A “Pinteresting” Approach to Marketing: Five Strategies for Using Pinterest as a Marketing Tool

Most companies see Pinterest as a visually engaging (and addictive) social media site used primarily for planning weddings, collecting recipes or gathering up DIY project ideas. While Pinterest is certainly visually appealing and is admittedly addictive, it’s much more than just a venue for collecting images related to weddings, food and crafts. In fact, Pinterest is something of a secret weapon when it comes to digital marketing.

With over 50 million users and millions of unique site visitors each month, Pinterest is an incredibly powerful, broad-reaching marketing tool for organizations wishing to connect with their audiences in a creative way, drive traffic to their website and turn curious consumers into conversions.

So, just what is it that sets Pinterest apart from other social media platforms as a marketing tool?

Firstly, Pinterest’s expansive user base makes it a valuable marketing venue for marketers and organizations of all kinds. You can reach thousands of people instantly with a pin, and the keywords you use in the description of the pin will help other interested individuals find the information you are sharing.

Pinterest also differs from social media sites like Twitter and Facebook because of the life of the content it contains. While a tweet may live for about 5-25 minutes once it’s posted and a Facebook post may live for about 60-80 minutes, pins live forever. Studies have shown that pins can take off and rapidly gain popularity months after they were initially pinned. By that time, most content on Twitter or Facebook is long forgotten.

Additionally, Pinterest is a form of aspirational social media. In other words, while Facebook allows users to establish who they are and Twitter enables users to report about what they are doing, Pinterest invites users to share what they aspire to be or do. This is key, because it enables individuals to stay engaged with the content they’ve pinned on Pinterest over the course of the four stages of discovery related to marketing: awareness, consideration, evaluation and conversion.

Many individuals who pin something when they first become aware of it or are merely considering it return and translate into conversions when they are ready to actually acquire a product, use a service or participate in an experience.

Now that we’ve established why Pinterest can be a valuable component to any brands’ marketing strategy, let’s explore 5 key strategies for using Pinterest to market your business.

1. Establish a legitimate, trustworthy identity

Pinterest will be a valuable social media marketing tool for your business or organization only if you create a legitimate, trustworthy identity. You want to be sure that your fans and followers can find your organization – and know that it’s really you! You want them to feel confident following you and connecting with, repinning and sharing the content you present to them.

There are a few easy ways you can establish yourself as authentic and trustworthy on Pinterest:

1. Put the name of your business in the account name and username for your Pinterest profile. This will help pinners to find you and will also establish your Pinterest profile as authentic.

2. Align your Pinterest identity with your brand identity whenever possible. Feature the same color scheme, logo, style and personality on Pinterest whenever you can to prove you are authentic and reinforce your brand. Pin things that express and align with your brand personality.

3. Verify your website on Pinterest to show users that you’re an authentic business that owns a website. Once you verify your website with Pinterest, a check mark will appear next to your domain name on your Pinterest profile.

Pinterest_verified

4.< Create customized, uniform covers for your Pinterest boards. This will help to establish your professionalism and help solidify your unique identity within your Pinterest profile.

5. Avoid using too many hashtags in your pin descriptions. These often come across as spammy and may make some pinners skeptical of your legitimacy. Instead, write targeted, keyword rich descriptions that draw pinners in and help them find the content they’re searching for on Pinterest.

6. Pin content from reputable websites. Make sure you send your users to reliable websites via your pins. Link your pins to webpages that give users exactly what they expect – don’t bait and switch. Check frequently to make sure no links are broken – you don’t want your users being redirected or struggling to find what they are looking for!

2. Connect with your audience through moments

Pinterest draws people in because it enables them to envision a moment and collect inspiration for future experiences. In order to maximize your success on Pinterest, you must find a way to connect what you have to offer to those moments and experiences your audience aspires to have.

Think carefully about your customers and the moments when they will look to you for inspiration. What can you offer to enhance an experience? Use Pinterest to show your followers how your product or service can make their moment truly unique and memorable.Moments

3. Find your niche

If you want to make an impact on Pinterest then you have to set pins apart from the thousands of other pins created each day. To do this, think creatively about what you pin. Try to find your niche – a place where you can fit in that isn’t over-populated with other pins.

For instance, if you’re in the wedding industry, don’t just pin wedding dresses. Those pins may get some traffic, but most likely they will be swept away in the hundreds of other wedding dress pins already crowding Pinterest. Instead, think about other wedding-related categories you could explore – perhaps mother of the bride dresses, flower girl dresses or headpieces.

4. Cross-promote on other social media channels

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for businesses – especially when it’s used for cross promotion. Using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you can easily direct traffic to Pinterest.

Gap_Facebook

When you introduce a new Pinterest board or add new content to Pinterest, post about it on Facebook or send out a tweet to let your followers know. Feature your most popular pins on other social media sites to create interest and drive traffic. Remind people about an old pin that may still be of interest. The possibilities are endless. Creative integration of Pinterest and the other social media used in your business’ marketing strategy can help to broaden awareness of your business and ultimately drive sales and conversions.

5. Pin time-consciously

While it might be easiest to pin a bunch of content all at once on Pinterest, the truth is it’s more effective to pin multiple times a day. Research has shown that pinning increases steadily throughout the day, as can be seen in the graph below from RJMetrics. Instead of bombarding the newsfeed with a ton of content and pins at one time, pin a few things here and there throughout the day. This will scatter your pins throughout the newsfeed and will be less likely to annoy or overwhelm your followers. Plus, it will expose your content to pinners no matter what time of day they’re pinning.

hourly pinning activity

Additionally, it’s important to pin in the evenings and on weekends. While many people pin on their desktops during the week, Pinterest receives a substantial amount of mobile traffic in the evenings and on the weekends. Be sure to pin mobile-friendly content that is easily accessible from phones and tablets in addition to pins that are desktop-friendly. You want to consistently connect with your followers and pinning time-consciously is an easy way to do so.

Improve Your Pinterest Presence!

These five strategies are easy, effective ways to harness the marketing power of Pinterest. Take advantage of this amazing social media platform by boosting your Pinterest presence and engaging with your followers creatively – all while driving traffic and conversions that benefit your business.

Have you found success using Pinterest for marketing? Do you have additional insight to share? Let us know what has worked for you!

Just getting started on Pinterest? Check our our Pinterest Checklist, Webinar and Pinterest 101 Slideshow.

About Jessica Tracy

Jessica Tracy joined the Mannix Marketing team in 2014 as a Digital Marketing Strategist. She has substantial experience in campaign design, content development, and writing and editing for the web. Jessica is a skilled project coordinator whose attention to detail and organization help clients to effectively and efficiently expand their web presence. An avid learner, Jessica works hard to stay informed about the latest trends in social media, SEO, and online marketing strategies.

Awards:

  • 2017 - US Search Awards: Best Use of Search – Retail

Specializations:

  • Content Marketing & Copywriting
  • Organic SEO
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing

Jessica brought a diverse skill set with her from her previous position at Cornell University Press and is thrilled to be a member of the talented, passionate team at Mannix. Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Lawrence University and a master’s degree in Communications from Ithaca College.