If you downloaded the Pinterest app when you were redecorating your living room and then forgot about it for the last three years, that’s understandable. Quite a few people can identify with that because Pinterest started out as a place where you can scroll through an endless amount of recipes for fruit cake, pictures that are so good they take your breath away, knitting projects in a rainbow of colors, and DIY tasks to delegate to your partner. Since its pins feature allows for users to share and save content, Pinterest has become an effective platform for digital marketing and growth.
What are the pins? Pins are like the digital version of a busy desk: full of scribbled notes, recipes, and newspaper clippings. You can create pins to add to boards, and you can like and comment on other people’s pins and boards. Pinterest is a one-of-a-kind social media platform that has gone through many changes since it first started. It is now much more than just a collection of pretty pictures.
Pinterest Evolution: Discovery to Shopping
The pictures shown on Pinterest are both neat and beautiful, which reflects the website’s focus on discovery and inspiration.
The people who use Pinterest are much more likely to take action and buy something than those who use other social media platforms. The platform has been successful in developing a shopping engine that helps people find what they are looking for. Pinterest allows you to advertise your brand to people who are looking for ideas and products. The more users interact with pins, the more information the platform has about their tastes. The platform will use this information to send personalized suggestions to users. Every brand has an opportunity to sell and up-sell.
Marketing and Growth Goals
A Pinterest marketing strategy can help improve your long term results and can be used at different stages of your acquisition funnel. If your pins are turned into ads, you can not only increase brand awareness, but also drive sales and conversions. Some ads and videos are good for driving traffic to the top of the funnel, while others can help you achieve goals like installing apps. If you want Pinterest to show off your products, you can also connect your catalog and feed to the platform. The most obvious opportunity for growth is the one that should be taken advantage of. Here are other reasons you should consider Pinterest marketing strategy:
- Pinterest has a lower average CPC compared to Facebook/Instagram. The platform is not as popular among marketers, so the competition is a lot less fierce than other social media platforms. Remember, the social media world has a lot more to offer than simply Instagram and Facebook!
- The ad formats are as attractive as the ones on other platforms, if not more so.
- The keyword layering, similar to a search campaign, is an indication of strong intent.
- A campaign on Pinterest can help your SEO strategy too. With the right pins, the platform is a great ally to help your content climb to the top of the SERP. Pinterest is a ‘path to purchase,’ much more so than other media.
So, how to set a high-level Pinterest marketing strategy? Follow these steps:
- Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound). In addition to gaining a following on Pinterest, do you want to drive traffic to your website, increase conversions for a specific product/service, or encourage registrations for an event?
- Conduct consumer research. Learn more about the general Pinterest audience and the demographic most likely to use the channel before all. Then get to know your brand’s specific Pinterest audience.
- Conduct competitor research and analysis. Consider what your competitors are doing on this social media platform.
- Plan and integrate branded content for Pinterest into your social media calendar.
After you create a well-defined plan, you can use unpaid natural search results and paid promotion to help achieve your objectives.
Although Pinterest is a social media, it still needs a social component to be managed such as following other pinners, repinning, and commenting. Engagement is key! Keep up with your friends and competitors by following their boards, liking and commenting on their pins, and sharing links to your own website or blog. Pinterest boards can be a great way to get “organic” traffic with the right keywords, as opposed to something like a Facebook page. This can help you funnel leads more effectively.
Pins are visual bookmarks that you should create on a regular basis. You want to maintain a balance where you’re present enough to stay top of mind, but not so much that you overwhelm your audience. Pins can be either static images or videos, and all they need is a description and a link. Some brands post as many as 10-12 pins a day. It’s not enough to just create content; you also need to build an audience that is interested and engaged. This means that you can continue to research a topic and find new pins related to it, even after you have initially found them.
Consider Pinterest as a platform for storytelling. You’ll be rewarded if you create value, but a one-time campaign won’t work. Start by creating a board that outlines your brand story. Don’t forget to use the content that your users generate to speak about your brand. You can use this image in your ads by repinning it. If you’re not on Pinterest today, your customers might be, and they could be talking about you.
Compared to other social platforms, content shared on Pinterest is more likely to be relevant and useful for a longer period of time. If you create a Pin, you probably won’t get a lot of likes and comments. Your Pins will be discovered and saved more times as time goes on.
