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4 Ways to Get More Views of Your Videos with Pinterest

A recent article in The Guardian stated, “video is the future of content marketing.” Videos are now easier than ever to produce and can help business connect with their audience on a different level than can be done through text or still images alone. However, in order to be helpful to a business their videos need to be discovered viewed and shared. Luckily, both YouTube and Vimeo videos are pinnable and playable on Pinterest and there are things you can do to improve your chances of success, here are 4 ways to get more views of your videos with Pinterest.

4 Ways to Get More Views of Your Videos with Pinterest

1. Create a custom thumbnail

On Pinterest, videos are at somewhat of a disadvantage when pinned directly from YouTube or Vimeo. When a video is pinned, a thumbnail of the video is shown in the Pinterest feed. As shown in the image below you can see that video thumbnails tend to be on the smaller size and can easily be overlooked when competing against big bold colorful Pinterest Pins.

Videos on Pinterest can be hard to see create a custom thumbnail

One thing you can do to help your video’s thumbnail standout not only on Pinterest but on YouTube and Vimeo as well is to create a custom thumbnail. Which of the video 2 thumbnails below would be more likely to catch your eye?

Custom video thumbnail comparison on Pinterest

Creating a custom thumbnail can easily be done with free online tools such as Canva or PicMonkeyCustom thumbnails for YouTube are 1280x 720px.  For Vimeo, they need to be the exact size of the video you upload, usually 640×480 or 1280×720.

In Canva, simply click the “use custom dimensions” option located above their premade templates. Enter the dimensions needed for your custom thumbnail.

Choose custom size in Canva


Custom YouTube thumbnail in Canva


One great thing about Canva is that it will save your designs. The next time you use Canva to make another video thumbnail, simply copy the one you made before by clicking on the lines beneath the image and change it up for new video.

How to copy designs in Canva

In PicMonkey, hover your mouse over the design from the menu at the top of the homepage. Then select custom and enter the size you need for your video’s thumbnail.

Custom Size Image in PicMonkey.jpg


Custom size images on PicMonkey


Which ever tool you use, add graphics images or text that will grab attention. For inspiration, take a look around on YouTube or Vimeo and see which thumbnails catch your eye. Also, be sure to check out Pinterest’s video category where you’ll notice some video’s thumbnails stand out more than others.

Videos on Pinterest

2. Create a separate pinnable image

One way to overcome the size limitations of video thumbnails on Pinterest is to create a separate paintable image. Once again, you can use easy and inexpensive tools like PicMonkey or Canva to create these images. Canva recently launched a new series of Pinterest specific layouts to make it even easier for you.

Try to keep the look and feel of the image you create similar to the custom video thumbnail to avoid confusing Pinterest users.

Custom pinnable images for videos on Pinterest

Creating a separate pinnable image does have one drawback; this image will not play the video back on Pinterest. That’s fine with me; the potential benefits far outweigh that one measly drawback.

The benefits of having a separate pinnable image for videos:

  • Brings traffic to your site
  • Embedded video can be watched on your site increasing visit duration (great for Google)
  • No annoying cat videos to distract the viewer, only your great content

Bonus benefit

I’m sure Internet marketing greats like Michael Stelzner, and Chris Brogan  would all agree that while social media is great, it is always best to have your own platform, a home on the web where you can control how your content is shown. Vimeo and YouTube are both great tools to host your videos. They’re both also great for attracting new viewers. However, they’re not the best at converting.

People watching your videos on YouTube, Vimeo or on Pinterest have to take at least one more step to sign up for your email list or buy your product or service.  You have a higher chance of a conversion if the video is viewed on your site and fewer steps are necessary.


3. Create a separate board (but pin to many)

Though having separate pinnable images for a video can be helpful in drawing attention to it, pinning a video directly onto a board dedicated to videos can be a good strategy. This board can be helpful for growing your following and for bringing attention to your all of your videos in one convenient location.

Try not to limit your pinning of your video or pinnable image to just one board. Pin it to other boards that make sense. For example, I can pin the video below of a Google Hangout where I did Pinterest account reviews with Vincent Ng to my Pinterest Tips & News board, The Power of Social Media board and the Pinterest for Business Marketing board.


The board doesn’t have to be focused on only your videos. Videos of the same topic made by others can also be pinned here.  If you know someone who makes videos that complement yours, make it a group board and invite them to pin theirs as well. This will bring added exposure to both of your videos.

Though I haven’t yet tried this strategy with my videos, I’ve recently implemented it for my weekly audio podcast. I wanted to create a chronological catalog of my show on this board. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been pinning each episode in reverse chronological order. In just over 2 weeks, I’ve noticed an increase in downloads of these older podcast episodes.
Follow Cynthia Sanchez {Oh So Pinteresting}’s board Pinterest for Business Audio Podcast on Pinterest.

4. Be SEO friendly

One of the many compelling arguments for marketers to create video content for YouTube is that More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month. While that is an impressive number of potential viewers, your videos are competing against millions upon millions of other videos to be discovered.

How do your videos get discovered? Keywords! (And great shareable content) Words or phrases that people type into search boxes to find the answers to their problems can be the key to your video success.

Keywords used in your video’s title and description can lead to more views on YouTube and Google but making sure that those keywords are also a part  of pin descriptions can help them be discovered by Pinterest users.

I also discovered during my research that if your pin a video from an embedded video on your site, Pinterest displays the playable YouTube video but the link associated with that pin is the URL back to the page that it is embedded on. If your page or blog title is keyword optimized this can help with Pinterest SEO too.

Pin videos from blog for added Pinterest SEO benefit

If you take my suggestion and create a board with keywords used in the title and description plus pin your YouTube videos to that board with keyword rich pin descriptions, it seems that you can can also increase your chances of getting first page ranking of your content on Google.

Daniel Mulder from Rankwise found that when he created a keyword optimized Pinterest board for his videos, not only did his YouTube videos show up on the first page of a Google search for the phrase “seo optimization dashboard” but his Pinterest board did as well. At the time of publication of this post Daniel’s board had 13 pins and 9 followers.

RankWise SEO optimization dashboard on Pinterest

In the image below you can see videos from Rankwise at the top and the Pinterest board as the 3rd listing. When Daniel wrote about his findings the article from Rankwise had not yet appeared in the Google search results. Maybe it inspired the title for the subsequent article giving Rankwise another entry on the first page of Google search results for this phrase? What a good strategy!

seo optimization dashboard Google Search


To get more views of your videos with Pinterest can have many benefits and doesn’t have to be difficult to do.  Will you be taking advantage of Pinterest to help with your videos?


  1. Avatar

    Excellent “How to article” Cynthia! I didn’t discover your site via Pinterest or your YT channel. Rather, I caught a post in Plus from my friend Marcela, who I know to be super savvy on such matters and he accolades that you may have seen, prompted the click thru and glad I did. I’ve for ample clients who need to clone your Canva custom video thumbnail to Pinterest routine, just like I plan on doing. Strong work!

  2. […] Luckily, both YouTube and Vimeo videos are pinnable and playable on Pinterest and there are things you can do to improve your chances of success, here are 4 ways to get more views of your videos with Pinterest.  […]

  3. Avatar

    Hey Cynthia!

    I’m glad you reminded me about Canva. I looked at it a few days ago and it seems like a decent tool.

    The custom Pinterest thumbnails for videos is a great idea too. Thanks for sharing your repin stats, it helped.


    • Avatar

      Ellory, I’m so glad you found it helpful! I really appreciate the feedback 🙂

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