Pinterest idea pins – they’re here to stay. Join us today as we make the case for getting on board!
Idea pins are time-consuming. So are they worth all the effort?
Today we’ll update you on the idea pin feature and talk about why you should be including them in your winning strategy.
We know all your reasons for not wanting to create idea pins. We also know that many of you have lots of feelings about Pinterest evolving from a traffic-driving platform to more of a “destination” platform.
Right now, there’s a lot of negative conversation about Idea pins happening in Facebook groups. Listening to that and burying your heads in the sand, waiting for this change to pass isn’t the answer.
Our guest today tells us that short-form video (a major component of Idea pins), isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, it’s getting even more popular.
Beth Le Manach of Entertaining with Beth is here to share her positive point of view. We’ll learn about her experience over the last year with Idea pins as a food content creator. She’s going to share what she’s learned from being a beta tester for Idea pins in Pinterest’s Creator Program.
I think you’re going to be encouraged by what she has to say.
Whether we like it or not, online marketing platforms change all the time. How we move with that evolution and how we invest in it will be the determiner of our success.
As a product seller or a new creator marketing your business on Pinterest, knowing how Pinterest’s platform can work for you and planning a strategy around that knowledge is a much more productive use of time than listening to the negative chatter over on Facebook groups.
So my job here today is to give you the facts about Idea pins and then share with you the story of how Idea pins are working successfully for another creator.
Before we dive into that I want to let you know that we have released our new niche-specific Canva pin template packs. We’ve packaged them separately for specific business industries to make creating images for Pinterest in your niche easier.
Let’s get started with what we know about Idea pins.
The Evolution of Pinterest idea pins
Story pins were launched in beta around September of 2020 and Idea pins evolved from there.
Pinterest changed the name to avoid confusion with Stories on Instagram. They felt the term Idea pins was a better match for the uniqueness of their product. Idea pins were going to empower creators to share long-lasting ideas rather than quick stories.
Idea pins are a multi-page video/image format for sharing high-quality, long-lasting content or product ideas directly to Pinterest. Once created, they are permanent and they can be saved to any of your Pinterest boards.
They are available to all Creators in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Related: Pinterest Marketing Beyond the States
They have become so popular that the number of Idea pins created daily has grown nearly four times since January. In the past month, we’ve seen nine times the average comment rate on Idea pins compared to standard pins.
They are being prioritized by Pinterest in Search, the Today tab, and at the top of Creator profiles.
Idea pin creation Includes:
- Video recording and editing for up to 20 pages of content (we recommend a lower number that won’t overwhelm the Pinner)
- Voice-over recording for personalizing with your voice
- Detail pages for including instructions, ingredients, or notes
- Interactive elements (like people tagging and stickers)
- Multi-draft save so creators can publish more ideas
The upshot is, while Idea pins don’t link yet (and we don’t know when or if they will), their prioritization by Pinterest leads to an increase in Pinterest followers and encourages people to come to your Pinterest profile and then to your website. There’s also a great benefit to your Google SEO, but more on that later.
My challenge for you today is to experiment with Idea pins. Try leaning into them to see how they can help grow your business.
With that, let’s dive in to my conversation with Beth.
I was excited to interview Beth because of her experience with Idea pins. She also has a unique life story I love so much and could talk about all day long, but let’s get on to Idea pins and I’ll share more about her story later.
How a Heavy Investment in Pinterest Idea Pins Has Paid Off
Beth has invested in Idea pins pretty heavily over the last year and has seen great growth as a result.
She was very frustrated with Pinterest about a year ago, just like many of us. Her impressions were tanking and she wasn’t getting any traffic. But she loved Pinterest and found it to be very inspiring personally.
Beth was invited to participate in the Idea Pins Beta Program so she decided to dive into the process. She learned everything she could about Idea pins while participating in Pinterest’s eight-week course.
Realizing she didn’t have a ton of time for this new format, she committed to creating just one story pin a week (which was Pinterest’s recommendation).
At that time, she had been stuck at around 14,000 followers for months.
Then she started creating Idea pins and slowly they started taking off. She realized her commitment had been worth the effort when her account grew from 14,000 followers to 175,000 followers. Beth says this growth all came from creating just one Idea pin each week.
Despite the extra effort involved in adapting to this new format, Beth discovered something cool along the way.
The majority of her Idea pins were created from content she already had. So these weren’t new recipes. She simply edited some of her old food videos.
