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13 Pinterest Marketing Strategies & Growth Hacks for eCommerce in 2022

Great visuals have always been at the forefront of effective marketing strategies. So, it wouldn’t come as a surprise that Pinterest, a visual discovery tool, can be used by eCommerce marketers to attract leads in droves and drive traffic to products. Yep that’s right, you can utilise Pinterest as an effective marketing channel for your eCommerce business.

29
 min read
Updated on
August 31, 2022

I've seen a lot of eCommerce brands doing really well on Pinterest lately, both organically, as well as using this channel as part of their paid ads strategy.

It's a channel that I've been speaking about with a few of my clients lately and other eCommerce owners I know.

You don't need too much of an introduction to Pinterest, as you're most likely already a user, but it's good to remind everyone for context why believe more brands need to look into this channel further.

Pinterest users, or "Pinners", use this visual platform to find and share inspirations, new ideas, guides, or solutions to problems. It’s essentially a search engine, but serves users with high quality visuals instead of web pages.

The main theme here is visuals. Why? Because users are craving visual content more than ever for digesting information across all apps, social networks, and search engines. That's why so many other channels are focusing more on video and making images larger (i.e. taking up more real estate) on mobile devices (e.g. as we've all noticed overtime with Instagram and Facebook).

Then on top of that, so many channels are becoming so hotly contested for users' attention.

Brands and store owners are looking for other ways and channels to get a competitive advantage.

I believe Pinterest is a great channel which can really open the flood gates for eCommerce brands, including yours.

Let’s look at a few stats as to why:

  • It still average about 400+ million active users worldwide. Yes, active users.
  • 52% of users claim that Pinterest helps them find products or items to buy.
  • Pinterest ad reach keeps growing year on year by 12.7% with a potential reach of 251 million. That's a serious audience size that you can scale into.

Even though Pinterest has been for a while now, it's still quite active.

When done correctly, a Pinterest strategy (organic and paid) can bring in a consistent flow of visitors, which can turn into customers for your brand.

If you've come across this guide, you're hungry to learn some solid Pinterest strategies to implement into your marketing campaigns. Stick around, because I think you're going to like this guide. I'll be showing you some of the most effective ways you can leverage Pinterest to grow your ecommerce business.

1. Repurpose Social Media and Blog Content as Infographics

You can always repurpose a blog or a social media post into an infographic so you can re-distribute it into other channels. Repurposing content simply means reusing it but in a different format. And with Pinterest, that format needs to be an infographic. Pinterest users love infographics that provide easily digestible info in a visually appealing manner. 

How It Works

  • If you run a blog or a social media content strategy, why not repurpose that content into infographics? Now you can distribute them on Pinterest or any other high-traffic visual platform.
  • Infographics convey easy-to-understand information in one visually-attractive image. Essentially, you’ll have to recycle your content and condense it into a visual form.
  • You use a template and place significant points from the original content. The visuals in your infographics must reflect your brand’s tone and theme.
  • Make the infographic discoverable on Pinterest. Take in more eyeballs and pins, and drive those viewers to your website. The more your infographic gets pinned, the more it appears on suggestions.

I actually came across this graphic and it's a great example of the repurposing content process for a fashion eCommerce store. Some awesome ideas here for inspiration.

What does an example look like?

I like these examples from Planetbox who shared this infographic about sustainable gifting. They basically took the key points from the blog post (which it links to) and designed it into an eye-catching infographic. As you can see, you don't need to put in a huge effort in design for it to stand out in Pinterest feeds, and to encourage shares, plus re pins.

They've got a good profile worth going through.

Another brilliant example of a brand doing such an amazing job with their profile is Branch Basics. Beautiful graphics that are engaging and make you want to click to find out more info.

Benefits of Repurposing for Pinterest

  • Increase your ROI per content piece

If you’ve made a compelling post, chances are, it already got a lot of shares and conversions. You can further extend its lifespan by repurposing it for a different channel. This way, you can make the most out of a content piece.

