Pinterest is so much more than a digital scrapbook of home decor inspo and recipe videos. It’s a product catalogue, search engine, marketplace, and online store all wrapped up into a beautifully presented library of images, videos, and illustrations.
No wonder ecommerce brands are using it as a key marketing channel. Getting to grips with Pinterest’s extensive shopping features will help you get more eyeballs on your products and increase traffic to your website.
Here’s how you can get started.
Why Pinterest is ideal for ecommerce businesses
Pinterest is pretty much the lovechild of Google and Instagram. It’s inherited the search engine capabilities of Google and the visual nature of Instagram—you’ll definitely recognise the Stories feature from our fave grid-inspired channel.
Here’s why Pinterest is a must-have for ecommerce brands:
- It acts as a visual search engine: People can type a phrase into the search bar and get millions of visual results in seconds. The emphasis on photos helps shoppers make snap decisions—75% of consumers say product images are ‘very influential’ in their buying decisions. Look at the results I get when I search for 'workout leggings' on Pinterest. 👀
- It helps shoppers discover new products: Pinterest users have saved over 240 billion pins and 46% of weekly pinners have discovered a new brand or product while browsing Pinterest.
- Pinners stick around for longer: Pinterest shoppers spend twice as much time on the platform per month than users of other social platforms—hello, highly-engaged shoppers!
- It has a wealth of shopping features: Product pins, personal wishlists, and shoppable catalogues—Pinterest has it all. The native shopping features make it easy for your audience to find and buy your products while scrolling through their feed.
- It supports your ecommerce strategy: Whether you want to increase visibility on your products, foster a community around your brand, run targeted ads, educate shoppers, or simply add another traffic source to your mix, Pinterest can help.
- It’s perfect for visually-led brands: You can showcase your beautiful brand assets to attract people who are actively searching for products like yours.
- It’s great for your ROI: Pinterest found that brands that add Shopping or Collections ads to their Pinterest mix saw three times more conversions and a 2x increase in return on ad spend (ROAS).
Getting started on your Pinterest marketing strategy
Okay, you're convinced and want to get started. But before you dive into creating Pinterest content, it’s important to lay the foundations of your Pinterest marketing strategy.
1. Figure out your goals
What do you want to achieve with Pinterest?
The first step in any strategy is identifying your goals so you don’t end up throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Your goals should be both realistic and specific.
“Increase traffic from Pinterest by 15% over the next three months” is better than “increase Pinterest traffic by thousands”.
Here are some starting points:
- Increase brand awareness by building trust and educating your audience
- Generate leads and a lift in sales through optimised pins and Pinterest ads
- Grow your audience by introducing them to your brand
- Improve engagement levels with valuable content
2. Research your audience
Who do you want to reach on Pinterest?
Before planning your Pinterest strategy, consider the demographics, interests, location, and other key details about your ideal customer. You’ll still want to make sure that you’re attracting the audience set out in your overall ecommerce marketing strategy, so decide whether Pinterest is actually a channel they hang out on. If not, could you try reaching a new audience? It’s better to decide now whether Pinterest is a channel you want to put effort into.
Top tip: Research your competitors with similar, relevant audiences to see what kind of content they’re posting (and, better yet, see which posts perform best).
3. Plan your content and images
What content do you want to share on Pinterest?
Ideally, this should be a mix of:
- Educational content to attract shoppers who aren’t yet ready to buy
- Shoppable pins that direct buy-ready shoppers to your store
- Engaging images that provide inspiration
- Content that helps increase your visibility, like round-up posts, videos, or engaging Story pins
(We’ll get into these in more detail further down the post).
Once you’ve decided what type of content you’ll create, put together a calendar that maps out when you need to create each visual and when you’re going to post it. You can use Dash (our digital asset management tool) to create a Pinterest workflow where you and your team upload potential pins, approve new content, and schedule posts through the handy Hootsuite integration.
4. Measure your results with Pinterest Analytics
How well is your strategy performing?
Pinterest Analytics provides detailed audience insights into who’s interacting with your content, which posts are performing best, and the overall ROI of your pins.
