How To Use Pinterest For Marketing

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On Pinterest, the social platform built on beautiful, shareable imagery, opportunities for shopping come cleverly disguised as outfit inspiration, smoothie recipes and DIY centrepieces. So, Pinterest is a great platform for marketing.

For consumers, it’s a place to hunt and gather. For brands, it’s a goldmine. Consider this: as Shopify analysed data from over 529,000 Shopify store orders to find that Pinterest was the second largest social source of traffic, and resulting visits had the third highest average order value. Also, according to research from Piqua, sales and traffic from Pins can occur long after the item is pinned. In fact, 50% of visits happen after three and a half months, which respectively, is more bang for your buck than Twitter or Facebook.

The reasons for using Pinterest for marketing are impossible to ignore. In this article, I’ll show you 7 concrete methods, that you can use to drive sales and traffic with Pinterest.


1- Use Rich Pins

Rich Pins are enhanced Pins that make your images even more shoppable because they contain additional information right inside the Pin. Now there are five types of rich pins. They are movie, place, recipe, article and product pins.

Online retailers can really benefit from rich Product Pins because they include additional information like real-time pricing and stock availability. Rich Pins can also improve click-through rate and discoverability of Pins, by making them eligible for Pinterest’s own curated feeds.

Another advantage of Rich Pins is price notifications. If you reduce the price of your product, customers who Repinned that product image will receive an email from Pinterest notifying them of the price drop and prompting them to buy.

Also, if you’re using Shopify, they have partnered with Pinterest to enable Rich Pins for their merchants automatically. That means any images pinned from your product pages will now be published as Rich Pins. To enjoy the benefits of Rich Pins, be sure that you sign up for a Pinterest business account


2- Pin Smarter

Knowing what types of images work on Pinterest is extremely important for marketing. I’m sure you’ve all heard the importance and impact of excellent product photography, and Pinterest is yet another place it can really pay off. Shopify store Sycamore Street Press, for example, does product photo shoots and creates blog posts specifically to create highly pinnable images that will draw people to their sites from Pinterest. Most months, they get most of the referral traffic from Pinterest over any other source.

Another great example is Designer Moorea Seal, who has built an audience of over 900,000 on a beautifully curated Pinterest account, which is responsible for 50% of her store’s sales. Her approach is to provide “Clear, clean product images on a white or light grey background plus an editorial view of products either in a natural environment or on a person to give customers two styles of photography options for pinning to their boards.”
When shooting and choosing photos for your product pages, strive to make them highly reputable.

So, what makes an image Pinterest worthy?

Well, let’s dig into the data:

Keep It Anonymous

Images without faces receive 23% more Repins than those with faces.


Use Color Wisely

Pins with multiple dominant colours are Repinned 3.25 times more than those dominated by a single tone and read images far better than blue.


Image Size

Images on your product pages should ideally be at least 600 pixels wide with the optimal pen with being 736 pixels, which is the maximum display size. Also, taller images are more likely to be Repinned.



Pay attention to your analytics, either through your Pinterest business tools or through other apps like Piqora, Tailwind, or Curalate. While things like summer salad recipes and DIY treehouses have high viral potential overall, be relevant -find out what resonates with your audience specifically.


Timing is Everything

Pin and engage when your customers are doing the same. The periods of 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. are roughly the best times to Pin. But this also depends on who and where your customers are. I’ve also linked to some Pinterest research that suggests certain categories perform better on specific days of the week.


You Need a Blog

A blog is a perfect place to create beautiful content for your Pinterest boards. This is a great article that will help get you started building a blog that Pinterest users will love.

3- Sell The Lifestyle

Create boards around lifestyle themes that include your products, rather than just product boards. Great brands understand their customers and know what content they crave. Inspire your audience, don’t just sell to them.

“A Great Outdoors” board, for example, will be much more compelling than a board that simply highlights the outerwear that your brand carries. Holly Castro for example of Charm & Gumption fills her “For the Home” board with curated pins that complement her own products, which are peppered throughout. Norstrom takes a similar approach with their “Pick Pink” board, which is entirely dedicated to the rosy hue. It’s filled with hyper-feminine picks from around the web -with subtle inclusions from Nordstrom’s own offerings. After all, 92% of all pins are made by women.


4- Piggyback on Popular Content

While you should use caution when pinning content simply based on viral potential, you shouldn’t ignore opportunities to tap into the most popular pin types and search terms if they’re actually relevant to your audience.

Here’s a great example. Sony Electronics has a product category that doesn’t rank high on the list of popular categories. So, they’ve cleverly jumped on the virality of cute animals and humour to create the board “I Can Haz Gadgets”.

Consider your audience. Are your customers predominantly men?
Then your slice of the Pinterest pie is smaller, so make sure you maximise your efforts. Create boards and pin content and categories of photography, art, design and home decor.

Do you sell food or beverages?
Then develop easy recipes containing your products.

Are your products related to health, beauty or fitness?
Then Pin inspirational and aspirational content with quotes.

Is your e-commerce store a source for tools, craft supplies or fabric?
Use them to create DIYs and tutorials.

Remember, a pin can have your products and a link to a step-by-step tutorial on your blog.


5- Run Pinterest Contests

They’re a great way to increase engagement on Pinterest. When done well, and within the platform’s parameters, Pinterest contests can drive sales and traffic for your e-commerce store. Travel website, Jetsetter for example, use contests to increase site traffic by 150% effectively.

Brands, however, should pay attention to Pinterest’s contest guidelines. Certain types of contests are not permitted, nor spammy behaviour.

Consider these tips:

Make It Worth It
“Forever 21”, asks followers to create an entire board but puts $1,000 gift card on the table as an incentive.

Get inspired
Look to other brands for contest ideas that might work for you.

Use an App
Apps like, Wishpond or Woobox can help you organise your contests and host it on your site or Facebook.


6- Leverage the Power of Influencers

Partner up with Pinterest influencers and bloggers to give your product some clout on the social network for marketing. Many brands get access to new audiences by inviting Guest Pinners to create boards on their accounts.

Often, influencers will charge a fee for this service, but social media love in exchange for your product may be possible too. Choose to work with Pinterest users whose audience resemble your desired customers. Martha Stewart Living for example strategically partnered with the mommy bloggers behind Cool Mom Pics


7- Engage Your Community

Involve your community to help increase engagement. On Pinterest, one way to do this marketing strategy is to create Group Boards. Group Boards can be comprised of many contributors -customers, staff, a select group of influencers, or can even be open to anyone to join.

The contributors to your group boards become brand ambassadors, creating content on your behalf. You can also encourage your customers to post images of themselves with your products. This is an especially useful tactic for fashion brands that are looking to gather alternative, accessible pictures of their products worn by real people.

Fashion brand –The Whitepepper collects customer photos via email and features them on their “Who’s Wearing The Whitepepper” board. All pins link back to the brand’s e-commerce store where Pender’s can shop the looks.

There you have it 7 methods that you can put into practice with your brand be sure to keep us posted on your progress, and if I missed any tips or techniques that you’re using to reach customers with Pinterest for marketing, please share them with us in the comments section.

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Sue Lucas
2 years ago

I enjoyed reading this article, and I know Pinterest is a powerhouse in the marketing world. Thanks for sharing!