Pinterest posts are 1,600 times more likely to be seen than posts on Facebook or any other platform.
So you think Pinterest is worth exploring for your brand?
The site is doing great and is growing fast! The site has gathered 10 million users in 9 months. That’s the fastest growth ever for a standalone site. The average user spends only 90 minutes on the site per month, much less than the 7 hours spent on Facebook. But it’s clear that Pinterest is a huge phenomenon. Pinterest has become popular among non-techies and geeks, which is more interesting when you consider the hype around Google+.
Ready to dive in? Our tips for Pinterest marketers
1. Sign up for Pinterest with the same email address you use for your business Twitter profile, then sign up with Twitter so you can easily share your new pins through your Twitter account. Although Pinterest does not allow users to connect their accounts to Facebook business pages, Twitter does. Your company name should be your username, followed by a company description, logo, and website link.
2. Don’t upset fellow pinners! The site naturally discourages blatant self-promotion. If you’re proud of a photo or project, that’s great. Just don’t use Pinterest only as a way to promote yourself. SHOWCASE THE LIFESTYLE THAT YOUR BRAND PROMOTES. If you are a footwear company, like PUMA, it is not a good idea to have a board of PUMA shoes. A board with people wearing them, especially famous people like Professor Green, Thierry Henry or Aguero, would be much better for other users to interact with.
3. If you want to be successful on this network, start by spending some time looking around and getting ideas. This way, you’ll get a feel for how the network works.
Here is a post about some of the most successful brands who are using Pinterest effectively. Make sure your content is great, and upload it – see point 2! If you want new followers, give them a reason to follow you bypopulating your pins with interesting content. What images, graphics, and info graphics do you have that you could easily get together?
4. Promote your presence externally:
- Add the Pinterest follow button to your website and write a blog post to promote it.
- Promote your presence on Pinterest through your other social networks by encouraging your followers/fans on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter to follow your pins!
- Consider a Pinterest contest (see below).
- Start following users you think would want to follow you back.
5. You can allow other users to contribute pins to your hosted pinboards to involve fans and customers in your marketing. Dedicate a pinboard on your Pinterest account to your top fans or customers. Ask your customers to pin images that showcase your brand within their lifestyle. Your product should make the user look good, feel better, and be better at something. Get images that illustrate those benefits to use as a pictorial testimonial.
7. Become the most popular Pinterest account for pins about a certain subject or topic relating to your industry. You’ll see this by looking around the network. Some people are achieving a lot of success with Pinterest and it has the potential to be very profitable for those who are willing to put in the effort. I really like this graphic designer and their logo board – it’s a great, simple concept. Other forms of design, art, and fashion can also be created digitally and shared easily. It’s harder for people like us who need to find the lifestyle link, but the principle is there with a little imagination. For more information on this, check out this website.
8. It is important to learn about your target market and who your potential customers are. You can do this by looking at customer profiles and understanding their interests. Pinterest can help you better understand the interests and needs of your target customers. Show your expertise in the areas you know well and be interesting and valuable. This task is very simple, but it will take a long time to do it right. Yet that’s surely the opportunity.
9. Don’t forget that pins can be videos as well as just images. Existing footage you can use, interviews, fun stuff?
10. Do you have any offline events that your fans would be interested in seeing behind the scenes? Would you like features of the best photos and video footage to be included? This is beneficial for those who are unable to attend and it helps generate hype and promotion for your next event. Think about integrating your online presence with Pinterest as well – you can use hashtags to tie Pinterest posts in with ones on Twitter and Google+, and help increase the reach of your campaign. You can use your Pinterest account to help promote your website by creating pins that link back to your site on a particular topic, theme, or campaign. Assuming the content is good enough of course.
11. How about creating a pinboard that showcases the life of your organization, including day-to-day activities and events, as well as parties. It’s subtle, basic stuff but every little helps.
12. Make sure all of your website’s traffic is generating results and proving that it is worth your time and effort. Provide links to your website and landing pages on your pins whenever possible. To see what referral traffic and leads from Pinterest are effective, track what content gets the most engagement.
The main point to remember about using Pinterest as a social network is that you need to put in the effort to build up your follower base, interact with them regularly, and keep your profile updated with fresh content to add value to the community. It’s not another magic bullet, of course.
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