Pinterest has taken the social media world by storm. It generates so much referral that it is a great disservice to your brand if you do not utilize it for marketing. Pinterest is only second in rank to Facebook when it comes to user engagement and as everyone knows, this is the pot of gold in Social Media Marketing. Pinterest’s demographic is predominantly female but it is growing so rapidly that the gender bias shouldn’t hold true for long.
So how do we effectively use Pinterest to market our brand/product? Let’s find out.
Let us start with the basic: The Pinboard.
In Pinterest, a user has the option to only follow certain boards of users that interests them. Unlike twitter, Pinterest allows you to categorize different interests using Pinboards.
To compliment your business, you should create pinboards for different products that you sell or services that you offer. A user looking for a certain product might only be interested in one specific category and would only be looking at following one of your boards. Having this control is a great way to target your products/service to specific audience/followers.
Bottom line is to effectively categorize your pinboard so it would reflect the different offerings that you have.
Use Visual Content
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Some companies or even some individuals would have trouble in coming up with a set of images that they can utilize. This is especially true for business that offers service instead of tangible products. Here are some ways that might help you in gathering images:
- Visual Content You Have
For companies, it is quite next to impossible to not have pictures of any kind. In your last company outing or party, someone might have snapped some pictures of the event. Utilize those to showcase how it is like to be in your company. You could probably label that board as “Company Culture” or something to that effect. Another possible source is your org chart. Executives or the management team must have some form of profile picture that you can use for a board entitled “Management” or “Organizational Structure”.
If you are going to pin a local image file instead of something from a website, make sure that the image is of top notch quality. The description should be…well, pretty descriptive of the picture.
- Visual From Blog Articles
If you are pinning an article from your blog, make sure that the article has an image that is very relevant to it. If the blog is your own, to optimize your blog for Pinterest usage, you must make sure to include in your blog post, a good image that describes your article best. Always remember that Pinterest is all about nice imagery.
- Infographics And Data Charts
Infographics are one of the most viral types of images on the web. They hold the viewers’ attention and push them to engage or participate and share.
Your company might have interesting data that can be utilized to make an infographic. If so, then create your own before someone else acts on that idea and beat you to the punch.
If you are using an infographic created by a third party website such as Mashable, make sure that you give credit to the creator. Infographics usually comes with branding near the bottom of it, so giving credit would not be too hard.
One acceptable practice is to utilize an infographic by repinning it and editing the link of the pin. Instead of the link pointing to the original source, you can edit it to point to your website instead. Just make sure that the content of the article or page in your website is somehow related to the infographic you have used.
- Book Covers
Book covers are great images for pins. If you are selling books or you want to showcase a book, all you need to do is find an online retailer that sell that book. Go to the book page and pin it using the “pin it” bookmarklet. As with any other types of pins, Pinterest would let you choose which image it found on the page, you would like to use.
- Customer Photos
Another great source of imagery is your customers. You can create a pinboard showcasing the customer of the month or customers who won raffles. You can ask customers for a picture they would like to be showcased on the board. Big companies that have presence in Pinterest are already utilizing this idea to promote their respective brands.
Make Your Product Visually Stunning
Pinterest is all about stunning visuals. If you are promoting a product, then you should learn how to turn that product into an eye candy. What we basically want to achieve here is simple. Be a visual curator and a purveyor of stunning imagery.
You do not have to be truly artistic to pull this off. You just need to have a small degree of visual know-how. Anyone who has enough knowledge about photography and imagery will be able to pull this off.
1. Color – for product photography, color is a good thing. Unless you are selling a line of apparel or lifestyle service that would benefit from a black and white imagery, a stunningly colored picture would do wonders.
2. Composition – Compose your pictures properly. Look up “golden mean” in google and you will find a lot tutorials or online resources that would teach you how to compose an image.
3. Setting – Make sure that the setting would jive with the theme of the campaign that you have. You also need to associate your background with the brand and of course with the theme of the Pinboard where you will pin it to.
4. Focus – Ever heard of bokeh or depth of field? If not, google the term and you will see what I am talking about. Depth of field is a setting of
your camera that would allow you to, either focus on the main subject and blur the background, or you may want to focus on the background while blurring the foreground. A viewer’s perception of the picture will be swayed if you employ proper focusing on your images.
