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Is Pinterest Marketing Right for me? Pros, Cons, and Alternatives

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There are so many marketing platforms to pick from, and even more information about them all over. It becomes hard to pick what’s best for your business. If you’ve ever asked, “Is Pinterest Marketing right for me?”, then this article is for you.

We’ll be discussing the key features and benefits, answering common questions, and looking at pros and cons. If you’re struggling to decide whether or not to try out Pinterest to grow brand awareness and sales, this guide will help you:

  • Learn how Pinterest works
  • Understand the basics for getting started
  • Identify pros and cons
  • and, decide if this might be a good tool for your business

When you’re finished, you should be able to decide if this platform is a good fit for you, so let’s jump right in…

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a visual search engine that helps people discover ideas. If you are looking for inspiration for your next living room arrangement, for instance, you can get them on Pinterest.

You can find stunning visuals on the platform for a variety of things depending on what your interests are. Recipes for your next meal, quotes, humor, beauty, fashion, landscape, art and so much more.

So what makes it different from other search engines like Google?

Is Pinterest Social Media?

Apart from being a visual search engine, Pinterest also enables social networking on its site. You can comment on other people’s or businesses’ images and share images between users.

This sharing and exchanging of information make it a social media platform, only a little different from other common platforms.

Unlike other social media sites like Twitter and Instagram, the focus of Pinterest is not on the engagement with other people, but rather on images and other visuals.

You don’t have to know people or be friends with them, so you won’t find that ‘People you may know’ section like on Facebook. 

Let’s look at how it works.

How does Pinterest work?

Pinterest enables you to share and discover visual posts by adding them to your board.

A ‘board’ is a place where you put your interesting ideas. So if we translated it to real life, your board would be like your plain white wall. The ideas would be images, newspaper and magazine cutouts that you stick to the wall. 

If you wanted to have different themes for the wall, you could divide it, and have one with images of your family maybe. And the other side could be your vision board, filled with clippings of what you’re aiming towards.

The Pinterest boards work in the same way. You get to set up different boards and name them according to what you want under each. You can then start to pin images on the different boards you create. 

This gets us to ‘pinning’ on Pinterest. Like you would use a pin to stick images onto your walls (or maybe tape just so you spare your walls), you can virtually pin images you like onto your Pinterest boards. 

A pin is, therefore, that individual image that you see or add on Pinterest.

So how do you discover pins from others, or make yours discoverable by others?

How to make your Pins Discoverable on Pinterest

You can make your pins discoverable by adding relevant titles and descriptions to them.

If your pin is about running shoes, for instance, you would need to add keywords that show they are running shoes. This makes it easier for people to find your content when searching for something similar.

Also, according to the Pinterest Engineering blog, the algorithm uses artificial intelligence and visual image recognition to identify what a pin is about, and to serve it to relevant Pinterest users–this is another thing that sets Pinterest apart. 

Since the algorithm serves your pins based on its understanding of your images, it’s helpful to add images and text overlay onto your pins that are relevant to what your content is about.

And if they find it, and like the content, they may pin it to their boards. This makes it even more discoverable by others looking for something similar.

Other sites also have Hashtags to help make content discoverable. What happens when you put hashtags on Pinterest?

Can you use Hashtags on Pinterest?

Yes, you can! Hashtags on Pinterest work just like on any other social media platform. 

You add the hashtags to your image description and people can find your image when they search for that hashtag. 

The hashtags help to categorize content so people can find it more easily. 

However, you can’t click on the hashtags that appear on the description like you would on Instagram. So people will land on your images and videos, but they can’t click on your hashtags to get more content.

This reduces the strength of hashtags, but it also means you don’t need them to get your content in front of people on Pinterest.

Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s look at how Pinterest would work for business. And more specifically if it would work for your business.

Does Pinterest Marketing Work?

Let’s look at some statistics on Pinterest users.

In the US, 31% of the adult population admitted to having used Pinterest. And in 2020, Pinterest had a total of 442 million active users, the majority of them being women.

More people are using Pinterest now especially after the pandemic that led to increased online activity.

Now translate those numbers to possible traffic on to your Pinterest page, and consequently to your site.

Pinterest offers some very promising results.

Pinterest Traffic: Where are the people coming from?

Now the other really cool thing about Pinterest is how you can get people to your site (Like Youtube, Etsy, or a Website).

There is one group of people that are already logged in on Pinterest and looking for inspiration, or maybe to learn.

They could land on your page after using Keywords to search for something of interest.

But, there’s the other group of people that are searching online. These people are looking for ideas on Google or Bing.

You can try it yourself.

Type something on the search. Like ‘living room ideas’.

What comes up when you type it? At the very top?

Images, right?

Now click on the ‘images’ option to remove all other word results.

Out of these images, you may see some from Pinterest. 

People searching on the web can also be directed to your Pinterest page if it has what they are looking for. This increases traffic to your page and site.

How do you take advantage of the possible traffic and market your business on Pinterest?

How do you use Pinterest Marketing to Promote your Business?

Here are tips to help you market your business through Pinterest.

Start by Creating a Business Account

To use Pinterest for marketing, you need to start with a business account. 

A Pinterest business account gives you access to:

  1. Pinterest Analytics where you can see which of your pins are most popular and how people are interacting with them.
  2. Pinterest Ads to increase visibility and sales.
  3. Pinterest Create where you can create your own pins, ads and campaigns and even schedule them to be uploaded later.

