Let’s cut right to the chase, Pinterest marketing in 2021 is WAY different than it was in 2020!
I wrote a post back at the end of 2019 talking about Pinterest marketing, and A LOT has changed! Some of my advice still holds up, but a lot doesn’t, so it’s important we get to the bottom of it!
I’m sure you’ve heard about all the horror stories: bloggers getting their accounts banned and pinners losing thousands of visitors overnight (yup!). It all happened, and for a while, people were really upset at Pinterest and frustrated by the changes.
So what does it take to be successful on Pinterest in 2021? What’s the best Pinterest marketing strategy for bloggers? I’m going to tell you EXACTLY what I did to TRIPLE my impressions and link clicks in only 30 days.
The truth is, before November 2020, my Pinterest account was stagnant. I was hovering around 300k impressions each month and only about 3000 link clicks. I was following some outdated advice and (to be completely honest) stuff I used to teach in my last blogging course!
Here’s what my pins looked like…
And now, here’s what my pins look like after only a FEW days!
So here’s what DOESN’T work on Pinterest in 2021:
1. Pinning too much
This is a tough one because many of us hardcore bloggers are used to pinning 50+ times every day! Pinterest has been very clear that pinning too often is not only a waste, but it can get your account banned for “spammy” behaviour.
So, how much SHOULD you be pinning? We’ll get to that in a sec!
2. Using Tailwind (eeeeek I know)
I shouldn’t say Tailwind doesn’t work, because it definitely can help a TON with scheduling. They’ve also added an awesome new feature to help you create several pins at once and batch your scheduling (which is amazingly helpful!).
But Smartloop and Tribes (now called Communities) are totally unnecessary! Why? For one thing, Pinterest doesn’t want recycled content (ever). They want fresh pins, so Smartloop isn’t doing your account any favors.
Tribes forces you to pin other peoples’ content which is also a big no-no for Pinterest marketing in 2021. And this brings me to my next point…
3. Pinning other peoples’ content
I COMPLETELY stopped pinning any content that isn’t from my own blog/website.
As a creator, there’s no reason to pin other people’s stuff on your profile. You’re supposed to be creating the content for other people to share!
There is one important thing to remember with this, the only time I would consider pinning content that isn’t your own is if you’re BRAND new on the platform.
Pinterest takes time to scan and categorize your profile including your bio, keywords, boards, and content. So when you’re brand new, it’s a great idea to start with posting 10-15 popular pins on each board to help Pinterest understand exactly what your boards are about!
4. Branding your content
This is an interesting one I’ve discovered over the last few months.
My pins performed much better when they were all unique (different fonts, colors, styles, etc.). It’s all about the user experience, so the less branded and “similar” my content seemed, the better it performed.
This is especially helpful because if you have several pins for the same blog posts competing in search results, it helps a LOT if those pins are all branded differently and look as unique as possible.
So, unlike other social platforms, you can forget about the branding!
5. Deleting underperforming pins
This was a big strategy last year (and even something I recommended!) but deleting pins that don’t perform well has absolutely NO effect on your account.
Pinterest has been pretty clear about this and they even recommend you don’t delete old pins in case they start ranking for keywords later. It can take up to 6 months for a pin to start gaining traction and ranking in Pinterest’s search, so don’t get discouraged!
Ok so those are the big no-no’s for Pinterest marketing in 2021, and now let’s talk strategy.
What SHOULD you be doing to increase your impressions, shares, and link clicks?
1. Pinning FRESH pins 5 times per day
Pinterest has said that only the first 5 pins you share are given priority and shown to your audience. This means anything over 5 pins is unnecessary (which is great because you’ll end up saving a ton of time!).
Because Pinterest only wants FRESH pins now. What does that mean?
Each of the 5 pins you share every day should be NEW. ***when I say new, I mean a different pin image but it can still link to an old URL or blog post you’ve shared before!***
And yes, that’s a TON of creation. If you share 5 pins every day, that’s 35 fresh pins every week. It may not seem like a lot, but week-after-week, it adds up!
I use the free templates in Canva to create all my pins, and each pin only takes me about 1-2 minutes, so it’s pretty quick.
2. Focusing on followers
Back in the day when it was easier to rank for keywords on Pinterest, followers really didn’t matter. Now, that’s not entirely true.
Pinterest has said that when you publish a new pin, it’s shown to your followers first (just like Instagram’s algorithm).
