How to be a Pinterest Expert with Kate Ahl
Could Pinterest be the new social media marketing platform for the new decade?
As the big socials get ever louder and ever more competitive, Pinterest’s quiet and calm approach may be the simplest way to make yourself heard this decade…
What does Pinterest mean to you? It might be somewhere you go to while away half an hour looking at ideas for a kitchen makeover, a new garden design or wedding venue. You might fancy new lighting in your bathroom or want inspiration for decorating your daughter’s birthday cake. It’s all very lovely, calm and unpressured. There’s no expectation to engage – all you’re doing is browsing and gathering information. But is there another side to Pinterest that we’re not tapping into – its potential as a marketing tool?
According to Pinterest expert, Kate Ahl of Simple Pin Media, that’s absolutely right.
“Pinterest is a place to be discovered by a totally new audience,” she says. “Pinners are not brand loyal – they are simply loyal to their idea. That means it’s great for small businesses because anyone can be found – it levels the playing field.”
Social Media Marketing
When it comes to social media marketing, we know a lot about Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What is different about Pinterest is that instead of trying to keep you on the platform, the primary function of Pinterest is to drive traffic. This means people come primarily to browse and gather ideas on Pinterest – if they see something they like, they can click on the Pin or image which takes them through to a website to find out more. This works well if you’re looking to catch new leads or a fresh new audience as every pin you post will have a link back to your own site.
“To use Pinterest for marketing takes a big jump in mindset when you’re used to platforms like Facebook,” says Kate. “Facebook wants to keep you on its site so is constantly building engagement, through likes and the heart icon. But likes don’t mean people are actually taking action. With Pinterest, people are being taken back to your website so there is more chance of monetising that action.”
Pinterest offers a more purposeful way of marketing than the bigger socials – there is less danger of people getting lost down the rabbit hole of Facebook or Instagram, for example. On Pinterest, people are free to search for ideas at their leisure but with focus, and without the worry of being overly engaged and distracted.
“It’s known as the introvert’s platform because no-one wants a conversation,” says Kate. “In fact, comments can really seem out of place on Pinterest.”
Another advantage that Pinterest has over the other socials is longevity. 70% of pins are re-pinned, creating a snowball effect which drives traffic over a long period of time. In fact, one of Kate’s pins that she created in April 2016 is still driving the most traffic to her website, almost four years later. In marketing terms, that’s a huge return on investment.
“It may be 10 years old but there is still lots of room for growth with Pinterest,” says Kate. “It is definitely not saturated or slowing down any time soon. The potential to market is still growing drastically.”
As the big socials get more and more noisy, it can be difficult to make yourself heard.
As we enter a new decade, perhaps it is the turn of the quieter, more reflective Pinterest that will usher in a new way to market on social media. Whisper it – you heard it here first!
Kate’s top tips for using Pinterest:
Before you commit to Pinterest, ask yourself why are you using it? What’s your main goal? For example, I use it to fuel my email sign-ups but other people might use it to drive people to your website, have product sales or sign-up for your services.
Commit to it:
Ask yourself what investment you can give it over the next year. Are you prepared to commit for a full year, even if it feels like it’s not working at times?
You need consistent daily pinning for 6-9 months to be able to see what kind of content is working on the platform. You can use scheduling tools like Tailwind to help you schedule and plan pins to go out through the week.
Show your creative side:
Pinterest is all visual and this creates a different user experience. To create good, engaging content, use the best images that really hook people in and try adding context to the images so it piques people’s interest.
Choose your target:
What is the generation you are targeting? Pinners tend to be 25-45 years old, so find out if your people are using it. Know the playing field you’re dealing with and master it.
Engage on and offsite:
Pinterest is a great search engine that allows you to drive traffic to your website but what are you going to do with them once they are there? Do they need free samples, more information or an online shop to purchase goods? Pinterest users aren’t quick to buy – they are in gathering mode – gathering all the ideas they need, even 3-6 months in advance of them making any decisions.
Jump right in:
One of the best ways to attack Pinterest is to just jump in. That’s how you find your flow and understand the platform. The first week or so can be cloudy and confusing and you’re not going to get it right at first. But after a couple of weeks it suddenly clicks and you get it. In the beginning, allow yourself 2 hours per week to dip your toes in the water and understand how it works.
Head to pinterest.com and set up a business profile. This includes your business name, profile and description. Word this so people know immediately what you are and what you do. Keep it simple by choosing descriptions that people might easily recognise you for. Then write a bit about your business – Pinterest will add your URL to your profile automatically.
Make a mood board:
A mood board is the place where you can tell everyone about what you have created. Think of boards as different categories for topics that you know people will be searching for. Start with 5 to 10 boards – think about what are you most known for? What are people going to search for to try to find your content services or products? Then create boards around these.
Through the analytics you can see what’s happening on your profile. You can see which pins have link clicks, re-pins or saves, impressions, closeups and engagement. There’s lots of great information there so it’s a good place to see what people are saving or re-pinning of your content. This helps you then get more ideas to create more good content.
If you’ve been inspired to explore the world of Pinterest and would like to know more, visit Kate’s website at simplepinmedia.com
For more details on getting started with Pinterest listen to the full Podcast at: http://www.simply-marketing.net/2020/01/10/how-to-get-started-with-pinterest/