Pinterest as a platform is always changing and evolving. It’s important to know which Pinterest marketing strategies are in and which strategies are outdated. In this blog post and podcast, I’m sharing the important changes to Pinterest in 2021, including video pins, story pins, and marketing on Pinterest.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase from my link I may make a small commission at no cost to you.
Pinterest Marketing Guide for 2021
(note: Updated for 2021 Pinterest marketing tips; scroll to the bottom for ALL the latest 2021 tips )
I’m not an alarmist. I like safe, simple rules and guidelines that stay consistent over time. I don’t think Pinterest is any different. Over time, Pinterest marketing has evolved (hey, hashtags) but the foundation of keywords and vertical images has not. Human interaction with Pinterest has changed. In this post, I’ll be sharing the main principles to a solid Pinterest marketing strategy.
After my 2018 visit to Pinterest Headquarters, I had some time to dig into the strategies that really work for driving traffic to your site. After all, repins and saves are fine (and help with virality), but we ultimately want traffic that generates leads and sales, right?
Pinterest has updated their best practices too. You can read the full post here. I’m going to highlight the changes, but also the key strategies for having a solid Pinterest marketing strategy. You can listen in to my most recent podcast Pinterest trends for 2021:
Here for the Pinterest tips?
Pin regularly and consistently
Just like other platforms, Pinterest wants you consistently using the platform! As a Pinterest marketer, avoid inconsistency and plopping a bunch of pins on the platform once a week or so. Get into a regular habit of pinning when your audience is using the platform. Using a Pinterest scheduler like Tailwind can help you choose the ‘smart’ times to pin as well as creating a queue so that you don’t have to manually pin, especially if you have difficulty staying consistent. (Psst—want to hear more about Tailwind? Check out my posts here).
One of the most important strategies for Pinterest is this: Is it better to repin a pin or save directly from a website? I know that’s confusing, so let me break it down. If we want to reshare our content on Pinterest (and you should—read here how I use Tailwind’s SmartLoop to do this), is it better to one, ‘repin’ or save on the Pinterest platform, or two, save from the website using the save tool (or alternatively, schedule a pin on Tailwind).
The answer is two! I discuss more WHY in this post, but when we are resharing our top evergreen or seasonal content, you should be pinning directly from the landing page/blog post, OR, using Tailwind to reschedule the pin. All pins from Tailwind will also count as ‘fresh pins’. Pinterest is really favoring new and fresh content, but you don’t have to constantly churn out new content. The next tip can help with that!
Create multiple pins to the same source
I’ve always recommended creating several pins that lead to the same source. Pinterest is also recommending a different pin description to increase exposure in the Pinterest Smart Feed and SEO. Consider creating multiple pins and pin descriptions.
If you have top evergreen content or seasonal content, I highly recommend creating new pin images for those same landing posts. I have been doing this with success for the last few months and getting new visits and traffic from older blog posts that had already performed well on the platform. You can update the post with the fresh pins, as well as add them using the “+” bar on the Pinterest platform.
LOOKING FOR EASY TO EDIT PINTEREST TEMPLATES FOR CANVA?
Pinterest users start pinning ideas for a certain holiday many months in advance. I’ve seen and marketed Pinterest pins for Christmas in August. This is a more extreme example, but in general, pin seasonal items 45 days in advance (and create content ahead of time too!).
Optimize boards for search
I find that one mistake people often make is to leave out keywords on their boards. Board names are searchable (though significantly less than actual pins). It’s vital to choose board names with a strong SEO. For instance, ‘yummmy’ is not a good board name. It has no searchable context. Choose something like, ‘dessert recipes’ or even more specific, ‘pumpkin desserts’ instead.
Additionally, Pinterest sections may play a more vital role in the future for search. Consider creating sections if they are appropriate for your boards.
You can get some more board strategies in this post: 4 Places to include keywords for your Pinterest boards.
Followers do matter, sort of
It’s not about following ‘Aunt Sally’ on her journey to a paleo diet, but following content creators that you love! Encourage your email list and followers on other platforms to follow you on Pinterest. If you have the ‘swipe up’ feature on Instagram (lucky YOU), have the ‘swipe up’ lead to your Pinterest profile and ask them to follow.
Speaking of, if you aren’t already, you can follow me on Pinterest HERE! Engagement is what truly matters. If your fans are already engaging with you on email and Instagram, then encouraging them to pin with you on Pinterest can boost your account.
Encourage saving at your site
I have a great guide to creating ‘Pinterest-friendly blog posts’ you can grab here, but don’t forget to encourage your readers to pin for you on your site! Make it easy and ask them to engage with your content and pins.