  • Drive traffic to the original content

Infographics are often concise, focusing only on essential points and making them aesthetically pleasing. Recycled infographic content can serve as a guide back to the original material.

  • Spend fewer resources on ideation

Great content takes a lot of time to make. By repurposing existing ones, you’ll fill out your content requirements without spending too much time coming up with new ones. 

  • Increase your overall online presence

A better online presence provides better returns. So you’d want to be multi-channel. Repurposing for Pinterest lets you tap into a massive audience ready to consume your content.

2. Use Video Tools to Create Simple Text-Based Videos

Videos engage viewers the most compared to other mediums. You can create text-based video marketing materials and pin them on your brand's Pinterest board. Beautiful but straightforward reels let you grab attention to convey the information you want. You can create original video content or repurpose existing ones and introduce them to Pinterest. 

How It Works

  • You can use a simple video editor like Type Studio or Veed. Both are great options for those who aren't experienced video editors. Then of course, you've got the likes of Adobe After Effects, GoAnimate, or AVS to create simple informational text-based videos.
  • These short text-based video could be something that promotes your brand, tell a story, or share an idea with your audience. The goal is to have your audience check out your business.
  • Upload via the "Create Idea Pin" button at the top, and then push it live.

What does an example look like?

I absolutely love what the team have done at InteriorDefine. Their video game is on point with this channel. They do have some advanced videos, but most are on the simple side.

The second example is by Olive & June who have done an awesome job with their video tutorials, which many of them link to blog posts, just like this example.

Benefits of Videos on Pinterest

  • Appeal more to users

Videos attract attention the most and produce the highest conversion rates compared to other formats.

  • Have your content stand out

Pinterest videos automatically start playing as soon as it's halfway on the screen. A moving picture can make an audience stop for a look when placed among static images on a feed.

  • Have another channel to share videos

There’s a good chance you’re already on video-based platforms like TikTok or Instagram Reels. Now you know that Pinterest is also an excellent platform for sharing video content. You'll see how you can quickly do this below in the next strategy.

  • Inspire your audience and build trust

Since videos are super engaging for audiences, you can leverage them by providing helpful and valuable information. You can also inspire your audience, even with just simple text-based videos. It doesn't take much to create something epic. Before you know it, you’ll be building trust and repeat customers.

3. Repost Video Content From TikTok

Your video content shouldn’t belong to just a single channel. You could repurpose your videos to other video platforms so long as it makes sense. As mentioned, Pinterest is also another that’s worth sharing videos into,  at least if you want to tap into its massive user base. Reposting from TikTok on Pinterest can help you gain more exposure to sell more of your products.

How It Works

  • If you have a video on TikTok, chances are, it’s also going to attract an audience on Pinterest. It’s only a matter of repurposing content to find more prospects and leads.
  • TikTok always watermarks the videos on their platform. You can use the original video or remove the watermark by using an app like SnapTik
  • After removing the watermark, you then pin the video on Pinterest. Now you have a much bigger audience, and Pinners that aren’t on TikTok can find you.

What does an example look like?

There are a few good brands doing a smart job with this.

I really like this company Truff, which is a Hot Sauce brand who are nailing this strategy.

They share recipe videos directly from their TikTok profile. It's so easy to do this strategy.

Benefits of Reposting From TikTok

  • Reach more people

Yes, TikTok is already a powerhouse these days. Still, not everyone’s in it. Reposting existing content on Pinterest lets you reach another group of highly motivated buyers.

  • Boost traffic & conversions

One of the advantages of becoming multi-channel is the significant boosts in traffic and conversion. Reposting content also doesn’t expend resources. It’s technically free.

  • Recycle, reuse, and repurpose

Repurposing cuts corners in the content creation process, allowing you to place fresh content in front of an entirely different user base. Make content once and use it time and time again.

4. Post Video Content From Influencer Videos 

Pinterest influencer marketing has been on the rise, and you can use it as an effective tool for brand exposure. Great influencers know the audience in your niche or industry like the back of their hands. If you’re new or a small e-commerce business, collaborating with one of them can place your brand on the map. 

