Pinterest recently opened its Promoted Pins platform to small businesses, meaning that small businesses can now target and segment their ads at a much deeper level. Small businesses can now collect data and audience insights that were previous off-limits.

According to a Pinterest internal study, “Promoted Pins have a major impact on brand metrics. People who saw Promote Pins have seen double digit lifts across several brand objectives from awareness, to favorability, to purchase intent.”

This kind of ROI indicates that Pinterest is a serious marketing tool that should not be overlooked. If you haven’t already, sign up for a Pinterest for Business account and activate a Promoted Pins campaign today!

To get the most of your Pinterest marketing efforts, keep these three principles in mind:

Optimize Pins

While this is not technically a feature update, it is of critical importance to boosting your Pinterest for Business presence and gaining the desired ROI from the platform. If you’re taking advantage of Promoted Pins, ensuring they are optimized is essential. There are four simple tenets to follow in order to successfully optimize your Promoted Pins.

Try Different Sized Pins

Conventional wisdom dictates that tall pins (portrait-oriented) are the most popular, but there are vague guidelines about specific measurements. Try different sized pins on your audience to see which sizes they respond to. Keep in mind that the 2:3 aspect ratio should generally be maintained while you try out different sizing options.

Words Are Your Friend!

Pinterest is known as a visually-oriented platform where images take top billing. However, when an image is captivating, the probability of that person reading the accompanying caption and description is extremely high. The viewer is actively searching for information about the product, service, or subject, so make sure these narratives are thoughtfully crafted and include everything you want the customer to know. This is your opportunity to hook them, which can lead to repining, reviewing of your Pinterest account, and investigating your website for further details. This is a significant engagement turning point; don’t let a brief and generic description deter your potential customers.

Text Overlay

This is the real deal. Text overlays pay serious returns as pins that include text overlays have a significantly higher rate of being shared than images alone. Succinct wording that summarizes what the person is looking at and what it can do for them enables the viewer to make a decision about whether this is of interest to them. It removes any hesitation or uncertainty and takes the guesswork out of what the pin is meant to portray. Pinterest makes it easy to add a text overlay and allows you to place your text anywhere on the image. This flexibility means you can produce the most dynamic and compelling pins for your audience.

Landscape image with Ghandi quote overlay

Make People Do Something

A visually appealing image with a text overlay is one thing, but having a directive, or call to action (CTA), within your description or caption motivates viewers to go from passive voyeur to active researcher. Asking a user to “Discover your new summer style” or “Wow your guests with a brunch buffet” tells them what they’re looking for and what you can provide. It takes the decision making out of the process out of the viewer’s hands and into yours. Directing the conversation and the understanding of your content increases your chances of engaging the right kinds of people for your product, instead of leaving the interpretation up to the individual, who may interpret your pin very differently than you had intended. In fact, “pins with CTAs actually have an 80% increase in engagement over pins without CTAs,” so including them nearly goes hand-in-hand with a successful pin. To best fit your target audience, you’ll need to implement trial and error to find what kind of CTAs engage them the most.

How-To Pins

How-To Pins were designed to give the viewer an at-a-glance perspective of the steps needed to complete project. These Rich Pins encourage viewers to linger and consider the idea for moments longer than they typically would for a single-image pin. The sequential breakdown of steps reinforces what’s required and encourages people to “Pin it” to one of their boards.

Screen Image of How To Pin for Pinterest

Utilizing this feature in your Pinterest for Business account is likely to drive more engagement from your followers, get more repins than basic single-image pins, and ultimately create a broader audience who sees your business on this platform. These pins do not have to be DIY, but can show the steps associated with your product or services from start to finish. For example, a follower can see how a room renovation goes from before to after by capturing numerous images of the room before, during, and after the renovation. This enticing visual journey captivates audiences and builds on your credibility in the marketplace.

Cinematic Pin Feature

Animated pins literally bring Promoted Pins to life. As we’ve seen, video is all the rage when it comes to social media and engaging consumers, so bringing cinematic pins into your pinning repertoire only makes sense to remain competitive in the market. These pins are unique as the videos begin only once you scroll over them, and stop when you move past the pin.

“Users want to feel like they’re in control, and we’ve done a bunch of user testing—users are delighted by this experience,” said Tim Kendall, Pinterest’s GM of monetization. “They wind up scrolling back and forth. They love controlling the motion.”

This key insight is reason enough to implement cinematic pins into your Pinterest for Business strategy. Watch the short video below to see how cinematic pins are changing Pinterest’s landscape.

With all of these updates and changes to its business strategy, it’s hard to ignore Pinterest as a profitable and important social media outlet. Will you take the plunge and utilize Pinterest to catapult your business to the next level?