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Ultimate Guide to Pinterest Marketing - Strategy, Advertising and Expert Tips

John Beaton
August 6, 2021
Last Updated On
August 30, 2023
kendra scott jewelry, pinterest marketing strategy

Photo Credit: Kendra Scott

With over 465 million monthly users globally and 200 billion Pins, Pinterest is a crucial e-commerce channel for brands. With 97% of the top searches on Pinterest being non-branded, its fusion of building brand awareness and product discovery lends itself well to driving customer conversions.

Pinterest takes direct-to-consumer marketing to the next level by acting as a curated lifestyle search at the beginning of a buyer’s journey — during the ideation phase. This makes Pinterest the perfect launchpad for consumers to search, see, save and plant the seed for future or current purchases. Add the fact that they can click through directly to your product pages, it's an invaluable addition to your cross-channel marketing strategy.

Screenshot of Pinterest Idea Pins
via @pinterest

Different Types of Pinterest Pins

Pinterest offers various Pin formats. Each is designed to cater to various content needs, from compelling story-telling narratives to pins specifically meant to share articles, recipes, products and more — so what types of Pins are there, and how can brands use them across their Pinterest strategy? 

1. Rich Pins

Rich Pins let you label your Pins to provide more context to Pinners with custom call-to-action buttons suited to three specific types of Pins: Product Pins (shoppable pins with product information like price, availability and any other relevant information), Article Pins (include a description, author and title) and Recipe Pins (includes ingredient list, serving time, cook time and ratings). Rich Pins include extra information directly on your Pin and offer a range of options for brands across different industries. 

2. Ads Pins

With Ad Pins, you can target specific audiences and ensure you’re putting your Pins in front of the right eyes. Much like other paid advertising platforms, Pinterest Ads  let you to target Pinners based on several variables such as gender, age, location and income. Brands can then target audiences based on keyword searches. Pinterest Analytics also help measure the results of your ads and informs brands on which promoted Pins are performing the best.

3. Carousel Pins

Carousel Pins on Pinterest provide an engaging canvas for storytelling. This format allows you to showcase a sequence of images or videos in a single Pin, encouraging users to swipe through to explore variations of your story, product or idea. With the ability to display up to five cards within one Pin, Carousel Pins offer a creative way to capture attention, provide in-depth information, and spark curiosity. This format is particularly effective for step-by-step tutorials, showcasing product features or unveiling a narrative in a visually captivating way.

4. Image Pins 

Image Pins are straightforward, and likely what you think of when you think about a traditional ‘Pin’. These are original images that you upload, or any other image you save and post as a singular Pin. 

5. Video Pins

Video Pins feature one or more videos in a single Pin. You can add stickers, music and other features like overlays that make these video engaging and interactive. 

6. Collection Pins

Collection Pins are simply product Pins grouped together in categories that make sense — this could be based on product line, color categories, product type or any other grouping. Users can find related products by clicked on a single Pin in your collection.

10 Pinterest Marketing Tips To Improve Performance

Turning Pinners into customers sounds great, but how can brands leverage Pinterest to enhance their brand awareness, boost web traffic and ultimately enhance their visibility on this visual search engine?

Explore these 10 effective strategies to harness the power of Pinterest and seamlessly integrate the platform into your broader social media approach.

1. Use Idea Pins To Tell Your Story

Idea Pins are an organic, evergreen format for sharing your brand’s content. With Pinterest’s topic tagging and discoverability features, incorporating Idea Pins are an effective strategy for getting your brand in front of new potential customers. 

Idea Pins are described as the best canvas to help Pinners turn inspiration into action — they offer a lot of freedom, with the ability to add multiple videos, custom text and lists in a single pin. Once shared, all your Idea Pins stay on your boards and are available at the top of the ‘Created’ tab. 

These Pins are ideal to engage your audience by planning your content like you would any other kind of story. Start with a beginning, which introduces your content, the middle, with a strong narrative and the ending, with a final “Aha!” moment. This final visual ties your content back to your call to action — the next step you hope your audience will take after engaging with your content.

Kendra Scott Pinterest marketing strategy
Photo Credit: Kendra Scott

2. Use Search Engine Optimization Tactics To Inform Your Content

‍Your Pinterest and SEO strategies are very much tied together. Take the keywords you know your audience searches for and use that to inform your creative  — this is an excellent way to ensure your content performs.