Beth has a YouTube channel and describes herself as a video-first Creator. Taking those videos and repurposing them made the transition to Idea pin creation fairly painless.
While she was in France this summer, she discovered how to make it even easier. She wasn’t able to record her YouTube videos using her typical workflow and equipment so she used her phone camera instead. Beth says it was so easy because the app allows you to do all the editing right there.
Although she wasn’t using a fancy camera and professional set-up to produce high-quality video, she didn’t see a difference in engagement or impressions.
At first, Beth chose to continue her static pinning while also creating Idea pins.
She hypothesized that creating Idea pins would boost her static pin performance. For her account, this did not appear to be the case so she actually stopped pinning static pins altogether. Now she just relies on her followers to do the repinning and saves necessary to keep her static pins circulating in the Pinterest ecosystem. She has not created new static pins in months.
Beth also mentioned another mind-blowing bit of information about her time investment with Facebook.
A couple of her friends are very big on Facebook and they were telling her to post a lot more content with more consistency in order to get results.
Related: The Transition from Pinterest Marketing to Facebook Marketing
She decided to increase her commitment to Facebook marketing for one month, creating and posting three videos a day to see what would happen.
Sure enough, it drove a good amount of traffic to her site. But Beth found the amount of time and effort involved in re-cutting all her YouTube videos to fit Facebook and responding to all the comments was overwhelming.
I was so stressed out at the end of that month because it was like 90 videos. So I decided, I am not going to put that much time into Facebook. I’m going to do what I can on Facebook, but I’m just going to stay consistent with Pinterest.— Beth
Although Beth’s friends were “beating the Facebook drum,” she realized that her ROI with Pinterest was so much better. One piece of content a week, that she was already creating on YouTube, could be cut down for Pinterest, TikTok, and Instagram reels. It’s one recipe that gets “cut and sliced and diced” for every platform and it’s quite efficient from a workflow point of view.
As an aside, I love that she looked at her ROI from an efficiency of time perspective.
A lot of people miss the cost of their time when citing their ROI. They go straight to the dollar investment. But think about 90 videos in a month. Look how much time Beth was spending compared to her time commitment on Idea pins and balance that with the the long-term exposure she is getting on Pinterest.
Monetizing Pinterest Idea Pins
Beth believes things are going to get interesting soon on Pinterest from a monetization point of view. She says it’s worth investing in building an audience while the prioritization of Idea pins still makes it relatively easy to do.
We hear two main reasons that people don’t want to invest in Idea pins.
First, Pinterest marketers use Pinterest primariy to drive traffic, but Idea pins don’t link out.
Creators say they aren’t going to do them from the philosophical standpoint that the platform isn’t doing what it said it would do.
Second, Instagram has historically been seen as the place to connect with brands. Pinterest is just now entering the scene.
Beth argues that Idea pins can drive traffic. Not only have they increased her follower numbers, but she has not experienced the dip in traffic that others have through the year. Her traffic has remained the same and she attributes this solely to her investment in Idea pins.
Looking through her analytics, Beth said in the past she would have up to 20 pins driving her traffic from Pinterest. Now her number one source of referring traffic is her Pinterest homepage.
Users view the Idea pin, come over to my Pinterest homepage, and then click on the link to my blog which is right there. That’s a really valuable user compared to someone who’s just finding a recipe, bouncing over and bouncing off. The Idea pin user went through the whole Idea pin, took the time to come over to your homepage, and took one more step to come to your blog.— Beth
Idea pins have created a whole new user experience and that has been good for brand deals. Beth has done two brand deals on Pinterest that have worked out really well.
Related: Reporting Pinterest Statistics to Brands
Beth says investing in the short-form video format has been great for her brand deals. This media format is hot and it brings the human experience to your content or product. The audience sees you in a video as they consume your content and they feel engaged with you. That’s super appealing to brands.
Beth had a brand reach out to her through TikTok. The fee they offered was low and not really worth the effort (and TikTok wasn’t even driving any traffic, even with the ability to link to her recipe on her video). Beth realized she could create a more beneficial solution for everyone by proposing a package deal.
She proposed using the footage they originally requested, but leveraging it across four platforms. The Brand was able to quadruple their reach and Beth was able to quadruple her fee.
That particular video ended up getting the most reach and engagement on Pinterest.
