Knowing who your ideal client is and being able to market to them effectively is business and marketing 101, but knowing your Pinterest audience specifically is also crucial to your success on the platform.
That’s because at its core, Pinterest is an audience-first marketing platform. Whereas other platforms like Instagram or TikTok prioritize connection and personality, Pinterest emphasizes discovering new content, especially content that serves the intended audience well.
Some of this is inherent to the way the platform is set up — commenting and DMs are available on Pinterest, but hardly ever used by regular users. For that reason, you have to be marketing on Pinterest in a way that prioritizes your target audience.
About your Pinterest audience, briefly
Since Pinterest users aren’t connecting with the creators they follow as much, your Pinterest audience is also much more likely to be new to your content. They’re what we would call a “cold” audience.
In the sales and marketing world, leads tend to be categorized in three different stages:
- Cold leads haven’t interacted with your brand, don’t know who you are, and haven’t even considered buying.
- Warm leads are familiar with you and your offers, they’ve probably been reading your blogs and newsletters, and they’re interested, but not quite ready to invest yet.
- Hot leads are juuuuust about to take the plunge and purchase or inquire with you. They just need one or two more nudges to seal the deal.
We can apply these same categories to your audience, leads or not. A majority of Pinterest users seeing your Pinterest content will be unfamiliar with your brand. Yes, some will be warm or hot audience members, but Pinterest is above all a discovery platform, which is naturally going to send more cold users your way.
The way you market to cold leads vs warm leads vs hot leads is going to be different. On Pinterest, you should prioritize creating content that targets those cold leads because they’re the hardest to capture.
When a user doesn’t know who you are or even care about you, you have even less time to capture their attention and make it worth the time they spend clicking on your pin or reading your blog. This is where I see most businesses get it wrong with their Pinterest marketing.
Why You Have to Know Your Pinterest Audience
Full transparency, I was planning on making this post just about your Pinterest content. But knowing your Pinterest audience impact so much more than just the pins themselves. Who you’re targeting with your Pinterest marketing impacts how you describe yourself, how you frame your content, the language you use, and even the boards you create.
Understanding your ideal client impacts every part of your business and brand strategy, but since I’m not a branding expert, I won’t go there today. What I really want to emphasize is how important your Pinterest audience is for determining the language you use in your Pinterest marketing.
Speaking your audience’s language is the #1 way to make sure you’re marketing on Pinterest effectively. If you don’t do it, your content won’t get seen as much, and if it does, it won’t resonate with your target audience, ending that potential customer journey before it even started.
It’s also one of the things that’s hardest to spot in your own content. I get it. We’re often way too close to be able to analyze our own content objectively. That’s why I’m sharing some of the most common mistakes I see business owners making in marketing to their Pinterest audience.
4 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Pinterest Marketing
Being too “I” focused
I am so sorry to be the one to break this to you, but your Pinterest audience does. not. care about you. They’re scrolling past hundreds of pins with intent, and that intent likely isn’t to see what you had for breakfast this morning or how your embarrassing moment from seventh grade taught you the importance of resilience.
Pinterest users care about you only insofar as what you can do for them. Whether that’s inspiration or education, you need to prove that you have valuable content for your Pinterest audience.
One of the places I see business owners focus too much on themselves on Pinterest is in their Pinterest business profile, particularly the name and bio. In your profile title, it’s more beneficial to describe what you share instead of what you do.
Example: True Jackson – Vice President vs. True Jackson – Classic Styling Tips + Fashion Inspo
It can also be super tempting to show off your various qualifications, degrees, and certifications. You worked hard for them! And for some, it might even be a necessary part of what you do. But save that info for a less prime spot on your Pinterest profile.
When someone lands on your Pinterest profile, they only see the first sentence or two of your bio, so make sure the most intriguing, relevant information shows up first. If your qualifications are a significant differentiator — are you sure? Does your audience really, absolutely have to know? — you can add them in at the end!
Make sure you also aren’t making your Pinterest content too “I” focused. While an Instagram Reel of “How I made 6 figures working 5 hours a week” might convert over there, switch that “I” for a “you” to make the same content more audience-focused. The new title might look something like this: “How to build a 6-figure business if you only have 5 hours a week”.
Anytime you have content that primarily focuses on your experience or your story, think twice about marketing it on Pinterest. If it’s simply a life update you wanted to share with your community, it might not be relevant to your Pinterest strategy. But if there are tangible takeaways within the content, find a way to pivot the way you describe it into a how-to or value-first type of pin.
You don’t have to create brand-new content, you just have to reframe it to put the audience first.
Using unfamiliar brand or product names
I know you’re so proud of that clever name you came up with for your lead magnet. Your course has the perfect, most-branded name ever and you want to use it everywhere.
But let me ask you this: Is someone who’s never heard of your brand before going to know what the product is from the name itself? Is anyone going to be searching for that name on Pinterest?
If the answer is no — and it probably is — you should be marketing that offer differently on Pinterest.
