Pinterest: Why It’s The Next Big Thing In Marketing

Pinterest: Why It’s The Next Big Thing In Marketing

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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Pinterest – it’s the social media network that no one talks about much. Something about images and pins, but it’s never really piqued your interest.

Well, the time has come to stop ignoring Pinterest. From Nordstrom to GAP to Myer, some of the world’s biggest names are using Pinterest – and using it well.

Pinterest is now one of the largest social sharing networks, and it’s continuing to grow. Here’s a few reasons why you are missing out if you’re not yet on Pinterest:

  • It now drives more traffic to websites than Google+
  • In the last few years, Pinterest hosted more adult users than Twitter and Instagram
  • Customers spend more money when referred to a business by Pinterest – more than Facebook
  • Over 80% of the content on Pinterest is re-pinned content
  • And 70% of its users generate brand engagement, not the brand itself.

So, What Exactly is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social network for sharing images online. You can classify it as an image-based social bookmarking tool with a hyper-engaged user base.

Once you take, share or copy an image, it’s loaded to the site as a “pin”. You can then catalog these pins onto Boards belonging to you or other users – think of it like a virtual pinboard.

“So what’s the difference between this and Instagram?” you ask. Apart from some platform differences, it all comes down to that “E” word that seems to evade us: engagement.

So Who Are These Hyper-Engaged Users?

In the past, females have dominated the Pinterest demographic. Fashion, home improvement, bridal, baby and more, ruled supreme. But today, the male population is catching up and men are now the fastest growing user base on Pinterest.

Any industry that yields, beautiful images will appeal to the Pinterest masses, however, not every industry is going to thrive. Service providers like accountants, cleaners, drivers and personal services may struggle to create enough content to fuel their Pinterest channels. Creating stunning photos of balanced books and newly cleaned carpets can only take you so far.

I Think My Business Qualifies – How Do I Make it Work For Me?

Let’s cover some basics:

  • Get a username that is your company name
  • Make sure your business name and logo are apparent
  • Fill in your website address and bio – leave no field blank
  • Connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Download the Chrome “Pin it” extension for faster pinning
  • Pin A LOT of images – but only use high-quality images
  • Include your content, products and blog posts in your pins
  • Add a well-written description
  • Comment, like and re-pin other user’s pins
  • Use #hashtags.

The above list is the bare minimum – the everyday stuff you should be doing to keep your Pinterest campaign ticking over. But be aware, doing only the above is the equivalent of a feeble attempt at running a blog. No one will listen if your heart is not in it.

Now let’s get a little more advanced.

Treat Pinterest Like You Would SEO

With all types of content, SEO should be in the back of your mind. Yes, it’s an image sharing platform, but associated text and backlinks of a post plays a huge role.

For some, Pinterest is gunning as a replacement for Google search. It grows smarter by the day and adds suggestions and related images to search queries. So in your Pinterest marketing efforts, think like your clients. Suitable images, board names and descriptions will help your ideal customer find you.

Instead of boards called “Things that make me go wow!” think like a search engine. Drill down to the details of the board and what’s displayed. Christmas recipes for families on a budget, craft ideas for kids, seaside getaways for the romantic… you get the idea.

Neither your customer or Google have any idea what “Things that make me say wow!” means. Be specific and get creative, or risk being brushed aside.

Attract Customers With Pinterest Only Offers

Running offers and campaigns on Pinterest can drive huge amounts of traffic.

Simple ideas like “Pin & Win” work well when trying to increase exposure. Customers could pin images while enjoying a meal at your restaurant. They could take snaps wearing your fashion line or pin an image designed by you.

There are certain rules to where you can send people who click the image. The idea is to send them to your website to explain how the competition works and capture an email address while you’re there.

Ask customers to hashtag the pin to gain entry into a competition and announce the winner with fervour. The success of a campaign like this is based largely on the main prize. It needs to be worthwhile for users to re-pin, and it needs to be in line with their goals.

Get people excited about the campaign and the prize. Ask them to join your email list or like your company on Facebook to stay afloat of the next giveaway.

Learn From The Big Players in Your Industry

In Australia, the industry is ripe for the taking. We’re lucky enough to enjoy a less saturated social network scene (although that’s not always a good thing). Pinterest is somewhere a company can grow and emulating brands doing it well is key.

Myer’s Pinterest page has the tag “find wonderful”. It’s as close to an online store as you could get without being one. It entices users to discover for themselves what’s on offer at Myer with grace.

They gear the front page toward females. With images of latest fashion trends and gift ideas, it’s hard not to explore a little further. From the images to the timing and board titles, they are doing Pinterest perfectly. This page screams for users to re-pin, share and comment. At the same time, it plants the seed that says “I need to get to Myer to pick up my Christmas shopping/races gear/birthday gift for mum.”

Where do I Sign up?

In short, Pinterest is a worthy experiment for your business.

It releases you from metrics such as Likes and Retweets. It invites actual interest in the products and services you display. It also provides a genuine marketing platform where you can escape the social media crowds while attracting targeted traffic.

Images have a longer half-life and a bigger impact on your target market than Tweets and Facebook Posts alike. We’ve only scratched the surface of what Pinterest can do for your business – do your research and get in before the masses cotton on.

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