Despite the advent of newer social media platforms like TikTok and Twitch, Pinterest remains a relevant and immensely popular platform. It’s still one of the most popular social media platforms and rakes in hundreds of millions of monthly active users (MAU) worldwide. In just the third quarter of 2022, the platform had 445 million MAUs.
Aside from being a social media platform, Pinterest is a hub for discovery and inspiration. With billions of Pins (Pinterest posts), users can search, save, and share ideas and trends. Moreover, Pinterest now allows users to shop Pins, which can help give brands and affiliate marketers more opportunities to expand their reach and grow. Pinterest, with its immense user base and unlimited Pins, can be a powerful tool for affiliate marketing. In the US alone, this visual discovery engine has more than 86 million users. This is followed by Brazil and Mexico, with 27 million and nearly 18 million users, respectively.
Whether you want to find inspiration or go and inspire others, Pinterest is an important channel for affiliate marketing that you shouldn’t overlook in 2023. Marketers worldwide are already using the visual search engine as a promotional tool.
A Primer on Pinterest
While Pinterest is technically a social media network, it differs from other platforms. Yes, you still get to see images and video clips. It also lets you create and share posts.
So, what makes it different from all the other social media platforms?
As we’ve mentioned earlier, Pinterest is a visual search engine. With it, you can create your own posts, which we’ll be referring to as Pins from now on. Aside from letting you create your own Pins, you can browse the platform to look for other Pins that you can add to your board.
Because it’s primarily a visual medium, Pinterest lends itself well to affiliate marketing. When you search for 90s fashion, for example, you’ll come across something like this:
Notice how, on the far right, one Pin with the beige sweater is tagged as “Promoted by SHEIN”? When you hover your cursor above the Pin, you’ll see several options with regard to what you can do with this Pin.
You can save it to one of your boards, you can share it on your preferred social media platform, or you can go ahead and visit the SHEIN website. When you click on the external, you’ll be taken directly to the specific SHEIN website that features this particular sweater.
Furthermore, Pinterest goes beyond just showing you images and video clips. It also doubles as a valuable resource for tutorials, guides, and articles. All the Pins from your search results will have external links that will redirect you to external sites or specific articles or blog posts. So, if you see something you’re interested in, you can click the link to visit the website that houses the actual post.
What Is Pinterest Affiliate Marketing?
Pinterest gives you two main options for monetization:
1. By promoting your own products or services
If you have your own shop, you can use Pinterest to promote your offerings. You can create Pins for your own products and link your Pins to your website. Doing so not only helps drive traffic to your site but also helps promote awareness of your brand and what you have to offer.
2. By using Pinterest as a channel to drive traffic to third-party websites or other merchants
Pinterest lets you monetize your content in several ways. You can do sponsored posts, use your Pins to build an email list, or do affiliate marketing, where you promote the goods and services of other merchants.
With that said, let’s focus on the affiliate marketing aspect. The great thing about Pinterest is that you can still earn money as an affiliate marketer even if you don’t have your own website or blog. Pinterest allows affiliate links on its platform. So, you can simply add external affiliate links to your relevant Pins. These links will then redirect your audience to landing pages, opt-in pages, and merchants’ websites.
Simply put, Pinterest affiliate marketing is using the platform to promote your affiliate products or services via affiliate links. You recommend affiliate goods or services using Pins. If someone makes a purchase or signs up for a service using your affiliate link, then you earn a commission.
Note that just because Pinterest affiliate marketing seems easy enough, you still need to do a fair amount of leg work so that it can become a sustainable and reliable source of income. You still need to maintain and optimize your Pins, given that Pinterest’s algorithm tends to change.
Now, if you’re looking to diversify your income streams in 2023, then using Pinterest for affiliate marketing is definitely worth a try. Aside from having an immense audience, Pinterest is home to “super shoppers” or shoppers who are willing to pay up to 2x more per month. And it’s not just big brands that can benefit from Pinterest’s immense reach—even smaller brands have a shot at growing their audience and reach, given that the majority of searches on Pinterest are classified as unbranded.
Ready to begin your Pinterest affiliate marketing journey in 2023? We’ve got you covered.
Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing in 2023
By leveraging Pinterest’s best practices, targeting tools, and good old SEO (because even if it’s a visual search engine, it’s still somehow a search engine), you can reach your target audience at the right time. Plus, Pinterest gives you access to its Insight tools, allowing you to get valuable insights on Pinners, their interests, behaviors, and even their demographics. This way, you can create bespoke and highly-targeted Pins that appeal to the right audience.
The Benefits of Pinterest Affiliate Marketing
Pinterest affiliate marketing benefits both affiliate marketers and brands. It’s where people go to find inspiration and make informed purchasing decisions. Furthermore, they come there with the intent to purchase.
