On Pinterest – the social platform built on beautiful, shareable imagery – opportunities for shopping come cleverly disguised as outfit inspiration and smoothie recipes and DIY centrepieces and VW bus renovations and french bulldog puppies. These collectible, bite-sized visuals feed our human instincts to covet and hoard and categorize. For consumers, it’s a place to hunt and gather. For brands, it’s a goldmine. saying "Take my money!" Last year, Pinterest was the second largest social source for traffic (over Twitter), and resulting visits had the third highest average order value (beating Facebook). If you’re still not convinced, consider this: sales and traffic from Pins can occur long after the item is pinned. In fact, 50 percent of visits happen after 3.5 months, according to Piqora. Compared to Twitter and Facebook where the content half-life is around 5 minutes and 80 minutes, respectively, Pinterest is more bang for your social buck. As a merchant, there are several ways to maximize your efforts on Pinterest, including choosing the right content, running contests, and engaging with your community. Here are seven ideas to add to your Pinterest marketing strategies.
1. Use Rich Pins
Rich Pins are pins that contain extra information right inside the pin. Your customers can benefit from Product Pins which include real-time pricing and stock availability. Rich Pins can improve CTR and discoverability of Pins, by making them eligible for Pinterest’s own curated feeds. Another advantage of Rich Pins is price notifications. If you reduce the price of your product, customers who Repinned that product image will receive an email from Pinterest notifying them of the price drop and prompting them to buy.
2. Pin Smarter
Quality over quantity is a long-revered rule of thumb when it comes to, well, just about anything. With Pinterest, make it your mantra. Volume matters for the sake of consistency – pin every new product, engage frequently, keep it fresh. Knowing what types of images work best on Pinterest is even more important. When shooting and choosing photos for your product pages, make them highly Repinnable. What makes an image Pinterest-worthy? Let’s dig into the data:
· Keep it Anonymous. Images without faces receive 23% more Repins than those with faces.
· Use Color Wisely. Pins with multiple dominant colors are Repinned 3.25 times more than those dominated by a single color, and red images fare better than blue.
· Size Matters. Images on your product pages should ideally be at least 600 px wide with the optimal Pin width being 736 pixels wide (the maximum display size). Taller images are more likely to be Repinned.
· Listen. Pay attention to your analytics, either through your Pinterest business tools or via other apps like Piqora, Tailwind, or Curalate. While summer salad recipes and DIY treehouses may have high virality potential overall, be relevant – find out what resonates with your audience specifically.
· Timing is Everything. Pin and engage when your customers are doing the same. The time periods 2-4pm and 8-11pm are roughly the best times to Pin, but it can depend on where and who your customers are. Pinterest research also suggests that certain categories perform better on specific days of the week.
You Need a Blog.
You already know why your ecommerce site needs a blog. Use it as a place tocreate beautiful content for your Pinterest boards, too. Even if you’re not a designer or photographer, you can use easy tools to help create great content
3. Sell the Lifestyle
Inspire your audience, don’t just sell to them. Create boards around lifestyle themes that include your products, rather than just product boards ("The Great Outdoors" vs "ABC Company Outerwear"). Great brands understand their customers and the kind of content that they crave.
4. Piggyback on the Popular
While I previously cautioned against pinning content simply based on viral potential, you can tap into the most popular pin types and search terms if they’re actually relevant to your audience. Are your customers predominantly men? Your slice of the Pinterest pie is small, so maximize your efforts. Create boards and pin content in the categories of photography, art, design, and home decor. Do you sell food or beverages? Develop easy recipes containing your products. Are your products related to fitness, health, or beauty? Pin inspirational and inspirational content with quotes. Is your ecommerce store a source for tools, craft supplies, or fabric? Use them to create DIYs and tutorials.
5. Run Pinterest Contests
Contests are a great way to increase engagement on Pinterest. Brands, however, should pay attention to Pinterest’s contest guidelines. Certain types of contests are not permitted, nor is spammy behaviour.
Done well, and within the platform’s parameters, Pinterest contests can drive sales and traffic for your ecommerce site. Jetsetter used contests to increase site traffic by 150% and Overstock.com saw a 1000% jump in referrals from Pinterest.
· Be Creative. Modcloth wins at contests by keeping them fun and original.
· Make it Worth it. Forever 21 asks followers to create an entire board, but puts a $1000 gift card on the table as incentive.
· Get Inspired. Look to other brands for contest ideas that might work for you.
