5 Essential Pinterest Marketing Tips for Businesses

Are you unsure if Pinterest marketing will work for your business?

Interested in ways to make the social network help you get more exposure?

By digging a bit deeper and going beyond the obvious uses for Pinterest, you can use it to expand your social presence and attract new leads.

In this article, you’ll discover 5 examples of businesses rocking Pinterest marketing in unconventional ways. I’ll show you how you can follow their lead to do the same.

5 Essential Pinterest Marketing Tips for Businesses - Sachs Marketing


#1: Engage and Build Relationships with Group Boards and Guest Pinners

Use group boards and guest pinners to engage followers and build relationships.

Group boards are just like regular Pinterest boards, except that more than one person other than the creator can contribute pins to the board. You may also hear them referred to as contributor boards, community boards, shared boards, or collaborative boards.

The Food Network has a Let’s Cook with Giada group board. They are also contributors to a number of other group boards, like the MyPlate: Breakfast, MyPlate: Beans & Legumes, and more. These boards show up on their page because they contribute… so whether you start a group board, or join one, you’re getting some cross-promotion activity.

pinterest marketing

Group boards allow you to build a community of people pinning content to your board. This promotes engagement and keeps multiple points of view in place.

To create a group board:

  • Hover over your name in the right corner of your Pinterest account. Click “Your boards.”
  • Find or create the board you want the guest pinner to use. Click “edit.”
  • On the “Collaborators” line, type in the username or email address. Click invite, and they can pin to the board.

Guest pinners are people you invite to pin to your boards, to bring in more content and a new fresh, perspective for your audience.

Earmark Social uses guest pinners every week to provide a change in perspective. Take for instance the Aimee of Artsyville board. Over the course of the week, she pinned 425 pins, providing content curation for Earmark Social, increased repins, and likely helped bring in new followers. Plus, she got to promote her own brand.

guest pinner pinterest

To have a guest pinner, follow the steps to create a group board, but limit invitations only to the pinner or pinners you want to work with.

If you want the board to be collaborative before you push it live to your followers, create a secret board… toggling the “secret” option on when you create the new board. Then follow the steps to invite the guest pinner. They can pin to the secret board, and whenever you’re ready, you can change the setting from secret to public.

Another option is to use a guest board like Homepolish and Etsy did. Etsy created a board, “The Hottest Home Trends of 2015” and invited the Homepolish team to pin to it – creating a hybrid of the group board and guest pinning concept.

guest board pinterest

To create a guest board:

Follow the steps to create a board and invite someone to contribute to it as you would if it were a group board. Allow them to pin the content to the board, and either leave it open for them to continue contributing to, or remove group contributors when they’re finished.

To find a group board:

Use a tool like PinGroupie, where you can sort boards to find ones relevant to your niche.


#2: Highlight Your Portfolio with Boards that Wow

Designers and photographers can use Pinterest to highlight work from their portfolio.

Take for instance Jenna Loraine Chambers, a graphic designer from Aberdeen, UK. She has boards setup for articles related to graphic design, design inspiration, typography, stylish CVs, and more. Though she also has a mix of personal boards on the account for recipes, crafts, home design, and even beauty products, this is a personal Pinterest account, rather than one focused solely on her business.

Some may argue that if she’s using this platform to promote her business she’s better suited to focus solely on design, but I think the mix is a brilliant idea for her. Instead of screaming, “I’m a designer, look at me, hire me!” she’s showing her audience she’s still a person with interests outside of her career – bringing more of a personal connection to play.

pinterest portfolio

Create a board for each category of work you do. For graphic designers, these could include:

  • Logos
  • Brochures
  • Business Cards
  • Flyers
  • Illustrations
  • Typography

For photographers, these could include:

  • Portraits
  • Engagements
  • Weddings
  • Maternity
  • Families

Flesh the boards out by pinning examples of work you’ve done, directly from your website. Use the description space to provide information about the project/client. Then, to keep the board from being nothing more than a blatant advertisement, pin work for from fellow designers or photographers, being sure to note in the description where the work came from.

Then, create additional boards for client educational purposes, so rather than a portfolio, Pinterest becomes a valuable resource. Photographers could include additional boards with pins that help people learn how to get ready for a session, with tips about how to choose what to wear, makeup advice, what to expect at the end of the session, and more. Designers could include boards featuring color schemes, design theories and principles, industry news and trends, and more.

If you skip this step because you’re not a designer or a photographer with a portfolio to display, that’s okay – but if you are and you choose to skip this step, you’re missing out on showcasing your work to potential clients. You never know when a pin of your work will take off and get repinned to other boards for inspiration.


#3: Encourage Reverse Showrooming to Bring in More Foot Traffic

Reverse showrooming is a relatively new trend, inspired by Pinterest. Rather than going to the store to try something in person before buying online to save money, reverse showrooming is a result of someone seeing something online and going into the store to look at it and (hopefully) buying it.

