Pinterest is a pinboard-style image-sharing site that allows users to create and share theme based image collections, called ‘pinboards’, with other Pinterest users. Millions of people use it for work and in their daily lives as an inspirational online mood board. Users can upload their own images, ‘like’ images or browse other pinboards and re-pin their images. Whether you’re organising a wedding, looking to spot trends or want to showcase your products or blog content, Pinterest is a great visual way to do it. It also happens to be a great way to drive traffic to your website and generate sales.
Although Pinterest has been a little slow to catch on in the UK, the site is huge in the US and has over five million users worldwide and is still rapidly growing, with nearly 1.5 million unique users visiting daily. 80% of visitors are women aged between 25-34. Over 80% of pins are re-pins, meaning your content has a high likelihood of being shared, and over 69% of Pinterest users are more likely to buy online compared to Facebook’s 40%, so it should form an important part of any marketing schedule, especially if your target audience is women.
The main benefit of using Pinterest is that it drives more traffic to websites than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined. It will increase your visibility and convert visitors into sales.
This is a comprehensive guide on how to use Pinterest for business, market it and drive traffic to your website and generate sales.
Firstly you’ll need to figure out who you’re targeting and what you want to get out of your activity on Pinterest. Perhaps you want to increase traffic to your website, or showcase your products or raise your profile, and of course generate sales.
Set up a Pinterest business page as you’ll have access to all of the analytics and metrics you’ll need to measure success. Always include links back to your website and write a good business description. You can use these metrics to discover which posts and images your audience like and want more of. You’ll know this by the amount of repins you get. When you know what’s popular you’ll be able to add more pins like it. It’s this information that will shape your Pinterest marketing strategy. Test out pinning on different days of the week and times of day to find out what works best for you. Users tend to visit the site in the mornings (particularly Saturday morning) and in the evenings.
Create boards that reflect your business and offer content that has some value to your audience. Educate them. Find out what they’re interested in and what they want more of. Make or share content that’s inspirational or useful. Topical boards work well around events such as Christmas or summer holidays. You can also use your boards to share content with people taking part in a webinar or course you’re running. Use your boards to curate new and relevant content from across the web that you feel they’d be interested in. Becoming a trusted source of information will position you as an expert and will grow your following enormously. Please note it’s OK to post the occasional blog post but this really is a visual medium so stick to something bespoke.
Remember that women are your main target audience on this site which means attractive images are more likely to be re-pinned, so make your images pretty! The images that Pinterest users love and respond to are inspirational, emotive, fun and visually stimulating. Pin a mixture of your own unique images and content with lots of re-pinning. Re-pinning is the same as re-tweeting on Twitter, and will encourage more people onto your boards. The types of pins that work are listed below. You should aim to do a mixture of all of these.
i.e. 10 of the best superfoods
Visual Tutorials and Cheat Sheets
For example ‘The perfect messy bun in 3 simple steps’ or ‘How to fillet a fish’. Create a step by step visual guide using vertical images. Images on Pinterest are all the same width and will automatically fit and scale, however images can be as long as they like and a long image will stand out more on your boards. You can create a collage for your tutorials by using PicMonkey. As well as pinning these onto your own boards, do pin them onto relevant ‘How To’ boards for maximum coverage.
Text Over Images
If you’re using your own images on Pinterest always remember to add your logo or company name into the corner of the picture to ensure your stamp is on it whenever it’s shared. You can use PicMonkey to add text to your images.
Pinterest is a great way to curate your video content and drive people to your YouTube page or website. ‘How To’ videos are particularly popular as are behind the scenes videos (people love knowing what goes on backstage). Ask yourself how your audience can use your product or service. ‘How To’ videos showing how to fit or use a product you’re selling work really well. Again, do Pin your videos onto special ‘How To’ tutorial boards as well as your own.
