How to Sell on Pinterest:
- How Pinterest works
- Why Pinterest is worth it
- Create Business Account
- Sync Your Online Store
- Selling Successfully in 8 Steps
- #1 Set Up A Pinterest Account
- #2 Optimize Your Page
- #3 Keyword Research
- #4 Create Pinterest Boards
- # 5 Get Your Product Catalog in Order
- #6 Create Product Pins
- #7 Monitor Your Analytics
- #8 Plan for Success
How Pinterest works- In a nutshell
So what actually is Pinterest? That’s a huge base where users collect the images, videos, or products that are bookmarked as pins, then organised into groups, known as boards.
Within Pinterest the content ranges from food inspiration, workout plans and style tips to beautiful photography, pet videos and garden images. If you click a pin you can view the website to find out more about it, and for products, how to buy it.
Pinterest is the 14th largest global social media platform, not as popular as Twitter, TikTok or Snapchat, but that still amounts to 459 million active users per month and more people are using it than ever. Pinterest grew by more than 100 million monthly active users in 2020 the biggest increase the platform has seen to date.
How does Pinterest work?
Essentially the platform works like a visual search engine. It allows users to search for something, say for example “sofas”, and delivers a range of image based results.
The platform focuses on functionality, unlike some other platforms, Pinterest has adopted the less is more ethos that has worked well for Google and Twitter. The interface is easy to use, increasing its appeal to a non-techy audience.
This ability to pin images or videos of products that link directly to the sellers website, is one of the ways Pinterest lends itself to business, particularly for online retailers.
So let’s look at why selling on Pinterest is worth investing in and how to go about it.
5 reasons why selling on Pinterest is worth it
There are pros and cons to selling on Pinterest, but here we are going to look at 5 reasons why selling on Pinterest is worth it.
1. Easy to Drive Traffic
Pinterest's main benefit to business is how good it is for driving traffic to external sites. Each image, video or product pinned to a board is automatically hyperlinked to its source. 478 million Pinterest users use the platform for shopping inspiration and to plan purchases each month. Users are actively looking for new things, new ideas and often ready to make their next purchase.
Unlike Facebook, users don’t view brand content as an interruption to their viewing, but as an opportunity and an inspiration.
Excitingly, 97% of searches on the platform are unbranded meaning users are open to new things, they come looking for something not a particular brand, they are looking to be inspired by new ideas. In addition, 46% of users in the UK said they use the platform to discover new brands and products making it particularly useful for small business and start ups.
With each pin being linked directly to the sellers website, this offers sellers a valuable opportunity to generate traffic from active buyers to your site. For this reason, referral traffic from Pinterest can be far higher than that from other platforms, like Twitter or YouTube.
The platform is image based and offers businesses the opportunity to showcase their products making it great for visual brands.
2. High Conversion Rate
Pinterest is not only good at driving traffic to your website, but it also has a higher conversion rate than other platforms. 50% of users reported that they had bought a product after seeing it on Pinterest and it’s not just online sale, as 91% of users said they used the platform to plan offline sales.
Because users are easily able to view content that really interests and inspires them, Pinterest users are not just viewing product retailers’ websites, they are also buying, and the number of conversions is increasing. Conversions on Pinterest grew by 300% between January and August 2020.
Buyers from Pinterest are also spending on average 2.5 times more per shop than shoppers from Twitter or Facebook.
Pinterest has introduced a range of new tools to make it easier to shop from the platform, including Shop from a Board, Shop from Search and Shop from Pins.
3. It's a Positive Platform
One of the attractions of Pinterest for many users is there is no pressure to interact and leave comments, users can simply view images, follow boards and pin or repin content to create their own inspiration boards. All boards are open, meaning users can see any image pinned on the network. The platform encourages users to share things rather than personal updates.
Users can choose to follow one or more of your boards, or simply repin one of your products. There is no pressure to comment meaning you don’t have to worry about people not seeing your content if they haven’t engaged for a while and you don’t need to worry about potential negative comments.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter and Instagram who have an increasing reputation for generating negative content and comments, 91% of Pinterest users say that it’s a positive place. People have called Pinterest “an online oasis” and the platform credits its content moderation with preventing unfiltered negativity. Shoppers are more likely to buy when seeing the product on a positive platform.