Lowe’s is maximizing the trend with their Pinterest account. They have boards specifically for gift guides – for foodies, for him, for her. Beyond that, they have photos with inspiration for home improvement projects and DIY crafts – all featuring products they sell.

reverse showrooming pinterest

Organize boards and pin your products. Beyond pinning the products themselves, pin images with them in use, showing your audience how they’d be used. This inspires them to come shop in your store, proving that Pinterest marketing isn’t just for e-commerce brands.


#4: Stand Out with Rich Pins to Improve User Experience

Use rich pins to automatically add extra information to the pin itself. There are six types of rich pins, and though not all are relevant to every business, you may find that some work well for you.

Take for instance, the place pin. The place pin adds a map, address, and phone number to your pin. Four Seasons was the first hotel brand to make use of place pins, which arranges pins on a map. In 2013, they launched Pin.Pack.Go, a Pinterest-based concierge program.

place pin

Or, the product pin. The product pin adds real time pricing, availability, and where to buy. Made.com is a home décor retailer, with products available all across Europe. Using Pinterest marketing, and rich pins, they were able to increase transactions by 106% and revenue by 173%.

product pin

There’s also the recipe pin. They include ingredients, cooking times, and serving information. Eatsmarter is a German-based platform for healthy recipes, making the rich pin a perfect fit for their audience.

recipe pin

Users can also choose between article pins, movie pins, and app pins.

Article pins include the headline, author, and a description of the story, so users can find and save articles that they want to read and share.

Movie pins include cast members, reviews, and ratings so users can learn more about new films.

App pins come with an install button, so users can download your app without leaving Pinterest. Right now, this feature only works with iOS apps, but I expect Android will be added in the future.

If you want to use rich pins, you’ll first need to prepare your website with metadata with Open Graph or Schema.org, test them out, and apply to get them on Pinterest. If you don’t have a technical background, your web developer can assist you. If you add metadata for multiple types of rich pins, it will be served in order of priority: 1. App Pins, 2. Product Pins, 3. Recipe Pins, 4. Movie Pins, 5. Article Pins and 6. Place Pins.


#5: Gain Traction with Promoted Pins to Get Your Content in Front of More Eyes

Promoted pins are useful to help you get your content in front of more users. If you don’t have many followers yet, this exposure can help you in building a more targeted following.

Adore Me, a monthly subscription service for lingerie, used promoted pins to reach new customers. They saw a 4,000% increase in Pinterest-referred revenue, and say customers from Pinterest spend about 20% more over time than customers that come from other channels.

promoted pins

Get started with Pinterest ads by visiting ads.pinterest.com. If you don’t have a business account, you’ll need to convert your account first. From there, you’ll set your account location to determine the currency you’re billed in, and if there are any applicable taxes. You won’t be able to change it later. You can only promote pins from your profile, so make sure you’ve already pinned whatever it is you want to promote.

Next, you’ll create your campaign. You’ll start with creating your ad, and choosing your goal. You can choose between boosting engagement with your pin, or getting traffic to your website. You’ll be charged for each engagement or click to your website.

Name your campaign and choose how long you want it to run. You don’t have to put in an end date if you want to run continuously. Enter the daily budget – or the maximum amount of money you want to spend on the campaign every day.

Now it’s time to choose the pin you want to promote. Filter the pins to see the ones that are the most clicked, or the most repinned in the last month, or choose from all the pins. If you know the pin you want to promote, search by URL or keyword. You cannot promote buyable pins, app pins, or any pins with video or GIF. You can only can promote pins that link back to a website – and should only promote content that belongs to you.

If you want, you can add more details like a name for your promoted pin, an updated destination URL if you want it to link to somewhere different. It’s possible to use UTM tracking parameters so you can get analytics data in Google Analytics.

Use interest targeting to reach people on their affinity for certain topics – like healthy recipes, or kids crafts. People will see your pin as they browse through their home and category feeds. Start with one interest, and branch out to related interests that could also have interest in your business.

Use keyword targeting to reach your audience when they are looking for specific things to do, make, or buy. Your pin will show up in search results and in related pins. You can use the search function to find specific keywords and get related keywords from Pinterest, get keywords recommended to you based on trending searches, or import your own list of keywords.

From there, you can continue adding details like the locations, languages, devices, and genders you want to target. In the maximum bid box, place the amount of money that you’d be willing to pay for a single action. This will help determine how far your daily budget goes to helping you reach your goals with your audience.

Now, your pin is ready for review, and after your first campaign, you’ll be asked to setup billing. Once the campaign goes live, you can see how it is doing and make edits as necessary.

Clearly, we know Pinterest works well for brands with lots of visual content – crafters, food brands with recipes – but with these tips, it can work well for brands outside of the e-commerce space. Even if you’re not using social media to directly make money and feel like your brand doesn’t belong on Pinterest, using these tactics can connect you with an audience you’d otherwise miss out on by assuming your brand doesn’t fit the social network’s target demographic of creative. How have you used Pinterest marketing for your brand? Let us know in the comments below!

Image: iStock.

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SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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