Hi, fellow frustrated Pinterest user. As someone who has done a lot of research on Pinterest best practices, read a ton of blog posts, and taken a handful of Pinterest courses, I can say that it’s hard to get the full picture of Pinterest marketing strategy from a singular resource.
That being said, I’m going to attempt it. This is going to be a beginner’s guide to Pinterest marketing in 2021, boiled down to the minimum information I think you need to know to get results. A lazy (efficient) business owner’s guide to Pinterest marketing strategy, if you will.
Affiliate Disclaimer: Some links within this post are affiliate links, which means that I’ll make a commission if you choose to purchase something through them at no extra cost to you. If you do, thank you! If you don’t, thank you for reading anyway. I only recommend stuff I actually use and like and would recommend to a friend.
1.) You need consistent content
One of the biggest disconnects I’ve noticed with bloggers and business owners is that they want their content to get found and they want traffic to their sites, but they don’t want to publish regular content.
Here’s the thing, though: You need to be publishing content to get found in searches.
That goes for Pinterest searches as well. Of course, there’s the off chance that you publish 5 articles on your site, pin them, and one goes viral and you’re set for life. But I wouldn’t count on that happening.
Instead, you need to have a consistent publishing schedule. That doesn’t been you need to be cranking out posts twice a week as a one-woman show, but you do want to make sure that you’re not neglecting the content creation side of your business.
Because if you’re not giving your people a reason to come to you’re site regularly, they aren’t coming. “Build it and they will come” doesn’t apply online. On that same note, there’s no point in developing a Pinterest marketing strategy if you don’t have a content creation strategy first. Start there!
Content creation can seem like a thankless task at first, but if you’re publishing genuinely helpful information, it’ll be like a snowball effect. You’ll get more people finding you from Google and Pinterest and you’ll end up with more backlinks, which is priceless when it comes to SEO.
2.) 10+ pins per piece of content
One of the biggest changes in Pinterest marketing recently is the emphasis on “fresh content.” This doesn’t mean that every pin needs to be linking to a new blog post, but you should be pinning more variations of each pin rather than repinning the same graphic month after month.
This does mean more work since you’ll need to create more pins for each piece of content you create. I recommend designing 10 or more pins per post and then scheduling them out via Tailwind, setting them to be sent out at a rate of about 1/month per piece of content.
The idea is that you don’t want to be spamming the same graphics around Pinterest because Pinterest is making it more difficult for repetitive content to gain visibility, which makes sense.
My workflow is to create 12 pins for each post and I do that in one big batch right after writing the post. That way, I have enough pins for an entire year and I don’t have to revisit it before then. When I run out of pins for that post, it’s probably time to revisit the post to update it (good idea for SEO) and create 12 more pins for it.
I use Canva to create a set of pin templates that I can quickly use to bang out those 12 pin variations in 10 minutes-ish, then I upload the pins to Tailwind and get them scheduled to send out. I add 1-2 of them to the actual blog post.
If you don’t want to make pin templates on your own, Creative Market always comes in clutch with the premade templates you can use again and again. Here’s some cute ones:
Some of those pins will do well and some of them less so – that’s normal! The idea is that the more pin variations you have, the more “fresh content” is on your profile and the more chances you have for one of those pins to take off and bring you consistent traffic.
3.) Write 5+ pin descriptions per post
Here’s another thing you probably don’t want to hear, but I’m going to tell you anyway. 🤣
Just like creating different pin images for each of your posts is a good idea, writing different pin descriptions for each post is also a good idea and boosts you chances of one or more of those pins taking off.
People search for ideas and info on Pinterest and your pin description is one of the things Pinterest looks at when deciding which pins it wants to show people during their searches. So different pin descriptions with different keywords in them will show up in slightly different searches.
Here’s 2 examples of a pin description for one post on my work from home mom blog:
Pin description 1:
“Here’s how to get started with freelance writing from home, even if you don’t have any experience. You don’t need any kind of certification or degree to be an amazing freelance writer and get awesome results for your clients. And starting a freelance writing business is a popular option for work from home moms for a reason! Businesses need writers like you to help sell their products. If you’re looking for the ultimate guide to freelance writing for beginners, you’ve found it! :)”
Pin description 2:
“Thinking about starting a business as a freelance writer? Smart idea! There’s a lot to work through when you’re getting started in the world of online business, though, so check out this guide for the full story of what to expect when starting a freelance writing business. #freelancewriting #freelancingforbeginners #workfromhomemomjobs”
Both of them are written pretty conversationally, neither are masterful works of copywriting genius, and they have similar but different keywords in them. That’s what I want you to go for!
Try to write 5 pin descriptions per post to pair with those 10+ pins you make for each post. I store them in a Google doc so that I can easily find them when I need to come back and make more pins for my posts.
You won’t have to update these every year unless the content of your post changes significantly or you just want to experiment with new pin descriptions.
