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Perfecting Your Pinterest




Magdalena: Hello everyone, I think we are live. I'm your host Magdalena today and I'm happy to introduce you to our guests. Let me say a couple of words about the ladies who are talking today. Justine Gab is the visual designer at Tailwind, a Pinterest and Instagram scheduler and analytics platform. 

And welcome Alisa; Alisa Meredith is a sought-after speaker and teacher on Pinterest marketing and the Pinterest product specialist at Tailwind, as you've heard before a Pinterest and Instagram scheduler and analytics platform. Hello.

Alisa: Hello, Magdalena, Thanks for having us.

Justine: Yes, thank you.

Magdalena: It's so nice to have you on this webinar. Let's go directly to the first presentation, Alisa microphone is yours.

Understanding the Pinterest Home Feed

Alisa: I thought we would go a little bit more tactical, practical, in the weeds, let's get it done. I really wanted to walk you through, what is this beast of Pinterest? How do we make it work for us? I'm going to share my screen. 

All right, I can see it's showing, so here is my Pinterest feed. One of the first things to understand about marketing on Pinterest is how it works, right. The best way to do that is to use it as a consumer and trust me, there's no shortage of stuff you can get into on Pinterest.

I just recently started doing some acrylic pours, finishes in dogs, I bought a new house a year ago, it's like, my life is reflected in this home feed, and that's what you're going to find about yourself as well. It's really funny to see the dynamic nature of the Pinterest home feed, and what I see is completely different than what Magdalena sees, or what Justine or what you're going to see.

And here's why: I don't know if you tried this, but if you hover over a pin, we have these three little dots. If you click on that for more information, it says “this pin was inspired by your recent activity”. 

Let's see what else we have here, here's oh, this one looks promoted, so SquareSpace paid to have shown up where I would see it. “100 ideas for my next Fear Factor food challenge”. Trust me I have not been searching for that but Pinterest thought maybe I had been, so it's not perfect. 

They want me to discover new things but guess what? I'm not clicking on that pin. I'm seeing less and less of pins from people I follow, but every once in a while you'll get one of those. But mostly what I'm seeing now is based on my recent activity. 

That's what people are seeing what they're seeing in home feed, it's important to note too that a lot of the activity happens in search. Let's look at search, and Magdalena can you give me something that you might search for on Pinterest?

Magdalena: Okay, maybe we can look for something I'm very interested in which is tractors. 

Alisa: Now you know what's going to happen because I searched for tractor repair? You know what's going to happen to my home feed? Next time I log in on my home feed, there's going to be all this tractor stuff. Now I can go into my settings and turn that off so I won't see tractor stuff, but it's just interesting Pinterest has now gotten a signal that I'm into tractors, so it really wants to help me indulge in that little obsession of mine.

Magdalena: If I may, I'm sorry, I interrupt you, if I may say something. I think that Pinterest is showing you tractor stuff, but also somehow related to something you already were looking at in the past; not only tractor related.

Alisa: You're seeing a different search result, okay.

Magdalena: Yeah.

Alisa: That's great to know because that's the difference...well Google does that to some extent, gives you a personalized search result, but Pinterest is much more. But the things that they look at are, for example, the image itself, so Pinterest AI can read what's in your image. It may look at this image and assign keywords to it, like it may assign something like toy, or tractor, or machinery. It assigns keywords based on what it sees the image to be. 

It also will read text on your image, so I'm trying to find one with text on the image. It is looking also at your title, it's looking at your description, and it's also looking at your board. In general, when you are saving a pin, and we'll get into that in a minute, you want to make sure that everything is consistent. 

Pinterest Profile Tips and How to Set Up Pinterest Boards

A lot of times when people are first setting up they ask, what's the best way to set up my profile? Username, I go with my own name: if you have a business name you can do that. You get one link here and this website has been claimed. What that means is I am telling Pinterest that this is my site. When content comes out from my site and I pin it, I want you to know that comes from me. 

That also gives you access to more analytics than you would have otherwise and gives you a little more credit because you are the content creator. Pinterest loves content, wants great content, so they like it when you publish things. I have used a photo of my face; that works well for most businesses.

Now when we look at the boards set up, so people will ask you, how many boards should I have? What board should I create? It really has to do with the content that you yourself are publishing. If you think about the maybe 10 to 15 topics you write about, you need to have boards that will support all of those, and you might have more than one. 