4. Helps Boost Your SEO
Pinterest profile and boards rank in a search. By creating multiple boards you can take up more space for your brand name on the search results page.
The pins themselves will not count as backlinks to the site and will not help with Google ranking.
However, the more your pin with the hyperlink to your site is liked and shared, the more links there are and potentially more “quality traffic” is directed to your website, and this quality traffic is good for your website’s Google SEO.
5. It’s Free to Start
If you are just starting out or if you are on a tight budget, the good news is that Pinterest is free to set up and you can create your own boards and add pins, generating large amounts of re-pins and traffic to your website without spending any money!
By optimising your pins and using attractive content, you can achieve high impressions without having to pay for engagement.
We’re going to look at how to get started with Pinterest, how to connect your online store and how to promote your business.
If you are not currently using Pinterest for your business, here’s what you’ll need to do to get started:
- Create a Pinterest Business Account
- Sync your eCommerce Store with Pinterest
- Optimize your Promotion Strategy and boost your sales!
Below we will cover each of these steps in turn.
How to Create a Pinterest Business Account
We’re going to look at how to create a Pinterest Business Account step by step. Setting up a business account on Pinterest is free, this will give you access to analytics on your pins and the ability to set up paid ads.
If you have an existing personal account you can create a business account, allowing you to sign in with the same email address or you can convert your personal account into a business account.
We’re going to look at creating a new business account.
- Go to pinterest.com/business/create
- Enter the email address you’d like to use to sign up and password
- Click Create Account
- Check your email for the verification email.
6. On the next screen you will be asked to Describe Your Business, select the option that best describes your business, then click Next
7. Select if you want to run ads (you can always change this at a later time), then click Next
8. You will now see a pop up, Pinterest will give you options to get started, either select one or click the X to close the pop up and view your new Pinterest Business account.
9. As a business you may want to add other team members or partners to your new account, you can do this by clicking the down arrow at the top right of the screen for the main menu, and selecting Business Access.
10. Again, by clicking the down arrow at the top right of the screen you can access the main menu, select Settings, then select Claim from the menu on the left. Here you will be able to claim your website, Instagram, Etsy and YouTube channels, this will ensure you get credit for any of your content on Pinterest. Your name and profile image will appear next to any Pins that come from your site or your accounts.
How to Connect Your Online Store to Pinterest
With nearly half of all users logging in to shop there are a lot of new customers ready to be reached. The next step is to reach your potential new customers by connecting your store.
Whatever platform you use, Shopify, WooCommerce or BigCommerce, you can easily connect to Pinterest and begin selling. When your store is connected, Pinterest will automatically pull through the meta-data, such as the name, price and availability, from your product page to a pin. Pinterest refers to this as a Product Pin, which is a type of Rich Pin.
Pinterest also now offers Buyable Pins, where retailers can sell directly on the Pinterest platform.
How to sync Your Shopify Store
By linking your Shopify store to Pinterest you can easily promote products you are selling in your store.
There are two ways to connect your accounts:
- Connect via the Pinterest for Shopify App
- Manually add the Pinterest Tag to your Shopify site (for this method visit Pinterest Help)
Connecting via the Pinterest App is by far the easiest way to do it. Here’s how:
- Log into your Shopify Account
- Click the + icon next to the Sales Channel menu option on your Shopify home page.
3. A new pop up window will appear showing a list of sales channels that can be added to your store. Click the + icon next to Pinterest:
4. The next window will provide you with privacy information. Click Add Sale Channel.
5. Alternatively add the app directly from the Shopify App Store
6. Click the Connect Account button this will take you to the Pinterest site.
7. Ensure you are logged in with your business account and click the Give Access button.
You will now see your Pinterest page which is connected to your shopify site.
How to link my BigCommerce Store
Your BigCommerce store can be connected to your Pinterest account by adding your Pinterest Tag. This will allow you to track traffic and sales origination on Pinterest.
Connecting you BigCommerce Account to Pinterest
To connect your accounts:
- Navigate to your BigCommerce control panel
- In Channel Manager, Click Get Started, next to the Pinerest channel.
