Using Pinterest to Market Your Business
Pinterest works as a powerful marketing tool for many businesses - how could it work for yours?
You may have the preconception that Pinterest is just for stay at home mums bookmarking family recipes and wedding dresses.
Yes, it kind of started off like that, but right now it's one of the most powerful marketing tools on the internet for the right kind of businesses.
Need proof of this? 88% of Pinterest users have purchased a product they pinned! That's pretty powerful.
Which businesses should use pinterest?
First, you should consider your target market vs the audience on Pinterest. Here are some statistics:
- 62% Pinterest users are female
- The biggest age demographic is 25 - 34 year olds
- Most users on the site are educated to University level and are relatively affluent in terms of income
You should also consider the fact that Pinterest is an extremely visual platform, and relies on graphics and photography to get engagement.
This means that Pinterest is perfect for:
- Creative businesses (photographers, artists, designers)
- Blogs (if your blog has quality, Pinterest optimised graphics)
- Consumer product businesses (jewellery makers, fashion brands, technology gadgets, gifts, prints, children's toys)
Meanwhile, Pinterest is more difficult to use as a marketing tool for:
- Local businesses and events (it's not possible to target Pinterest users by location, and due to the national & international usage, promoting small local businesses like shops, hairdressers, cafes, events, won't see much success)
- Some professional services (some more 'serious' professional services, such as accountants, lawyers, etc. will struggle to see results from Pinterest)
- Most B2B companies (excluding 'creative' businesses, most B2B companies will struggle with Pinterest, purely because other businesses are not likely to be hanging out there)
- Highly technical or niche businesses (considering the demographic, and the fact that Pinterest is fairly 'mass market', promoting very technical or niche products/services will be difficult)
how to set up your business on pinterest
Optimising your Pinterest profile for marketing purposes starts from the beginning.
Firstly, you should register for a business account. The main difference here is that with a business account, you get to see analytics for your pins.
Next, you need to fill in the details about your business. In the 'Business Name' section, it is good practice to not only include your business name, but also a word or two about what you do (or what you'll be pinning). So for me, my business name on Pinterest is 'byRosanna | Business & Branding'.
You then choose your logo picture, your username, location, and enter your website. You will be asked to verify your website (this will involve adding a small bit of code to your website). This isn't difficult and is a really necessary step for using your Pinterest for marketing!
Once you've set up your profile, you'll want to create some 'Boards' to pin to. When you create a Board, be sure to fill in as much information as you can, focusing on keywords so that your boards can be found easily.
A question I often see people ask is 'How many boards should I have?' and 'What topics should I have as Boards?'.
Generally, between 10 to 20 boards is a good amount, as it will make your profile look full and content rich. This will encourage people to 'follow' your profile as they can see you post a lot of content.
So that may seem like a lot of boards, but you can make them as specific as you like.
The best thing to do is to get in the mind of your target market, and think about what other things (not necessarily related to your business) appeal to them.
For example, a jewellery maker could have the following boards:
- Summer Fashion
- Autumn Fashion
- Winter Fashion
- Spring Fashion
- Christmas Gifts
- Wedding Decor
- Feminine Interior Design
- Birthday Gifts
- Wedding Accessories
They would be able to pin images of their own products to most of those boards, but even the ones that wouldn't be relevant (ie. Feminine Interior Design) are still something that their target market would be interesting in following.
Here's an example of what boards I have (as a brand and website designer):
You may also notice that my overall Pinterest profile (and all the cover images on these boards) have a fairly consistent colour scheme and aesthetic.
It is a good idea to select cover images for your boards that follow some sort of colour or style theme, so that people viewing your profile get a good idea of your brand style, without even needing to visit your website.
how to use pinterest for your business
I'm personally still learning how to best use Pinterest for my business, and start to build on making it a bigger traffic source to this blog and my website. But here are some of the best tips I've learned so far:
1. SET UP RICH PINS
You may notice that pins from my website have a little extra detail - Pinterest shows my website URL and takes the blog post description and adds it to my pin automatically. This is because I have set up Rich Pins.
It is very simple to do and just involves adding some code to your website - there are easy to follow instructions here.
2. MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE GRAPHIC HAVE THEIR 'ALT TAG' FILLED IN
Even if you have rich pins set up, you still want to include a keyword rich description for your pin (as I have done above) so that people can find your content.
When you go to pin an image from a website, you may see that the description is pre-filled in for you. It is the 'alt tags' of the image that do this for you, so if you want this to happen for images on your website, you need to write your Pinterest description in the alt tag of your image, like so:
3. CREATE IMAGES OF A CERTAIN SIZE/SHAPE FOR PINTEREST
The optimal Pinterest image size is 735px by 1102px, but anything longer (ie, with more height) than this works really well too, like infographics!
4. CONSIDER USING BOARDBOOSTER TO SCHEDULE REGULAR PINS
To save time, I use Boardbooster to schedule a certain amount of pins to post regularly throughout the day (including on group boards too). There are also lots of other cool features like the 'looping' tool, which re-posts old pins on a board and then deletes the old ones if they don't have as much interaction.
5. PIN A MIX QUALITY CONTENT (CHECK ALL LINKS)
Don't just pin your own content - search around Pinterest and pin other peoples' too. I don't know if there is really a 'formula', but I'd suggest 80% other peoples' content to 20% your own so that you don't seem 'spammy'.
When you pin other peoples' content, you should check the links work before you pin it to your board (lots of pins have broken links, and lots lead to spammy, pop-up sites!), so that you keep up a reputation for pinning quality content.
6. FIND GROUP BOARDS & PIN TO THEM
Use PinGroupie to find group boards where lots of people contribute to the same board. You can search by category, title and description and you can see the number of followers, collaborators and likes and repins per post.
Aim to join groups that have a high repin per post rate so you get maximum exposure to other peoples' followers!
7. REVIEW YOUR ANALYTICS
Find out what is working well and what isn't by regularly reviewing your analytics to see which pins are getting a lot of engagement.