How to Sell on Pinterest: 7 simple tricks

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a visual search and discovery platform that allows users to discover ‘ideas’ in the form of images, GIFS, or videos, and save them by pinning them into their own pinboards. Users can curate pinboards of topics that interest them, for example, a pinboard of future home inspirations.

pinterest on phone
Source: Pinterest

How is it different from other platforms?

Instead of social networking, Pinterest is focused on the things that the user is interested in, and helping the user find content that inspires or assists them with current projects, like planning a vacation.

Most social platforms are primarily used to share personal content such as life updates and photos. Pinterest is more like a visual search engine, designed to have users “stumble “onto new information rather than looking for a specific information, making it easy for users to discover new brands that cater to their interests.

On other platforms like Twitter, information discovery is concentrated on the user’s feed. On Pinterest, users navigate through categories, allowing them to discover more things beyond what the feed algorithm shows them.

Why should you use Pinterest for marketing?

Pinterest is a strong marketing platform that you must not overlook! Here are the reasons why:

1. It is the perfect platform for reaching a new audience and growing brand awareness – 97% of top searches on the platform are non-branded, this means that users are open to discovering new products and brands, and 46% of weekly pinners have discovered a new brand or product on Pinterest.

2. It has a huge audience and high conversion rates – It is the 14th largest social network, with 433 million active users every month. 89% of users are using Pinterest for purchase inspirations, and as they already have a purchase intention, it is easy to convert visitors to buyers. This is evidenced by Pinterest’s high conversion rates – 50% of users have made a purchase after seeing a promoted pin.

3. Pins have a longer lifespan than posts on other social media, they can show up in feeds for months or years after the initial posting, but this rarely happens in other platforms. The long lifespan means that you can reap the benefits of a high-engagement pin for a long time.

4. Incredible reach can be achieved organically. Good quality content will be re-pinned by different users to their boards, and this will continually drive more consumers to your website organically without additional advertising costs.

Tip #1: Use Keywords for Search engine optimization (SEO)

Research keywords that are related to your niche that someone might search for, such as keywords used by your competitors, or trending topics frequently searched by your target audience, so your profile or pins might get discovered organically.

Use these targeted keywords in your display name, bio, content title and description.

For example, Casetify uses their bio to explain what they sell and their value proposition, it includes keywords like “Tech Accessories” “Worldwide shipping” that people might search for.

casetify profile

Using keywords in your pin description and title will rank your pins higher in the Pinterest search algorithm, this will drive organic views or even sales if your products look appealing.

Tip #2: Pack images with information

When youÕre choosing photos of your products to put up, incorporate product information into the images. This can be done through visual cues or text overlay.

For example, Williams-Sonoma Inc. uses the image below on Pinterest, it demonstrates how their measuring cup can be used, instead of just using the standalone product photo on their webpage.

The Pinterest image instantly conveys product information and usage and itÕs more likely to interest potential customers.

measuring cups

Pinterest Business also recommends users to overlay the image with description of product features and the word ‘new’ to increase brand awareness.

overlay product features

Tip #3: Hold a Contest to encourage pinning

Holding a contest is a good way to promote your brand and increase traffic. The structure of contests can vary, but it usually follows the structure of encouraging users to pin content related to your brand or products for a prize.

A good example is the Jetsetter Curator Pinterest contest, the company asked pinners to create “the ultimate destination pinboard”, with the hashtag #JetsetterCurator on each pin. The most followed board will win $1000 in Jetsetter credit. The contest incentivized pinners to share their board with friends, generated promotional content for the brand, gave the brand immense reach, and boosted Jetsetter’s pageviews by 150%.

Tip #4: Try out Promoted pins

Promoted pins are just regular pins ‘boosted’ to reach more people. When a user clicks on a promoted pin, it takes them directly to your website!

On average, Pinterest earns 2x higher return on ad spend than other social media platforms.

You can target pins to reach groups that might be interested in your brand, by targeting ads around:

  • Keywords related to your brand
  • Age groups
  • Geographic locations
  • Users who have engaged with your pins or pinboards.
  • Users who have visited your website
  • A custom list, such as your blog follower

When creating a promoted pin, make sure to follow these rules:

  • File type: PNG or JPEG
  • Size cannot be over 10MB
  • Description is limited to 500 characters
  • Aspect ratio is 2:3 and vertically oriented

Tip #5: Create Pinterest-perfect images

Since many users browse with their phones, vertical pins do the best.

The recommended aspect ratio is 2:3 or 1:3:5, to avoid the image getting cut off in feeds.
Ensure that the images are high resolution, minimum 600 pixels wide.

You can use the premade Pinterest templates on Canva, which are in 2:3 aspect ratio.


Tip #6: New feature: Use Try on pins

Pinners are 5 times more likely to purchase from try on pins, if youÕre a cosmetic or accessory brand, this is a very powerful tool to use! It uses augmented reality (AR) so users can see how a product will look on them using their phone camera.

To enable Try on, you’ll need a Pinterest Business account with an uploaded product catalog to use Try on Pins, and you will need to work with a Pinterest account manager.

It might seem like a lot of work, but as AR is becoming more prevalent, it is definitely worth thinking about.

AR try on pins

Tip #7: Use rich pins (free feature!)

Rich pins automatically sync information from your website to your pins, so that your pin shows additional information.

There are 3 types, Article, Recipe and Product rich pins.

This is a free feature that lets you add more information on to the pins, the extra context makes your pins more trustworthy and searchable, the pins also automatically updates to any changes made on the linked website.

For example, a product rich pin will include the brand name, price, availability and product information like the one below:

rich pins

How to add rich pins

First, you need to validate your pins by adding rich meta tags to web pages with product, article or recipe content on your website

Use the Rich Pins Validator to validate your webpage, you should see an approval message if your website tags are added correctly.

Once your application is approved, new pins created will automatically become rich pins if linked to a web page with meta tags, existing pins linked to tagged web pages will also appear as rich pins.

In the end, it’s all about creating good quality content and ensuring the content fits your marketing goal! If you want to increase sales, link your pins directly to your purchase site! If you want to increase brand awareness, you can host a pinning contest. Make sure to test out these tips and perhaps youÕll be surprised by the results!

Jessica Lau
Jessica Lau

Jessica is a final year undergraduate student at University of Melbourne, majoring in both marketing and accounting. She has a strong passion for digital marketing and hopes to help small businesses grow and succeed using social media. You can find more of Jessica on LinkedIn.