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Marketing 360® Blog

Pinterest Advertising & Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Post By Scott Yoder | Social Media Management

Should my small business advertise and market on Pinterest?  Here are some tips, ideas, and strategies that will help you answer that question.

Pinterest Demographics

As a social media platform, we know consumers are on Pinterest.  According to Pew Research, better than 1 in 4 internet users are “pinners”.

pew data on pinterest use

Our experience and further research show that when it comes to marketing and advertising, Pinterest heavily favors the female demographic.  Women are in fact four times more likely to use Pinterest than men.  Pinterest notes that in the US they reach:

  • 52% of millennials
  • 68% of women ages 25-54
  • 69% of moms and 36% of dads

Among its female users, Pinterest gets relatively even use among age groups (as compared to, say, Snapchat, which is mainly used by a younger demographic).

Over 75% of traffic on Pinterest is on mobile, so it’s also important to target groups that use mobile for social media.

People use Pinterest to discover new ideas and plan events.  They actively seek helpful, inspiring ideas.  While this favors generating sales leads in the discovery phases of the buying cycle, Pinterest is also one of the more promising platforms for social commerce, where users can use an app to purchase without leaving Pinterest itself.

Pinterest is, by its nature, a highly visual platform – it’s a visual search engine.  For marketing, it lends itself best to products and services that use imagery.

If you have a product that targets female buyers from their early 20s to their mid 60s who use mobile for social sites, Pinterest will be worth the effort.

But it’s also worth noting that Pinterest is a straightforward platform that makes it easy for any business to curate and categorize content.  If you browse the net looking for images that relate to what you do, you can manage a Pinterest page with minimal effort or time commitment.


How Pinterest Works

Pinterest is, as the name suggests, a digital pin board.  It is one of the easiest social media platforms to use when it comes to saving links from images:

pinterest button

In just seconds, a user can pin an image, categorize it onto a board, and make it available to their followers.

Businesses can do the same, pinning not only their products or company info, but also creating boards relating things of interest for their audience.  For example, Green Wedding Shoes covers just about every topic a bride planning a wedding could be interested in:

pinterest boards example

Pinterest makes it quick and easy for other users to pin your products to share across their networks.  When they have the Pinterest app or browser button, all they have to do is hover over the image and pin it to a board:

pin it

Perhaps the biggest advantage to marketing on Pinterest is how easy it is to “pin” content.  You can use the free version to develop boards in just minutes a day.  It’s brand exposure with minimal effort.

Important Tip:  Optimize Descriptions for Search

Whenever you pin something (particularly from your website), fill in the description field using your target keywords.  This field appears when you edit your pin:

pin description If applicable, add physical descriptions (colors, styles, etc.).

This is the main way you can optimize a pin to rank organically when someone searches Pinterest.

Important Tip:  Use Hero Shots

If possible, select a product image to pin that uses a hero shot.   You’re more likely to draw attention, particularly on buyable pins, when you show people using and enjoying the benefits of the product.  Which image catches your eye?

pinterest image shot


Promoted Pins and Buyable Pins

Promoted Pins on Pinterest work on a cost-per-click (CPC) auction model.  Basically, you pay to boost your post so it shows up at the top of searches on Pinterest.  Here is their overview:

One advantage to Pinterest advertising is that you don’t pay for any earned traffic that comes as a result of your promoted pin.  Since pins last forever, this means you can get benefits from a paid campaign long after it’s over.

Buyable Pins are an app that allows users to buy products directly from Pinterest without having to leave the platform.  This is particularly useful for mobile shoppers, where filling forms with contact and payment info is cumbersome.  Here’s how it works:

Buyable Pins integrate to Shopify and Bigcommerce platforms, so eCommerce businesses can seamlessly integrate their inventory and payment processes.

Buyable Pins display with a blue price, so it’s easy to recognize them.  Also, you can navigate your search to a page that only shows buyable pins:

buyable pins


Data shows that 93% of pinners use Pinterest to plan purchases, and 87% have made a purchase because of something they found on Pinterest.  When you target the Pinterest demographic with products that fit their lifestyles, you open up a considerable sales channel.



Pinterest reports that two-thirds of the content that gets saved to Pinterest come from businesses.  Facebook has more users; however, those users are more focused on their personal networks than commercial content.  Twitter users love to follow celebrities, but pinners prefer brands.  Product advertising and brand awareness are largely incidental with users of most social media – except on Pinterest, where users favor brands and actively search out products.

  •  83% of users say they’d prefer to follow a brand/store than a celebrity.
  • 73% of users say they’ rather follow their favorite brand of beauty product than their favorite make-up artist.
  • 67% said they’d rather follow their favorite brand of baby product than their favorite baby expert.

In these ways, Pinterest is really the best suited social media platform to tie into eCommerce businesses.  Pinterest is the shopper’s social media platform.

Also, Pinterest remains underused, less competitive, and less expensive than other advertising channels.  Tie in easy to manage organic efforts with some targeted paid advertising, and Pinterest may prove to be one of your strongest social media channels.

Here is some more info on Pinterest social commerce:

pinterest infographic

Courtesy of Shopify.