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TaylorJul 16, 201911 min read

Pinterest Marketing: How to Leverage Pinterest as a Marketing Tool

Digital marketing can feel like the Wild West at times. And with social media undeniably becoming the new sheriff in town — LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram have helped companies cash in some big wins.

Social media today has become so much more than a way to reach more viewers. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest are avenues to connect directly with your audience. With more than 250 million users a month, Pinterest is a powerful, broad-reaching marketing tool for brands looking for a way to connect with audiences, drive traffic to their website, and convert curious consumers into prospects and leads.

What is Pinterest, and how is it being used as a marketing tool?

Pinterest is a social media platform that lets Pinners (users) explore Pins, save them for later use, and connect with other relevant content they find useful, helpful, or entertaining. Pinners save content that can include images, links, and descriptions to boards they create — organized by a common theme. This allows other users to discover new and related content based on their interests.

Pinterest has been designed to consume and store ideas in ways other social media sites aren’t. While other social media sites have been created to generate discussion or exchange information, Pinterest is to be used by those looking and saving content they want to see (and want to reference at a later time).

Pinners may stumble across relevant Pins they want to see in their feed or discover content based on search results. This makes Pinterest a creative outlet for people to showcase their interests, style, and taste while also being the perfect place for users to see brands being used in ways or scenarios they might not otherwise have imagined.

It’s beneficial for brands to pursue strategic visual marketing through platforms like Pinterest where they can showcase use case scenarios. This allows their brand to reach an audience who might now know what they do, who they are, or what they have to offer.

What makes Pinterest marketing valuable?

Pinterest has more than 250 million active users. While this number might not be as big as the likes of Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest stands above some social media powerhouses because of its exceptional selling power. 

There are often Pinterest marketing misconceptions. For example, the connotation that “Pinterest is just for moms” is simply not valid anymore. 1 out of 2 U.S. millennials uses Pinterest every month. And 40% of Pinterest users have household incomes of more than 100k annually — which is a vital statistic. This means Pinterest has the opportunity to attract an audience with a higher disposable income.

40% of Pinterest users have household incomes of more than 100k annually!

We’ve all heard about “Pinterest Fails” (or maybe even experienced a dreaded fail yourself), and while some of these fails may be worth a laugh from time to time marketing on the platform is a little less risky than attempting that animal-shaped cake. If you’re wondering if Pinterest marketing is worth the effort, consider the following statistics:

Perhaps one of the most remarkable statistics is that 72% say Pinterest inspires them to shop when they aren’t actually looking for anything. Meaning Pinterest has major potential to prove to be a valuable resource in a brand’s marketing strategy. 

What is needed to set your brand up on Pinterest?

It’s essential to make sure your strategy aligns with the goals and objectives you are looking to achieve. Your Pinterest profile is the foundation for setting up an effective Pinterest marketing strategy. By taking the time to get it right in the beginning while position your brand to start gaining traction from the very start.

Make sure you create a business account for your company. This allows you access to Pinterest analytics and other advertising tools that aren’t available in the personal accounts. If you already set up a personal account and have followers and content attached to it don’t fret — you can convert it to a business account here. Simply enter the email and password used in the personal account. Once you hit the ‘Login’ button, you will be prompted to fill in additional information for the business account.


How do I enter the profile information?

Whether you’re converting a personal account or starting a profile from scratch, you will need the same information. Keep in mind, when you create your Pinterest profile, you will want to make sure your branding is consistent with your site and other social media profiles. It’s beneficial if you can keep your usernames the same (or similar) as your Facebook, Instagram, etc. if possible. This makes it easier for users to find you from other social media sites. 


Upload your logo as your profile image. This allows Pinners to recognize they're on the right profile easily. If you need to update any other additional settings like your username, “About You” description, or location — click on “Settings” to edit your profile. Here you’ll also see the option to add “Featured Boards” these will show up at the top of your profile, above the rest of your boards. This is the perfect opportunity to highlight valuable content you want your audience to see. 

Note: You won’t be able to add “Featured Boards” until you have boards created so you may need to come back later once you have some boards up and running. 

Creating boards allow for content to be organized and targeted. 

To start sharing your content, you’ll want to create boards. Boards are where you will save all your Pins, and in turn, will allow you to distribute content to your followers. The number of boards you can have is unlimited. But it’s useful to your audience to organize your boards by theme, ideas, plans, or types of information they might be looking for.


For example, let’s take a look at the company Dakota Storage Buildings. They’ve created boards based on a variety of use cases for their sheds and buildings. This serves as a source of inspiration for users looking for different storage solutions. This allows Dakota Storage Buildings to show their audience how their buildings could make a difference in their users’ lives, allows for new inspiration on how someone might be able to utilize their buildings, and get their audience excited about what they can accomplish using their storage solutions.

You can also invite people to join your boards. This is a great way to share your ideas and content, and it makes your board collaborative. Under your discretion, you can add other contributors who then add content they believe fits within the board theme. This not only diversifies your content, but it’s a great way to increase engagement with your profile and allows you to be seen by a broader audience.