How It Works

  • You’ll need to get a hold of a genuine influencer that’s serving your niche. These influencers have thousands of people that reflect your buyer personas following them on social media or other channels.
  • Influencer rates vary. Typically, the more followers they have, the higher their rates go. 
  • Once you find an influencer, you then collaborate to promote your brand. Since we’re on Pinterest, you’ll want to go for video influencer content.
  • You and your influencer determines the best way to promote your brand or product. There are tons of other ways influencers can promote your product on video. The content could end up as an unboxing video, where the influencer does an “unboxing” of your product, or It could be a full-blown product review. 

What does an example look like?

Stud are doing a great job bringing influencers to talk about new products they've released, such as the release of these new studs.

Another brand I'm loving is Golde. Make sure to check out their profile feed - certainly one of the best designed video tiles I've seen.

Benefits of Pinterest Influencer Marketing

  • Attract a big chunk of your target audience

Influencers are called “influencers” for a reason. If the influencer you decide to work with fits your target market, it's great brand affiliation and a network effect with their followers. Great for getting exposure to new audience segments which can lead to new followers, website visits, and sales.

  • Build trust and authority

This strategy lets you piggyback on the authority the influencer has built over time with your target audience. When done right, influencer marketing can exponentially boost brand awareness efforts.

  • Create high-converting content

Getting influencers to create high-quality content around your brand means that you can share that content to channels other than Pinterest. Perfect if you’re concurrently running a content marketing campaign.

5. “Get featured” on Popular Pinterest Profiles and Boards 

This strategy somewhat goes along the lines of influencer marketing. Regardless of your niche, you can be sure that someone out there is getting the eyeballs of your buyer persona. Getting “featured” on Pinterest profiles and boards that your audience frequents is a sure-fire way to increase exposure.

How It Works

  • Like their YouTube and Instagram counterparts, brands are making a killing on Pinterest. It’s up to you to get into contact with someone running a popular profile to get featured. 
  • Ensure to target Pinterest profiles that are great at curating content for your niche. This strategy could even set you up for a cross-promotion.
  • You can either make direct contact via email or use a service that matches you with your ideal influencer. 
  • Once you’ve set the deal, the Pinterest profile then shares your content or even creates one featuring your brand or product. 

Benefits of Getting Featured On A Popular Pinterest Profile

  • Drive audience into your profile

Anyone who engages with your featured pin will likely check out your Pinterest profile. This increases your audience reach, leading to increased e-commerce website conversions.

  • Reach more of your buyers

This strategy is all about boosting your Pinterest reach. As with any influencer campaign, getting featured on a popular profile might just get the attention your brand needs. 

  • Establish credibility

Whether it’s on Pinterest, Instagram, or any other platform, if someone trustworthy carries your brand, you can expect to get a good back ride into their credibility.

6. Collaborate with Popular, Non-Direct Competitor Brands 

Indirect competition may not seem important in the scheme of things, but these brands, like you, engage with the same target audience. Sometimes, the best partners could be non-direct competitors. Since you’re tapping the same audience, why not do cross-promotions? 

How It Works

  • You get in touch with an indirect competitor brand and ask to team up for a Pinterest promotion. These brands don’t provide the same products or services as you do but have your target audience’s eyeballs. 
  • For example, if you’re marketing a clothing line, you could collaborate with a brand that sells an apparel type you currently don’t. 

Here's an example by one of the best Pinterest profiles I've seen, Glamnetic doing a collab with Hello Kitty.

Benefits of doing non-competitor Collabs

  • Get a new influx of new customers

Even huge brands work together to grow their mutual influence. Cross-promotions are two-way benefits, and it allows you to capture your partner’s existing following.

  • Cut down marketing costs

So instead of spending serious dollars on paid ads and other marketing strategies, your partner brand does the marketing for you, all for free. 

  • You’ve guessed it: credibility

Anytime an established or trustworthy brand promotes your products, you can expect to have chunks of those credibility passed down to you.

