At the end of last year, Pinterest introduced business accounts in response to the growing amount of companies that were making their presence known on the social media network. So if you're an advertiser that hasn't yet incorporated Pinterest into your digital marketing strategy, now is the time. Especially when you consider that, as the site continues to evolve, Pinterest is investing more resources in helping businesses get the most from it.
We've all heard the impressive stat that 47 percent of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest. What can advertisers do to boost that number and more effectively engage consumers on the site?
With this question in mind, here are some recommendations to help advertisers expand their Pinterest presence.
Build a community. It's a social network after all, so why not build a community with your biggest pinners? You can recognize and reward them through contests or sneak peeks at upcoming product lines while also getting valuable insight about your business and adding a human touch to the online experience.
Collaborate. Work within your specific business community as well as the Pinterest community at large by sharing, following, and repinning their images. For example, a home furnishings store may have a community of professional interior decorators as well as hobbyists who will exchange images that spark new ideas. When you authentically engage with other Pinterest users and recognize their efforts, you'll be able to attract them to your boards.
Create specialized boards. Go beyond simply posting images to your company's board. Instead, think about themes and events and create specialized boards that are specific to those themes or trends.
For example, a wedding board or a back-to-school board that groups related items would hold a consumer's interest as she considers making purchases. Other types of boards you may want to create are daily specials as well as boards that highlight those of your images that are most pinned by users.
Drive traffic through different sites. We all know Pinterest is one of the best drivers of traffic, but it doesn't happen on its own. Be sure to insert Pin It buttons throughout your website, on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and display ads. This makes it easier for fans and followers to repin your images.
Focus on fabulous images. Everybody says to make sure your images look great. But more specifically, here's a list of best practices to keep in mind with regard to your images:
- Avoid pixelated images and make sure the images aren't too big, too small, or too tall, and don't exceed 554 pixels.
- Don't take images from Google; instead, find and cite the original source.
- Don't pin Flash content in your banners.
- Test the images on your own Pinterest account first.
- Always include descriptions.
- Combine text and images if you're leading a visitor to a do-it-yourself guide. In fact, the click-through rates for tutorials and DIY pins are 42 percent higher.
- Note that breathtaking locations and delicious meals are among the most repinned images.
- Keep in mind that pins related to trending topics see an average of 94 percent increase in click-throughs.
- If you're going to use an infographic, use an abbreviated version on Pinterest and then lead visitors to your site where they can see the full image.
Write as if your livelihood depended on it. It's easy to overlook the job of writing the descriptions that go along with the images. Yet this is exactly where you want to assign your best copywriters and make sure those descriptions sing with riveting and pithy prose.
Visualize through videos. A lot of advertisers wonder whether they should post videos on Pinterest. The short answer is yes. However, before you share your video library, keep the following in mind:
- Be selective. You know from your website, YouTube, and Vimeo traffic data which videos are most popular, so only include those on Pinterest.
- Include a great cover image and enticing thumbnails to go with the video.
- Add annotations with clear calls-to-action. Interestingly, pins with calls-to-action see an 80 percent increase in engagement.
- Remember that short, punchy videos are the key to attracting and engaging users.
- Always accurately depict the video content in the titles, descriptions, and tags.
Track your reach and measure your impact. As your company's presence evolves on the site and your reach grows exponentially through pinning and repinning, you'll want to track your reach and regularly assess your progress.
Here are five ways to do this:
- Type in the following URL: pinterest.com/source/yourwebsite.com (with your actual domain name inserted in place of yourwebsite.com). This will bring you to a page that allows you to track activities including what's being pinned from your site, who is pinning it, etc.
- Work with a Pinterest analytics company such as Curalate or Pinfluencer as another source for measuring your reach and impact on Pinterest.
- Google Analytics is also a popular way to assess your performance.
- Use image tagging tools such as those from startup Stipple that automate the tagging of images as they travel throughout the web.
- Work with display and retargeting companies that have Pinterest expertise. Make sure they offer tools that ensure items in your product feed can be pinned directly to Pinterest without requiring any intermediary steps, and that those feeds and their associated engagement can be accurately measured.
While the advertising industry is still uncovering new ways to monetize Pinterest, those advertisers who invest in experimentation and mastery now will be poised for success as others struggle to play catch-up.