Make sure you regularly check your analytics (especially if you're running Pinterest ecommerce advertising campaigns) and know what metrics are most important to you. This will depend on your goals—for example, if you want to drive referral traffic, you should look closely at the number of outbound clicks your pins are getting.
Here are some key metrics you can track via Pinterest:
- Pin clicks
- Outbound clicks
- Video views
- Save rate
- Total play time
- Total engaged audience
Staying up-to-date on this info will help you make the best business decisions moving forward and ensure you’re constantly optimising your Pinterest strategy so it’s the best it can be.
💡You can use the ‘performance’ field in Dash to tag how well an image has performed on Pinterest. This will help you plan future content and reuse your best visuals on other social channels.
How to set up your Pinterest account
You've set your strategy and now you're ready to start. Next, you need to set up your account.
To unlock Pinterest’s shoppable features, analytics, and advertising tools, you need to have a business account—a personal account doesn’t cut the mustard here. However, if you’ve already got a well-populated personal account, you can convert it into a business one. Otherwise, you’ll need to create a linked business account or create a new business account from scratch.
Here are some quick guides to help you out.
How to create a new business account
- Click the arrow in the top right corner of your personal account and select “Add Account” and select “create a new business account”
- If you don’t have a personal account already, go to the Pinterest homepage, click “Sign up”, and select “Create a business account” at the bottom of the form
How to convert a personal Pinterest account to a business one
- From inside your personal account, click the arrow in the top right corner
- Select “Convert to business account”
- Fill out the recommended fields and choose where you want to start (or click the X to go straight to your new business profile)
NB: You can switch back to a personal account at any time.
How to create a linked business account
A linked business account is tied to your personal account—you use the same email and login and can switch between the two in just a click.
- Click the arrow in the top right corner of your personal account
- Select Connect existing account
- Fill out the recommended fields and describe your business
Best practices for your Pinterest Business profile page
Now you’ve got your business account set up, it’s time to optimise your profile page. You want shoppers to instantly recognise your brand or, if you’re new to the game, get an immediate idea of the kind of products you sell.
Here’s what to consider while setting up your profile:
- Your logo and profile image: Upload your brand logo and make sure it meets Pinterest’s size guidelines. (You can also use Dash to resize your logo to the correct dimensions).
- Your cover photo: Create an eye-catching cover photo that reflects your brand and matches the fonts and style of your overall branding.
- Your product URLs: Pinterest will randomise your URLs, so go ahead and customise them to include your business name and information about the product.
- Your pin descriptions: Write a description that reflects your brand, lets your personality shine through, and hits some of the most common keywords shoppers might use to find your products.
- Your featured boards: Give shoppers a place to start by grouping together your best boards into a featured boards section.
What type of content works well on Pinterest?
To stand out in the sea of thumbnails, you need bold visuals that attract your target shopper and indicate what you’re selling. Your images should be clear, high-quality (no blurriness ❌), and not too busy so that people can see their content mid-scroll.
Each pin is presented in the same way. The image takes the lion’s share of digital real estate, then there’s a title, the brand name, and a brief description that appears when someone clicks to expand a pin. Just like this example below.
Here’s a rundown of content that performs well on Pinterest.
- Positive content: 8 out of 10 people say Pinterest makes them feel positive. In a world where doom-scrolling has become a compulsion, Pinterest aims to cut through the negativity by encouraging brands to share a positive message, whether it’s body positivity or diversity.
- Food, drink, and decor pics: Some product categories lend themselves to Pinterest’s visual platform more readily than others. Food, drink, and home decor are the most popular categories, closely followed by health and fitness, women’s fashion, and health and beauty. This isn’t groundbreaking info—these categories are often visual in nature, with lifestyle pics of summer days in pub gardens or aspirational home decor shots.
- Product pins: Product pins feature an image or a video of a product and lead straight to the relevant product page. “Popular” and “bestseller” tags indicate the most-purchased items in a product category.
- Blog posts: Sharing a blog post cover image that links to a piece educating shoppers about your product or the lifestyle around your product can perform well, particularly since a lot of Pinterest users treat the platform like a search engine.
- Infographics: Infographics combine images and text to create a hybrid content format that’s digestible and easy on the eye. People should be able to read your infographic in thumbnail format, so avoid making it too long and keep text to a minimum—remember, visuals are key!
