While a picture is worth a thousand words, on Pinterest it’s worth everything. Like all of the other social media platforms (though Pinterest is really a search engine and not a social platform, we’ll save that soapbox for another post), Pinterest is always changing. In January 2020 they made some major updates to their algorithms and we’ve spent the first quarter of the year really understanding what works and what does not work on the platform. We’ve seen these methods work consistently with our clients, and we’re ready to share them now that we know what’s really working on Pinterest right now.
So, what has changed on Pinterest in 2020?
Both Pinterest and Tailwind, their recommended scheduler (and what we use for all of our clients) shared at the beginning of the year that the changes Pinterest made put more of a focus on unique content than it did prior. But here’s the catch: the unique content that we’re talking about here is the graphic – not the source URL (the location that the pin directs to)! We suggest to our clients that each individual source URL, for the sake of explanation let’s call it a blog post, have 8-10 unique pins directing back to that same blog post.
To make effective pins this year, make sure that you are using high-quality images that are clear and eye-catching. Remember, you’re trying to stand out in a sea of pins – you have to be visually appealing! It also needs to clearly identify what the pin is about, there’s no room for bait and switch in Pinterest strategy. For example, if you’re a health and wellness coach who has a pin that leads to meal planning, and you put a picture of a pumpkin patch in the background of your pin, that is going to be less effective than putting a picture of containers with food in them, a colorful plate of different nutritious foods, or someone chopping vegetables. You want to make it easy for the viewer to know what your pin is about, without even reading your text overlay or pin description.
One question that we get a lot is “how can I make 8 – 10 different pins without deviating from my brand guidelines?” Pins can be unique while still being on brand, though you may need to stray from what you’ve done in the past to ensure that Pinterest considers your pin unique. Here’s a couple of simple ideas for how to make a fresh pin:
- Adjust the background of the image: try a different photo or a different color
- Change the text overlay: use a different font, or different words
- Adjust your image borders
- Change the colors
- Crop your image to make a particular object on the image the center of attention
Consider Using Video Pins
Pinterest is a visual platform and what is more engaging than video? Video pins have been around since 2018, if you can believe it, and if you haven’t been using them yet it may be time for you to get on board. The biggest objection we hear about creating video pins is the tech behind it. It seems overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! There are tons of tools that can help you create amazing video pins. Here’s two of our favorites, and a little bit of information about them:
Canva.com: Canva Pro offers the most advanced features for video pins at $12.95/month, with a 30 day free trial to start. They have beautiful templates that allow you to customize right away, without the learning curve of some of the other platforms. Beyond the video pins, the pro version is worth it because of the incredible amount of different types of content you can create (everything you could ever need for Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…and probably any other marketing materials you can imagine).
Adobe Spark: Adobe Spark is $9.99/month after a 2-month free trial. Like most Adobe products, there’s definitely a learning curve, though not as steep as some of their other products (some of the team here may still be traumatized from learning Photoshop years ago).
Remember that video pins aren’t full-blown stories on Pinterest. While Pinterest has a range of 4 seconds to 15 minutes, we say “one minute or less, 30 seconds is best”. Don’t spend hours creating a 15-minute long pin because most of it will be scrolled past.
Get Consistent with Your Pinning
“Consistency is key” is cliche at this point, but it does apply here. It’s key to gaining followers, views, repins, and engagement. We suggest that our clients send between 15 and 20 pins a day. Doing this manually, and still running your business, requires superhuman abilities that we haven’t discovered yet – so we use Tailwind, and recommend it to all of our clients who need to schedule pins too. Tailwind gives you the ability to schedule pins ahead of time, so you can really set it and forget it. Having a reliable scheduling tool will enable you to create content days or even weeks in advance in order to free up your time for other things while still maintaining consistency on the platform.
Cross-Promote your Pinterest account
Call to actions on your other platforms have the potential of growing your traffic on Pinterest. The first step is to confirm your other social accounts on Pinterest. Content that is pinned from other platforms to Pinterest increases your accounts’ engagement.
Hashtags aren’t just for Instagram anymore. On Pinterest, hashtags enable the algorithm to easily identify what your pin is about in order to better place them in the relevant searches. Hashtags on Pinterest aren’t like on Instagram where you can have thirty hashtags on one post. Our advice to our clients is two to four hashtags per pin. Unlike Instagram where you’re ultra-specific, use Pinterest hashtags as more of a broad approach.
Going back to the health and wellness coach example – if you’re posting pins promoting a meal planning blog, three good hashtags for Pinterest would be #mealplanning #healthylifestyle #healthandwellness.
Pinterest is such a powerful platform when leveraged correctly, it can become a major source of traffic to your site. For a quick and easy beginner’s guide to making pins, check out our Creating the Perfect Pin Checklist.
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