A Beginner’s Guide To Pinterest Marketing

Anyone can create and organize virtual pinboards on practically any topic using Pinterest. You can then share these pins (most of which are photographs, but some are videos) with other Pinterest members as well as on the Internet via websites, blogs, and other social networks.

Pins can be posted directly from your computer or mobile device, or they can be shared via a website. Pinterest’s popularity has soared since its inception in March 2010. Given that Pinterest is the second largest driver of Internet traffic among social media platforms (surpassed only by Facebook), it’s no surprise that thousands of businesses, including the world’s largest, are already utilizing Pinterest to showcase their brand to an audience of more than 70 million users – more than 75% of whom access the site via cell phones.

Pinterest users come to the site to search, browse, and gather items that they like and inspire them – and this is where the enormous potential for businesses on Pinterest comes in – since many of them are purchasers. The most successful Pinterest pins, whether uploaded by an individual or a business, share a few characteristics: they combine excellent photographs with information that solves a problem, inspires a user, offers something valuable, or relates to a hobby or activity.

Consider how these pinnable properties can be applied to your brand to assist people in discovering content about the things they love that you have pinned – to drive engagement and conversation about your company culture, products, and services, and to increase click-through rates to your content outside of Pinterest.

A supplier of personalized dog collars, for example, might add pins on how to teach dog tricks or how to make homemade dog goodies.

While some Pinterest users visit the site specifically to find a product they want to buy, this is not the case for others, or they are at a different point of the purchasing process. As a result, the content mix you provide should appeal to and positively affect both types. In short, if the content you post inspires people to buy from you, that’s fantastic (Pinterest users often create “wish lists” as a springboard to buying products, so you should encourage them to add your products to them as they browse).

Pins that are not only promotional, but also lifestyle-based and driven by favorable connections with your company, can be equally useful in the long run. Whether your content provides a useful tip or pushes a user to take action, it’s just another motivation for them to save and share it with their followers on their home screens.

Whatever your industry, you should use Pinterest to inspire people with words and visuals. Show them your hopes and dreams. This includes not only building boards to highlight your products and services, but also boards to highlight unique and pinnable ideas, topics, and concepts related to your products.

Even if your brand isn’t particularly visually appealing and you don’t think Pinterest is a good fit for you, bear in mind that the site is as much (if not more) about gathering and sharing images from others as it is about posting your own.

A coffee shop, for example, might have a board about their drinks and food, as well as the current trends in coffee culture – gadgets, music, interior design, and so on. People pin and follow accounts on Pinterest because they are interested in what they are interested in, not because they enjoy your latest marketing campaign! Be a resource for pinners and pin with a service perspective rather than a profit focus.

Pinterest Profile Optimization

Pinterest’s current layout doesn’t give a whole lot of scope for customizing the look of your profile, but there’s still a few key things you must to do maximize the impact of your account…

1. Sign up as a business (or convert your personal Pinterest account)

In November 2012, Pinterest increased its support for brands by allowing them to sign up as businesses rather than individuals, and it also allowed brands that already had a Pinterest presence to change their personal accounts to business accounts. To do either, go to http://business.pinterest.com and select the appropriate option.

When you sign up as a business, you’ll have access to a variety of business-specific resources, such as Pinterest analytics tools, successful case studies, and links to Pinterest buttons and widgets you can use to promote your activity on the site.

2. Craft an effective username

The first thing you’ll want to get right when signing up for Pinterest is your username, which will form the basis of your Pinterest profile’s URL (e.g. www.pinterest.com/yourcompanyname). You will want to publicize this URL both online and in the real world, so try to keep it short, simple and memorable.

The obvious choice is your brand name, but if you have a keyword or slogan related to your company that could work better (especially if your brand’s name is longer than the 15-character limit), then consider that instead.

In addition, your ‘First Name’ and ‘Last Name’ should also reflect your brand, as it will appear prominently at the top of your Pinterest profile. If your brand name is short, a last name may not be necessary.

3. Use the ‘About’ section to your advantage

The description you write in the About section of Pinterest appears at the top of your profile page, and acts to describe your brand and what you do. Crucially, however, it will also appear under your Pinterest URL in Google search results, so make sure to include two or three of your business’ most relevant keywords. Don’t overdo the length – 160 characters should be plenty. 