So, while Idea pins are different and they don’t link, the intent of Pinterest users remains the same. They are searching for inspiration.
Thinking about the user pathway Beth mentioned let’s not miss another very big thing there. When users watch your Idea pin and take the time to come to your homepage, it’s important for that first page of your website to have a search box so Pinners can easily find what they are looking for.
When your audience wants to discover something, their biggest frustration over the years has been pins that go to dead links. Providing your Pinterest audience with a good user experience is crucial. Most people are using the Pinterest app on their phones. If they can’t easily find what they’re looking for they are going to bounce.
Speaking of bouncing, Beth said her bounce rate is better since focusing on Idea pins — a 10% improvement!
Pinterest is an amazing branding platform. If somebody sees something delicious or a great idea that makes them want to know more about it, they’re gonna come to the website. Even though technically everything is in the Idea pin and they don’t have to come to your website, the funny thing is, they do. They want more. They want to know who you are. I think it’s interesting that they still come.— Beth
Beth feels that we, as creators, think of our blog as our “owned and operated platform” and all other platforms exist to drive people to our blogs so we can make money. We don’t want to be subjected to the winds of changing algorithms and all that goes with it.
But once a platform gains a certain level of popularity, it becomes eager to keep users on their platform.
They realize this creates a complicated scenario for creators because they need to make money too. So if platforms strive to keep the audience on their platforms, they have to have a way for creators to be able to monetize on the platform.
Creators have always been able to monetize on YouTube. Then Facebook joined in the monetization party, followed by Instagram and TikTok.
Beth believes even though Pinterest is currently in this wonky in-between state, monetization for creators is coming down the pike. It might feel like a challenge at the moment, but if you like Pinterest and you’ve already invested in it, you should stay there.
I think there are two groups of people on Pinterest. You’re either really tethered to the old days and you just want things to go back to the way they were before or you’re willing to embrace the changes and roll with them.
Pinterest is kind of the last “traffic driver platform” out there and they are making a shift to compete with other platforms. It has been a natural evolution for platforms to become destinations rather than drivers to other sites. It’s now Pinterest’s turn to go through this evolution.
I appreciate what Beth said about how she chose to give Facebook a month of her time, knowing she was just going to see how it went and that it might not work for her.
I think that is the piece that we are missing sometimes — the willingness to try a new tactic We don’t want to accept that Pinterest is evolving into a destination platform and that Idea pins are part of that evolution. People don’t want to embrace Idea pins because they don’t fit with their existing framework.
Beth encourages us to think of this change as just a little tweak in your Pinterest strategy.
By trying it you’ll resuscitate your Pinterest account. It’s sort of like a 1-2 punch.— Beth
Beth also sees Pinterest as an easy place to try out the short-form video format. The editing tools are right there in the app and she thinks they are some of the easiest to learn and use.
Once you’ve learned it on Pinterest then you have the benefit of having three other platforms where you can use your video. It’s not going to be a waste of your time to try.
Current Best Practices for Pinterest Idea Pins
Beth suggested one of the best ways to get ideas for Idea pins is to consume them as a user. Get on Pinterest and see how others are doing it.
Pinterest says five slides for Idea pins is optimal. Some creators have created pins that are only one or two slides. Beth doesn’t think that is going to be enough. She likens Pinterest Idea pins to a movie trailer (not a movie poster).
Idea pins should have a captivating cover image followed by two to five slides outlining project steps. After viewing all the slides in the Idea pin, your user should know how to make the dish or complete the project.
Graphics can also be used for instructions. Beth played around with this idea on one of her Idea pins and it performed well. After just three or four days, that pin generated 250,000 impressions and 1,500 saves.
Voice-over is another tool Beth has found to be very effective for creating high-performing Idea pins. She believes this personal touch helps people to connect with the person behind the pin — making it more engaging and leading to a better completion rate.
Beth says participating in the comments section is also a great idea.
She never used to check comments. She didn’t even know they were there. After learning about them during the beta program, she now checks them every morning as part of her regular workflow. It is another piece of evidence that her audience is engaged.
Beth says some people even go as far as to take pictures of the recipe they’ve made and post them back to the comments.
I just love that. I mean, that is a serious level of engagement when someone has viewed the Idea pin, bought all the ingredients, made the dish, took a picture of it, and circled back to the pin to post it. Someone’s going to remember you when they’ve taken the time to do all of that.— Beth
I was curious about putting a link as a first comment. Beth said you could probably do that but after going through the beta program and hearing where Pinterest is coming from (wanting people to stay on the platform), she wouldn’t recommend that.
