In Jan 2017, Pinterest had 160 million users globally. This social bookmarking site has a lot of potential as a marketing tool. Before you rush to sign up, here are a few things to consider when populating your boards.
1) Visuals are everything*
Users flock to Pinterest in their millions because they want to see amazing images that inspire them and give them something to aspire to. Of everything posted to the site, it’s the colourful, arresting images are the most repinned.
This means you need to ensure your photography is up to scratch. Lifestyle shots are perfect for aspirational Pinterest users, but if your budget won’t stretch to a professional photo shoot your good friend Google is here to help. A quick search for ‘making the most of your point and shoot camera’ will bring up plenty of tutorials to help you improve your photography skills. Lifehacker’s article is a good place to start.
2) * Well, almost everything
Great images are at the core of what makes Pinterest so successful but you’d be foolish not to take into account the opportunities presented by the description field.
When uploading their own images, many Pinterest users don’t give the caption much thought. For the digital marketer, this is a missed opportunity. Writing a description and using keywords within it makes other users more likely to come across your pinned image when they are searching the site.
Similarly to Twitter, Pinterest will automatically link a hashtag to a page of other items pinned under that term. Potential customers are more likely to find your pins if you label accordingly. And if somebody shares your pin as a tweet, great – the description, hashtag included, is what appears before the link.
Finally, it is also worth also noting that the description field will dictate what is contained in the ‘alt’ tag for your image – an SEO essential.
The usefulness of the description field is knowledge you should have and apply from the beginning. Writing a well-thought-out caption every time you pin may seem time-consuming, but it’s nothing compared to attempting to go back and do them all at once!
3) Sometimes it pays not to sell (overtly)
Let’s face it: nobody likes the hard sell. Consumers are reluctant to listen if they feel bombarded by overt marketing tactics. Take this into account when setting out your Pinterest strategy.
Draw your audience in by pinning not only your products but also images that would appeal to your customers in a more general, inspirational sense. For example, let’s say you own a store that sells baking equipment. Sure, pin your icing nozzles, cupcake cases and baking trays. But why not also set up a board entitled ‘Inspirational Cakes’ and use it to repin photos of beautifully decorated baked goods from other users?Remember: if your followers wanted to view an online catalogue, they would just visit your website. Keep the content of your Pinterest page in line with what attracts people to the site in the first place: inspiration and aspiration.
4) Thematic pinboard titles are the most effective
Create an enticing Pinterest page by using concise, compelling titles for your pinboards. Pinterest only displays the first 20 characters of board titles, so keep them short. When it comes to choosing your wording, imitate the thematic approach taken by ordinary Pinterest users. Department store Debenhams’ Pinterest page is a good example of well-chosen board names. Titles such as ‘Wedding Inspiration’, ‘Home Sweet Home’ and ‘Fabulous Flowers’ accurately indicate the nature of the content in a concise, interesting way.
5) Pins should convert to sales
Don’t forget why you set your brand up on Pinterest in the first place! Pinterest has put into place a few features that make it easier for businesses to encourage sales of their products. Most importantly, Pinterest has introduced a variety of so-called ‘rich pins’, including ‘product pins’. Product pins contain a link, product name, price and optional details such as the store name and the product’s availability. Learn how to apply for product pins at Pinterest.com
Have you taken my advice on board (excuse the pun)? How is Pinterest marketing working out for you? Let me know by leaving a comment below.