Oftentimes, the more simple, straightforward description is going to be the best way to market something on Pinterest, particularly when you’re writing your pin titles and descriptions. You can have a little bit more fun with the text on the pin graphic itself, but make sure the product is still clear to your Pinterest audience.
This is yet again another example of not speaking your Pinterest audience’s language, because they aren’t going to know that your email welcome sequence freebie is called “Welcome Wizardry”. They aren’t going to know what to search to find it. That also means that if they search for “welcome sequence template,” your freebie pins aren’t likely to show up in those search results.
I’m not saying you have to only use boring, descriptive names. Keep them! But when you go to market your lead magnet or digital product on Pinterest, make sure to use the language your Pinterest audience is going to be using.
Of course, there are going to be exceptions to every rule. If you do have a large following and you have a signature offering that has a recognizable name, it could benefit you to market the product by that name. My client’s copywriting course, Site Series, is an example of that. But even though we include the Site Series name and branding in the pins, we still use the searchable keywords, too.
Not using the same terms as your Pinterest audience
One of the biggest struggles business owners face when writing any kind of copy in general is making sure their language lines up with their ideal clients’ language. We often spend so much time immersed in our own industry and content that we aren’t aware of the jargon or specific vocabulary we’re using.
A great example of this is something I learned from a website copywriter for photographers. She found that while most photographers describe their deliverables as “images,” photography clients were more likely to call them “pictures.” It’s a minor difference, but by changing that single word, the photographer’s copy is now going to be more clear to their ideal client and resonate more with them.
I noticed something similar with a Pinterest audit client of mine. She had a lot of blog posts about “formula meals” — formulas to follow without needing a specific recipe. I knew this had the potential to be big on Pinterest, but it wasn’t getting traction because she wasn’t describing the blogs the way her Pinterest audience was looking for them.
Just taking a look at the suggested searches when I type “formula meals” into Pinterest, you can see several other ways to describe the content. By using those terms in her pin titles and descriptions, she is much more likely to get her pins in front of her target audience.
Another potential way you might not be speaking your Pinterest audience’s language is by misidentifying your Pinterest audience. Specifically describing or calling out your intended audience is a keyword strategy I strongly recommend, but it only works if you know what to call your ideal clients.
Do your ideal clients refer to themselves as creative entrepreneurs or online business owners? Content creators or influencers? Wedding business owners or wedding professionals?
This one isn’t as easy to resolve with a quick Pinterest search. You can see what the different search terms pull up and see where your content seems to fit best, but at the end of the day, it comes down to what your audience identifies with. To find that out, you can go straight to the source — poll your Instagram followers or email list and ask them!
It’s totally possible that this doesn’t apply to your content or your industry, but it’s worth checking over your content to see if there are any potential areas of confusion or misalignment.
Using obscure keywords
This concept is similar to not using the “right” terms for your Pinterest audience, but this focuses more on the keyword popularity and search volume. The keywords you use across your Pinterest content and profile are the most important parts of your overall Pinterest marketing strategy. That’s what the Pinterest algorithm uses to help connect your content to your Pinterest audience. So using the right Pinterest keywords is essential!
Similar to the formula meal example above, you might think you’re using the right keywords to describe your Pinterest content because that’s how you would describe it, but there might be a more relevant and more searched term you should use instead.
Let’s use another example from an audit client, this time a brand photographer. As I was doing her keyword research, I found a lot of different ways to say “brand photography” and a lot of different keywords related to each keyword “stem”.
The specific keywords I would come up with varied depending on whether I started with “brand photography” or “branding photos” or “brand photoshoot” (as just a few examples). That’s when I turned to the Pinterest Trends tool to see which of the terms Pinterest users were searching the most.
While there isn’t a reliable tool to show the search volume of different keywords like there is for Google, Pinterest Trends approximates this measurement. Within Pinterest Trends, you can see the historical search volume on a scale of 0 to 100. When I compared 3 of the branding photo-related keywords in Trends, I got this result:
As you can see, the term “branding photoshoot” was searched much more frequently than the other terms I compared it to. Because of that, I was able to recommend to my client that she prioritize using branding photo and branding photoshoot keywords in her Pinterest content.
Using less frequently searched keywords in your Pinterest content can be a helpful way to build reach and engagement within a small niche, but you should always strive to use a mix of general (more competitive) and specific (less competitive) keywords.
I go in-depth on this niche keyword strategy in this Pinterest management case study if you want to learn about it in greater detail!
Looking for more Pinterest marketing support?
The two most important things to understand to excel at Pinterest marketing are Pinterest SEO and your Pinterest audience. As this blog just demonstrated, they often overlap! When you understand your Pinterest audience, you know the right keywords to target. When you know what keywords to target, you can reach more ideal clients.
If you want to learn more about creating Pinterest content that actually serves your Pinterest audience, I’ve got just the thing for you…
In this 90-minute masterclass, we’ll go beyond the Pinterest basics to craft a sustainable & successful strategy, including:
- How the Pinterest algorithm actually works
- Figuring out exactly what to post (and why)
- How to establish a flexible framework to pin consistently and confidently