Pinterest may have initially started as a personal social networking site but just like Facebook and Twitter, businesses, brands, and companies have realized the potential of Pinterest for their marketing and advertising needs. In this article, we will explore the different ways that Pinterest can help drive traffic to your website, promote your products and services and help you gain a legion of loyal followers that you can rely on to help your bottom line.
Using Pinterest for Marketing
Because Pinterest is 95% visual, you will need to grab the user’s attention using creative, unique and catchy images. This can be a challenge for a lot of startups and SMEs that may not have the marketing budget to hire professional photographers or digital artists to help them produce the type of images that will get mileage on Pinterest.
Even without professional photos, you can still use Pinterest to your business advantage. Here are some tips to guide you on your Pinterest marketing campaign:
1. Use your other social networking accounts to promote your page. Regularly post and promote your Pinterest page on your company Facebook and Twitter accounts to let your followers know that you are also posting content on other platforms. Remember that Pinterest is also a great way to find new customers and leads so be sure that people know how to find you there.
2. Pay attention to the content that you post on it. Before users read the description of your photo, the photo itself needs to catch their attention first. Pay close attention to the quality, topic, and relevance of your pins to ensure that people will want to repin it on their own boards. Do not limit yourself to just product photos. If you use a creative packaging method or if you have unique flyers that you hand out, you can pin high-quality photos of those too.
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Use online tools to search for images. If you run out of original content to post, it doesn’t mean that your Pinterest campaign must be sacrificed. There are several online tools that are effective in helping you find images that are relevant to your other pins.
3. If you are using Firefox as your Internet browser, download and install TinEye. This add-on will let you do a quick Google search of similar photos by right-clicking the photo and choosing the TinEye function from the menu. If you prefer to do your image search without installing additional functionalities, you can use Google Images. Just click on the camera icon on the search bar. Upload your base photo and Google with the search for similar images on the Internet.
4. Get to know the influential pinners. There are lots of users who have a large number of followers, making them influential and effective for your marketing campaign. Reach out to the top pinners that are relevant to your topic. Engage them offline and even offer them care packages for helping your campaign.
5. Direct traffic back to your website. There’s only so much information that you can provide with its limited 500 character pin description. Instead of relying on Pinterest to sell your products, you can use it as a tool to get people to your website where they can learn more about you, your business and the products that you sell. Use boards to highlight some of your products and how buyers will be able to use it. Create a Lifestyle Board or seasonal boards to show your products in action. This will be an effective technique to generate interest for your products and drive customers to your website where they can make a purchase.
6. Make it easy for your website visitors to pin your photos. By simply adding the ‘Pin It’ button, visitors of your website will be able to pin images that they find interesting to their own boards. Installing a Pinterest button is quick and easy. This simple act has helped hundreds of businesses get their products seen by thousands of people. It also helps in directing pinners to your website where they can see more photos or get a better idea of your company.
7. Monitor and evaluate information. As in any online marketing campaign, you will need the help of analytics to make sense of the progress of your campaign. Check which types of images are the most effective in bringing traffic to your website and pin more of these types of images. Use analytics to determine what kind of improvements can be implemented in your Pinterest marketing campaign.
8. Upload or pin videos. Pinterest now allows video pins from YouTube and Vimeo. This is an excellent way to engage with pinners if photos are not enough to spread your message. If you have a YouTube channel or Vimeo account for your business, these video pins can be used to link to the page where they can watch more videos about your products.
9. Use quotes with relevant images. If you browse through Pinterest, you may notice that there are quite a number of quotations and statements juxtaposed with blurred background images being pinned and repinned. This is currently the most popular trend on Pinterest and if you want your marketing campaign to succeed, you will need to post the type of images that are guaranteed to be repinned.
An example would be to use photos of your products as the background and use quotes that would promote it. Let’s say that your main product is customized modern living room furniture, you should choose a quotation that promotes relaxation or home aesthetics.
10. Engage your audience. Ensure that commenting is allowed for the pins that you post so that other users can give you feedback on your products. You also need to make it a point to reply to the comments that other users leave on your pins. This is a great way to talk about your product or to research your market. Customers will also appreciate your personal approach to their comments and questions.
