There’s way more to Pinterest than moms and mood boards. It’s one of the most influential product platforms out there and the stats prove it.
Over 300 million people visit Pinterest every month and 84% of them use the website to make their buying decisions.
Sure, there will always be space for overly-ambitious recipes and dreamy inspirational quotes. But Pinterest is also one of the most lucrative business tools you’ll find.
In this guide, we will tell you exactly how you can use Pinterest to drive your own personal brand or business.
How to know if Pinterest is right for your business
Got something to sell? Chances are, Pinterest will make it easier for you to do so.
Yet, before you dive in, check out Pinterest’s user demographics.
Make sure that your target audience is actually using the platform – Pinterest is skewed in the favor of certain categories.
Who’s using Pinterest?
The vast majority of Pinners (Pinterest users) are female: 72% to be precise.
If you have products designed specifically to cater to male needs, have a good long think whether Pinterest is worth your time.
There are other platforms where gender distribution is more even. Check out our guide to selling on Instagram, where the split is pretty much even.
And don’t forget age either. Most Pinners are under 40 years old.
Where is Pinterest used?
There’s a global audience scrolling through Pinterest. Just bear in mind that while 50% of people using Pinterest live outside the U.S, 50% live inside the U.S.
If you’re not set up to ship there, you could be alienating a huge chunk of your Pinterest audience.
What are people looking for on Pinterest?
The beauty of this platform is that it caters to a whole world of ideas and interests.
Some categories are more commercial than others, though. Check that your product is something that will interest and influence people who use Pinterest.
Take a look at the top Pinterest categories:
- Food and drink. Recipes galore.
- Home décor. Is anyone surprised?
- Women’s fashion. Inspirational pieces and put-together outfits.
- DIY and crafts. Pinterest is THE place to get craft ideas.
Ready to start selling?
If you have the right products, the right audience, and a shiny eCommerce website, it’s time to get started.
Here are our top tips for how to sell on Pinterest.
1. Set up a business account
If you already have a personal Pinterest account, great news.
You’re familiar with using the site as a consumer, so you know what engaging content looks like.
Now set that personal Pinterest account aside or upgrade it – your business needs its own profile.
Using a business profile will open you up to fascinating user insights that will help drive your business forward. It’s also the best way to sell on Pinterest.
Pinterest’s tailored business stats will give you information like:
- How many times each pin has been viewed
- How often people have zoomed in on each pin
- How many Pinterest users visited your website through your pins, including promoted pins
- What kinds of Pinterest boards your pins have been saved to
2. Ensure brand consistency
Bolster your brand awareness with your Pinterest profile.
Make sure that you use your logo as a profile photo. For your name and personalized URL, use the business name as it appears on your website and products.
A third of Pinners use the site specifically to follow their favorite brands and companies.
Remember that not everyone you’re selling to on Pinterest will be an avid Instagram or Twitter user. This is their opportunity to keep up with your business.
Extending your brand out to platforms like Pinterest will also boost consumer trust.
The more you engage with customers and get creative with your Pinterest boards, the more insight you’re giving into the human side of your business.
3. Claim your website
The final step in setting up your Pinterest business account is to link it to your website (called ‘claiming your website’). This opens your business up to all sorts of Pinterest perks.
All you need to do is add a meta tag or upload a HTML file to your website when prompted.
Once your website is linked and verified to your Pinterest business account, you’ll be granted access to all your analytics.
It’s also great for visibility. Your website URL will appear on your profile and any pin from your site will be linked to your profile.
As you start selling on Pinterest, the connection you’ve created to your website will be at the core of every tactic you use.
Make sure you add the Pinterest tag to your website, too.
Don’t have a website? It’s easy to create one with a free website builder like Zyro.
4. Create beautiful images
In case you haven’t noticed, Pinterest is all about images.
Your brand’s pins will be competing with millions of related imagery. While strategic keyword optimization will go some way to help you sell on Pinterest, you have to get the visuals right.
An obvious starting point is using existing product photos from your website.
You’ll already have sets of images that perfectly capture and sell your products. These will have been professionally shot, and will be ideal for use as promoted pins when you get to selling.
