I tested all the *Updated* advice I could find about Pinterest for TpT Sellers. Here’s what I learned.
There has been a ton of discussion in the last two years or so about how Pinterest’s changes have made it much more difficult for TpT sellers. But since I’m a particularly stubborn person, I wanted to do my own research & testing before I decide whether or not to spend time and effort creating pins for my products. So, this blog post reflects the various testing that I did in order to answer the question: Is Pinterest still worth it?
First a brief disclaimer: I have used Pinterest for personal use for a long time (like, had-to-get-an-invite-to-join long time), but didn’t really promote my products much on Pinterest prior to 2020. I never was comfortable with pinning the same pin multiple times on multiple boards because it made my boards look messy (Yup, I’m super type A) so I didn’t have the “great Pinterest drop” that affected others and likely discouraged them from continuing with it.
First, the research
There was no point in testing if I wasn’t using best practices, so I read everything I could find on UPDATED Pinterest strategy. There is a lot of now outdated information out there, so I was very careful to use dated sources and focused my attention on sources I knew to be reliable – such as Pinterest itself.
In putting these best practices into action, I did not do more than what I felt I could sustainably handle. I used Tailwind to schedule my pins and only put out a MAX of 4 pins per day – frequently less.
Second, the Pinterest Strategies I used (based on the above research)
Images – 2×3 with an attention to quality of images and text that offers a solution to a problem
SEO – solid keyword research and strong alignment between title, description, board, and target URL
Variety – pins only pinned to 1-2 most relevant boards, and pins for the same target use different images & keywords to see what sticks
Time Investment – I used Tailwind to schedule and used the “create” feature for the majority of the pins. Most were done while watching TV in the evening – not a significant amount of time.
All best practices I used can be found in the Pinterest
organizers in the TpT Seller Architect Planner.
What I learned from my Pinterest Experiment
#1. Early in 2021, I was averaging 400 impressions per day. As I improved my SEO strategy, I had several 1k+ days in the last quarter of 2021.
Pinterest is a search engine so SEO is key. As I perfected my SEO strategy I definitely noticed an improvement in impressions, but it is difficult to track since search result ranking takes time. Generally speaking, new pins seem to get a bit of a surge, drop off, and then increase again depending on how relevant they are for specific keywords and how often those keywords are searched.
#2. Pins that point to my website seem to get more views than pins that point to TpT.
My research said that pins from claimed websites (like a blog or other website that you control) do better than third party pins. This was definitely reflected in my results. I’m making TpT sales directly from pins, but also getting traffic to blog posts, that are then converting to sales on TpT.
#3. My video pins get more views and repins than my static pins (and product covers are DEAD)
Pinterest has been putting more focus on video, and this was reflected in my results. Many of my more high performing pins are video pins. Very few square product covers have any traction at all, although if they were included in a 2×3 with other elements (like page shots) they could do quite well.
#4. For those pins that have generated sales, the conversion is high
I’ve read that Pinterest users are generally a “warmer” audience and this was definitely supported by my results. All my pins that have made at least one sale on TpT have a super high conversion rate – averaging 10-15%. So even if they didn’t send a lot of traffic – the traffic they did send was likely to convert.
#5. The lifespan of pins is SOOO much longer than a social media post
The lifespan on Pinterest is pretty good – but this is also what makes it hard to see the return on investment since it takes a while for new pins to get traction. I have video pins from 6 months ago with weak SEO that are still getting plays, and static pins that are suddenly making sales 16 months later.
#6. From 2020 to 2021 my traffic doubled – but my actual sales from Pinterest tripled.
2021 was a great year for me on TpT. From 2020 to 2021, my overall sales improved significantly (2.6 x). My overall sales traffic doubled, but my sales directly from Pinterest tripled. This told me that my Pinterest efforts were actually having some impact on my bottom line.
Overall sales from Pinterest for any given month seem to be around 3-5% of total sales, even as sales increased significantly. This percentage only includes the sales that are trackable (TpT only tracks referral sales within 24 hours) and also doesn’t include the sales that I made from my blog that resulted from Pinterest referrals, so the actual percentage of sales from Pinterest is likely a bit higher.
Note about Idea Pins
I only messed around with idea pins a little bit, as I was mainly focused on generating conversions. Having said that, my research tells me that Idea Pins are great for generating more followers. Given that having more followers may help give your pins an early boost, that may be something I’ll pursue in future. I got these results with only 70 followers.
Is Pinterest making me a millionaire? Definitely not. However, the high conversion rate and the potential for using Pinterest as a “top of funnel” to build my email list are two important things to consider. I am continuing to revise my strategy for 2022 to double down on what has worked and leave out some things that haven’t.
If you just want to pin your product covers a few times and be done with it, then Pinterest is unlikely to carry a lot of weight for you. However, if you’re willing to put in a little more time as part of your overall funnel strategy, you CAN see results.