I have Pinterest marketing for business, I have Pinterest promoted pins, Pinterest search tips. I've broken those all down into more of a niche kind of title, which then I save my pins to. When you're saving your pin, the first time it goes out you want it to go to the most relevant board.

If I'm writing about “how to track signups and sales from Pinterest ads”, it's first going to go onto my Promoted Pins board, but then it also belongs on Pinterest marketing for business, or Pinterest search tips, and anything else having to do with Pinterest. Basically, your boards should support your content. 

If you're using Pinterest as yourself and as your business, it may be that you also want to look at acrylic pours, or tractor repair, or yoga routines. What you can do is have your secret boards and that's what I do, have a lot of them.

The reason for that is because Pinterest is looking at the activity that your followers, in particular, take when you publish a pin. And that signal tells Pinterest, this is a good piece of content because her followers are engaging with it or, it's not I'm not going to give it that much distribution. If I started publishing all these acrylic pour pins publicly, people might start following me looking for acrylic pour information. 

Then when I come out with this blog post and I poured my heart and soul into it, they’re like, “I don't care about it”. And if they don't engage with it Pinterest says, this is no good I'm not going to distribute it. That's why I keep these private.

What People Want on Pinterest

Another thing to think about is, your blog content, the way that you present it on Pinterest is going to be way different from the way you present it on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram especially. So a quote I heard recently that I really, really love is that Pinterest is for yourself not for your selfie. 

On Pinterest they (people) want to know about themselves and their family, and how they can make their own lives better. Just take that same content and reframe it. You, on Pinterest, are looking for something you can learn, something you can do, on Instagram it's more like what is that person doing? How can I be cool like them? And Pinterest is how can I actually make it happen?

It's similar with your search with your SEO and your keyword choices. On Google, in particular, people have an intent to buy a lot of times, a lot of times they do a lot of branded searches, which you probably noticed if you have a branded website, you get a lot of branded search, which is great. 

But on Pinterest, it kind of evens the playing field because 97% of searches are not branded. So if you're searching for yoga pants, you're probably looking for yoga outfits as opposed to Lululemon yoga. If you're a business owner who hasn't spent years and millions of dollars building brand awareness, Pinterest is actually a really great place to start because you can reach people when they're just getting inspired. 

When you're choosing the images you're going to create for Pinterest, use those headlines that you know are going to work better on Pinterest. Stay away from fear and talking about problems and focus on solutions and inspiration.

I'm going to let Justine talk about how to create great images because she has a ton of good information for you. But something you can do which we do on our site...when you hit the Pin button it pulls up three different pinnable images for this one post which is a great idea, we use a plugin to hide these images, and then it pulls up with the description and everything. 

So that if someone's looking through the feed, they're going to see that right underneath a pin, then you're going to give your description to give people more detail, try to entice them to click, and then add your destination link and your board. Those are the elements of a pin that go together.

People will ask sometimes, what should I pin? If you're talking about your own content, and that really is where your focus should be is on your own content rather than curating other people's content, create special pinnable images. Justine creates pinnable images for everything that we post because we want that traffic, we get a lot of traffic from Pinterest, and it was no accident. The more time you're willing to put into it, the better results you're going to get. 

People have promoted the 80-20 rule forever saying, you should only pin 20% of your own content 80% of someone else's content, which is kind of ridiculous because all that work going into promoting someone else's content makes no sense. Pinterest does not look at your account and say, they're being self-serving. People do not look at your account and say, “what a selfish pinner they're only sharing their own content”. That's just it's not a thing.

Again, what to pin? Great, gorgeous images that fit your niche. And you can go a little outside of that, so if you're a lifestyle blogger and you pin mostly about recipes, it's perfectly fine to pin about, your home remodel because those things go together, the people who are interested in recipes are probably also interested in home remodeling. 

There's just one thing I really want to make sure everybody hears about because they may have seen it on Facebook, which is the Facebook Live that we had with Lucy Matthews of Pinterest. There was a big announcement about the algorithm of Pinterest changing, so it used to be that it was more about the relevancy of your content, relevant to search, relevant to people, relevant to Pinterest, the trends, that was weighted very, very heavily. Now, because they noticed that people were really engaging with new fresh content on Pinterest, they're starting to weight that higher.

