Valentine Theme Pinterest Logo Over Hearts
Photo Credit: Richard Goodwin at

Is Pinterest right for your brand? Your content better be pinteresting.

What Is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a fast growing platform with over 150 million monthly users. Similar to Instagram, Pinterest is a visual platform aimed at young consumers. The key difference between the two is that Instagram is a platform for pictures, and Pinterest is a platform for ideas. Understanding the way users interact with Pinterest is essential to maximizing your advertising ROI and your brand reach.

Pinterest has recently had a lot of algorithm updates that fundamentally change the way users discover and share content. Not only that, but Pinterest has been experimenting with new tools for users to discover content. Understanding some of these changes will give you an edge when competing with other Pinterest content creators. This blog will tell you everything from the basics of Pinterest, to the advanced tools that many people don’t even know about.

You can think of Pinterest as a giant library of ideas, or “pins”. A pin is a little piece of content, very similar to an Instagram or Facebook post, really like any other piece of social media you’ve interacted with. A pin is meant to express some sort of idea with a self explanatory image and short caption. These pins usually link back to other websites that explore their idea in depth. Pins are displayed in a cork board sort of layout (hence the name “pin”).

Pinterest Valentine Heart Cake

This pin shows you the end result of an idea (a Valentine’s day cake) and most users can assume this will link to a website that teaches you how to make the cake in the image.

How Do People Use It?

Pinterest is the perfect place for people who are looking for inspiration, and need somewhere to start. From changing up your style, redecorating your dining room, or just looking for a creative dish to make for dinner, Pinterest has you covered. While you can search directly for new ideas, Pinterest uses a few different ways to bring content to it’s users.

Here’s a breakdown of the different ways users find and interact with content:

Home Feed - The home feed is a little collection of content tailored for a user. It has new pins from each person, board or topic a user decides to follow, as well as suggested ideas. There’s a few pieces of promoted content sprinkled in there, but we’ll get to that later.

Pinterest Lens- Take a picture of something, and find pins related to your image. This feature is still a little new and wonky, and currently works best for home decor and cooking. A user can can take a picture of the vegetables in front of them and see what relevant recipes come up. They can take a picture of a dining table missing je ne sais quoi (a certain something) and they’ll find similar designs that fit their tastes.

Instant Ideas - Pinterest has a new “instant ideas” section to find a variety of ideas suggested by Pinterest. They can click on a circle in the lower right corner of an idea they’re interested in to find similar ideas until they narrow their focus onto one they love. This feature will keep track of the ideas they like and customize their home feed behind the scenes.

Making Images a Reality - Pinterest added a feature at the end of 2015 that allows users to tap/click circles on a photo. These circles are attached to items such as art, furniture or pieces of clothing. The pin will then open a little row at the bottom that show different prices and online stores where they can buy the item they want. This lets users pick and choose their favorite products from your content.

Why Does This Matter For My Brand?

Understanding how Pinterest works, and how to create quality content on the platform is essential to Pinterest advertising. Ads take the form of actual content, showing up as “promoted pins”, which users engage with like any other piece of content. The better the content, the better chance your pin will end up being viral, getting shared around and overall maximizing your advertising ROI.

Advertising on Pinterest takes the form of video pins, one tap pins and app pins. Video pins have a moving thumbnail that can be expanded into a full video. One tap pins bring you directly to a website to view a product. App pins generally have an image with a short value proposition followed by a download link.

Pinterest even allows you to select demographics, and pay for your promoted ads on a per-engagement basis to save you money and motivate advertisers to create quality content. If you have an app, stylish product or exciting value proposition you can express through a visual medium, Pinterest is the perfect platform for you.

A great place to start is to use the platform for yourself. Try creating an account, and just have some fun with the platform to get an idea of it’s purpose and how people engage with it.

Photo credit-
Iain Watson

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