also part of this marketing mix.
What you need to know is in this marketing mix. Don’t make the mistake of using a bunch of clickstream tools to track everything. All that work will amount to nothing.
Try to focus from the start that either the website landing page is the end of the funnel or a Pinterest page. The end goal should be the focus and build the structure around it. You will end up building a desired marketing mix. Because there are various hard to measure marketing metrics here, you will fk up trying to track each part.
Focus on the end. My friend.
What type of businesses is Pinterest marketing known for?
Take a guess, The money making businesses. All social media platforms are known for most money making niches. On Pinterest, E-commerce & affiliate marketing topics are most researched for and the platform is utilized by affiliate marketers & e-commerce marketers.
And small businesses too because their audience is on the app. But the case for e-commerce & affiliate marketing existing is Pinterest has an audience of females with high spending power. And many entrepreneurial marketers target those pain points to make them spend more money on the platform. Making Pinterest famous for Affiliate & e-commerce marketers.
What are the best Pinterest marketing tools?
Where to sign up for Pinterest Business Account?
You can visit the Pinterest Business center to find a prebuilt guide on how to kick start your Pinterest Business account. It is very easy to setup and you get instant access to more marketing data.
Are Pinterest Ads worth it?
Most marketers I have talked to have mixed opinions on Pinterest Ads. There are various statistics published by Pinterest Business on how well their Ads perform. But every social media platform has a business center showing their Ad network is the best.
For Pinterest, it is all about A/B testing. I will personally not touch Pinterest Ads without a minimum budget of $10-15k to spend on their platform. As you have to be scrappy in the first place to find the working Ad formats and audience targeting options on Pinterest.
Pinterest Ads are known to work very well for D2C businesses and small businesses. And many advertisers advocate for pinterest ads in Fashion, beauty, health industries. I personally have seen Pinterest partner with big D2C brands continuously as brand partners to run Long-term campaigns.
I have pointed out what I have experienced and observed. Neglecting all the biases about Pinterest Advertising in 2023.
The Best Pinterest marketing agency?
Most content & Social media marketing agencies are relevantely good at Pinterest marketing too. You can reach the best local ones in your network and ask them a few questions mentioned in my guide. Compare their answers with this pinterest marketing guide. The agency with the most identical answers is the best one to hire. Or you can hire me as a fractional Pinterest marketer for your business. Reach out today!
What’s the future of Pinterest marketing?
The future of Pinterest is very safe as the platform will continue to quietly develop their user experience offerings. And share highly relevant posts to users with help of generative AI.
Pinterest has always remained niched to an audience and it is healthy because going too broad to offer everything. Kills the real user base and their love for the platform.
To pursue more revenue, Pinterest will make some changes as all the platforms do. The focus of Pinterest is currently on attracting more creators through their creator funds & introducing new content creation features.
What I want to see from Pinterest is a feature like Instagram broadcasts to help creators & businesses build in-app communities that are loved by everyone. Because when Pinterest was coming up, Many marketers scaled their Facebook groups solely through Pinterest, and few still do that. For that reason, I would love for Pinterest to act on this opportunity.
To read future conversations & insights about social media trends, I would recommend visiting this blog: Social Media Trends in June 2023.
Why is Pinterest the best for your business?
Maybe it isn’t. You can read my other social media marketing guides to choose between pinterest & other social media apps.
All other guides are in working order, these guides take more than 60 hours on average to write. As I am not a writer, these are my personal guides, I have to go back and forth to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
That is why I appreciate you sharing this guide with small business owners & creators that need this to grow their business.
Or you can subscribe to my weekly newsletter and receive the best insights & marketing forecast every week.
This was Jaskaran, Your favorite social media strategist!