7. Include Your Popular Pinterest Posts in your Newsletter

With running an eCommerce business, you already run newsletter campaigns all the time. One way to grow your Pinterest reach is by including popular posts in your email newsletters. Why not, right? It's a great way to showcase "Shop the looks", or perhaps illustrate your products in action with lifestyle shots, or even a gif which direct to watching a video on your profile. Either way, it's a good opportunity to share something visual which drives clicks.

How It Works

  • You utilise your email list to grow your Pinterest following. You already pepper your weekly newsletters with sweet call-to-actions. Now go ahead and incorporate your Pinterest boards into your email campaigns.
  • Services like Mailchimp lets you easily place your Pinterest boards into your email campaigns. You can even start an RSS campaign, where your subscribers receive a weekly email of your latest pins.
  • You may also ask your email subscribers to follow you on Pinterest for loads of valuable content.
  • Ensure to put the “Pin it button” in your email and link the images to their corresponding pins on your Pinterest.

Benefits of Including Popular Pins on Email Newsletters

  • Grow your Pinterest following

Your customers might not be aware that you’re also on Pinterest. It's a good way to encourage a simple action from your customers/subscribers. Any opportunity to get existing customers or subscribers to follow your social accounts in general is a good goal. Getting them on your profile might just solidify loyalty with your fans, which encourages repeat buys, referrals and shares.

  • Show off other visual content formats and drive engagement

In relation to the above, the more people engage with your pins, you increase your chances of your content being discovered by others on the platform. By leveraging Pinterest content in your newsletters, you can get your customers to share your pins, boards, and profile.

  • Your readers can become your engagement pod

Your readers can become a ground swell for organic engagement. Just getting them to click through to the pin, leaving a like/comment or even them sharing, increases your chances of being organically discovered.

8. Embed Pinterest Boards and Content On Your Website

If you’re cooking up a lot of promotions over on Pinterest, don’t pass up the chance of letting your website fan-base know. Even if you’re not, embedding pins and boards on your website can help amplify the reach of your Pinterest content. 

How It Works

  • Embedding content from Pinterest is straightforward. Simply go to the URL of the pin you want to embed and find the embed tool on the top-right corner menu. This takes you to Pinterest’s widget builder.
  • You can add modifications from the widget builder, like adjusting the pin size and hiding descriptions. When you’re good, Pinterest will create two code snippets that you can embed into your website.
  • You can also embed Pinterest boards from the widget builder. The process is quite the same as embedding pins. Pinterest creates two snippets of code that you can embed when you're happy with how everything looks. 

To learn more about embedding pins, check out this handy guide by EmbedSocial. They have some really nice widgets which looks clean for any eCommerce store.

pinterest widget editor

Benefits of Embedding Pinterest Content on Your Website

  • Increase content exposure & engagement

Getting your website users or customers over to Pinterest is a great way to increase the exposure of your profile and content. Exposure compounds over time, leading to a big explosion in reach.

  • Amp up website conversions

The more engagement you recieve, the more you get exposed on feeds. That’s just how Pinterest’s algorithm works. Bigger reach means more people get to convert back to your website.

  • Increase your website’s visual appeal (especially using the right plugin/widget like the above)

Take a small piece of Pinterest’s visual environment to your website to increase its overall looks. Of course, the content comes from you, but quality rather than quantity is essential when doing a Pinterest campaign.

9. Create specific content categories for SEO

One of the top reasons for Pinterest’s explosive growth over the years as a platform is due to its organic SEO engine.

With most searches you are doing online, there’s a good chance a listing from a Pinterest link would be included in the results. They may or may not always be relevant depending on what information you’re looking for, but it goes to show that your content within your niche has a good chance of being found. 

So what can you do to increase exposure to your profile, which then ultimately leads to more referral traffic to your website? 

Create more boards filled with great content. 

Read this guide by Leah Marie which talks about Pinterest board SEO.

What does an example look like?

Glamnetic do a great job with their boards structure.

