Pinterest Marketing Strategy: How to Generate Sales with Pinterest

While you may be busy promoting your company on other social media channels, you might ask yourself if Pinterest marketing is worth your efforts. Pinterest does in fact offer great potential for online shops as well. The unique platform is constantly expanding its targeting as well as shopping features for businesses. In this article, we’ll explain what Pinterest is, why it has great potential for online shops, and how you can take the first steps towards a successful Pinterest marketing strategy.

Pinterest seems to have been neglected by many online retailers, but you can in fact gain many new customers via this platform. It’s a channel different from, for example, Instagram, which is also mainly about visual content.

People who come to Pinterest have a specific goal in mind. You can exploit this and capitalise on what your target group is looking for.

In this article, we'll look at:

What is Pinterest and how does it work?

With more than 450 million monthly users, Pinterest is one of the most popular social media apps. 

Pinterest is mainly used a source of inspiration. Users browse the app to discover new trends, recipes, DIY projects, and gift ideas.

Users can save any visual within the app (also referred to as a "Pin") and save it to their personally created Boards, which can be based on particular themes.

Pins can be shared or "repinned",  commented on, or liked. 

In short: Pinterest is a colourful visual platform that is used by curious, interested, and often even ready-to-buy users.

You can find all sorts of different Pin formats on the app. Some of these are:

  • Standard Pins: static images. Just like every other Pin format, they link back to an original website source, similar to a bookmark.

  • Video Pins: looping video content with sound and motion.

  • Idea Pins: mulit-page story image or video content.

  • Promoted Pins: ads on Pinterest that appear in the home feed or in search results.

  • Product Pins: pins that showcase products and include information on pricing, the availability of the product, and a short product description.

  • Collections Pins: Multiple products are shown in a single pin.

Tip: Working in e-commerce, you know that your brand needs to be present on multiple social media platforms in order to stay in contact with your target audience. In our checklist, learn our 21 tips on how to successfully sell your products on Instagram. 

21 Tips for Selling on Instagram  Boost sales on the popular social media platform Download checklist

Users (also referred to as "Pinners") can access Pinterest both via desktop or the mobile app. On their personalised home screen, Pinners will be shown suggestions based on their previous searches and saved pins.

Just like on other social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, users can follow other profiles in order to have their pins displayed on their own home screen as well. 

Another feature in Pinterest is the search bar feature that allows users to look for particular ideas or products.

For example, if you enter the keywords "living room decor ideas" in the search bar on Pinterest, depending on your recent searches and the search algorithm, you will be shown some of the following results:

pinterest search results

Source: Pinterest

As you can see in the screenshot above, the search feature even includes a "shop" tab.

After clicking on the "shop" button, all the shoppable products on Pinterest matching the keywords entered will be displayed.

example of pinterest search results

Source: Pinterest

On Pinterest, each Pin links back to the original website. This is where the platform becomes particularly appealing to retailers...

Why should your online shop use Pinterest marketing?

As mentioned before, people come to Pinterest to gain inspiration. They may already have something in mind when they enter the app, but don’t know all the precise details. Think, for example, of furnishing a new house, organising a wedding, or discovering a new recipe.

In many cases, people on Pinterest are ready to buy, and you can help them with their search.

This unique mindset of a Pinterest user is something you won’t find on other social media channels.

"People on Pinterest are eager for new ideas, which means they want to hear from you. Content from brands doesn’t interrupt on Pinterest—it inspires", Pinterest stresses.

According to Pinterest, 97% of top Pinterest searches are unbranded.

In other words: small and medium sized businesses and brands that have a rather low level of brand awareness can benefit from the platform a lot.

The platform is therefore ideal for presenting new products in a positive environment, testing their potential, and driving new customers to your website.

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Key Pinterest statistics

  • 450 million monthly users worldwide

  • 60% of users are women, but the number of male Pinners is increasing every year

  • 80% of weekly Pinners have discovered a new brand or product on Pinterest

  • 30% of Pinterest users have bought something they’ve seen on Pinterest

  • It’s used mainly on mobile devices

Compared with Instagram (1 billion active users) and Facebook (2 billion active users), it seems like a small platform. However, the company is rapidly expanding and there are wonderful new opportunities for your company to explore.

The platform has been proven to be very popular with a lot of categories. Some of the most popular categories are:

  • Food/drink
  • DIY crafts
  • Home decor
  • women's fashion
  • weddings
  • design
  • hair/beauty
  • photography
  • travel

5 Tips for your Pinterest Marketing Strategy

Mom working on home project with her kids

Source: shutterstock/Jack Frog

Marketing on Pinterest can be extremely effective - if it is implemented in the right way. Here are some tips on how to successfully target shoppers and generate sales on this unique platform:

1. Create a Pinterest Business Profile

First of all, if you haven't done so already, you need to sign up for a business profile on Pinterest.

