By now you’ve probably heard that many online business owners are making a killing by using Pinterest for business marketing.
If you’re like me when I first heard about this, you’re probably wondering, “How???”
But it’s absolutely true. If you have any sort of business, blog, or blog-based business, Pinterest can end up being one of your biggest traffic sources, resulting in more sales, a booming email list, and an ever-expanding social media following. So, today I’ll be going over how to use Pinterest to promote your business or blog, and drive traffic back to your site. Sound good?
Awesome, let’s get started.
One of the things that really frustrated me when I first started using Pinterest was that I didn’t understand how Pinterest worked. Even worse, I couldn’t find any good explanations or tutorials to help me get started. So, let me just take a quick second to help you get acquainted with Pinterest.
Pinterest is essentially a digital pin board. It’s sort of like a clipping out interesting newspaper articles and pinning them on cork pin boards. Except on Pinterest, the cork pin boards are simply called “boards,” and instead of pinning newspaper articles, you pin images from websites and blogs on the internet. Images pinned to Pinterest boards link back to their original sources.
Now, the reason why Pinterest is so useful for blog and business marketing is that it acts a lot like a social network. Much like accumulating “Likes” on your Facebook page, the advantage to accumulating Pinterest followers is that when you pin items to your Pinterest boards, your followers get notified of that activity. Pinterest also has a “smart feed” which is much like Facebook’s news feed. Your smart feed is what you see on your main account page when you first log in to Pinterest.
So, those are the very basics. Let’s start talking about what you need to do to get started using Pinterest for business and blog marketing.
1. Set Up Your Account
First things first, right? To set up your Pinterest account, simply visit Pinterest.com and fill in the required information. Protip: to avoid the additional step of converting your account to a business account later, be sure to click “Continue as a business” as you set up your account.
2. Optimize Your Profile
Your Pinterest profile is one of the ways Pinterest users learn about your business and decide whether or not to become loyal fans. So, be sure to optimize your profile so that people understand at a moment’s glance what your business is about and how to find you. Here what you should pay attention to:
- Profile photo – Your profile photo shows up in several different places on Pinterest, so make sure that your profile photo looks professional.
- Business name – Since a lot of business names do not describe what the business is about, it’s helpful to include a few key words immediately following your business name. That way, when Pinterest suggests your business for others to follow, key words will show up alongside your name and people can easily decide to follow you.
- About you – This is the text that appears at the top of your profile page. You may want to include a few key words that help your audience quickly understand what your business is about. It’s also a great spot to add a link to a lead magnet.
3. Switch to a Business Account
The benefit to using a Pinterest business account is that you get access to analytics. These analytics show you which of your pins are the most popular, which of your boards have the most followers, and you get valuable insights about your audience. If you started using Pinterest with a personal account, you can visit Pinterest for Business to convert your personal account to a business account.
4. Confirm Your Website
Confirming your website does two things for you: it adds your profile photo to any pin from your site, and it gives you access to website analytics. Website analytics shows you how many impressions, saves, and clicks your pins are getting (for pins that link back to your site). To confirm your website, visit your Account Settings.
5. Apply for Rich Pins
Enabling rich pins let you add extra bits of info to your pins. Depending on the type of business you run, you may be able to add things like the title and description of your article, product pricing and availability, and recipes. These little details help your pins stand out to pinners, so be sure to get those rich pins.
6. Follow Influencers in Your Niche
It may seem counterintuitive, but one of the easiest ways to begin growing your following on Pinterest is by following influencers in your niche. Pinterest will then start filling your smart feed with content created and pinned by influencers that you’ve followed, and then you can pin items from your smart feed to your boards.
7. Create Relevant Boards
As you develop your Pinterest presence, you’ll need to start creating boards that are relevant to your audience. I’d suggest starting with 4-8 different boards that are related to your business. For example, if you’re a home decor business or blogger, you might want to create separate boards for modern homes, apartments, bedrooms, and kitchens.
The one thing I encourage you to avoid is creating boards for your own personal use on your business account that are not related to your business. Why? Because it makes your business seem less focused, and it makes your overall brand appear less authoritative.
8. Create Beautiful Pins
The old saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” does not apply to Pinterest. The reality is that gorgeous pins get repinned more often, and have a higher clickthrough rate. So, here are a few tips for creating pins that people will be happy to repin:
Create vertical pins. Vertical images (portrait orientation) work much better with the Pinterest platform than horizontal images (landscape orientation). I use images 800 pixels wide by 1200 pixels tall.
Make sure that the text is easy to read. If people have a hard time reading the text on your pin, they’re much less likely to repin it. So, make sure that the text stands out from the background and that the letters are big enough to read easily.
Use images that reflect your brand. What does that mean? Well, if your blog or business is geared toward sophisticated women, then the images in your pins need to look sophisticated and feminine. My favorite place to grab royalty-free attribution-free images is Pixabay.
9. Pin Daily
I cannot stress this enough: pin DAILY.
Pinterest likes dedicated pinners who pin and repin regularly. Active pinners see their pins show up in other people’s smart feeds more often, see higher engagement, and get more repins. If you start to lose interest in pinning, you’ll see you analytics numbers drop drastically, so keep pinning!
10. Join Group Boards
Finally, if you’re hoping to grow a Pinterest following and increase traffic back to your site as quickly as possible, then I highly recommend joining a few group boards. Group boards are boards that allow more pinner than just the board owner to pin to them. It’s not uncommon for really big group boards to have hundreds of pinners pinning to them.
The reason why group boards work so well to increase the reach of your pins (and drive traffic back to your site) is that group boards often have thousands of followers. That means more potential eyeballs on your pins, more potential repins, and lots more traffic to your site! So as you select group boards to join, be sure to look for ones that have lots of followers. Protip: Use PinGroupie to find those boards 😉