You're going to still see a mix of that older content, but you're going to see a lot of fresh content a lot sooner. The recommendation is that rather than duplicating your content over and over again because you're going to see diminishing returns on that, that you really focus on creating more fresh pins; a fresh pin just means a new image. 

You can have an older blog post as long as it's still relevant and up to date, just create a new image for it, and you can get a whole lot more distribution on Pinterest. You can share seasonally, so if you have a pin that does well every fall, share it again every fall, but just to move away from that constant curation and do more creation, and you're going to have more success. 

Pinterest Pin Redesign Tips

Justine: What I'm going to be sharing with, or I guess Alisa will be sharing on her screen, is I've taken three pins that were submitted from members, one of them is a DIY home improvement type pin, the second one is an eCommerce pin specifically focused on jewelry, and the third one is a travel pin. 

This is the first pin, and whenever I'm redesigning or looking at a pin, I like to take a step back and see what jumps out at me first. The question I always ask is, what do I see first? With this one it's a little difficult, there's a lot going on. I see some text, I see cabinets in the background, we're very visual so typically when people look at an image or a visual, the first thing they're going to see is probably the image over text.

But mainly what I'm seeing here is like I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed, there's a lot to look at, there's a lot of text to read, and it's hard to read. When you're creating a pin one of the top rules is that if you're adding text to an image, people have to be able to read it. Not just us, but Pinterest has to read it as well. 

And Alisa knows this too because she's read some articles or some Pinterest, behind the scenes sort of looks about how Pinterest will actually look at your pin and read the text on your image. And I don't know if you want to talk a little bit about that Alisa.

Alisa: Sure, so that's one of the search elements, it gives us an extra signal of Pinterest about what your image is about, so it is important that they can read it. And the article that Justine was referencing is on the Pinterest Engineering blog on Medium. They actually showed how Pinterest reads text on images. 

Justine: I think general rule to follow there is if you can't read the pin, it's going to be really difficult or hard for you to expect others to be able to read the pin. And I think that's what's really coming through for me on this particular pin.

We can go over now to the redesign pin, and I'm going to talk through a few elements here that I pulled out. Number one, this is also a rule that I like to follow, it helps reduce uncertainty and it's just a good design rule in general: never use more than two different typefaces. If you're familiar with open sans, or ariel, those are all typefaces; never use more than two. I would say if you can just use one...just go ahead and stick with one, it's going to make creating pins just a lot easier, you don't have to think about finding fonts that work well together.

And on that note too it's really, really difficult to choose font pairings that work together very well.. There's a lot of different resources online, I use it all the time. There's one in particular called fontjoy.com, it's a great resource. Aside from that, if you just Google it you're going to get a lot of different expert opinions on fonts that pair well together. 

Then the next point I want to talk about is branding so you notice maybe on the first pin, there wasn't any branding. We recommend adding a little bit of subtle branding. You don't need to have your brand front and center. 

With the image on the right actually did bump up the contrast and brightness and a little bit of saturation, and I find you can do that with a lot of images because we want that bright white, clean like this is aspirational, like, wow look at the second kitchen, and it's the same kitchen but the second one is just, It feels like a place that I want to cook in.

That's the redesign there. Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them live. The other thing that I really played with on the second one is, leave room for the font to breathe.  White space is just space around the text. We don't feel as overwhelmed because we can actually one, read it and two, it's not competing against anything, it's not competing against the image, it's playing with the image.

Great, so we can move on to the next one. This is the eCommerce jewelry pin. First thing when I see this pin is we've got some really beautiful earrings. But this pin isn't really doing a great job in my opinion of calling that out. 

Additionally, we've got a lot of text on top. It's a light pink background. It's a little bit hard to read. Another typographic rule is all caps can be difficult to read so if you're going to use all caps use it for short sentences or things where you want people to slow down to read. With this particular font, and the color with the background makes it really hard to read, there's not a whole lot of contrast happening there. 

The other thing I want to point out is the website, so we've got this https:\\- Take it out, we don't need it, people know it's a website, it's just adding more for us to read. And frankly, we skip the H-T-T-P-S, I'm even struggling saying it, so we're not reading that.  Make even the branding a little bit more subtle. 