- Videos: You can now import videos to Pinterest directly from your YouTube channel and other social networks. Tutorials and DIY videos often perform well on the platform and can be a great way to engage and educate shoppers.
- Story pins: Story pins are relatively new to the Pinterest family. Similar to Instagram Stories, you can create a short video with images, text overlay, and a voiceover—the only difference is, Pinterest Story pins don’t disappear after 24 hours.
9 Pinterest tips for small businesses
Want more traffic, eyeballs, and clicks on your pins? Here’s your handy guide to selling on Pinterest.
1. Automatically resize and schedule your photos with Dash
Pinterest is a great place for visual brands to build awareness—but you’re going to need amazing images and a lot of them! Use Dash to collect, curate, and get your visuals ready to post on Pinterest.
We’re a design-led DAM ideal for ecommerce brands. It was made for bringing together all your beautiful product photos, videos, and content both internally and from external sources like influencers and past customers. When you download an image you can automatically resize it to Pinterest’s dimensions through the preset crop sizes (no more awkward cropping or distorted pics) and schedule it to go live via the Hootsuite integration.
Top tip: Take a leaf out of COAT’s book and turn your Dash account into a replica Pinterest home page. 😍
2. Carry out keyword research for Pinterest SEO
Pinterest is a visually-led search engine. It’s good practice to use the same keywords your audience is using to describe your products so your pins show up under relevant search terms.
There are a few ways you can do this:
- Use Pinterest’s autofill search for keyword inspiration
- See what keywords your competitors are using to describe their products
- Use a keyword tool to get first and secondary keyword ideas
Include the keyword in your product title and description to make sure Pinterest 100% understands what your product is.
3. Create Promoted Pins
Promoted pins are Pinterest’s version of Instagram or Facebook ads. You choose your target audience, pick your image, and set a lifetime budget and a daily budget for your campaign.
Pinterest will then serve your promoted pin to relevant people in the search results—they look like regular pins, but have a small “Promoted” tag at the bottom. This can be a great way to get your products in front of your target audience while increasing the visibility of your brand.
4. Use Product Pins and Rich Pins
Product pins make it easy for shoppers to click directly through to the relevant product page and, hopefully, buy straight away. If not, you can ask them to sign up for your newsletter or offer discount codes to encourage them to stick around).
There’s actually a “shop” tab in the search results so that shoppers who have their wallets out ready to buy can jump straight into product research—this is where Product Pins show up, but they’re also mixed in with regular pins in other searches.
5. Create Pinterest product catalogues
The easiest way to turn your products into shoppable pins is to upload a catalogue to Pinterest. You can pull information from it to populate your shoppable pins, but you can also use it to create a browsable catalogue on your Pinterest profile—like Loaf does here:
Pinterest found that brands that upload their product feed see 5x more impressions than those that don’t.
6. Organise your boards and optimise board titles
Boards are a great way to segment your product offerings, reach niche audiences, and organise your catalogue—but they are also the key to increasing sales and followers. Here’s why:
- You can optimise for more keywords in your board names and each board description
- You can focus each board on a particular niche or product to target highly-focused audiences
- Shoppers can see what your boards are about and click on the ones they’re most interested in
Start by creating separate Pinterest boards for different types of products or product categories, or group together products for a specific audience. You can also go one step further and create “sections” within boards to take your board organisation to another level.
7. Make your boards collaborative
As well as having brand-specific boards where you share your Product pins and educational content, it’s also a good idea to create collaborative boards to foster a community and lean on user-generated content.
Here are some ideas for shared boards:
- Influencer boards: Partner with relevant influencers or industry experts and create a co-owned board together
- Private customer boards: Create a highly personalised experience for each customer by making private boards based on their unique wants and needs
- Public customer boards: Collect user-generated content by asking customers to pin their product photos on a shared board—you can offer incentives and prizes to sweeten the deal
Working with your customers, industry leaders, and influencers builds trust and helps future shoppers discover your products through their favourite accounts.
