Pinterest ranks high in my list of favorite platforms to market my business and blog.
Not only is it a social media platform and a search engine, but it also emphasizes visuals and imagery to help people discover ideas and inspiration to do what they love.
As of September 2018, Pinterest has already attracted over 250 million users which, at first, seems perfect—more people to see my Pins and more potential to gain more leads.
But the problem is in the number of Pins being shared as well—175 billion and counting—which means more competition and more difficulty in standing out.
Fortunately, this is where branding comes in handy.
Branding Pins right from the beginning gives even small business owners (like me) the opportunity to grab people’s attention and establish a foundation for their brand to slowly but surely get recognized as more and more users come across their Pins, boards, and profile.
First, let’s take a look at how Pinterest works and how branding can match perfectly with your marketing strategy.
How Pinterest Works
As a search engine, Pinterest values keywords, descriptions, categories, and titles (much like Google as a search engine) but again, what sets it apart from other platforms is its emphasis on visuals.
In fact, Pinterest even calls itself a “visual discovery engine” so this gives us an idea that we should prioritize visual branding elements like colors, fonts, and photos.
Next, compared to Google search where results show up in a list format, the Pinterest newsfeed follows a column format with vertical Pins getting more attention compared to horizontal ones.
If that’s not enough, just take a look at Pinterest’s creative best practices, and you’ll see that they put an emphasis on imagery including “Pick an eye-catching image” and “Include your logo” as guidelines for “great Pins.”
According to reports, Pins that do well tend to use strong imagery with warm colors and infographics or “instructographics” which are visual representations of statistics or how to do things step-by-step .
Lastly, take note that Pinterest offers multiple ways your Pins can be found so it’s up to you to fully take advantage of them:
The search bar with Pinterest’s predictive search, Guided Search, and the “Ideas for you” section
The Trending on Pinterest section
The Pinterest newsfeed
Pins shared by people or to boards users follow
Below a Pin being viewed where Pinterest displays “more like this”
The dedicated tab within a board where Pinterest shows “More ideas”
The dedicated following tab with chronological sequence of Pins being shared
The notifications tab where Pinterest shows “New activity” by people and in boards
For more information and a quick guide to Pinterest marketing, check out this post.
Benefits of Branding Pins
As I mentioned, branding your Pins right from the beginning allows you to stand out in a platform with over 250 million users and 175 billion Pins as of 2018.
With Pinterest’s focus on visuals, your colors, fonts, color palette, layout, and images can become instantly recognizable even before users read your titles or descriptions.
And if you’ve managed to build a solid reputation of providing valuable content, then your followers will be more inclined to check out more and more of your Pins, immediately being drawn to them even in a sea of multiple Pins being shown at any given moment within their newsfeed.
Notice also how this is in contrast to Instagram which displays only one post at a time as users scroll through their Instagram newsfeeds.
But perhaps the most important reason you need to brand your Pins from the beginning is because the lifespan of a Pin is much longer in Pinterest as opposed to a post on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
This means that Pins you share today can ultimately go viral months and years from now once the right audience finds it and shares it to their followers.
In fact, according to Pinterest:
“Unlike social networks, where most of your reach happens in the first 24 hours, your Pinterest content keeps growing in reach over time. As more people discover and save your Pins, you’ll see traffic continue to go up.”
So imagine a Pin of yours going viral next year but you weren’t able to brand it from the start. How would you feel having missed that opportunity to establish your online presence and increase awareness about your business?
Fun fact: My very first blog post from 2017 has been shared on Pinterest over 141,000 times as of this month and I also have individual Pins that have been shared over 30,000 times.
Luckily I was able to brand my Pins from the start (even with just my URL and my brand’s colors) so they’ve significantly helped boost my brand and my other similar-looking Pins since then.
How to Brand Your Pins
With all this talk on the importance of branding your Pins, it’s fairly easy to actually do it.
You can add one or more brand elements as stamps, signifiers, or labels to your Pins such as your:
Logo or submark
Font or font combination
In case you haven’t yet, I suggest first creating a brand board for your business to help you nail down your unique style and visual identity (click here for the tutorial and a free template).
Next, take elements from your brand board (logo, colors, fonts, patterns, etc.) and brainstorm some layouts that could incorporate one or more of those elements.
You can browse Pinterest to see what catches your eye (to use as inspiration only, not to copy!) or check out Canva for ideas.
I highly recommend Canva because it’s a free online graphic design website with built-in designs and templates but feel free to use other tools you’re familiar with (I use Adobe Photoshop).
Once you’re happy with at least three Pinterest Pin layouts, make sure it’s compatible to fit multiple title lines (around 2 to 5) and even a tagline just in case.
Want to skip creating all your Pinterest Pins from scratch?
Use our Pinterest-optimized templates to help save you time and increase your saves & click-throughs!
If you haven’t landed on a specific branding style for your business and blog yet, at the very least, I suggest including your URL at the bottom of your Pins to indicate your website as the source.
Next, try creating sample Pins for different blog posts (or use sample titles if you don't have any blog posts yet) then view them individually and as a group.
Here are some guide questions to help you nail your designs down:
Looking at your Pins from a distance, do they seem consistent with each other?
Do your Pins look too similar to another brand (hint: it shouldn’t)?
Is your business name, logo, and/or URL clearly visible?
Are your colors, fonts, and images representing your brand well?
What colors, fonts, and images should you steer clear of?
Are your fonts readable? Sized and spaced properly?
Are your colors clashing (and not in a good way)?
How would you showcase a free lead magnet or content upgrade if you offer one in the future?
Do your Pins convey a certain kind of personality you want to be associated with your brand (ex. light and modern, fun and lively, dark and moody, traditional and professional, bold and feminine)?
Are you confident your target customers would be attracted to your Pins while scrolling on Pinterest and even on other platforms?
Here are my most recent Pins to give you some ideas:
Notice how I use the same color palette, font combination, graphic elements, and layout for all my Pins. I also have my URL at the bottom and my checkmark logo subtly placed in the middle between the image and text sections.
Branding your pins from the start will help you stand out from 175+ billion Pins circulating Pinterest as of 2018. The more users can recognize your business immediately, the more chances they’ll click on more and more of your Pins and strengthen that “know, like, and trust” factor required for them to sign up for your mailing list, buy your products, book your services, or join your programs.
Share in the comments below: What’s your biggest takeaway from this article? What Pinterest marketing strategies have been working for you so far? What strategies are you looking to implement or improve on?