So you started a YouTube channel and you’re putting SO much work into creating content but you just aren’t getting views. It’s frustrating, right? Well, here’s my simple secret. If you’re a YouTuber and are struggling to find an audience, Pinterest is a fantastic way to get more views on YouTube. It can help you get thousands of views on YouTube if done right!
Pinterest is a little-known tool for small YouTubers, but it really brings your content to a whole new audience. Plus, it’s free promotion! Many people even say Pinterest isn’t a social media site, it’s actually a search engine. There are 2 billion MONTHLY searches on Pinterest. Which is great news for you!
If you haven’t heard of it or don’t use it, Pinterest is a tool that allows users to “pin” images that can link to websites, blogs, videos, and other resources. Check out my FREE ebook that walks you through how to create beautiful, attention-grabbing pins. Everyone can pin things to different boards, which their followers see and then can repin to their own boards and so on and so forth. So, you can see how far your pin can travel!
If you’ve never used Pinterest before, check out this awesome course from my fellow blogger and Pinterest expert Ell Duclos. She is the QUEEN of Pinterest and her course taught me everything I needed to know to grow my Pinterest and go viral. Click here to learn more about her Pinterest course.
If your goal is to make money from YouTube, make sure to check out my new online course “Pinterest For YouTube: Skyrocket to Success”. The extensive course includes videos, worksheet, downloadable chapters, and an explanation of the YouTube algorithm to help you monetize your channel and make a consistent income from YouTube. Click here to purchase or learn more!
Before we get started, make sure to grab my YouTube Strategy Planning Workbook to help you create your business plan for your new channel. It’s free! Click here to grab it.
I like Pinterest because it’s really easy to grow followers. In just 3 months I’ve accumulated almost 1000 followers. That means even more opportunity for my pins to be repinned to their followers and their followers’ followers, etc.
You can check out my Pinterest here, and I’ll follow you back!
So, want to know how one Pin got me over 1100 views on one of my YouTube videos? Let me explain.
*WAIT* If you’re more of a visual learner, check out my new YouTube video below where I detail everything in this post. Follow along as I show you tips for starting on Pinterest, how to create an awesome pin, and how to successfully drive traffic to your YouTube video from your pin! Check it out!
Alright, that video was packed with information. Let’s recap everything I shared with you starting with a picture of my actual viral pin. This pin here is what drove tons of traffic to my video about How to Start a YouTube Channel which now has over 1200 views and counting!
So as you can see, this pin has appeared on almost 30 thousand Pinterest feeds, 387 of those have saved it to their own boards, and 677 have actually clicked on it to bring them to my video. Nice.
How can you get here? Can you get here if you don’t even have a Pinterest account yet? Yes! I actually made this pin when I just started my account. More on that later.
If you don’t have a Pinterest account, make one RIGHT now! (Or actually, after you finish reading this) If you do have an account, convert it to a business account. Pinterest prioritizes business accounts and your pins are more likely to show up recommended on someone’s feed. You can also see your Pin stats to see how well it’s performing. So…
Step one is creating or converting your Pinterest account to a business account.
Tip: Once you do this, you should probably interact on Pinterest for a bit. Repin people’s content, make a few boards, research how to grow your Pinterest account. It’s really not hard to build up a following fast on Pinterest as long as your pinning throughout the day and following people. Stay active!
I don’t recommend making an account and immediately posting your pin on there. If you have a new account with just one pin….literally no one will find it.
But now that you’ve engaged a bit, built up your account, you’re ready to move on to the good stuff!
Choose Your Video
Obviously, you can use this strategy on multiple YouTube videos, but there are some guidelines that will make your pin more successful. People on Pinterest love to repin tutorials, tips, DIY, and other content that has educational value. So, if any of your videos are tutorials, how-to, beauty product recommendations, or clothing hauls, those are perfectly usable. Travel vlogs are also great because you can frame it as a “Things to Do in (Insert City/Country/etc.)” pin. So decide on a video that you want more exposure on, but make sure it also would be something that would make people interested and want to reshare it.
Create Your Pin
I use Canva to create all of my Pins. One thing you HAVE to do is use the Pinterest Graphic template. It’s automatically set to the perfect size that is recommended for pins. You DO NOT want to make a horizontal or square pin. Research has shown that those sizes do not draw as much attention as a long vertical pin.
There are plenty of templates to choose from and I highly recommend using a template for your first few pins. Think of what kind of colors and text are most suitable for your content. If it’s a beauty tutorial, for example, there are even specific beauty templates you can search for.
Some tips to remember:
Faces don’t work well. It’s best not to put a picture of your own face on the graphic because then it becomes less generic and more personalized. It’s not like your YouTube thumbnail, on Pinterest you want people to feel like they can repin this even if they don’t know who you are. So I usually find a free stock photo from Canva for my videos by searching camera, photography, video, etc. You can also use the site Pexels.com to find free stock images to use.
Here are some examples of other pins I’ve made so you know what I mean:
Think about your colors and text. If you are doing a beauty pin, maybe use lighter, softer colors. What would appeal to the audience you’re trying to reach? Super clean and fresh images with soft pastels are really common on Pinterest now, so cater to that aesthetic and research some other pins in the beauty topic.
For all pins, make sure your text is legible. Canva has so many options, but make sure it is still easy to read. While it’s good to mix up the fonts sometimes, don’t make every word a different color and different font. It will surely get attention, but it won’t be repinned if it’s annoying to look at.