Create user generated pinboard
Pinterest allows you to create a board that other people can contribute to. Seek out some evangelists of your brand and a few people to contribute to you board. This is a great way to involve your customers in the marketing of your product or service. This board can be turned into a testimonials page with awesome imagery.
Enabling your customers to participate in your presence in Pinterest would create a sense of trust on the product and/or brand. In marketing as many of you may very well know, trust is everything.
A user generated pinboard can also serve as sound-off board for your audience. This is a great tool to get you customers’ feedback and suggestions.
Here is how you can setup a user generated board:
- Create a board like you would when you are creating a normal board.
- At the bottom of the dialog box for the pinboard, there is a radio button option that says me+people.
- Select that option and then Pinterest would ask you who you want to be listed or included as a contributor and / or curator of the board. The more people you invite the more you gain visibility.
- Update the board as often as you can. There is nothing more boring than a pinboard with outdated. Not all the people that you invited would actively use your board. Be prepared to update your user-generated board regularly just until it gains traction and gains more active followers.
- Curate the content by informing all contributors of the theme of the board. Curating the board also includes weeding out the bad posts from the good. Always remember when you are curating an image that Pinterest is all about visuals.
Host a Contest
Hosting a contest is one of the oldest and most effective tools in marketing to create brand awareness. To leverage the power of Pinterest, you can hold a contest wherein your customers or Pinterest users can create a pinboard that would showcase fun things they do while using your brand. Of course the concept of the contest would be up to you.
You can host a contest wherein users would send you a link of a pinboard they created that showcases your brand. There of course unlimited possibilities when it comes to this. Let your imagination run wild on this.
Add Pin-it Button On Your Website
Adding the “pin it” button on your website makes it easy for your audience to share your content in Pinterest. This is especially true if the person does not have a “pin-it bookmarklet” on his/her browser. Like twitter and Facebook, the pin it and follow button makes it easy for everyone to share your content.
Much like other brands, this will help your brand be discovered by new people.
Gather your Buyers Personalities
Knowing what your market is thinking or their predisposition towards some things, is one of the key tenets of marketing. Since the advent of the internet as part of marketing campaigns, knowing your customers has never been easier. Social networking sites like Facebook leverages the enormous information that it has on all its users to target specific advertisements.
Pinterest can be used as a tool in gathering information about your target market’s persona. You can do this by viewing your customers profile and the types of boards they have. Their pinboards would be pretty much representing their interests. If you are using a tool to track which customers came through to your website via interest, you can then track their behavior and buying habits and identify the triggers that converted each customer to a sale. From this you can customize your targeting strategy.
Stand out as a leader
What we are trying to say is: become the expert in your field! Make it a point that your brand or you will be known as the go-to guy for the industry you belong in. You should stand as an expert on your selected niche.
A good example is a marketing company. If you are engaged in marketing, it would be a good idea to create a pinboard that showcases stunning visuals of marketing campaigns. The content of this pinboard should be original and informative.
Add links in pin description
If you are pinning a local content instead of something from a live blog or website, it is a good idea to include a link to a post in your website or blog that is related to the image you have pinned. Include the link in the description. The combined result of each pin’s click and repins can give you a big boost.
Even if you are pinning from a live website or blog, it is a good idea to include the link on the description too.
Create a video gallery
In Pinterest, images are not the only type of media that you can pin. Videos can also be pinned. If your managers or executives engages in talks or conducts seminars on certain topics, this is great material that you can place in one of your pinboards.
The videos should somehow showcase your company’s offerings. Do not forget to include a call-to-action at the end of the video. A call-to-action is a link or instruction that you can place on the video to further engage your audience to interact with your company.
As with twitter and Google+, Pinterest also uses hashtags. You can utilize the power of the hashtag to make your camapaigns more visible. For cross-platform campaigns, you might want to use the same hashtag you used in twitter and google+ to maximize visibility.
Hashtag is a way of adding meta-data to your pins. The function of the hashtag is to group conversations or in this instance – pins – by topic.
Feature offline events
If your company holds events, Pinterest is a great way of showcasing that event. You can post “Behind the scenes” pictures of the scenes and/or official event pictures on a pinboard created specifically for the event. Doing this creates a buzz around the event and at the same time, generates interest for the next event.
