Ready to use Pinterest to work for you? In this post, you’ll learn how to read and use analytics, create content for your marketing success, and use the Pinterest toolkit to benefit your business. This is a deep dive into the nuts and bolts on how to use all the tools Pinterest has created for you to be successful on their platform. I created this guide so you would have all the important information in one place and not spend weeks hunting through blogs and help centers. Take a deep breath and let’s jump in!
The Pinterest analytics dashboard.
A business profile gives you access to Pinterest’s analytics. These are not as robust as Google’s or some other analytics services you can pay for but they are free, steadily improving, and tailored to the platform. Pinterest analytics will chart the average amount of monthly viewers your profile is receiving, how many of those are actively engaged, and activity from your site. They use terms such as impressions, saves, and clicks.
Let’s dig into those briefly.
An impression is when a pin from your profile- whether you created it or not- shows up in someone’s Home feed, search results, and category feeds. This means they have put their eyes on the pin even if they haven’t actively engaged with it by clicking or saving.
A save is when a pin from your account is pinned to a different account. It can also be when a pin is repinned from one board to another board within your profile, such as if you repin from your author board to your unicorn board. Again, this information relates to all pins on your profile, not just the ones you have created.
A click means that a person chose your pin from their feed to examine more closely. They literally clicked on it, which moves the pin to the top of their screen and allows them to see any other data associated with it, such as a description, website URL, and the comment section. This is why a compelling image is worth your time. You want those clicks so people have a better reason to follow the link through to your website.
Average monthly viewers
The average number of people who see your Pins.
Average monthly engaged
The average number of people who act on your Pins (either through Repinning or Clicking).
All this information is useful but the real gold of analytics is in how it helps you to understand your audience. If you notice that some of the pins you have created are doing well- by getting clicks or save-and others aren’t you can compare them and find ideas for how to improve your pin quality. Did you use a difficult to read the script or clashing colors? Perhaps one has an image that stands out while the other was mostly text. This is a chance to refine your creative process.
Analytics can also help you to find topics for a blog. Check your top performing pins. If you find that a particular pin has a lot of interest, whether it was created by you or not, write a blog that relates to that topic and then creates a pin that will appeal to that audience. If you were inspired by someone else’s pin it’s a good idea to give a shout-out to them and link back to their site if possible. For instance, if you see a pin about unicorn horns is your top performing pin and it links back to an Etsy page by a person who makes unicorn horns, write a blog about unicorn horns and then say something like “This post was inspired by these fantastic horns Susie Q makes and sells at her Etsy page.” Then add a link to the page, maybe with an image from her store. It’s polite and it has the potential to expand your reach by appealing to her and her customers.
Arts and Crafts
Pinterest is working to standardize the size and shape of pins and recommends a 2:3 ratio. Use the preferred size template which is currently 600×900 pixels. This is considered a best practice– a polite business term to say, “Do it this way.” You’ll see that term a lot when you’re working online and it always pays to follow those particular rules. The graphic design program you use should give you the option to choose a template for different social media platforms or you can adjust the ratio to fit the parameters required. Give the graphic design a whirl and enjoy tinkering with the grown-up version of Microsoft Paint.
I know you’re probably wondering how to create these marketing pins. There are several free graphic design tools online which are fairly simple to use. The one I’ve been using is called Canva, which has free and paid versions, although several other programs are available. Youtube has many fantastic tutorials on how to use Canva (or any of the other graphic design tools). Many people also offer graphic design services at a reasonable price. You can find people who will help you design templates for your brand, create a logo, or even generate pins on a weekly basis for you. A fantastic resource for people who are struggling to produce professional looking pins is Kate Danielle. She specializes in using Canva to design pins (or graphic designs for anything you might need) which look fresh and unique. Her website is KateDanielle.com
Another fantastic way to promote your work is to use a mockup generator. These are online programs which will take your book cover image and apply it to hundreds, possibly thousands of pictures and images to make your book marketing look sleek and smooth. This is a game changer! Instead of slaving away for hours meticulously placing your book image on a tiny tablet screen you can upload your book cover, click a few options, and BAM! Neat, tidy, and professional looking promotional items. Using a service like this will make it so much easier to consistently post fresh content from your site to Pinterest. Some offer their services free (earning money through ad revenue) and others offer subscriptions or pay per item plans. If you need a place to start to check out this review for some thoughts about different companies: www.blog.dailylogochallenge.com/mockup-generator. Another interesting company with many images and services is adazing.com.
Pro Tip: Offering free chapters is always a good way for authors to build a following regardless of how many books you’ve published previously. Make pins announcing this offer and link back directly to that page on your website.
Once you’ve created your pins you’ll need to upload them to either Pinterest or your scheduler. The first time you do this Pinterest (or your scheduler) will guide you through the steps. If you forget or need to be guided several times to get your bearings the help center has useful reminders. Make sure you have a short description with keywords, hashtags related to your content (up to 20), and your website URL in the link area. Please note, while hashtags are searchable on Pinterest, keywords are considered a best practice. You’ll get more momentum from the algorithm using keywords in your title and description (up to 500 characters) than if you rely on hashtags.
