A woman sits at a wooden table with her back to a bank of windows. An open notebook and a coffee mug sit in front of the woman, who holds a pencil and looks at an open laptop with a smile.
Pinterest's webinar on creative best practices outlined how to use the various parts of a pin to their fullest potential. — Getty Images/Daniel de la Hoz

Creating pinnable images is an essential component of Pinterest. But what elements make up the perfect pin? Pinterest performed quantitative research to uncover what top-performing pins had in common. It compiled the data into the webinar, "What's great creative on Pinterest?" We reviewed the presentation and the latest information from social media experts to determine the anatomy of a great pin.

A successful Pinterest strategy uses different pin formats and aligns with business goals. However, you can ensure that every creative reaches its maximum potential by following these guidelines for design and captions.

What makes a great pin, according to Pinterest

Pinterest believes pinning is part science and part art. Although every pin you design should be unique, there are specific attributes that Pinterest said get results. These principles work for all business objectives, including brand awareness, offline sales, online conversions, and email sign-ups.

Pinterest defined the anatomy of a great pin as having the following elements:

  • Logo: Pinterest recommended a "prominent but not intrusive" logo on every pin. Additionally, it should be "noticeable within one or two seconds of seeing it." But don't place your logo in the lower-right corner because, as Pinterest said, "that spot gets covered up by [the site’s] product icons."
  • Focal point: Put your product, service, or an adjacent interest prominently on your pin image. For instance, a recipe pin might showcase the main ingredients, including those you sell in your store.
  • Context: People searching on Pinterest want to know how to use your product or service. Reference the moments your pin works best for, whether that's a lunchtime meal or buying a gift for an upcoming holiday.
  • Text overlay: Pinterest suggested using a "bold, clear text overlay to convey your marketing message." It should be a "real takeaway," such as information about your online sale or a call-to-action (CTA).
  • Image: Pinterest advised using a "striking visual image in a vertical format." The standard recommended aspect ratio is 600x900 pixels, but Pinterest said it can be as tall as 1260 pixels.

[Read more: How to Create Inexpensive Business Graphics: 5 Tips for Getting Started]

Pinterest believes pinning is part science and part art.

Optimize Pinterest pin descriptions

Your pin descriptions provide context for the image, explaining the purpose of your graphic and link. It's also critical for your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Pinterest said the first sentence or two of your description should contain the most important words, including your brand name and relevant keyword or phrase. Indeed, Pinterest data found that pins with a brand name in the description's first sentence drove 2x higher aided awareness.

You can add up to 500 characters, but only about the first 30 to 60 characters show up in the search feed. Pinterest also encouraged brands "to use no more than five hashtags." Tailwind has a simple template for writing an effective pin description: "(Use a keyword to speak to search intent) + (small business name) + (your offer) + (relevant details) + (CTA)."

Leverage Pinterest pin formats

Use different pin styles for marketing your business on Pinterest. This technique adds interest to your visual feed, and each pin format provides SEO opportunities. Many tools like Canva offer templates, and Pinterest has simple tutorials. Plus, you can view analytics to see if one approach generates more engagement than another.

Here are the four pin styles:

  • Video: Pinterest suggested keeping your "videos between 15 seconds and one minute long." Include overlays for each video, as Later reported that "most Pinterest users scroll without their audio on."
  • Collection: Tag your products in a collection pin. It can be an image or video, and the group should include at least three products. Each product can go to a different link on your website.
  • Try On: Augmented reality lets consumers try on clothes or room decor, and Pinterest found that "pinners are 5x more likely to purchase from Try On-enabled pins than standard pins." You'll need to upload your product catalog and speak to an account manager to enable Try On pins for your account.
  • Rich Pins: Automatically update your most recent blog post edits, product pricing, or recipes. Rich Pins include recipes, articles, and product pins, and they sync information from your website to your pins. Buffer reported "a gain of 104 clicks per day—a 2x increase—with Rich Pins."

[Read more: 6 Ways to Build Engagement on Pinterest]

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