There have been many studies and reports over the past year that show that Pinterest is one of the best social networks out there when it comes to marketing. Companies that use Pinterest typically drive more traffic, and sales, from this site than any of the other social networks. The problem many marketers have, however, is that most businesses or product aren’t really visual in nature. This can make it difficult to use the image based network effectively. Unless, that is, you take the time to understand how even non-visual businesses can really profit from Pinterest.
The following tips, tricks and insights will help you really harness the money making power of Pinterest:
The first thing to keep in mind is that Pinterest is NOT a place where you should be pushing a hard sell. Marketers should look at Pinterest as the softest of soft sells possible. All you’re doing is trying to introduce yourself, or brand or your site to the new audience. This audience is not looking to be marketed to, however, they are looking to be inspired, which will allow for sales down the road. In marketing terms, you can look at Pinterest as the walking path that leads to the door of your sales funnel.
The Pinterest blog says the following about users of their site. Specifically about the four stages their users follow while browsing through the site:
- Aspiration: the moment you get inspired to pursue a specific interest (say, taking up golf).
- Anticipation: the phase where people look into the interest and start prepping to actually do it (like researching golf clubs).
- Participation: (this is the fun part!) when people actually participate in the interest they’ve decided to pursue (like, playing nine holes at a local course).
- Reflection: where people reflect on the activity, maybe by taking a photo and framing it or sharing it on a social network.
As a non-visual business, you want to insert yourself into the first three stages whenever possible. The fourth stage, if done properly, will have your new customers inserting your brand into their own pins (thus bringing more people to your Pinterest page).
How to Become the Aspiration
If you’re running a cooking site or an art supplies page, it is extremely easy to use Pinterest to promote your products. For other products, however, it will take some really creative thinking. You need to associate the general concept of your product or services with something visual an eye catching. If you’re promoting a product or service to help other people make money, you can add some inspirational quotes:
Inspirational quotes are very popular, and they make it really easy for people to ‘re-pin’ them. You can either find the quotes you want to use on Pinterest, or anywhere else, and make them into cute images like those shown above.
There are many other options to consider. You can even just add in funny or random pins, and build a site which shows that your brand doesn’t take itself too seriously, which many people will appreciate. It will help it come off as ‘real’. Of course, you want to consider what you’re promoting to see what type of pins will fit best with your brand.
Getting Involved with the Anticipation Stage
The anticipation stage on Pinterest is one of the most important for the marketers. This is where people are actually thinking about a specific topic (hopefully yours). While in the first stage, you can get away with being pretty random and only loosely related to your brand, you want to try to be somewhat more focused with these pins.
Consider making some how-to videos and pinning them up. Maybe have some previous customers write a review, and then have it recorded as a video. Writing out a mission statement can also get some good attention. Depending on the product you’re selling, consider some before and after pictures. Images of other companies that use your product can be very powerful if you’re pushing a B2B product or service.
In this stage, try to keep in mind that you want to provide the viewer with information about your product or service, as well as keep them interested in it. This will undoubtedly take some trial and error, but as long as people are viewing your pins, you’ll be getting some great traffic.
When people are actually taking action and have either bought the product, or are trying it for the first time is a great time to get in front of them. In many cases, people will first take action with a cheap or free product, which is great. If that is your market, you can hopefully make a sale just prior to this stage. Many marketers, however, will be promoting a higher quality solution. If this is the case, it is important to get your products in front of them throughout this stage. If they enjoyed participating in the activity the first time, they will be looking at how they can make it even better.
In conclusion, it is important to recognize that Pinterest is a creative site where people go to get ideas and become inspired. As a marketer, this should always be your goal, whether you’re using Pinterest or any other platform. When done properly, Pinterest can drive high quality, targeted traffic to your sales funnel, which can lead many new sales.