When considering keywords for Pinterest, ask yourself:

  • Who’s doing the searching?
  • Which topics are they searching for?
  • What tips do they need?

These considerations are vital to creating relevant content for your audience and making it discoverable to people who aren’t familiar with your brand. As most of the top searches on Pinterest are non-branded, keyword searches relevant to your brand are necessary to pay attention to.

Another piece of advice is that content from other channels works well on Pinterest too. In fact, due to the evergreen nature of Idea Pins, it is the best place for your top-performing content to be repurposed, and remain live and discoverable indefinitely.

3. Videos Don’t Need To Be Stylized

What matters most in your Pinterest marketing strategy is brand authenticity. Brands can pick up their phone, jump in and film organic lo-fi content on the spot that performs well on its own or as a part of a larger content marketing strategy.

Videos can be between 2 and 60 seconds long, so take as little or as much time as you need to tell your story — plus, you can still customize your Pinterest Idea Pins with their editing toolkit to add text and stickers that help make this lo-fi content eye-catching without relying on professional editing software. 

Kendra Scott Pinterest marketing strategy, lo-fi videos
Photo Credit: Kendra Scott

4. Take Advantage of Trends and Insights

Being approachable and conversational is the best way to come across as authentic, especially as Gen Z customers look for authentic, value-driven brands. A great way to keep your content topical and relevant to your audience is to take advantage of the trending topics section to figure out what content resonates with audiences.

Of course, not all trends will work for your brand. Experimenting with different types of content can also provide valuable insights into your audience’s interests and behaviors.

5. Find the Right E-commerce and Insights Platform

Measuring the performance of your Pins and the effectiveness of your Pinterest marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. Platforms like Dash Hudson offer all-in-one solutions that allow you to measure traffic, revenue and influencer and creator ROI in one place. You can take the guesswork out of your experiments with content by utilizing AI-powered predictions and insights to optimize your content for conversions. 

Dash Hudson also allows you to add and edit shoppable links to drive e-commerce ROI without ever leaving the platform. By finding the right social media tool, you can save precious time that is better spent ideating exciting new content.

6. Focus on Quality Follower Growth

The entire purpose of Pinterest is not social networking, but discovery — having easy-to-find content will help you get followers on Pinterest. When logging on, a user first sees the discovery feed with content that the Pinterest algorithm has selected based on their interests and previous searches. Pinterest categorizes Pinners based on their interests, allowing the platform to identify overlapping preferences, find topics that resonate with particular demographics and ultimately deliver compelling information to the appropriate audience.

A base of followers is important on Pinterest, and consistent growth can help you with overall reach and impressions. The age-old rule of quality over quantity also applies to your followers. Pinners see their discovery feed first, which means brands need to optimize content for maximum reach. You can achieve this by delivering content that resonates with your follower group, as highly engaging content has a better chance of being distributed to Pinners with similar interests, demographics and, most importantly, intent.

A great way to ensure you build a follower base that’s relevant to your brand and its goals is to dive into your target demographics and create buyer personas. These personas can be based on your desired audience's likes, dislikes, wants, needs and more. To identify this information, start by looking at the content on your Pinterest account they interact with most and research which emerging trends they like, how they engage with your social commerce tactics and more.

7. Pay Attention to Posting Cadence

Pinterest recommends a frequency of at least one post per week to sustain audience interest. This regularity not only keeps your profile active but also increases your chances of reaching a wider audience. Whether sharing fresh or repurposed content, adhering to a steady posting schedule ensures your brand remains visible and relevant to users seeking inspiration and information.

More important than posting cadence is focusing on creating engaging and aspirational content. When it comes to deciding which content you’ll share, the best creative starts with audience insights. How are Pinners going to use your product? What problem does it solve for them? These types of questions can guide content creation and amazing results.

8. Add Variety to Your Content Mix

With Pinterest, you’re feeding a search engine with content from your brand that you want to be discovered. And what does a search engine need for your best chance of visibility? A plethora of content to encourage reach and multiple touchpoints with your Pinterest audience. As mentioned previously, Pinterest SEO is essential to getting your content in front of users. Between your original content, website imagery, product shots, user-generated and paid content, there is no shortage of visuals to pump into Pinterest.

