How to use Pinterest for business in 2023

Pinterest is the perfect platform to creatively connect with your customers during the decision-making process. Learn all about how to ‘pin’ a winner here.

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Pinterest summarises itself perfectly – as a visual search engine, guiding its 433 million monthly users to ideas that are just right for them.

There is huge potential for your business to capitalise on this, influencing buyer decisions and encouraging them to purchase products from your brand over other competitors.

In fact, according to Sprout Social, 83% of weekly Pinterest users make purchases based on the content they see from brands on the platform.

But we understand that getting to grips with the business side of Pinterest can be a time-consuming and complex task, particularly if you are not social media savvy.

We’re here to help. Read on for our easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide that will help you build the perfect brand-building Pinterest board, attracting users and increasing those all important conversions.

Marketing support for your business

If you're low on time and require a bit of support in launching a successful Pinterest marketing strategy, we'd advise reaching out to an agency for a little help to enhance your efforts. In fact, if you have two minutes spare, you can use our digital marketing cost comparison tool and see what social media support is available within your budget.

They employ seasoned pros who will help save you time and money in the long run – and these services often cost much less than you think.

Why use Pinterest to market your business?

Some marketers will argue that Pinterest isn’t one of the ‘strategic priority’ social media platforms. It doesn’t have the nearly 3 billion monthly users that Facebook boasts, nor does it have the fastest user growth rate of any social network over the past two years (TikTok has grown by a staggering 105%).

However, what it lacks in scale, it certainly makes up for in user intent to purchase.

And, according to Natalie Viglione, founder of creative marketing agency Team Gu, Pinterest is an especially powerful platform for businesses operating in the health and well being sector.

Pinterest is one of the only platforms that still has a robust organic search and reach for accounts. It doesn’t require you to advertise to be seen.

We’ve summarised the key reasons why it's worth marketing your business on Pinterest:

  • High buyer intent83% of weekly Pinterest users make purchases based on brand content they see on the platform. So the likelihood of a user purchasing your product based on a great pin you’ve created is high – perhaps even higher than it would be on platforms like Instagram and Facebook
  • Growing Gen Z audience – Gen Z is the next generation of buyers, so marketing on a platform that has seen Gen Z user numbers grow from 16 million in 2020 to nearly 23 million in 2022 is an encouraging sign
  • Visual search engine – Pinterest is unique in that it enables users to search visually. This presents an exciting opportunity for your brand to create engaging, attractive visual pins (content) that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to market on other social media platforms (like Twitter)
  • Large user base – yes Pinterest doesn’t have the numbers that Instagram or TikTok does. But there are still over 400 million users that you can market to, and that is a pretty big window of opportunity considering that Pinterest users are 90% more likely to say they’re “always” shopping

Now we’ve clarified precisely why you should market on Pinterest, it’s time to talk you through exactly how to do it best.


How to set up a Pinterest business account

It’s as easy as pie to set up a Pinterest business account, regardless of whether you’re already a certified personal ‘pinner’.

We’ve summarised the three ways you can set up a business account below:

1. Create a Pinterest business account from scratch 

  • From the Pinterest home page, select the Business tab
  • On the business landing page, select sign up in the right hand corner, or create account
  • Fill out a few basic details and you are good to go! And remember to use your business email address

pinterest sign up

2. Convert your personal profile to a business account

  • Once logged in, select the drop-down arrow in the top right hand corner of the screen
  • Choose the ‘convert to business’ option
  • Click upgrade, and then fill out the ‘build your profile’ section. You can add your business details, select whether you want to run ads, and connect your other social media accounts to Pinterest

convert pinterest

3. Add a business account to your personal account 

  • Once logged in, select the drop down arrow button top right
  • Select ‘add account’
  • Choose whether you want to add a new business account, or connect an existing one

pinterest add account


Creating an effective Pinterest marketing strategy

We’ve said it before and we will say it again, when it comes to social media marketing you can’t go running in all posts blazing. Particularly on social media platforms like Pinterest.

You need to put together a strong marketing strategy that is tailored to Pinterest users, as the platform differs significantly from the likes of Instagram or Facebook.

This means that you need to do the following:

Become a Pinterest ‘pinnoisseur’

Learning everything there is to know about a platform is a sure-fire way to market on it successfully.

Research the Pinterest audience and demographic. What are the common traits? Where are its primary users based? What about age ranges? The most popular pins?

Hootsuite has put together some useful statistics regarding Pinterest demographics for marketers.

Set goals and KPIs

This is integral to every businesses digital marketing strategy – otherwise, how can you determine how successful a marketing campaign has been?

