How to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your website
Pinterest has the potential to be a powerhouse in your social media strategy, but this social media network is often overlooked and undervalued. But those who use Pinterest Marketing to their advantage and invest time and resources into creating super valuable content specifically for Pinterest see a huge benefit, particularly when it comes to driving traffic to your website.
Like Google, Pinterest is a search engine, so your content has a much longer lifespan than an Instagram post and it has the ability to be shared at a viral scale. People turn to Pinterest for information, education and inspiration so the platform is set up to make it really easy for users to explore, discover and save content they love.
There are over 250 million users on Pinterest, so, when the network is used well, Pinterest can be a great source of referral traffic to your website or blog, particularly for businesses in the lifestyle space, and B2B products and services too.
So, if you want to get started with Pinterest Marketing but don’t know the basics, this article is for you!
Read on for….
- The benefits of using Pinterest in your marketing strategy
- How to get started on Pinterest and set up a Pinterest account
- How to optimise your content for Pinterest
- How to grow your followers on Pinterest and build a community
- How to use Pinterest to drive traffic and increase sales and conversions
The Benefits of Pinterest
Pinterest is great for businesses who have a product or service that is very visual and works really well for health and fitness, travel, food and drink, weddings and events, fashion, beauty and home and interior. While B2C businesses can effortlessly do well on Pinterest, B2B businesses can too, it just takes a little bit more work.
In summary, if you can create inspirational or educational content that is visually beautiful, you can have success on Pinterest.
So, why is Pinterest so great?
For starters, it’s a search engine so your content has the potential to reach a wider audience, your can SEO your content to help it reach more people and you can add a link to every single post, pointing traffic back to your website. Content can also go viral on Pinterest much easier than on other social media networks like Facebook or Instagram.
From a Community Marketing perspective, Pinterest can help you reach potential customers and bring your target audience into your community, and it’s another touchpoint where you can provide value and engage with your community.
Pinterest is also more popular in the US than in Australia, so if your product or service is available internationally, you can use Pinterest to get your Aussie brand in front of an international audience.
Before we get started, here are some of the terms you need to know…
A Pin is an individual piece of content or a post on Pinterest. You can post your own pin, or you can share someone else’s pin.
A Pinner is a nickname for people who use Pinterest or Pinterest users. A Pinner is anyone who has a Pinterest account and actively uses Pinterest, whether it is for work or play. Pinners are the community you want to tap into.
A Repin is when another pinner shares your pin onto one of their boards. A repin is like a repost or share and helps your content reach a wider audience.
A Board is where you sort and organise your pins. Your boards are collections of pins around a similar topic. For example, a chef might have a board for Vegetarian recipes and a board for Summer recipes and a board for cooking tips. Pinners can follow an account on Pinterest, or just a board.
An Open Board is where you can invite other Pinterest users to contribute to a board you own. This will give them access to pin content to the board too. An Open Board is a great way to invite your community to be involved in your content and brand.
A Secret Board is a Pinterest board that is private to you, so it does not appear on your profile. You can use a private board as your own personal mood board or vision board, or use it for a secret project.
The feed is the newsfeed and shows content from the people you follow.
Your profile is your Pinterest profile. You can add a profile image, a bio, your location and more information to tell your followers and the Pinterest community who you are.
Setting up your Pinterest account
Now that you know the basics, it’s time to set up your Pinterest account. If you already have one, you can log in here. If you don’t have a Pinterest account, you can sign up and create a free account here.
Complete your profile
To set up your Pinterest profile, upload a profile image and write your bio. Include keywords in your bio section so people can find you and know exactly what to expect from your Pinterest account. You can also customise your handle and Pinterest URL - if you are a business we recommend making your handle exactly the same, or similar, to your other social media handles.
Create your boards - we recommend creating 3 to start with. Keep your board's niche and specific. If you’re an online fashion retailer, your boards might be “winter fashion,” “work wear” and “weekend wear.” Just make sure your boards relevant to you, your business and your audience and don’t forget to add a description to each of your boards (and include relevant keywords without keyword stuffing).
Tip: create custom board covers for each of your boards on Pinterest. This will give your profile a cohesive, on brand look when people land on it for the first time.
Follow accounts you love
Once you have set up your account, you can start finding accounts you love on Pinterest. Ask your community who you should follow, see if your favourite influencers and bloggers have Pinterest (some will!) and use the search bar to look for topics that you like to find accounts you want to follow.
You can follow Free Folk Agency on Pinterest here.
Pinterest for business
Once you have a basic profile set up, upgrade your profile to a business profile and claim your website through the settings tab. There are some steps from Hootsuite here and I found this video super helpful if you are having trouble claiming your profile and use WordPress.
How to post content
Pinners can post a pin, or share a pin from another source, whether it is their own website, another website on the internet or from another Pinterest user.
When you are uploading a new pin to Pinterest - a new post, essentially - always ensure the content is optimised for Pinterest and is the right size first and foremost. The ideal image size for Pinterest is 735 x 1102 pixels according to Canva, and the size ratio should be 2:3. The height of a Pinterest image should not exceed 1560 pixels otherwise it will get cut off and cropped.
Before you hit publish on a new pin you have uploaded, add a destination link (where do you want people to go when they see your pin), an image description with keywords, a pin title and select the board which you want to post the pin to.
