Wondering if your business belongs on Pinterest?
It can be a hard pill to swallow, but Pinterest isn’t right for every business.
Find out if yours is suited for Pinterest marketing in this post.
I know, I know — you post in all these Facebook marketing and networking groups looking for tips for marketing your business and you always get the famous question: have you tried Pinterest?
It’s a fair question and one that I ask as well. But the more important question isn’t if you’ve already tried Pinterest, but is if your business is even suited for Pinterest in the first place.
Real talk: Even if you did try Pinterest and found it didn’t bring the results you want, there are many reasons why that could be. So asking if you’ve used Pinterest before qualifying your business for the platform in the first place can be an ineffective question that may just bring on more confusion and frustration for you as the already-struggling-business-owner.
Nobody wants more frustration and confusion in their entrepreneur and business journey, do they?
Which is why it’s important to know three things before you jump into marketing your business on any platform:
- Who you are targeting,
- If your target market is on said platform, and
- You understand how the platform works, and what it wants from you and for the user.
Easy enough, right? 😉
Now that we have those three key questions out in the open, let’s talk about when Pinterest is right for a business and when it’s not.
How to Know if Your Business Belongs on Pinterest in The First Place
Let’s go back to our three key questions to ask before deciding on a platform to market your business on.
While technically anyone can use Pinterest for their business, not everyone will be successful in marketing it on the platform.
I’ll briefly dive into the three key questions you need to be able to answer in order to get started on Pinterest for your business.
1: Who are you targeting?
Business 101: you need to know who you are targeting. I know, super basic. But, you can’t move forward in your marketing if you can’t confidently answer this question first.
If you’re just getting started, you don’t absolutely need to know every single little detail about your target market or have a perfect avatar (though it will help), but you do need to have some of the major details hashed out.
What is the general age of your target market? What do they need your help with? Are they male or female? What are they struggling with? What are they interested in? Knowing these basics will determine the answer to the second key question.
2: Is your target market on Pinterest already?
Here are some quick statistics to get you thinking:
- The majority of users are between the ages of 18 and 49
- 70% of users are women
- 39% of users earn or are worth $75k + annually
- 85 million of the users are from the US
- 50% are international
- Men account for 50% new signups
- 85% of users are using the platform on mobile
- 55% of users are actively looking for products to buy while on Pinterest
Those stats are a great starting point when trying to figure out if your target market is on Pinterest already so that you know you aren’t going to be wasting your time or efforts trying to reach people that aren’t even there.
3: Do you understand Pinterest, how it works, and what it wants from you as the creator?
This one is so important! You can’t succeed in something unless you understand it first, especially when it comes to using Pinterest for your business.
Don’t just hope you can make your Pinterest marketing work — know how to make it work and how you’re going to be successful with it. Yes, there will be trial and error and you will feel like you’re guessing some of the time. But understanding the platform, how it works, and what it wants from you as the creator isn’t just a good idea — it’s necessary.
Not every business belongs on Pinterest, and those that do may need to wait until some things are in place in order to get the most from their Pinterest marketing (more on that in a minute).
— Understanding Pinterest and the user mindset —
Pinterest is great for finding recipes, cute crafts, and saving beautiful wedding pictures to your wedding ideas board, but it’s so much more than that!
It is a place to be inspired and influenced.
Pinterest users are in a mindset of curating inspiration for their ideal life, and then planning their goals, projects, and purchases around that inspiration so that they can take action on those inspiring ideas.
Many of them are even ready to buy – in that very moment when they’re searching for something.
They are ready to try something new — whether it’s a new Instant Pot recipe or a new product or brand.
— the basics of how Pinterest works and how the Pinner uses it —
I won’t go into too much detail on this subject, but basically this is what you need to know about the Pinterest user: they want to find ideas and resources (paid or free) that will solve their problems and/or give them inspiration.
Also, it’s important to know that Pinterest is not a social media platform. It is a visual search engine. It’s like Google images on steroids.
Pinterest users search for something in the search bar, find a Pin that interests and appeals to them, saves it to their personal boards, and depending on where they are in their planning phase, they click on that Pin which will lead to the solution to their problem (aka your website or product).
They also get personalized content delivered to them through their smart feed, which is based on their interests and Pinning habits.
There are many ways to be seen on Pinterest – smart feeds, searches, follower feeds, and how you are promoting your Pinterest profile or Pins on your own site and content.
— So, what types of businesses do well on Pinterest? —
Businesses that have an online presence (whether they are fully an online-based business or are a physical business and supplement online) and are committed to nurturing their ideal client/customer/audience, can succeed on Pinterest.
Here’s a full transparent confession: I used to believe that you had to have a blog or a strong content marketing plan in place to succeed on Pinterest. After working with an amazing Pinterest Strategist and mentor, however, I realized that this just isn’t the case. I know, pretty relieving, right?
There are many ways to utilize Pinterest and at the end of the day, you just have to figure out what does and doesn’t work for you.