For Pinterest specifically, consider what success will look like for your brand? The obvious metric is the growth of followers (pinners). But other objectives that can be set and measured include conversions/sales, sign-ups for events, and website visits.

Consider your target audience and how they use Pinterest

Any standout brand will understand its target audience inside out, and from that will be able to paint of picture of how they will use Pinterest.

What kind of content (pins) will they engage with? Are they likely to buy directly from Pinterest? Or will they need a little more convincing by visiting your website?

Analyse your competitors

Any great marketer will tell you that in order to excel, you need to keep your friends close, but your competitors even closer.

Be sure to check out your biggest rival's Pinterest and consider how they are using the platform to market their brand. You can learn some interesting tactics from their pins and the way they interact with their followers – particularly from the more established brands.

Plan and schedule Pinterest specific content

Emphasis on the Pinterest specific part. Do not blanket post across social media platforms as content works differently across each of them.

Be sure to create on-brand Pinterest content that works for your target audience, thinking primarily about visuals. And set up a posting schedule, we would recommend using monday.com to do this.

If you are struggling to put together a social media marketing strategy due to a lack of time and resources, the majority of digital marketing agencies offer strategy planning as a service. Check out our review of the top 8 digital marketing agencies in the UK to find out more.


How to create thumb stopping, captivating pin content

You can strategise till the cows come home, but a huge part of successfully mastering Pinterest for business is creating engaging and captivating pins that users will proudly add to their boards.

What is a board?

A board is a collection of pins a user saves, that they can relate back to later.

Users typically have different boards for specific categories, for example someone could have a board for social media marketing, and one for their favourite recipes.

Once added to a user's board, your pin is easily accessible and can be viewed over and over again.

What is a pin?

A pin is essentially a post in the form of an image. Because Pinterest is visual, it is a visual representation of an idea or product that a user can save to view later. So when you post content, you’ll be creating a pin.

It’s important to produce aesthetically pleasing pins, in order to capture user attention and ensure they click on your pin over all the others bombarding them on their feed.

We like to think of Pinterest as a jewellery shop window, you want your brand/product to sparkle and stand out from the rest, so let’s give you some ideas on how to do this.

What the dream pin looks like:

  • Vertical imagery – according to social media experts Hootsuite, over 80% of Pinterest users browse the platform on their mobile. You need to shoot for a 2:3 aspect ratio for the ultimate mobile optimisation – or you’ll be posting cropped, less than attractive pins
  • Branding – when it comes to Pinterest for business, getting your branding on point is a must. Incorporating your logo subtly into each pin is an important way to ensure your content is easily recognisable when repinned by users
  • Links – a pin source and description can include links. This is the perfect opportunity to link back to your website, or to a product landing page. Which in turn will help you hit those all important campaign targets. Oh and remember, always double check your links.
  • Clear, succinct messaging – adding text to your pins can add context to the images, encourage users to click on links, and even improve SEO through the use of keywords
  • High quality, standout images and videos – at the end of the day, Pinterest is a visual search engine. So above all else, the most important aspect of an effective pin is how it looks to the user. Don’t cut corners when producing your images – even if it costs you a little more to organise a professional photoshoot, or hire a digital marketing agency to create content for you

banana republic example


Optimising your Pinterest content for your target audience

Even once you’ve created the perfect pin and released it out into the Pinterest world, there is still a chance it might not get the traction it deserves.

However do not fear, as there are a number of ways you can optimise your content to ensure your brand is guaranteed to be seen on the platform, by the right users. These include:

Strategically plan your boards by using themes

Many Pinterest users don’t access branded content directly. In fact, 97% of Pinterest searches are unbranded. This means that you need to be clever when creating boards and pins in order to reach new Pinners and your all-important target audience.

Create boards and pins that are related to frequently searched topics and interests – but that also can be subtly connected to your brand and products.

If you are an energy drink brand, for example, you could create a board dedicated to sportswear. By creating ‘sportswear’ keyword pins, and dedicating whole boards to this topic, users will visit your board in search of inspiration for running trainers.

From visiting your board, they will be subject to your other pins, including ones promoting your energy drink. This is a clever technique that combines engaging and inspiring content boards that users are interested in, with more direct, promotional advertising of your brand that also serves a purpose for that user.

Also, make sure your content is instantly recognisable to users and connected to your brand, such as through colour schemes, fonts, or photographic styles. You can set this strategy yourself, working out what feels most authentic to your brand and audience.

