Chapter 1: The Definitive Guide to Pinterest Marketing
Table of Contents
What is Pinterest Marketing
SEO for Pinterest
Building a Community
Sites and Tools
How to Measure Results
Pinterest Marketing: Introduction
If you’re wondering how you can use Pinterest to market your blog, product, service, or business, You’ve come to the right place. If you’re not marketing on Pinterest yet, you should be; customers are visual and each buyer has a unique pace and set of priorities. Pinterest marketing provides a great venue for low-pressure browsing of visuals that people can view at their own speed.
Why does it work? Because people love Pinterest. By July 2015 the platform had almost 73 million users, more than 47 million in 2015 alone. Pinterest users include about 42 percent of American women and 13 percent of American men.
Pinterest may have lagged behind Facebook and Twitter in the past, but from a marketing perspective it’s a fantastic resource. Tweets are only retweeted about 1.4 percent of the time; pins are 100 times more spreadable. Pins also have a far longer half-life than either Facebook or Twitter—more than 1,000 times longer. Facebook bought Instagram for good reason: visual marketing leads to sales.
The biggest reason that Pinterest is an awesome marketing tool is that business accounts on the platform provide seamless, powerful tools you can use to market your brand.
The purpose of this guide is to provide a complete, detailed handbook for advanced content marketing on Pinterest. I’ve curated all of the best actionable strategies for your Pinterest marketing work so that you can grow your community of Pinterest followers and fans, boost traffic and engagement with your site, and master the art of Pinterest-based sales.
What is Pinterest Marketing?
To understand how to market on Pinterest, it’s essential to understand how the platform works. Above all else, Pinterest is known for its high-quality, striking images. Here, the great visual is king, and your goal is to motivate users to pin your content as frequently as possible.
Humans love beautiful pictures of places, products, and people; we entertain ourselves and express our brand to others as we collect and display images that mean something to us. On Pinterest each pin connects to an external source; you can connect yours to your website and gain traffic with each repin.
As users come across your image, they want to find out where to get it and what it is. The better the images, the more likely they are to inspire sales and customer loyalty.
What Are the Top Pinterest Strategies?
There are some basic techniques you can use to market successfully on Pinterest. With practice and great organization, you can master these quickly and earn the loyalty of your Pinterest followers.
Market Yourself, Not Just Your Product
Your account must be appealing to visitors. You can market your brand under its own name or yours, but especially for small business owners using your own name and face inspires trust more readily. It is generally a good idea to have a strategy for your business page as well as yourself, so that you can become an influencer.
Use Sharing Tools and Social Media
Remember to include your Pinterest signature in your email signature. You should also add the Pin It Hover button and Pinterest widget to each of your online platforms, including your blog, portfolio, website, and other social media channels. Embed your pins on your blog by creating an embedding code on Pinterest. Tweet your pins and share them on Facebook and other social media platforms whenever they are relevant. And if you send out a newsletter or other publications, include your pins.
In order to connect your Pinterest account to Facebook and Twitter, go to account settings, and then social networks. Pinterest will only connect to personal accounts on Facebook, so keep this in mind.
Create Amazing, Share-able Images
The power of Pinterest is visual. Your images to be pinned must be crisp, bright, colorful when possible, and great quality. When you can, use longer, narrower images because they have the maximum visual impact: aim for at least 700-800 pixels wide and 1,000-1,100 pixels deep. Make sure they are sharp enough to see well; images that are too small don’t get pinned, and may actually lead your potential customer to pin an alternate image on another site.
You are using the Pinterest platform to market your goods, your services, and yourself; this means your images should be pleasing at a minimum and amazing whenever possible. Put time into your image selection process, and don’t make the mistake of watermarking your images. That’s like telling people not to share the image since it’s only for your use. If you are going to watermark them or add a logo, make sure it is visually appealing.
Offer Detailed Descriptions of Pins
Let people know what they’re looking at without a sales-y tone. Your images should provide information without including pushy pitches and endless logos. This way you can include more of the right keywords while maintaining an easily flowing read. Pin a wide range of content that’s relevant and timely. Include links to your store, blog, or website whenever you can. Include a call-to-pin in your descriptions. And remember: you can place your links in both the description and the pin source.
Create a Unique Experience with Unique Boards
Make sure you create useful boards and label them sensibly. Your “awesome stuff” board won’t cut it; for one thing, every Pinterest user has one, and even more important, the name of the board says nothing about it. The more interesting and unusual the board name, the more visits it will get.
Naturally you should create your boards with keywords in mind. Pinterest is fantastically searchable, so make the most of that strength by using keywords in your board names. Choose a category for every pin, and whenever possible use one of the more popular categories. Include a board that features your blog, and keep your most popular boards right at the top of your profile.
Establish yourself as an authority in your area by curating interesting, useful boards filled with relevant value-added content. Provide your visitors with a tips and hacks board that offers actionable advice from you, the expert. You should also consider creating niche boards in your area that you update with new information frequently.
Pin Content that Engages and Inspires
On any social media platform meaningful variety is the name of the game. Mix up your content and provide variety while maintaining your focus. If your focus is too rigid you’ll bore potential followers, and if it lacks focus entirely no one will recognize your brand. You need to find the sweet spot in the middle. And remember, if all you pin is product photos, you’re acting like a pushy salesman—a dull one.
