Pinterest Marketing for Content Creators in 2019 & Beyond
Most of my audience knows that, while I LOVE travel, I am far more interested in teaching people HOW to make the full-time travel lifestyle work for them. I recently did a poll on my Instagram Stories asking my audience what content they’d like to see the most from me: Photoshop tutorials, Pinterest Marketing, Canva Design, Photography, etc. and if they had any further suggestions. An overwhelming majority of my audience asked for Pinterest Marketing and Canva Design tips. So now I’m here to give the people what they want! :) Without further ado…
Is Pinterest considered social media or a search engine?
First & foremost, its incredibly important to stop thinking of Pinterest as a social media platform and start thinking of it in the way it was actually designed — as a search engine. Once you get past that little barrier, the platform begins to make a whole lot more sense!
Think about User Intent — Basic Pinterest SEO Keyword Research
Most of the activity happening in Pinterest is done through search. Most users are searching on Pinterest for a specific idea and want to find inspiration for that idea. Say that you’re planning on revamping your kids bedroom. You’re going in with intent: you start feverishly pinning your favorite color swatches, furniture pieces, bedding options— you name it.
So, as a business owner, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your potential clients/customers— what exactly are they searching for? Without understanding user intent, your pins will inevitably die among the endless shuffle of pins being added to the platform on a daily basis.
Pinterest is looking at your boards titles and description for context as to the pins that are inside there. So how do we optimize our Pinterest boards for success? Well, its going to require some basic keyword research!
How do you find the best keywords for your Pinterest boards?
I’m glad you asked! :) It’s actually pretty straightforward. One of the easiest ways to do this is right inside Pinterest itself (if you use Google keywords, they aren’t always going to translate the same on Pinterest).
Go into the search bar and start typing something. For this example, lets say that we’re creating a board on Italy Travel Tips.
Type in “Italy Travel”
Now we’re getting an idea about keywords that should be in the board for Italy Travel.
So what Pinterest is telling us is that in connection with the phrase “Italy Travel”, this is what Pinterest users are searching for: words like “Outfit”, “Itinerary”, “Tips”, “Food”, “Beautiful Places”, “Photography”, “Packing”, etc.
Now what you’re going to do is copy & paste all of these words into your notes or a word document. These are going to be the words you’ll want to use in your board description. The key is to writing sentences that flow naturally — you want to include as many relevant keywords as possible without looking spammy/ keyword stuffing.
So maybe write something along the lines of “The best travel Itinerary for your next trip to Florence, Italy. The best budget destinations, photography spots for Instagram, outfit packing guides and more!” (that was just a very vague example, FYI).
Pinterest rewards high quality & engaging content
When you pin something, Pinterest is going to put you to a little test. When your pin first hits the feed, they’re going to show it to your followers and then look to see how your followers are engaging. If your audience ignores it, Pinterest might think, “Oh, this isn’t engaging content.” And it might not go much further. But if you can get that engagement from your followers right out of the gate, you’re golden.
Listed below are a few best practices to creating great pins:
Vertical/Long Pins: Best Pinterest Dimensions
Using a vertical photo or video for your pins will result in the highest amount of engagement. The standard dimension for Pinterest is going to be a 2:3 aspect ratio (Pinterest has stated that 600 x 900 pixels is optimal), but you might want to test out slight variations and see what performs best for your content. Just note that anything longer than a 1:2.1 aspect ratio (600 x 1260 pixels) will be cropped in the feed. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be good to go:
High-resolution graphics for pins
2:3 aspect ratio is optimal
Add a keyword rich description to each of your pins
Write a keyword rich description so that Pinterest has more context on what your pin is about. In general, here are some guidelines on descriptions:
Limit of 500 characters
2-3 naturally written sentences with rich, relevant keywords
1-3 relevant hashtags added at the end
If you have a branded hashtag (i.e. #FallonTravels), you’ll want to add that in the beginning
Include a URL
Including a URL will help direct people to your website or the website your pin is pointing to (for example, an affiliate partner site with your personal affiliate link).
