This blog post is adapted from a live video I recorded about Pinterest marketing for my private Facebook community. Want to become a member? Scroll to the bottom of this post to find out how.
What is Pinterest?
Because I eat, sleep, and breathe Pinterest, I tend to assume that everyone knows what Pinterest is and how it works. However, in connecting with new or prospective clients over these past few months, I have been confronted with the reality that many people are in the dark about Pinterest and its benefits for online business.
So it’s time to rewind. Below, I’ll walk you through the basics of Pinterest and Pinterest marketing, covering everything from what it is to what you can expect from using it as a marketing channel.
What is Pinterest?
Despite the common misconception, Pinterest is actually NOT a social media platform. People don’t use Pinterest like other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Rather, Pinterest is a social bookmarking tool or a visual discovery tool. It is a hub for images that have links behind them. These links lead users to somewhere else on the Internet, like to a website or the blog of an online business.
People either upload these images and add a link to them after the fact or pin images from their sites, which results in the link included on Pinterest.
A keyword-rich description for this image (which in Pinterest lingo is called a “pin”) is what drives users to discover the uploader’s content through the Pinterest search feed or their own Pinterest home feed. Users who are interested in the topic you pin about will be exposed to your pins via the keywords you put in the optimized pin description.
Will Pinterest Work for My Brand?
I often encounter this question when talking with new or prospective clients. People whose niche doesn’t fall under Pinterest’s most popular topics: recipes, home decor and weddings, wonder if there is room for their product or service to be marketed on the platform.
I am here to tell you that you are bound to discover your niche on Pinterest. Type in keywords related to your business into the search bar, and you will see proof of this. There is likely an audience for what you are selling just waiting to see your content and find your website. They’re searching your topic in the news feed trying to find you, so why wouldn’t you share your stuff in the Pinterest search engine so that you can drive qualified organic traffic to your site?!
When Will I Start Seeing Results on Pinterest?
Pinterest works more like Google than any other platform where it can take several months to establish you as an authority using its unique SEO strategy. Usually 3-6 months of consistent sharing every day results in an increase in traffic. This also includes promoting your Pinterest profile in other places like on your website and email newsletter, to increase your account’s following.
That being said, growing your following on this platform isn’t necessarily an important piece of effective Pinterest marketing. Pinterest is where people come for inspiration, ideas, planning, and searching for products. They save images and act on them later, meaning it can take a while to see the conversions.
What is the Lifespan of My Content on Pinterest?
While a marketing strategy for organic traffic can take a long time to gain traction, your content can continue to circulate long after it was uploaded. One person will share it or pin it to their boards where their followers will see it and perhaps do the same, resulting in a chain reaction of exposure to your content that can last several months.
The average lifespan of a single pin is about 7 months because of the nature of Pinterest. If you are sharing seasonal content, this lifespan can expand even further, as these kinds of posts keep getting revived year after year in search results around that seasonal period.
Pinterest shows to more people the content that first gets engagement with your audience, causing a snowball effect for your pins and giving your content incredible longevity. So while the beginning of your Pinterest journey will be a slow one, consistent effort will bring long-lasting results. In fact, 9 out of 10 of my clients now consider Pinterest as their number one source of social media referral traffic without even spending ad money.
How Does Paid Advertising Work on Pinterest?
Speaking of paid advertising, you may be wondering how exactly that works on Pinterest.
Starting out with ads in the beginning of your Pinterest marketing venture will boost impressions for your pins. Traffic ads work on a pay-per-click basis where Pinterest only charges for the clicks on your pin during the set time of your campaign. You choose the keywords you want to target, as well as other kinds of targeting like gender, region and device, and Pinterest includes your pins in search results for those search terms and users.
The buying intent on Pinterest is different than on other platforms like Facebook. It isn’t a place for immediate or direct sales, as people tend to save pins to their boards and revisit them at a later date. This means that conversions can come a few months down the road.
Here’s where the benefits of a traffic campaign come in: You don’t pay for any clicks beyond the campaign time you set. This means that if people repinned or saved your promoted pin, you don’t pay for clicks on the repinned versions, or for any clicks on the saved pins after the campaign is over.
This long lifespan for promoted pins results in plenty of “downstream” traffic that you continue to benefit from after the campaign is over. This is unlike any other social media ads platform and it’s a huge advantage to advertising on Pinterest.
Now you know all of the basics of Pinterest and Pinterest marketing. Ready to take your marketing to the next level?
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