How It Works

  • Creating boards is really easy to do. Make sure you’re logged in and then just head to your profile pic on the desktop and click the plus icon. Then, you can easily add a new board. Mobile and tablet experiences are different but should be easy to find. Oh, and you can also create a new board when you add a new pin. If you aren’t sure how to do so, watch this video. 
  • Whenever you upload new content to your profile, you can add it to your specific boards. For example, if you’ve created a board around ‘couches’, whenever you upload content around ‘couches’, you can add to this specific board.
  • Yes, you can add pins to multiple boards. Using this example still, depending on the volume of content you’re producing, you can have multiple boards around ‘couches’. For example, you can have boards for ‘red couches’, or ‘leather couches’. So let’s look at potential combinations - ‘Couches’ Main board; then create sub-boards; ‘Leather couches’ (Type); ‘Red couches’ (Colours); ‘Australian couches’ (Country/Origin). List of possible combinations goes on.
  • Additionally, do some keyword research and use top queries to use as your board name. Additionally, make sure to write a good description that gives a good overview of the content.

Benefits of Creating Boards for SEO & Organic Traffic

  • Get exposure to targeted audiences using specific queries 

As we’ve touched on, using boards for targeted and specific topics is a great way to get your brand discovered in the rankings faster. It’s a really effective strategy for those brands in the early phases of their journey. 

  • Discover which boards and topics matter to your visitors

Using Pinterest isn’t just about growing followers. It can also serve as a good indicator of what topics matter to your visitors, which can help you come up with new topic ideas for content across all your channels, what products may interest them, and lots more. 

10. Post more often - multiple times per day

The great thing about this channel is that you certainly get rewarded with exposure the more times you post. I’ve even come across profiles that post 10 x per day, and always wondered why they post as much as they did. 

Working with a brand in eCommerce as well as running my own experiments, the formula is simple. The more you post (making sure you’re using the right keywords, hashtags, and topics), you can seriously boost your organic views. 

In fact, check out this case study.

These guys generated over 16 million impressions/monthly visitors in just 10 months. That’s seriously impressive. 

The biggest takeaway from reading this case study, in conjunction with what I’ve found through my own experiments? You just need to post more often. 

How It Works & What To Consider

  • This strategy in many ways speaks for itself. You need to find a way to post more content and scale your processes around design. At first, work out a content plan that ensures you can post 1 x per day. Then once you have a good level of consistency and a good bank of topics and content ideas, post 2 x per day and slowly increase the daily cadence over time. 
  • Get content ideas from the likes of your blogs and products that you sell. Hire someone on Upwork, Fiverr or another freelancing platform to help you with creating designs in Canva (or simple design platform) to create quotes, snippets, statistics or whatever they can extract from your posts. 

I talk about this a bit more below in terms of ways of ‘squeezing’ out more content.

  • Another way you can post more content regularly is by reposting content from other profiles on your own boards. This was a key strategy that was used in the above case study. This is quite easy to automate at scale. 

Alright, let’s get into the next key strategy to help you produce more posts per day.

11. Repurpose your content 

In relation to what we just spoke about, one of the best ways to achieve serious scale and the ability to post multiple pieces of content per day, is having a solid repurposing framework and plan. 

Repurposing in simple terms is taking one piece of content and turning it into multiple pieces, which you can share and tailor per channel. 

Repurposing content as a strategy works wonders. One thing I always talk about with clients is that I recognise the effort and investment they put into what they produce, but they go back into this habit of ‘needing’ to create unique topics all the time. In other words, talk about something completely new within a given topic. 

Whilst this is still required, there’s so much more you can communicate just from the existing areas that you’ve spoken about. 

Not only that, people don’t always see (due to organic reach limitations on platforms) or even have time to digest information in a given time or user session. 

That’s why I encourage founders and marketing teams to think of more ways they can promote content. 