4. Add your website and verify it for trustworthiness

This one is very self-evident. When you click on the ‘globe’ icon at the top of your profile, it will take you to your website. It’s not particularly visible on the Pinterest profile page, but every little bit helps, so don’t leave it blank.

Pinterest allows you to authenticate your website to show people that you are a reliable source of information. Once validated, you’ll receive a checkmark next to its URL on your profile, as well as access to Pinterest site metrics.

Click the “Verify website” button next to the area where you typed your URL to verify your website on Pinterest. Follow the instructions on the next page to finish the verification process. You can use an HTML file or a meta tag to validate.

5. Upload a great profile image

The two most popular types of Pinterest profile images for brands are your company’s logo or, if you are your company’s figurehead, a photo of your head and shoulders – smiling and happy, of course. Pinterest profile images appear in a rounded square on your profile page and in circles next to pinned content and comments.

To make sure your logo looks good anywhere on the site, upload a square image that’s 200 x 200 pixels, but keep your company logo or face within the central “safe area” and not in the corners.

Pinterest Marketing and Content Strategy

With your Pinterest profile page looking great, let’s dive into the marketing and content strategies that will help you to exploit every opportunity that the platform has to offer.

1. Optimum Pinterest pin image sizes and design

Pinterest does not restrict the vertical dimension of images pinned to its boards, but the horizontal width is limited to 735 pixels. Any image width will work, however it will be shrunk to a maximum of 735 pixels and displayed.

Also, keep in mind that Pinterest only allows users to pin from web pages that have at least one image, and these photos must be at least 110 110 pixels in size. Make sure to provide at least one pinnable image on each page or post to encourage pinning from your own website and blog.

Taller images, according to research, inspire more re-pins on Pinterest because they integrate better with the way the site layers material on top of each other in its infinitely scrolling, narrow-blocked grid. Focus on developing taller images if you want your Pinterest account and blog photographs to be shared more on Pinterest.

Of course, this isn’t always practical, but with picture types like infographics and step-by-step “how to” pieces, there are various simple methods to incorporate this strategy into your Pinterest activity.

In terms of color and design, Curalate, a Philadelphia-based firm, found that photographs (especially of products) with a plain and minimalist background performed better on Pinterest (in comparison to most other social networks) than those with too much in the frame.

Furthermore, very light and very dark photos were shown to perform poorly – anywhere in the middle is optimal. Pins with numerous dominating colors (rather than just one) received greater attention, and strong and warm colors like orange and red were repinned more than “colder” hues like blue.

Finally (and perhaps surprisingly), it discovered that photographs without human faces performed better on Pinterest; arguing that this is because the site is a social network of “things,” with faces serving primarily as a distraction, whereas Facebook is a social network of people.

While these patterns may be useful as a starting point for developing a Pinterest strategy, I recommend treating them with caution and keeping a careful eye on which content works best for you and your audience.

2. When and what to pin – be consistent and original

Pin on a regular and consistent basis – a few times per day is a good goal – but keep the stream moving steadily, rather than weeks with nothing followed by massive spurts of activity. This method will increase your exposure while preventing your followers from getting bombarded.

Don’t be hesitant to pin your Pinterest content more than once, but not to the same board twice (choose one with a similar fit, or a group board) and not immediately after the initial share – always allow the original pin time to shine.

What you publish depends depend on your business, but because studies show that 80% of all material on Pinterest is re-pinned pins, aim to generate original and inspiring pins to ensure that you are in the magical other 20%.

When you pin a product, try the following strategy: upload one photo of the product on its own (e.g., with a plain white background) and another within the setting in which it will be utilized (e.g. luxury towels in a bathroom).

Some people choose to pin basic photographs for inspiration, whereas the latter technique allows followers to imagine how the product might fit into their own lives. Of course, both pins should point to the same sales page on your website.

Build authority in your niche by providing material that is inspirational, interesting, accurate, up-to-date, helpful, and insightful when you pin content from others. Other Pinterest users’ boards disclose a lot about their likes, interests, hopes, and desires, so use everything you can uncover to convert your profile into a destination that benefits your audience, in addition to an advertisement for your brand.

