Can Pinterest Work for My Business? Why Use Pinterest as a Marketing Tool
Are you unsure whether getting your business on Pinterest is a good use of your time?
I get it - when you’re already spread so thin with all the other marketing activities on your to-do list, including Facebook and - of course - HEAPS of time dedicated to Instagram, adding another online space to your efforts can be daunting.
It also doesn’t help that people have a lot of preconceptions of what Pinterest is and what it’s good for. Perhaps from what you’ve heard before, you might consider Pinterest as just a place for:
Middle-aged mums & young women
Wedding inspiration & home DIY
And yes, it is a lot of that (and if your industry is anything to do with those categories, then that’s a win - you should definitely be using Pinterest!), BUT over the last 5 years it has grown into so much more.
First things first, what actually is Pinterest?
Now you’d be mistaken if you consider Pinterest as a ‘social media’ platform. Yes, it appears in our well-rehearsed line-up of social media icons and follow buttons, but it’s actually pretty ‘un-social’ when you think about it!
Pinterest is in fact a search engine. They call themselves a ‘visual discovery’ tool, with over 2 billion searches per month.
Users search for for content using keywords or categories, and pin visuals and links of interest to their boards to save them for later, or click through to find out more about that content. It’s basically like Google, but pulling images as results instead of just text links (it also requires SEO just like a search engine like Google does too… but more on that another time).
So before you start thinking ‘Oh no not another social network for me to be building a community on’, remember that with Pinterest you don’t need to worry about ‘building an engaged audience’ etc. What’s more important is making sure your content is on there, is searchable, and is directing people to your website!
What can pinterest Do for my business?
The main thing that having your content on Pinterest achieves is directing people to website (providing you’ve linked up and created all your pins properly!), but it also serves as brand awareness too if lots of people are seeing your branded/recognisable pins.
But website traffic isn’t the be-all and end-all; it may look great on your analytics but if people are just leaving again straight away without exploring your site or taking action, it’s not much use to you. The best way to build more of a connection with people and start to ‘on-board’ them into your business, is to add them to your email list, and the best way to do that is to give them an offer they can’t resist in exchange for their email when they land on your site!
With enough of your content on Pinterest providing enough traffic to your website, the more sign-ups you’ll get. As I said, I used this technique to grow a list of over 10,000 subscribers!
Once you have a large email list of the right types of target client, you can connect with them through newsletters and promote your products & services to them directly. Amazing!
As well as growing your email list, you can also work on optimising your landing pages (web pages that Pinterest visitors are landing on on your website) to encourage people to purchase from you, book a call with you, or send you an enquiry (whichever works for your business) = more customers!
Further reading: Why I deleted my 10,000 subscriber email list!
Are my customers using Pinterest?
As with when you join any new media for your marketing, you need to know whether your target customers are actually there - otherwise you’re wasting your time broadcasting to the wrong people. Below are some stats that may help:
81% of users are females (and 41% of online women use Pinterest!)
However, 50% of all new sign ups are men! So guys are using it too…
Millennials use Pinterest just as much as they use Instagram
The majority of users are between 18 and 49
Pinterest users are mostly well educated (40% with a degree or higher)
Pinterest users are mid-to-high income
50% users are based in the US, BUT that is half of 250million active users… so there’s still a lot of scope for non-US businesses!
If your target customer happens to fit into any of these, then you should seriously consider paying more attention to Pinterest. 87% of users have reportedly purchased a product because of Pinterest - do not miss out on that magic!
Further reading: Create a Target Customer CV using This Template
What Can I pin to Pinterest?
This is a common question I get asked when it comes to what content you should actually be pinning. Generally I work on a ratio of pinning 80% curated/other peoples’ content, and 20% my own content, but when it comes to ‘your own’ there are a few things I’d recommend:
If you don’t have a blog already, I’d highly recommend considering it! Not only is it a great way of creating useful content for your customers, it’s also fantastic for SEO and gives you plenty of content to share on Pinterest and social media, directing people back to your website.
Freebies and offers
Create a free resource or offer that is irresistible, and design some graphics to share them on Pinterest. You could connect it to your email newsletter to have as an opt-in incentive, OR just as a way of getting traffic to your site.
Whether you’re an artist, designer or photographer, sharing your portfolio in beautiful visual collages or graphics is a great way to get your work seen on Pinterest and bring potential clients to your website.
Product images & lifestyle shots
If you’re selling products, invest in some eye-catching, beautiful product photography and lifestyle imagery to share on Pinterest. You can repurpose it for your website, Instagram and other social platforms too.
Quotes, challenges or Infographics
Any graphics you decide to create can be a great way of getting people share and pin your content on Pinterest, and if you have these well branded with a consistent, recognisable brand people will come back to you.
Want to learn more about how to use Pinterest as a marketing tool?
Myself and Olivia are running Pinterest workshops here in Cornwall!
We have both been using Pinterest to grow our businesses over the last 5 years (I managed to grow an email list of over 10,000 subscribers too, thanks to Pinterest) and for both of us it contributes to well over half of our website traffic. In our workshops we’re covering how to:
Set up & optimise your profile
Create boards that fit your audience
Create pinnable graphics & imagery
Use group boards to grow your reach
Schedule pins to automate your process using Tailwind
Set up 'rich pins' & understand pin/board SEO
Use Pinterest to grow your email list
Curate content and understand analytics