When you’re deciding on the components of your social media marketing strategy, one platform you might want to consider is Pinterest. If you’re looking to improve your social media marketing efforts, read on to learn exactly what Pinterest is and the benefits of using it to market your business.
What is Pinterest?
Simply put, Pinterest is an online pinboard. It’s used to save and discover information and images on the web or across other boards in the form of images, text, animated GIFs and videos. With this social media channel, users can put together the pieces of their dream house, perfect wedding, desirable fashion and much more. It’s free to use, but advertisers pay advertising fees.
Pinterest is simple to use. To get started, create an account. Then, take advantage of these features:
- You can log in to automatically see content that may interest you.
- You can explore content and, when something interests you, click on it to be redirected to what’s known as a Pin. Alternatively, you can hover over a Pin to save the image to a board.
- Once you create boards, you can go back at any time to review what you’ve saved.
- You can leave comments and likes on other users’ boards.
As we further discuss Pinterest, there are some key terms to know:
- Pinterest Pin. When you like a Pin, you can save it to a Pinterest board in the form of a Pinterest Pin that functions as a bookmark.
- Rich Pin. This is a type of organic Pin that automatically syncs information from your website to your Pins.
- Hashtag. If you already use a social media channel such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, you are likely familiar with hashtags. Hashtags use the # symbol that puts content into searchable categories.
- Pinterest board. This is where you save, collect and organize your Pins.
- Promoted Pins. Part of Pinterest’s version of ads, Promoted Pins are regular Pins that an advertiser has paid for to get prime placement.
- Re-pin. A Re-pin is a Pin that is saved to a Pinterest board.
- Video Pin. As the name suggests, these Pins contain video.
What are the benefits of using Pinterest for marketing?
Pinterest offers a plethora of benefits for businesses that are looking to improve their social media marketing:
Drive website traffic.
Because Pinterest is a search engine in addition to a social media channel, it’s one of the most effective channels for driving traffic to company websites using both paid and unpaid tactics. By linking your Pinterest profile closely to your website and giving users an easy way to click through to your preferred landing pages, you can drive traffic from the social media platform to your own website.
Increase brand awareness.
Pinterest offers a great opportunity for your brand to get seen by a large new audience, thus boosting brand awareness. You can seize these opportunities by posting engaging content, using relevant hashtags and promoting your most important Pins through the platform’s paid advertising options.
Roughly 89% of U.S.-based Pinterest users are looking for inspiration in their path to purchase, according to Sprout Social. In addition, 47% of Pinners log on to the site to shop. As a result, Pinterest has proved to be four times more effective than other social media channels at generating sales.
How to set up a Pinterest business account
Setting up a Pinterest business account is fairly quick and easy. Follow these steps to get your Pinterest business account up and running in no time:
1. Visit Pinterest to get started.
Go to pinterest.com, or download the mobile app.
2. Create a business account.
You’ll be prompted to set up a personal account or a business account. Select “Create a business account.”
3. Follow the prompts.
Fill in all applicable fields:
- Business name
- The focus of your brand
- Customized recommendations you’d like
- The e-commerce platforms you use (such as Shopify or WooCommerce)
- Whether you would be interested in running Pinterest ads
4. Choose where you would like to start.
This step is somewhat customized based on how you answered the prior questions. For example, the image below is for a business that sells products on Shopify and isn’t sure whether it would run Pinterest advertisements.
This image applies to a business that is interested in Pinterest advertising, which prompts a web form asking if the user would like a free ad consultation:
The first step in marketing on Pinterest is to showcase your brand so you can grow your audience.
5. Customize your profile.
To use Pinterest effectively, the first thing you need to do is set up an engaging profile. Fill out the profile page to include these elements:
- Display name: your company name
- Username: also your company name
- Bio: a short description telling users what your company is about
- Contact information: a public email address, a public phone number and/or your company address
6. Explore and customize other settings accordingly.
Pinterest offers these additional options:
- Claim. Use this to claim other Pinterest accounts that you own, including an Instagram account, your shop’s account (such as Etsy) and a YouTube account.
- Bulk Pins. Pinterest offers the option to auto-publish Pins by connecting an RSS feed or to use a .csv file to bulk-create videos. While this allows for some efficiencies in posting, it means you cannot customize each Pin.
- Notifications. It’s a good idea to sign up for Pinterest notifications. Choose to get them on Pinterest, by email or by push notifications so you can learn about important Pinterest updates and other areas that interest you.
- Privacy and data. Choose who can mention your page, customize search privacy (do not turn this off if you are a brand that wants to get found) and personalize your page.
- Security. Turn on two-factor authentication and show connected devices.
- Apps. Keep track of the apps you used your Pinterest profile to log in with.