Click on the “Popular” link from the drop-down menu on the Pinterest home page to find out what’s popular with Pinterest users right now, and then decide whether it’s appropriate for you to incorporate these trends into your content strategy: make your account a more valuable resource by sharing pins from other boards that your fans will enjoy.

Note: Pinterest employs a “smart feed” algorithm, which measures the quality of a pin based on the attractiveness of its image and the authority of the source website from which it is pinned – the more people who pin images on the site, the better. Pins that combine these two elements are given preferential treatment within the site’s feed. Of course, it’s all-but impossible to tell if your pins are being picked out for special treatment by the smart feed algorithm, but knowledge of this back-end process should encourage you to consistently share only the most awesome stuff.

3. Keep board names short and simple

While you should be keyword-rich when naming your boards, make the names basic and descriptive so that they can be found simply in Pinterest’s search – yet short enough so that the names do not trail off when viewed on your profile.

When displayed on your profile page, each of your board names can have up to 30 characters (including spaces) before being cut off – the remaining characters can be seen when the board is clicked on. Meanwhile, the cut-off point for Pinterest search is considerably shorter, at roughly 20 characters.

If your board name is longer than 20 characters, attempt to add the most relevant keywords at the front to increase the likelihood of it being discovered. Choose wisely because your Pinterest board name will become part of its URL, i.e. www.pinterest.com/your-board-name (essential for SEO).

Note: Because many people use Pinterest as a search engine (often preferring it over Google for some queries), treating the creation of your content on the site with an SEO mindset is critical – in board names, pin names and descriptions, and even the file name of your photographs (more on these shortly).

4. When creating boards, keep “niche” in mind

If you have spent time on Pinterest, you might have noticed that some of the biggest brands on the site have created loads of pinboards; each very specific in its contents. While flooding your profile with pins might seem counter-intuitive from the “less is more” school of thought, in fact, it could pay dividends.

Here’s why: because people use Pinterest search a lot to find content (or come across it via a web search), creating highly targeted boards gives your pins a better chance of being found and viewed. For example, a board called “Wedding Inspiration” is very general – there are thousands all named the same and the chances of yours being found if you are just starting off as, say, a wedding accessories vendor, are slim.

However, a board called “Pink Wedding Dresses 2022,” although less likely to be searched for, has much less competition, and therefore gives it a better chance of being discovered in search results. So when you create your Pinterest boards, think unique, specific and niche, and target the content and keywords that you think your audience will be looking for.

5. Select an attractive board cover

One pin on each of your Pinterest boards will be used as the board cover. This image should be eye-catching, attractive and represent the board as a whole, on your profile and in search results. In short, your board cover should appeal to users enough to make them want to click and explore its contents in full.

To select a pin as your board cover, hover over the board in question on your profile and click the ‘Change Cover’ button. Use the arrows to find the pin you want to use as your board cover. When selecting your board cover image, you can reposition the image to have the best part featured on the cover. Click Save Changes to apply the change.

6. Rearrange your Pinterest boards by importance

Pinterest gives you the option to rearrange your boards. All you need to do from your profile page is click, hold and drag boards into their optimum positions. The idea here is to shift your most important boards onto the first couple of rows – especially those ‘above the fold’, i.e. those boards visible onscreen before a user has to scroll down to see more.

Think about which of your boards you want to feature most prominently – based on seasonal promotions, holidays, current trends, etc. and place them in the prime real estate areas of your Pinterest profile.

7. Create Secret Boards to collate pins and plan marketing

Pinterest’s ‘Secret Boards’ feature allows you to create an unlimited number of hidden boards that can be made public at any time in the future. One simple and effective use for Secret Boards is related to seasonal campaigns, e.g. Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.

Slowly build up your campaign’s themed Secret Board throughout the year and when the time comes, you’ll be well prepared to make it public with a wealth of content which you can continue to add to during the promotional period.

To create a Secret Board, choose the option at the bottom of your profile page; or, when creating a board from the ‘Add’ menu, make sure to switch the Secret Board slider to ‘On’.

8. Drive repins and web traffic with effective pin descriptions

As Pinterest is one of the world’s biggest drivers of traffic through to websites, crafting effective pin descriptions is essential to giving your content the best chance possible of being discovered when a user searches the site.

