Statistics show it at 175 million users per month and a market value of some $11 billion.
We’re talking about one of the most popular ways of sharing visuals and links around the web: Pinterest.
Pinterest is a remarkably simple platform: users share inspiring visual links they found online and organize them into individual categories and boards. Since these links can then point users in the direction of a purchase page, Pinterest can be an extremely valuable way to promote one’s store. But what exactly should your approach be?
Here are some detailed ways to making Pinterest work for you.
Using Pinterest to Create “Brand Awareness”
Brand awareness can be one of those buzz-phrases that annoys some marketers. But the truth is, Pinterest is one of the best places to build interest and buzz around your brand, especially if you’re someone just starting out.
How do you draw attention? By being useful. Yes, it’s imperative to use a visual medium like Pinterest to share stunning images. But as Shopify notes, your first thought should be to inspire. “Inspiring” is a broad word. How do you “inspire” someone when you’re selling, say, tote bags?
You can do it by creating useful guides. For example, rather than simply share nice pictures of tote bags, try to show it in the context of someone’s entire outfit. Show them using it at the store, or taking it to the gym, or any other way you can put it in context in real life. This provides some extra value, you’re offering suggestions in addition to the handy links provided. Someone who wanted to duplicate the look you’ve put together on Pinterest can then click through, with much of the inspiration already completed for them.
Create brand awareness by giving away plenty of value. Do work for your customers. In doing so, remember to use your boards creatively! For example:
Organize your brand’s feedback. You might take screenshots of online comments and letters your customers have written you and post them in a single board—that way if someone wants to find them, they have one single link to visit.
Spend a lot of time on your headlines. “Food” is not a creative headline; “30-minute family meals” is something that might help a larger audience. Think of your board as an opportunity to answer a specific problem a consumer might be having, and then use your board to create a visually-enticing solution for that.
Using Pinterest’s Advertising Platform
There is an exciting new advertising option that Pinterest has been quietly rolling out over the past year. It can allow you to target customers looking for inspiration in any topic on the internet. It’s Pinterest advertising! Pinterest is now offering targeted ads based on its customers searches.
What Does This Mean for Ecommerce businesses?
When Pinterest users search for a product or an idea or inspiration, businesses can now target those customers based on their searches, similar to Google. Let’s say you’re a kitchen accessories company that is known for its excellent selection of baking accessories. Or maybe you want to expand your baking accessory business. You can now curate an ad to specifically target customers searching for “Bundt cake” or “cookies” or “cakes” on Pinterest.
Imagine how successful your conversion rates could be when you can have an ad for your custom aprons when someone searches for baking related keywords. This is a great new tool that you should be taking advantage and, luckily, Pinterest is doing a lot to help.
What Pinterest Is Doing to Help Advertisers
We know how tough it can be to pick the correct search keywords and phrases, but, luckily, Pinterest has an internal tool to help advertisers target customers. It’s called the “Taste Graph.” The “Taste Graph” is essentially an algorithm that is not only able to figure out what users like, but also how those likes change over time.
It is able to track topics that become quickly popular and trends that are becoming less and less relevant. When the system was unveiled to advertisers in September 2017, it had more than 5,000 interests that were made available from day one. More and more interests/topics are being added to the system for advertisers every day. Also, don’t worry, this system has been around for a while and has a large amount of search data to fall back on. Pinterest originally used the “Taste Graph” for organic content and still uses this invaluable data to help advertisers today.
What Features Does Pinterest Offer?
You already know that you can target specific keywords and phrases, but Pinterest also allows you to exclude certain words and make sure you aren’t being advertised with something you don’t want to be next to. Pinterest also thinks that their system will allow advertisers to more effectively target Google searches that lead to a Pinterest result. As we mentioned above, the “Taste Graph” is engineered to predict not only a customer’s interest, but also their intent. Based on this, Pinterest will help target customers that are actually interested in buying your product – not just searching something your product is associated with.
We can use the above example of the kitchen accessory business here. Based on a customer’s search, the “Taste Graph” will analyze if a customer is just looking for a cookie recipe – or is looking to buy something (like your custome kitchen products) with their search. How cool is that?
How To Make Your Ads Effective
Again, with nearly 200 million active users, Pinterest is a huge advertising opportunity. But what are you going to do to make sure your ads are as effective as possible? With Pinterest, the most important aspect of your ad is the image. On any Pinterest search, users are bombarded with thumbnail images of products, recipes, and ideas that match their search. To set your ads apart, you need to make sure your images are good. Like, really good. Before you post any ads, be honest with yourself and see if your ads are up to Pinterest’s standards. If they are? Great! If not, upgrading your images is always good for business.
The second easiest way to ensure your ads are ready for Pinterest is to know your keywords. And to also know what keywords you don’t want to advertise on. Because Pinterest lets you choose both, knowing what keywords drive the most business will be critical to your success. This is also a great opportunity to ensure that your other keyword ads are worth the money you’ve invested.
John Egan, Head of Growth Engineering at Pinterest recently participated in an Ask Me Anything with a group of marketers on the Shopify Slack channel. Here are a few highlights of his responses:
For a company looking to use Pinterest in their growth strategy, where should they start?
“Most social media, you make a post and it gets a spike and dies off. Pinterest if you create a pin it can still be driving traffic a year later. Best place to get started is Pinning great content and making sure others repin it. We also have an Ads product “Promoted Pins” that you can use to drive traffic.”
What type of brands do you see having the most success using Pinterest Ads?
Pinterest is big in verticals like DIY, Home Decor, Food/Recipes, Travel, Fashion & Beauty, Tattoos, Exercise, etc. Brands that tie into those verticals are generally what perform the best.
Any recommendations for growing followers and becoming an Pinterest influencer?
Pinterest is working on allowing people to build up more owned distribution within Pinterest. Historically everything was controlled by algorithms and you didn’t have a lot of control other than cross-promoting your Pinterest account on other social channels. We recently introduced hashtags as a first step to allow content creators to get more visibility through a mechanism they can control. There are a lot more initiatives in the works as well to help content creators.
So, that’s it! The new Pinterest advertising options are no longer a secret. Make sure your photos are perfect, and your keywords are dialed, and you’re ready to pick up new customers searching exactly for your product.