The incredible visual platform that is Pinterest has been blessing creatives and non-creatives alike with outstanding organic reach since its creation back in 2010, but as the platform, users, and algorithm have evolved it has left its users with the constant question: How do you actually use Pinterest for photographers?
Pinterest marketing can help all businesses, but especially photographers! Why? Put simply, Pinterest is not a social media platform. We don’t use it to connect with friends, or find like-minded individuals. We use it very specifically, and always with purpose: Pinterest is a visual search engine, and a powerful one at that.
Why Use Pinterest For Photographers?
Aside from the inspiration and the planning part of the platform, Pinterest can easily be used to showcase your works to hundreds of thousands of viewers, as well as quickly growing followers (which isn’t incredibly relevant on Pinterest, but does give you access to the coveted Pinterest creator fund!)
Pinterest should be used as an extension of your social media presence, but not in the same way as you would use Instagram or Facebook!
Pinterest is all about planning for the future, whether that’s activities, events, or purchases. And a ton of these plans will include photographers.
Not only this, but Pinterest continues to grow in audience numbers, diversity, and buying power.
Your audience is looking for you, and they’re ready to buy.
Pinterest Referral Traffic: How Do Pinterest Users Search?
Pinterest is unlike any other search engine or social media platform for many reasons, but this is a huge one: it doesn’t penalize you for taking traffic away from the platform. The abilities are incredible, and yet still highly underutilized by businesses looking to grow organically.
Of the literal billions of searches that happen on Pinterest monthly, a whopping 97% of them are unbranded. Users are open to suggestions, and are actively looking for new businesses to engage with!
Pinterest stats have also shown that over 85% of millennials use Pinterest to help plan life events, this means weddings, baby showers, elopements etc.
Still need some more data before committing to the platform?
- 55% of users shop on the site, which is 4x more than the rate of other digital platforms.
- 73% of active Pinners have bought something because they saw it on Pinterest
- Pinterest drives 33% more referral traffic to websites compared to Facebook, 200% more traffic than Twitter, and 71% more than Snapchat.
Why Use Pinterest For Photographers In 2023?
Ignoring the fact that there’s over 430 million users on the platform, or that the rate of buying is significantly higher than any other platform, or that 5% of ALL website traffic is driven by Pinterest, let’s talk about missed opportunities.
Pinterest is a heavily visual platform, which is PERFECT for photographers to take advantage of. Static pins still get rewarded, as do videos.
It’s also a loyal, steadfast friend to you.
When you share your work to Facebook, or Instagram, the lifespan is incredibly short. Even more short for static posts, which is what most photographers prefer. Static posts might last for up to a couple days, reels for maybe a month or two if they take off.
Pins? They can last for years.
Regardless of the number of followers you have, your pins can individually rank for hundreds of thousands of views.
If you create interesting, valuable content, do appropriate keyword research, and upload it with engaging visuals, your post will have an amazing shelf life!
If you’re wanting to use Pinterest for your photography business, then let’s get into it: How to use Pinterest to grow your photography business organically.
1 | HOW DO I DO KEYWORD RESEARCH ON PINTEREST?
As Pinterest is a search engine, you need to harness the power of Pinterest SEO (search engine optimization). This means finding keywords with buying intent behind them. There are a few places to find keywords on Pinterest right from within the platform itself; the search bar, the ads section, and trends.
The search bar is one of the quickest and easiest ways to find longtail keywords. Simply start typing one or two main keywords, and any suggestions that appear are terms that users search for. Keep a spreadsheet of these terms readily available and sorted by the type of pin you create for the most efficiency.
As a business account, you have the ability to set up and run ads on Pinterest. At the start of this process, you can start selecting keywords you want to target, and as it’s a paid for service, it also shows you exactly how many monthly searches are made for those terms. The best thing about this method? You don’t actually have to pay to create an ad, just use it for keyword research!
Trends are amazing for idea pin titles. Trends show a live action timeline of how many people are searching for terms, and as idea pins get traction a lot quicker than regular pins, this can be great for getting in on a trending topic before it gets heavily saturated!
2 | HOW DO I SET UP A PINTEREST BUSINESS ACCOUNT?
Pinterest doesn’t only use keywords for pins, it also uses them for accounts and boards. Once you’ve set up your business account, write a brief description of what your account is about using these keywords.
Make sure your website and social media pages are claimed on the Pinterest backend to ensure nobody can steal your work and claim it as their own, as Pinterest only truly cares about the first time an image or video is created.
Have a clear profile image, and add a cover photo that highlights the work you do and who you serve!