Pins are a potentially powerful way to drive traffic to your website or affiliate pages, especially if you’re working with products that require heavy visuals, like beauty products or home décor. Some of the other industries that can benefit from using Pinterest for affiliate marketing include fashion, food and beverage, household goods, and health and fitness.
Moreover, when you put out your affiliate links on Pinterest, they don’t look like traditional ads—they’re not disruptive and blend really well with all the other Pins. Best of all, by being on Pinterest and using it for affiliate marketing, you already have access to an audience that’s interested in discovering new products and making a purchase. According to Pinterest, 80% of its weekly Pinners have found a new brand or product on the platform. Plus, 45% of Pinners in the US alone have a household income of over $100,000.
Through Pinterest, marketers can have access to another channel to grow their income and following, while brands can use Pinterest to drive interest for their products or services. The platform can also help merchants boost brand awareness, drive engagement and conversion, direct traffic to your website (for both marketers and brands), nurture brand loyalty, and enjoy better ROI.
One advantage of trying out Pinterest for affiliate marketing is that joining the platform is free. Once you’ve set up your Pinterest account, you can start creating Pins for the affiliate products or services you’re promoting. This alone makes Pinterest an invaluable source of free traffic.
Check Your Affiliate Program’s Affiliate Policy
Before jumping the gun, you need to check with your affiliate program or network if they’ll allow you to directly post your affiliate links on Pinterest. For instance, if you’re an Etsy affiliate, you must have your own blog with original content. Your Pinterest affiliate links must then be linked to Etsy by way of Idea Pins. Note that according to the updated Etsy Affiliates Policy, the content found in your Idea Pins must be original, which means that you need to create your own content. Plus, you won’t be able to share Etsy seller images on Pinterest.
Pay Attention to Your Pins
One of the most important tools you need to pay attention to when planning for Pinterest affiliate marketing is the Pins themselves. Aside from being a visual channel that gives your audience an idea of what you’re promoting, they have an exceptionally long shelf life compared to tweets or snaps.
So, even if your Pins have been around for months, it’s highly likely that visitors can still see them, provided that they’re optimized and remain relevant, of course. Moreover, you can optimize your Pins so that they’re more likely to appear in search results for your target keywords.
However, before you can engage your audience with your Pins and drive traffic to your affiliate website, you need to create eye-catching Pins. You can use the creative assets shared by your affiliate network, or you can opt to create your own. When creating Pins, make sure that they’re not just visually stunning, they also need to be relevant and helpful to your audience. Pair your Pins with SEO-optimized titles and descriptions.
How to Get Started With Pinterest Affiliate Marketing in 2023
1. Identify your niche
If you haven’t identified your niche yet, now is probably the best time to do so. With a niche, you’re able to identify and narrow down who your target audience will be. You’ll be able to understand your audience better, including what their needs are. Thus, you’ll be able to position yourself or what you’re promoting as a solution to their pain points.
Additionally, having a niche means you’re able to narrow down your focus on what you should publish on your website, ensuring that what you’re creating would be relevant to your target audience.
Also, having a niche allows you to specialize in that particular subject, giving you the opportunity to become a subject-matter expert. And if you’re passionate or enthusiastic about your niche, you’ll be able to express yourself and your interests better, which can help add authenticity.
2. Determine your goals
It’s important to have clear, measurable, and realistic goals. Aside from being valuable tools that can help you narrow your focus and give you direction, goals can help you set targets, as well as measure your progress and see if there’s anything you can improve.
For example, if you’re an affiliate marketer, do you want to drive more traffic to your website and to the website of the brand that you’re working for? What benchmarks can you set in place to help you measure your progress?
3. Join an affiliate program or network
Affiliate programs or networks can give you access to exclusive content that you can promote on Pinterest. These channels can also give you special offers you can share with your audience. For example, if you already have a brand or product you love, you can consider checking out their website to see if they’re currently looking for affiliates.
Alternatively, you can join an affiliate marketing network. With affiliate networks, you can have access to a wide range of affiliate programs and merchants. Moreover, because such networks act as a middleman between the affiliate marketer and brands, they offer other benefits, which can include having a streamlined affiliate marketing process, giving you a dedicated account manager, and providing you with comprehensive reports. Another benefit to joining an affiliate network is that it can help you comply with guidelines better.
Once you sign up for an affiliate program, you can get affiliate links that you can promote on Pinterest via your Pins.
4. Do your research
Before creating your Pins, you must do your research. Check out the competition and find out what they’re posting and how they’re promoting their Pins.
Identify your audience and see what they’re following or what they’re interested in. It helps if you also pay attention to emerging trends. All of these components combined will let you come up with a better strategy for your Pinterest and website content.
For example, one of the emerging social media graphic design trends is the use of bold or abstract shapes. Thus, you may want to incorporate these design elements into your Pins.
