The American Heritage Dictionary defines market research as:
“the gathering and evaluation of data regarding consumers’ preferences for products and services.”(Source)
So, what does this have to do with your business?
And what in the world does this have to do with Pinterest? 📌
Well, when starting a blog or an online business, it’s important to know who your target audience is and what your audience actually wants from you. You cannot be all things to all people. If you try to be all things to everyone, you will burn out very quickly, confuse your audience, and end up serving no one.
Consumers turn to Pinterest to get inspired, to plan their purchased and to learn new things. From a business perspective, that’s a wealth of consumer data.
You can tap into all that juicy consumer data to figure out exactly what your audience wants from you.
Whether you provide goods, services, or even if you’re not sure what to offer yet (this was me 🙋🏻), the behavior of your target audience on Pinterest can help you make better decisions for your business. This post will walk you through the process step by step.
Step 1: Understanding Your Target Audience
Identifying your ideal reader is the most important thing you can do when starting up your blog/business. And I’m not just talking about their age, gender, and general interests. I’m talking about getting to know them inside and out. You should be able to answer questions like:
- What do they struggle with?
- What are their goals and aspirations?
- What truly makes them happy?
- What causes them frustration?
- How do they really feel about certain topics?
We are quickly moving past the age of demographic targeting and moving into the age of psychographic targeting. This means that typical demographic statistics are not always relevant to your target audience.
For example, if I have a blog about hair dye, it doesn’t matter if my ideal reader has a cat, is married, or has kids, etc.
What matters is his/her feelings and needs regarding hair dye and all the topics that surround hair dye.
The other demographics are completely irrelevant.
Once you understand your ideal reader and all the things they think about, you can use this knowledge to do market research on Pinterest.
Step 2: Set Up a Pinterest Account for Market Research
To do this, it’s best to start with a new business account that is solely used for your blog. Start creating boards that serve them while still being relevant to your blog topic.
If you already have an account set up for your blog, great! You’re ahead of the game. Make sure you only have boards that serve your ideal reader. For example, if you have a fashion blog or boutique, do not make home décor boards on your Pinterest business account. Every board must be relevant to your blog topic in some way.
If you use the account for personal pinning, make those boards Secret Boards. Only you will be able to see them and they will not affect your account SEO.
Step 3: Topic Brainstorming
When starting a new account, or adding more boards to your existing blog account, brainstorm 20 topics that are related to your niche that specifically serve your ideal reader. The topics should be related to your niche, but they should also be general enough that other content on the topic exists.
Here is an example from my niche blog, Room Mom Rescue.
Niche: Room Parenting / Room Mom
- General information about being a room parent
- Room mom printables
- Room mom templates/letters
- Crafts for Kids
- Art for Kids
- Elementary Education
- Teacher Gifts
- Teacher Appreciation
- Gift Card Presentation
- Seasonal Crafts
- Games for Kids
- Parenting Hacks
- Snack ideas
- Fall fest/Halloween party
- Christmas party
- Valentine’s Day party
- Spring/Easter party
- Teacher appreciation week
- 100th day of school
- School Auction Projects
- Pre-K through 5th-grade room moms (each grade can have their own board)
Step 4: Create a Board for Each Topic
Now, take your list of topics and create a Pinterest board for each topic. Use the Pinterest guided search tool to get ideas on how you should write your board description. Do not include any keywords that are irrelevant to what you want the board to be about.
Step 5: Add Related Pins to the Boards
Fill each board with 20-30 pins that relate directly to the topic of the board. You can pin these pins manually or schedule them using a scheduling tool like Tailwind.
Do not be afraid to pin content from other accounts thinking it will take away from your own content. That’s not how Pinterest works. In fact, you NEED to share third party content to let Pinterest know just what your account is all about. As long as it is relevant to the board and aligns with your keywords, PIN IT.
As a platform, Pinterest prides itself on being the #1 place to get inspired. If you are only using Pinterest to push your product, the algorithm will not promote you. You may see some results, but there will be a cap to what you can achieve on the platform.
The name of the game on Pinterest is:
- sharing ideas
- sharing inspiration
As a blog or business on Pinterest, you get to participate in this from both angles.
Instead of seeing your Pinterest account as a collection of just your brand or your business, start to look at your Pinterest profile as if it were a conversation between you and your ideal reader or ideal customer. Each board you create is equivalent to a question you would ask someone when you’re just getting to know them.
I recommend that you avoid creating all your boards in one sitting, or even on the same day for that matter. Creating 25 boards in one day is not a typical habit of the average Pinterest user. Pinterest wants to see that your account uses and contributes to the Pinterest platform in the same way real user accounts typically do. Aim to create 5 boards a day with 20-30 pins on each until you reach at least 25 boards on your account.
Once you have your account filled with relevant boards, you have 3 options of what to do next:
- Wait to see which pins/boards get the most engagement
- Keep adding relevant pins to your boards (Add content to boards equally. Do not favor one board over the rest!)
- Add more boards to your account if you feel like you didn’t cover all the topics your ideal reader might be interested in. Don’t be afraid to add a new board if you think of something new! The more boards the better.
Choose whichever option suits your situation best.
For my niche blog, I opted for a mix of option #1 and #2. I would get on and pin to my boards, but I didn’t have Tailwind at the time, so it wasn’t consistent at all. But I did make an effort to pin to each board equally.
PRO TIP: An easy way to do add related content to a board is to open the board, and click over to the “More Ideas” tab. Pinterest will generate pins it thinks are suited for the board making it super easy for you to find new ideas to add.
Step 6: Check in on Your Account Activity
Aim to check in with your account every few days. When you log in to your account, keep an eye on which boards are getting re-pins from the most.
Pinterest USED to have your most popular boards ranked in the Analytics dashboard. Unfortunately, this option no longer exists since Pinterest redesigned their analytics console in Spring 2019.
UPDATE: Pinterest has brought back the Top Boards section within the Pinterest Analytics Overview dashboard. Your account may or may not have it.
Lucky for us Tailwind users, within Tailwind Insights you can access Board Insights, which is very similar to what Pinterest eliminated from their analytics.
This is raw data that you can use to make decisions in your blog or businesses.
Your boards asked your ideal reader a question, and now your readers are answering.
Examine the actual pins that are being shared over time as well. This gives you the category (the board) and the specific topic (the pin) within the category to target.
Using the brainstorm list from my niche blog above as an example, setting up my account the way I did, revealed to me that Teacher Gifts were wildly popular on Pinterest. I could then use that information to find the best products to promote to my audience. I didn’t have to guess what products they wanted. They are giving me the answer!
How do I know exactly which products to promote? Well, all I had to do was look at the pins being shared the most from my Teacher Gift boards. It turns out that 90% of the gifts users were pinning were Etsy listings. So I signed up to be an Etsy affiliate through Awin.
It’s unbelievable how well this works. Even my very first, so-crappy-I’m-not-going-to-link-it post makes me money because the market research set me up for success.
Ready to do your own market research using Pinterest? We created a How to Do Market Research on Pinterest Checklist guide just for you. You can download it now for FREE by clicking the link below:
Out of everything we covered today, the key takeaway is how wonderfully powerful Pinterest can be when you are needing direction in your blog or business journey. There is no other platform that gives you the opportunity to get insights into the mind of your target audience. Likes on Instagram or Facebook give you very limited information about a very limited number of topics.
I hope this guide helps you get to know your target audience better and helps you to make informed decisions in the direction of your blog or business.
Cheers to your success,