Pinterest and eCommerce shops go together like PB&J.
But, have you ever wondered, ‘What is it about Pinterest that makes it a good platform for eCommerce sites?’
Over the last couple of years, Pinterest has added a lot of new features to support eCommerce sellers.
Historically, Pinterest is known as a discovery and inspiration platform but they’re making a lot of moves to close the gap between discovery and purchase – which means a big focus on eCommerce.
If you own an eCommerce shop and want to increase product sales PLUS create a huge amount of brand awareness (97% of searches are UNBRANDED!) – just know that pinners (Pinterest users) are looking to discover your business.
Pinterest truly is an untapped online marketing platform goldmine when it comes to business marketing – only 20% of marketers use it!
Welcome to the ultimate guide to Pinterest marketing for eCommerce.
Let’s start right at the beginning of your Pinterest eCommerce strategy, shall we?
How Does Pinterest Help eCommerce Businesses?
In a nutshell, Pinterest is powerful at getting more traffic to your products and creating brand awareness.
Pinterest users are on Pinterest to discover a new brand, find a solution to a problem, and be inspired to do something in their offline life.
The idea for using Pinterest for eCommerce marketing is to make sure your products appear when a user is searching for them.
Sounds simple, right? It really is if you set things up correctly and are consistent.
So, let’s dig deeper and discover how to use Pinterest for your eCommerce shop.
How To Use Pinterest
Get a Pinterest for Business Account
I get this question a lot – should you use your personal Pinterest account or create a new business account?
My advice remains the same – it is way better to create a new Pinterest business account than to use your personal one.
There are several reasons why but here are the most important ones:
- Business accounts unlock important analytics that helps you decide how to grow your account.
- If you’ve pinned all types of content subjects on your personal account, it’ll be confusing for Pinterest and your ideal person when you start using it for business.
- Starting fresh means you can focus on optimizing your account right away instead of having to clean it up before getting started.
All of that said, you can choose to use your personal account if you really want to just make sure to switch to a business one and spend the time cleaning up any content that doesn’t fit your business.
You can clean boards up by making them secret – you’ll still have access to the content but no one else will be able to see the board.
Claim Your Website & Install the Pinterest Tag
Now that you have your business account set up, it’s time to claim your website.
Claiming your website allows you to unlock important analytics that will help inform your strategy as your account grows.
Here are the steps for claiming your website on Pinterest:
- Go to the settings area of your account.
- Scroll down until you see ‘claim your website’.
- Enter your domain and click ‘claim your website’.
- Pinterest will give your 3 options in a pop-up box, choose the ‘add an HTML tag’ option.
- Log into your website and paste the code into the header code section.
- For Squarespace, use the ‘code injection’ section and paste the code into the header.
- For WordPress, locate your theme file editor, select ‘header.php’ on the right side, paste the code on its own line in the section and click update.
- On Pinterest, follow the prompts and then click ‘submit’.
- Pinterest will verify within 24 hours but it’s often completed in minutes.
Now that you’ve successfully claimed your website, it’s time to install the Pinterest tag.
Even if you are not planning to promote a pin right now, it’s a good idea to install the tracking code so that it can collect data should you change your mind in the future.
To find your Pinterest pixel:
- Locate the ads menu in your Pinterest account – it’s normally at the top of your account.
- Select ‘conversions’ from the drop-down menu under ads.
- Follow the prompts to set up your base code.
- Copy the base code and install it using the steps given above for verifying your website.
- Choose any event codes you want to use and install those underneath the base code.
- Download the Pinterest tag helper extension on your browser.
- Test to ensure your tags are firing properly.
Here is a helpful tutorial if you need more help!
Optimize Your Pinterest Account with Keywords
Now that you’ve completed some of the more technical steps, it’s time to focus on optimizing your account before you start to pin.
Finding and using keywords is one of the most important steps in growing your Pinterest account.
The goal is to find the words that people are searching for around your business niche.
You then want to create boards, pins, and descriptions using these target keywords.
Optimization really means laying the foundation on Pinterest so that when you start to pin you’ve given Pinterest an idea of what your content is about and understand who to distribute it to.
So, what words do people use to find out more about your product?
A good place to start is looking at the problem your product solves and figuring out the many ways people use words to find your solution.
Take out a piece of paper and jot down all of your ideas.
If you’re having trouble or can only think of terminology because it’s your product, ask your friends and family how they would describe your product.
Take it a step further and ask people in Facebook groups.
Once you have a keyword list, take it over to Pinterest to see what people are searching around your niche.
