Friday, April 4, 2014

Add Pinterest to Your Marketing Strategies

As a savvy business owner, you're probably already using multiple marketing channels -- such as printed media, ads, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter -- to get the word out about all that your company has to offer. But you may be overlooking one of the most popular and fastest-growing social sites of all: Pinterest.

If you think of Pinterest as simply a place to "pin" cute pictures of your dog or the handmade decorations from your kid's latest birthday party, think again. A 2014 consumer trends report from ShareThis shares a few (very) interesting Pinterest trends that should make any business owner who wants to take advantage of all possible marketing channels stand up and take careful notice, such as:
  • Pinterest users grew by 58 percent in 2013, making it the fastest-growing sharing site, even beating out Facebook and LinkedIn.

  • Pinterest is the third-largest social sharing platform.

  • Sharing on Pinterest has outpaced sharing through e-mail, an especially notable development given that the platform has only been around since 2008.
And if that isn't enough to convince you, consider a 2013 study from Piquora that found that:
  • Pins are 100 times more likely to go "viral" than tweets.

  • The average pin drives $.78 in sales, a number that's on the rise.

  • Pins continue to drive sales for 3.5 months, much longer than Facebook posts or tweets.
Piqued your interest yet? Here's how you can incorporate Pinterest into your print and digital marketing strategies and use this up-and-coming platform to drive traffic to your website, enhance your brand's online image, and boost sales.

Get Verified

First step: Verify your business. Not only does Pinterest's simple verification process prove that you are, indeed, who you say you are (i.e., adds to your trustworthiness), but it also allows you to take full advantage of Pinterest's on-site analytics features. Analytics provide an easy way to track what your customers are looking at and repinning, as well as what's getting repinned from your website. These metrics help your marketing team determine what's working and what needs improvement.

Visual Marketing

Using the right images is key to Pinterest success, so choose your pins carefully. Choose visually striking images that grabs viewers' attention and inspire them to repin. And think twice before using images that include faces; studies find that users are almost 25% more likely to repin a brand-related image if it doesn't include a face. Also of note, users tend to prefer images that are:
  • Colorful

  • Predominantly red, brown, or orange, rather than blue

  • Of medium lightness, rather than very dark or mostly black
On a similar note, keep your pins focused on images you know will appeal to your target audience. One way to figure this out? Use analytics!

Targeting the Audience

Speaking of target audiences, another easy way to figure out exactly who's out there is by doing a bit of sleuthing on those who follow your business. What else are they pinning? What types of content are generating comments and conversation? These trends make it easier to pinpoint your ideal audience.

Another great tool: Following other boards with the same images. Pinterest allows you to "follow" other users that pin the same images on their boards -- and prompt them to follow you, too. Remember, the more you pin, the greater the chances of this happening.

User Friendly

Focus pin content on information that's useful to your target audience. Whether this is an industry infographic, a well-done video presentation, or even a great marketing book that you just finished, providing your audience with content that offers a solution or helps your customers will keep them coming back for more.

Finally, provide easy ways for your users to interact with you. Adding questions to your descriptions fields, such as "What could this be?" or "Have you ever used one of these?" opens up a conversation with your potential clients and helps build brand recognition and loyalty.

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