This is free of charge and will give you access to different business features. For example, the Pinterest Ads Manager, Pinterest Analytics, as well as exclusive content formats.

It is possible to convert an already existing personal account to a business one.

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2. Create unique and eye-catching content 

Pinterest is almost all about the different kinds of pins. Therefore, we recommend you make them as visually appealing and eye-catching as possible.

After all, you're main goal will be to have Pinners and potential customers click on the pins you created in order to drive them to your website.

Be creative and try out different visuals and pin formats.

On the other hand, you will need to make sure that the content or products you want to include in your pins are actually suitable for pins. Just like with product images, you can only use high-quality visuals for your Pinterest marketing.

What is more, for you to generate even more visibility, you could also implement the Pinterest pin feature on your product pages in your online shop. This way, you allow website visitors to save and share products from your online shop on Pinterest. This can be useful if you sell products that can be used in D.I.Y. projects.

It might also be helpful to use tools like Canva as they offer ready-made layouts and appealing designs to create your pins - usually in the correct resolution and ratio.

Of course, you want Pinners to easily find the pins you've created. Therefore, it is important that your pins meet certain criteria. Among other things, this includes an interesting pin description.

Here are some tips on how to create a good pin description:

  • Provide helpful information and details about the content of the pin

  • Use powerful and corresponding keywords (make sure to do a little keyword research in the app to figure out which keywords to use for your pins)

  • It is better to have too much text than too little

  • Make sure to address your target group and write accordingly

  • Include a call-to-action (e.g. "for more details, visit our website")

On the other hand, there are a couple of things you have to avoid doing when creating your pins.

Do not include:

  • information on discounts or promotions

  • hashtags

  • calls-to-purchase and calls to action such as "pin now"

Pinterest created a best practices guide on how to create pins that perform best. You can learn about these best practices on the Pinterest Businesses website.

3. Stay in the loop and pin regularly

Just like with other social media, in order to see real results, you will have to pin as often as possible. 

Of course, running an online shop, you won't have the time to post content on Pinterest ten times a day. Fortunately, there are tools such as Buffer or Later that help you plan and schedule your pins in advance. 

Once you have set up your Pinterest Business account, you can also schedule your pins in advance within the app itself, using the Pinterest scheduling tool.

Tip: When running your own business, it can feel like there aren't enough hours in the day. Find out how to make the most of your time with our whitepaper: 

Time management  Improve your organisational skills to boost productivity Download whitepaper

However, you don’t always have to create a new Pin yourself; you can, of course, always save and "repin" the pins of other profiles on your Boards. Do ensure, however, that 1 Pin out of every 5 is your own.

Also, remain active by responding to other people’s Pins. This, too, helps with the visibility of your posts. The more often your name is seen, the greater the chance that people end up on your website.

4. Use rich pins 

Another important aspect that will help you gain new customers on Pinterest is the use of so-called Rich Pins. This pin format contains much more detail than a standard pin.

Why should you use Rich Pins? Because you can give customers more information about your products and thus simplify the buying process.

In the case of Rich Product Pins, for example, the price, the availability of the item, and the website where the item can be found (your shop) will be displayed.

With this organic pin format, Pinterest automatically synchronises the information between your shop and your pins.

For example, as soon as a product price of an item in your online shop or the availability of the item changes, the current price or the current availability is displayed in the pin as well.

5. Try out Pinterest Ads for more visibility

To ensure that your pins are seen by as many people as possible, it might make sense for you to try out targeted ads. Ads will help you gain more visibility on the platform and link directly to your shop - if the keywords you used in your promoted pins fit.

The Pinterest Ads Manager offers different ad formats that can help shop owners:

  • Standard Ads (portrait or square image)

  • Video Ads (video ad)

  • Shopping Ads (product pins that are also used as ads)

  • Carousel Ads (multiple images in one ad)

  • Ads Collections (hybrid format: images and videos in one ad)

After placing your ads, always keep an eye on them. It is best to use the analytics options offered by Pinterest to track the success of the individual ads and optimise them if necessary. 

Social Media Ads: 7 Tips for more sales  We look at design, messaging, targeting, and more! Download whitepaper


Pinterest has grown in popularity in the last few years. Don’t wait too long; start developing your Pinterest community.

As Pinterest is constantly developing its marketing and shopping features, this platform offers many possibilities that other social media platforms don’t instantly offer.

Since April 2021, Shopify and WooCommerce merchants can easily connect their shops with Pinterest, allowing them to automatically turn their products into Product Pins.

Pinterest not only helps to improve the reach and awareness of your own shop.  It can also be used to specifically promote and sell your own products.

It should always be remembered that this unique platform thrives on versatility and creativity. Try to take these aspects to heart if you want to successfully promote your shop on Pinterest.

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Lena Wolff

Lena studied Multilingual Communication in Germany and now works in Content Marketing. She normally focuses on e-commerce and online marketing topics in the UK and DACH markets.

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