Create consistent & eye-catching branding templates
To succeed in the Pinterest world (which is currently a bit saturated), you’re going to want to create high-quality branding templates in order to stand out among your competition. Your pins do not have to be red or orange like commonly thought before, but they do have to be eye-catching enough that your followers feel inclined to re-share your content!
Free Canva Templates for Pinterest
In the past, I’ve used Adobe Photoshop for almost all of my Pinterest templates. However, I recently made my first hire, and sharing design templates has been a much simpler process with Canva than Photoshop. And while I didn’t like designing in Canva in the past, the new “Canva 2.0” update has made designing on the platform SO much more user-intuitive.
I’ll be doing a separate blog post on designing in Canva. For now, however, feel free to swipe a few of my Pinterest templates for free! Just edit your text, upload your own images and —voila— you now have beautiful templates to share with your Pinterest followers!
Please note that the images shown below belong to me and will NOT be included in the templates— you will need to upload your own images.
Canva Templates Download:
You MUST make a copy of this Canva file so that others are able to use it as well: this is a MASTER copy. If you do not make your own copy, your work will inconvenience others and will be DELETED without warning. Thank you for understanding! If you have any questions or run into issues with the download, please email email@example.com and I will be more than happy to assist!
Set up Rich Pins
As defined by Pinterest, “Rich Pins are Pins that include extra information right on the Pin itself”. With a rich pin, Pinterest is going to look at your site, pull a bit of text from your blog post and place it in your pin, which can show up as bold text in the feed.
Why use rich pins?
Rich pins do get better engagement and see a higher click-through rate than non-rich pins (this is because Pinterest users will have more relevant information to work with, which is particularly important for product rich pins). For example, with a recipe pin, Pinterest might pull the exact ingredients used for the dish from your website, which can help you generate more clicks.
For products, this additional information might be the price, description, inventory. This information will be pulled straight from your website’s product listing. Product pins might have a shopping tag icon under the pin image. If someone clicks on this, they’ll be able to see the price and product description (aka the rich information that Pinterest pulled).
Use Tailwind Pinterest Scheduler to Automate your Pins
Alright, if this is your first time learning about Pinterest marketing, this is about to blow your mind… What if I told you there was a way to schedule all of your pins months in advance and run your Pinterest account on auto-pilot? Sound too good to be true? Its not — promise!
Consistent pinning is something that Pinterest is looking for from content creators, so we need to commit to that in order to see results. But its also a time consuming and tedious process (oh, the struggle). Fortunately, we can avoid all of the pain & tears by using an automated content scheduling system… like Tailwind!
Best times to pin on Pinterest
If you only share your pin that one time, even if you do proper SEO research, the chances of your followers missing it are pretty high. And while it is true that a pin does last forever, you still do want that first exposure of your pin to mean something. More importantly, you want to be sending your pins out at the right time.
With Tailwind, you can easily discover the Best times to pin on Pinterest for YOUR account with the “Smart Schedule” feature! This feature is great because it analyzes your followers, when they’re most likely to be on, and when they’re most likely to be engaging. This is incredibly useful for bloggers (or digital nomads) like me who might have a U.S. audience but are living elsewhere. For example, I’m currently posted up at a cafe in Thailand while my U.S. audience is still sleeping… 11 hours behind my time zone — not exactly the most practical situation if you want to be pinning while your audience is most likely to engage. But Tailwind can fortunately help you avoid all this mess & get your content in front of some fresh eyes!
To get started with your Tailwind Schedule, click the icon with 3 horizontal lines (upper left-hand side of your dashboard), hover over “Publisher” and then select “Your Schedule”.
As I said before, this is personally my favorite feature of Tailwind (I might go a little overboard with it at times). Basically, Tailwind creates a “Smart Schedule” for you based on when your followers are most active and likely to engage. This isn’t an overnight process — its trial and error, and Tailwind is learning based on YOUR activity, so you need to put in some effort in the beginning. Here’s an overview of the features you can use to create your best schedule:
Edit Timezone: Choose the timezone that best correlates with your followers (i.e. if most of your followers are based in Europe, you may want to test out a European time zone).