3 | WHAT BOARDS SHOULD I CREATE ON PINTEREST?
Using your keywords, create 5-10 boards to start with that will feature your work. Next, you should write detailed, keyword filled descriptions telling your audience what each board will be used for, and add in a cover photo to each board that aligns with the descriptions.
Over the course of the next few days, repin ~10 pins to each board that show the type of pins that you will be creating. This gives the algorithm a chance to figure out what your board is about, and who it should be shown to.
4 | WHAT PINS SHOULD I CREATE AS A PHOTOGRAPHER ON PINTEREST?
Think about the stages users go through to get to your site.
- They search a term they want to know more about, or find vendors for.
- They see an interesting and visually engaging pin that teases more information on the topic.
- They click on the pin, and read the description to see if it’s what they’re looking for.
- They either save the pin for later, or they click through to your site.
Something important to note about Pinterest is that the platform and the users both prefer vertical images, which is the only drawback for photographers. Try to crop your images to the 2:3 ratio, or stick to only uploading vertical images.
Aside from your main photography, you might also want to promote any blog posts, contests, lead magnets, freebies, or preset bundles you’ve created, so you’ll want to stick to the most popular and repinned format when you’re creating your pins.
The Pinterest Pin official dimensions are 1000 x 1500px, vertical Pins with an aspect ratio of 2:3
Templates are your best friend when it comes to Pinterest! Many photographers use either Photoshop or Canva to create these, but the design platform is up to you. Pins with text perform better as they give more immediate insight as to what the pin is about.
When creating your pins, keep these things in mind:
- Brand colors. Like with anything you upload on the internet, you want your branding to be cohesive across your social media platforms and your website.
- Clickbaiting. Whatever you’re linking to from Pinterest, make sure it’s actually relevant to the pin you’ve created. Pinterest can crawl your site to see the content, and will penalize pins if they lead to a bad user experience.
- Freshness. Pinterest values fresh content far more than repinned content. Fresh content is defined as the first time that exact pin hits the platform. If you want to use the same image different times, be sure to switch up the pin design!
- Keywords. Your main title should be the exact keywords you’re trying to target, with the body being other keywords that fit the pin, written in an organic way. Pinterest can tell when you’re keyword stuffing, which leads to a bad user experience.
The key to getting engagement on Pinterest is to pin new, fresh pins consistently to the platform. Pinterest can read your pins, as well as you captions and titles, so make sure it’s clear what you’re trying to link to!
Put some strategies in place and watch your photography business grow!
5 | MISTAKES OFTEN MADE ON PINTEREST:
“Why aren’t I getting outbound clicks on Pinterest?”
So you’re getting the reach, you’re getting the impressions, but nobody seems to be interested in clicking through to your website, which we obviously need if we want to make sales. What gives?
There might be one of two things going wrong here.
Pinterest has 2 main categories of searches: DIYers and buyers. You need to target your keywords to the buyers if you’re wanting to actually make sales. For example, targeting the keyword “How to take newborn baby photos at home” won’t attract people looking to pay for a professional photographer.
Or, you’re not giving your audience that FOMO. One of the easiest ways to get those outbound clicks is by promising your users information for clicking. Chances are, you’re reading this blog post from a pin with a title like “How to use Pinterest for photographers in 2023”. You wanted the answer to that question, so here you are.
“Why aren’t I getting much reach on Pinterest?”
Either you haven’t done your keyword research, you’re linking to ‘bad’ links, or you might be confusing the algorithm! What do I mean by this?
Take a look at your boards: are you using Pinterest for you personal information AND your business?
We all love looking up recipes, or dog photos, but if you have public boards for these things, the algorithm is going to get confused about the kinds of people you’re trying to attract.
AKA. Keep your personal boards set to secret.
Another possible cause? You’re not being consistent. Pinterest, like most platforms, seriously values consistency. Set aside time each month to batch out your pins and schedule them in advance!
“My seasonal pins don’t do well on Pinterest”
As we talked about earlier, the lifespan of pins is L O N G. Unfortunately, this also means that it takes some time for pins to start ranking. The rule of thumb is to start pinning 3 months in advance. Trying to promote a Christmas special? These pins need to go out in September. Doing a Spring mini session? Start pinning in December.
This is also why all Pinterest management services have a 3 month starting retainer, it’s just not possible to truly see how well something is performing until at least three months in!
Need more help figuring out how to use Pinterest for photographers?
Or just want someone else to deal with it for you? Let’s have a totally zero obligation chat about how we can work together to grow your business online! It’s time you spend less time on your marketing, and more time on the parts of your business (and life) that you love!
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