Optimize Pins on Pinterest 

Pinterest is not like other social media platforms. You don’t need to post content about what you and your employees or family are up to. 

You may need to get a little more creative. From the picture quality to the design and contents, your pins should be optimized for the target audience.

  • Make your images bright and of good quality. Use a good camera and lighting to make sure that your images look great. 

Pro Tip: People are more likely to pin your content when it is bright than when it is dull. 

  • For content with words, design them in a way that is appealing to your audiences. Consider hiring a professional if you are not that good at design.
  • Use the long pins. You can have much larger image sizes on Pinterest. Take advantage of them by adding educational content or infographics to some pins.
  • Diversify your content. Don’t just post product images. Add quotes, infographics, and other types of content to keep things interesting for your followers.

And speaking of followers, you need to work towards getting more of them.

Getting more Followers on Pinterest

You can get more followers by being active on Pinterest.

1. Post Frequently 

Have several posts for each day that could include a mix of pins you have created and those you are repinning.

*Repinning is sharing pins that others have on their boards by adding them to your board.

As a rule of thumb, you can post between 5 and 30 pins every day, spreading them out all through the day.

2. Post Educational Content 

Many people go to Pinterest to learn new things. Whether it’s a new recipe or how to take care of their house plant, people like to learn new, helpful tips.

Provide these tips for them to encourage them to pin your content on their boards. Get more exposure when your content is pinned by others.

3. Make your Pins searchable

One important thing that you really need to get right is how to make your pins searchable. People should be able to find your pins if you are to get any traffic or sales from Pinterest. 

Here are a few tips on how to do this.

  • Use relevant keywords. Remember how we defined Pinterest? It is a search engine for visual content. And so you need to use keywords that people are likely to search for to make your page more searchable.
  • Connect to other social media sites and your website. If people are coming to your sites from other places, like Google search, it should be easy for them to pin your content to their Pinterest. Add a ‘pin it’ icon to your images on your sites to connect them to your Pinterest.
  • Add links to your sites on your pins. Once people land on your Pins, they can click on your link and be taken to the product site, or a blog article on your site. 

4. Build Engagement

Start to build a relationship with your audience. You can:

  • Leave meaningful comments on your followers’ pins. 
  • Respond to comments on your pins also to drive engagement.
  • Repin other people’s pins as they will be notified of this and may take notice of your brand. 

5. Use Rich Pins for Pinterest Marketing

Rich pins on Pinterest make the platform so much more effective for marketing.  

They integrate information between your website and your Pinterest. Rich Pins let you add more information to your Pins and make your interaction with your audiences that much more enriched. 

Types of Rich Pins on Pinterest

There are 4 types of Rich Pins.

Article Rich Pins

You can link your pins to your blog articles.

Article rich pins let you add the title, description and author of the articles on the pins.

Product Rich Pins

These let you link your pins to your products’ site. 

Communicate to your audience in real-time the price of the product and how many items are left in stock, as well as where they can buy it. Add a link to the purchase page so people can buy much faster.

Recipe Rich Pins

If you are in the food industry, you can add recipes to your pins. 

The recipe rich pin includes ingredients, steps and serving suggestions. It is really helpful for the audience and increases their chances of saving your pin to try later.

App Rich Pins

This pin lets you add an ‘install’ button to encourage people to install an app. It works only for iOS.

All 4 types of rich pins give you so much more to work with, getting your audiences one step closer to making a purchase.

Integrating Rich Pins

Getting rich pins enabled may require you to have some technical knowledge. You have to apply for rich pins to get validated on Pinterest. 

If you’re not very tech-savvy, you may want to consider getting help to do this.

But that’s all that needs tech-savviness in Pinterest. And it brings us to which people or businesses can use Pinterest.

Who can Use Pinterest Marketing?

Small and large businesses can use Pinterest for their marketing.

It works for anyone trying to drive traffic to their sites or pages. And it’s doesn’t need a huge budget to use.

You will need great quality images that you can create by yourself or hire a designer to help create them. 

Remember Pinterest is all about the visuals so you want to make sure that you get them right.

Pinterest Alternatives

Pinterest mixes social media and search engine marketing. 

Other alternatives that we can compare to Pinterest include Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as Search Engine Optimization as a form of marketing. 

Pinterest has some clear benefits that these others do not.

First, when it comes to other social media sites, Pinterest’s focus on the value of the content rather than how recent it is makes it quite competitive. 

Unlike for sites like Facebook and Instagram, your content will remain relevant for longer on Pinterest.

In addition, Pinterest attracts more people who are willing to buy than its alternatives. A large number of Pinners use Pinterest to make purchase decisions. 

People use Facebook and Instagram mostly to socialize and catch up on what’s happening, but Pinterest’s use is to get ideas for things they are doing. They are more likely to purchase from the Pins they saved.

Finally, is Pinterest Marketing right for you?

Pinterest marketing is right for you if your target market spends some time online searching for their next purchase, ideas, or inspiration. 

Whether you run a small business or a large one, Pinterest marketing is definitely something you need to look at.

If you have not thought about Pinterest marketing before, or if you have been thinking about it but just were not sure how to start, now is the time! Schedule a free consultation with a How to Entrepreneur marketing pro today and let’s discuss next steps to getting started with Pinterest marketing.

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Hey there! I'm Leah Ngari.

Hey there! I'm Leah Ngari.

I am a Copywriter/Blogger that's very passionate about helping others. I joined the How to Entrepreneur team in 2021 and my goal is to help entrepreneurs and business people grow by informing and educating them through written content.
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