4.) Forget about group boards for the most part
Group boards used to be a big Pinterest marketing strategy, but they’re a lot less relevant today. One of the reasons for that is because group board members tend to follow outdated Pinterest strategies and spam a lot of similar pins to those boards, minimizing the visibility of them.
Even if group boards have a lot of followers, they don’t tend to drive a lot of traffic these days. Especially targeted traffic, which is what you want.
If you’re still interested in utilizing group boards for your Pinterest marketing strategy, I’d look for very specific, niched-down boards with a lot of non-spammy activity.
5.) Pin other peoples’ content, but make sure it’s doing well
Pinning other peoples’ content on Pinterest is not a bad idea at all. It can boost your views, actually. Community over competition is definitely a thing on Pinterest, which I love.
Experts debate on what ratio is best – some say 80% your content and 20% other peoples’ while some experts swear 50/50 is a better rule. I don’t stick to a particular formula, but I do hop onto Pinterest 1-2 times per week to pin content similar or complementary to mine that’s performing well.
To find some of that, I just do a search for keywords related to my Pinterest boards. For example, “WordPress tips” or “site speed optimization” or “SEO tutorials for beginners.” Then I pin some of the top pins for a few different searches.
The other way I find other creators’ content to pin is through Tailwind Communities. To be a part of those, you actually HAVE to pin other peoples’ stuff, otherwise, they kick you out. It’s a rule in place to make sure everyone in the community is benefitting and getting their content shared.
But that’s definitely no problem because it’s a win-win. Tailwind Communities can help you discover tons of great content and expand your reach by a lot – I’ve been repinned by some big names in the online marketing world just because I happened to be in some of the same communities as they are, which give me a boost in views.
6.) Automate as much as you can
There’s a couple of ways for you to automate a lot of your Pinterest marketing and I recommend that you do both if you can.
First, you can schedule out pins for the next 2 weeks on Pinterest. This is free and pretty easy to do, but the downside is that you’ll have to come back every 2 weeks to schedule more pins.
Second, you can use Tailwind (a Pinterest-approved scheduler) to schedule out pins months in advance and to join Tailwind Communities to get your content shared by other creators. I’m obsessed with Tailwind because I just jump in every 1-2 months and spend a couple of hours scheduling out content for the next 1-2 months. And bam. Aside from creating graphics and writing pin titles and descriptions, that’s most of my Pinterest marketing work done.
Even if you end up signing up for Tailwind (which I highly highly recommend) I would still jump in and schedule some pins manually in Pinterest.
There is some talk about giving more visibility to accounts that utilize its native scheduling feature, but there’s not a lot of data to back that up yet. Still, worth a log in here and there to add some pins to your queue, because it just takes a few minutes!
7.) Pin to your most relevant board first
Super quick tip, but the first time you pin a blog post, pin it to your most relevant board to help Pinterest understand what your pin is about quicker. Like any search engine, Pinterest relies on a few different things to decide what your posts are about and what searches they should show up for.
One of those things is what board you pin your pins to, especially if those boards are well-established and Pinterest is clear on what kind of pins belong there.
If I have a new pin about on-page SEO tips, I’ll pin it to my SEO tips board first. After that, I might pin it to a content marketing board, then a blogging board, then a WordPress board. But it goes on the SEO board first because it’s more specific to what that pin is about.
Let’s recap: A minimal Pinterest marketing strategy
There’s a lot more to marketing than Pinterest, so that’s why we’re keeping it super simple. I know you have a million other thin gs to work on aside from your Pinterest marketing strategy.
Pinterest has proven to be a powerful traffic-generator for my websites, so it’s well-worth investing time into, but it doesn’t have to be time intensive to get results. I’ve found the best ROI by sticking to this general framework:
- Publishing consistent content (Make sure that there’s at least 1 pinnable image within the content as well as a pin description ready to go.)
- Creating 10+ pins for each piece of content.
- Writing 5+ pin descriptions for each piece of content.
- Scheduling out 1-2 months of pins at a time using Tailwind and occasionally the nativ Pinterest scheduler.
- Making sure I’m not pinning the same blog post more than 1x per month so that I’m not coming across as spammy.
- Pinning posts to the most relevant board first. Schedule other pins for that post to other, relevant boards.
Hope you’ve found this pared-down Pinterest marketing strategy guide pretty easy to follow! There’s a lot of Pinterest tips out there and it can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. From what I’ve seen, if you’re putting out good content consistently and pinning it with a variation of different graphics and descriptions, you can pretty easily get a consistent flow of traffic from Pinterest.
One of the best things about Pinterest marketing is that aside from the pin creation and writing the descriptions, it’s pretty hands-off, which is unique for online marketing. So much of it is high-touch (Instagram stories, anyone? 😂) so it’s nice to have something a bit simpler to fall back on when you’re not able to give that much energy and attention to your social media.
Comment below with any Pinterest marketing strategies or reach out to me on IG @januarymaydesign – I’d love to chat with you about Pinterest if you’ve got tips or questions.
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