By Peter Boyd
After more than a decade in the internet marketing business, I’ve seen firsthand how critical social media can be for branding purposes. In just a few short years, sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have become some of the most useful online tools for marketing and increasing a business’s online visibility. However, one unlikely platform is quickly rising to prominence as the go-to arena for online marketing: Pinterest.
If Pinterest isn’t already part of your social media marketing efforts, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to increase your online presence. The bookmarking forum is immensely popular, offering a slew of user-friendly features suited to all ages and interests. Not only is Pinterest simple to navigate, but the potential to store and conveniently compartmentalize ideas and products is virtually limitless. Best of all, Pinterest is free to use. These perks make for a perfect online branding resource. My company leverages a Pinterest page to showcase our work and culture, from our custom law firm web designs to our team-building events board.
Now that you know what Pinterest can do, how exactly can you use it to increase your online visibility? Below are seven tips to help you rev up your “Pinternet” marketing campaign and drive traffic to your site.
1. Reach a Larger Market
It’s no secret that Pinterest boasts a dedicated following, but the actual number of users may surprise you. Last October, the company hit a milestone 150 million monthly users. Though this number may pale in comparison to those of Facebook or Twitter, you might be surprised to learn that Pinterest surpasses Twitter when it comes to domestic users, reporting an average of 70 million monthly domestic users, compared to an average of 60 million for Twitter. So, if you’re looking to attract more clients in the U.S., Pinterest can help.
2. Get Creative
The image you choose for a pin makes all the difference in attracting users. You’ll want to make sure the image is eye-catching to avoid getting lost in the endless sea of similar pins. Choose bright colors that pop on screen and bold titles to capture users’ attention. It’s important to note that a pin does not have to be a static image; you can share and save videos as well. A 30-second video can do wonders for your brand, as many users are looking for a way to gain information quickly without having to read a 1,000-word post.
3. Promote Your Blog
Just as a user may pin a favorite location, recipe, product or household hack, blog links can also be saved. This can be done in two ways: By either copying and saving the link manually as a pin, or by embedding a “Pin It” button into your blog. You can choose to have your pins link back to your blog or to individual posts. Take it a step further by creating a Pinterest board dedicated to your blog, where followers can find all your latest posts. The possibilities are endless.
4. Optimize Pin Captions
You may already be optimizing your website or blog with keywords that will increase your visibility through an online search. Did you know you can do the same with pins? When you save a pin, you have full control over what the caption will read. So, why not use this as an opportunity to optimize? Include keywords relevant to your brand, as well as direct links to your website or blog, in your pin’s caption. This will enable users searching for matching key terms to find your pins quickly and discover your business. As a bonus, users seldom alter captions when saving other users’ pins, meaning your optimized pins will likely be re-pinned with the same keywords, thus extending your outreach.
5. Embed Direct Links Into Pins
Aside from the ability to optimize captions, Pinterest allows users to embed pins with direct links to other sites and web pages. On the off chance a user will not read a pin’s caption to find information about your business, they can still click on the pin and be automatically directed to your company site or blog.
6. Build a Following
It takes time to build a following on any social media site, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you can expand your social network on Pinterest. As with any other social media platform, followers are gained by sharing content regularly, following users, favoriting other pins and posting comments. Aside from using Pinterest to directly market your brand, it’s important to pin a wide variety of content that your target audience can relate to so your followers don’t lose interest.
7. Include a Call to Action
Chances are you include a call to action on your website or blog, so why not feature one on Pinterest? Along with optimizing pin captions with keywords relevant to your business, you can also include a call to action that will prompt users to call or email your company. You may also opt to feature the CTA right on the pin's image.
Pinterest is becoming one of the most popular tools for internet marketing. By following these tips, you can use Pinterest to your advantage and significantly boost your online presence.
Peter Boyd is a Florida attorney and founder of PaperStreet, a “by lawyers, for lawyers” web marketing firm that has helped over 1,000 law firms with their websites, content and marketing.