Smart Schedule from Tailwind: Under each weekday, you’ll see a few time slot boxes. The boxes with a dotted green line around them and a “+” sign are the times that Tailwind is suggesting you add to your schedule, because you have received high engagement in the past during those times. In the example below, you can see that Tailwind is suggesting I add “11:29 PM” on Mondays to my schedule because I see high engagement during that time.
+Add Time Slot: You can add your own custom time slot here. Just drag the slider to your chosen time.
Personally, I’d rather not have to figure out what exactly the best time of day is to pin a particular type of content. And Tailwind saves me the hassle!
How many times a day should you pin?
Unfortunately, there’s no magic number for how many times a day you should pin. This ultimately comes down to how much content you have to share. For example, lets say that you have 200 blog posts. You could share 10 of your posts a day and it would never get repetitive, boring or spammy for your audience. However, if you only have 10-20 blog posts, you’re going to want to spread out your content. Another great option is to repurpose your content by creating multiple variations for each piece of content. In addition, if you have zero blog posts and products only, you can still make Pinterest work for you! The key is creating PINNABLE images!
At the end of the day, you should be asking yourself how you can create relevant content for your target audience. If you create high quality & shareable content, your audience will naturally want to re-pin your images (just be patient!).
How to use Tailwind for Pinterest
Once you’ve set up your account with Tailwind and have the Chrome extension installed on your browser, you can begin scheduling your pins — whoop whoop!
How to schedule your pins with Tailwind
For this example, I’m going to be scheduling a pin from my blog post on how to upload multiple photos to Instagram Stories. Remember how we talked about rich pins earlier? Well, that’s what this is! Because I’m pinning this image directly from my website (even if its scheduled with Tailwind), Pinterest is going to register this as a rich pin, and it will therefore hold more overall relevance in the algorithm.
To get started, hover your mouse over the image you’d like to pin. You’ll see a little widget pop up with the Tailwind icon and “Schedule” — click this button.
A new Tailwind Analytics window will pop up — you can either schedule your pin immediately or save it for later. I always just Save for Later because I’m going to have to go into Tailwind regardless and I like having the entire dashboard displayed in front of me.
Open a new window/tab and head over to your Tailwind dashboard. Click the icon with 3 horizontal lines, hover over “Publisher” and then select “Drafts”.
Now scroll through your draft pins and find the image you’d like to schedule. Depending on how many boards you have, you have a few options:
Scroll through and select each board you’d like to pin this image to
Start typing in the board name
My favorite option that saves SO much time — select a group of boards that represents a specific theme. This is called a “Board List” and I’ll go into more detail on this later in the article. But for this example (although I wouldn’t actually pin this image to my travel board list), “ALL TRAVEL” would be a list of 27 boards I have that are related to travel. And I can just mass schedule this pin to all of these boards in one click!
Once you have all of your boards selected (I individually selected boards for this pin because it was a more specific/niche topic), you can go ahead and type out your description. Don’t forget — keyword-rich descriptions and 2-3 relevant hashtags (I did 4, I know. I’m breaking my own rules here. Whoops). Once you’re finished, select the “Add to Queue” button.
Alright — this is SO important. Do NOT forget to click the Save Changes button at the bottom of your dashboard. If you exit the window without saving your changes, all of your work will be lost. Trust me here guys; one time I spent hours scheduling draft pins and my computer died before I could click the Save Changes button — and all of my work was erased. Do yourself a favor and avoid my mistake — periodically save your changes!
Next, you’re going to want to Shuffle your Queue of scheduled pins (your schedule will be displayed on the right-hand side of your dashboard). If you scroll down to the very end, you’ll notice that the pins you just scheduled to multiple boards are placed back-to-back in your queue. What this means is that if you don’t shuffle your queue, Tailwind is going to schedule all of these out on the same day. Now, I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t want to annoy all of my followers by showing them the same pin over and over again. So shuffle all of your scheduled pins to avoid this!
