In the past six months, I’ve become obsessed with Pinterest. Although I’ve loved using Pinterest for much longer than that! So let me rephrase that: In the past six months, I’ve become obsessed with using a Pinterest marketing strategy.
Why? Because using one has increased my web traffic by 500% in the past three months.
Regardless of whether you’re a freelancer starting their first side-hustle or an established business owner with a small team, your website serves as an online storefront. As such, you want it to reach as many people from your target demographic as possible!
Most website owners already know that Search Engine Optimization (aka SEO) is critical to getting found on the web.
But it doesn’t need to be your only strategy. Here’s why every small business needs to get serious about having a Pinterest marketing strategy:
** My blog posts contain affiliate links, which means that I may earn a commission on purchases you make after clicking on those links. (At no extra cost to you!) Full disclosure here. **
Easy to learn compared to SEO
SEO is important to learn, but it’s slow going. I started this website in March and I’m still learning new things every day about how to optimize my posts. And just when I think I’m getting the hang of it, I learn something else that I should be doing to make my website more SEO-friendly.
I also find SEO really boring, which makes it harder to learn.
In contrast, learning to pin effectively has been much easier. With the help of one short course, I started seeing a change in my web traffic within a couple weeks of implementing a Pinterest marketing strategy. The traffic has been gradually climbing month over month ever since.
Further to that, I actually enjoy creating pins and using Pinterest. Perhaps it is just a personal preference, but I don’t think I’m the only one who finds Pinterest more fun than SEO!
Extends your reach quickly
Fun fact: Pinterest has over 250 million active users. Using Pinterest effectively can get your content out in front of a lot of people!
Before I had any kind of pinning strategy, my pins were getting about 400 monthly views, and 12 engagements. (Engagements being pinners who actually look at your pin, save, repin, or click through to your website.)
Less than six months later and my reach is currently half a million viewers and about 18,000 engagements a month. (And still climbing!)
Keep in mind that average monthly viewers is mostly a “vanity metric” in that it doesn’t reflect how many people are actually clicking through to your content. But with greater viewers typically comes a higher engagement rate, which does translate to click throughs.
Pinterest users are buyers
Get ready for this mind-blowing fact: 89% of users have purchased something they discovered using Pinterest.
People who use Pinterest are ready to buy, it’s as simple as that. And they’re literally searching for what you have to offer, whether that’s a physical product or knowledge. Art and hobbies is Pinterest’s top category, but there are a plethora of other categories that do very well on Pinterest as well.
It doesn’t hurt that 35% of Pinterest users are bringing in 75k or more of household income per year, which suggests many Pinners have disposable income to spend on products and services they find online.
Even if you’re not selling a product and are a service-based business or a blogger, you can still tap into this market by creating pins that lead to high-quality content that’s catered to their searches.
It’s more than a social media platform
Yes, Pinterest is similar to other social media platforms in that you can follow each other and join communities and/or group boards. But it’s so much more than a way to connect with people.
People use Pinterest first and foremost as a way to search for things they want to buy, or to plan for things like travel, weddings, or other special occasions. They are collecting pins, tutorials, and ideas for themselves.
In other words, they’re looking for compelling content more than they are looking to engage with other people, making it a unique platform from other social media outlets on the web.
Low cost to maintain
If you are just starting out or and trying to keep the overhead low, you can still wield the power of Pinterest. In fact, starting a business account and getting your pins out into the world costs zero dollars.
Yes, you can pay for Pinterest ads, but you don’t have to in order to reap the benefits of having an effective Pinterest marketing strategy. (I have never used Pinterest ads myself and don’t plan to!)
There could be other costs involved if you use stock photos or subscribe to a pin scheduler, but these are completely optional.
Creating the pins themselves can also be painless to your pockets, especially if you use your own photos. Turning your pictures into clickable pins is easy with web applications like Canva, a fantastic graphics editing tool that’s free to use!
(P.S. I will have a tutorial coming up soon on how to use Canva to create great pins. Stay tuned!)
Although setting up a business Pinterest account isn’t hard, it can take a bit of Googling to figure it out. There’s tons of free resources out there if you want to DIY it.
Personally, I don’t have time to figure things out on my own, so I purchased a Pinterest course to take the guesswork out of it jump right into an effective pinning strategy! This course called Pinteresting Strategies by Carly Campbell has been the single best investment I made to increase traffic to my website. The course teaches you everything start to finish, including:
- Getting started with a Pinterest business account
- Setting up up Rich pins
- Setting up your boards properly
- Creating engaging, clickable pins by understanding how Pinterest works
- Tips on pin design and fonts
- Using an effective pinning strategy through manual pinning
That last point is what makes Carly’s course unique from any other Pinterest course I’ve come across. Most Pinterest marketing strategies involve a scheduler like Tailwind.
Although Tailwind is a powerful tool (more on that in a minute), it is very limited unless you pay for an upgraded account which requires a monthly fee.
For many small businesses, especially those just starting out, extra monthly costs are not an option. Carly’s course provides an attractive alternative to scheduling because it costs you nothing to follow a manual pinning strategy! (The course price itself is a total steal too!)
My Success with Pinteresting Strategies:
Below is a snapshot of my month over month web traffic to show you the difference when I started using a Pinterest marketing strategy. As you can see, it took a few months to really get going, but that’s because my website was pretty new and I didn’t have very many posts when I first started using this strategy.
I needed to beef up my content and number of pins to gain momentum, which really started taking off towards the end of October :
I had fewer than 20 posts when I first started pinning, I think if you have more posts then you will see results even faster!
Tailwind is an effective way for scheduling your pins weeks in advance so that you don’t have to check into your Pinterest account every single day. It also includes a fantastic feature called “Tailwind Tribes” where you can join groups of other bloggers/website owners in similar niches to swap and share pins, thus extending each other’s reach on Pinterest.
Tailwind also offers additional insight and metrics to measure your progress on Pinterest, such as your pin virality rate, weekly averages, and overall profile performance.
But do you need Tailwind to be successful with a Pinterest marketing strategy? It’s really a matter of preference and strategy.
The short answer is, no, you don’t need it. But it is convenient and I use it in combination with a manual pinning strategy.
It doesn’t have to be expensive to use either. Monthly plans start at $15 USD/month. If you’re curious about it, you can try Tailwind for free here.
Outsourcing your Pinterest marketing strategy
If Pinterest truly baffles you or the idea of creating and scheduling pins makes you want to take a long wine break, you can always outsource your Pinterest marketing strategy to someone else. You can even hire someone like me to do it! 😉
It seems Pinterest is here to stay and is only growing in popularity with each passing year. The platform has been around long enough that it’s clearly more than a flash in the pan. So whether you do it yourself or outsource, bossing up on Pinterest is a must!
Get pinning now and elevate your business to new heights!