With the roll out of Pinterest’s Guided Search in April 2014 (a tool that offers instant keyword suggestions and inspiration to help inspire users into finding exactly what they want), optimizing your pin descriptions is more important than ever.

My primary advice is to write pin descriptions as a useful and searchable piece of information, including specific and distinct keywords that reflect the pin’s content and your business, e.g. “red, V-neck striped red sweater from Karen’s Apparel, Denver” is much better than just “wool sweater”.

If the pin demands it, descriptions that mention how the subject of the pin provides value work better than straight explanations, so put yourself into the mind of a customer and write with what they might want to know.

For example, rather than saying something like “We’re now selling these diamond earrings, let us know what you think of them,” a more effective description might read “The way that the light bounces off these beautiful diamond earrings is mesmerizing, and they’d go well with any kind of outfit made for a night out on the town.”

Some research has shown that including a call to action in your pin description also helps to encourage clicks, so you may want to experiment with some, too. Unlike other social networks where shorter copy is king, slightly longer descriptions work better on Pinterest; just enough to spark a user’s curiosity so that they will feel compelled to click through to your website for more information.

Oh, and just before you publish your pin, add a full URL back to the content within the description to boost its SEO. Always use the full URL, because Pinterest has a habit of marking shortened URLs (bit.ly, tinyurl, etc.) as spam.

To encourage repinning (so that your pins are spread organically to a greater audience throughout the site), your description should also help people see the value of a pin and explain why they might want to repin it to one of their own boards.

As for hashtags, like with Twitter, don’t go overboard – one or two are great; three is probably the maximum you want to consider before things start to look a bit spammy.

Another good idea for your brand image and marketing (and something you can compound using other social networks and real-world efforts) is to create a hashtag specific to your brand, e.g. the name of your company or a short slogan (e.g. #mcdonalds or #imlovinit). Pepper this unique hashtag throughout your Pinterest activity and encourage your fans to do the same.

9. Modify blog image titles for optimum pinning from readers

The title you give an image when publishing it on your blog (that’s the pop-up message you see when you hover your mouse cursor over it) is the text that Pinterest lifts to use as a pin’s description when that image is pinned by a blog reader.

So, if you encourage blog readers to pin content from your site, make sure that the image title (and subsequent pin description) appears as you would like it to when it lands on Pinterest.

I often pin from websites where this hasn’t been done, and if I’m not in the mood to optimize someone else’s pin for them so that it doesn’t look bad on my profile, then I’ll just close the window and not bother. Don’t let your readers do this to you!

10. Install the ‘Pin It’ bookmarklet and ‘Pin It’ buttons

The Pin It bookmarklet lets you grab an image or video from any website and pin it to one of your boards in an instant. Installing this ensures that you can quickly and easily pin top content to your boards as soon as you find it.

When you visit a website and click ‘Pin It’ on a page where there is an image you want to pin (displayed in your browser’s bookmarks bar), the bookmarklet will display thumbnails of all ‘pinnable’ images on that page. Simply select the one you want to share, choose the correct board, enter a description, and hit ‘Pin It’.

Make sure that you install a Pinterest button on your blog, too (sit it beside the Facebook “Like” and “Tweet” buttons above, below, or to the side of each blog post. This strategy that ensures that your best images are made as easy for Pinterest users (who don’t have the “Pin It” Bookmarklet at least) to share as possible.

Pinterest also has several choices of ‘Follow’ buttons, profile preview, and board preview widgets that you can display on your website to show off your Pinterest presence to potential fans. Choose the ones that take your fancy and embed them on your website where people will see them.

There are simple step-by-step instructions for choosing and installing all of these widgets at the following address: http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/ On a related note (and this a strategy that will come into play once you are an established player on Pinterest), use your most popular pins as an opportunity to help drive sales outside of the social network, whether in real- life or on your website.

Case in point is the retailer Target: it highlights various in-store items with a “popular on Pinterest” card to catch the eye of shoppers (particularly if they are Pinterest users), and it also has a section of its website – the Awesome Shop – dedicated to its most pinned content for visitors to explore.

The idea is that when someone sees that a particular item is popular on Pinterest and that is has been given the seal of approval by their peers, the just might be encouraged to invest as well.