A message will pop up asking if you’re sure you want to shuffle your queue. Select yes, and your scheduled pins will then post to your feed in a random, non-consecutive order!
Using Tailwind Board Lists
As I briefly touched on earlier, Tailwind Board Lists can save you SO much time in scheduling out your pins. Instead of having to manually select each board you’d like to schedule your pin to, you can do it in bulk with a relevant board list (aka a group of your Pinterest boards based on a single theme).
To get started with board lists, click the icon with 3 horizontal lines (upper left-hand side of your dashboard), hover over “Publisher” and then select “Board Lists”.
Once in the Board Lists dashboard, you can either manage your current board lists or create a brand new list. For example, as you can see below, I have a board list called “ALL TRAVEL”. This is a list of group boards and personal boards of mine that are related to travel. And if I had, say, a general Europe blog post, I might want to add my pin to all of these boards. Instead of having to manually select each board, I can use my “ALL TRAVEL” Board List to do it in one-click!
Tailwind Smart Loop
SmartLoop is an incredibly useful feature in Tailwind that can save you a whole lot of time. By using the analytics in SmartLoop, you can avoid unsuccessful pins going out to your audience over & over again! And by understanding which of your pins are the least successful, you also gain insight into which ones should be replaced with a new image or description.
The SmartLoop feature in Tailwind can help drive traffic by resharing your best performing (aka evergreen) content. What Tailwind will do is import your best performing Pins to your draft schedule and then republish them for you at the right frequency and to the relevant boards.
Tailwind is committed to helping you share relevant content regardless of the season. This handy feature will help you avoid sharing your favorite Halloween DIY outfits in, February, for example.
Join Pinterest Group Boards
I’m not going to sugar coat this — Pinterest Group Boards have definitely seen an overall decrease in engagement over the past few years (personal boards are way more effective these days). For example, if you join a group board with a lot of contributors (over 500 is probably too many), things can get a little bit messy. Chances are, contributors will start pinning images that are completely unrelated to the board, and Pinterest is going to be confused on what this board is even about. Therefore, the board loses its effectiveness. BUT group boards do still hold their place if you choose the right ones (aka niche group boards).
How to message someone on Pinterest
If you want to join group boards, you (or your VA) will need to send a lot of messages on Pinterest. Here’s how ya do it:
Click on the conversation bubble at the top of any page on Pinterest and select, “New Message”
Search for up to 10 friends/ users you would like to send a message to
Select Next in the top right-hand corner
Type your message in the chat window
Select Enter once you’re done to send the message
For years, Pinterest openly said NOT to use hashtags for pins. Now, they are saying that you SHOULD use hashtags for pins (get your act together, Pinterest…). So, what’s the verdict?
Do hashtags work on Pinterest?
Well, yes— now they do! There are two places you should be implementing hashtags on Pinterest:
Hashtags in Board Descriptions
Personally, I recommend adding 1-2 relevant, keyword-focused hashtags to board descriptions. Descriptions themselves are pretty powerful on boards, so I’m not sure you’ll see huge results from spamming your board with hashtags (but as always, you’ll want to test this out for yourself and see what works for your boards).
Hashtags in Pin Descriptions
As I stated before, I typically will add 2-3 hashtags for pin descriptions. This really depends on the industry you’re in, the pin content itself and what action you are expecting for followers to take with that pin. The limit for hashtags on each pin description is 20, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend going overboard with it.
Pinterest Widget/Save Button
You’re definitely going to want to make sure that you have a Pinterest Save button on each image in your website. The process for setting this up is going to depend on your website hosting (i.e. Squarespace, Wordpress, etc.).
Why do I need a Pinterest Save button?
