Pinterest is an image-based social network that is getting more and more attention from business owners interested in marketing in a highly visual way. It launched a couple of years ago, and is the online equivalent of the old cork pin board, or a scrapbook. Now, we know there are loads of social media networks out there, but before you start tearing your hair out at the prospect of having to engage with yet another one, here are a few compelling reasons why Pinterest might be worth some time and effort when it comes to your business marketing.
So why use Pinterest?
Pinterest is basically about people viewing and sharing things to buy, things to do, and things that inspire them. While it’s not yet quite as popular as Facebook, it is growing quickly, and is proving particularly valuable for businesses that have a strong visual or design element.
For example, if you operate in the e-commerce sphere, Pinterest is a fantastic way to showcase product shots, and offer customers the option to buy then and there (which they like to do). Or, you might own a graphic design business, and Pinterest allows you to upload portfolios, and engage with and inspire potential customers.
- According to Comscore figures, Pinterest had 53.3 million unique visitors in March alone, which is roughly double that of a year earlier.
- According to a report published in February, Pinterest attracted 15% of all internet users last year.
- It appeals to a wide age range (18 – 64).
- There are five times as many women as men using the network.
- Pinterest is particularly powerful at driving referral traffic to other websites.
How does it work?
Pinterest allows you to create online collages of images and videos, with text descriptions. While Pinterest is image-based, you can support your photos or graphics with professionally written content such as blog posts. Your content gets spread when users ‘re-pin’ your material.
You can offer users easy ways to buy products featured on the boards, promote deals and sales, and use the platform to drive traffic to your own website. You can also link to relevant content you’ve found on other websites, and connect through Facebook and Twitter.
A Pinterest case study
Just one quarter after setting up on Pinterest, US pet insurance company Petplan recorded an 87% increase in new visitors and 35% more page views. As the case study explains, Petplan quickly found Pinterest a valuable marketing tool, with the visitors and page views translating into 12.5% more insurance quote requests.
Tips for using Pinterest effectively
Here a few tips for getting started on Pinterest:
- Name your Pinterest profile for your business, and include your website URL.
- Captivate with stunning images. Images promote customer engagement, which adds up to people sharing your pins and investigating your website.
- Support your images with powerful descriptions that intrigue people enough to re-pin your material, or check out your website. If copywriting isn’t your strength, consider hiring a professional article writer or outsourcing to one of the local content writing services to write content for you.
- As with other social media, pin regularly to give people reason to keep on coming back to your pin boards.
- Connect with your existing social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter for maximum exposure.
- It’s a visual medium, so when you pin blog posts, set them alongside a colourful image. Make products as crisp and appealing as you can.
- If your business doesn’t naturally lend itself to product images, what about using charts or taking advantage of the current fashion for infographics?
- Pin videos too. Not promotional ones that say how great your business is. go for videos that demonstrate something useful, interesting and relevant in your field or closely related to it. Fun videos are ok too.
- Have you produced any books, brochures or e-books related to your field? Pin the covers with appropriate links to key content.
- Personalise your pin boards. Social media thrives on personal contact. So don’t hide behind a logo, show your face and post an interview with yourself explaining a bit about your background and motivations. Profile employees too, one by one over a period of time. Eventually the company profile could have a board of its own.
- Connect to what’s on people’s minds with seasonal boards, and boards for special holidays such as Mother’s Day. If there isn’t an obvious ‘Day’ that fits your product or service – create one of your own. Alternatively, highlight everyday events. You might have a ‘Pay Day’ board for those impulse purchases, for example.
So there you have it. Given the key demographics that hang out on the network, the growing visitor numbers, and the ability to use the platform to drive traffic to your own website, it’s well worth considering adding Pinterest to your marketing mix.
Info graphic courtesy TAMBA UK