Here are some quick ideas you could apply to your business. Even without knowing your brand specifically or what your company does, you can:

  • Turn 1 blog post into 5 Instagram carousels. 
  • Turn those 5 Instagram carousel posts into 5 separate Pinterest posts. 
  • Go further again by turning those 5 carousels into video slideshow posts. 
  • Turn a single carousel into a single Pinterest infographic. 
  • Use video mashups from influencers and turn them into “How-to” video pins. 
  • Take the key moments from those “How-to” moments and turn them into a listicle video. 
  • Plus, just head back up to the TikTok video section when I talked about reposting Tiktok videos onto your profile. Create compilation mashups.

You totally get the picture by now I’m sure. There are so many ways you can turn 1 piece of content into 30+ variations without necessarily having to come up with brand new ideas.

Plus, you want to have multiple versions pointing traffic to the same post/product or whatever destination you’re trying to push. 

This might all seem like a lot of work, but it’s about putting processes in place with the right resources and tools. 

The best part? This can all be really cost-effective. 

The key resources you need to achieve output & skyrocket your impressions

  • Resources

To achieve a fast path to hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of impressions in a matter of months is hiring a VA/graphic designer.

Initially, there will naturally be a reasonable investment of time and resources to get this going properly, but once a good level is achieved, it can be one of the best investments you make for awareness and acquisition.

  • Imagery example

If you have some existing blog posts, get a designer to create 5 different designs using key quotes/snippets.

Just get them to use Canva or Figma (whichever you are comfortable with and is cheap to use). 

For a good outsourced designer, you can probably get 5 variations related to that one post for around $15 - $20. This is purely an estimate. 

Determining price also comes down to briefing them well and if they’ve done similar jobs to what you need. I always recommend as well to either doing your own quick mockups or sharing examples for the quality you’re looking for. 

  • Video example

Video pins work really well with engagement and impressions which we’ve touched on earlier with the TikTok videos. Aside from re-posting and uploading your own TikTok videos, here are a couple of other ideas: 

  • Get a video editor to create 3 x variations using key sections from a single blog post
  • Get them to create a mashup of product review demos from influencers
  • Turn your IG carousels into vertical videos

There are tools that you can use or get non-video editors to use which I talk about below. However, if you can’t find the right resource or you don't have the time to execute, you can find cost-effective video editors from a freelancing platform. Costs are hard to determine as really depend on a few factors, particularly quality.

To ensure you get the desired result comes down to a good briefing like what I mentioned with the images. Share examples of what you’re looking for.

  • Tools

What tools can you use to help you achieve design, video editing, scheduling and automation? Here’s my quick stack that I recommend to brands.

The good news is that you can keep it quite lean. Here are some of the tools I recommend: 

  • Canva - this platform doesn't need much of an introduction. So much you can do, and the introduction of simple animations when you create graphics is a game-changer for doing this tactic.
  • Milk - I've only recently started using Milk Video and it's awesome.
  • Later - my favourite social media scheduling tool is Later. Easily schedule Pins in advance and see analytics of their performance.
  • Zapier - great for automation needs if you need to customise content production workflows.

12. Run Pinterest-specific Contests & Competitions

Running a contest or competition on Pinterest can be a really great way to boost awareness, views and ultimately more people following your brand. 

Before running a contest, it’s important to understand the guidelines. There are also community guidelines relating to contests. This will help determine and ensure you run a campaign by the book. There’s nothing worse than going hard on promoting a contest campaign, only finding out later what you’re doing breaks terms of service. You could burn some money, so definitely make sure to read the guidelines. 

Why run a contest or UGC campaign?

There are four primary reasons why you should run a contest.

  • For brands who have a female-skewed audience, this is the platform you need to push a campaign. In fact, 80% of users on Pinterest are female.
  • Running UGC campaigns in particular can work wonders for your brand. 
  • You can collect content from users and re-use it for your brand marketing efforts
  • Great way to understand how audiences perceive your brand

Ultimately, amplify eyeballs to your brand, as well ad driving emails (and at least some sales).

The more eyeballs on your profile means;

  • More referral traffic
  • Remarketing audiences on Pinterest
  • Remarketing audiences from Pinterest traffic that land on your site, which you can use on other ad networks when they visit your website - i.e. Facebook Ads Pixel and Google remarketing.

