Pinterest is one of the newest and most under-utilized platforms for Amazon sellers to use to drive traffic.
High buyer-intent, high levels of engagement and great organic reach make it a perfect fit for a sustainable long-term traffic strategy. Better yet, you can still be ahead of the curve, while the majority of sellers still stick to Google or Facebook.
This post will look at how you can get started driving traffic from Pinterest, organic and paid.
What is Pinterest?
I’m going to assume anyone reading this is familiar with Facebook and Google. But you might not be familiar with Pinterest – despite the fact that it has over 335 million monthly active users.
Here’s what you need to know about Pinterest:
Pinterest is a visual platform. Unlike Google, which is predominantly text, or Facebook, which is a mixture, with Pinterest it’s images that are the star of the show
Posts on Pinterest are called “pins”. These are, almost always, image or video, and can link off Pinterest to their original source. Users can also create “boards”, which are a group of pins all on a specific topic. For example, “Womens shoes” or “hunting backpacks”.
Users can “re-pin” posts they find on Pinterest to their own boards. This means real potential for your pins to go “viral” and grow organically.
A lot of people buy something after seeing content on Pinterest. The company’s 2019 seasonal insights report showed 83% of weekly pinners made a purchase based on content from brands on Pinterest. 93% of Pinterest users plan purchases based on content from the platform.
The high buyer-intent translates into success for marketers. Pinterest on average gives companies $2 in profit for every $1 in ad spend. That’s a rate that outperforms a significant portion of paid ad channels.
Pinterest is a powerful, and under-utilized platform for sellers. The high buyer intent on Pinterest means you have the potential to make more return on a smaller audience than you will somewhere like Facebook.
The statistics above tell the story. When people consume content on Pinterest, a lot of the time they go ahead and buy. What’s more, a lot of people go on Pinterest specifically to find ideas of things to buy. That puts it at an interesting place between interruption marketing (Facebook) and permission marketing (Amazon).
What’s better, on Pinterest it’s possible to get organic reach, and start bringing in sales with the only investment being your time. Many other platforms, Facebook included, have become incredibly tough to get in front of people without paying for ads.
Finally, the visual focus of Pinterest as a platform makes it great for engagement and building your brand’s image. If you’re doubling down on building a private label brand, you absolutely want to be on Pinterest.
Pinterest Marketing Basics: How to Sell Amazon Products on Pinterest
Here are some things to keep in mind when putting content on Pinterest.
Visuals first: make sure your images are high-quality and engaging
Bright is better: brightly colored pins are re-pinned more often than dark ones
Vertical images: a large percentage of Pinterest users are on mobile, so long images work best. The best image size is around 736×1102 pixels.
Couple your images with engaging, descriptive copy
Be creative: tell a story, captivate your audience
Put your logo on your images, so your brand gets exposure when your pins are re-pinned
As we already mentioned, images are the primary factor for Pinterest pins. So if you want to start utilizing Pinterest, high-quality, effective images of your product are a must.
Lighter images get re-pinned more than dark images. As do images that don’t show faces. Take this into consideration when choose which of your product images to use for your Pinterest pins.
SEO (search engine optimization) is also a thing on Pinterest. People search for things on Pinterest, and if your pins show up high for the right searches, you could be in line to get a lot of traffic.
An easy way to start with Pinterest SEO is the Pinterest search autosuggest. Type in your category or a broad keyword related to your product (e.g. “womens shoes”) and you’ll get a few suggestions. These are all things you can make content or pins about.
Each pin has a title and description area for text. Keywords from this text will be used as one factor determining which pins show up in a search. So you want to use this space to include some important keywords. Just don’t stuff keywords so it’s unreadable – you also want to convince people to click on the pin and go through to your site/Amazon.
This board has some great examples of pins that are proven to go over well with Pinterest users. You’ll want to try and replicate how these pins were done when creating your own.
How to Promote Amazon Products on Pinterest – Organically
As an Amazon seller, you have basically everything you need to start promoting on Pinterest already. One of the most important things about optimizing your Amazon product listing is taking great product photos, and you can re-use the best ones on Pinterest.
The best thing is, you can start promoting on Pinterest for free!
You’ll start by creating a profile on Pinterest. Take your time and make sure your profile does a great job representing your brand (like all your social profiles should).
Next, start creating boards. You want to build boards around a central theme or topic. You might want one board for products, and another with tutorials on how to use your products. Or, if you have a big range with several different types of product, have one board for each sub-category.
You should definitely try to include educational or non-promotional content amongst your boards. Promote your products, but don’t make it look like a storefront.
Your Pinterest Sales Funnel
As we’ve discussed before, the best practice when linking to your Amazon products is to use a landing page in between. This is no different for Pinterest. When people are going from Pinterest to your Amazon product page, you want to use this opportunity to build your list.
That means a landing page for your product works well, rather than linking straight to the product listing. You can use a small discount code as an incentive for people to give you their email (as well as to continue on and buy the product). You’ll also be able to use the Facebook Pixel on this page to build Facebook audiences based on the traffic you get from Pinterest – which is extremely powerful.
Because Pinterest has a more buyer-focused audience than other platforms (Facebook for example), and because of the expanded options your have to showcase your product on the platform, you may be able to get away with sending people right to your listing. You won’t be able to build a list this way, but if you use a special URL, you can pixel these people, and send them through links that grow your rankings.
Pinterest for Business: How to Create Ads on Pinterest
Along with posting (or “pinning”) and growing your reach organically, you can spend money to run ads on Pinterest. These are called “Promoted Pins”, and show up both in search results and the Pinterest home feed. They act like regular pins, with the one difference being a “Promoted” label to identify them.
