Guest Post: Pinterest Pins that Convert – 7 Best Practices for Pin Design
*This article contains affiliate links.
This article was contributed by Jana Ososfsky, Pinterest Marketing Expert for coaches, course creators, and service providers. Jana is a Stocklane member, and loves using chic, high-quality photos in her own Pinterest pins and throughout her branding! You can connect with Jana on her website at JanaOMedia.com. You can also sign up for her FREE Masterclass – “5 Secrets For Getting Clients Using Pinterest”
So, you’ve been hearing about Pinterest marketing for client acquisition, haven’t you?
A fitness coach you’ve chatted with on Facebook is getting clients for her group coaching program using Pinterest.
And then you heard the same thing from that woman in your mastermind who sells a copywriting course. She said Pinterest grew her list from 0 to 3,000 subscribers this year!
And the brand designer who hosts your favorite podcast? She’s mentioned it too! She’s leveraging Pinterest to grow her podcast audience and get 1:1 clients.
Well, I have exciting news for you… the rumors about Pinterest are true. 😉 When set up strategically, Pinterest can be used to:
✔️ expand your audience;
✔️ grow your list;
✔️ drive traffic to your content and offers; and
✔️ get you in front of people who are *already searching* for the topics you create content about – and the things you help with. ( ←— Powerful, right?)
If you’re thinking about setting up a Pinterest marketing strategy – or if you are already leveraging it – the four most important things to master (I call them “success pillars”) are:
1) Keywords – researching to find the right ones, and using them on your profile;
2) Visuals – designing Pinterest pin graphics that stop the scroll and convert;
3) Consistency – creating an easy monthly workflow to follow; and
4) Time – sticking with your strategy over time, so you give Pinterest time to work for you.
(Pssst… Want to learn more about these four “success pillars” and other Pinterest marketing secrets? My free Pinterest marketing masterclass is the perfect place for coaches and service providers to start.)
In this article, we’ll focus on Pillar 2 – Visuals.
How can you be sure you’re designing Pinterest pins that will grab the attention of the right women – and get them to click on over to your website?
Well I’m so glad you asked! You can use the following checklist of “best practices” when designing your graphics for Pinterest.
1. Create vertical images.
Just like on any platform, you’ll want to use the size and dimension that offers the best user experience – and gets the best results.
On Pinterest, a 2:3 aspect ratio is recommended. Their creative best practices guide tells us that, “Other ratios may cause your Pin to get truncated, or may negatively impact performance.”
Pinterest gives us the example of 1000 x 1500 pixels, so I like to use that. (Canva recently updated its pin sizing to match this recommendation, so that makes it even easier. #Yay!) Any 2:3 ratio is really fine, as long as it’s 600×900 pixels minimum, as anything smaller impacts the image quality when pinned.
2. Be sure your text overlay is legible.
This one may seem obvious… but I’m always shocked by how many pins I see that are hard to read! It surprises me because if you’re going to invest time in creating pins (and in a Pinterest marketing strategy in general), you definitely don’t want to make it hard for your message to be received, right? Here are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to making your pins legible:
✔️ Use bold fonts.
✔️ Make the text large enough to read.
✔️ Use color and formatting strategically to break up phrases.
✔️ Use color and highlighting to emphasize the words that are most important.
✔️ Consider reducing the opacity of background images – and / or adding a color overlay – to make copy easier to read.
✔️ Use any fonts that are hard to read.
✔️ Use too much cursive. (One or two words you want to highlight are okay – if legible.)
✔️ Use too much text.*
* A good rule of thumb is to think of your pin like a billboard on the highway. A pinner is scrolling (driving by). There’s a finite period of time in which she’s close enough to read – but before she’s passed it by. If there’s too much copy, she simply won’t have time to understand what your message is… and she’ll keep on scrolling (err, driving. 😉 )
Here’s a pin I designed that incorporates a few of these techniques. When designing it, I reduced the opacity of the background image to make it easier to read. I also added a color block in one of my brand colors – between the image and text. Lastly, note that I used italics to highlight the words that I think will catch the eye of my ideal client.
3. Subtly brand your images.
You DO want to brand your pin graphics – with your website url, a watermark / sub-mark, or a simple logo. This helps with brand recognition – but more importantly, it may increase your click rate / conversions*, too!
But you want that branding to be subtle – for two main reasons.