Here is a detailed tutorial about how to find keywords to target on Pinterest.
Pinterest for Product-Based Business
Now that we have the foundational steps in place, it’s time to tap into the eCommerce features Pinterest offers.
This is going to help you take advantage of what they offer and really ramp up your Pinterest eCommerce strategy.
Connect Your Catalog
There are many different ways to upload your catalog to Pinterest and it’s really going to depend on what platform your shop is hosted on.
If you’re using Shopify, you just need to connect the integration and all the tech hook up including catalog upload will be done.
Here is a helpful tutorial that explains how to do it.
It’s a similar case for those hosting their shops on WordPress’s WooCommerce platform – there is now a plugin that will integrate your product catalog with your Pinterest account.
You can also manually upload your catalog to Pinterest and there is an awesome tutorial for doing this here. Using the manually uploaded catalog is a good option if you’ve built your shop on a platform other than Shopify or WooCommerce.
Apply for the Verified Merchant Program
After you’ve uploaded your catalog it’s time to apply for the Verified Merchant Program on Pinterest. It is smart to apply and be part of the Verified Merchant Program because it earns you a little blue checkmark on your profile because Pinterest has ‘vetted’ your shop and knows you’ve met all the requirements for selling products on Pinterest.
Being part of the program also means you’re eligible for increased distribution of your product pins in Pinterest’s shopping experiences.
So, what do you need to have in place before applying to be part of the Verified Merchant Program?
You’ll need to check all the boxes for Pinterest’s merchant guidelines – things like the accuracy of your product listings, your return policy, your shipping policy, and more.
You can find the whole list here.
The Importance of Pinterest SEO
Find Keywords to Target
Pinterest is a visual search engine so that means you need to collect relevant keywords that people are searching around your product niche. If there is anything you take away from this eCommerce Pinterest guide, it’s to do your research!
Keywords on Pinterest are a foundational thing – without them, your results will fall flat.
Here’s our post on how to find keywords on Pinterest – read it and make sure to do the work.
Keep Track of Trends on Pinterest
We’ve established that keywords are important on Pinterest but so are trends. Interest and inspiration happen early on Pinterest and you need to plan and pin your content when it has the best chance to be seen by your ideal customer.
Visit trends.pinterest.com and search for your niche to see how interest in the topic trends.
PRO TIP: This is one of the best ways to discover keywords that weren’t on your radar before.
Pinterest eCommerce Strategy
There is a lot that goes into a successful Pinterest marketing eCommerce strategy and there are so many variables it’s hard to cover off a perfect Pinterest eCommerce strategy in this post.
Truthfully, it will come down to your niche, your goals, and how much time you have to dedicate to your strategy.
Here are a couple of helpful tips to include in your Pinterest eCommerce strategy.
Create Product Pins
Once you connect your catalog, Pinterest will create product pins from your data but I also recommend creating separate product-tagged pins that target different keywords and trends depending on the time of year.
The images that Pinterest creates are for your shop listings but the pins I’m recommending you create will target keywords and trends in the text overlay, pin title, and pin description.
This is one part of a solid Pinterest eCommerce strategy (and something we love doing for our clients!).
Remember Pinterest is a visual search engine so you want as many pins out there working for you that cover the different angles of your niche.
Include Lifestyle Images of Your Products
When I speak to potential eCommerce clients a lot of times they don’t realize the power of lifestyle images of their products.
You, as the product business owner, understand how your product enriches lives or solves a problem but people on Pinterest are in discovery mode and need to be warmed up. They need to connect with the product and start to envision using it in their daily lives.
Using lifestyle images of your products is a great way to start that connection.
Use Keywords and Trends
Keywords and trends are the foundation of your Pinterest strategy – do not skip this step!
Use keywords in your account description, board titles and descriptions, text overlays on your pins, pin titles, and pin descriptions.
The last part of a solid Pinterest marketing strategy for eCommerce is to pin consistently.
Like other platforms, Pinterest rewards creators and shop owners who consistently show up.
Your consistency will look different than others and it really comes down to how much time you have to run your strategy.
Get a system in place to help you stay consistent.
That wraps up the ultimate guide to using Pinterest marketing to grow your eCommerce business.
Pinterest has definitely invested in a lot of features to support product business owners so adding the platform to your digital marketing strategy is just plain smart.
Did you know we offer Pinterest account management and strategy as a service?
If you’re overwhelmed or simply don’t have the time to run your own Pinterest eCommerce strategy make sure to book a call here to learn how we can support your goals for Pinterest.