Once considered the domain of cupcake bakers and home renovators, Pinterest marketing is now becoming essential for small businesses.
The image and graphics-focused platform may not be in the same league as other digital marketing channels, but it is making waves nonetheless.
Pinterest is used by 250 million people every month and is the fourth most popular social media channel, ahead of Twitter.
While many small businesses are rightly focusing their efforts on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, Pinterest should not be ignored.
But many small business marketers are likely wondering what they are meant to do with the channel.
How do you generate leads, let alone execute a sales strategy, through a channel that is essentially about making pretty things and sharing recipes?
Here are 10 Pinterest marketing ideas you can use to promote your small business.
1. Adopt a Pinterest Marketing Template
Pinterest is a visual-forward platform and small businesses can use that to their advantage, particularly for brand building.
Marketers will know that a brand is more than just a name and logo—the fonts, colours, personality, and voice of a company all contribute to its brand.
And Pinterest is the ideal platform to promote your brand’s ethos. Create Pinterest templates to build your brand and achieve a consistent and aesthetically pleasing style.
Templates can combine your brand fonts and colours to ensure that your posts look uniquely like your brand—when followers see your boards and pins, they will begin to recognize your brand.
This will help with brand recall not only when users are browsing Pinterest, but when they encounter your marketing efforts on other digital platforms.
You should also look at templating the kind of copy you write for your Pinterest posts. Create a brand guide for your marketing team with guidelines for the tone of voice to adopt on the platform, and what subjects to avoid.
By standardizing your Pinterest marketing efforts, you can build your brand and ensure consistency across your imagery.
2. Add Behind the Scenes Pins
Speaking of branding, a great way to promote your small business on Pinterest is by showcasing your company’s culture.
Get employees from different departments involved in this endeavour and show your audience what life at your company looks like.
Behind the scenes photos and videos, particularly if they have a humorous touch, will entertain your audience—which is what most social media is used for.
But, more importantly, behind the scenes pins will make your brand feel more personable. Users will begin to view your brand through a personal lens because they have seen the people behind the brand.
For brand building, and to encourage long-term customer loyalty, behind the scenes pins are a great strategy.
3. Educate Your Audience
As we have mentioned, users on social media channels are looking to be entertained. Even when they encounter brands on social media, they don’t want to be sold to.
While you can’t aim to entertain audiences at all times, you can endeavour to educate them.
Share how-to guides, DIY videos, and instructional graphics—pins that teach your audience something and add value to their life.
Though your primary aim with Pinterest marketing is to build brand loyalty and boost sales, by educating your audience, you place yourself as an expert and teacher in your field.
This will prompt users to engage with your pins and your brand more consistently than they would otherwise.
4. Incorporate Holiday Pins
Source: The Container Store
Social media is a haven for digital trends, particularly when it is the holiday season.
Leverage the major holidays and festive season in your Pinterest marketing to reach target markets who may not have reason to actively engage with your brand during most of the year.
Festivals and holidays bring people together and you should plan well in advance for graphics that will be relevant for those occasions while still being brand-forward.
5. Create Infographic Boards
Infographics have been increasing in popularity again over the last few years and have become a mainstay in digital marketing efforts, particularly for small businesses.
But while most social platforms don’t have the physical real estate to feature an infographic on their feeds, Pinterest’s layout lends itself well to infographics.
The vertical shape of the Pinterest pins make infographics that much easier to see and read, which is why you should create a dedicated infographic board to promote your business.
You can use infographics to share a wide variety of information—such as tips, statistics, or create a timeline, and other fun data—which will keep your audience entertained and educated.
6. Leverage the Power of Lists
Lists have become a popular tool in content marketing. Most articles, videos, and even graphics include lists of some kind or other (just like this post you are reading right now).
Pinterest is a great place to make a list-related graphic, either as the aforementioned infographic or as a simple checklist.
You can create lists for any and all topics—best recipes, top brands, funniest jokes—there is no limit.
Create a board specifically for lists that users will enjoy following—but remember to keep the content fresh so as to keep the audience’s attention.
7. Promote a Lifestyle
Source: West Elm
Pinterest is aspirational and that is how your brand should place itself on the platform. Don’t focus on building your brand by selling products and services—go beyond that notion.
How do your products and services help people? How can you change someone’s life?
Pin posts about the lifestyle, aspirations, or the wedding your customers will have if they were to buy your brand, and you will be rewarded with increased engagement.
8. Get Customer Testimonials
For startups and small businesses, it is generally a good idea to keep a record of the positive feedback you receive about your brand, your products, and services.
And this feedback can be utilized to great aplomb on Pinterest—create templates to share testimonials from your customers.
You can share these testimonials in a separate board, but ensure they look uniform but exciting. The last thing you want is to create these pins only for them to be ignored by your target market.
9. Start a UGC Campaign
User-generated content (UGC) is becoming a go-to for small business social media marketing. It’s a great way to connect with your audience and to evoke interest in your brand.
You can create a UGC campaign across most social platforms, but Pinterest is particularly well-suited to such a campaign because of the ease of shareability.
Ask your followers to share photographs of themselves using your products along with a dedicated hashtag to track the campaign.
With a UGC campaign, you will need to monitor the posts you pin as they should be cohesive and consistent with your brand identity.
10. Use a Scheduler
Most digital marketers will be well-versed with using social media scheduling tools to post their content on multiple channels.
But until recently, a number of tools were not compatible with newer platforms like Pinterest. Fortunately, that has now changed, and using a scheduler across all channels has become the way forward.
Using schedulers for your Pinterest marketing will give you access to important metrics and a better understanding of your audience.
Plus, you can also track when your audience is most likely to engage with your content so you can share your pins at those times to boost impressions.
There are a number of ways to use Pinterest marketing to promote your business and these ten ways are a good start, especially for brands that are new to the platform.
Though it will take some trial and error at first, creating boards that entertain and educate your audience, as well as highlight your company culture, will help you build a memorable brand on Pinterest.
This is a guest post by Ronita Mohan. Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at the online infographic and design platform Venngage. She has a keen interest in writing about subjects related to marketing, productivity, pop culture, and diversity. When Ronita isn’t writing about these topics, she’s thinking about writing.
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