· Use an App. Apps like Gleam.io, Wishpond or Woobox can help organize your contest and host it on your site or Facebook.
6. Leverage the Power of Influencers
Partner up with Pinterest influencers and bloggers to give your product some clout on the social network. Many brands get access to new audiences by inviting Guest Pinners to create boards on their accounts. Often, influencers will charge a fee for this service, but social media love in exchange for your product may be possible, too. Choose to work with Pinterest users whose audiences resemble your desired customers.
7. Engage Your Community
Involve your community to help increase engagement. Group Boards can be comprised of many contributors – customers, staff, a select group of influencers – or can even be open to anyone to join. The contributors to your group boards become brand ambassadors, creating content on your behalf. Celebrate the selfie! Tap into narcissism and encourage your customers to share images of themselves with your product. This is an especially useful tactic for fashion brands to gather alternate, accessible images of products worn by real people.
FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC
You probably already know why your business should have a blog. Most small businesses do not and the answer I get the most is "I don't have time for that!" You do know you’ll increase traffic to your website, (if you don't have a website, shame on you and give us a call) blogging will also help build authority, provide useful information, and engage with your customers. You might even provide the information they need to make a buying decision. Unfortunately, most blogs get very little traffic and it is not that they can't it is because the way most people write them. Here are some tips to better blogging.
Who do you think you’re talking to?
Depending on what you sell or service you offer, your customers or clients might be a wildly diverse group of people and you might need a different approach for each type of person. So you might need to develop a number of writing styles to fit who you are trying to reach. Bring your style of writing to life. Basic demographics are fine, but you really need to know what your customers care about. When you know what they care about and what their pain points are, you can create blog posts they will be really interested in. Way too many businesses confuse dry, old-school articles with blog posts. Blog posts are a whole different animal. They are lively, often opinionated, casual, colloquial, and sometimes funny. In other words, they are chock-full of personality. Make it so. Just make sure to understand the difference between “controversial” and “abrasive” before taking any hot-button political stands. You also need to be ready to respond to your client base if they have questions or have their own idea or opinion about what you are talking about. Don't be holier than thou. Respect your customers or clients and respond!
Make a plan
I see two mistakes consistently made in content plans. Some businesses don’t have one, and their websites are like employee diaries. Have fresh content on your websites. I have actually found websites with old business addresses that the business was at a year ago. They moved and never updated their website. Websites are also not Facebook fan pages. Don't post personal things about you or your staff there. Nobody cares. They are there for information about your business, not your dog being in heat.
Mistake two is having too rigid a plan. Some larger corporate blogs follow a theme, and offer a lot of posts about one or two topics. This is a fine idea if you’re building a wheel-a central landing page that links out to a bunch of posts covering different aspects of one subject. But it’s pretty restrictive for small businesses to do this. Be open and creative and if you run out of ideas then start blogging on related topics relevant to your business. If you sell shoes, talk about how shoes made overseas might influence prices as a topic.
customers are looking beyond products to see what kind of company you really are. Millennials, especially, want to know how you treat employees, what causes you support, and whether you’re worthy of their hard-earned money. And since there are now millions of millennials now, every business needs to care about what they want. Millennials are connected socially, interact heavily with brands, are not impressed with advertising, and read blogs before making buying decisions. They place very high values on trust and accountability. More than ever before, businesses have to think beyond selling their products and build a brand reputation. Your blog is the perfect place to start, hand in hand with social media. That means revealing your mission, your future plans, and your inner workings. It means telling customers about your people, and showcasing your customers’ stories. Get personal. Ask for input and then implement it. Treat customers like part of the team. You must interact or have that option there to do so and respond back. Let them know there is someone behind the keyboard they can talk to.
Pain Point Finding
Why do customers buy your product? What need are they answering? How can your product fix their problem or make their lives better in some way?
Answer those questions in your blog. That’s what will draw people to your blog.
The initial success of your blog does not depend on the quality of your posts. Quality is what brings people back. You need to build your blog!
Attracting your first group of readers is the hardest...so don’t start cold. You may not know it, but you have influences such as vendors, for example. People you do business with, your customer list, and even businesses physically near you. Your local radio and television stations might even help out. Plan a big post for a local or online event you can leverage for publicity. Sponsor or present at an event and live-blog as it’s happening. This is a whole different topic which I will cover at another time. Video blogging is hot right now but I degrees. Host a giveaway or raffle. Do something big that fits your business and blog about it. Then keep blogging. Once you have done one or two, they become a standard part of your work plan.
FDMC Social and Digital Media