Businesses and companies are just now realizing the potential of Pinterest in their marketing campaigns. If done right, your campaign can generate hundreds of new leads which can translate to hundreds of new customers. Plan your campaign carefully and use it to complement your other online marketing projects.
Branding on Pinterest
Another useful function of Pinterest is to help get your brand recognized by as many people as possible. It can be a tall order to get your brand to the right market but with Pinterest, the even minimal effort can go a long way.
The demographics of Pinterest will make you want to consider it for your online branding campaign. A whopping 80% of users are female, 50% of which have kids. The age group that is the most active on Pinterest belongs to the 23 to 34 bracket.
When it comes to businesses and the retail industry, Pinterest users follow an average of 9.3 retailers compared to only 6.9 for Facebook users and 8.5 for Twitter users and they spend up to 70% more on Pinterest referrals as compared to non-social referrals.
These statistics make Pinterest a goldmine for branding. If you are able to plan and execute your campaign flawlessly, you will be able to translate pins and repins to sales and active leads. If you are considering using Pinterest for your branding campaign, follow these guidelines to maximize your efforts:
1. Review your brand and social media marketing strategy to see whether a Pinterest branding campaign will be appropriate for your goals. It may seem like a simplistic approach but remember, it is not for everyone. If you are selling plumbing supplies or cleaning services, you will need to augment your strategy to make it fit the format of Pinterest. If you are able to translate your products into relatable images, it can definitely make it worth your while.
2. Appeal to the user’s emotions. An artistic or high-resolution photo is not enough to get your message across. You will need to engage the user’s emotions to get them to repin, like or comment on your photo. Before pinning anything on your boards, review whether the image will elicit an emotional response. You will need to be more creative when taking and posting photos of your products.
3. Always ensure that the photos that you post convey high quality. If you are trying to sell a product, a low-resolution generic photo will not do it justice. You will encapsulate unique features, selling points and premium quality in a single photograph. Bear in mind that Pinterest users see hundreds of pins at any given time. Your pins need to stand out from the rest of the pins and grab the users’ interest.
4. Make it a point to only post the photos that will strongly and positively reflect your brand. You do not want your brand to be associated with anything that you are not proud of. Pin carefully and thoughtfully.
5. Pin images that are concrete and easy to understand. You want your audience to immediately know what the pin is all about without having to take a second to understand what it means. Abstract pins may be pleasing to the eye but it cannot send a clear message. If your brand and products deal need a more straightforward approach, only pin images that will suit your purpose.
6. Use a “call to action” on your pins. A call to action is words or phrases that urge the audience to do something. Phrases like “Click here” or “Check it out” are some of the most familiar calls to action statements on the Internet. On Pinterest, users are 80% more likely to respond to a call to action than other social media platforms. It is easy to produce tacky graphics with a call to action statements highlighted on the image. In Pinterest, these types of pins are not very appealing.
You will need to come up with a clever and creative way to encourage users to do what you want them to do. Whether it’s to visit your website or repin your pin, the call to action must be clear yet elegant.
Here are some examples:
1. Use viral media. Whether it’s photos or videos, if you want your brand to reach the widest audience possible, look to memes and popular content to get your message across. Use catchy statements and witty catchphrases juxtaposed on appropriate images to make users want to repin your pins to their followers. Pinterest is a great tool in reaching audiences from all over the country, even all over the world. As long as you pin the right type of viral images and videos, your branding campaign will be a success.
2. Let your personality shine through. At the end of the day, you are your brand and there is no one in the world who best understands your brand than you. Make sure that every image that you pin on Pinterest reflects your brand, and by extension, you. Use your pins to introduce your brand to people and to make it easy for them to remember you.
3. Don’t just focus on the products, associate your products with a lifestyle that they can relate to or aspire for. Post tips, suggestions and inspiration to your followers to make them anticipate your pins. This is also a great way to get your audience to associate your brand with a certain way of life. Branding in itself is a big challenge that all businesses must face at some point. Pinterest makes it very easy for you to reach millions of people by pinning relevant, creative and up-to-date photos that reflect your brand most accurately.
Driving Traffic From Pinterest
One of the most important functions of Pinterest in an online marketing campaign is to direct traffic from pins into websites. As mentioned before, there’s only so much that a pin can say with its 500 character description. If you want your audience to learn more about your products, services, and brand, they need to go to your website.