Name your images and boards well and write good pin descriptions (longer more thoughtful descriptions tend to do better than pins with shorter descriptions.) Use key search words for good SEO as this helps you to get seen in search results, but don’t just plop them in without context. Write a thoughtful description that’s positive and aspirational. Also, always include a url in every pin description directing users back to your website.
It’s incredibly important that once users are driven from Pinterest to your website that you know what you want to do with them and how you want to develop that relationship. It’s pointless driving them to your site and then doing nothing with them. The best way to do this is to ask them to sign up to receive email updates from you.
To drive traffic from Pinterest you not only have to post images to your boards, but you also have to ask your audience to post images from your website or blog. Make sure you have a pin it button on all your content, images and videos on your website or blog. This makes it easier for people to share. Pinterest has step by step instructions on how to do this. But be sure not to place pin it buttons on everything as you’ll overdo it. You can either choose static or hover buttons which simply means the pin it button remains invisible until your mouse skims over the image. The only caution to add with hover pin buttons is that they won’t show up on touchscreens, so avoid if you want to target smart phone or iPad users. Add a ‘Follow Me on Pinterest’ button to your website (You should do this for all of the social media platforms you’re using). And as basic as this sounds, do remember to add your Pinterest address to all your other social media profiles and vice versa. You want to drive your audience around all of your platforms.
When you add prices to your pins they’ll be featured in Pinterest’s “Gifts” section where people go for shopping inspiration. Pinterest users are big online spenders so this is worth doing. To add a price to a pin simply add the price in pounds or dollars in the pin’s description.
Rich pins add extra detail to your pins to make them more useful. Firstly you’ll need to prepare your website with metatags, test out your rich pins and apply to get them on Pinterest. Pinterest provides set up information but if you’re not clear on coding you may want to ask your developer to do this for you. Pinterest has 5 types of Rich pins listed below:
Article Pins include headline and story description helping pinners find and save stories that matter to them.
Product pins include the price, availability and where to buy.
Recipe Pins include ingredients, cooking time and serving suggestions.
Film pins include ratings, cast members and reviews.
Place pins include a map, address and contact details.
Follow the people that are following your boards as well as following other businesses in your field, and engage with them by liking and commenting on their pins and tagging them using ‘@username’ in your descriptions. Also take a look at what comments others have posted below your images as this will show you what your audience are engaging with. This is the networking element of Pinterest. You can also invite others to collaborate on your boards. Sharing boards is particularly good when collaborating with designers and web developers to create mood boards which communicate the look and feel you’re going for.
The Pinterest Page App created by Woobox, allows you to display your pins and boards on a custom Pinterest tab on your Facebook page. This special app on Facebook provides quick and easy viewing, re-pinning and liking in a tab on your Facebook page, with a ‘Follow’ link leading to your Pinterest account. This makes it super easy to link up your social media channels. You can also use Pinvolve to sync your Facebook and Pinterest content.
If you use WordPress you’ll be able to add a Pinterest widget which allows you to show recent pins within a sidebar if you so wish. You can download this from WordPress.
Pin regularly with lots of content from lots of different sources if you want to be found and want to engage people. Scheduling your pins is a super-efficient way to manage your posts. Scheduling is fantastic because as mentioned earlier, you want to pin when the most users are on Pinterest to maximise your exposure. Pingraphy or Viraltag are free tools which allows you to do this. They also send you metric reports showing you who’s repining, when etc.
When you pin a new image or re-pin an existing image the ‘Pick a Board’ box opens. Within this box you should be given the option to share your pin on Twitter and Facebook which is great for syncing all of your social media.
Run a competition on Pinterest. Create a promotion and ask people to re-pin it for the chance to win. Add it to the ‘Pin it to win it’ board as well as your own boards, but do keep your audience in mind and offer something that your audience would be motivated by and find value in.
Get the Pinterest iPhone or Android app so you can re-pin on the go, pinning images from your camera.
Be warned, Pinterest is addictive and can be a huge waste of time if you don’t think carefully about what you’re doing before you start. Set aside one or two hours per week to create and post images.