5. Create helpful and evergreen content on your website
If you have a website, you can create content that’s relevant to the products or services you’re promoting. You can do videos, blog posts, articles, or even how-to guides. If you have old content that you want to use, you can give it a fresh start by adding more up-to-date information. You can also use infographics to relay information. They’re highly visual, easy to digest, and offer an accessible way for your audience to get the information they need.
6. Set up your Pinterest business account
Creating a Pinterest business account is necessary because this lets you use your profile for business purposes. There are two ways to go about this: you can create a new Pinterest business account, or you can turn your personal Pinterest account into a Business account. Unlike a personal Pinterest account, a Business account gives you access to helpful analytics features and insight tools.
7. Create stunning visuals for your Pins
The images for your Pins, which will serve as thumbnails, should be visually striking. You can go the DIY route and use graphic design tools like Canva or Adobe Photoshop. Alternatively, you can work with a designer to come up with awesome visuals for your Pins.
Pinterest recommends the following specifications for different types of Pins:
- Static Pins
Should be in either PNG or JPEG format, with a 2:3 aspect ratio or a size of 1000 x 1500 px. This is to prevent images from getting cut off in feeds.
- Standard-width video Pins
Videos should be in the following formats: .mp4, .mov, or .m4v. Your video should ideally be between 4 seconds and 15 minutes long.
- Idea pins
For images, your Idea pins should be saved in the following formats: BMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, or WEBP. For videos, you can upload MP4, M4V, or MOV files.
You can check out the complete list of specifications for different Pin formats here.
8. Create your Pin
Once you’ve set up your account, you can start creating Pins. Here, you have two options:
- Idea Pins
This is Pinterest’s new multi-page video format for Pinterest Business accounts. Through this, you can publish content directly to Pinterest and record and edit videos for up to 20 pages of content. You can also add interactive elements, music, and voiceovers to your Idea Pins.
When you log in to Pinterest and conduct a search, you’ll see Pins, which are Pinterest posts. To create a Pin, select “Create Pin” from the “Create” drop-down menu. You’ll then be taken to a page where you can add Pin details like the title and description. This is where you’ll also be adding the images, which will appear as thumbnails. Don’t forget to add your affiliate link in the “Add a destination link” section.
The great thing about this feature is that you can choose which board you’re going to publish your Pin. To select a board, click the drop-down menu next to the red “Publish” button. You can also delete or duplicate your Pin. To do so, click on the menu on the upper-left corner of the Pin details section. Lastly, you can create multiple Pins on the same page by clicking on the “+” on the far-left corner of the website. Once done, you have the option to publish your Pin immediately or publish it at a later date.
You can also go live. Select the “Go live” option from the “Create” menu. Note that, as of writing, this feature is still in Beta mode.
9. Apply SEO best practices
When filling in the Pin details, you can apply SEO best practices to ensure that your Pin is optimized. You can incorporate relevant keywords into the title or description. To elevate your Pin and increase its relevance, make sure that your description is detailed and offers the information that your target audience is looking for.
10. Don’t forget to analyze key metrics
Use Pinterest’s built-in tools to get an overview of your performance and analyze the results of your campaign. This way, you’ll know if you’ve met your goals. Find out which Pins are responsible for driving traffic or increasing leads. Determine which Pins are performing well with your audience. Which ones are they engaging with the most, or which ones have the most views?
Aside from Pinterest’s built-in tools, you can also use other analytics tools like Google Analytics.
Best Practices for 2023 Pinterest Affiliate Marketing
1. Disclose your affiliate status
You need to disclose your affiliate status to meet FTC guidelines. You can add that your Pin or content is sponsored or contains an affiliate link in the pin description.
2. Familiarize yourself with Pinterest’s affiliate marketing policies
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with Pinterest’s community guidelines before publishing your Pins. The guidelines emphasize the need for affiliate content to be original, value-adding, and transparent. Moreover, you should only have one Pinterest account to ensure that your presence on Pinterest is authentic. You can find the complete guidelines here.
3. Create multiple pins for each post
There’s no denying that Pinterest has tons of Pins, and it can be difficult for you to get your audience to click on your Pins. To get your Pins noticed, you can create multiple Pins for each post. This way, you’ll make it more likely for your Pins to be noticed by your target audience. Best of all, there’s no limit to the number of Pins you can create for one post on Pinterest.
4. Schedule your content
Scheduling Pins lets you reach your audience at optimal times and can thus help you expand your reach and cultivate brand awareness. Moreover, by scheduling your Pins in advance, you won’t have to worry in case you forget to publish new Pins.
5. Don’t forget to interact with your audience
Interact with your audience to keep them engaged. Reply to their comments or like their other posts. Aside from helping you build a relationship with them, communicating with your audience is one way to build a loyal following.
6. Use different marketing tools
Marketing tools can help you streamline your workflow and allow you to create more optimized Pins. For example, you can use graphic design tools like Canva to create striking visuals and Google Analytics to measure your performance.