7. Add a cover image.
The final step is to customize your page with a cover photo. This feature is not available in Settings. To access it, click your profile image in the upper-right-hand corner of your page. Visual content is key on Pinterest, and the cover image is no exception.
How to use Pinterest for marketing
Now it’s time to start posting on Pinterest. Posting is an essential part of a Pinterest marketing strategy and is something you need to do for success. Having your strategy in place can be helpful even before you set up this social media channel so that you can customize the page in accordance with the guidelines set forth in your strategy. When creating your Pinterest strategy, one approach is to refer to the 7 P’s of marketing:
- Physical evidence
The 7 P’s were developed in 1960 by E. Jerome McCarthy and were published in his book Basic Marketing. Businesses can tweak these items as needed to suit their unique circumstances, products and services. To market on any platform, it’s crucial to know your audience. Here’s how the 7 P’s apply to a Pinterest marketing strategy:
Lay out every product and service your company offers that could appeal to your target audience on Pinterest. Consider which products and services are most visual, because those are the images that will grab attention on Pinterest. Then, consider leaving the less-eye-catching products and services for your other marketing strategies. This list will be helpful once you start creating Pinterest content. Put your most visually appealing products and services at the top of your list.
This section of your strategy explains how you will promote your products and services. In this case, you are promoting them on Pinterest, but be sure to note whether you’ll include Pinterest advertising and, if so, the types of Pinterest ads you’ll utilize.
The prices of your products and services may already be on your website, but be sure they are up-to-date and easily accessible. Direct your audience to your pricing landing page for more details, to boost web traffic and move prospects along your conversion funnel.
Place refers to your company’s physical address. You’ll need a physical address to set up your business page. If your business is run remotely, for security purposes, set up a P.O. box. If you target specific locations, list them to include in local search-engine-optimization (SEO) Pinterest tactics, and then incorporate these locations into your Pin descriptions.
In the traditional sense of the 7 P’s, People refers to the people in your organization. Include the people who will be managing your Pinterest marketing strategy, but also include those in your target audience.
To help define your target audience, create up to five buyer personas, which represent your ideal customers. When developing your buyer personas, think about these characteristics:
- Age range
- Job title
- What motivates them at their job
- What motivates them at home
- Three main problems they have
- Where they go for information
- What your customers are searching for on the web (to help with your Pinterest SEO)
- Other brands they are interested in (so you can visit those pages and engage them)
The following broad demographics rule Pinterest, according to Omnicore:
Traditionally speaking, Process refers to the steps that prospects must follow to get through the sales journey, and those steps also apply to Pinterest. Consider what your process is going to be. For example, if you sell products in an established category, such as affordable clothing or pet products, it makes sense to send prospects straight to a sales page.
However, if you are in an industry that requires some convincing and education to close a sale, you may want to consider sending prospects to a blog post or landing page where they can learn more about what you offer. Creating a new Pin that points to either a landing page or a blog post is an excellent way to use Pinterest to increase traffic to your website or blog. By creating a landing page, you also educate users about your brand.
7. Physical evidence
This is what your customers see when they interact with your business. With Pinterest, it’s the part of your strategy that includes the content-creation process. Each post should be written in your company’s voice. In some Pins, you may want to include branded colors and hashtags. Also be sure to create content that caters to your buyer personas. To get ideas about what your Pins should look like, research what your competitors are doing, and always include engaging images with product descriptions.
Your Pinterest content-creation strategy should be laid out by board. Determine what your boards will be and the types of Pins they will include. Each board and Pin should incorporate SEO to help your Pins get found.
Physical evidence today also includes online data. Use Pinterest Analytics and Google Analytics to determine which pins are sending the most traffic to your website and which pins or other content lead to new sales and affect other key performance indicators.
Examples of brands having success with Pinterest marketing
When done correctly, Pinterest marketing can be highly effective. Here are a few brands that are having success on the social media platform:
Emma Jacquelyn is using Pinterest to increase web traffic. To do so, she created a blog post with multiple graphics based on trending content on Pinterest. As a result of Pinterest marketing, she has attracted over 8,000 new visitors to her website in the past year from Pinterest alone.
“Pinterest is a powerhouse platform,” said Abbey Hudetz, founder and creative director of Oyster Creative. “Posting original content that links to your website is one of the key strategies for increasing web traffic organically. For our e-commerce clients, taking advantage of the robust e-commerce features of the platform is crucial. Not only can you connect your online inventory with Facebook or Instagram, but Pinterest also offers rich Pins.”
Real estate website The Close is currently posting 10 times a day, which has resulted in over 200,000 more monthly viewers of its Pinterest page and increased clicks to its website by 20%. They also keep track of which Pins do the best and create new designs for the same topic. If a Pin doesn’t do very well, they try different text overlays or titles, or switch up the design colors until they find the combination that works for their audience.