Pinterest for Business: Creating Pinnable Imagery for Your Site

  •    digital marketer and writer in New York. She specializes in social media, web development, and publishing. Say hello in 140 characters @melissajohill.

What if there were a magical search engine where you could find recipes, DIY decor tutorials, planner printables, gift guides, gardening tips, wardrobe ideas, craft patterns, kids activities, makeup videos and more. But instead of reading just the headlines and descriptions, you could see a preview of the content and make a snap judgement about whether it was something you wanted to click through? For over 100 million users, Pinterest is that visual search engine.

Incorporating a Pinterest Strategy

The first thing a small business owner should know before employing a Pinterest for business strategy is that 71 percent of Pinterest users are women, and the majority are millennials. These highly active users are performing 2 billion searches per month on Pinterest, saving links for everything from food to fashion.

The trick to using Pinterest effectively is having ridiculously pinnable content. You want an image so tasty and so appealing that a user is bound to save it to their own board and click through. What makes an image irresistibly pinnable?

On Pinterest, Quality Counts

To start, use the absolute best images you can find. Be sure your photos are in-focus, color-balanced, and attractive (remember, your image is in competition with other images on Pinterest). It's not a beauty contest, but you've got to up your visual branding if you want to get noticed. That means going above and beyond your iPhonography and using a professional setup for your product photography. It means thinking through your photo composition and the story your images are telling.

If you don't have pro photography skills, use stock photos from sites like Bossfight, Pexels and Death To Stock. Pick on-brand images that show the desired end result. The whole point of displaying a photo is to earn the click through or the re-pin. Choosing the right image is as critical as say, writing an email newsletter subject or blog post headline.

Focusing on your audience at Pinterest should help guide your image selection. In this case, it's female millennials. Choose content and imagery that will appeal to that demographic for best results. For example, if your business sells products for men, you can still use Pinterest—just craft your Pinterest content around offering gift ideas.

If photos aren't your style, you can also pin infographics and instructographics. An infographic is a graphic chart that displays a ton of information in a visually appealing way. These kinds of images are perfect for content that is statistic-heavy. You can use tools like Piktochart and Infogr.am to design an infographic. Instructographics are essentially a series of photographs that show a process—and can work well for content like tutorials and before and after series. Instructographics typically have some text overlays that break down the images into visually parseable steps.

Size Matters

Facebook photos are landscape orientation. Instagram is square. And Pinterest? You guessed it—portrait. In fact, portrait size images on Pinterest convert better in a sea of reused landscape and square images. For best results, keep your images around 700 pixels wide by 1000 pixels tall. The larger your images, within those ratios, the better.

Pinterest Portrait Images

Pinterest Portrait Images

Incorporate Your Branding

Use a free image editor like Canva.com to include your headline and website logo on your image (or try Weebly's new image editor). This helps in case the images you've posted become separated from the original link. On Pinterest, this happens more often than you'd think. Use consistent branding for all your Pinterest images, so you can train audiences to expect certain kinds of content from your brand. This means using the same color scheme your website uses and ideally, the same fonts.

Use Your Words

And finally, adding an SEO friendly description of the image, including a call to action, will help your pins with discoverability in search. Try to keep your descriptions under 200 characters and include instructions like, “click here for the full tutorial" or “learn more at yourawesomewebsite.com." A clear call-to-action will encourage actual click-throughs rather than repins, and while repins are great, the whole point is to drive traffic to your website.

Wrap Up

If you haven't given Pinterest for business a whirl, jump in. The potential to connect with a highly desirable market is huge. It's a fun network where you can stake a claim on your niche—especially if you've got a firm grip on your business branding and aesthetic.