Timing is Key
Your goal on Pinterest is to pin frequently, up to 30 times per day. You should pin in steady streams, not spurts and dry spells. You also want to pin at the right times; generally speaking, the best times to pin are from 2:00pm to 4:00pm and again from 8:00pm to 1:00am Eastern Standard Time. You should also pin on Saturday morning, a great time for leisurely browsing on Pinterest. And remember, your particular target audience might have unique habits when it comes to timing, so test and tweak your timing until you get it right.
Use the QR Code as a Tool
Pinterest users are always looking for things that look striking, so make sure even your QR code is appealing. Use color and pleasing patterns to get that QR code out there. Users will repin a QR code that is beautiful as “art” in its own right.
Be Active in the Pinterest Community
Start right on the Pinterest platform by showcasing unique, eye-catching pins. They should appeal to the humor and emotion of Pinterest users so you don’t come off as all business or overly commercial. The best pins can generate traffic for weeks, drawing followers from the community.
As you establish yourself in the Pinterest universe, interact with followers and friends. Repin great pins you find with your own commentary, and follow your visitors in return when they follow you. Respond to comments from followers, and comment on their pins. If you can, try rewarding your followers by giving prizes to the most prolific sharers.
Research which boards are the most popular and active with comments. Follow popular boards and be active in the comments to draw users back to you. In this way you seek out influencers and foster good relationships with them.
A hint to keep in mind is that following popular boards only works when they are also relevant; popular boards on Pinterest should work like long tail keywords do. Long tail keywords are very specific, so although they attract fewer searchers overall they bring people who are looking for your exact product or service. If you follow popular boards that have nothing in common with your own business you will reach more people, but not the ones that you want; you want followers who are interested in you and your business.
Build Community with Collaborative Boards
Collaborative boards are group boards where users pool great content and interact. These allow you to get wider exposure for your own pins and reach a new group of users. For example, if you are a life coach you might want to create or join a “Life Hacks” collaborative board. The only caveat is that the collaborative boards you create or join will put the pins of others on your profile; this means you should be cautious and join only boards that you want representing what you do.
Creating your own collaborative board is even better, because you can control exactly who posts on it and what pins go up. This lets you generate more traffic while maintaining your message and brand. If your collaborative boards are great, you might even attract industry influencers.
Instructographics: the Infographic of Pinterest
It’s clear that great infographics generate interest, clicks, and traffic. Pinterest calls the infographic an “instructographic,” and this is a fantastic way to use a longer pin to get your message out there. The instructographic also capitalizes on the fact that DIY hacks are the second most popular category on the platform.
Use Your Analytics
I’ll say more about analytics below, but generally you should use your analytics to find out which of your pins are the most successful and share them elsewhere. Remember, no one gets everything right the first time. Instead, you’ll need to test and tweak your strategy, and analytics let you do that.
SEO for Pinterest
Just like any other kind of online marketing or content creation, your SEO strategy for Pinterest has to be tight. To optimize your pins for Pinterest searches, first make your keywords count by researching them. Find the best and most popular keywords for businesses like yours using tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Make sure you place your keywords in your pin titles, descriptions, and image file names. Finally, remember that natural language is key to a pleasant reader experience. If you jam pack your pins with keywords that don’t flow well you’ll turn users off; no one wants to interact with a bot. In addition, when selecting your keywords, think more in terms of Pinterest tags than a Google search.
Know What Pinners Are Looking For
If you research your target pinners carefully you can eliminate most of the guesswork in Pinterest marketing. You can give users what they want, earning loyalty and buy-in, by knowing what pinners look for in accounts they follow. A little mind-reading never hurt anyone. Research from the University of Minnesota shows that pinners decide whether to follow others on Pinterest using three main factors: the number of pins you have, the number of boards you have, and what your own follow lists look like; the more followers you have, the more likely you are to win more.
Furthermore, if you want to find the topics that are currently getting the most exposure, click on the “popular” category: https://www.pinterest.com/categories/popular/
By creating content around this category, you can get in front of more eyes. Here we can see the trending topics now.
If your content doesn’t fit into one of these categories, you can always align with one of the core Pinterest marketing categories.
You create the very best user experience on your Pinterest page by organizing it well. Your most popular boards should be at the top of the page where they can catch the eye of new visitors; this is like putting your game face on. You should also highlight boards that are seasonal or relate to holidays as their time of the year rolls around. This shows visitors that you are active and present on the platform. And consider creating a board just for your blog posts so users see it fast.
Identify Your Differentiator
No matter how wonderful your content is, if you don’t stand out from the crowd you’ll fail. This is why you must identify your differentiator, the thing that makes you and your business unique. What are you known for—and what would you like to be known for? Assess your personality, your style, the value your business adds to the conversation, the richness of your expertise, and your approach to determine what your differentiator is.
Research the Competition
You can glean a lot of insight from careful assessment of the pages and pinboards of your competitors. Analyze what’s working for them and what isn’t, and treat that information as if it was directly related to your own performance. Your competition can hand you the best keywords and topics.
Be a Great Curator
If you’re new to Pinterest to need to start strong, and even if you’re an experienced user finding excellent evergreen content should be a priority. Each new board you pin should be jump-started with 20 or so excellent evergreen pins. And don’t let your boards sit; always actively repin and curate new content. One excellent technique is to research relevant pages, blogs, and other content sources such as Reddit.
Go Back for Seconds
No matter how diligently you plan your pins and their timing, people will miss some of your pins. Cure this problem and generate more activity by repinning pins from the past months. This will also introduce your newer followers to great past pins and products. Research shows that repinning leads to sales as recycled pins remind shoppers of items they are interested in but have forgotten.