A few years ago, Pinterest was THE platform for visual marketing content. It was the go-to place for businesses to post images of their products and services in a format that was easy for users to consume and share.
However, in recent times, Pinterest has been overshadowed by the rise of Instagram and TikTok. These platforms have captured the attention of users with their short-form videos and influencer culture, leaving Pinterest in the shadows.
But don’t be mistaken: Pinterest is still a force to be reckoned with, boasting over 400 million users. It may not grab as many headlines as its competitors, but it remains a valuable platform for small businesses to reach new audiences.
5 ways your business can use Pinterest
So, how can your small businesses leverage Pinterest to your advantage? Here are five strategies to consider:
- Visual storytelling: Pinterest is all about visual content. How can you tell the story of who you are and what you do through a curated selection of images? Use Canva or one of the new AI image tools to create visually appealing pins that get your message across.
- Keyword optimisation: Like YouTube, Pinterest is as much a search engine as a social platform, so optimising your content with relevant keywords is crucial. You can use Pinterest Trends to identify popular and relevant keywords in your industry. Make sure you include these keywords into your pin descriptions, board titles, and pin titles to improve discoverability.
- Rich pins and product catalogues: Take advantage of Pinterest’s features that sync your website content with your boards: rich pins and product catalogues. Rich pins update if the content on your site changes, and product catalogues allow you to display your products directly on Pinterest, along with pricing and availability information.
- Collaborate with influencers: Influencer marketing is not exclusive to Instagram or TikTok – Pinterest also has its fair share of influential users with dedicated followings. Collaborating with relevant influencers in your niche can help you expand your reach and tap into their established audience. Work with influencers to create collaborative boards, where you can showcase your products or services together, and reach a wider – but very targeted – audience.
- Engage with the community: Pinterest has always had a strong community feel. To get the most out of this platform, try to participate in group boards and engage with other users’ content by liking, commenting, and sharing. This interaction helps you build relationships and get found more easily by new customers.
The Little Art School: a small business case study
Joanne Robinson is the founder of the Little Art School. She turned to Pinterest during lockdown and has never looked back.
Joanne explained: “When lockdown hit we knew that we couldn’t run any of our studio-based classes.
“We decided to take our teaching online, so that our students could continue to draw and paint, and through a series of YouTube videos, we launched a new ‘Daily Draw’ initiative, where we teach viewers to draw (or paint) something recognisable and familiar to them – from Darth Vader and Yoda, to Super Mario and Spiderman.
“The concept proved a success beyond anything we could have imagined. What we had designed for our artists was being picked up by families right across the UK and in fact across the world. However, we felt we could extend that reach and we decided to start using Pinterest to promote things.
“Pinterest is the perfect ‘find things to do’ channel, and the users fit our target demographic perfectly – parents (particularly mums) of young kids. It was perfect for us and we knew it, but until this time hadn’t really given it any investment in time or effort. Four months and approx. 500 pins later, and Pinterest is firmly established in our digital strategy. We have been absolutely blown away by the new reach Pinterest has opened up to us.
“Posting (sorry – Pinning!) a mix of artistic tips and techniques, artists we love, books we recommend, galleries we hope (soon) to visit, and of course our daily draw challenges, from almost nothing our channel is now achieving over 35,000 monthly views, a number that is climbing so rapidly we can’t keep up! Many of them are turning into clicks to our YouTube channel, as well as our website and other social platforms. All at zero cost.
“My only regret is not starting to regularly Pin sooner. This isn’t just an additional marketing channel for us, I can see it becoming the keystone of how we grow our brand to reach new markets.”
While Pinterest may not dominate the social media landscape as it once did, it still holds plenty of potential for small businesses – especially those with a physical product to sell. Its visual nature and search engine functionality make it a unique platform for promoting products and driving new traffic to your website.