Showcase your business personality
Being a lifestyle centered web application; Pinterest is the best place to showcase your business’ personality. Every successful tech company is also known for its unique personality. Take Google, for instance; it is known for its exorbitant perks and play like approach in designing its workplace. This “personality” helps humanize the company and attract top-notch talent. Of course, Google would not miss a chance to publicize all those perks. The way they did it is through videos and blog posts.
In Pinterest, showcasing your company’s culture is as easy as creating a pinboard. Populate the pinboard with pictures of employees while they are working, creating a product and a host of all other things. Of course, company outings, events and employee “fun days” should be included here.
Show Your Core Values
Pinboards can also be used to show the different sides of the company much like showcasing its personality, showcasing its core values is equally important. One company, Chobani, uses this strategy effectively. On one board it encourages fitness methods and on the other it champions mothers.
Share your pins to Facebook & Twitter
Pinterest has a built-in functionality that allows you to share your pins to Facebook and/or Twitter. Now why are we doing this? The reason is obvious; as awesome as Pinterest is, that is not where most of our friends/network are. Majority of everyone we know are on Facebook.
One good thing about sharing content on Facebook is we get to promote Pinterest. Promoting Pinterest would benefit everyone. The main purpose is to have more eyes trained onto Pinterest. The two giants, Facebook and Twitter have the most number of eyes. Share your pins so everyone gets to see the awesomeness of Pinterest.
Sharing to Facebook and or Twitter would drive an influx of new members from our circle. This is how Pinterest tries to maintain the quality of pins in its network.
Keep it Simple
Pinterest is based on simplicity. Think of this mantra when designing your pinboards and curating your pins. Always think of the basics. It is not about the number of boards but about the quality of your pins. Keep in mind too that “basic” also covers amazing imagery to pin.
Represent a Lifestyle
A lot of Pinterest users create pinboards as a reflection of their ideal lives. Take advantage of this fact by creating a pinboard that targets these dreams. If you are a company that sells fitness foods you might want to create a pinboard for recipes that would cater to fitness conscious consumers.
Offer Added Value
Seasoned social-networking users know how to sniff out profiles that are primarily designed to hawk products. Savvy social-networking users would tend to move away from these kinds of profiles. Avoid this pitfall by offering something extra on your profile. This added value can be implemented in the form of a pinboard populated with pins for other products that are related to yours. Say, you are in the business of selling cars; you can create a pinboard that contains pins for car accessories from other users or websites.
Follow the Big Names
Follow the big names in Pinterest. They are the purveyor of taste and style in Pinterest. Much like twitter, if you follow a big name and they follow you back, followers of that user would inevitably follow you too. A “follow the leader” mentality ensues. Take advantage of this by following established and widely followed users in Pinterest in the hope that they will follow you back. Following the power Pinterest users gives you a chance to be followed back which could mean a lot of follows from their own followers.
People in Pinterest love those who curate their content. You should be selective in what you repin and and what you bring in to Pinterest from outside its confines. You wouldn’t like looking like a spammer or a self-promoter.
Like most social networking site, Pinterest would require your precious time. To get a decent return on your presence in Pinterest, you have to invest time in the site.
Pinterest is all about quality pins so we discourage automated systems that automatically repin other people’s pins based on a pre-defined category. To be successful in using Pinterest, you must spend the time in curating your content and engaging other users.
Take the time to get to know your followers and the people you follow (at least some of them). Engaging other users by liking their pins, writing comments and repining would make you look and feel like Human from your audience’s perspective. Nothing screams like “corporate automaton” than just re-pinning content without any other activities.
As a final word on this chapter, here is a summary on how you could make Pinterest work for you:
- Add a pin it button – Make it easy for your viewers to share your content by adding a pin it button on you website
- Visual is King – The reason why the site is so addictive is that it is a visual experience. With that said, make it a point that every post you make on your blog, e-commerce site or your company’s website includes a stunning graphics.
- Offer added value (read: Do not just promote your products) – post news, developments, other interests that are somehow relevant to what you are promoting. People hate profiles that only exist to sell their own products. Remember: People tend to shy away from these kinds of users.
- Look at the demographics and decide your content based on that data. Make sure to only post relevant content.
- Observe and learn how the big guys do it. Observe how companies that have successful campaigns in Pinterest and learn from them. Cull the bad practices and retain the best ones.
Check out our previous articles!
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