There are additional variations of Promoted Pins too, such as carousels and video pins (but the basics are all the same).
Promoted Pins offer marketers the ability to jump over the competition and target specific audiences with your pins. While there’s the potential to get a lot of traffic with only organic pins, it may be worth using Promoted Pins if you’re serious about Pinterest as a traffic strategy.
How to Advertise On Pinterest, Step One: Create a Business Account
If you’re going to be doing ads on Pinterest, you’ll want to create a business account. You’ll need this to set up ad campaigns and make use of Pinterest’s analytics tools.
You’ll start by either creating a new business account, or converting your brand’s existing account (if you have one) to a business account.
You’ll be prompted to provide a few details, such as your business’ name and what type of business it is.
You can also link your website (if you have one) as well as your Instagram/YouTube/Etsy accounts (if you have them).
This is all you need to do to set up a business account. Once your account is live, fill out your profile with things like a profile picture, a display name and username. Your username will be the URL of your Pinterest profile, so try and make this clear, so it’s easy to promote your profile.
Step Two: Add the Pinterest Tag To Your Website/Landing Page
To get the most out of Pinterest Ads, you’ll want to enable conversion tracking and analytics. To do that, you’ll need the Pinterest Tag installed.
The Pinterest tag works like the Facebook Pixel – it’s a code snippet you install on your website, which sends data back to Pinterest based on actions your site visitors take.
To add the tag to your site, just install the base code and event code, using any kind of basic code editing tool, to any pages you want to track events on.
If you’re using a landing page, you can do this too, by enabling custom tracking code to your landing page and pasting in your Pinterest tag code.
Step Three: Campaign Goal & Details
Now you’ll want to start creating your ad campaign. To start off, go to the “Ads” dropdown in the header, and click “Create Ad”.
You’ll start by choosing a campaign objective. The objectives are loosely tied to different stages of a sales funnel. You can optimize your campaign for:
Awareness: help more people discover your profile or view your videos
Consideration: website traffic or app installs.
Conversions: this can be sales on your site, or on Pinterest.
If you have the Pinterest tag installed, and it’s received enough data to be able to optimize for conversions, this is your best option. Otherwise, if you’re just starting out with Pinterest ads, you can optimize for traffic.
Next, name your campaign, and set up your campaign budget (maximum daily/lifetime spend).
Now you’ll move on to setting up your ad groups.
Step Four: Targeting
The first part of your ad group is your audience targeting. This is where you choose who your ads will be shown to. You have several options here.
Custom audiences: this can be based on something like your email list, visitors to your website or people who have engaged with your profile and/or pins on Pinterest. You can also create an “actalike” audience, based on users similar to the original audience.
Interest targeting: choose from a wide range of topics, and Pinterest’s ad platform will reach users who have shown interest in these topics.
Keywords: add your own keywords to target. This is based on search terms used in Pinterest search. It works very similarly to Google AdWords – type in a keyword, and it will give you a list of related keywords and estimated search volume. You can choose different types of matching, including broad match, phrase match, exact match, and negative keywords. (see below)
Demographics: choose personal demographics such as age, gender, location, languages and device (desktop vs mobile).
You don’t need to use all these targeting options. It’s fine to target just a few, say a specific interest, layered with females aged 35+ in the US, for example.
You’ll also choose your placements at this step – either Browse (Pinterest home feed), Search (search results & related pins), or all.
Note that interest targeting works best for Browse placements, while keyword targeting works best for Search placements. You may want to consider creating different ad sets with different targeting for each placement.
Step Five: Budget & Schedule
Set the daily budget, lifetime budget, and run times for this ad set. You can leave the end date blank if you want the ad to run continuously.
Step Six: Optimization & delivery
You can choose advanced settings for how you want to bid for ad space, in order to optimize your CPC (cost per click). Most of the time you will want to keep this set to “Automatic” though.
Step Seven: Setting Up Your Ads
Now you need to choose which pin(s) to promote. You can choose from your existing pins, or create a new one here. Make sure you use creative best practices, and include a destination link for your pin (for example, to your site, a landing page, or to Amazon).
Once you’ve chosen what you want to promote, hit “Launch” and your ad will be reviewed.
Structuring Your Campaign
Like many other social media ad platforms, the hierarchy of Pinterest ads is Campaign -> Ad Set -> Ad.
This means one campaign can have a number of ad sets, and each ad set can have a number of ads.
Since the goal is set at the campaign level, if you want to run ads for different goals (e.g. one to get more followers and one to get conversions on a landing page), you’ll want to create two different campaigns.
Targeting and placements are done at the ad set level, so to test different audiences, you’ll create two different ad sets. Just make sure if you’re split testing audiences, make sure everything at the ad level is the same – the only difference being the audience.
Then all your creative (pin image, copy, link) is at the ad level. You can create several different ads (pins) for each ad set. The best practice is to create multiple ads, and after monitoring your results, funnel more money into the ads that work best.
Pinterest is still a relatively new platform for marketers, and we can be led to believe it will continue to grow as a promotional channel.
The platform has steadily been adding more features designed for stores and marketers. This includes shopping features such as “Shop From Boards”, “Shop From Search Results” and “Shop From Pins”.
For e-commerce businesses, it may make sense to sell directly on Pinterest in the future, as well as on your own website and/or marketplaces like Amazon.
At this time, it makes the most sense to drive sales to Amazon, where the power of increased sales velocity from external traffic can help you rank higher and sell more organically. But be open to experimentation with Pinterest as a dedicated sales channel.