Confirm your Instagram, YouTube, and Etsy account on Pinterest
You can now confirm your Instagram, YouTube and Etsy account on Pinterest. Why does this matter? It matters in two ways! One, when people pin your content from those platforms TO Pinterest, your account will get attributed with engagement. Your impressions, visibility and engagement will go up. I’ve noticed, after confirming these platforms with my client’s accounts, that fans were pinning their items on Pinterest all along.
Second, pinning your content from these platforms onto Pinterest allows pinners to get to know you through different mediums (especially video) or your products that you sell. I’m loving all of the people who found me on Pinterest that are now engaging with me on Instagram! So fun!
Reply to comments and audience engagement
Pinterest finally introduced the ability to easily find comments made on your pins! You can find your comments here: https://www.pinterest.com/engagement/
In really popular niches like home decor, DIY, and food, you might be surprised to see all of the comments and pictures that people upload to your pins! RESPOND TO THEM! Engagement and comments on a pin show Pinterest that your pin is actionable content and will inevitably improve your pin in search.
Use Video pins and story pins regularly
Video pins on Pinterest are hot, hot, hot! They were introduced late in 2018, but marketers fumbled around on how to use them! You can see examples of my video pins here and here. Don’t overcomplicate your video pin strategy! I’ve got a few blog posts to help you:
I’d really encourage you to try video pins this year for Pinterest! I think they are going to be huge on Pinterest for visibility!
Pinterest stories were introduced in 2020. They are a great way to boost engagement and brand awareness on Pinterest. While not available to everyone, they are rolling out to most people soon. Pinterest stories are similar to Instagram stories in that they share small bites of information. Pinterest also highly prioritizes them in the feed to push to new viewers and current followers, so it’s important to use them to reach new audiences.
I like story pins because when pinners engage with my stories, they often see more of my regular pins in their feed that lead to ‘outbound’ clicks.
A few key features about Pinterest stories:
- Using video as a cover for a story pin gets great results
- The ideal size ratio for a Story pin is 9:16 or 900:1600px, but you can repurpose a traditional 2:3 pin or video
- Story pins are NOT clickable (i.e. they won’t lead to website traffic), but the viewers are prompted to follow your account and see more of your ‘clickable’ content
- You can repurpose TikTok, Instagram reels, and old blog posts into step-by-step guides
Which one of these new Pinterest strategies for 2021 surprises you the most? Share with me in the comments!
Are you new to Pinterest and want more tips to get started? See my introductory post Getting Started on Pinterest and don’t forget to sign up for my email newsletter. You’ll receive my FREE Pinterest Start-up Guide for your creative small business where I give easy actionable steps to getting started on Pinterest! Ready to take action TODAY? Enroll in my Pin Progress course!
Found you through Pinterest and enjoyed the read. I definitely didn’t know about the first 5 and that you could create multiple pins and pin descriptions.
Glad i ran into this. Happy to save on my board.
Kym Buchanan says
Great Article! Not a lot of people write such iformative articles on Pinterest.
I absolutely love Pinterest and am glad to find a source to help me grow my Blog through Pinterest. I will definitely be referring my audience to your articles!
Thank you so much, Kym! I hope it was helpful.
What a great read ith lots of info thank you for taking the time to explain the changes.
Thank you so much for all this information! The Christmas in August is no exaggeration! I sell on eBay and it is the seasons run the same way … sell the most winter coats in August and summer dresses in February 🙂
One thing I’m not sure on is the new “section” feauture… while I was wishing forever that they would do this, now that I am setting up my blog I don’t know if I should use them or not. I feel like there’s probably more advantages to take advantage of SEO but do will the board do better overall….. thoughts?
Hi Tiffany! Don’t worry about sections. They don’t have any SEO value and were designed for users to organize their boards. Just make sure you have the proper keywords in board titles, descriptions, and of course, pin descriptions.
Hi Tiffany! Glad it was helpful.
Thank you for the great tips!
I have noticed lots of changes to pinterest! One change i cannot for the life of me figure out it: how to change the url, or source, of my original pins! I have a new website and need to change the url’s on all of my pins, but I don’t see that option anymore when I edit! I can only edit the section and description…. Is it just me?!
Ashlee- You can typically only edit the pins that you pinned, not others! So, it’s super important to setup a redirect on your domain or website to direct the OLD URL to the new URL. I use a free WordPress plug-in for this because in the early days, I had a few redirections. Hope this helps!
Good info, thank you! I’ve just started a new website and want to start using Pinterest. Is it best to wait until I’ve got a reasonable amount of content on the site before I start a Pinterest strategy so that I can pin regularly? Or can I just start slow with the content I’ve already got (which is less than 10 posts so far)? Thanks
Hi Karen! I’d recommend having 5 or so posts published and ready to go before you start pinning your content! You want to show that the ‘lights’ are on and ready for business. 😉
Great tips, thank you! I’m going to implement these strategies asap.
Glad it was helpful, Violet!