But be creative, too.
You’re in charge of curating your brand on Pinterest. Get close up to your products or put them in interesting settings.
Just remember that:
- 85% of Pinners are accessing the platform on their phones. Use vertical imagery.
- You should remain consistent with the rest of your business, even if you use Pinterest in a more creative way.
- You can use text overlay and branded graphics when you pin. Switch it up a little.
5. Plan ahead
Just like you will be doing with your inventory, consumers love to plan ahead.
Pinterest is essentially a search engine for inspiration. Pinners will be thinking about Christmas in the summertime, and they’ll start planning for Easter in January.
Take advantage of this and schedule your pins in advance.
Even if you aren’t stocked with related products yet, this is a great opportunity to remain relevant to your target audience.
You should be pinning consistently, so use your time to become a source of inspiration. Think about creating gift guides, or cementing your brand identity with visuals that match your aesthetic.
Pinterest even creates beautiful seasonal planners for its business users. Print them off and start strategizing.
6. Be search optimized
Dig out the list of keywords you created for your brand. As a search and discovery platform, Pinterest works best when your content is optimized.
Although it’s visual at its core, the site needs to understand what your pins are about.
Just like Google, Pinterest uses a search algorithm to pull up the most relevant content for its Pinners. Putting the right keywords in the right places will help your pins shine through.
Your pins will also be scored on their individual quality, the domain quality, and the Pinner quality.
Keyword relevance though? This is the most important thing.
Check that you’re putting the right keywords in:
- Titles, both your pins and your boards
- The linked page title and description
7. Don’t forget hashtags
Just like social media networks, Pinterest welcomes the use of hashtags.
And, just like social media networks, hashtags on Pinterest will give your pins a fleeting moment of peak visibility.
One of the many pros of Pinterest is that your pins can stay visible and relevant for years, thanks to its search algorithm.
If you want to be seen in the moment, however, there’s no harm in adding some hashtags to your latest pins.
The hashtag is a tool to be used when you want your newest pin to be pushed to the top of a Pinner’s search results feed.
Remember that it won’t stick around at the top for long though, nor will using hashtags reinvigorate your older pins.
8. Apply for Rich Pins
Pinterest has a whole host of pins designed to optimize your selling opportunities.
Rich Pins are great for giving Pinterest users upfront information about the image they have clicked on. Using these pins throughout your boards will help contextualize your product offer.
There’s a search engine optimization focus to Rich Pins.
Each one will pull metadata from the site it is linked to – this is where you’ll start seeing an increase in clicks to your website.
Pinterest will need to validate your need for Rich Pins. Anyone can apply, and it’s a free tool.
Just make sure you have an understanding of meta tags.
Types of Rich Pins
Depending on your business function or objectives, you can choose from four different types of Rich Pins to help get you selling on Pinterest.
These are great for eCommerce retailers who want to sell on Pinterest. Product Pins will show users the most up-to-date information about the products you’re selling.
Product Pins show price, availability, and the item description you have used on your online store. Perhaps most importantly, they’ll show where to buy the products from.
Under each image on a Product Pin is a ‘Visit’ button. This will take the Pinner straight through to your online store.
If you’re selling food or cooking supplies, this one’s for you.
Recipe Pins drive excitement for Pinners. Under an enticing image they’ll show ingredients, cooking times, and serving sizes.
In place of the ‘Visit’ button found on Product Pins, these pins will feature a clickable ‘Make it’ button to lead users to your website.
Make use of Recipe Pins if you want to diversify your content. They’ll help to inspire your audience and show exactly how to use your products.
These are great pins to use to promote your brand’s blog. You could even use them to show off any articles your business has been featured in.
Article Pins will display the header, description, and author of an article. Pinterest is a little funny about what they consider to be an article, though.
If your blog posts are more like listicles or you stuff them to the brim with images, Article Pins won’t work for your content.
Only suitable for iOS users, these pins capitalize on Pinterest’s huge mobile-only audience.
App Pins allow users to install your app directly onto their device with a single tap. It’s a great tool to implement if your business has a finely-tuned shopping app.