11. Set up Rich Pins for greater visibility, and Buyable Pins for products

In May 2013, Pinterest began to roll out Rich Pins, a way to make pins more useful and engaging. With Rich Pins enabled, you’ll be able to feature things like the price and availability of a product, recipe details, maps, etc. on top of and underneath relevant pins.

Rich Pins update this information automatically and display it below a pin in real time by lifting data from your website. To get started with Rich Pins, you’ll need to prep your website with meta tags, test out the function and apply to get them on Pinterest.

Getting Rich Pins to work right requires some coding and technical knowhow, so if you’re unsure what terms like “oEmbed” and “semantic markup” mean, I recommend getting together with your web developer for a chat and pointing him or her to http://business.pinterest.com/rich-pins/ for more info.

Once you overcome the slight technical hurdle, there are plenty of reasons to use Rich Pins including the likelihood of increased likes, repins, web traffic, and sales – definitely worth the effort! Where Rich Pins for products are concerned, the item in question will also be automatically added Pinterest’s Gift category feed (http://www.pinterest.com/gifts/).

Pinterest’s own research shows that Product Pins get higher click-through rates than regular pins and make your brand more visible on the site. What’s more, users will receive an email notification if Product Pins they’ve saved drop in price, encouraging them to buy right there, particularly if they weren’t quite ready to at the higher price.

In addition, Pinterest has introduced Buyable Pins – adorned with a blue “Buy It” button, they allow people to buy products without ever leaving Pinterest. Shopify and Demandware users can integrate Buyable Pins now, while it’ll roll out to everyone else in the coming future.

With Pinterest being a hub for consumers’ wish lists and a destination to simply window shop, Buyable Pins offer a fantastic opportunity to businesses, especially those touting impulse buys.

12. Overlay text on your images to grab attention and encourage interaction

Most Pinterest users scan the site’s content and don’t take the time to read the descriptions or comments associated with an image – that is unless the image grabs their attention first! Images overlaid with easy-to-read, bold text do that particularly well in drawing people’s attention, clarifying the message of the pin, and encouraging interaction with a call to action.

Use free services such as Pinwords (http://www.pinwords.com/) and PicMonkey (http://www.picmonkey.com) to easily this result easily and stylishly. After all, while it’s great to get repins and comments on your pins, one of your main goals is surely to drive traffic off Pinterest onto an external website.

13. Share videos and presentations; decide between in-feed or image-based pins

Pinned videos from sites including YouTube and Vimeo will play directly within the Pinterest feed, so if videos are part of your marketing strategy, make sure your customers know about them via the site.

For example, I have separate video boards that showcase my social media marketing tutorials for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others. Another effective idea is to use videos as a way to demonstrate your products in use, either in isolation or – even better – in a real life setting.

You could also create a separate video board where you pin videos from Pinterest and around the web that complement yours, or invite others to pin their content there. To make sure your pinned videos has as much visual impact on the site as possible, make use of YouTube and Vimeo’s custom thumbnail features.

The thumbnail you choose will act as the image that represents your video pin, so make it compelling – take a look at the custom thumbnail tips in the YouTube Tips chapter for more specific advice on this. In addition, add the word “video” to the beginning of the pin’s description to grab attention.

Note: If you pin a video from a page on your website on which the video is embedded (rather than a youtube.com address, for example), Pinterest will show the directly-playable YouTube video but the link and description associated with that pin will be the URL and page name on your site respectively, so this will definitely help with Pinterest and web search engine optimization. As well as videos, Pinterest also supports the embedding of Slideshare presentations. If you use the “Share on Pinterest” option underneath a slideshow on Slideshare, the content in question will appear on Pinterest with a small “Play” button on top of the pinned image. When this is clicked, the pin opens up on its own page and users can view the whole presentation directly on the site. Similar to video content, you might want to add the words “slideshow” or “presentation” into the pin description to make clear what’s on offer.

When you share a video or Slideshare presentation to Pinterest, the video thumbnail and first slide image respectively will represent the pin – and, to be truthful, it’s not that big and visually impacting.

To improve upon this situation (and if you’d prefer to use videos or presentations as a way to drive traffic to your website from Pinterest rather than having them play directly on the site), do this: instead of pinning the media directly from YouTube, Vimeo, or Slideshare, create a separate pinnable image that links to the video or presentation (embedded on your website) and pin that instead.

