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How to Begin a Marketing Campaign on Pinterest

How to Begin a Marketing Campaign on Pinterest

In Pinterest resides a glorious "shared scrapbook" style community filled with DIYers and dreamers alike. There are plenty of reasons why 72+ million users dwell in this online community, and plenty more reasons why your business should be active there.

Here's what you need to about all things Pinterest: what it is, how it works for businesses, and how you can gain more website traffic through an informed Pinterest marketing campaign.

The Basics of Pinterest

Basic Terminology:

  • "Pins" - Compelling images with descriptions that are linked to their original source on an outside website.
  • "Boards" - Boards are essentially user-named collections of Pins. You might see a "Beauty" Board or a "Favorite Gadgets" Board, housing and organizing your chosen Pins into a collected group.
  • "News Feed" - When you log on to Pinterest, you are greeted by a common news feed, offering a digest of recent Pins that users you follow have Pinned to one of their Boards.

The 3 Basic Pinterest User Actions:

  1. "Pin" new items. In this case, a user brings in an image from an outside source, and creates a new Pin to both put on a personal board and share with the rest of their Pinterest community of followers. 
  2. "Repin" other user's items. A user can discover new pins through the news feed or by searching for key terms or phrases. If they want to save one of these Pins to one of their own Boards, they click the "Repin" button, add their own caption (or leave the pre-existing one), select their board to pin it to, and Repin it there. Yes, this will show up on the news feed.
  3. "♥" other user's items. If a user likes a Pin but doesn't necessarily want to Pin it to a personal Board, they can show appreciation for it by clicking the "♥" button.

Pinterest and Digital Marketing Basics

It's pretty easy to click around on Pinterest and get a good feel for how to use it on a personal level. But where do Pinterest and digital marketing collide?

With Pins being automatically linked back to their original source, these images provide an effective means to drive traffic to your website.

EXAMPLE: Let's say you own a dog grooming business, and you've recently written a blog on your website entitled: "3 Neat Tricks To Cut Down On Spring Shedding." It's a helpful, quality article with a quality image (this is key) and you'd love to get more website traffic on it.

Well, luckily for you... that quality image makes for a perfect Pinterest Pin of your own! Using Pinterest's built-in plugin, or by adding the Pin It widget to your website (don't worry, we'll get there), you can Pin that image onto one of your own Pinterest Boards - entitled something like Tips for Pet Owners - along with a helpful description, and voila! Your new Pin is posted up on the News Feed for all of your followers to see.

Important Tips for Getting Started Marketing on Pinterest

1. Create a branded account.

In creating your first corporate Pinterest account, it is important your username reflects the identity of your business, rather than your personal identity. If your name is John Doe and you own "Bark and Meow Grooming," have your account name be Bark and Meow Grooming rather than John Doe.

If you want to have a personal account as well, feel free to Repin items from your business account on your wall, but Pin your primary items first on your own business account.

An exception to the rule: If you truly are the face of your own business - like an esthetician that runs a business out of home and relates to clients on a person-to-person level - you may benefit from having a personal account as your marketing account, but make sure you keep it professional.

2. Consistently create unique, high-quality images.

Images truly are worth a thousand words in our digital community, and the Pinterest community strictly demands it. For every new piece of content you create on your site, a Pinterest-worthy image should accompany it.

What makes an image "Pinterest-worthy," you ask? Here's the answer in the simplest of terms - it's unique and provides instant value.

Create images that are:

  • Personal - Whether created by a graphic designer, an image of a product you own, or adapted with text overlay, your images should in some way communicate unique value
  • High-Quality - This in terms of actual image construction and file type, but also the content in the image should be something tasteful and useful in some way.
  • Specific - Your image should directly relate to the content on your website. A picture of a baby duck may be adorable, but would not provide any specific value to an article written about cleaning out your rain gutters, for example.

Some items that don't fit the bill are:

  • Stock photos
  • Blurry, pixelated, or strangely cropped images
  • Images that don't relate to your original content

3. Pinterest-optimize your website.

Every image on your website should have the ability to be Pinned at a moment's notice. Pinterest does provide plugins for its users, but don't leave Pinning up to chance on your own site.

In order to do this, you can take advantage of a free widget that Pinterest offers which allows you to add a Pin It button to your images on Wordpress, Tumblr, Blogger, and Wix.

Utilize a different website platform or having trouble? Send us an email or give us a call so we can help.

4. Pre-populate your Pin descriptions.

When you Pin one of your own website images on a Pinterest board, take the time to craft a relevant description (and yes, hashtag phrases are incorporated in the Pinterest community). Increasing your likelihood of getting Repinned is as simple as providing a description with pertinent information about your content.

A compelling description for "3 Ways to Cut Down On Shedding," accompanied by an image of a happy dog getting groomed, may be:

"Reduce hair and shedding in your home this spring with these 3 neat #DIY tips and tricks for pet owners (and your furry dog and cat friends will love them too!)"

The text serves to let the Pinterest interface know what your Pin is all about. If someone searches for "cat tips," for example, thanks to your keyword-saturated description, your Pin is now a candidate for turning up in that search (and has an increased likelihood for getting Repinned)!

When your image does get Repinned, your description will automatically turn up in the description box. While users sometimes choose to write their own Pin descriptions, often times they don't, so when they Repin your image, your description will get Repinned right along with it.

5. Watch and learn.

We can write all day long about what to do (or what not to do) on Pinterest, but your best resource for discovery is getting active on the platform itself. What kinds of content is getting a lot of Repins? What do they put in their description? What kind of website does it link back to? To what frequency does the original user post new content?

Learn from the masters to become one.

Need help getting started? Have something to contribute? We'd love to hear from you! Don't hesitate to shoot us an email or give us a call. We'd be happy to help.

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).