Etsy is a powerhouse of social commerce, with 1.6 million shops and 35+ million items for sale. It’s no surprise they are crushing it when it comes to getting repins on Pinterest; outranking every other site by a wide margin. That’s because their brand aligns with the aspirations of Pinterest users.
But how does Etsy’s success as a brand benefit the individual store owner? How can you, the creative entrepreneur, use Pinterest to drive traffic and sales to your store?
Let’s take a look.
Define Your Strategy
To get the most out of your Pinterest marketing strategy, it’s important to have a clear picture of what you’re trying to achieve by promoting your Etsy shop. It’s possible to have multiple goals such as building an audience, gaining brand recognition or getting more sales. However, it’s best to have one primary goal plus secondary goals that support your main objective.
Ideally, most craft stores on Etsy should focus on getting clickthroughs from Pinterest, since that is what leads to a purchase. Getting more followers may feel good, but it doesn’t always contribute much to the bottom line. This type of goal is often referred to as a vanity metric. Name recognition is ideal for large companies and repins helps spread the word. But clickthroughs are what make the sale.
Unlike many social media platforms, Pinterest users like to make purchases, and the average amount per order is higher than the other leading social media channels. That means you don’t need hundreds of thousands of followers to earn a decent income from your Pinterest marketing efforts. Spend your time focusing on a few ways to promote your Etsy shop. Once mastered, you can move on to other ideas.
According to Kevin Knight, Pinterest’s Head of Creative and Brand Strategy, “The brand on Pinterest is the main event… the brand is the content.” This revelation is good news for creative entrepreneurs who prefer focusing on their craft as opposed to creating yet more content. You don’t need to write a thousand word blog post and invest heavily in promoting it to the right people. You can use your existing content, image and description, assuming that it is of high quality.
Since Pinterest is so brand focused, you need to be aware of how your activities contribute or detract from the experience of your brand. Remember, image is everything on Pinterest, and you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Decide On Your Tactics
The typical Etsy store owner spends significant time practicing their craft, leaving little time for promotional activities. When figuring out how to promote your Etsy shop, be realistic on how much time you can commit. Given most people’s time constraints, let’s look at some promotional activities that offer significant returns on time invested.
Open a Pinterest Business Account
If you haven’t already, open a Pinterest business account, ideally with the same username as on Etsy. Consistency works wonders for branding purposes and takes little effort to implement.
Either create a new account or convert your existing personal account to a business account. The same features are available on both personal and business accounts. However, according to the company, “If you’re using Pinterest for business purposes or as part of how you make a living, you should sign up for a business account.”
Complete Your Profile
Make sure to complete your Pinterest profile including your location (city and state) plus a link back to your Etsy shop, and other social profiles. Upload the same avatar that you used for Etsy so that you keep your brand consistent.
Fill in the description and try to naturally employ some keywords to help with SEO. But don’t force it; when in doubt, write for humans before search engines. Take a look at the Pinterest profiles of some of Etsy’s top sellers for more ideas.
Set Up Your Pinterest Boards
Think of your boards as a reflection of your Etsy shop. One way is to think of Pinterest boards as the equivalent of your Etsy shop sections. Go wide not deep with your board structure. It’s better to have a large number of boards with fewer entries as opposed to a couple of boards with thousands of pins in each.
Every board gets its own description, and you can use this to your advantage. Think SEO when creating descriptions to help your board gain more visibility. Follow the same practice that you did for your profile description to ensure readability; humans first, search engines second.
Creating Perfect Pins
Use images that are optimized for Pinterest. The image you pin needs to clearly show your offering. Often the first picture of your Etsy product listing will be the one that gets pinned, so make sure it looks the best.
Not all content performs equally well on every platform, so make sure yours is optimized for Pinterest. Images look better when they are tall and skinny versus short and fat. Check that the description is appropriate for Pinterest and features a strong call-to-action. Don’t forget, click-throughs count!
Avoid using faces wherever possible since pins without faces get 23% more shares. You should also aim to employ dominant colors like dark green, pink and red in your pins as they get shared three times more than images that don’t contain those colors.
Here’s a good idea I got from The Art Of Pinning Your Etsy Shop. Your shop homepage together with your banner can make a lovely collage to pin on Pinterest. Don’t worry if you’re not a Picasso because graphics tool like Canva makes this process a snap.
Another idea is to pin a product image along with a customer review, linking back to your shop. It’s a great way to build confidence when you’re an unknown artist.
Promoting Your Pins
The best pins in the world are worthless if nobody sees them. So you’ll need to invest at least a little time in building an audience on Pinterest. Although advertising on Pinterest is one option, it’s not within everyone’s budget. But don’t worry, there are other ways to build an audience using low or no-cost tactics.
You can promote your Etsy store Pinterest boards on other sites like Tumblr by embedding your Pinterest content. This doesn’t take much time to setup, and once it’s done, the content on those sites will continuously update to reflect the changes on your Pinterest boards.
Etsy recommends pinning regularly and scheduling your content so as not to overwhelm your audience with a flurry of activity. ViralWoot’s scheduling feature enhances your productivity by focusing your pinning activities when it’s most beneficial to you and scheduling those pins when it’s most convenient for your audience.
StoreWoot is another way to promote your store on Pinterest and is fast to setup. Just enter your store name and it fetches all your products including images, links, and description. Click on the products you want promoted on Pinterest for the next 30 days and promotions will begin within minutes. Plus, your first product promotion is free!
StoreWoot makes your product visible to over 65,000 Pinterest users on our Pinterest promotion platform for 30 days. Typically, you can expect between 25 and 40 visitors to your store per product promotion.
Getting involved with a well-known board related to your niche is a great way to gain instant exposure. Some of these boards have thousands of followers, so it’s important to be thoughtful when executing this tactic. You want to establish yourself as a quality contributor to the group board and not as a spammer.
The first step is to start networking with the group board’s administrator by following their profile, leaving intelligent comments, repinning their content and visiting their blog.
When you’re ready to become a member, carefully read the groups board’s description. It will contain everything you need for applying to that group. Remember to include your login eMail or Pinterest URL so that the administrator can add you to the group.
Once accepted, you can begin pinning quality content to the board. Just make sure the content complies with that board’s rules or risk getting banned.
If you’re looking for group boards to join, visit PinGroupie. It’s an easy way to quickly find thousands of boards across every imaginable niche. Check out these Pinterest group boards for Etsy sellers to start.
Engaging with other in your community by following them, repinning, and commenting on their content are other activities that can bring you greater visibility. However, these are long-term tactics that can take months to bear fruit. Consistency is key to making this work, so ensure you can set aside some time for these daily activities. Keep in mind what your brand stands for, and pin things that reinforce that idea and relate to your shop.
A side effect of focusing your time on Pinterest is that you can keep an eye on what people are pinning and stay on top of emerging trends.
Trend monitoring is helpful to discover your customer’s tastes, but you can go one step further using Pinterest. Crowdsource your creations by creating a board where fans can suggest the kinds of products they would like to see you create. Let them tell you what they want!
There are many different approaches to promoting your Etsy shop on Pinterest. The more time you devote to promotional activities, the more sales you will generate. Whether you have lots of time for Pinterest marketing, or not, remember to be consistent in your pursuit. This is a marathon and not a race.
How do you promote your Etsy store on Pinterest? Have you read these Pinterest marketing tips yet? Do you have any tips to share?