UPDATE: In the summer of 2022, we tested out multiple pinning strategies and shared our results here.
NOTE: Looking for personalized help with your Pinterest marketing strategy? Learn more here.
In a previous podcast episode, we dove into the topic of how to make Pinterest work for your business. If you’re struggling to find your groove while creating your profile, boards, or pins, go back and listen to that episode. That will give you a really good foundation to jump into this week’s episode, where we’ll focus on how to create a Pinterest marketing strategy.
How to Create a Pinterest Marketing Strategy
Creating a Pinterest marketing strategy can sound really daunting. Not only that, it sounds like something everyone has. People drop the comment in a Facebook group about having a strategy and the entire thread blows up with “tell me your secrets”. I’m going to be real honest here and tell you, there isn’t one! No secret trick, no way to game the system, just plain old hard work. Sorry, that’s the lame answer.
Now let me give you an awesome answer. I’ll help get you started on creating a strategy that DOES work for you, as long as you’re implementing the right strategy.
Some of the questions I’ve received over and over are:
How do I schedule or should I be pinning manually?
Do I repin?
How often should I be pinning?
How do I get my pins seen in the Smart Feed?
How do I grow my followers?
Again, let me put your mind at ease. You are not missing anything. I’m not holding back the secrets from you. The key to success is truly all about finding the strategy that uniquely works for you and your business. I can feel you rolling your eyes through the screen, I promise you that it has to be unique to your biz.
How a Pinterest Strategy Can Fit Into Your Business
You want an efficient Pinterest plan for your business. This ensures that you’re not drowning or exhausted from spending time on an area that isn’t giving you a good return on your investment. As I’ve said (a million times!), Pinterest is a slow burn. It takes time to cultivate sessions and conversions.
If you’re going to invest in Pinterest marketing, I recommend giving yourself six months to a year to evaluate whether it works for your business.
I can 95% guarantee that you’ll start to see movement and growth over time. I really want to say 100% but I know there’s always an outlier that runs the stats, and then emails me that I’m wrong. I’ll just go ahead and stick with 95% so no one is disappointed.
In order to determine whether Pinterest is right for your business (and if so), develop a successful strategy, you have to ask yourself a few questions:
- Is Pinterest where my audience or buyer is?
- How much time can I invest in Pinterest?
- How much money can I invest in programs, courses, services, or tools if I don’t have the time to manage my account on my own?
- What percentage of traffic do I receive from Pinterest?
Get out a pen and paper and write this stuff down. Evaluate it with a coach or mastermind. This is what you’ll want to go back to when you’re feeling like it’s not working. You’ll be reminded that your people ARE on Pinterest and you do have time to invest.
Knowing Your Audience and Blocking Out Your Time
If your audience is on Pinterest, it is absolutely worth pursuing it as a marketing strategy. You’re opening up a new door for people to buy your products. If you need help determining if Pinterest is right for you, you can listen to the last podcast episode of 2018.
If you already know your avatar and what they’re searching for on Pinterest, then you need to be spending time on Pinterest. How much time though?
In episode 126, my friend, Ruth Soukup talked about how she was spending 4+ hours a day on Pinterest when she first started using it and she was drowning.
I recommend that you spend no more than 5-10 hours per week on Pinterest. Block out specific time for Pinterest! I love using Pinterest and could spend hours just pinning. But for marketing, you don’t want to spend hours and hours working on it. If you’re spending 20 hours per week on Pinterest, pull up a chair. That isn’t going to work.
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
What to Spend Your Money On
As far as spending money on your Pinterest strategy, here are a few of my top recommendations.
I recommend Tailwind for Pinterest scheduling. I’ve used it from the time they opened it up for purchase and have never looked back. Plus, it’s approved by Pinterest and the people working there are awesome.
You can also add Tasty Pins if you have a WordPress site so that the user chooses the correct image to pin on Pinterest. You can use Milo Tree (for $9 a month) to increase followers. Canva is a great program that we use for images.
The Daily Nitty Gritty
Everyone wants to know what they should be doing every day on Pinterest. Consistency is key, my friends.
I pin a minimum of 5-10 pins per day. Most of those pins are my own content and are being pinned to my own boards, along with a few group boards. How often you pin per day depends on how much content you are creating. There is no magic number. You have to figure out what works for you. It’s not detrimental to pin 10 times one day and 15 the next day.
In the beginning, I was pinning mostly other people’s pins because I was only posting on my site once every quarter. I made sure to pin content that matched what I was writing about and that was not competing with my content.
I wanted to be a resource to my audience and stand behind what I was posting.
Now that I have over 150 pieces of content, I pin mostly my own content.
Personal Boards vs. Group Boards
You want Pinterest to recognize that you are sharing content about a specific topic to your personal boards. Only join group boards if you know the person, the niche matches yours, there’s a great title to the board, and if it contains content that will benefit your audience.
Remember the user experience and don’t pin the same pins back to back on the same board. New content can take a while to take off on Pinterest. When you create new content, pin it to all relevant boards at least one time (I add them to each board about 3-4 days apart using Tailwind). Then in a couple of weeks, look in your Tailwind analytics to see how the pins performed. I don’t add them to the same board for at least 2 months or so.
If you have a small seasonal window for your content that does really well, it’s okay to pin it again to the same board 1 or 2 times. Just don’t pin it 50 different times to the same board.
Getting Into the Smart Feed
Are you supposed to repin/save from Pinterest or from your website? Your website! Pinterest loves fresh pins, so always, always use your site or Tailwind to pin your content.
Your pin description plays the most crucial role in your pin being noticed by Pinterest. Make sure your description is keyword optimized. Doing this step well is what gets you into the search feed.
