Internet marketing used to be much easier. You just had to worry about your website. Now you have to worry about SEO, PPC, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blogs, and now Pinterest. With time (and money) being a limited resource – it doesn’t make sense to optimize them all. Many ecommerce companies are turning their attention (and money) towards Pinterest. Here are a few reasons why:
- According to Shopify, the number of orders generated from pins has quadrupled during a 6 month period.
- According to VentureBeat, Sephora’s Pinterest users spend 15x more online than Facebook users.
- A study from Sharaholic indicates that Pinterest drives more referral traffic than any other social site except for Facebook (more than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined)
- 20% of Pinterest users have purchased something they’ve seen on the site – via Copyblogger
- Pinterest users spend an average of $179 per order (twice that of FB) – via Web Navigator Gal
If you are thinking about jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon, consider the following best practices that big brands use.
- Set Up A Verified Business Account: Select a concise (15 characters) and unique name to market your brand on Pinterest. Hopefully, your brand name is not taken. If not, you might have to get a little creative. During the set up process, make sure you verify your website, and use the same email address you used for your business Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- Think About Overall Content Strategy: Like any other marketing vehicle, you have to think about the big picture. How will Pinterest fit in to everything else you are doing?
- Brainstorm Board Names: When setting up your Pinterest boards, be creative with your board names. Try humorous, specific names. Select board names that will mean something to your audience, using words that they would use. Organize your boards around your product categories, blog topics, and brand personality.
What Can You Pin?
- All Your Products: Link product images from your website to your Pinterest page. Don’t just post products, that is a sure way to hurt your credibility. People are interested in your products, but they are also interested in getting to know who your business is and what your company is all about.
- Awesome Stuff From Around The Web: Consider how other people’s content might fit into your brand image. You would be lying if you didn’t see a product image or infographic from another website that looked cool or spoke to you. Pin It!
- Infographics: Ideally, you want to create original infographics for your website as part of your overall content strategy. Use infographics are highly shareable on many social media sites. Struggling to see what to make into an infographic? Think about what will attract the widest audience. If you sell animal wall decals, you can create an infographic comparing different animal sizes or dog breed sizes. The downside to infographics is they are time consuming as it requires research, copywriting and graphic design. Make a goal and try to create one infographic each month. You will get a lot of mileage out of it. If you don’t have the resources to create effective infographics, repin them from others.
- Videos and Presentation Slides: Original product review videos are great additions to your pin board. Just don’t get over promotional with video. No one wants to sit through a 2 minute corporate overview on Pinterest. They want to see why you think the product is cool or interesting. Slideshare has a built in pin it feature if you want to create and share presentations. Slides can be a great way to sell complex products with a lot of documentation, such as B2B electronics. You can also use slides if you don’t have to resources to create a decent video.
- Badges From Blog Posts: Pin your featured image from your blog post to your Pinterest page. Images combined with powerful typography are sure to get noticed. If your post doesn’t have a strong featured image, consider creating one and pin that image from your blog post to Pinterest.
When pinning items, ask “would I repin this.” If your image is flat, uninspiring or lacks any emotional appeal, it probably won’t get repinned.
Optimizing Pinterest Images for eCommerce
- Brand Your Profile Image: Make sure you have a squared shape (160×165) variation of your logo. Nothing looks more amateur than an unreadable rectangular logo shrunk to fit a tiny square. If your logo is a rectangular shape, you might want to use your favicon.
- Use Descriptive Alt-Tags and File Names: Images that are descriptive will rank better in organic search results and its an easy step to do. There is no excuse other than laziness.
- Vary Up Image Heights: Pinterest images should be about 600px wide. If you have a featured product, post or infographic, make it a little taller. Taller images have statistically proven to be repined more often.
- Use Typography In Product Images: On Pinterest, combine your product image with bold typography and persuasive copy. “Best Father’s Day Tie to Give. Period.” The product description should also be in the image. This way if the image gets repined, the product description will still be there. You can use the product description for a SEO focused product description. You might want to consider adding your URL to the image and description.
Adding Descriptions and Text To Pins
- Use Hashtags: Add hashtags in front of your targeted keywords to help make it more searchable. If you are promoting a rifle case, use the same hashtag (#riflecase) on all your social posts promoting the offer.
- Target Long Tail Keywords: A fundamental SEO strategy. The more specific your targeted term, the better your chances of ranking for it.
- Relevance is King: Your Pin descriptions are another opportunity to communicate relevant information to your audience. Don’t use it to keyword stuff! Instead, stuff it full of useful information and links.
- Comment On Pinboards: I have always been a big fan of strategic commenting on blogs. When you leave a comment, people can tell what your intentions are pretty easily. So don’t just leave a spammy comment after looking at a board for 2 seconds. Make sure that your comments speak the language of the original pinner. People can spot a fake pretty easily these days. The best part about Pinterest comments is that its currently being underutilized. So get commenting before it gets spammed up.
Promote Your Products With Rich Pins
If you are serious about making a big splash on Pinterest, you need to take advantage of rich pins. Product pins is Pinterest’s latest marketing tool and includes real-time pricing and availability. Planning on running a promotion for the holidays? Get the meta data added to your website now! People that have pinned your products will be automatically emailed when the price drops. If you are not able to implement rich pins, make sure to include pricing in your product description – you will have to manually change this during promotions – which can be a big time drain if you have a lot of products.
Pinterest is another tool that you can use to help market your products online. If you sell a want-based, emotional product, you should strongly consider Pinterest. Consumers seek companies that will best appeal to their preferences. Using Pinterest, can help give your brand that extra bit of emotional appeal and could fit in well to your overall internet marketing strategy. Hopefully, you have a good feel as to what other brands are doing on Pinterest. Now its up to you to determine if and how you implement it.