July 4, 2014
Pinterest has exploded with new user growth in the last few years, and it has also become an interactive way for brands to promote products to their customers and generate new leads. With more than 70 million users worldwide and more signing up every day, brands are increasingly adding Pinterest to their social media strategy. Pinterest pins deliver two site visits and six pageviews, on average, and more than 10 re-pins. That’s more viral than Twitter, the company notes, where posts are only retweeted 1.4 percent of the time. Impressive, right?
But how do you integrate Pinterest into your own marketing strategy, especially if you are not a B2C product-based business? Here are my tips on creating a Pinterest marketing strategy that works.
Pinterest is still in it’s infancy, so it’s easier to make connections and build a following. It drives more traffic than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube combined, according to some research.
According to new data from Piqora, the value of a pin on Pinterest is growing and is generating 78 percent in sales, on average. That’s up by nearly 25 percent from Q4 2012. Additionally, we need to remember that a pin can drive both traffic and orders several months after it’s been pinned.
Also research shows that when a website page is too busy, the less action is actually taken by the visitor on the site. If advertising is pushy, people lose interest. Pinterest is not filled with ads, making a more relaxing and enjoyable site, so more people go browsing, exploring and clicking.
- 12 million monthly active users (as of Jan. 2014)
- 241 percent growth rate (as of Jan. 2014)
- Largest demographic: 18-34, female, professional, upper income, buying for themselves and their family.
- 97 percent of Pinterest sharing is by females.
How are people using Pinterest?
Pinterest provides a gallery of images people can peruse, pin and repin. People build boards and collate information for when they are ready to buy. Boards are often built as ‘I want’ or ‘I wish’ lists and often contain images of gifts, ideas and inspiration for future purchases.
Therefore, the most active times on Pinterest are outside of working hours and on the weekend. That is when users are looking for home and fashion products, inspiration for what to cook, read, watch, what new exercises to try and how to decorate their home or entertain guests at a dinner party.
Your Pinterest Marketing Strategy
Follow these steps to create your Pinterest marketing strategy and content plan:
- Your competition — Do some research. Who are your competitors and what are they already doing on Pinterest? It’s always a good starting point to take a look around at what others are doing, especially if you are just getting on Pinterest for the first time. You want to be unique, but you need to start here to learn the dos and don’ts of the social network.
- Be brand aware — Get to know your own brand inside and out. With so much content out there, it’s easy to get distracted and start pinning images that you like, which might not be aligned with your brand values. Work out what’s OK and not OK to repin on your boards to stay consistent.
- Set your marketing goals — What are you trying to achieve from Pinterest? How will you measure success? Which social media analytics tool will you use?
- Plan your boards — Like with any social network, what content will you publish? You will have a board or boards to market your product or service, but you also want to get creative. After you’ve done your Pinterest research, review your company and yourself as a business owner. Consider these questions to come up with some other creative boards for your account:
- What makes your company unique? Is it your staff? The city you work in? Hobbies and unusual office rules that you have?
- What inspires you and your brand? Keep in mind, you should have a good mix of your own images as well as “repins” of other popular, intriguing pins to drive traffic to your Pinterest account.
- When creating boards, make the most of SEO opportunities that Pinterest offers you.
- Generate links to your website — This is the key to generate that pin revenue. For any image that you created or originated, make sure there is a link back to your website. When the pin gets repinned your link will be shared too.
- Content strategy — Having a solid content strategy is crucial for generating revenue with Pinterest.
- Create a board of your blog content (or several boards per blog category) —You can mix it with pins from other websites and users on the similar topic.
- Create a board of other content offers from your website — you could pin your pages, YouTube videos, offers, products, newsletters.
- Infographics are popular online and on Pinterest — Can you come up with data and information to create some on a regular basis?
- Ask yourself “What’s the next step?” What happens after someone sees your pin? How will you get them to the bottom of the sales funnel to generate revenue?
- Your profile — Complete your Pinterest profile with a short and concise description of your company and what a visitor might find on your Pinterest page. Then make sure you have a verified link back to your website. You can also include links to other social networks.
Once the initial setup and planning is completed, you can start implementing your content plan and filling your account with pins.
Inspire — position — sell
As a business, you may fail if you only try to sell to your Pinterest following. Build inspirational boards around what you sell. Pinterest boards inspire and promote products without the need for a hard-sell approach. Create boards that inspire people using information about what your business provides, interspersed with images of your product or service. Show people how your product helps them achieve their goals and ultimately link them to your website.
To attract more followers, you can repin content from other users to fill in your boards faster, you can follow boards created by other users, and comment on pins by others. Liking on Facebook, commenting and sharing builds your exposure with other users and starts to create the engagement for your own content too.
When you start getting repins and comments for your content, make sure you thank users for sharing and reply to comments.
Your Pinterest marketing goal:
- Build exposure — Create a following, build engagement, get followers repinning your content;
- Inspire and create desire — Create boards that promote an inspirational way of living, with your own products or services included as some of the pins;
- Get traffic to sign up or sell your product or service — By having your links added to your pins, you will generate traffic to your website, if your website is converting well, the traffic will become your leads and customers.
To sum it up, all your images, pins, boards, captions, calls to action, repins, comments, and everything you do, should culminate in followers landing on your website, signing up for your e-mail list and buying your products and services.
Once your Pinterest page has started to fill with content, cross-promote it on your other channels to spread the word. Share links to the page or specific pins on Twitter and Facebook as you pin. Informing an audience on another platform that it can also find you on Pinterest may be of interest to some followers. So tweet links to your boards or infographics that you created, share updates about your boards, pins and account, add your Pinterest account to Facebook and, for advanced marketers, consider running a Pinterest contest that will involve your Facebook business page too.
Getting your products from Pinterest into stores
If you have physical products to sell, and you’d like to get them into stores (or featured in magazines):
- Follow and engage the right people — editors, buyers, owners, bloggers;
- Build your page to be professional and eye-catching, post regular updates;
- Feature stunning product photography, product videos, testimonials, with further information available in pin details;
- Create a wholesale board — add information how to get in touch and what you offer.
Get your product in front of the brands, buyers and bloggers who have influence. This way you gain exposure that is organic and authentic, with quality and professionalism. Ensure your photography is visually engaging, and of excellent quality.
As with any social media channel, regular evaluation is critical. After starting your regular Pinterest publishing, run an evaluation of the account’s performance. Are you moving toward your initial goals? Should you adjust your publishing process or content? Make changes as necessary, and repeat the whole process regularly, once a month or so.
Your action this week
Are you on Pinterest already? How can you improve your marketing strategy using the tips above? What’s your key take-away from this post, that you will commit to implement this week? Please share in comments below — I look forward to your thoughts.
I'm Tamara Baranova - a digital marketing strategist and coach, who loves helping small business owners and entrepreneurs make more money doing what they are passionate about. Using proven marketing strategies and efficient business systems, I support them to accelerate business' growth, attract the right clients, achieve their vision and goals, while feeling in control of their business and marketing. To find out more about me and how I can help your business too - just visit my website. You can enter your details there to download a free Digital Marketing Strategy Kit, as well as receive regular marketing tips and training.