A Quick Guide to Pinterest Marketing for Beginners

Written by Tet, Orginal Article Published

Pinterest is one of the most powerful platforms you can use to market your business and blog.

Not only can you use it to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website, but you can also expect stellar conversions if you use it strategically.

Here are some noteworthy stats:

  • Pinterest boasts 250 million monthly active users as of September 2018.
  • There have now been 175 billion Pins saved by Pinners.
  • Over 80% of users are engaging with the platform using its mobile app.
  • Over 50% of Pinners live outside of the United States.
  • While majority of users are women, around 50% of new sign-ups are men.
  • 93% of Pinners use Pinterest to plan purchases.
  • 1 in 2 people have made a purchase after seeing a Promoted Pin.
  • 1 in 2 US millenials use Pinterest.
  • 67% of Pinners surveyed say they’ve discovered a new brand or product from business content on Pinterest.
  • 72% of Pinners surveyed said that Pinterest inspires them to shop when they aren’t actually looking for something.

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

But while Pinterest has several features you’re probably dying to take advantage of, it’s important to first understand what the platform is all about, how it works, and what it could actually do for your business.

Nowadays a lot of Pinterest marketing experts and educators claim to know the “secrets” behind it but there’s no need to look further than their website and around the web.

Here’s what Pinterest says on their website:

“Pinterest is the visual discovery engine. It is where you find and do what you love. With Pinterest, you can discover useful and relevant things that inspire you to do stuff.”

Here’s the result from a Google search:

“Discover recipes, home ideas, style inspiration and other ideas to try.”

And here’s what it says in the App store:

“Looking for inspiration? Whether you’re designing a home or searching for travel ideas, good ideas start on Pinterest. Explore over 100 billion new ideas for every part of your life, from what haircut to get to what to make for dinner.”

Notice the keywords that stand out:

  1. Discover and explore
  2. Ideas and inspiration
  3. Visual discovery engine

Based on these, here’s a quick Pinterest marketing guide to what these really mean from a business owner, blogger, or marketer’s standpoint:

01. Discover and explore

This tells us that Pinterest is where people search for things.

Pinterest functions not just as a social media platform but also as a search engine which immediately makes it different from Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

And aside from it being a visual platform, we can also assume that as a search engine, Pinterest values keywords, descriptions, categories, and titles (much like Google as a search engine).

More importantly, we can say that Pinterest prioritizes its users’ interests since it aims to show relevant and timely Pins to them related to what they 1.) currently search for and 2.) have saved in the past.

To emphasize this, notice the following about Pinterest:

  • They have a search bar at the very top of the page
  • Clicking on the search bar (without even typing yet) will give you suggestions for “recent searches,” “ideas for you,” and “trending ideas”
  • Start typing in the search bar and Pinterest “predicts” what you’re searching for by displaying relevant keywords, people, and boards
  • Pinterest has a Guided Search feature which displays top keywords you can click on to add to what you’ve typed in the search bar to make it more specific
  • While viewing a Pin, you’ll find “more like this” once you scroll to the bottom—either similar-looking Pins or Pins with similar keywords
  • While viewing a board, you’ll find Pins within that board as well as a separate tab for More ideas—other Pins Pinterest thinks you might be interested in
  • Pinterest has Rich Pins which show extra information about the Pin whether it’s an app, product, recipe or article

02. Ideas and inspiration

This tells us that Pinterest users have a planning or aspirational mindset.

According to their website, “Pinners span the globe, but they all share an important trait: they’re actively seeking helpful, inspiring ideas. People use Pinterest to plan for what’s important in their lives…”

So whether it’s recipes to try out, DIY projects to attempt, fitness routines to follow, clothes to buy, or something else, they’re all looking to be inspired from what they search and see, and are looking to go back to or take action on what they’ve “pinned” or saved later on.

To emphasize this, notice the following about Pinterest:

  • Again, Pinterest suggests “ideas for you,” “more ideas,” and “trending ideas” in their search bar and within boards
  • Pinterest boards are a place to save all related Pins (aka all related ideas) and within a board you can organize your Pins according to sections
  • Pinterest users can follow a person’s individual boards separately instead of the person’s complete profile + list of boards
  • Pinterest recently launched a chronological following tab based on the latest ideas being saved by the people and brands a user follows
  • Pins that do well tend to be images of products being used (for ideas and inspiration) as opposed to standalone product images
  • Other Pins that do well tend to be infographics or “instructographics” which tell viewers how to do things step-by-step
  • You can choose to have public and/or secret boards where you can collect similar ideas and share with others or keep to yourself
  • Pinterest has group boards where you can collaborate and share ideas or Pins with other users
  • Pinterest has Shop the Look Pins which display people wearing outfits and the users who see these Pins get inspired to buy and wear it themselves

03. Visual discovery engine

Last but not the least, Pinterest describes itself as a “visual discovery engine.”

This means that the platform encourages us to create or upload pins that are either images or images with some text in them.

It’s no surprise actually since ideas and inspiration (#2 keyword) are often more quickly conveyed through images, not sentences or paragraphs.

To emphasize this, notice the following about Pinterest:

  • The Pinterest feed follows a column format as opposed to a list format which Google search makes use of
  • Pinterest’s creative best practices include “Pick an eye-catching image” as a guideline for “great Pins”
  • Pins that do well tend to use strong imagery with colors that stand out
  • Pins that do well also tend to be vertical Pins (with an aspect ratio of 2:3 or infographic-style Pins that are even longer)
  • Again, other Pins that do well tend to be infographics or “instructographics” which are visual representations of statistics or how to do things step-by-step
  • Pinterest recently launched their carousel feature which you can use to display multiple photos for one Pin
  • One of Pinterest’s descriptions of their Guided Search feature is “It’s visual… Sometimes you don’t know what you’re looking for until you see it.”
  • Another description Pinterest has for business accounts is “Visual innovation…People want to get ideas from businesses to figure out what to do or buy next.”
  • Pinterest users often use boards as their “vision boards” with ideas and inspiration they desire or aspire to
  • Pinterest also has Video Pins and Promoted Video


Before you get started with Pinterest marketing, it’s best to learn what the platform is all about, how it works, and what it can actually do for your business.

Since its features are different from what you’ll find in Google, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, Pinterest is truly a unique and powerful tool to market your business and blog.

Not only is it a social media platform and a search engine, but it also emphasizes visuals and imagery to help people discover ideas and inspiration to do what they love.