How to Use Pinterest for Your Photography Business
Pinterest can be one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your photography business. Unlike Instagram and other platforms that give priority to newer content, images pinned on Pinterest do well based solely on their relevance to search terms and the quality of the page they are originating from.
Essentially, Pinterest is one of the best marketing tools for skirting the algorithm we love to hate so much.
There are quite a few tips and tricks for making Pinterest an effective marketing platform—consistency, backlinks to your website, and creating searchable content.
In The Elopement Photographer Course, I go over ways to do all of these things using a lot of the tools you already have, plus some simple changes that can significantly streamline the process and reduce the amount of time you spend “pinning.” Below, I explain exactly why you should be using Pinterest for your photography business, some tips for how to get started, and why Tailwind might be one of the best marketing tools you should invest in.
Why Pinterest for Photographers
Pinterest is one of the highest traffic websites on the internet—the site reported 335 million active users in 2019, which made it the third most popular social network in the United States. Only Facebook and Instagram rank higher, but that’s not a pedestal anyone is likely to knock them off of anytime soon. In a world where Facebook rules, third place is nothing to scoff at.
From a business perspective, Pinterest actually has more reason to draw interest than other social networks because of the majority user base—women. Studies show that Pinterest’s users are overwhelmingly women, and women make up a vast majority of the consumer base in the US. Therefore, the network preferred by the majority of consumers is a good place to showcase your products or services.
Please don’t read this wrong and oversimplify this message—marketing only toward women and femme-individuals does a disservice to the variety of couples who are looking for elopement photographers. As oversimplified as it is to measure a dichotomy between users, the resulting statistics show that a significant percentage of consumers are using Pinterest, and that’s a base worth connecting to.
If you’re already blogging or posting your images online in any capacity, you should be using Pinterest. It’s so simple to double-dip and post an image on a blog, then pin the same image on Pinterest with a backlink to the blog. Linking back to relevant content is an amazing way to connect with individuals who were already interested in the image—they’re that much more likely to linger on your site and read your copy than someone who wasn’t drawn in through targeted marketing.
Pinterest is also one of the most commonly used social media platforms for wedding planning. The ease and ability to curate a Pinterest board with ideas for DIY decor, location inspiration, and photography has made it one of the most useful tools for couples planning their weddings. Users are able to search for relevant content and “save it for later” in a way that showcases your images front and center more effectively than Instagram or other platforms. A saved image on Instagram gets filed away in the background to be quickly forgotten by newer content, but images saved on Pinterest are the point of the platform—it is extremely easy for someone planning their wedding to one-click save your incredible elopement photograph to their styled board, and now it’ll always be there when they look back for inspiration.
As amazing as Pinterest is for photographers, it’s also highly competitive and saturated with incredible images. To ensure you’re making the most of your content, you should follow a few rules to effectively target the right audience. If your images aren’t being seen, they won’t drive traffic to your website—the last thing I want you to do is to waste your time and effort on ineffective marketing!
Tips for Effectively Using Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Website
- Pin content that directly links back to your website
- Optimize each post in the title and description
- Use conversational & engaging captions
- Pin vertical images
- Pin consistently
- Only pin your own images
- Separate your personal and professional Pinterest boards
Getting Started on Pinterest
There are a few key ways to get started effectively on Pinterest, and it’s all about creating a clear marketing strategy that will essentially run itself once you’ve set it up. Whether you’re starting from scratch with a brand new Pinterest or you’re going to re-curate your current account, you’re going to end up in the same place. Use these four steps to get started:
First, delete or hide any content that isn’t relevant to your business. You don’t want users who come to your account to be clicking on other photographers’ images that will take them anywhere other than your website. If you pin other people’s images to your Pinterest, you’re basically just doing marketing for them, which is nice of you but ineffective for your own business.
Second, do the background work on your website so images that get pinned from your blogs and pages are already optimized with Pinterest-ready captions. I go over the specific ways to do this in The Elopement Photographer Course—and once you’ve done this, Pinterest becomes SO easy to use.
Third, create relevant boards to optimize your content on Pinterest. Get in the mindset of “what would I be looking for if I was planning an elopement?” Let that consumer mindset and intimate knowledge of your target market inform how you lay out your account. Pinterest kind of works like its own internet search engine—pulling directly from internal content to satisfy the inquiries of its users.
Fourth, pre-plan your Pinterest posts so that you’re pinning consistently without actually having to be active on your account every few hours. Tailwind is our favorite service for planning out posts, and now I spend only one day each month focused on Pinterest. Yes, just ONE day! But you’d never know by looking at the Adventure Instead account—Tailwind is our secret to consistency without taking a lot of time out of our days.
Tailwind is the secret sauce for growing our Pinterest account without dedicating hours each day to being logged in. We are able to sit down once a month and plan out our entire Pinterest content schedule for the month, then automate the posting to occur at optimized times. There are a number of sites out there that claim to effectively and automatically post to social media platforms, but Tailwind is by far the best one we’ve used.
Pinterest and Facebook have been historically picky about what third-party apps they allow users to utilize when posting. Tailwind is partnered with both companies and is the only supported automatic-posting app, which can give you confidence that you’re not harming your business accounts with sketchy third party apps. You can use Tailwind for free or buy in to use their more advanced marketing features. I’d definitely recommend trying it out to see if it’s something you want to incorporate into your marketing strategy.
Take advantage of the analytics tools in Pinterest and Tailwind. If you want to get a stronger understanding of what works and what doesn’t work, you’ll be able to optimize your efforts by studying how people interact with your content. Without a strong knowledge of your analytics, you’re basically throwing darts in the dark and hoping one sticks. Effective marketing doesn’t rely heavily on luck, though sometimes luck will work in your favor—I’ve had posts go “viral” without really knowing why. However, I know that I’ve been putting in the effort to create relevant content for our target audience and sometimes that results in an influx of inquiries, but it never runs completely cold. If you’re having trouble connecting with an audience, run some trials with the time you post and what you post to see what works better.
Pinterest doesn’t have to be this complicated enigma—with a strong understanding of how the platform works, and a detailed plan for utilizing it, it can be one of the most effective social media platforms for driving traffic to your photography website. If you want to dig even deeper into how Pinterest works, check out that section in The Elopement Photographer Course!