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I’ve been a long-time Pinterest user for personal use – from finding tips to organize my home, searching for healthy recipes, to planning the years’ family Halloween costumes, but the idea to use Pinterest for business alluded me until fairly recently.
My experiment with using Pinterest to be my sole source of traffic vs Facebook began in December 2021 when I was promoting my book funnel for Studio 8 Twenty-Two. The funnel had actually launched for my book Write a Book, Build a Brand in November and I had good results for a Facebook ads beginner, but things started slacking off in December and getting more expensive.
Ads were ridiculously expensive during the month of December due to Christmas coupled with the iOS updates and I was losing money faster than I’d be if I were throwing a wad of cash directly into my fireplace for kindling. I had to do something and had to move quickly.
At that moment, Pinterest popped in my head as an alternative. I’ve long known that Pinterest wasn’t a social media platform, but a search engine that would allow my pins (and ads) live on after any campaign was running. I knew optimizing Pinterest from accounts that were either inactive or starting from scratch would take some work, so I needed help.
I recently onboarded a marketing apprentice from Acadium to help me with Pinterest specifically. A digital marketing apprentice is able to devote 10 hours per week for a total of 3 months (120 hours) to whatever marketing task you need done in exchange from mentorship from you as a business owner. (Use my referral link for $100 off your first apprentice.)
I had my marketing apprentice solely focus on Pinterest starting with pinning 5 pins per day to various boards. Just for context, my Studio 8 Twenty-Two profile was basically starting from scratch since I had rebranded that business only a few months prior. ReNursing Edu had less than 1K monthly impressions from randomly pinning in the years past.
My Products & Services
This wouldn’t be an informative blog post if I didn’t tell you what type of businesses I had or what types of products or services I sold. Let me take a moment for a brief interlude into what my businesses provide.
Studio 8 Twenty-Two: Within this business, I offer author brand strategy services through group coaching and VIP days along with my book, Write a Book, Build a Brand.
ReNursing Edu: This is my nurse education business where I provide nurse education to nurses wanting to advance their careers to become nurse practitioners or nurses who want to venture out and start their own business. The products and services I provide include books (including textbooks), apps (for FNP and AGNP boards on both Apple and Google Play), business courses, planners, journals, and my business membership – Nurse Pivoter Academy™
Ok, so back to Pinterest.
When you’re using Pinterest for business you need to have a business account. If you have a personal account you can switch it to a business account fairly easily. Luckily, I had this part done for both of my businesses.
There are a few other things you want to set up for Pinterest:
- Claim your website
- Enable rich pins
- Install the Pinterest tag (both base and events)
- Update your bio to include keywords and link to an opt-in to build your list
- Upload your product catalog if you have one
Like all platforms, Pinterest has its own set of rules. To get started, I researched Pinterest best practices and received all different types of information. Pinterest recently went public in 2019 and since then the platform has undergone many changes quite rapidly. It’s hard to keep up with everything Pinterest is doing without information from an insider, so I sought out someone who knew Pinterest better than me.
During this time I met a so-called Pinterest Strategist, but we didn’t end up getting any traction from her advice. Some of her advice included pinning only to blog posts and freebies (I hate freebies with a passion and don’t advise growing an email list of freebie seekers), not giving any guidelines on how much to pin, how to create boards, or best practices for pins.
Unfortunately, we didn’t learn anything from our consult, so my marketing apprentice and I were on our own trying to figure things out. We read blogs, listened to podcasts, and read ebooks on Pinterest. Some of the information was useful and some of the information was out of date by the time we heard it.
At this point, we were showing progress from pinning 5 pins per day on a regular basis but wanted more. So we started experimenting with video pins. Video pins aren’t hard, especially if you’re using some of the stock media in Canva, but it sure did increase the impressions and engagement my pins had.
In addition to video pins, creating pins with nonstatic images like flashing words and graphics also increases impressions. We continued on to experimenting with idea pins.
Idea pins are pins that give you all the information needed to create something like a recipe, craft, or business hack. It usually involves a series of static images or videos with text overlay and music (if you’re on an iPhone). I made a couple but got frustrated that I couldn’t put music in them since I have an Android phone (no, I’m not switching to an iPhone because of this!).
The idea pins got a little traction, but we wanted more! At this point, I decided to start dabbling with Pinterest ads. I created a couple of pins for a masterclass and a blog post for Studio 8 Twenty-Two and started a traffic campaign for $2 per ad per day. Here’s the kicker…impressions jumped from 6k to over 36k in a matter of less than a week!
I had more website visitors (that I can later retarget!) and traffic from a measly $4 per day than I ever could have gotten from Facebook ads. I even had a few people sign up for my masterclass even though I wasn’t running a conversion campaign.
Getting More Pinterest Education
After my small wins on Pinterest, I was eager to learn more. I ended up purchasing a detailed Pinterest course to help get me started, Pinfluencer Academy so I’d at least have some form of a guideline to follow. Making engaging pins is the least of what you need to know to succeed on Pinterest.
At this point in the game, I also revived my ReNusing Edu account to see how far I could take it since I had a huge product launch within a few months (Nurse Pivoter Academy™). I was basically starting from scratch with this account as well since it had been dormant and haphazardly used since its inception.
Since I had favorable results with Pinterest ads on Studio 8 Twenty-Two I tried the same with ReNusing Edu. Results were Ok as far as driving traffic to my site. I also started cleaning up my boards and stopped my VA and apprentice from posting business quotes (quotes are useless since your goal is to get people to go to your website, not read a quote from a pin).
A couple of weeks into my traffic campaign, I was contacted by none other than Pinterest for a consult with a partner manager to optimize my account! I’ve never experienced anything like this when I spend thousands of dollars on Facebook ads. I happily jumped on the opportunity and met with my partner manager, Andrew, and ads manager, Madeline.
For the next few weeks, we’ll be optimizing my campaigns so I can get the best possible return on ad spend (ROAS). I’m already seeing positive results by just running traffic campaigns and getting signups for my waitlist and other freebies on my site. I can’t wait to see what is in store and I’ll keep you updated on my Pinterest journey in a follow-up post.
In the meantime, I’ve put together a Pinterest Business Profits Planner that will help you get started on Pinterest to promote your business! You can grab the Pinterest Planner here.