Sounds complex? You don’t need to go it alone. You may wish to hire an agency, especially to help with the technical design aspects. Check out the top social media marketing agencies in the UK for more information.

country living magazine

Experiment with different pin formats

One of the best things about marketing your business on social media is the ability to get creative. And with Pinterest, there is plenty of scope to do this. Instead of creating basic photo pins, why not:

  • Produce a video – the use of video should never be underestimated, particularly when 78% of marketing professionals say that videos have helped clients increase sales, according to marketing agency The Social Shepherd. You can even make use of influencer marketing, by collaborating with influencers to promote your products through a video pin. To find out more about influencer marketing, be sure to visit our dedicated digital marketing trends guide.
  • Create a carousel – why have one image, when you can have multiple? By creating a carousel pin, you are able to showcase a variety of products in one pin, which in turn can increase user engagement, and give pinners a closer look at your brand
  • Use “Shop the Look” pins – these are white dots that users can tap on, taking them straight to a product purchasing page on your site – offering a seamless user journey in the process. These types of pins tend to focus on fashion and home decor items. Note that Shop the Look pins in the UK are currently only available to certain business accounts. For more information, visit Pinterest’s Shop the Look page

pinterest carousel

Optimise your pins for SEO

As we’ve already mentioned, Pinterest is a visual search engine. Much like Google, it is centred around the use of keywords.

When a user searches for a term or topic, you want to be sure that your content appears near the top of the search results. To do this, be sure to make sure your business’s pins are super easy to find and relevant.

Include keywords everywhere. On boards, hashtags, and pin descriptions. You can also use rich pins.

What are rich pins?

Rich pins give you the option to include extra details on each pin. There are three types of rich pin: article, product, and recipe. We’ve summarised each one below:

Article – these types of rich pins enable users to save pins that show the writer, the headline, and the description

Product – offer availability, pricing, and stocklist information on the pin

Recipe – the essential cooking details are included on the pin, including ingredients, as well as preparation time and how many people the recipe serves

Interact with the Pinterest community

One of the best ways to market your business on social media platforms like Pinterest is through engagement. You can like or comment on pins to create a conversation between your brand and your customers.

You can also create group boards to share inspiration, and interact with other users. This will help you create an open dialogue with your audience, along with helping people feel more connected to your company through a shared board of ideas and concepts.

Top tips to master Pinterest, from digital marketing expert and founder of Team Gu, Natalie Viglione:

  • Create an SEO-rich username and profile
  • Create Pinterest board names and descriptions and that also follow an SEO-rich format. Include a board cover image that stands out and provides clear directives as to what the board is about.
  • Create an Instagram-sized image for your board cover (this is a secret that makes that board cover image look better!)
  • Only create a max of 10 boards – too many boards and it’s overwhelming. Anywhere between 6-10 boards is a great place to be.
  • Use Trends.Pinterest.com to see what’s trending so you can create a content plan that is receptive to what people are searching for and what also works for your business and services/products
  • Posting up to 10 times a day can really help drive engagement. But, be sure to post other people’s like-minded content (this is especially helpful if you haven’t really used your account or have just started a business account).
  • If you want to boost the awareness of your brand, Pinterest advertising is one of the best platforms that will provide you with solid reach and targeting tools.

Advertising on Pinterest

Growing your account organically is amazing (and doesn’t cost you a dime), but sometimes it literally pays to advertise your pins.

Pinterest ads are a form of paid social media, which means you can pay for your content to appear in a pinners feed who otherwise may not have seen it.

Much like Instagram and Facebook, Pinterest allows brands to create targeted ads in order to reach the right audiences. Ads can be targeted round standard metrics including:

  • Keywords
  • Interests
  • Age
  • Location

So as long as you fully grasp your target audience, you can advertise to the right demographic, increasing your chances of website visits, sign-ups, and conversions.

However, you can also go an advertising level deeper, and promote to specific groups of Pinterest users, such as people who have engaged with your pins, and people who have visited your website.

The same can also be said for Facebook, in which you can target users that have visited your website before. To find out more about how much Facebook ads cost, visit our dedicated guide.

Or, if you’re keen to market more on Instagram, check out our expert guide to how much Instagram ads cost.

How much does advertising on Pinterest cost?

The average cost of Pinterest ads in 2021 was £1.25 per click, depending on the campaign and ad format. This is a similar price to other social media platforms, including Instagram – in which you’ll be paying between £0.80 – £1.10 per click.

The key difference however is that Pinterest users have much higher buyer intent, with 83% of weekly Pinterest users making purchases based on brand content they see on the platform.


How to use Pinterest analytics and track metrics

pinterest analytics

Measuring the success of your Pinterest marketing campaigns is very important, particularly when you are paying for ads. The last thing you want is to be investing in a strategy, and pins, that clearly aren’t working.