What types of contests can I run?

Here are three ideas for types of contests, sweepstakes and competitions you can run.

  • UGC - As we spoke about before, run a UGC campaign where you can get users to pin images and use a specific campaign hashtag. 
  • Pinterest Board contests - Get users to create boards. Get people who want to enter to create a board based on whatever is required according the competition/contest rules you set. This is definitely a competition type that involves high commitment, so you will need to make sure the prize is epic. It's something numerous companies have done before, and it's a smart way to build up boards that can help with more exposure, and even organic search discovery.
  • Follow & “Pin to Win” - Get users to follow your page, and for them to pin an image onto their page for their followers to see. It’s probably one of the ‘easier’ contests to run from a user mechanics point of view. 

There are a few moving parts with this competition format, so I highly recommend reading this Pin to win guide to ensure you do this properly. 

As there’s also a bit of setup to do, check out this tool made for running this contest format.

These are some of the core types you can run. However, you can always run contests and competitions to a specific landing page using ads and organic posts. To make this work for organic (and not spending money), you really need to have thousands of followers and millions of organic views per month. Otherwise, you will need to allocate decent budgets to run ads to your designated landing page.

One of the best software apps I've used for viral and UGC competitions is Gleam, who has specialised apps to run Pinterest competitions. Certainly worth checking out.

13. Run Ads to your popular posts

We’ve talked about organic ways to grow over time (even in just a matter of months) to thousands and millions of impressions.

Impressions are one thing, but how can you really drive more clicks to your website or eCommerce store? The best way to achieve this in the short-medium term (until you have a huge following) is running Ads. 

Pinterest Ads criteria for you to think about

Will Pinterest Ads work for you? Here are four things to keep in mind if you’re going to run ads: 

  • Female-skewed - if your brand has products related to females, then definitely. If related to females and males, then you can have good success, but you will certainly see a higher % of females engaging.
  • Industry-specific - if you’re in fashion, food/cooking or interior design, you can do really well.
  • eCommerce - if you run an eCommerce store, then this platform can work really well. Use “Shopping pins”, which is a great format.

Are Pinterest Ads cost-effective?

  • CPMs/CPCs - compared to the likes of Facebook Ads, running ads on Pinterest can be cost-effective. Although, it comes down to the objective. For awareness and traffic, it can be good. For purely sales-driven campaigns, you can experience mixed results. It all comes down to testing.

I recommend reading these couple of case studies:

  • Case study 1 - Love this one by Dim Niko (gun marketer). They made a 11x return for a dome decor brand.
  • Case Study 2 - This is a great one by Smart Marketer which shares some great details in terms of what they did for their campaign, and results. Impressive to return to make $40k+ from just $775 spend.
  • Case study 3 - Good case study by Adcore. Shares details around CPM costs they saw.

I think we will start to see more case studies and best practices for running ads as it's still a big opportunity to run cheap ads if you have the right product and audience (i.e. channel-fit).

Types of Pinterest Ads for testing

There are five ad formats you can test if you’ve never run ads on the platform before. 

  • Shopping pins - you can upload your product catalogue into the ads manager and run ads to your specific products. The experience is great for those browsing. This format is all about driving sales/conversions. 
  • Video Pin Ads - really effective if you have a strong video creative strategy. Highlight your products in action. Use creativity from influencers, such as product reviews. Plenty of video ideas you can test. 
  • Carousel Ads - works in many ways like Facebook carousel ads. More ways to describe USPs or have ‘extra’ real estate to communicate your message. 
  • App install pins - Makes sense if you have an app. 
  • Standard pins - this format lets you upload your own creative in vertical dimensions. It’s actually one of the more popular formats used by advertisers. 

Key takeaway - it’s definitely recommended to engage with an ads strategist before you really push. You need to make sure you set up the pixel (and it’s firing), make sure your analytics are tracking properly and also understand your customer journey to ensure you give the ads a chance to succeed. 