Make 2-3 different pins. I usually make a dark and a light pin meaning, I make a pin with darker colors and lighter colors. That way I can appeal to different tastes and audiences. You can even make more, but we’ll get to that later. So for now, make one or two pins to have ready. Switch up your colors and background image, and maybe change your wording or headline slightly. Think of another catchy phrase to grab viewers’ attention.
When you’re done, download your pin as a PNG, as it will be higher quality! Also, make sure to save it as a title related to your topic. So for mine, I saved it as startayoutubechannel.png. This is actually important! If your pin is saved as img295.png or something with random numbers, it will be floating around on Pinterest with that name instead of using a crucial keyword. Renaming it provides yet another way for your pin to be discovered when people search those keywords.
Post Your Pin
Alright, now’s your big moment. You’re almost there but there are a few more things you need to do.
Head on over to Pinterest and click “Create a Pin.” Choose a headline, keep it short, sweet, and relevant to what you’re posting and use this keyword method. As you’re posting, go over to the search bar and start typing. See those suggestions that pop up? Those are keywords that you want to use because people are searching for those! As for hashtags, you can only use 20 hashtags per pin so don’t overload it.
Now, enter your YouTube video link in the URL box. Don’t use shortened bit.ly links, Pinterest doesn’t like that. Save it to a board. I recommend saving it to a board that’s relevant to your topic, not just “My YouTube Videos” or something like that. If it’s beauty, create a board that’s called “Beauty Tips” or “Best Beauty Products”. Something along those lines. Now you’re ready to hit save and post your Pin!
Wait for the Magic to Happen
Alright, now you want to be a bit more active on Pinterest (if you aren’t already). It’s better if you’re already active, but if you’re impatient and just want to get your pin out there, just go for it. Start following people that are relevant to your interests. If you’re a blogger, follow other bloggers or follow Photography or Fashion people. Repin their pins. Repin from your home page. Pinterest isn’t like Instagram where you have to spend all this time commenting and liking people’s content just to get noticed. It’s really about repinning content and showing Pinterest that you’re active and engaged on their site. The app is really easy to repin stuff, so I recommend downloading that and repinning as you’re watching tv.
Also, every few days you can repin your pin to a new board. I wouldn’t repin it every day as Pinterest might flag you for spamming people. But if you repin it again later on, maybe there’s a greater chance someone new will see it!
Give it a few days for your pin to circulate. If it’s been repinned by literally NO ONE, here are a few options:
- Remember that second pin I told you to make? Here’s where it comes into play. Pin that one and change up your keywords a bit. Try something slightly different to see if it will perform better. Pin that and see if it gets more attention now that you’re (hopefully) more engaged and have more followers. There’s also no limit to how many pins you could make. You could make 5 pins for one video, make them all look different, and increase your chances of one performing better. Just make sure that you don’t post them all at once. Stagger them, and you can even schedule pins to roll out throughout the week or month.
- Don’t delete your pin! Never delete it! It’s recommended by Pinterest that you don’t delete your pins because you NEVER know when it will circulate and gain traction. It’s better to be floating around out there than not existing at all.
- Join Facebook groups! There are a lot of Pinterest Facebook groups out there where you can share your pin for others to repin. Just search Pinterest on Facebook and you will probably find a group you can join. I’m a part of a few groups and it’s helped a lot of my pins. If a pin isn’t performing well, I can post it to the group and have a few people share it to their boards. Plus, some people on these groups have thousands of followers, so then a lot more people see it! This gives your pin the boost it may need.
Just remember, my pin went semi-viral when I barely had any followers. I made this pin right when I started Pinterest, and I had MAYBE 100 followers. So while it’s important to have a greater reach, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a pin go viral with a small following.
Whenever my pin came back around on my feed, I would repin it every once in a while to keep the ball rolling. As you gain more followers, you don’t know who hasn’t seen it yet, so it’s important to keep repinning it every once in a while to reach a new audience.
The cool thing about Pinterest is that pins never really die out. There’s no timestamp like other social media posts that would make it irrelevant. A pin could be on there for years and still keep growing and growing! I’ve checked back on old pins that I forgot about and found that they’ve been repinned hundreds of times! I can tell when a pin is doing well, because I notice which YouTube videos are performing better than others, and see that the pin linked to them is getting noticed.
It’s hard to tell what pins will go viral and sometimes it’s not one you’d expect! That’s what happened to me when I saw that my YouTube Pin had been repinned 387 times, and I’m still getting repins each day.
THEN the great thing is, the more traffic it brings to your YouTube video, the more YouTube will recommend your video. Just make sure people are actually sticking around to watch your video, but we’ll save that for another time.
All in all, Pinterest is a great resource to reach a new audience that you wouldn’t think of when promoting your videos. As a small YouTuber, it’s hard to find ways to reach an audience. Dumping your links on forums and social media won’t attract new viewers. But Pinterest is a way to grab people’s attention and circulate your content throughout a new search engine. It’s a little known way for small YouTubers to grow, but it can really be a goldmine for new viewers.
So stay active on Pinterest, grow your account, repin others’ content and start making those viral pins!
Need more help? Here’s a great resource that gives a super in-depth explanation of Pinterest SEO.
Grab my online course that dives deeper into using Pinterest for YouTube Success.