8. Use Pinterest Trends for content inspo
Pinterest has a fairly new—but really useful—feature called Pinterest Trends. This lets you see what kinds of pins people are searching for so you can make sure your content aligns with what's hot right now. 🔥
George the Senior Marketing Manager for COAT Paints (one of Dash's customers) says he regularly checks what's trending on Pinterest. So, if 'living room inspiration' is currently trending, he can search through COAT's content and quickly upload something that fits with the current trends. Here's how Dash helps him do that:
"Because we've got everything stored in Dash, we can really quickly hop on the trends and fit into what's happening within the zeitgeist of the platform." ✨
Of course, not every trend will be relevant to your brand. But it's interesting to see how people's searches are changing over time. You can filter the trends by year, month and season. You can even type in a keyword to see how well it's performed over time. For example, the above snapshot shows how 'living room ideas' has been trending in the UK.
9. Ensure Product Pins have a clear journey
All pins have to link to another site, which is good news for you. You want people to find their way to your store and stick around. However, it’s important to make sure your pins link to the most relevant page. The last thing a shopper wants is to click on an image of a cosy woolly jumper only to land on a page selling earrings or iPhone covers.
5 examples of small ecommerce brands rocking it on Pinterest
If you’re still looking for inspo, here are 5 ecommerce brands making their mark on Pinterest.
1. Create a beautiful, shoppable library like COAT Paints
COAT Paints has created a beautiful, shoppable library of all its colour variations. It’s easy for shoppers to find the colour they like, click through, and purchase. Its Pinterest page is laid out like a digital catalogue, complete with product titles and prices.
Key takeaway: Use Pinterest as a product catalogue. Pair beautiful product pics with key information for shoppers.
2. Use stories to engage with shoppers like Dossier
Perfume brand Dossier has created a library of stand-out graphics for its range of alternative perfumes. People can quickly see what each pin is about thanks to the clear product imagery and text. The brand also uses Pinterest to share engaging stories to build deeper relationships with its customers. Pinned questions invite shoppers to interact with the brand, while it uses text overlays to show its appreciation for its customers—what a way to make them feel valued!
Key takeaway: Use Pinterest Stories to get to know your audience. Find out what products are their fave—and don’t forget to thank them for their loyalty!
3. Make use of the platform’s shopping features like Mustard Made
Furniture brand Mustard Made has uploaded its product catalogue to Pinterest which essentially acts as another store for shoppers. People can browse the range and, when they click through onto a pin they like the look of, they can find out more about the product (including dimensions, price, and materials) before heading straight to the brand’s product page. Each product pin is packed full of beautiful photos, too, so that customers can get a real feel for what they’re buying.
Key takeaway: Create product pins jam-packed full of info and multi-angle pics (leave no stone unturned!) so there’s nothing stopping shoppers from clicking through and buying.
4. Guide new shoppers to your best-loved products like YesColours
YesColours is another paint brand rocking it on Pinterest. The brand uses bright visuals to showcase its product range, with a handy “most popular” section at the top for new customers. It can be overwhelming for shoppers to find what they’re looking for from a new brand, so YesColors cleverly tackles this by showing them products that other customers have loved.
Key takeaway: Add a “most popular” section to the top of your business profile that helps new shoppers see what other customers loved. Add your bestsellers here or showcase your latest product line.
5. Create boards to showcase each product category like Flamingo Candles
Flamingo Candles has curated a series of boards to help customers find the right products. It showcases its collabs and segments products by shape, smell, occasion, and seasonal events. This is a great way to break up an extensive product collection and help shoppers find products that best suit their needs and styles.
Key takeaway: Make your Pinterest profile easy to navigate with boards dedicated to different product lines and past collaborations—or simply group together products of a similar style, colour, or aesthetic.
Get your assets ready for Pinterest
Pinterest can increase visibility, traffic, and sales for ecommerce brands—if you use it the right way.
But as this channel focuses heavily on visual content, you’ll want to make sure you're creating high-quality images and keeping them somewhere your team can access. Using Dash for your social media management gives a home to all your social images and videos.
You can curate images in your Dash, search for them using AI and crop them to the correct dimensions for Pinterest. You can also use the Hootsuite integration to quickly post onto your channel.
Interested? You can sign up for a free trial below. No credit card required. ✨👇