Are you a Master Pinner?
You may not think so, but I can assure you that you are closer to grasping the art of Pinterest than you may think.
We’ve all done it. Whether you are planning for a wedding and need of ideas to make the special day just a little more magical, or are looking to find the right décor to match your color pallet when remodeling the living room, we are in an era of online search to find inspiration, and that inevitable leads us to our shopping destination.
Pinterest, one of the slightly newer social media networks, has grown into one of the top online sources for brands to share their products and direct visitors to their websites where they can convert them into sales opportunities. Although consumer brands have dominated the Pinterest space, B2B marketers have shown that there is a place for them on the image sharing network too – that is, if you know the right steps to be successful.
Step One: Self Exploration
Getting a business account is easy to do. Pinterest lays out the process in just a few steps for businesses looking to start their accounts. But if you already have an account and are looking to build on the massive lead generation capabilities, a good place to start is with a little self-exploration.
Where are you in your Pinning dominance?
Take a deep dive into where your account is and where you can make slight changes to improve it. Be sure to look at whether your account is up-to-date with your current brand standards, your logo is placed as the account image and your user bio can’t be improved or simplified in any way.
Step Two: Study the Competitive Landscape
After you have a clear understanding of where you are in the Pinterest space, it is time to take a look at the competitive landscape.
Survey the competition to get a feel of not only who is on Pinterest, but also who is doing it right. Among the brands you compete with, who is leading the way with total number of followers? From there you can determine who you want to learn from and explore similar content to share to build your follower base.
Pinterest marketing statistics state that tutorial, guide, DIY and recipe pins have 42% higher click-through-rates than all other pins. In fact, the top ten most repined words on Pinterest are recipe, chicken, minutes, bake, cake, cheese, cut, bottle, step and mix. But does that necessarily mean that you have to share a pin with a cheesy chicken cake recipe that takes just minutes to bake to be successful? The answer is no, and I sincerely hope that you do not serve that for dessert when hosting your next dinner party. Your brand is unique and your Pinterest pins should be too.
Learn from your competitive landscape and use your knowledge as a base, but don’t be afraid to branch out and find customers who are most interested in the products you provide.
Step Three: Recognize Potential
How can you become a leader in the Pinterest world and what does it look like when you arrive on top? Sometimes all it takes is repurposing content, while other times it will take a bit more of your time to create an account that is fully optimized to reach your followers and customers.
If you are already creating social media images for major projects, it may be time to use them for Pinterest. To put this in perspective, if you are a B2C brand sharing one Pinterest board per marketing campaign or project (say an annual shoe sale) and pin all the images you already create for your social media initiatives (say 50% off on shiny red clown shoes) to that board, you can easily grow our reach in an organized fashion. In the B2B space, smaller projects and stand-alone guides or white papers can be consolidated and pinned to one “Infographics & Guides” or more general “marketing tips” boards.
Have a clear understanding of your goals you would like to achieve and then engineer a plan to guide yourself to the finish line. If you need to create a plan that comes in phases that is ok too.
Step Four: Execution
Now that you have done your homework, it’s time to put your strategy into action. Execution may be the most challenging and incorrectly done step for brands looking to capitalize on Pinterest as a serious lead generation source. Many brands share all the information the customer would need to merely gather research on the product and not take action.
With lead generation, your goal is to use the pin as a vehicle to link to somewhere else like your custom landing page or blog. There are five major approaches to Pinterest lead generation. Each approach works well to build followers, but you will have to decide on your own which will be best for your brand.
The Leave Them Wanting More Approach
Give viewers a headline and lure them in with sub-headers or features. It is up to the visitor to click on the image and travel to your website to learn more about the offer.
The Sneak Peek Approach
Give the viewers only the top portion of the image and have them click on the link to unlock the remaining area of content.
The Style Guide Approach
A Style Guide compiles products that complement each other—room décor, outfits, gadgets, or event details. Use one image to showcase the way products come together, and people can click through to learn the brand details and link to your site.
The Minimalist Approach
Pin only a title or feature image and nothing more.
The Works or Full Monty Approach
Share the entire piece of content as a pin. This is geared more toward awareness campaigns or offline offers.
If you really want to master the art of Pinning for your business you will need utilize two other factors: Pinterest size requirements and how to properly optimize your pins for search engines.
Creating shareable content that appears in the right place, at the right time, and with the right message is crucial to the success of your marketing campaigns. If your size is incorrect you could be cutting off vital information, a call-to-action or simply not make the impact on the viewer you were anticipating. There are quite a few free downloadable social media cheat sheets available online, but be sure to choose one that is up-to-date and has image sizes for the profile image, main-page pins, on-board pins, large thumbnails and small thumbnails.
With anything you share online, there are SEO implications to consider. Pinning, like any other image you share online, requires a bit of logic naming before you start to post. Sana Zubbedi, Communications Specialist and resident Pinterest guru at Vertical Nerve, a digital optimization agency in Dallas, recommends that each pin and board should be named in the way that visitors would actually search for the item in a search engine query and link to the specific page on your website that the image lives on. By correctly naming your content using specific keywords you want to rank for search engines you can properly begin to optimize your Pinterest account for maximum exposure.
Online sales rising as Pin popularity increases
According to Pinterest, 93 percent of Pinners shopped online in the past six months. More people are using, pinning and most importantly, purchasing online. And with Pinterest users on a steady incline, there is more opportunity to reach customers by optimizing your Pinterest account. What a better time than now to add a strong Pinterest strategy to your business marketing efforts?