Like most people, I’ve used Pinterest for interior inspiration, craft ideas, and wedding planning, etc. I save images that make me feel good and inspire me “Cute Bob Hair Cut”, “Grey Hallway Décor” and “Open Back Wedding Dress” being some of my faves. Alas, the open back dress wasn’t meant to be… Until this year, I had no idea how useful it could be for my business.
I know that Pinterest might be something totally new to you, so let's start with a quick overview...
Pinterest describes itself as a “visual discovery engine”. Simply, it’s a search engine just like Google but unlike Google the results are returned to you as images and videos only. Every image/video is referred to as a Pin. As the Pinner, you create boards onto which you can save an image/video. Saving a Pin to one of your boards will mean that you can revisit the image/video as may times as you like and will provide you with future inspiration.
Clicking on a Pin will provide you with more information and will often direct you to the origin website. For example, if you were to click on one of my product photos the link would direct you to the shop listing on my personal website where, if you wish, you can purchase the item.
If you haven’t already, I recommend setting up an account now so that you can start to familiarise yourself with how Pinterest works.
So, why should you use Pinterest for your creative business?
Pinterest is the second largest search engine outside of Google. Increasingly, they are positioning themselves as a shopping website.
When people (also known as Pinners) go to Pinterest they have a specific purchase in mind. Remember that open back wedding dress I mentioned? 87% of Pinterest users have purchased something they discovered there and more than half of users have also bought something in response to a sponsored pin. These stats are *huge* (said in the voice of Donald Trump).
70% of users are women, and specifically mums. Now, this stat didn’t surprise me and it fits within the demographics of my own customers (approx. 90% female). Something that did surprise me though is that by 2028, it’s forecast that 75% of all purchases will be made by women. They clearly haven’t met my husband…
Typically, Pinterest users have a higher household income. That means more often than not, people who use Pinterest have disposable income and are looking to spend it. If you like stats, take a look at this article for more information.
As creative small businesses, we have a huge amount of visual content, which makes this platform ideal for us. Think product photography, process videos, photos of your workspace, styled lifestyle photos of your products. We have the goods; we just need to create the imagery!
Long Term Marketing
Pinterest is a key part of your long-term marketing plan. The average lead time on a Pin is 45 days. My understanding is that it takes a minimum of 45 days for your Pin to start hitting the good stuff. Correct me if I’m wrong though! To put it simply, if you want to use Pinterest to promote your Christmas range, for example, pinning your items in say, November is a total waste of time. Plan your marketing in plenty of time. I’d say it wouldn’t be ridiculous to start pinning Christmas items in August.
The lifespan of a pin is significantly longer than an Instagram post, which hits its peak within 48 hours. Pins will continue to work weeks, months, and years after you post them.
How many pins should I add?
Pinterest LOVES fresh content. It favors recent and relevant pins over older pins. It's suggested that you should pin between 15 and 20 pins everyday. Now, before you start shouting at the screen "I don't have time for that!", I’m not suggesting for one second that’s what you should do. Lets not run before we can walk.
For the past 6 weeks, I’ve been using a scheduling tool called Tailwind to schedule my Pins. I post approx. 7 Pins each day including product photographs, images of my office and customer photos I receive (depressingly, these are my most popular pins!). Tailwind allows me to bulk upload, which is a huge timesaver. It also schedules your pins for the most optimum time. I spend a few hours each fortnight scheduling my next fortnight's pins.
When I started to focus some time on my Pinterest board in March, I had 1k unique monthly views. As of this morning, I have 71k unique monthly views. My aim is to reach 100k by the end of June.
Using the analytics within the business version of my account, I can see how many clicked on a pin, how many people clicked the shop function etc. This allows me to better plan my future content.
Key things to remember
- Make sure every single pin you upload has a working link attached to it. There’s nothing worse than finding something you desperately want to buy only to find out the link has expired
- Don’t post/repost another person’s content in an attempt to increase the number of pins you share. Original content that takes a bit longer to create is better than rehashing someone else’s work, even if you credit them.
- If you don’t ever reach 20 pins a day, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re on there and you're starting to build a presence for your small business.
Your to-do list
- If you don’t have a Pinterest account, set one up today
- If you have a personal account, transfer it to a business account. This will give you all of the analytics to know what is working for you and what isn’t
- Think of 10 boards you can create including board names and descriptions of what the board contains. Think as simply as possible when it comes to these. The idea is that a child should be able to understand what you’re saying
- Use the search bar to see what key words other people use to describe similar products and apply those to your pins
- Set up Rich Pins. These are a specific type of pin that provide up to date product information such as price. This information will be included in the Pin automatically when it is published. There’s a useful article here to tell you how to do it
- Look at other content that you find inspiring and think about how you can photograph your own products in different ways
- Start Pinning!