We can go to the next pin now, the redesigned one. I took an image from the product page...added in the logo because there was a logo from this website, and I liked the logo better than the website. Then I added a little, “shop now” button on the bottom CTA or call to action. We're asking the audience to take an action on this; you can actually buy these earrings. 

Now people have a reason to click on the pin because they're going to purchase, they want to buy these earrings. I think that's really important, especially for eCommerce is and it doesn't have to be a button like this, but a call to action of some sort, of “shop now”. People know what they're getting themselves into when they click on a pin, or just so that they actually click on the pin, we want them to take action.

The other kind of fun design tip that I like to bring up, especially talking about buttons but even designing in general. There's a well researched psychological effect called the bouba/kiki effect, and it basically shows that the human brain attaches abstract meaning to visual shapes and speech sounds in a consistent way. We can use this psychological effect when designing and specifically here with this button at the bottom, and how we can use it is when creating elements even fonts too.

The rectangular shape, the sharp edges is more luxurious and professionals you'll see a lot of banks using sharp edges or high-end vehicles using sharp edges. Then for rounded edges or pill buttons just like a full circle, it is more playful, a little bit more friendly. 

Then I just pulled in some of the colors from the jewelry because that purple is so rich and beautiful, I think it'd be a shame to just have it on the jewelry and not pull it through in other elements of the image. It makes the earrings stand out more.

On to the last pin. This pin is all about cruise ships of 2020.

Alisa: Is it blurry?

Justine: It is blurry. Please, please, please do not use blurry images. It sends off a signal of just like...

Alisa: You didn't care?

Justine: You didn't care: a little bit unprofessional, and it's easy to avoid. I don't know where this image is from but I'm guessing it is a stock image. That's totally okay you can use stock images, that's great, I would. If you're going to use stock photos, make sure they're free for commercial use, unsplash.com is a great resource, rawpixel.com also a great resource. 

Looking at this pin, what stands out? So 2020 is massive on here, right? And then I see the cruise ships and I'm thinking, it's something to do with maybe cruise ships in 2020, but I really don't know. I don't know if I would take the time to read the top of the pin, I think I would probably just scroll, it didn't really grab my attention. It's a bit confusing. 

We can go to the redesign here. This was the example that I said before where we're just using one typeface here. I think this is open sans, and just using different weights of that type can really create a variety and helps break it up as you're reading it. We're not seeing one big lump of text, we're reading it at separate lines. 

Another great general tip when designing a pin is would you click on that pin? And if you wouldn't, what would entice you to click on that pin, maybe it is just a quick image change, maybe your text is just more compelling; the copy is more compelling.

That's all I have for you two, I hope that's helpful especially with actionable tips. I got this question last time: what tools do I use to design? I use sketch which I know is not super accessible for most people, it's a product design software. But what I would recommend especially if you're just starting with creating pins, is to design pins in Canva, and we do have some Canva templates as well.

Alisa: We have a special bit.ly link for just us. It's bit.ly/sem-pinterest-toolkit, all lowercase if you want to get those. Those were designed specifically with Pinterest creative best practices in mind, and they're actually made in Canva, so you can grab those add them to your account and do whatever you want with them. But they're a good place to start. 

How Often to Create Multiple Pins to Promote The Same Content

Magdalena: Let's go to all the questions that we have. “Is there a suggestion of how often we should create a new Pin for the same content?”

Alisa: There's not a magic rule for that. If you have a piece of content that was doing really well on Pinterest, and now maybe it's kind of slowing down, so you're noticing fewer clicks to your website from a certain pin or a certain piece of content, that may be an indication that it's time to make a new image. Where you can really do a good job with that is you think about seasonality. 

At Tailwind, we've started thinking about the season and the colors you associate with the season. We noticed in the summertime, there are a lot of tropical colors that were doing really well, and then when fall came around, we saw orange and gold was taking off. There are a lot of niches that are obviously seasonal and you can tie to holidays, or certain times of year or seasonal activities.

How to Rank Better on Pinterest and Find Popular Keywords

Magdalena: Is there a suggestion length of pin description, any tips on how to rank better?

Alisa: How to rank better would be to include your keywords in your pin, so not keyword stuffing. Always writing something that's relevant and helpful, so write for humans first. You often want to start the description with your brand name in the first sentence, because that really helps with brand awareness. 