With the right type of pins and pinning strategy, you will be able to utilize Pinterest in successfully driving traffic to your website or blog. Follow the tips that you will see in this section to know how.
1. Create your own pinning ratio. There’s a lot of debate on whether you should pin your own images or not when it comes to Pinterest online marketing. Most experts agree that both your own and somebody else’s images should be used if you are looking to Pinterest to drive traffic to your website.
There is no optimal set ratio for pinning content so you may need to go through some trial and error to discover the best ratio for your campaign.
You can also create specific boards highlighting your own images that you have uploaded. This is a good way to organize your pins so that your followers will be easily updated of any new pins that you have posted.
2. Be vigilant. For your Pinterest marketing and branding campaign to be successful, you will need to spend a lot of time on the site, not only pinning and commenting but also to ensure that images or pins that belong to you link back to your site. You can guarantee that if you upload high-quality and creative images as pins, other Pinterest users will repin it to their own boards.
Your pins will not get its deserved mileage if the repins do not link back to your site. To avoid this, send a friendly note to the pinner and request for them to link your site. Send them your link to make it easy and convenient for them and thank them for appreciating your images. This is also a great way for you to reach out to your audience beyond Pinterest.
3. Take pride in your follower count. After you have built a substantial following on Pinterest, be sure to let your suppliers, business contacts, and network know. Include your follower count on media kits, brochures, and business cards. You can also highlight the number on your website or blog. You don’t need to be specific with the number of followers that you have since you may be adding more each day. Feel free to round up to the nearest hundreds.
4. Enrich your board with keywords. The best way to get your pins found is to use keywords on your board title and description. This will make it easier for your boards to show up in search results. You can use Google Keyword Planner, which is free for keyword research.
5. Include your website URL wherever possible. Be it on your profile or pin description, be sure to mention your website whenever you can. This is an effective way to stamp the URL in your audience mind. It will be easier for them to know more about your brand if they are able to go to your website without taking cues from links.
6. Use text-rich images. Even if Pinterest is a visual platform, you don’t have to strictly pin only photos. In fact, you can use a relevant quotation or statement as your main image with an abstract background. Text images have risen in popularity in Pinterest and if your audience can relate to the statement on the photo, rest assured that they will repin it.
This is also helpful if you don’t have a lot of pictures to work with. With the right statement, your pin will make its rounds on hundreds of pinners boards.
7. Use Pinterest as a research tool. You can also use it to research other pins that use similar keywords as yours. If they get a lot of repins, likes or comments, you may need to start taking notes and use their format as inspiration for your own content. It is also a great starting point for discovering what people are talking about now. Just spin these topics and find a unique angle that you can use for your own campaign.
8. Use the seasons to your advantage. There are millions of users who use the site to research on creative holiday decors, gifts, and other ideas. Capitalize on your audience interest by creating seasonal boards and pinning relevant images. To make posting more efficient, plan ahead. Create an editorial calendar for the whole year and post blogs and other website updates to coincide with your pins.
9. Add “stickiness” to your site. You will need to stay on top of your Pinterest campaign and monitor a number of clicks, repins, likes and comments that you get for each post. Analyze the information that you have to determine which pins and topics get the most traction. Follow up on these pins by posting something relevant.
For example, if you notice that a specific recipe that you posted gets the most views and repins, simply post a modified recipe that is similar to the first.
10. Give your followers something just for them. Create exclusive boards that only your followers will have access to. This will encourage other users to follow you as well. You may post exclusive coupons, news, and updates or a sneak peek at your products.
11. Collaborate with your followers. A useful Pinterest feature that you can take advantage of is allowing your followers to post pins on your boards. Create boards that would let them put their own input and creativity to the test. You can hold exclusive contests and give an award to the best or most liked pin. This technique will bridge a gap between you and your followers. It will be good for your campaign because it encourages people to follow you to get a chance to get involved with similar activities.
Pinterest has so much potential for driving traffic to your website. There are now millions of Pinterest users worldwide. With the right campaign strategy, you will be able to take advantage of this volume to create awareness and interest for your brand and the products and services that you offer.