Other strategies to look out for

Here are a few other things I've noticed some brands have been using as part of their Pinterest strategy.

  • Adding tags to their profile with bio - Here's an example reference.
  • Verified Merchant program - as you can see from the above profile, there's the blue profile tick. I've seen a lot more profiles have this and it's something you should definitely apply for as it establishes trust and credibility for people just discovering you.
  • Carousel pins - a lot of fashion, food, and beauty brands lapping this up.
  • Product tags - similar to Instagram, people are tagging products. After you click a tag, it directs you to a list of related products. This is a good guide by Pinterest talking about how to add product tags to pins.

Final Takeaways

These list of Pinterest marketing strategies is just a starting point. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Of course, as with any other platform, Pinterest’s landscape may change over time, so whatever worked for your marketing this year might not work for the next. Continuously monitor what works and what doesn’t. Be adaptive. 

When speaking with clients I work with, there are some major takeaways I remind them as eCommerce businesses. Here's what I say to them:

  • Create a content repurposing production process
  • Post on the platform often. To see real engagement, follower, impression growth, and ultimately organic traffic from Pinterest, you need to post at least 3x per day. And it needs to be content, with a big focus on video.
  • Promoted Pins and ads can work well for top of funnel (TOF) campaigns, such as competitions and brand awareness. It's getting more expensive on other channels, so for cheaper traffic that can still be great quality, then look into running ads on this platform.
  • It can be a 'second blog' to your core content blog. You can use it as an organic engine if you post content often and set up the right boards. Make sure to read the study above which I mentioned.

If there's one final takeaway to remember that I say to my clients - algorithms may change over time, but one thing’s for sure, do the basics well and create epic content. Pinterest will remain a great platform to amplify your brand visibility and drive organic visits, referral traffic, and sales for your brand. Never stop creating great stuff.

⚡ Frequently Asked Questions ⚡

Is Pinterest a shopping site?

Pinterest is actually known as a social network, similar to Instagram and TikTok, where you discover images, videos, trends, and content that audiences can engage with. As for whether you can shop on Pinterest, the answer is a resounding yes. The platform brought out a suite of tools years ago that makes it easy for stores and advertisers to promote their products, which consumers can easily engage with. The social network has a great job improving the UX of its advertising infrastructure.

Does Pinterest work for eCommerce?

Absolutely. In fact, there are thousands of brands that have had great success with Pinterest. Brands have used the shoppable advertising features to drive sales, as well as the fact that the platform has a great discovery engine that drives organic eyeballs.

What should be focused on when developing a Pinterest marketing strategy that can drive organic growth and free traffic?

The key to great success for brand building, increasing followers, getting traffic and ultimately driving conversions on this channel, in my opinion, comes down to posting great content, posting multiple times per day, working with influencers in your niche for network effect, and distributing your posts and content through your existing channels, such as newsletters and your blog. If you do these four key strategies, you will certainly create a flywheel that will pay serious dividends. However, to really accelerate reach, clicks and engagement, you will need to boost through paid ads.

How has Pinterest helped other eCommerce brands?

Some of the world’s biggest DTC and eCommerce brands have done an epic job on the platform for brand awareness and engagement. Brands such as Love Leggings, Fenty Beauty, Mecca Beauty, Rare Beauty, Room and Board, and Mejury Jewelry. This is only a select handful that I think have done a brilliant job, but there are hundreds and thousands of others. I recommend looking up some case studies to find out more specific.

Are Pinterest Ads cheaper than Facebook Ads?

It comes down to what desired metric you're trying to achieve, but typically from my experience, as well as working with other awesome eCommerce brands, ads on this social network have cheaper CPMs and CPCs compared to Facebook Ads. However, from my experience, I’ve had better conversions in terms of volume and higher AOV of sales. It comes down to a few factors which determine your success with promoted pins and shopping ads on this platform, but they can certainly play a pivotal role, in a world where competition is becoming more fierce, and expensive, on Facebook and Instagram Ads.
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