Contrary to popular belief, Pinterest is not a social media channel. It’s actually a search engine. Yes, my mind was blown too, when I discovered that little golden nugget. I was first introduced to the site by a buddy who uses the platform as, what we may call, a millennial, modern day vision board. But, a millennial she is not! She maintains hoards of boards, full to the gills with positive quotes and affirmations, inspiration and content for her own brand, and her unyielding adoration for vintage glamour and style ideas. This, I thought, could be a marketing gold mine and great to share with clients and readers, alike.
Yes, you can follow and be followed; yes, you can direct message other like-minded Pinners, but think about the way other social feeds work: Pinterest is a touch different. And it's my new favourite marketing tool.
The first, and most vital element you need to market on Pinterest is great content, much like social media channels. This content will be made up of images and text. Sounds simple? It can be, but like anything can take a little time and practice to get up to speed.
Imagine you're waiting in line at Starbucks, scrolling through your Pinterest or Instagram feed and see a poor quality, low resolution, grainy image. Eww! Are you going to click on that? Nope, didn’t think so! Our eyes are drawn to sharp, clear imagery with appealing aesthetics and that’s exactly what you’ll need to source, too, if you want to use Pinterest effectively. 65% of people are also visual learners, so let's make it a good one!
Now, let's not stress about this—you don’t need to be Annie Leibovitz to get great shots for Pinning. There are plenty of options, where you can source free images, while not stepping on anyone’s toes, and more importantly, not getting sued! Check out Burst by Shopify; Free Images by Google; or if you have it on budget you can use a site like Dreamtime, which I love.
Imagine you’re still waiting for your mid-morning vanilla latte at Starbucks and you’re thinking: How can I decorate my New York City bachelor pad. You need neutral tones, a minimal look, and also, on a student’s budget. Quite specific! So you see a picture of a minimal kitchen on your feed. There's a bijou bedroom. Below it, there's a sexy ass bathroom. But none of these images tell you exactly what content is behind the picture. Are these ads? Are these posts about Airbnb? You need to add some copy so folks know what that content really means, and what value it’s going to add.
While Pinterest traditionalists will cite the image is the most important element, I say the image and the description are of equal status. Descriptions give more information about what the pin is, which will help convince users to click and show them the value of doing so. It’s also an opportunity to add in your desired searchable keywords, and even a call to action: Shop the look; sign up for deals; click to learn more. Telling users exactly what you want them to do, whether on Pinterest or once they get to your site, will give users a specific mission to complete and increases the likelihood that they’ll do so. Using between 150-300 words seems to be the sweet spot for Pinterest descriptions.
Click Throughs and Repins
You know the old adage ‘don't play all of your cards at once’? This is bang on target when it comes to Pinterest repins and clickthroughs. But first, let’s see what the difference is….
In this quick video, you’ll see how I can either save the pin (repin) or I can click on the link and visit a website. While getting lots of repins on your account is awesome for engagement, we want traffic to your website, and ultimately, buyers/subscribers/readers. Don’t give away all of your precious content on the front of the pin. Lure your customers in with a hint of what the content is about, but don’t give away the whole game. Infographics like the one pictured below are actually quite bad for getting click throughs. Why? Because you're giving away everything all at once.
My absolute favourite thing about Pinterest is the fact that, no matter how old content is, Pins can keep getting re-pinned and can keep getting your website traffic.
Don’t forget to save the Pinterest Chrome Extension, as it will allow you to save anything from the web if you happen to come across something amazing, which you want to share for later.
Next time, I'll be telling you how to grow an Instagram account from a big, fat ZERO!