What type of content should I be sharing?

The short answer is content that is relevant and helpful to your audience. However, there is a range of content types. One important note to keep in mind is that all Pins must link to another site and must include some kind of visual component. Make sure you are connecting people to a relevant website page. Avoid sending people to a catch-all page or a link that contains content not related at all. 

Product Pins
Product Pins are a subset of “Rich Pins” which provide more context around an idea because they show extra information directly in the Pin. Product Pins allow for easy shopping and are the most popular types of Pins. These Pins contain pictures or videos of specific products that take users directly to the site to purchase.

Blog posts, articles, and content
You have the opportunity to increase the potential of blog posts by sharing them on Pinterest. These Pins use the “Article Pin,” which is also a subset of “Rich Pins” — Article Pins help Pinners save stories that matter to them. They contain images or videos, but you should keep in mind it’s often considered a best practice to include text in these images. It’s also beneficial to add a description that provides information to why the article is worth a reader's time. Each “Article Pin” shows a headline, author, and story description. 

Infographics are inherently visual, making them the perfect fit for Pinterest. It’s important to keep in mind best practices when creating your infographics, and it’s essential to make sure your infographic meets the image standards for the Pinterest platform. If your image is too small, it will be too challenging to read, rendering the infographic useless. 

Videos are becoming a more and more popular form of content. That is no different on Pinterest. You can easily import videos from your YouTube channel. Tutorials, DIY videos, or explainer videos typically perform the best. Remember that videos should show not tell. Videos play with the sound off — some may turn the sound on, but it’s crucial the sound or dialogue isn’t doing the heavy lifting. Think about using text overlays or captions to make sure your audience is getting the most out of your videos.

80% of Pinners use mobile devices to access the platform

Videos that autoplay are only available in “Promoted Pins” at this current time. It may be beneficial to consider if your company has the budget for “Promoted Pins” because with 80% of Pinners using mobile devices to access the platform, it pays to use “Promoted Videos,” a naturally engaging format that can quickly capture the interest of this on-the-move audience.

It’s critical to use unique images and videos that have been optimized for your profile.

Pinterest is a platform built on images and videos much like Instagram — making it crucial that the images and videos you’re posting not only market and position your brand in relation to your strategy and goals but also allow you to stand out against a sea of competitors. 

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, it can start to feel like the Wild West when trying to figure out the best strategy for standing out against your competition on social media. Here are some tips to ensure your Pins are left standing when the dust settles:

  • Use images with multiple colors. It’s been reported images that contain multiple dominant colors have 3.25 times more repins than images with a single dominant color. 

  • Avoid excessive blank space in your images. Images that contain less than 30% background space are repined the most. 

  • Brand images without faces receive 23% more repins. Less than ⅕ of images on Pinterest today have the presence of faces.

  • Vertical images should be used to take up the correct amount of space. Pinterest recommends a 2:3 ratio.

  • If you have the budget, pay to use Pinterest’s Promoted Video. 

  • Create specific boards to share images of your company’s most helpful data visualizations and infographics if you have them for your audience to use as resources for their businesses.

Now that you’ve successfully set up your Pinterest account and started sharing inspiring content, it’s time to start promoting. 

It’s important that your Pinterest account is up and running before you start worrying about promotion. Make sure your audience knows and understands the type of content you are going to be posting. We all get bombarded with content left and right — so, who wants to subscribe to content they have no interest in seeing?

Rather than taking the time-consuming approach of adding people via usernames, Facebook accounts, etc. consider some of the following ideas in your Pinterest marketing to help build a healthy and substantial base of followers.

  • Promote your account via other social networks. Sharing your Pinterest boards on other networks will help to bring more traffic to your account and website. Leverage your social profiles that have more followers and greater engagement to help build your audience on Pinterest. 
  • Follow accounts you think would be interested in following you back, and try joining boards that are similar to what you’re marketing. This helps give you access to an audience who maybe already interested in similar products or who may be interested in the same kind of style you’re looking to promote. 
  • Use keywords and hashtags in your Pins. Pinterest features highly refined search capabilities. And because Pinners typically use the site to research buying decisions (and sometimes even to make direct purchases), you want to make sure your Pins are showing up in their searches. This means it’s worth the time optimizing for different keywords within a single post. Hashtags on Pinterest are a perfect way to give you additional reach. They allow you to add additional keywords you’re trying to target.

    Note: Try to include at least one hashtag in your main description, maybe even two if it makes sense

It’s time to start your Pinterest marketing journey. 

Using the Pinterest marketing strategies and tips we highlighted in this blog post, it’s time to start making Pinterest marketing part of your social media strategy! Pinterest is a powerful marketing tool with the ability to help you increase brand awareness, boost conversions, and create personalized and lasting relationships with your target audience. 

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Lead Designer & Content Manager at TANK New Media