1) You don’t want the branding to detract from the message itself. Remember, we want the pinner to understand your message – not have her focus pulled to your logo.
2) Using a big, colorful logo – or taking up too much space with your branding – can make a pin look too much like an ad. Pinterest pinners are looking for inspiration and ideas – and not for a pitch. (This doesn’t mean you can’t sell to them. Just inspire them first!)
(*A Pinterest study done with promoted pins showed that the “credibility” that subtle branding lends increased click rates… It follows that this would be true for pins with organic reach, too!)
4. Use high quality photography.
Not all pins need to feature photos. But when you do use them, it’s important that they represent you well.
High-quality images will convey credibility and quality. Conversely, if you have images that are pixelated, unattractive, or just don’t match the aesthetic of your brand, pinners may pass it on by.
When curating images to be used in Pinterest pins, it can be really helpful to have some that are vertical, and have some negative space. (Negative space is an open area where you can easily place text.) Here are a few examples – from the Stocklane library of course! – of those types of images. (Notice there are areas that can easily accommodate text.)
When vertical images don’t have space for text, you can still use them! I like to place a rectangular block in front of an image and reduce the block’s opacity a bit. That way, you can see the image behind the block, but the text can be placed on it and will be legible. (See example in best practice #6 below!)
Horizontal images can work well, too. Below (again, under best practice #6!) you’ll see an example of a pin in which I used a horizontal image. I added a solid color block below it for the text overlay.
5. Preview some irresistible content.
Remember, Pinterest is a search engine, not social media. Our goal is to get the pinner to click through the pin to your website. When she lands there, we want her to consume some content and then take a next step (like grab a freebie or join your group, for example).
The best way to get that click is to preview some content that makes her think, “Wow! I have to have that / learn that / see that / read that / try that…” You get the idea! 😉
So, put yourself in her shoes and describe the content in a way that highlights the benefits to her. What will she learn? What will she get? How will this solve a problem she has?
One of the best ways to incentivize the click – and to prep her mentally for the next step, too – is to preview a lead magnet. This can be a free checklist, a free training… (Muriel here at Stocklane generously offers a free instagram course for example!)
Make it a valuable resource that she will happily exchange her email for. In this way, she identifies herself to you, and you are granted an opportunity to continue the relationship with her via email.
6. Try a call to action (CTA).
As in any type of marketing, sometimes the best way to get someone to do something is simply… to tell her to do it! It’s basic psychology… we as humans have a lot vying for our attention – so need direction. If it’s not crystal clear to us what we should do next… we may just keep scrolling.
Calls to action can be overt (like “Read the blog,” or “Get the recipe here.”). Or they can be implied (like “Free downloadable worksheet” or “A step-by-step list!”)
When you use a call to action, be sure to use color, all caps, or bolded font… something to draw the pinner’s eye to it. It’s one of the most important parts of your pin, so make sure it’s attention-grabbing.
Below are a few pins that incorporate calls to action. (These are also the examples I mentioned above in best practice #4 about utilizing high-quality photography!)
(Also to note… If you’d like to see more examples of Pinterest pins I’ve designed for clients, you can view SO MANY 😉 over on my Pin Design portfolio board.)
7. Incorporate Pinterest trends.
Finally, you may want to consider trying some current Pinterest trends – to see if they will work for your brand.
In 2020, for example, Pinterest pinners love arrows in graphics. You can use them to highlight important information or elements (like your CTA!).
Feminine, upscale-feeling photography is also trending on Pinterest this year – especially in the business and lifestyle niches.
And, “listicles” are still converting really well for many of my students and clients. This is a combination of “list” and “article”… a listicle! Examples:
5 Healthy Breakfasts that Take Seconds to Make
3 Things to Include for a High-Converting “About Me” Webpage
6 Simple Steps to Create a Chore Wheel for Your Kids
7 Best Practices for Pinterest Pin Design (<—— See what I did there? 😉
I hope this article gave you some new ideas, direction, and inspiration for your Pinterest pin designs!
Pinterest is a powerful (and low-maintenance!) marketing tool for online coaches and service providers. When set up strategically, it connects you to your perfect clients – those action-taking women who are ready to pay for what you have to offer!
If you want to learn more, head on over to take my free masterclass – “5 Secrets For Getting Clients Using Pinterest” In it, I’m pulling back the curtain back on how to use the platform the right way. So… if you want to get clients and grow your audience with Pinterest, you won’t want to miss it!