The truth is this: You need something to Pin that will solve the Pinners problem. A product, email landing page, blog post, podcast episode — something that Pinners are actually searching for on Pinterest already, and something that will actually benefit your business as a whole by funneling them into their next steps with you.
So, if you have;
- a social media presence where you talk about your products (MLM, for example), have a Shopify store, a blog, a podcast, or any other way that you educate/inspire/serve your ICA (ideal client avatar) and that ICA is on Pinterest already, and
- the basics of your own business hashed out (your ICA, most important metrics, funnels, etc)
I definitely recommend giving Pinterest a try.
— And finally, what businesses DON’T do well on Pinterest? —
It’s true: Pinterest isn’t fit for every business. Sorry!
If you are wanting to market a local, brick-and-mortar business that doesn’t have an online presence whatsoever, this platform just isn’t going to get you results.
Furthermore, if you do have an online presence but don’t have your foundations established or you don’t want to put in the work to draw in and nurture those leads/traffic, you’re not ready for Pinterest.
And while this next point may require some research on your part, if your target market isn’t already on Pinterest — it’s a good sign you should move on to a different platform. (P.s., a quick search in Pinterest for your niche and targeted keywords can reveal that answer.)
Getting the Most from Pinterest
While you can Pin to your IG, simple landing pages, and the like – your ultimate goal should be getting your traffic and leads immersed in your brand and nurturing them to become long-time and raving fans.
With that in mind, here’s 5 ways to get the most out of Pinterest and your business long-term.
#1: have your own website
While you can “get away with” Pinning to a Facebook page or other social media account, you may find out that doing so may just not be a long-term or end-all-be-all strategy.
Pinners typically need to be “warmed up” to whatever it is you’re trying to sell to them. This means that just linking to a page or URL may not always result in sales or signups (which is true for any platform you’re on). This is why having a strategy for nurturing your traffic and leads is so important.
You can warm the Pinner up and draw them into your brand by having your own optimized website. Not only does having your own self-hosted website look more professional, it just converts better long-term.
It is the perfect way to let Pinners get to know what you’re about and what value you have to offer them.
#2: You have content on your website
You want to give Pinterest users (and everyone in your audience) amazing value first and foremost, and what better way to do that than amazing content that shows you know what you’re doing and talking about?
Give them the chance to learn, like, and trust you with some type of content (podcast, blog post, testimonial, video, etc)! I promise that doing so will convert 100% better than linking to only your opt-ins and product pages.
#3: You know your goals and measures of success
Are you looking to gain more email subscribers? Drive more traffic to your website and increase page views? Or do you just want to sell more products or book more clients?
You absolutely need to know what your goals are for using Pinterest for your business.
It doesn’t matter if it’s directly monetary-related. If your goal is to use Pinterest to drive more email subscribers, then that’s your goal and that’s good enough!
Alongside your goals, you should have your measures of success. How many email subscribers do you want? How many pageviews to your website do you need? How many products do you want to sell? And how many clients do you need to book?
You need to know these things to come up with a solid Pinterest marketing strategy.
#4: You have the room and resources in place to grow
The point of any marketing is to grow your business, right?
Pinterest is no different — which means that you need to have a plan in place for when that growth does happen.
Go back to your measures of success and goals and decide how things may be different when you reach those milestones.
What else will you need to successfully run your blog when you get those 50,000 daily page views? Well, your hosting plan needs to be able to handle that influx of visits!
What about when you become fully booked out as a service provider? Will you need to outsource your email management or some other area of your business in order for you to successfully take on those new clients and keep them happy?
Likewise, when you hit that target of selling 1000 units of your handmade product, will you need a longer turnaround time or to hire an assistant?
Don’t forget about the little things like payment processing, your business’s bank account transaction fees, and systems that you will need to have in place.
It all matters and you need to be prepared!
#5: You are in it for the long-haul
I hate to break it to you but Pinterest doesn’t usually bring you viral traffic or instant success.
It requires consistent Pinning and interpreting data, and it can get tedious and mundane.
Some business accounts won’t see growth for eight months while some may see it in as little as two months — and you need to be open and prepared for either instance. (P.s., the typical timeframe is three to six months, minimum.)
It depends on your niche, how often you create new Pins, how old your account is, your keyword strategy, your Pin images, and so much more.
Pinterest for business just isn’t a cut and dry marketing tactic. It requires patience and commitment and the right mindset.
Are you ready to be in it for the long-haul?
Conclusion and Last Thoughts
Pinterest for your business can be SO fun and worthwhile when done right!
- You need to know if your target market is on Pinterest.
- You need to understand the platform and the Pinners mindset.
- You need to figure out if your business is in a place to benefit and utilize Pinterest.
The 5 tips that will get you the most out of your Pinterest marketing long-term:
- Having your own self-hosted website
- Creating and executing a content marketing plan that will educate, inspire, and serve
- You know your goals and measures of success
- Your business is ready for the growth from Pinterest
- You have the right mindset about using Pinterest for your business
Now that you know what businesses can do well on the platform, are you ready to dive into the world of Pinterest for your own business or blog?
Let me know in the comments below!