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Pinterest Marketing Strategy for Your Business in 2015

 

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Leverage Pinterest to Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Website

When marketers think of social media channels, Pinterest isn’t usually top-of-mind. This is really a shame because it has tremendous growth opportunity for your business, especially if you’re in a visual industry or eCommerce. Pinterest was the second fastest growing social network in 2014, so there is a good—and improving—chance that your company will be able to successfully reach potential customers with a solid Pinterest strategy.

Social Network Growth Rates 2014

 

When users are browsing Pinterest, they are in a different frame of mind than with other social networks. I browse Facebook to see what my “friends” are up to, and Twitter to catch up on news or read tweets from my favorite comedians. Products on those networks seem out of context. However, Pinterest is a natural place for branding. Pinterest is a space where users Pin a blazer they aspire to own, or a recipe they plan on making. Its users’ frames of mind are different, because the Pinterest platform is more closely aligned with product research and purchase intent than other social networks.

If you don’t have a Pinterest account for your business yet, or you do and it’s stagnating, below are seven guidelines for your Pinterest strategy to help increase traffic to your website and build brand awareness.

1. Spy on Your Competition

How are their boards organized? Who are they following? What are they Pinning? What is their Pinterest strategy? If your competition is doing something well, great! Copy it. But, try to improve upon what they’re doing. Let their strategy inspire and inform your own. Start thinking about what you would do differently, and try to get a sense of what’s working for them and what’s not.

2. Pin Industry Trends

Is something trending in your industry? Create a board dedicated to a new trend. Pin something representative of the trend, and re-Pin images from others. It’s good to mix Pinning your own images and images of others. Capitalize on trending holiday searches by finding a creative way to hijack the holiday. Christmas, Halloween, 4th of July. No holiday is sacred.

3. Follow & Re-Pin Industry Pinners

Follow people who might follow you back. Look at who your competitors are following. Do any of them make sense for you to follow ? If so, follow them. Do a search for Pins related to your industry to find out who is Pinning them. Look at their profiles. If what they’re Pinning relates to your business, follow them. Also, re-Pinning can get you noticed by people who are unfamiliar with your brand.

4. Pin to Specific Boards

Create different boards based around the Pin subject matter. You can segment your boards a couple different ways. Segment by content, meaning different boards for different topics. Or, segment by audience – different boards for different audiences. Fill these boards with aspirational and actionable Pins that resonate with these audiences.

5. Pin High Quality Images

Pin beautiful images of your products with detailed, thoughtful descriptions. Use Pinterest Analytics to see which product Pins people like most, take this feedback, and feature these products/services more prominently on your website. Don’t forget to link to your website in each Pin.  When Pinning your own images, it’s best to link directly to the where the image lives on your website. This drives targeted traffic to your website, and is much more effective than linking to your homepage.

6. Use Rich Pins

Pinterest Product Pins

Rich Pins are Pins with extra details embedded in them. Currently, there are five types of rich Pins: movie, recipe, article, product, and place. The example above is a product Rich Pin. You can see the additional price and “In Stock” info. To enable Rich Pins you’ll have to insert additional meta tags on your website in either Oembed, Facebook Open Graph, or Schema.org markup. Which, if you want to improve the SEO of your website, schema.org is something you should be thinking of ways to implement. Once you’ve added the meta tags you must then apply for Rich Pin validation from Pinterest. It’s a similar process to using Twitter Cards. To read more about Rich Pin implementation, check out the overview on Pinterest’s website – Rich Pins Overview.

7. Consider Promoted Pins

Pinterest Promoted Pins

Starting January 1, 2015 businesses have the opportunity to use Promoted Pins (as of 1/12/2015 Pinterest is still asking businesses to join a waitlist). If you have a business that fits into a product category with an active community on Pinterest, it would probably make sense to test promoted Pins. Promoted Pins looks just like normal Pins but they have a “Promoted Pin” label at the bottom. They give your brand the chance to expand awareness and interaction with your product or service on a cost per impression basis (CPM). Businesses who were a part of the Promoted Pins Beta test saw great results. Promoted Pins perform just as good, and sometimes better than regular Pins. Also, advertisers saw a 30% bump in free impressions while they were promoting a Pin, and a 5% bump the month following a promotion’s end. The bump is a result in people Pinning a Promoted Pin to a one of their boards, getting additional impressions for free. It seems advertising on Pinterest will be a great tool for marketers to add to their repertoire in 2015, with great opportunity for earned media from their campaigns.

Pinterest is exploding in growth as a social network. Marketers who have previously written off Pinterest should take another look. As Pinterest continues to add great features for marketers like Rich Pins and Promoted Pins, the network will prove to be more and more of an asset as a marketing platform. Not to mention competing more and more as a search platform.

Benjamen Hicks is an SEO Account Manager at Chicago Style SEO, a full service internet marketing firm. Connect with him on Google+ and Twitter.

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