The advantage of this method is that you have full control over the dimensions of the pinned image, meaning that you can format it to be taller than thinner, a composition that is often more engaging than the fixed short and wide dimensions of directly-pinned media.

Custom images could simply be a much larger version of the video or slideshow’s title, or – if you’ve got more time – a tall infographic-style image that summarizes some of the content’s main points and encourages people to click through to get the information in full. To make it obvious that a pin contains interactive content behind it – and encourage users to click – add a “play” triangle symbol over your custom pin image.

Yes, the downside here is that the video or presentation you link to won’t play within the Pinterest feed, but chances are that the people who willingly make the extra click to view the video or presentation on your website without distractions, are the kind that will be most valuable to your business (and more likely to convert) in the long run.

Note: While I recommend pin boards made exclusively to draw attention to your video and presentations, don’t be afraid to repin this content (whether you pinned it directly or as a separate image) to other relevant boards. For example, a company that sells handmade soaps could pin a video showing its manufacturing process to its dedicated video board, plus a board that relates to the specific product that is being made, e.g. Winter Warmer Handmade Soaps.

14. Interact, mention, and share your best content to community boards.

Pinterest allows you to mention other users in a comment by typing @username. People love knowing you like their content, so be sure to let them know. Create a seed-list of loyal people you can count on to re-pin your content, and @tag them in your pins to get them involved. In addition, consider using a service like PinGroupie (http://pingroupie.com/) to find popular community boards, and share your best content to them.

15. Encourage interaction and drive interest by adding guest pinners

Selectively encourage brand ambassadors and influencers to pin to your Pinterest profile on a group board (keep an eye on notifications for people who repin your content a lot, or draw them in from other social networks).

Pinterest’s messaging function (launched via the “+” icon at the bottom of the site) is a useful way to engage with your most loyal and trusted followers, and invite them to pin with you. Personalize the message to make the individual feel special, and to let them know why they were chosen, what you want them to do, and what’s in it for them (money off vouchers, exclusive access to new products, etc.).

The beauty of this strategy is that when an invited individual pins to your board, their activity shows up in both your followers’ and their followers’ feeds. If the guest pinner in question is popular on the site, you can just imagine the potential for increased interest in your brand.

Be picky about the people you invite, restrict just one or two people to any one board so that they feel special, and give them as much creative freedom as you are happy to allow. To add a guest pinner, enter their username in the ‘Add another pinner’ box when creating a new board.

16. See who’s sharing your content, and encourage new fans

Want to see who and what content Pinterest users are grabbing from your website? Use the URL http://pinterest.com/source/[yourpinterestusername] to see what’s been shared from your website or blog. You can then use this information to see what types of content is most popular with your follow base, and go on to optimize your output as a result.

The above tip will reveal who is sharing your Pinterest content on the site, but one clever little way to encourage pressed-for-time people to visit your boards when they aren’t so busy is the “Pin it for later” technique.

When sharing your Pinterest post in a status update on Facebook, Twitter, in an email newsletter, etc., copy the URL of the pin and mark it as a link to click to “Pin for later,” empowering your audience to bookmark content that interests them.

On a similar note, try featuring some of your top pins (screenshot images of them and add a click-through link) in your email newsletter, encouraging the Pinterest fans on your list to join you on the site.

17. Pinterest Board Ideas for Business

VIP board to feature customers

Ask fans of your brand to pin pictures of themselves with their favorite product of yours, and to tag you in the description. You can re-pin those photos onto a VIP board on your profile. Not only is this a great way to play to the ‘vanity’ of your fans (they love to be featured on your boards), but it also serves to spread the word of your brand around the social network.

Products and services board, give sneak peeks

While you should never use Pinterest as a way to spam your customers with marketing pins, a couple of boards dedicated to your products and services won’t harm, particularly as Pinterest is such a huge driver of sales and web traffic. Fashion brands on Pinterest are experts at this strategy, posting new boards to reflect the changing season’s must-have looks and provide exclusive sneak peeks to its fans.

A study by Vision Critical for the clothing brand J. Crew found that nearly a quarter (21%) of Pinterest users visited the store to buy an item they liked or pinned from its boards. The same survey revealed that a whopping 80% tended to buy an item within three weeks of pinning it.

