Many businesses are marketing their companies and products on Pinterest—some do it well, while others miss the mark. Successful Pinterest users create boards that operate as mini-virtual showrooms, displaying the most visually appealing images that complement their products and services.
"To market well using Pinterest, you need to make sure that every piece of content you publish either solves a problem for your audiences, or entertains them—preferably both,” says Beth Hayden, author of Pinfluence: The Complete Guide To Marketing Your Business With Pinterest. “Once you establish a good rapport with your audience through the fantastic content you publish on your Website (and other social media platforms), they will buy from you because they like and trust you.”
Hayden adds "When it comes to online marketing, your goals are simple: drive traffic back to your Website, add people to your mailing list, and turn those visitors into buyers."
Here are some ways businesses use Pinterest to market their products and make a profit.
Target your ideal audience. "Your pins and boards will be much more appealing to your target audience if you focus on your ideal client while you're pinning," says Hayden. "Ask yourself, 'Would my ideal client find this useful, educational, entertaining, or inspiring?'"
For example, Hayden says that therapist Tamara Suttle used Pinterest to get her name out there when she was trying to help other therapists open up their own practices.
“She started pinning resources about waiting rooms and office spaces, and quickly amassed a large collection of ideas and suggestions about the topic on her ‘Private Practice From The Inside Out’ board," says Hayden. "It’s a veritable smorgasbord of inspiration for therapists who are seeking ways to set up their very first therapeutic space. And Suttle communicates her expert advice beautifully through the power of pictures."
Avoid looking like a sales catalog. "Pinterest's visual nature makes it a great way to give customers a glimpse into the heart of your brand," says Hayden. "The more you let your brand's personality come through in your pinboards, the more human you can be—and the more successful you will be with Pinterest."
Oreck, a vacuum and cleaning equipment company, has a specific Pinterest model that revolves around humanizing the brand.
The company says "We have a board for each of our newest products, but it only includes photos of the products we use in real people's homes, mostly from bloggers we work with as a part of our blogger outreach program."
"But we don't want to be like many other brands that pin all product shots. That's why we have boards like 'Furry Friends' (featuring photos of lovable pets) and 'Stunning Floors' (showing beautiful home flooring options). We even have a board dedicated to our signature color, blue."
Encourage people to take action. "If your content is really outstanding, those customers and followers will share your brand's message for you," says Hayden.
Such is the case for Ana White, an Alaskan mother who started a blog to publicize and share woodworking tips online. She wanted to encourage other women to build their own furniture and shared images of plans with measurement, instructions, and illustrations included.
After just three months of being live, White's Website received more than one million views and credits Pinterest as being its number one source of traffic, bringing in 6,000 unique views every day. As a result, most of the income generated from her site comes from advertising revenue.
"Done authentically and well, Pinterest marketing can help you build an incredible community of followers and superfans who loyally support everything you do," Hayden says.
Spotlight the ways customers use your products. "A clothing store or specialty boutique might take pictures of customers wearing outfits put together from the store. You could develop a whole board of customer photos like this; then make sure to link to those customers' Pinterest accounts in the description of the pin."
Stetson Patton, owner of Thad and Louise Boutique in North Carolina, uses this strategy on her Pinterest board. She takes photos of what people are trying on in her store so that Pinterest users can see what the clothes look like on real bodies. Furthermore, Stetson posts inspirational design ideas that she'd like to implement for her boutique.
Do you use Pinterest for your business? If so, share your tips with other business owners in the comments box below.