Pinterest marketing is different from other platforms. To be successful on Pinterest, it is important to know what distinguishes it from other social media channels.
As a marketer, you can tap into this by anticipating the ideas and solutions your potential customers are looking for. Attract them by creating and publishing content on Pinterest that serves them the ideas and solutions they crave, either organically or through paid advertising.
This brings us to another major difference and advantage Pinterest marketing has compared to other platforms. Did you know that after running a paid advertising campaign on Pinterest, the pin(s) you promoted during that campaign will stay on Pinterest and continue to drive traffic organically?
In addition, organic pins have an extremely long life-span. Several pins that I produced over a year ago continue to pop up in Pinterest feeds and generate traffic.
More and more businesses are marketing on Pinterest. According to eMarketer, 31.9% of US marketers used Pinterest in 2018, up from 29.1% in 2017.
How Does Pinterest Work?
The content saved by users is distributed to a wider audience by the Pinterest algorithm in people’s home feed and search results. As a business, your aim is to make your content inspirational and discoverable, so that it gets seen, saved (i.e. shared) and clicked as often as possible. Helpful content, keywords, and high-quality images are essential ingredients for success on Pinterest.
With 80% of new sign-ups from outside the US, their international audience is growing fast. There is a higher proportion of female users, but Pinterest is diversifying demographically and is gaining a broader appeal with millennial men.
If your target audience is active on Pinterest, it is definitely worth adding it to your marketing mix. For categories such as food, travel, home decoration, fashion and beauty, Pinterest is an obvious choice. However, it can be made to work for practically any type of business, whether you sell products or services. Many service-based businesses do very well on Pinterest.
So, where do you start?
How to Build a Successful Pinterest Marketing Strategy
However, the following high-level approach provides a practical starting point for most business types.
Is Pinterest the Right Fit for Your Business?
- Even if you are not active on Pinterest, people may already be sharing content from your website on Pinterest. To find out if this is the case, go to the following URL pinterest.com/source/your website address. This shows you pins that were pinned directly from your website, either by yourself (if you are pinning) or by other pinners. If the URL is not returning many results, this could be because your website was launched very recently or because it is difficult to pin directly from your website.
- Go to Pinterest and search for keywords and phrases that are relevant to your line of business. If those keywords appear in profiles, board names, board descriptions and pin descriptions, that’s a very good indication that marketing on Pinterest is a viable option.
- Ask your current customers if and how they use Pinterest. If you are not getting any results, it may not be a good fit for you. If you have positive responses for all of the above, it’s time to get started!
Set Your Marketing Objective(s)
- Increase traffic
- Build brand awareness
- Boost sales
- Deliver an action
Set up for Business on Pinterest
- A professional, mobile-responsive website, because 80% of pinners use Pinterest on mobile
- Regular content publications. For example, you regularly publish your own blog articles, podcasts, videos, photographs. On Pinterest, people are looking for helpful information to solve a problem, to learn something or to find new ideas
- One or more freebies. Can you offer your potential customers something that compels them to leave you their email address (checklist, e-book, video, course)?
- A Pinterest Business Account
Install the Pinterest Save button on your website, so that it’s easy for people to pin content directly from your website. You should also apply for Rich Pins. If you plan to pay for advertising on Pinterest, you should install the Pinterest Tag on your website. This will allow you to start building up audiences for future advertising.
How to Design a Conversion Focused Pinterest Marketing Strategy
- Think like your customer
- Begin with the end in mind
- Treat Pinterest like a search engine
- Track progress and improve
Think Like Your CustomerYour preferred customer should be at the heart of everything you do. In today’s world, customers are marketers.
This also works very well if you sell products. Instead of posting only product images, you could write a short article related to a product. If you sell scarves, you could write about “10 ways to wear a scarf” then reference or link to your own online store in the article.
Begin With the End in MindWhen launching a marketing campaign on Pinterest, whether organic or paid, start with your end goal and then design your strategy backwards.
Let’s imagine that the business coach, mentioned earlier, recently launched a new course on “How to find your first clients”. A couple of months before launching this new course, she started preparing for it by creating a “Get First Clients Checklist” for newbie entrepreneurs.
This checklist serves as a lead magnet to attract the right people to sign up for her mailing list. She included a sign-up box for this checklist in relevant blog posts and regularly published these articles on Pinterest. Besides organic pinning, she also promoted some of the pins to a more closely targeted audience through a paid Pinterest ad campaign.
For each article, she created one or more high-quality vertical images (2:3 ratio) for Pinterest. Each contains a clear message that makes interested pinners want to click to find out more. When people click through and read the article, they may be interested to sign up for the checklist.
To increase conversions, it is essential to first work out all the details of this backward chain of events.
Treat Pinterest Like a Search Engine
There are different ways people can stumble upon your content on Pinterest.
The large majority of searches on Pinterest are still done through keyword search. Even on a visual search engine like Pinterest! To optimize the chance of your content getting found, the titles and descriptions of your boards and pins should include actual search terms that people use to search on Pinterest.
Do some research on Pinterest (and Google!) to see what keywords and key phrases they use to find the product/services you sell. Document them in a list and refer to this list every time you publish new content. Update this document regularly.
The Pinterest search bar is great tool to find keywords. To better understand how it works, type a few keywords in the Pinterest search bar. Take note of the suggested keywords (see example below). Do a similar search for categories and keep drilling down the list of categories you are presented with. This will give you a good idea of the most frequently used keywords.
Track Progress and Improve
At the end of each month, head over to Pinterest Analytics and Google Analytics to export the data you need to track and measure your success. Here are some basic metrics you should focus on. If you are running a paid Pinterest campaign, check your campaign statistics from time to time to see if any adjustments are needed.
Organic vs. Paid Pin Strategy
Once you’re comfortable with that, try out Promoted Pins. They help you get to the top of search results much faster than organic pins. A paid campaign gives you access to additional keyword information that is not available for organic pins. It also gives you detailed information about your conversions.
Give your paid pin time to get ranked by the Pinterest algorithm - it takes click-through rate into account, so it’s best to leave it to run for a little while, at least 7 days, to let it gain momentum. The longer the campaign, the easier it is for Pinterest to optimize performance. Campaign results for the same pin or ad group (group of promoted pins) can vary enormously, depending on duration.
To design a conversion-focused Pinterest marketing strategy, start with the end in mind and work out what you need to put in place to achieve the desired outcome. Think like your customer when creating your content and your boards. Pinterest is a search engine, not a social network, so use SEO techniques to optimize your results.
One major difference compared with other platforms is that paid ads continue to live on. After you stop paying for them, they live on as organic pins that continue to drive traffic your way.
Pinterest is a long-term game that requires preparation, patience and a strategic approach. If you are looking for quick results, Pinterest is probably not for you! However, if you do it right, you can turn it into your best business friend. It will send potential customers to your site for months and years to come.
Mary Lumley is a Pinterest Marketing Expert who helps online entrepreneurs grow their business with Pinterest. She profitably uses Pinterest to grow her own business and advises other service-based businesses on how to increase conversions and get more paying clients with Pinterest.
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