8 Tips For Pinterest Images That Rock!

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A picture may paint a thousand words, but is it telling the right story?

Pinterest is a rich, visual marketplace, classroom and ideas centre, full of engaging images. But how do you compete with the billions of Pinterest images already out there? Well, read on!

Pinterest Images are a very important part of your marketing strategy because every Pin contains an image, which is the first thing that engages your potential customer and encourages them to find out more about your product, service or business.

Here are some tips and tricks for making your Pinterest images pop.

1. Use the Right Image Types

Pinterest images consist of still images and videos.

Images can be photographs, drawings, paintings, designs, quotes, infographics, illustrations, whatever kind of image you can think of.

Videos are usually short advertisements or tutorials, typically less than 2 minutes long.

2. Image Formats Matter

Image formats can be JPG, PNG and GIF.

Videos need to be from YouTube, TED or Vimeo. If you wish to Pin videos from other social networks, you’ll need to save them to YouTube or Vimeo first and Pin from there.

3. Size IS Important

All image sizes are in pixels (px) and are in the format of wide x high.

Pinterest images come in different shapes and sizes. There are 3 main images you need to know about on Pinterest - your profile picture, Pin image and board cover image.

4. Profile Picture Perfect

Your profile picture should be a square image of minimum 180x180, clear and easy to recognise, because Pinterest is all about good quality images and because you want your branding to be easily recognisable and relatable.

Your Pinterest profile picture should be your business logo or a high quality, happy photo that represents you and/or your business brand. Ideally use the same profile picture you use for your shop or website, so that its recognisable as your brand and because you should be able to just pick up the image and pop it in without re-sizing.

5. Pin 2 Win

Vertical Pins display and perform best, particularly on mobile devices, where 85% of Pinners spend their time. The Pinterest-recommended Pin size is 600 wide x 900 pixels long and not bigger than 10Mb. 735x1102 is another popular size. Square is also OK. You can experiment with using shorter images to see if that works for your audience.

Make sure your pins aren't longer than 1260 pixels - Pinterest will crop them and it doesn't look pretty.

6. Board Covers

The optimum board cover size is 736px x 736px. You can use any Pin as a board cover, but be aware that Pinterest won’t always display it the way you hope, so you should test board cover images on a secret board, both on the Pinterest web app and the Pinterest mobile app. I’ve read advice from others on how to position vertical images correctly (by editing them) to use them as board covers, but I can never make it work for me. I suspect it’s due to my regretful lack of graphic design flair. That said, usually a square image 736x736 is just right!

7. Look and Feel

According to Pinterest, in general, it’s better to avoid photos of products on their own. Pins that show lifestyle shots or a product being used have a 18% higher engagement rate.

Pins that perform well tend to have the following visual characteristics:

  • Crisp, clear, high quality images; not blurry, shadowy or pixelated
  • Images that relate to what you’re offering your audience
  • A text overlay to tell your audience what the Pin is about and how it will help or inspire them
  • Images that stand out and fit with your branding
  • Branding should be incorporated into your Pin, either using a product image or your logo
  • For products, display 2 or 3 different images on one Pin, such as:
    • before and after images eg. recipes may show the ingredients in the first image and the finished product in the second
    • the product in use eg. a bookmark might be displayed on a plain surface in the first image and then inside an open book on the second image
    • different angles of the product eg. inside and outside of a handbag
    • sportswear eg. a person doing 2-4 different sports or exercises while wearing the same sportswear
    • how-to images can be very powerful if they look great and demonstrate ease of use because they allow your audience to imagine themselves creating the same beautiful thing with your product
    • different colours of the same product eg. socks
  • Displaying more than one image is less important for fashion, jewellery, cars etc. where it can sometimes be just as effective using a single image showing the product being worn or displayed in a real-life setting, such as a car on or near a road
  • Some products, such as lingerie, tend to have higher engagement when the model’s head isn’t shown, as it allows Pinners to better imagine themselves wearing the lingerie
  • For services and articles, it is common to use a single image with a text overlay, to let Pinners know what the image represents

Pinterest has compiled some additional tips for popular pin types on their Buyable Pins board.

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8. Creating Images

Often the images you use on your website or shop will be just fine for Pinterest. Try pinning some images from your website or shop to a secret board and then make sure it looks good on the Pinterest mobile app and website. If you have the opportunity though, make sure your images fit the recommended vertical Pin size, even if it means playing around with some product images to combine them on a single pin.

If you wish to create your own images or use images that others have created, there are plenty of free or cheap resources out there. Unfortunately I'm not a graphic designer and am unable to build step-by-step guides for creating images. However, I do find these tools good for my novice level of design knowledge:

  • Canva is very popular as the basic package is free to use and offers many images, backgrounds, text etc. Some are free to use and others cost USD$1.
  • PicMonkey is great for editing your own photos, making collages and graphic design, some of which are free.

There are many places you can visit for stock images, some which are free and others which charge a small fee. There are far too many tools to list here, so I recommend you do some research. Pinterest is a great place to do that because everyone on Pinterest needs images and many Pinners have compiled lists of their favourite free stock photo sites.

Try experimenting with different images and overlays to see what gets the best response from your audience. Using different images and overlays for one product or service is also a great way to Pin the same content numerous times, without it looking the same in Pinners’ searches or feeds.

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