Welcome to Lesson 1 in my 8-Part series: “Pinterest Marketing for Beginners”.
Learn how to effectively market, build your brand, and sell your products on the world’s #1 visual search engine!
Lesson 1: Why is Pinterest So Powerful? What You Need to Know.
Lesson 2: Pinterest Essentials – Small Business Marketing for Beginners
Lesson 3: Understanding the Pinterest Interface – Complete Guide for 2021
Lesson 4: How to Create a Winning Pinterest Marketing Strategy in 2021
Lesson 5: 7 Ways to Take Your Pinterest Marketing to the Next Level
Lesson 6: 5 Brands with Amazing Pinterest Marketing Strategies
Lesson 7: Putting it All Together – Your 4-Step Pinterest Marketing Plan
Lesson 8: Wrapping It Up: Pinterest Marketing – 13 Do’s & Dont’s
If you’re a marketer and you’re not on Pinterest, then you’re missing out on one of the biggest and most powerful platforms out there.
Pinterest may not be as big as Facebook in terms of pure users, but it’s actually not as far behind as you might think. What’s more, it has a ton of unique features that present excellent opportunities for the savvy marketer.
The main issue that brands seem to have, when it comes to Pinterest, is that they don’t see how they can get it to relate to them. Pinterest is very visual and creative. It’s comprised of images that people pin to their ‘boards’ and that others can then comment on or ‘repin’. Thus, it clearly lends itself to companies that have an artistic, trendy, stylish, or visual side.
But how can this possibly be useful for a company that sells life insurance? Or for a blogger who is promoting the ‘work at home’ lifestyle?
And since Facebook and Twitter are so much bigger, does it really matter?
Well, the first thing you should reconsider is the idea that Pinterest isn’t that big. In fact, Pinterest currently has 450 million users which is really pretty massive – and a subset of the market that you just can’t ignore! Also interesting, is that 85% of those 450 million users are female.
This is quite unique for any online platform and provides you with a great way to reach a female audience – something that a lot of blogs and brands could stand to do a little more effectively. Forty-two percent of all adult women in the US use Pinterest, which is massive – and 13% of men do, which is still rather significant!
Aside from having millions of users, Pinterest also has the advantage of being a platform that visitors can enjoy without signing up. That means that your potential reach is, in fact, much larger than you might at first have thought.
Hopefully, that’s convinced you that you should start paying more attention to Pinterest. The next question is… how?
How does Pinterest work? What does it offer that’s different from other online platforms? And how do you go about getting set up?
Essentially, Pinterest works by allowing you to create ‘mood boards’. Anyone who has taken an art course will be familiar with this term. For everyone else, a mood board is essentially a collage made up of visual material (images and videos) that you’ve created or found on the web.
This lets you collect images and notes from anywhere online and then categorize them in one spot as a ‘board’. These boards can be shared by other users and brands. You can follow either individual boards or users, if you’d like to see more that they’ve created or collected.
To find images to pin to your boards, you can browse other boards and then ‘repin’ the content you like, save images from the web and share them on social platforms, or create your own content to upload to the site. You can use the built-in search tools in Pinterest to search for users, for boards, or for specific items.
If you want to see images of ‘futuristic fonts,’ for instance, then you can search for that string and you’ll be provided with an array of endless images that other people and brands have pinned. Images have hashtags on them which describe their content, and these tags help you when you’re searching for more content.
The key difference that Pinterest has when compared to a social network, such as Facebook, is that the social aspect is not at the forefront. Pinterest is a visual search engine with a human component. To assume it is one or the other would be a mistake.
You can keep the boards you create as ‘private,’ if you like, and this means that no one else will see them. You can use private boards to simply to collect ideas for your own projects or for your general inspiration.
CEO, Ben Silbermann, actually describes the tool as a ‘catalogue of ideas’ rather than a social network. His hope is that it can be used to inspire to people to, in his words, ‘go do that thing’.
Once you’re following a number of boards and users, you’ll be shown pins that your contacts have pinned or commented on. You’ll also see images based on similar pins you have uploaded or viewed. This creates a ‘home feed’ of sorts that you can browse just to find images you might find interesting or inspiring, or to see what your friends are up to.
Not sure what you want to search for? Try typing a keyword into the search bar along the top, in order to browse popular pins in specific categories – whether that’s fashion, weddings, sports, art, architecture or pets.
Though Pinterest is technically not a social network, it does offer a plethora of social elements. Other than using it to browse different users’ content and edit it, it can also be used to post comments on the pins you like (or don’t like!), or to re-pin the content you enjoy and, thereby, share it with your own network.
It’s also possible to invite people to contribute to your boards and to be informed every time you add a new pin to it. This is a great feature for working on collaborative projects, for instance, and these boards are known as ‘group boards’.
There are many more features to Pinterest than this. In fact, even if you have been using Pinterest for a while there’s a very good chance that you won’t have seen everything it has to offer and that you won’t know all the different things you can do with the platform.
Popular Uses for Pinterest
So then, what do most people use Pinterest for?
As touched upon earlier, Pinterest essentially revolves around mood boards which are designed to provide inspiration or to collect ideas.
One of the most popular types of boards that users will create for this purpose, as an example, are ‘wedding boards’. When an engaged couple begin planning their wedding, they will often start by creating a Pinterest board and then look for inspiration.
They will likely peruse boards created by other users and search for ideas for wedding dresses, for wedding locations, for table decorations, for cakes, for suits etc. Or they may create separate boards for each of those things.
Either way, they can find new ideas and inspiration to guide their decisions and they can put all of these ideas into one spot to serve as a reference. Because you can work on boards collaboratively, the bride and groom can both go about looking for different ideas together, or individually, and add them to the board so they can both see them. They can also add their own notes to read later.
If you have photos on your computer of a wedding you’ve been to and really enjoyed, you can upload those photos to Pinterest. Or, you might write notes and draw sketches on them and then upload those as pins.
You can show other people those same ideas. For example, you may want to see what your maid of honor thinks of your ideas so far, or you can let other users see your board and draw their own inspiration from your posts.
There are many other common ways that Pinterest gets used. Here are just a few:
Collecting images that you find appealing/inspiring
Collating ideas and inspiration for a new web design/app UI
Getting ideas for interior design
Browsing products and ‘window shopping’
Putting together inspirational images to get you into the gym (moves, ‘goal physiques’ etc.)
Staying updated with your favorite brand in a more visual manner
Looking at fashion and outfit ideas for clothes
Researching tattoo ideas
And much more. Next, we’ll explore how to use Pinterest as a marketing tool.
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My passion for online marketing dates back to 2006, when I first opened my virtual doors as a one-woman agency, providing small to mid-sized businesses web design and SEO solutions. Fifteen years later, I’ve expanded my service offerings to include social media, email management, WordPress sites, and just about any custom project my clients need.
Aside from the Internet, I enjoy 3d puzzles, roller skating, and spending time with my two spoiled dogs. I’m a perpetual learner and always looking to broaden my skillset. Next up: podcasting!
Let my knowledge work for you. Check out my “Work With Me” pages to start growing your online business now.