- Click Get Started and sign in with your Pinterest Business account
Adding Pinterest Tracking code to BigCommerce
To add this tracking code you will need to:
- Select Storefront from your BigCommerce Admin
- Click Script Manager
- Click Create a Script
- Complete the form with the information below:
- Name of script = Pinterest Base Code
- Description = Pinterest tracking tag
- Location on page = Head
- Select pages where script will be added = All Page
- Advertising for Script category = Targeting
- Script type = Script
On Pinterest Ads Manager get your unique tag ID.
- Click Ads
- Click Conversions
- Under Install Pinterest tag, click Get Started
- Copy the 13 digit tag ID and paste it in the Tracking Code box.
- Click Save
Sharing Your Product to Pinterest
It’s easy to share your products on BigCommerce to Pinterest, as well as other popular social media, via the Share Button on each product page. If you don’t see the social sharing button, you can turn this by going to Store Setup, selecting Store Settings and clicking Share tab. To take advantage of Pinterest Buyable Pins, ensure this function is also enabled, by selecting More Options and enabling Rich Pins.
Once you have connected your accounts, you will be able to send your BigCommerce catalog to Pinterest. When your store has been approved, this can take up to 5 business days, your profile will be updated with a blue Shop Pins button and your existing pins will now offer users the option to buy.
How to Connect My WooCommerce
Connecting your WooCommerce store to Pinterest is straightforward. You can install the Pinterest for WooCommerce App. This removed the need to manually create and edit your product pins by allowing you to connect your store and automatically generate product pins.
New products and updates are automatically synced. You will also be able to take advantage of Pinterest tracking of traffic and sales through the channel.
Bear in mind that there is an additional cost for the app. However, once you have purchased the app and installed it, you will need to connect your site to your Pinterest account, here’s how:
- Go to WP-admin
- Select WooCommerce settings
- Click Connect
- Navigate to the Integration Tab
- Basic level API conversions - Click Connect
- A WooCommerce app permission pop up will appear - Click Okay
8. Navigate back to the WP admin WooCommerce Settings Integration Tab
9. Click Connect beside the Second Level API Connection
10. A Pinterest popup will appear, ensure you are signed in with your business account and click Authorize App
11. You will again receive the message from WooCommerce “You just authenticated Pinterest” - Click ‘THAT’S MY SITE – REDIRECT ME’
Selling on Pinterest in 8 Steps
#1 Set Up A Pinterest Account
You’ll want a business account, so if you have already set up a personal one, convert it by logging into your account and navigating to account settings. Click “Get started” next to “Convert to business account” and then click “Switch to business.”
To set up a Pinterest business account from scratch, simply click “Create account” and fill in the relevant information. Pinterest will ask you if you plan to run ads, but you can always tick “I’m not sure yet.” Other than that the setup process should be pretty self-explanatory.Back to The Top or
#2 Optimize Your Page
Before you get stuck into all the pins and boards, don’t forget to edit your profile To do this, navigate to the business hub dashboard and click the pencil next to your name.
- Carefully choose a high resolution image for your cover and profile. Choose one that reflects your brand.
TIP: Keep your profile imaging coherent across all your social media platforms so your brand is easily recognizable to users.
- Ensure your store is connected and all relevant information is being pulled through to Pinterest.
- When writing your bio, ensure you include relevant keywords if you want to appear in a Pinterest search bar. We’ll look at how to find these keywords in the next step.
#3 Conduct Keyword Research
Pinterest analytics tab has some keyword research tools, however, a simple way to find out what keywords to use is to type a keyword relevant to your business into the Pinterest search box and view the suggestions.
Pinterest works like a search engine, so keywords help it to drive the right traffic to your page. Try to include 4-5 keywords in your page bio, as well as including them in your pins.
#4 Create Your Pinterest Boards
Now we have the page setup, it’s time to set up your first board. Boards are where you keep a collection of pins, a pin being an individual product, image or video.
To create a board:
- Go to your business hub, Click the + icon Create Pin.
- Click the down arrow beside the red Publish button.
- Click Create Board
- Name the board, remember to include keywords you want the board to show for.
- You can choose to keep the board secret if you are still working on it.
- Click Create
TIP: Before you start, it’s worth taking the time to work out how you want to organize your boards and pins. For example, if you are selling clothing, you might want to have a board with a certain type of clothing, such as dresses, you may want to have a board with a certain colour theme or a board for the new season or one for best sellers.