Pinterest Shuffles are a great way to tap into your existing pins and create fun, shareable content for others to Pin to their profiles (or even use as a phone background — the sizing is perfect). Shuffles let you create fun, collage-like images with images that already exist on the platform. 

9. Pinterest Video and Photo Curation

The first question you need to ask is whether or not your product or service would look good in action. For most brands, the answer is a resounding yes. Motion makes it easy for consumers to imagine a product in real life — and the more they can picture it, the more inclined Pinners are to make a purchase.

Alternatively, for publishers and media companies, a quick lo-fi  video is an effective way to tease your content and incentivize that coveted click. The effectiveness of video is even higher on a channel like Pinterest because the majority of content in the main feed is static.

While anyone can Pin from other sources, only verified businesses can add native video content to the feed.

To post videos on Pinterest, all you have to do is:

  1. Find the big plus sign on the homepage to create a Pin.
  2. Next, upload your video and use the slider to find a cover photo. 
  3. Pop in a snappy title and Pin description, then select “choose aboard” to organize it into whatever category you’d like.
  4. Finally, enter a link for Pinners to go to when they click on your video. 
  5. Hit publish and your video is now live.

Pinterest Video Sizes and Best Practices

Once your creative vision is realized, focus on the technical specs of the upload. Lo-fi video is great but only works as a style when done intentionally. The wrong file type, or size can take a post from lo-fi to low impact.

If you want your content to appear in the feed as envisioned, you need to show it in its best light. That means your specs should be a combination of the following:

  • File Type: .mp4, .mov, .m4v
  • Encoding: H.264, H.265
  • Max File Size: 2GB
  • Video Length: 4 Seconds - 15 Minutes
  • Recommended Aspect Ratio: 1:1 (Square), 2:3 (Vertical), 9:16 (Vertical)

The content added also has an impact on video performance. Because Pinterest operates primarily as a search engine, adding a couple of keywords to your title and description helps Pinners find it organically. There’s a copy character count (100 for the title and 500 for the description), but most people will see only the first 50-60 characters in their feed. Use this space wisely.

A technical detail to keep in mind when posting a video is the sound. People Pin whenever inspiration hits, which could be in a circumstance where sound isn’t an option. In this context, visually driven content is your best bet. If sound is an important element, adding captions for any dialogue is a great way to grab Pinners’ attention and help them understand your message in a way that’s significantly more accessible.

10. Performance Measurement

To get a pulse on photo and video performance on Instagram, engagement and Effectiveness Rate are the ultimate metrics of success. Secondly, brands focus on growing their following, optimizing for reach, and if they are investing in a link in bio solution like LikeShop, conversions and website traffic are also important here.

From a top-of-funnel awareness angle, marketers are tracking impressions and Pinterest engagement (link clicks + comments + closeups + saves/impressions). This tells you who you reach, what Pinners search for and how they interact with your Pins and products.

How do you know if your Pinterest strategy is driving results? Pinterest engagement will tell you if your Pins are grabbing your audience’s attention and give you benchmarks for future content curation and campaigns. Keep an eye on which visuals are driving the most website traffic — because driving potential buyers to your site is almost always priority number one.

Pinterest Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing quickly became an instrumental part of leading brands’ marketing toolkits. It’s not a new concept but one that requires a different approach for Pinterest.

As we know, Pinners are in the mindset of purchasing and planning, and they search Pinterest for inspiration on which product is the best. It’s basically an influencer’s haven. The opportunity remains unsaturated — rare to find these days on digital mediums.

There are a few things to keep in mind when blazing the trail with ‘Pinfluencers’. Pinterest is all about inspiration and aspiration. This means you should allow influencers to create authentic content that’s going to resonate with their audience without feeling too ‘in their face.’ Pinterest offers a great opportunity to leverage nano or micro-influencers, which typically see higher engagement rates than macro influencers.  

Pinterest Advertising

If you’re looking to target users more specifically on Pinterest, Pinterest Advertising might be a great option for you — especially if you have a strong visual content marketing strategy.

There are many options available for both advertisement format and your ultimate goal. Depending on the type of campaign you plan to run, there are four main objectives for Pinterest ads to choose from:

  • Awareness: Increase reach and brand or product awareness. 
  • Consideration: Drive traffic to your website or Pinterest profile.
  • Conversions: Boost social and e-commerce conversions and draw focus to product Pins.
  • Offline sales: Grow brick-and-mortar sales. 