Firstly it's important to define the success metrics that you are working towards. Three of the most popular metrics when it comes to Pinterest are:

  • Referral traffic – you can analyse how many people are directed to your website from your Pinterest pins and boards
  • Engagement – you can determine how well your pins are performing by calculating how many users are interacting with your page, repinning posts, or saving content to boards
  • Product sales – you can work out how many conversions you’ve made from a targeted ad, by using Pinterest analytics

Pinterest analytics

Pinterest Analytics is the site’s own tool, which you can use to measure your campaign performance. It offers insight into individual pin performance, board performance, and traffic analysis.

You’ll need a business account to access analytics. Plus, if you claim (verify) your website and other social accounts, you can see how your Pinterest page feeds into your wider social media marketing strategy. You can learn more about how it all works with the Pinterest Analytics guide.

Pinterest also offers real-time analytics, so you can make informed marketing decisions by overseeing the latest Pinner activity, as well as seeing hourly ad and pin performance in the new ‘last 24 hour’ view.

Pinterest Analytics offers several success metrics, including:

  • Impressions – how many times your content is displayed to users, which could be across feeds, searches, or categories
  • Close-ups – total views of a close-up version of your pin
  • Link clicks – total number of clicks on links included in your pin (both internal and external to Pinterest)
  • Saves – total number of times your pin has been saved to boards
  • Engagements – total engagement on pins, including saves, link clicks, and close-ups

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is available as either a free or paid-for tool, offering insights and data about your business online. You can use analysis intelligence and detailed reporting for in-depth understanding. Google can also pull data from other Google platforms, such as Google Ads.

You can use Google Analytics to understand how and where people are reaching your website, including focusing on Pinterest performance, as well as other social channels.


Should you outsource your Pinterest marketing?

This depends entirely on the budget you’ve got at your disposal. If money is tight, we would recommend you market in-house to save on costs.

However, if you’ve got the budget to spend, outsourcing is a sure-fire way to guarantee your Pinterest marketing campaigns are a success – especially if you pick the right agency with specific expertise in the platform.

Use our cost comparison tool to help you find the right digital marketing agency for you and your marketing strategy.

If you do decide to outsource your Pinterest marketing to a digital marketing agency, be sure to follow these top tips to pick the right agency for you…

What makes a good agency and what is it I’m looking for?

  • Competitive, affordable pricing – this is hard to find online, but our cost comparison tool can help
  • Proven track record of results – be sure to check the agency’s website for real-life case studies that showcase positive results
  • Awards – with over 7,000 digital marketing agencies operating in the UK, a great way to identify the best of the bunch is through any prestigious and reputable awards they’ve won
  • Experience and specialism in a particular industry – think about the industry you operate in and find an agency that is focused on growing businesses in that industry
  • Services – check what services the agency offers. Does it cater to all of the channels you need? Is it well-versed in a particular solution that your business needs support with, such as SEO or paid social media?
  • Reliable, transparent data and insights – an agency is only as good as its reporting. Make sure you have constant access to insights and reports so you know how the agency is performing and can monitor the success of any marketing campaigns
  • Collaboration and communication – the most highly regarded and successful agencies have open and honest working relationships with their clients

Next steps for Pinterest success

Using Pinterest for your business is a great way to improve brand awareness, provide inspiration to others, gain customers and compete against other providers in a creative way. To recap, the steps you should take are:

Step 1: set up a Pinterest business account
Step 2: create an effective Pinterest marketing strategy
Step 3: create a thumb stopping, captivating pin content
Step 4: optimise your Pinterest content for your target audience
Step 5: advertise on Pinterest
Step 6: use Pinterest analytics and track metrics

Admittedly, it can take considerable time and effort to run your own Pinterest business account.

This is why we would highly recommend you get support for your Pinterest strategy from a team of digital marketing professionals who will be able to do the hard work for you, so you can sit back, relax, and watch those Pinners come flooding in…

To find out more about some of the best digital marketing agencies in the UK and to receive bespoke, personalised quotes for their services, simply fill out our free, easy-to-use comparison tool.

There are zero obligations on your part, and the form takes under a minute to complete.

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Written by:
Ross has been writing for Startups since 2021, specialising in telephone systems, digital marketing, payroll, and sustainable business. He also runs the successful entrepreneur section of the website. Having graduated with a Masters in Journalism, Ross went on to write for Condé Nast Traveller and the NME, before moving in to the world of business journalism. Ross has been involved in startups from a young age, and has a keen eye for exciting, innovative new businesses. Follow him on his Twitter - @startupsross for helpful business tips.
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