What to post
Not sure what to post on Pinterest? Here is a sneak peek into our Pinterest marketing strategy. We create specific Pinterest images which we upload to Pinterest, we embed a Pinterest image into all of our blog posts (see one below!) and we have the Pinterest chrome extension enabled so we can pin content we see on other blogs and websites. We publish our own content on Pinterest and share other people’s content too.
We post content about Free Folk Agency including our blog posts, social media marketing tips and general marketing tips and inspiration. We also share branding that inspires us, food, fashion and homewares that we love and books and podcasts we recommend.
You can post anything on Pinterest, but if you are creating your own unique content, make sure it is optimised for success on Pinterest with the following Pinterest best practices.
Pinterest marketing best practices
Like every social media platform, there are specific best practices you should use when creating and sharing content for Pinterest if you want your pins to reach a wide audience and drive traffic to your website with Pinterest.
Here are the best practices to keep in mind:
- Portrait image gives you more real estate in the newsfeed, so always size your pins for Pinterest specifically.
- Lifestyle images generally perform better than product images, so show your products or services in use.
- Include text on your images because it helps other pinners to quickly understand what your pin is about.
- When creating your own Pinterest images, include your logo for branding purposes.
- Images with lighter colours and editing are more popular on Pinterest.
- Images without faces generally receive more repins.
- Add keywords and key phrases to your pin titles, descriptions and file names to ensure they are optimised for the Pinterest search engine. This helps your content be discovered.
- Add hashtags to your image descriptions to help other users find your content.
- Respond to comments that you receive and engage with other Pinterest users.
Take it to the next level
Now you know the basics of Pinterest Marketing, it’s time to take it to the next level and use Pinterest as a key component of your marketing strategy. Here are some tips to help you life your Pinterest game…
Look at your analytics
If you have switched your account to a business account on Pinterest, you will have access to deep analytics that will help you understand how your content is performing, what you should change and what you should do more of. These analytics are super powerful to help you optimise your Pinterest marketing strategy and learn what works best for your community (remember, it is different for every brand).
You can collaborate with other Pinterest users through group boards, and you could also collaborate with Pinterest influencers to reach a larger audience through influencer marketing on Pinterest. You could do a paid campaign with a Pinterest influencer, or you could team up with friends and share each other's content.
Pinterest recommends pinning something new every day, but that doesn’t mean you should bulk pin once a day. Pinterest works best if you regularly use the platform and pin consistently throughout the day. A good way to remember to do this is to download the Pinterest app and every time you go to check your other social media channels, pin something on Pinterest too.
Focus on great visuals
Great visuals are the key to success on Pinterest, so get creative with your content and experiment with different formats and style. Combine photography, graphics and text to create an infographic or share video content. Although like every social media network, it’s important to prioritise quality over quantity.
Experiment with instructographics
Instructographics so really well on Pinterest and they are a great strategy to employ if you want to create content that adds value and appeals to the Pinterest audience. Instructographics are like infographics and are longer pieces of visual content that has a “how-to” nature. An instructographic could be “how to do a fishtail braid” with images and instructions of each step, or it could be a recipe with a small number of steps.
Tip: Create a bunch of different templates as a starting point.
Create multiple pins for each piece of content
If you are using Pinterest to amplify the reach of your onsite blog posts (which is a great strategy, by the way) you should create multiple pins for each blog post. Instead of sharing just one pin to promote a new blog post, create a series of pins and post them over a period of time. We create at least 10 Pinterest-specific images per blog post and share them on Pinterest in the weeks after the blog post goes live.
Promoted pins and buyable pins
Pinterest Promoted Pins are ads and like on Instagram and Facebook, help your pins be seen by more people. Pinterest Buyable Pins are pins that enable Pinners to purchase directly from Pinterest without leaving their newsfeed. These two strategies help you and your content reach new people and bring new people into your community.
Engage with other pinners
Social media networks are built to be social, so you really do need to do it. You can’t just post and log off every day - you need to interact with other Pinterest users and accounts. Reply to comments you receive and comment on pins that you love, follow boards and users that inspire and educate you and use all of the Pinterest features.
Neil Patel reports that brands taking advantage of rich pins notice an 82% jump in their repin/pin ratio. So what are Rich pins? Rich pins come in 5 different formats - movie, recipe, article, product and place and each one is optimised to include additional information than a regular pin. For example, the product format includes a link to the website, price and stock availability and the article has a larger title, logo, description and CTA button. To use Rich Pins, you need to have them validated on the Pinterest site itself (here).
Growing your followers on Pinterest
To grow your community on Pinterest you need to get more followers. And like most social networks in 2019, this is easier said than done. Here are some tips to grow your followers on Pinterest:
- Add a Pinterest icon and a link to your profile in the header or footer of your website alongside your other social media icons and links.
- Add a Pinterest optimised image into your blog posts.
- Talk about your Pinterest account on your other social media channels so that your audience can follow you on Pinterest too.
- Make it easy for other people to pin your content, whether that’s your pins or the content on your website or blog.
- Use group boards and invite other people to contribute to them. This will open up your account to more users and increase engagement.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about getting started on Pinterest. Pinterest Marketing can be a huge asset in the social media marketing strategy, particularly when it comes to driving traffic to your website, so we really recommend considering it.
If you’re on Pinterest, you can find us at @freefolkagency for social media and marketing tips, books and podcasts we love and an insight into the things we do for play. And if you want to know how to optimise and use Pinterest for your business, get in touch for more info about our customised social media strategy packages.