When pinners save something, it provides a clue to Pinterest on what the person is interested in so that they can build a unique and optimized smart feed for that individual. Also, make sure to create pins with great images to maximize the probability that people will save them. In addition, make sure your descriptions and board names are keyword-optimized.
Your audience makes a huge impact on your Pinterest reach. Whenever possible, encourage your people to do the saving for you. Ask your email list to pin a specific pin. Share a pin link on Facebook or Instagram.
Tailwind has an excellent article about how to get seen in the smart feed.
Followers and Traffic Don’t Correlate
Over 97% of searches on Pinterest are unbranded. This means that no one really cares about how awesome you are like they do on Instagram. It means that pinners are more concerned about a topic than a person.
It’s crucial to understand that Pinterest followers are different than followers on any other platform. People are using Pinterest to curate ideas, not to follow brands. Followers and traffic don’t correlate. You can have 50,000 followers and get the exact same amount of Pinterest-generated traffic as someone with 10,000 followers.
If your content is keyworded and has good engagement, it will bring traffic to your site. It won’t necessarily increase followers. If increasing followers is super important to you, I suggest installing the Milo Tree app, which creates a popup on your site to help grow your followers.
How to Create a Pinterest Marketing Strategy for your Own Business
How can you come up with a simple strategy that works for your business? Your Pinterest marketing strategy should look something like this:
I pin ten times per day, 7 of my own pins and 3 of other peoples. I aim to pin my most popular content first, found in my Google or Pinterest analytics. Then I pin seasonal content, and then lastly, my new content. I primarily focus on personal boards instead of group boards and I check my Tailwind stats one time per month to inform me on how it’s working. I check my analytics to see how my pins are performing there as well.
And that’s it! In the seven years that I have been working in Pinterest marketing, I have never found a regimented system to work well.
I don’t use spreadsheets, but we do take notes. We document what we’re seeing and get to know the accounts we manage intimately. That allows us to create a better strategy for our clients.
Don’t get caught up in the weeds. Just keep looking at what your account is doing.
Want to learn more?
- Understanding Pinterest Group Boards
- What to Do When Your Pinterest Marketing is not Working
- How to create quality Pinterest images that convert
Helpful Pinterest Resources
- Just starting out on Pinterest? Join our 4-week newsletter series that will help you get up and running fast AND the right way with your Pinterest Marketing.
- Rocking Pinterest and just want to make sure you’re maximizing your efforts? Join us as we walk through all of the most burning questions that will help you be more productive and efficient.
- Simple Pin Podcast — All Pinterest Marketing, All the time. Subscribe now.
- Email Marketing Fairy templates from Kate Doster — If your primary goal in using Pinterest for business is to grow your email list, DO NOT MISS THIS RESOURCE. Kate is wicked smart at email copy and we’ve heard amazing things from our audience about her inexpensive templates.
This podcast was soooo helpful!
This post was so helpful, specially to new bloggers like me. Thank you
I listened to the Podcast yesterday and plan on listening again today. It was so helpful!
Tracey Skafidas says
This is such great information! I have been on Pinterest for a while with an etsy biz, but just now diving in to find out what really works for my new blog!
Something I’ve been struggling to figure out is how to pin many pins a day, while keeping a good chunk of them as pins from my own content. I only publish new content once a week. Let’s say I want to post 50% my content and 50% of others’, I would only be pinning two pins per day (one for my new post and one of someone else). Am I supposed to be pinning older content that’s already in those boards? If so, how often should I be doing that? I just don’t understand how people say to pin X number of pins per day and X amount should be your own content. Help! Thanks, Rachel
Kate Ahl says
Yep, pin older content for sure. But do focus on your own content. Create new images for your content too. Sometimes having 3 images per post helps spread it out
This is a great episode! I do have a question for a part I don’t understand. When you say you pin your most popular first, then seasonal and new, what does that mean? I understand to pin the popular. For seasonal and new do you mean you pin them later in the month? Later in the schedule?
Thanks for the help!
Kate Ahl says
I’m referring to the order in which we schedule pins within Tailwind queue
You mentioned “Are you supposed to repin/save from Pinterest or from your website? Your website! Pinterest loves fresh pins, so always, always use your site or Tailwind to pin your content.”
If you have lots of pin for the same post on your blog, how do you save them from your website to Pinterest? I assume if the post is doing well, you will keep creating new pins. So where do you host the pins on your website?
kate ahl says
You can use a paid social sharing program like Tasty Pins or Social Pug to create hidden pins associated with the post (so that you don’t have to embed multiple pinnable images within the post). I use Social Pug.
Another alternative is to create a new pin within Pinterest (uploading the image directly to Pinterest, then adding a pin description. title and URL to that new image).
Arjun Malhotra says
Thanks for sharing a useful Guide on Pinterest Marketing. Pinterest is one of the best social media channels to drive traffic and gain more exposure for your business.
kate ahl says
Couldn’t agree more Arjun!
Kevin Farran says
Thanks for the informative podcast. I have recently found the site and it is extremely helpful. I am flogging simplepinmedia to my contacts. As a writer, I am not sure it is beneficial in marketing my books, but Pinterest visual content for imagery that I can incorporate for myself (and hopefully readers) is dynamic on Pinterest. Thanks Kevin
kate ahl says
Welcome Kevin! Be sure to check out our podcast all about Pinterest Marketing for Authors
thank you so much! still taking notes and on this is the 3ed podcast tonight! on to the next while i work on my boards!
kate ahl says
You are going to have an awesome 2020 Tiffany!
Pauletta Siniscalchi says
Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and the rest of the website is also very good.