Also tell everyone, what is this content about? What are they going to get from it? Really encourage them, entice them, here's what you're going to learn. Here's what you'll be able to do after you read this. You have 50 characters, if any of it shows up in the feed, which I haven't seen for a while, your first 50 characters are going to be it, so concentrate on the earlier part of that.

Your titles are really more important than ever because that tends to be what shows up in search, and those can be up to 100 characters, but usually only the first 30 shows, and again use your keywords, don't repeat what's on the text on the image, don't repeat what's in the description. Use it as a really short, punchy headline and try to get a real, “what's in it for me?”

Magdalena: We have a second question somehow related to the previous one, which is how to find keywords that rank highest about a theme. SEO research in Pinterest: how I can gain more visibility.

Alisa: Justine alluded to some of that so I can actually, let's share the screen again real quick because it's more helpful to see. Let's say I now have an acrylic art blog and I'm selling stuff on my blog. Justine already mentioned guided search, so this here is Pinterest telling us, well here is like Google's auto-search complete. Acrylic pouring art, acrylic pour, acrylic pour painting for beginners; all these are keywords that Pinterest is suggesting to us. This guided search is like, this is what people are actually searching for in this topic of acrylic pour.

There's no significance to the order of them, so if I log in on another account, the order is not going to be the same. If you're interested in search volume the way to get a little bit of a workaround for that is in ads. I just went to ads->create an ad, and obviously we're not going to actually do that, but we are going to use targeting, just scroll on down to acrylic pour, and see what we get, acrylic paint pouring. It's telling me there are two to three million monthly searches.

But probably the better indicator is over here, your potential audience size so I have no other filters on whatsoever, no audiences, no nothing. If I just did an ad using acrylic paint pouring, my potential audience size is only less than 10,000. What this is telling me is there's not a huge audience for it, that's okay because how many people do you really need to be searching in order to have success? You probably don't need 10,000.

Best Time to Pin for Visibility

Magdalena: “Is there a suggestion, interaction, or day, or week to perform better in Pinterest?”

Alisa: It depends on the niche. It used to be that recipe pins did really, really well five o'clock on a Monday night, but it seems to be much more varied now. I would try Tailwind, I know it sounds like a sales pitch but trust me, if I had been on long before I joined Tailwind, I'd be saying the same thing. 

Try the free trial, generate a schedule and see when they say to pin because they can look at what you've pinned, and who your followers are, and when you're most likely to get success. At least just try that free trial and get your schedule from there.

Justine: The great thing about it too is like, if it doesn't work for you, it's a free trial, so there's nothing to lose, you have access to all the features. If it does, great. If it doesn't, move on.

How to Optimize a Stock photo for Pinterest

Magdalena: And now there's a question I think maybe for Justine but feel free to reply to this one. How do you take a pic from stock to useable, like crop the size in pixels? What size for the best resolution but good loading speed?

Justine: With stock photos, what I always do is just download the original image. What you want to make sure is that whatever size pin you're designing, so Pinterest record recommends an aspect ratio of 2:3 which just means that the width is two-thirds of the height.

I think now in 2020, they're recommending 1000 pixels by 1500 pixels, Alisa is nodding so it must be right. When you're grabbing an image, make sure that it is that size or greater, it depends on are you planning on making the image larger on your canvas wherever you're designing, or are you making it smaller?

As far as load time and speed you don't have to worry about that on Pinterest, I'm pretty sure Pinterest does that for you. Don't worry about load time, just worry about pixels. Make sure it's at least 1000 pixels wide if you are designing, and I would recommend a width of at least 1000 pixels, no less than 600.

Magdalena: Because we have a lot of questions our webinar is a little bit longer because we have a lot of questions. Guys please remember that Alisa and Justine are available on Twitter and LinkedIn, so I think it's okay if I'm saying that feel free to ask question regarding to-

Justine: Not Twitter sorry but LinkedIn.

Magdalena: Okay, so LinkedIn works too. 

Thank you very much, it was a huge, huge pleasure for me to do it with you. And again, if anyone has more questions, just please go to LinkedIn and Twitter. And thank you for being with us today, have a great day or evening. Take care bye-bye.

Justine: Bye.

Alisa: Bye.


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