That tactic might reduce your chances of being featured in the Today tab and she says that tab drives a lot of traffic.
If you haven’t seen the Today tab yet, Beth describes it as “a very cool thing that is like an editorial roundup” of pins that Pinterest pushes out every day on the platform covering different themes across all verticals.
Beth has had Idea pins featured there several times. She’s gained anywhere from 200 to 500 followers just in one day from being featured there.
You definitely want to follow all of Pinterest’s best practices to have a chance to be featured on the Today tab.
Monetizing Pinterest Idea Pins with Affiliate Links
We have an episode coming up about product tagging for shop owners which has been an interesting new feature. Pinterest rolled this out in July 2021 and I have someone on my team testing it out for me right now with Shopify.
Affiliate links are not completely functional right now but Pinterest says it’s coming. Some affiliate links are already working and once it’s built out you will be able to put Amazon links in there as well.
Beth believes that this is very exciting.
Imagine the potential. If you’re getting Idea pins that are getting a couple hundred thousand impressions and people are saving them, think what the conversion would be when people go to Amazon to buy that thing. Even if they’re being ‘cookied’ for 24 hours and you’re getting a piece of whatever they buy, that could really be something!
The last thing I wanted to cover with Beth was how Idea pins lead to social proof with Google. That’s a new one to me.
Social proof is a marketing tool that is used to help build trust and increase conversions. It can be leveraged to bring more traffic to your website.
With Pinterest, impressions are the thing that seems to drive Google’s validation of your content with SEO. The prioritization of Pinterest Idea pins has made it relatively easy to gain a large number of impressions. Beth has seen viral pins drive lots of traffic to her blog. So even though they’re not linking, the social proof drives these posts to page one of Google.
Related: Leveraging Pinterest and Google SEO to Increase Traffic
Traffic might have been like crickets on those same blog posts for Beth before creating an Idea pin. The only thing she did differently was to create an Idea pin about those recipes and they ended up taking off on Pinterest.
SEO audits for Beth have validated this result for her. Pins with large impressions that go viral go into the larger batch of consideration that Google looks for to find evidence that your content is worthy of sharing.
We all know that being pushed to the top in searches is a great place to be!
Platforms change. And as frustrating as it is, I think it just comes with the territory of creating content for digital platforms.
When people are frustrated with change, it’s tempting to walk away from the platform. The greater learning curve with Idea pins and short-form video is part of why some people want to walk away.
But if you dig into it and learn how to do it, it’s going to resuscitate your Pinterest account and give you those new skills for the very popular short-form video format that you can repurpose for other platforms.
When I think of the learning curve for Idea pins, I always think of the people who had to market their business in the phonebook or the newspaper and how difficult that must have been. They didn’t even know how their marketing content impacted people.
Now we can do all of this on our phones. It’s so easy. I encourage people to just try it. Give yourself 30 days and test out Pinterest Idea pins.
Listen to your analytics. If your data is telling you that it’s working — people are engaging and you can make money — that’s way more important than what the Facebook group-think is saying.
I so appreciate Beth taking time to join me and share her experience with Idea pins.
I encourage you to follow Entertaining with Beth on YouTube and check out her Beth in France series. You’ll see everything they’ve been doing over there and enjoy some of Beth’s culinary experiences too. You can also follow her @maisoncoli on Instagram for house updates.
For Further Listening/Reading:
As always, another great podcast episode! Thank you! So many great takeaways and this podcast has ignited a passion in me to dive into making videos and make that time, aside from the Pinterest takeaways! I love story pins and had my first ‘today’ featured idea pin yesterday!!I have tripled my Pinterest followers in the past three months and I attribute this to idea pins.My homepage is my top referral for Pinterest now.
Lizzie Smiley says
This was a spectacular podcast episode! So so much value. I’ll be referring my followers to it for more info on Idea Pins. THANK YOU Kate and Beth!
Rose Keller says
I didn’t have time to listen to the podcast, but am grateful for the article!
The article states that when Beth was in Beta it had been recommended to her to pin an Idea Pin once a week. What is the current best practice for quantity of Idea Pins?
k ahl says
Once a week is what Pinterest still recommends, so that is a great goal for right now!