Using Pinterest to Market Your Products, Websites, and Articles
So you've got a product, site, or article and it's awesome. So what's next?
Time to market it.
There are endless ways to market things, especially online, but there's a huge benefit to using Pinterest as a marketing tool - it's totally free! And more importantly, it is considered to have the highest revenue per click rate, which means more chance of making money. So basically, you have nothing to lose. I've been marketing my sites on Pinterest for a while now and I've uncovered some great tips to make your marketing effort even more successful. Another great benefit of Pinterest - it really doesn't take much of your time. Now, if you become addicted to pinning and repinning I can't help you! But the reality is that it only takes a few seconds to pin a product and maybe a couple of minutes a day to manage a really great account. I promise, its well worth the try!
Pinterest is an amazingly unique and simple social media tool that is not only really effective for marketing, but also a ton of fun - and for most people really inspiring. It is a virtual scrapbook for life and business, and for the most part the two meld together nicely. If you haven't ever heard of Pinterest or just haven't signed up yet, then you know what your first step will be! Sign up for an account at Pinterest!
Pinterest will start you off with standard boards, and you will automatically be following some other pinners. To get ideas for what others are doing, check out their Pin Boards.
Feel free to look at mine for some ideas: My Pin Boards . If you click "Follow" then you will see any new pins of mine in your news feed.
So here is the basic gist of Pinterest - when you see a picture that you like (this can be on any website, not just Pinterest), you "pin" it to one of your boards. Other Pinners will be able to see your pin and may repin it. In return, you also get to see their pins and are able to repin to your boards if you like them. And here's the great part for your marketing efforts - Pinterest pins are taken into account in lots of search engines, so if you pin an image from your site, lens, or product page it will improve your rankings. Not only that, but more and more people will now have a direct link to your site, lens, or product!
I have used Pinterest very successfully to market my Zazzle products, blogs, and other articles, so I will use them as examples throughout the tips below. You are not limited to just those though, so keep an open mind! Good luck! Happy pinning!
Making the Right Boards
Making the right boards is very important if you want to gain followers and more repins. You need to make your boards creative and relevant. A board called "Food" is very general and not nearly as enticing as "Salty and Sweet" or "Snacks under 100 Calories." Now, you need to keep your boards true to what they say - so you don't want to name your board "Snacks under 100 Calories" and then fill it will desserts that don't come anywhere close to that calorie count.
Fill Your Boards with Relevant Pins
Pinterest users are savvy, and they don't go onto Pinterest just to buy your stuff or read your articles. So make sure you fill your boards with other stuff too. Showcasing a collection of your zazzle products can be effective, but if you fill your board with other relevant material too, you will be able to attract way more pinners. I try to make a rule for myself that for every personal product I pin, I pin two other relevant pins that compliment it. This way my boards are fun to follow and more well-rounded.
Now, here is the exception: If you have products, lenses, or even blog posts that you are really proud of, its ok to want to showcase them together. Just make sure you follow all the other rules so that your followers don't leave you. And make sure you're clear about what they are!
for every personal product you pin, you should pin two other relevant pins that compliment it
Don't Pin Bomb!
Trust me, you will have days where all you want to do is pin, pin, pin. You will get caught up in a great feed, or come across an amazing board, and all you want to do is keep repinning. That's why Pinterest is so amazing, but please try to be careful by how much you pin! Eventually, people will stop following you if all they see in their pin feed is your pins. Try your best to keep it low - maybe 5-8 pins twice a day. And also, try to make them different. Eight similar zazzle products is a little boring - so mix it up with some recipes, pets, or home decor ideas.
Resize Your Images
Pinterest will format all of their images to be the exact same width - but the length of the pin will vary depending on the length of the image. Why does this matter for you? Because long pictures get more repins. Plain and simple. Obviously quality matters, but statistics still show that a quality long picture will get more repins than a quality square picture. So why not resize some of your images?
Now, if you are trying to pin zazzle products, the tricky piece of this is that if you use the generic pin button, your image will automatically be formatted and cut down in size. So you will need to take an extra step and format the image yourself. You have two options for this - you can either reformat the image, upload to pinterest, and edit the link, OR you can reformat the image, add it to your blog or other platform (if this is an option for you), and then use the generic pin button and your image will keep its new formatting.
For those marketing websites, blogs, or other articles, Pinterest will take your image just as it is! So just make sure you have lots of quality LONG images.
image © Nikki Schilling
Use Amazing Images
This is probably the most important tip, but in some ways it is also the hardest. But it will absolutely be worth your time to find the best possible images for your sites or lenses. This also means taking an extra step to edit any photographs to make sure they're bright and vivid. There are lots of free options for basic editing and a slew of products you can purchase if photo editing is going to be a big part of your overall marketing plan.
If you're ready to take the plunge and purchase some photo editing software, try out Photoshop. It is one of the best in the marketplace with lots of options.
When to Pin
To get the biggest bang for your buck, make sure to pin on Thursdays from 3pm-5pm and on Sundays. They are the highest traffic times for Pinterest.
Add Text to Your Images
I have been doing this for a while with great results. If you are marketing a recipe or article, then edit the image to include the title of your creation. We all know a picture says a thousand words - but sometimes you just need to lay it out there for your readers. One of my blog articles is about ways that stay at home moms can make money. I can pin tons of great pictures of moms and babies, but it really doesn't get the message across. However, when I put "44 Ways to Make Money as a Stay at Home Mom" on the photo, all of a sudden people understand that its more than just a cute picture and my repins spike.
If You're Marketing Recipes or Food...
Recipes and food are HUGE on Pinterest. If you have a food blog or create the occasional recipe post, then you need to make sure of two things: 1. Your images need to be Pinterest-ready 2. Your first pin needs to utilize the right keywords.
When you're marketing your food blog or recipe post, the picture is extremely important. The most obvious factor is to make sure your picture is of the recipe or dish itself. If you are really crafty and good with your camera, then you can stage the photo to include not only the dish, but also the ingredients or something seasonal. If this type of photography does not come naturally to you, don't fret - taking pictures of food is harder than you think! There are photographers out there that actually specialize in food photography and it's a talent they spend a lot of time on. If food photography is not your thing, then here's what you do - you take an upclose shot of the food so that you can see the various components. Trust me, this can make your photo look absolutely delicious.
Once you've got your image figured out, you want to make sure you pin it yourself with the right keywords. Other people that visit your site will likely pin it themselves as well, but if you pick the right keywords, then other people will find your image on Pinterest, as opposed to the other way around. Try to stay away from descriptions like "looks delicious!", "can't wait to try this!", or "MMmmm..." These descriptions might get repinned initially, but they won't do you any good if people are searching for something in particular. For example, one of my recipes is for Sweet Potato Chocolate Chunk Blondie Bars. When I include that full name in the description, the pin will show up for anyone that searches "sweet potato," "blondie bars," or "chocolate chunk." If I wanted to take it a step further, I could add "uses only whole wheat flour" so that anyone searching for "whole wheat flour" would also find the pin.
Join Group Pin Boards
Group pin boards are boards that one person starts and then invites others to post their pins to it. It is one of the best possible ways to expand your reach, so it's worth figuring out.
There's no quick and easy way to join these boards, however, so you'll have to put in a little leg work. Try searching for boards that are relevant to your area of expertise and look for the group board icon (it looks like a group of people). When you go to the board, there will usually be a description that often includes directions for joining the board. Once you've been accepted, you're free to pin to it!