Pinterest is growing fast and has definitely found a steady position in the social media landscape. It’s like collecting baseball cards. It’s creating mood boards for your home redecoration. It’s your online recipe book. And Pinterest marketing could help your business as well. In this post I will explain how you can use Pinterest as a part of your online marketing mix.
First things first
A lot has already been written about Pinterest marketing by others, so let me explain why we felt the need to do yet another post about the subject. Pinterest has become interesting for any social marketing strategy. The use may be different, but all companies can find a valid reason to be on Pinterest.
Having said that, let’s start with some numbers:
- Pinterest has over 100 million monthly users;
- 85 percent of the people that use Pinterest is female;
- Age wise, 67% of Pinners are under the age of 40 and 54% the Pinners are women aged 34-55;
- Two-thirds of the content saved to Pinterest comes from businesses.
- 93% of active pinners use Pinterest to plan future purchases. A whopping 87% purchased something after seeing it on Pinterest.
Note that these numbers aren’t provided by Pinterest (that would be nice), but are found on a number of websites. If you have more and more up-to-date numbers, let me know. Even in this more scientific report (PDF), numbers are not per se Pinterest’s, but a collected sample. However, despite the lack of trustworthy numbers, we can agree on the fact that Pinterest is still growing and as a result of that, Pinterest marketing could be interesting for any business.
All in all, Pinterest marketing must look appealing to you as well right now. But you are probably wondering how.
How to use Pinterest marketing for your business
Pinterest, like Facebook and Twitter, adds another site for you to maintain. If you feel that you don’t have the time for another social media platform, don’t even try it. You might get hooked and blame me for that. If you take your business seriously, and thus your social media, keep on reading.
Read more: Social Media Strategy: where to begin? »
On your Pinterest page
Pinterest marketing, like Pinterest itself, evolves around pins and pin boards, where pin boards are simply collections of pins and pins are (collected) photos or videos.
After creating a (business) account (be sure to add a great bio / description for your business), your first step is probably to create a board. If your first step is the pinning of a photo, you will be asked to create a board after that. You have to create the right boards. That board needs to have a decent, creative title and a great description. As it is an image based platform, be sure to focus on ‘activities’ in your boards, not on your product. Let me illustrate that:
- if your product is speakers, show people enjoying music;
- if your product is paint, show things that have been painted, not the cans;
- if your product is consultancy.. well.. eh.
I think that last one will trigger recognition for a lot of people. But that’s the beauty of Pinterest marketing; to get a following, you actually don’t always have to create boards about your business. At Yoast, we have a LEGO board that has over 600 followers. By the way, the consultant in my example could for instance pin great infographics.
If you are able to figure out the interest of your target audience, of your potential customers, you can get to them via these subjects as well, of course. Pinterest is about personal interests too. And as with most social media, if you make it personal, most followers will appreciate that.
Best Pinterest practices
There are some best practices that did not fit the article, but that I wanted to mention anyway:
- Check for copyright on your images and mention / respect that copyright.
- Watermarked images don’t seem to be appreciated by pinners; they just want to see the image.
- Don’t just dump 100 pins in ten minutes and add nothing new for the next 7 days.
- Best times for pinning are between 2PM and 4PM, and from 8PM to 10PM (EST).
The pins that are repinned the most (80% of the pins (in 2012) on Pinterest are repins by others), all have great descriptions. Sometimes a pin only has the title or photographer mentioned in the description, but why not utilize that option for a smashing description of your product, including a link to the product on your website?
If you don’t have the perfect Pinterest picture, or other appealing images of your products, you can create great boards by repinning what others pinned. Find these images on the right boards from others for your business. Pingroupie is a great source for that. Using PinAlerts, you can check what people pin per specified website. To make it interesting, why not check the competition that way?
If you have a decent amount of pins, you can start analyzing these. Pinterest Analytics tells you where your visitors come from, and find out ‘what your audience is into’ (in Pinterest Analytics at Your Audience > Interests). If it turns out that the board you are putting most effort in isn’t the most popular one, work on the most popular ones instead. That will also help to boost followers and repins on your main board; users can follow a board or all boards from another user.
On your website
Pinterest marketing isn’t just something you do on the Pinterest website alone, but it could also be integrated in your website. It’s quite easy to add widgets to your site. Or Pin It buttons. Note that for your own pinning, these browser buttons might come in handy.
Perhaps even more important: use great images. Make sure your images are ‘pin-worthy’. That’s just another reason to get rid or adjust of these obvious stock photos you are using by nicely looking ‘brochures’ for your web page.
Also be sure to add schema.org markup to your pages. This will allow for Rich Pins, which could even include things like pricing and stock, right on Pinterest:
Rich Pins are Pins that include extra information right on the Pin itself. Right now, there are five types of Rich Pins: movie, recipe, article, product and place.
Pinterest for business
If your website isn’t built with WordPress, your developer will (or should) know how to implement this. If you have a WordPress website, there are several plugins you can use. For WooCommerce websites, our WooCommerce SEO plugin will add all the necessary schema for Product rich pins, so Pinterest will immediately get all related information to the plugin (pricing, availability) and show where to buy the product. Let Pinterest do marketing for you:
Pinterest isn’t just for images, but also contains videos. So, as a part of your Pinterest marketing efforts, making sure your videos are shown the right way is important as well. Our Video SEO plugin will add all required schema for Video Pins. Be sure to validate your Rich Pins afterwards.
Lastly: Promote your Pinterest page. Add it to the list of buttons linking Facebook and Twitter. Mention it in a blog post. If Pinterest is bringing traffic to your website, why not return the favor, right?
I hope I have convinced you to (convince your customer to) use Pinterest as a part of your online marketing mix. If you have any app recommendations, best practice tips and tricks or other suggestions that can help others in their Pinterest marketing adventure, please drop these in the comments. Here’s a head start. You can also read about the findings of our colleague and blogger Caroline on using pintest to grow here.
Keep reading: Pinterest Analytics: a quick walk-through »
Read on: Instagram for business? »