They watch to see how your followers react (sharing, saving, hiding the pin from their feed, etc.). This determines how much reach your pin gets and how well it performs.
So if you don’t have any followers (or if you have followers that aren’t engaged) this will definitely hurt your reach! It doesn’t mean you can’t succeed on the platform because, don’t forget, your pins WILL start ranking for keywords in a few weeks or months.
But start making followers a priority.
How do you build up an engaged following on Pinterest? NICHE DOWN!
No more diversifying boards and going after trending topics just to increase views. That strategy will hurt your profile in the long run!
You’re better off keeping a tight niche and attracting people who will actually engage with all of your content! And this brings us to the next part of the Pinterest marketing strategy…
3. Focus on Pinterest-friendly keywords
If you’re brand new with little to no followers, this is even MORE crucial!
The only way for anyone to find you on Pinterest is through search, and if you’re not ranking on keywords people are actually searching for, your content won’t be found!
You should be adding relevant, searchable keywords to your bio section, your board titles + descriptions, your pin titles + descriptions and your pin images.
I talked about optimizing your profile in my Pinterest marketing post from 2019, but I’ll go over it again.
I know you’ve probably heard this a MILLION times in every other Pinterest marketing strategy, and there’s definitely a reason for that!
Optimizing your profile, boards, AND pins is super important because it’s the difference between getting found or being hidden amongst the THOUSANDS of other pinners out there.
All you need to do is go to Pinterest and start searching for things you think your target audience would most likely be searching for.
For example, if you run a parenting blog and most of your boards are about parenting, that might be your main search term on Pinterest.
Now you can see all the recommendations and popular search terms Pinterest knows people are looking for.
From here, you’re able to know exactly what topics you should use for your boards and what keywords to include in in your board descriptions.
For example, if you chose to create a board called “Parenting Hacks” (based on one of Pinterest’s suggestions above) you would click on “hacks” to get more suggested keywords.
From here, I would write a board description that sounds something like this:
Parenting hacks every mom needs! Everything from hacks for morning routines to parenting hacks for toddlers and teenagers. Plus some extra DIY parenting hacks for the hands-on parents.
In this example, we were able to use 5 keywords recommended by Pinterest which is GREAT and will definitely increase searchability for the board.
***People often ask if they should use full sentences in their board descriptions or just list a bunch of keywords like bullet points. Definitely use full sentences. Remember to focus on USER EXPERIENCE and not keyword stuffing for rankings.
4. Content actually matters
When Pinterest ranks your content in search, they’re looking at some really important factors they weren’t looking at a few years ago!
First, they’re matching the user’s search intent with the content of your post or landing page.
What does that mean? If someone searches for “vegetarian dinner recipes” and you create a pin leading to a short opt-in page for your dinner recipes lead magnet, you won’t perform as well.
Pinterest assumes the user is searching for a roundup post with several different recipes to choose from. They probably DON’T want to have to opt-in to your lead magnet to get your recipe book.
Pinterest actually CARES about the user experience and wants to serve up content the user will find valuable.
The second important thing the Pinterest algorithm does is actually look at the content on the URL you’re posting and assess how “valuable” it is. They scan for your main keyword AND related keywords.
They can also see how many internal and external links you have on that blog post (in other words, Pinterest is hardcore now!).
They do this because they’re assessing the authority and the trust of you as a pinner by looking at ALL of your content!
They want to make sure you’re actually going to give the user what you promise from your pins!
5. Fresh URLs matter
We can’t escape the fact that Pinterest is a content machine and they want NEW blog posts, pages, articles, and content for their platform.
You can get away with repinning fresh images for the same blog posts HUNDREDS of times, but you’ll only have amazing success on the platform if you also create new content.
This doesn’t mean you need to be writing a new blog post every day! But you SHOULD be aiming to get fresh content on the platform at least 2-3 times per month.
6. Consistency is KEY
Pinterest has actually said they favor pinners who are consistent over those who create loads of content inconsistently.
What does this mean? People who pin only once per day consistently will do better than those who pin sporadically or batch their content to go out all on one day.
And if this sounds totally overwhelming, don’t worry, Pinterest has their own built in scheduling feature!
Everytime you go to add a new pin, simply put “publish at a later date” and choose when you want the pin to go out.
This feature allows you to stagger your pins and stay consistent without needing third party software like Tailwind.
That’s it! I seriously hope this helps you build a mega-successful Pinterest marketing strategy in 2021 and bring LOADS of traffic to your blog or website!