Think outside of the box - what themes are there that could relate to what you are selling? If you have multiple products, try to group them together in creative ways. Rather than just showcasing them plainly, show how they fit into part of a wider lifestyle image. Take a look at Airbnb’s page for a great example of this.
It’s important to note that there are two main types of content: pins are individual posts while boards are collections of pins that are organized around different themes.
Make sure to use original images as the Pinterest algorithm will promote these more. You can also use Pinterest trends to gain inspiration.
# 5 Get Your Product Catalog in Order
If you have already connected your store or data feed to Pinterest and you have claimed your website, you can use product catalogues to create pins.
To add your catalog:
- Navigate to Business Hub, Click the Ads drop down menu, Click Catalogues
- Complete the details for your new data source URL under New Data Source (for more information view the Pinterest Help Centre Guide)
- Click Create Pins
It may take a few minutes to create your new data source, Pinterest will email you when this is done.
When your catalog is created, you can edit it by clicking the pencil icon next to it on the catalogues page.
DataFeed Optimization Solutions can help to create and optimize your data source to improve traffic and sales.
#6 Create Product Pins
We’ve finally reached the all important stage, the pins! The Pinterest platform is made up of high quality images and videos, known as pins. Each of your pins will be linked back to your online store, your company information or blog. Therefore, having engaging pins can really drive traffic to your website and sales. A Pinterest study revealed that 85% of users place more importance on images than text.
If your focus is driving sales, you will want to create product pins. Product Pins are more than just an image from your website, they also contain metadata about your product and formatted to let viewers know that they can buy your product.
Product pins will have been created if you have created a catalogue.
They can also be created by pinning the product directly from the product page of your website. By enabling rich pins from your website, you will also allow visitors to pin your product to their boards.
As on Instagram, high quality images are key, so ensure all your pins use high quality photos that are sharp, in focus, well composed, and showcase the product while remaining true to your brand. Unlike Instagram, which mainly uses square images, vertical or portrait imagery, a 2:3 ratio, works best.
But don’t forget the wording! As with the board descriptions, keywords are key! Ensure all the captions to your pins are seach-friendly or your beautiful images will not show up in potential customers search results.
#7 Monitor Your Analytics
#7 Monitor Your Analytics - Now you have your account set up, you have organized your pins into engaging boards, it’s essential that you monitor your analytics.
From your Business Hub, select the Analytics drop down at the top of the page and choose Overview.
By reviewing what boards are working well and what pins are seeing the most interaction you can optimize your content to increase engagement.
There are also additional useful metrics on Audience Insights and Trends.
#8 - Plan for Success
In addition to the seven tips we have previously discussed which focus on setting up your Pinterest Account and creating your initial content, these final points look at how to maintain a successful Pinterest marketing strategy.
- Pin Regularly - Pinterest recemends pinning something each day. This is more effective than creating a new board and filling it with pins all at the same time. You can schedule pins on Pinterest in advance and use the audience insights to see what times of day your pins get the most engagement.
- Plan Ahead - Pinterest users are planners, they regularly use the platform to search for ideas for upcoming events, that means you need to be ahead of the game. It’s recommended that you share seasonal content 30 - 45 days in advance. This Pinterest marketing calendar is a really helpful tool for planning in advance.
- Take Pinterest to the next level with paid ads- Pinterest allows businesses to target ads based on keywords, location, interests, age etc. In addition, it allows you to target audiences based on:
- A customer list
- Website visits
- Pin engagement
- Engagement with similar content
Advertising on Pinterest can really help get your products to an engaged audience looking to purchase. To find out more read Pinterest’s Guide to Advertising.
Ready to sell on Pinterest! - Final Thoughts
Pinterest is a really useful tool to grow your business, while keeping costs down, much of the cost comes from the time spent setting up and regularly pinning. It’s a great source of organic traffic to your website from an audience who is looking to purchase.
Pinterest is a positive platform that is proven to drive traffic and sales and it’s FREE to get started. It’s easy to connect your online store and add in your datafeed to create Product Pins. By regularly pinning engaging pins with beautiful images of your products you will see results for your efforts.
To optimize your product feed for Pinterest to ensure you mazimize your sale, check out DataFeedWatch’s Feed Optimization Solution. DataFeedWatch will simplify and automate your product feed to Pinterest helping you to grow sales.