Having a Pinterest Save button makes it easier for people reading your blog post to pin the images to their boards (this is literally FREE marketing!). You might think, “Okay, but who really even takes the time to do this?” but you would be surprised. If I go into the “Activity” tab on my Pinterest account right now, I can see all of the activity that Pinterest users have taken from my site (i.e. each image they saved to various Pinterest boards). Like I said before, its free marketing!
How to clean up your Pinterest Boards
Every 6 months, have a good look at your best performing board(s). Do your links still work? Are the descriptions and titles looking good? Go back and make sure that your evergreen content is still performing well with your audience!
Don’t delete your pins
Repeatedly sharing un-engaging content over time will hurt you. But that doesn’t mean you should go back and delete your pins, because Pinterest already knows that content isn’t engaging. So it isn’t worth your time to go back and delete every pin. Just move forward with a great strategy in place for your future content!
Pinterest Monthly Viewers — does it actually mean anything?
When Pinterest updated their platform, they added this number to your profile called “Monthly Viewers”. Lets just go ahead and put this out there: this is JUST a number. Its a compilation of people who view your profile, engage with your pins, clicks, impressions, etc. all put together. However, this number in no way indicates your REACH or your TRAFFIC.
So lets say you go to your favorite bloggers page and it says 2 million monthly viewers. You go to my page and it says 500,000 monthly viewers. That doesn’t mean that I get less traffic than my favorite blogger. It could simply be that she was putting out a large amount of content during a specific time frame, and therefore received more impressions during that period.
At the end of the day, this number doesn’t really mean that much. You could have a million impressions and zero clicks — maybe people just saw your pins but didn’t actually take action. Instead, what you need to do is look in Google Analytics and see what traffic is actually coming from Pinterest!
Pinterest Video - The Next Big Thing
I recently published a blog post on how to upload Pinterest Videos — check that out for some helpful tips! In order to gain more traction on your pins, you’ll need to keep your audience engaged. And what better way to do that than through video?!
The challenge of Pinterest Video
Something to note is that Pinterest is HIGHLY interest in making this feature work. You will see a high number of impressions on your video content because there isn’t currently much competition, and you’re more likely to show up at the top of the feed. With that being said, video content poses the same challenge that infographics do. A large number of those using the features have reported that while their content receives a high number of impressions and saves, they are not receiving nearly as many clicks to their website.
So why is this? Quite frankly, its because we’re giving WAY too much away in this style of content. If everything is given away, your audience will have no reason to click on your content.
Upload a video to Pinterest
Uploading a video to Pinterest is incredibly simple, and the process will be almost identical to uploading an image pin. Check out my quick guide to uploading Pinterest videos to see it all in action!
How to upload Pinterest GIFs
You can also test out a slightly different feature — uploading animated GIFs to your Pinterest boards! The upload process will be the same as it would for a still image, but you’ll just need to test out different methods for actually creating an animated GIF. Check out my guide on how to make a GIF in Photoshop (plus a few other alternatives) and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about the process!
I hope that you found this Pinterest Marketing guide to be useful ! Feel free to leave a comment below with any questions, comments or concerns that you may have; I would love to learn more about your success and experiences with the platform!
Shameless Fallon Travels Plugin: For travel tips, creative content, photography advice, how-to articles and LOTS of entrepreneur tips, make sure to follow me over on Pinterest! :) And if you found this guide helpful, feel free to save it for later by pinning one of the images in this article to your Pinterest board(s)!
*Disclosure; Some of the content above may contain affiliate links (at no cost to you). However, I would never recommend tools, apps, tours or resources if I didn't use them and find them helpful myself.
Hi there! I’m Fallon. A Florida native who, after receiving my masters degree in the U.K., decided to nix the 9-5 path in search of something more. Now, I run my graphic design & photography business straight from my laptop, all while traveling the world. I’ve now traveled to over 25 countries and have knocked some pretty big adventures off my bucket list… and I’m just getting started. Follow along my journey as I present tips, guides and resources on solo female travel, photography, videography, entrepreneurship & the crazy lifestyle of a digital nomad.