To boost this statistic even further, J. Crew tempts customers with pin descriptions like “Love what you see? Our Very Personal Stylist team can help you pre-order this look before it becomes available on Wednesday August 21.) Call or email…”

Current campaigns board

Build a board specifically for posting information about your latest marketing campaigns, offers and deals, so that your customers can find them all in one place, e.g. Summer Offers, 25% Off Sale, etc. Make sure that you rearrange your boards to make this one appear near the top of your profile, so that these limited-time deals are given as much visibility as possible.

Meet-the-team board

Pinterest pins provide the perfect opportunity for your customers to get to know you and your staff better. Take individual photos of your employees and use the title and description to tell your customers who they are and what they do; add other interesting snippets of information, e.g. their hobbies, favorite movie or why they love working for you! In essence, take customers behind the scenes, to help them connect more closely with you and your brand.

Company history board

Take inspiration from Facebook’s Milestones feature and use pins to document the history of your business. Customers love to indulge in the history and heritage of their favorite brands, and Pinterest provides the perfect opportunity to let them do this.

Showing that your company has a history improves your credibility; showing your growth and new products can imply core growth, stability and trustworthiness. Examples of stuff you can feature as part of your history include storefront or website changes, product package revisions through the years – and even pictures of you in your younger days!

Tutorials and how-to board

In such a creative space as Pinterest, putting together tutorials and how-to videos related to your business or industry works really well. In a step-by- step process, use one pinned picture, GIF, or video per step to create an easy-to-follow chain of instructions and increase your exposure at the same time.

Alternatively (and given the evidence that taller images get more re- pins), create a single tall image made up of several smaller step-by-step photos and instructions.

Reviews and recommendations board

A great number of people use Pinterest to get shopping inspiration, and associate themselves with brands and retailers. Write up reviews and recommendations for products that people want and pin them to a board with a title such as ‘Products We Love’, whether the items inside are yours or not.

Even if they aren’t yours – good karma reciprocates good karma on Pinterest, and you’ll see a long-term positive trend if you feature and tag others in this kind of way.

Showcase your blog and website

Create a board specifically to pin blog posts and articles that you have created on your website – it helps to drive traffic to your content. Also use these boards to highlight and re-purpose old (but still great) blog posts that were posted before you joined the site.

18. Utilize Place Pins Boards

In November 2013, Pinterest rolled Place Pins – a way for users to geotag their activity on the site. Place Pin boards allow users to see exactly where the subject of a Pin was snapped or created, and also include extra information like an address and phone number so that anyone can easily find you, and even get directions.

To create a Place Pin board, select “Add a map” when you create a new board, or edit an existing board’s settings to add one. Then, click on each pin individually to search for a location and add it to the board’s map.

Place Pins have numerous uses that include: marking bricks and mortar locations or an upcoming event, showing off where your clients are around the country or world (to impress with your geographical influence), to pin ideas for your customers based on location (e.g. showing how your product or service adapts to or is used in different places), or as part of a contest (e.g. ask customers to pin photos of themselves using their product or service wherever they are in the world, and offer a prize to the one that is the most imaginative, beautifully shot, farthest away, etc.).

19. Create and share infographics

Infographics are a hugely popular way to share information on the web, and they look fantastic in Pinterest’s vertical layout. Consider creating your own infographics to share with customers (don’t forget to plug your business at the bottom of them).

Also repin the best infographics you find on Pinterest or around the web, as long as they are relevant and interesting to your audience. I created a Pinterest board dedicated to social media infographics and its content is amongst my most viewed and re-pinned.

20. Pinterest contest strategy

Like other social media outlets, Pinterest is a great way to hold contests to increase engagement and loyalty. The easier your contest is to enter, the simpler it is to setup and the more entries you are likely to receive.

Examples include asking entrants to pin images from your business website to enter, asking fans to upload original images of their favorite products from your brand (either to their own board or one a brand new one with a name that you decide), or asking them to pin creations they have made by using one of your products (for example, a sausage company could ask participants to pin images and recipes of meals they have concocted in the kitchen).