Brands also have the ability to customize which type of visuals they want to use in their ads — selecting the right format for the product or type of ad you plan to fun is an important step to optimize your Pinterest advertising strategy. Ad formats available include: 

  • Standard: Product and content appear in a vertical, rectangular orientation.
  • Video: Video ads have three formats — standard video, max width (these take up the entire feed) and Premiere Spotlight (draws attention with a wide-screen format in priority placements).
  • Shopping: Convert Product Pins to ads. 
  • Carousel: Add multiple images to an ad for an interactive, swipeable ad experience. 
  • Collections: Share a mix of photos, videos and Product Pins to inspire users — think a makeup look with related products included. 
  • Idea: Create multi-media, carousel-type ads with a strong narrative to inspire Pinners.
pinterest analytics on dash hudson platform

Pinterest Metrics

Pinterest isn’t your typical marketing channel — think of it as a curated search engine. Users are going to Pinterest when they’re planning their next vacation, meal prepping for the week ahead, or designing their dream home. This means that brands need to think about curating visuals that will feed the visual search engine and be discovered by their target audiences.

To understand what type of content your audience wants most, you need to stay on top of your Pin performance and audience engagement. Your Pinterest business account gives you insight into the metrics that matter most — here are the most relevant metrics on Pinterest: 

  1. Outbound Clicks: Understanding the number of clicks on each of your Pins provides you with insight into what type of content is converting Pinners to your website and into customers.
  2. Impressions: Indicates how many times users laid eyes on your Pin. Unlike other visual channels, your impressions don’t peak the day your Pin goes live. Your Pins age like fine wine, generating more impressions over time. This also means that it takes time to measure the impact of your Pins.
  3. Pin Clicks: Tells you how many users are tapping on your Pin, meaning that they either want to see it up close, or view the description. This metric provides insight into which of your Pins are garnering attention.
  4. Saves: The number of users that are saving your Pin to one of their own boards. This provides insight into which of your Pins are resonating most with your target audience and inspiring their projects and purchases.
  5. Engagement: On Pinterest, engagement is measured by link clicks + comments + closeups + saves/impressions. Similar to other platforms, it provides insight into which Pins evoke audience action. 

Next-Level Pinterest Insights by Dash Hudson

Pinterest’s built-in analytics tool provides a starting point for you to gain a high-level understanding of your brand’s performance, but to dive deeper into the specific styles of Pins that are engaging users, Dash Hudson’s Pinterest Insights tool has the answers. To optimize your Pins and maximize ROI, you need to get granular when it comes to performance. With Dash Hudson’s Pinterest Insights, you can do just that.

Dash Hudson Content Segmentation Boards serve a whole different purpose than Pinterest Boards. Pinterest Boards are for organizing your content on your Pinterest profile. Dash Hudson Boards enable brands to break content out into unique pillars to measure how specific styles of content perform with your audience. Brands can identify visual trends, measure specific campaigns, and create benchmarks for their unique content pillars.

Dash Hudson has also created a scheduling and publishing tool to help you maintain a constant flow of Pins to feed the engine. Seamlessly bulk-schedule up to 10 Pins at a time with Scheduler. Then, set it and forget it with Dash Hudson’s Pinterest Insights Auto-Publish. 


How to use Pinterest for marketing? 

There are a variety of ways to use Pinterest for marketing — creating a Pinterest for Business account is a great step, but if you want to focus on content marketing efforts first, here are a few essential ways to use Pinterest for marketing: 

  • Share content regularly.
  • Research your target demographic, and create buyer personas to help keep your content creation (and curation) tactics streamlined and strategic. 
  • Optimize your pins and profile — make sure you link back to your website, use hashtags where appropriate and use the right size for content. 

How do businesses use Pinterest for marketing? 

Businesses use Pinterest for marketing in a variety of ways, from creating discoverable content, to driving traffic and paid ads. Brands can hone their brand voice on Pinterest with visually compelling boards, optimized pins that drive traffic to their website and engaging with their community through Group Boards. Here are some other ways businesses use Pinterest for marketing: 

  • Sharing new products.
  • Uploading your product catalog to Pinterest for a seamless shopping experience. 
  • Driving traffic to your site by sharing blogs, articles and other news. 
  • Sharing Pins that resonate with your brand voice to build brand awareness and visibility. 

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