It’s easy to push Pinterest under the rug.
Yes, more people use Facebook.
However, users on Pinterest are signing onto the platform to plan, buy, and do. That’s a much different intention than users signing onto a platform to watch cat videos.
And, when you consider that 50% of women and 50% of dads in the United States are using Pinterest—that’s some buying power. (Hint: that’s 47,000,000 American users.)
See where I’m going with this?
If you need more reason to pay attention to Pinterest, then let me let you in on a little secret: Very few marketers get Pinterest, which means there is opportunity left on the table, and you can rake it in by learning the basics.
This is exactly how I got started establishing a Pinterest presence for BabyList during my time as their CMO.
Using the incredible results from the three strategies below, we were in a great position when we were given access to Pinterest Promoted Pins—a venture that resulted in a 40% increase in revenue during its first five months!
Those steps were basic, but powerful, and they’re what I’ll be sharing today.
Let’s get started.
Step #1: Forget Your Profile
Everyone thinks you have to start with a Pinterest profile, and then you have to find and save cool pins to your profile day and night to gain followers.
These people are WRONG.
And I understand their confusion.
Every other social platform makes you start with a profile and encourages businesses to build their number of followers.
But Pinterest is different.
While you do need a Pinterest profile to spend advertising dollars on Pinterest, you DON’T need a profile to get tons of traffic from Pinterest.
Let me give you an example.
The grocery store Trader Joe’s does not have a Pinterest profile, but I know they get tons of traffic from Pinterest.
How do I know Trader Joe’s gets tons of traffic from Pinterest?
Here’s the trick: You can go to “www.pinterest.com/source/[enter_url_here]” to see what people are pinning from ANY website.
So, let’s see what people are pinning from traderjoes.com by typing in www.pinterest.com/source/traderjoes.com:
Look at that! Recipes from the Trader Joe’s website are being saved to thousands of Pinterest profiles, all without Trader Joe’s having a Pinterest profile. Huzzah!
Step #2: Figure Out What People Like Pinning
Okay, now you know you don’t have to create a profile to get Pinterest traffic.
Start by getting a feel for your competition on Pinterest.
To do this, type your best search terms into the Pinterest search bar.
For example, if I have a toy company, I’d type “toys” into the Pinterest search bar. If I’m a motivational speaker, I’d start by typing in “motivational speaker” into Pinterest.
What comes up for your search terms? Which pins have the most re-pins?
Now, a lot of people think of Pinterest as a social media site, but it really functions as a search engine.
So, treat Pinterest like Google.
Type in your search terms, see who wins them, and strategize on the content you can create to get you to appear among the results.
To illustrate, during my time as CMO of BabyList, I realized there was a lot of potential for us when it came to baby gear searches on Pinterest.
Search terms like…
- “best stroller of 2016”
- “baby swaddle blanket”
- “how to cloth diaper”
So, we created blog posts to target these searches… and it worked.
We got 100,000 more visitors to our site as a result.
(Related: How To Write Blog Posts That Sell)
Step #3: Add Vertical Images to Your Posts
Once you have blog posts that match well with Pinterest search terms, you have to make sure there is an awesome VERTICAL image included in the post.
Buzzfeed has some great examples.
When they write a post they think will do well on Pinterest, they always include a vertical image with the post, as they do in the article below:
See the vertical image/collage that’s featured at the top of the post?
At this point, you might feel overwhelmed – I have to add vertical images to all my blog posts now?
Believe me, this can be simpler than it seems.
You just need…
- A portrait image that matches your blog post theme (I love Stocksy for finding images).
- A way to overlay the title of your blog post on top of the image (I love picMonkey for adding text overlays – you don’t even need a designer).
Your pins don’t even have to be professionally designed.
In fact, I believe the pins that look homemade do better than the super well-designed ones because they look less like ads.
Try these simple three steps and take your Pinterest game to the next level and leave your competition in the dust.