For a full rundown on the Dos and Don’ts of Pinterest contests and how to comply with its terms of service, visit this page: http://business.pinterest.com/logos-and-marketing- guidelines/

21. Run an offer on Pinterest

People love offers – anything with the word ‘free’, ‘discount’ or ‘giveaway’ in it – and the visual nature of Pinterest is a great way to get them noticed.

Either pin images from your website and add a description of the offer featured there, or upload a pin direct to the site for an ‘exclusive to Pinterest followers’ offer.

And how about getting even fancier, with something like a ‘pin it to unlock’ campaign? Upload a pin detailing a special offer and tell your followers it will only run once the image has been re-pinned ‘X’ number of times, encouraging them to like, comment, and re-pin to unlock it!

22. Use Facebook to promote your Pinterest content

On your Facebook fan page, show images of your favorite pins to your fans. Provide a mixture of links, fun status updates and your specific boards.

Be sure to include the URL to the pins in question, so that Facebook fans are encouraged to click through to view, re-pin and follow. One of the most effective ways I use this technique is with infographics.

For example, let’s assume the pinned infographic is called ’10 Ways to Delight Your Blog Readers’. I will copy the image into a photo editor and crop it to show only the first of the ten ways. I’ll then upload and post this shortened image to Facebook, along with a post that describes the infographic and tells fans to click through to Pinterest, at the link provided, if they want to see the other nine points.

23. Pinterest analytics strategy

Pinterest’s built-in analytics tool (accessed via the drop-down menu on your profile page or directly at https://analytics.pinterest.com/) provides a top-down statistical overview of how often content is being pinned from your website, how many times your pins are re-pinned, how many people are seeing your pins each day, how many are clicking on them, which devices they’re accessing your content on, and who these people are (based on location, gender, interests, and languages spoken).

You can also glance at the most recent, most repinned, and most clicked content, but click the “Export data” button to generate a spreadsheet that will give a complete breakdown of likes, comments and repins of each post.

Use the data to compare your pin and board stats, learn about your audience, spot trends, and adapt your strategy to capitalize on what most resonates with the people who engage with your Pinterest content.

Advertising on Pinterest – Promoted Pins

Promoted Pins are a way for you to expand the organic reach of pins that you want more of your audience to see. They appear in regular search results and category feeds, and are marked with a “Promoted Pin” label.

When you pay to promote a pin, you only pay for the initial “boost.” Any other engagement or traffic that is generated via comments or re-pins (even after the promotion ends) is all free, so, done right, they can be a very cost-effective way of marketing your content and driving your business goals.

1). To get started, visit http://ads.pinterest.com and click Promote. You can choose to promote an existing pin (search by name or URL), pin an image from your website, or upload a new piece of content from your computer.

2). Choose relevant keyword terms to describe your pin and help your target audience find it. Pinterest will suggest related terms, which you can include if you wish, and the site recommends that you add at least 30 terms – a mixture of broad and specific – to increase the reach of your Promoted Pin. When deciding upon which keywords to target with Promoted Pins, use Pinterest’s Guided Search to help you determine what type of keywords people are using to find information about your service or product. In addition, Pinterest ads’ robust keyword search tool can be used as a powerful generator of ideas regarding subjects to base your promotion around.

3). Target your pin to your audience by location, language, device, and gender. As you choose, Pinterest will show you an estimate of the impressions that your Promoted Pin will receive on a weekly basis.

4). Choose a CPC (cost-per-click) and daily campaign budget. You only pay when someone clicks through to your website. Select when you want your campaign to begin and end (or just keep it rolling).

5). Click Promote Your Pin to finish. Within the Pinterest ads dashboard, use the conversion tracking tools to see how many clicks, engagements, and views your Promoted Pin has received. Combine this data with Pinterest analytics to see how your Promoted Pins perform, and adjust your existing or future campaigns to work on improving your results.

Promoted Pins Best Practices

The most successful Promoted Pins are informative, inspirational and useful – not overly promotional. Their branding and logos compliment (not dominate) the pin; they include soft call-to-actions in an image’s text overlay and in the description (e.g. “Up to 40% off,” “Shop our sale,” “Free shipping”) – not price; and their descriptions are detailed.

The copy should spotlight the most compelling aspects of the pin, and tease what a user can gain from clicking through. Multi-product images can also perform well, as they cater to different tastes, e.g. showing off several products from one range rather than just one.

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