How to Use Pinterest to Effectively Market Your Small Business

Linking your Pins to relevant and compelling content to get more prospects in your sales funnel may well prove more effective than swooping in for the sale too soon.

Photo: Promoted Pins on Pinterest


When Pinterest first launched its paid advertising service, Promoted Pins, it was only available to beta partners during the discovery phase.

Advertising on Pinterest is achieved with "Promoted Pins," which aim to increase click-through rates, improve reach and potentially drive more traffic to your website. No matter what size your business, you can take advantage of promoted pins to connect with audiences most likely to engage with your products. The Pins work on a cost-per-click basis. 

 Bare Minerals Promoted Video on Native Video Player


Promoted Pins, along with Pinterest's new Promoted Videos feature, will be a valuable marketing tactic available to all small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Here are some tips to get you started with your own Pinterest marketing campaign:

1. Know your audience.

Pinterest is largely used by women, mostly millennial moms, according to a research study conducted by Ahology and AcuPOLL Precision Research, Inc. In fact, 82 percent of the more than 176 million registered users are female. Keep this image of the average Pinterest user in mind when determining whether or not Pinterest is a good marketing channel for your business. Who is your target audience? If your business caters to women, especially those between the ages 25-29, with a household income of $60-100k, having a strong presence on Pinterest makes sense.

Understanding your audience’s likes, dislikes, wants and needs will also ensure you get the most out of Pinterest’s invaluable interest targets, which give you the ability to target more than 420 unique interests, such as travel, fashion, weddings, cooking and more. For best results, use both interest targets and keywords as targets to ensure you capitalize on users’ interests behaviors rather than merely their search behaviors.

2. Think like a content marketer, not an advertiser.

The majority of active Pinterest users (59 percent) click on Pins that go to blog posts and articles, and less than half of those users click through to brand or shopping sites. Users seek engaging and often informative content. Additionally, it's probably no surprise that the most popular topics on the platform are those that lend themselves to being quite visual: food, fashion, beauty, crafts, decor, and content related to holidays and events.

Not all businesses on Pinterest offer products and services related to those topics. Those that don't must find ways to make their content highly visual to win clicks. Boards containing infographics, images from blog entries and even photos of staff members are popular; all that's needed is a little creativity. For example, one Pinterest board from the Wall Street Journal is a collection of quotations displayed in a visually compelling way. Another, from TD Bank, called "our littlest bankers," is filled with adorable photographs of small children "training" to become future bankers.

Linking your Pins to relevant and compelling content to get more prospects in your sales funnel may well prove more effective than swooping in for the sale too soon.

Conversely, you should also make pinning from your site just as simple. If you have a blog page, images of your products or content-heavy pages that include important or helpful information about your products or services, create a save button and widget that allows users to pin items from your website directly to their Pinterest account.

3. Look to Pinners for inspiration.

If you get stuck in a creative rut, check out the board of people who are pinning your pins for inspiration. Someone who is pinning your pins will likely have related content on their boards that can help you better learn what your typical customer is interested in, help you identify the latest trends and can spark your imagination when it comes to creating new ideas for a marketing campaign.

4. Make sure your boards are well-categorized.

Featured board: Dot & Bo


Pinterest is different than your small business's Facebook page, where a hodgepodge of information is posted in chronological order, rather than in order of importance or by topic. By allowing you to create multiple boards – one for each category of your products or services, for example – Pinterest helps keep users engaged not only in your general content, but in content that's specific to their interests. According to the Ahalogy/AcuPOLL study referenced above, 52 percent of daily Pinterest users have pulled up Pins on their mobile devices to guide their in-store purchase decisions. 

5. Find the optimal ad size and posting frequency.

When it comes time to select an ad size/ratio, it’s recommended you choose ads that are longer than they are wide, as these make the most of the physical space on users’ smartphones, tablets and computer screens, and are ultimately more likely to be seen, engaged with and motivate the user to convert.

While you will have the ability to post as little or as often as you’d like, pinning excessively might overwhelm or annoy your audience, and pinning too little might cause your followers to forget you exist. So what exactly is the “sweet spot” of posting frequency? Studies suggest five Pins a day is optimal, so create a posting schedule, then gauge the audience reaction before drastically increasing or reducing the frequency of Pins. Keep in mind, as with any new digital campaign, there will be a ramp-up period before you see regular user engagement. Give it time.

Additionally, the experts at Pinterest report Saturday afternoons and evenings are the best time to post, as this is when the vast majority of users are online pinning and looking for inspiration. However, depending on the content and nature of your posts, other days may still work better. For example, posts that are fun and humorous perform best on Fridays, the end of many potential customers’ workweek, and posts that are inspirational or health and fitness-related tend to work best on Mondays, as this is when the majority of people’s motivation for the week is at its highest.

With new knowledge of your audience, engaging content, a well-organized Pinterest presence and a smart strategy, you’ll be able to hit the ground running and truly get the most out of your social media marketing efforts.

For more ideas on how you can use social media marketing for your business, visit our blog!

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