Pinterest is working to improve its platform for all its users, including businesses. To that end, they have a few more tools for you to use to improve your visibility and create opportunities for users to access your work. Currently, these tools are:
1) The ability to add a Pin button or widget to your author website. This allows people who view your author site and blog to pin directly from your site to their personal Pinterest profiles.
2) You can also link your author website with your Pinterest profile (called claiming your site) to a) view activity from Pinterest to your site and b) engage rich pins. You must claim your site to fully engage with Pinterest’s analytics.
Rich pins are a way for any pins from your site to be watermarked with your website URL and have a description added automatically onto the pin. You also get credit for adding fresh content to Pinterest (as opposed to the person who pinned from your site) which helps your ranking in the algorithm. These are all great things that make your life that little bit easier and more productive with very little effort on your part.
3) Adding a Pinterest tag to your site pages will provide you feedback during Pinterest promotion and ad campaigns. It tells you which of your website pages your visitors from Pinterest viewed.
How to add a Pin button, claim your site, enable rich pins, and add a tag are explained in the Pinterest business account setup. From my experience, I will advise you to have your website admin do that part for you. There is no coding involved- the code is already written and simply needs to be copied and pasted into the correct part of your website’s administrator interface. However, the placement of this code can seem daunting to someone who is not familiar with the building and maintenance of a site. If you have the tech savvy to do this there are wonderful Youtube tutorials to guide you step by step. All you need to know is the type of platform your website is based on- Wix, WordPress, Blogger, etc. and then go searching for a tutorial. Some website platforms don’t support the engagement of the rich pin currently. While you will be missing out on a useful tool this isn’t something worth getting worried about.
Promotions and ads are becoming a big part of the Pinterest toolkit. You don’t have to run ads or promotions to build brand recognition but, if done effectively, it will generate results faster. I’ll touch briefly on this topic but it’s meaty and more than I can cover here. I have as yet to promote pins through Pinterest so I can’t attest to its efficacy, however, the numbers look pretty good. Some stats Pinterest has on their promotions (as of January 2019):
93% of Pinterest users visit the platform planning to make a purchase
50% make a purchase after seeing a promoted Pin
On average, businesses see a $2 profit for every $1 spent on ads.
If you have never run an ad promotion or campaign on social media before it is very important to stop right now and think.
Why are you running the ad?
What are your goals?
What are your keywords and do you have enough of them? (Hint, probably not)
Do you know what a funnel is? Are you aware of the different versions and when to deploy one versus another?
Are you prepared to spend the time and energy to learn about ad campaigns and develop a strategy?
Pro tip: Keywords are critical to running an effective ad campaign. It’s not worth your time or money if you haven’t yet done the research on your Pinterest keywords.
That’s a lot to take in, I know. If you’re not ready to tackle ads just yet that’s fine! Focus on consistently pinning and creating content- this is called an organic pinning strategy and it works. In fact, if you haven’t been consistent in building and maintaining your Pinterest profile for at least a few weeks then I would not recommend paying for ads. As per the previous article I wrote, you need enough relevant content and keywords on your profile for the search engine spiders to be able to easily find you.
If you are ready but don’t have answers to these questions I highly recommend going to Monica Froese’s website RedefiningMom.com and taking her FREE Pin Practical Ads Challenge course. It’s 3 one hour long videos with texts to read through and is a great way to get your feet wet. She does an amazing job teaching how to determine your goal, develop a strategy, and implement your plan. Several times a year she offers an in-depth class called Pin Practical Promotions. I have not yet taken it but if her free content is anything to go by then the paid courses will be fantastic.
Remember, paying for tutorials and classes on social media, creating content, and marketing is not absolutely necessary but it can make your life easier, especially if you don’t have the time or ability to trawl the internet for what you need to learn. Costs can add up fast! I recommend setting up a marketing budget and seeing what you can accomplish with it. Maybe taking classes and paying for programs is a good fit. Or perhaps you have enough in a monthly marketing budget to pay someone to do parts of it for you, such as create content or post to social media. Play with the numbers and remember to include time spent as well- how much do you have in your day/week/month to commit to marketing your book? There’s always a way to balance these things to be affordable for both your time and money.
A final note. Pinterest has a slower burn than some other social media platforms- it’s a visual search engine first and foremost. Expect it to take 3-6 months of consistency on your part to see strong numbers. You’re planting your seeds and caring for them as they grow, knowing that once out there your pins will keep spreading, pervasive as dandelions. I hope these articles have been helpful and give you a strong foundation from which to create your Pinterest marketing edge.
Redefining mom (courses on ad campaigns)
Simple Pin Media (podcasts discussing every aspect of Pinterest)
Kate Danielle (graphic design and Canva expert)
Canva (graphic design program)
Mockup generators (several resources available)
*All opinions are my own. This post does not contain affiliate links and I have in no way been solicited or compensated for discussing resources or companies in this article.
Heather Daleccio has sat on the open loading deck of a C-130 as it flew over the white cliffs of Dover, been trained to evade and survive in enemy territory, and eaten the brain of a cow in France. These experiences have proven useful for raising three kids. She reads, writes, and researches. Her most recent adventure is working on social media marketing.
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