Make sure you don’t look spammy with your App Pins, though. The image you use should show clearly what the Pinner can expect to download.
9. Consider using Catalogs
Like Rich Pins, Catalogs is a source for the data-enriched product pins you’ll feature on your boards.
The Catalogs tool has been made especially for eCommerce retailers wanting to sell on Pinterest. You’ll have to meet certain criteria to start using Catalogs.
If your business is the right fit for this tool, you’ll be able to upload your entire product offer to Pinterest. This will make it easy to rapidly transform products into shoppable pins.
If you don’t meet the criteria for Catalogs, focus your attention on creating high-quality optimized content.
With the addition of Catalogs, though, your Pinterest business account can now enter into the world of ads and promoted pins.
10. Pay to promote pins
Paid advertising: everybody does it on selling platforms.
With all the free promotion that Pinterest can promise your business, you may be reluctant to pay for anything.
If you’re set up to use Catalogs though, investing in ads will be a clever Pinterest marketing move.
Ads help your pins overcome the sometimes rigid rules of the search algorithm.
You can increase your chances of selling on Pinterest by making your ads appear in:
- Your targeted users’ home feeds
- Category feeds
- Related search results
Check that ads are available to business accounts in your country. Pinterest will show you how to set a budget for your targeted Pinterest marketing campaigns, and the content is up to you.
11. Feature ‘Shop the Look’ pins
Calling all fashion and home décor retailers.
Shop the Look pins are the ultimate Pinterest tools to get you selling on Pinterest. With these, you can inspire users and instantly compel them to buy.
Say you have a photo of a model in an outfit. Your customers could purchase her dress, jacket, purse, and shoes.
With Shop the Look pins, you manually tag each product with a white dot.
All the user has to do is tap on a dot, and it will pull up all the details for that individual item. They can then tap through to your online store, add to cart, and complete their purchase.
If Shop the Look pins are available to business accounts in your country, you’re in luck.
They’re compatible on all devices that can access Pinterest online, so users can shop at home or on the go.
12. Engage with Pinners
Once you’re selling on Pinterest, make sure you make an effort to stay connected to your audience.
There are plenty of ways you can show Pinterest users the more human side of your business.
Share user-generated content
This is a great method of boosting your brand’s trust and credibility.
Re-posting user-generated content (UGC) is a popular strategy used by businesses to engage with their customers on a social media platform.
If you come across pins where people who use Pinterest are photographed wearing or using your products, make space for them on your boards.
There’s a lot more to re-posting a pin than you may think. It can:
- Showcase brand loyalty to other Pinterest users.
- Help drive others to purchase your products. Well if someone else likes it, maybe they will, too.
- Reassure people. If a real-life human is using your products, it’s pretty likely your business is legit.
Although it’s a selling force to be reckoned with, Pinterest is also an incredible resource for how-to guides.
From cakes to clothes, and every niche in between, there are tutorials for pretty much every imaginable category on Pinterest.
Why not season your brand’s boards with some product tutorials?
They will allow people using Pinterest to see how the innovators behind products engage with them. Think of it as a tool for knowledge sharing.
By creating a step-by-step tutorial, you also have scope to incorporate a handful of additional products.
If you want to demonstrate how to apply a face cream, show how to begin with your eye serum, for instance.
Make the most of influencers
This is a move that has been popularized by social media sites, like Instagram in particular.
It’s exciting to see a celebrity or influencer with your products. If you come across a photo of someone influential wearing or using something from your store, capitalize on it.
If your boards have a polished aesthetic, why not set one aside specifically for showcasing these moments?
Or instead of uploading photos which may not look so great, mention the person in your descriptions. Use these as your promoted pins for added impact.
Seeing that a product was “worn by” or “loved by” a well-known figure can work wonders for your business.
Like with user-generated content, this move can boost trust and credibility.
These tips should give you the foundation you need to start selling on Pinterest.
It’s a selling platform that’s open to anyone, and it shouldn’t be underestimated. Once you know how to sell on Pinterest, you can make this platform a key extension of your business.
Make sure to be consistent with your pinning, but rest assured that once you’re up and running, there’s really not much to it.