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What Is Pinterest And How Can It Help My Local Business?

Online and digital marketing is a diverse and innovative way to advertise. Its inexpensive setup costs make it the ideal solution for small and local businesses who want to compete with larger companies.

Social media sites in particular allow organizations to reach out to huge numbers of people even on a limited budget. One of the most exciting online marketing platforms is Pinterest.

Pinterest differs from most other social networks because its main focus is on sharing images rather than staying in touch with friends. This revolutionary take on social media is incredibly useful for small businesses. The site describes itself as a way to "discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interest". Read on to find out how joining this product-based social network could benefit your company.

What Is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard which allows people to add 'pins' (images) of things that interest them from around the internet. People create their own pinboards on subjects like fashion, decoration, crafts, and cooking. Pins can be images of anything including graphics, photographs, products, and brands. Users can interact with each other buy following a person, liking a pin or pinboard, or re-pinning an image.

Some large online stores are now using the site as a virtual store front. On a smaller scale, local businesses can utilize this platform to spread images and information. It is particularly valuable for art or design based trades, but any business that can produce interesting images of their products or skills can benefit. Restaurants, manufacturers, shops, charities, and service providers are all able to use the site successfully.

Pinterest which was set up in 2010 was the fastest site ever to reach the 10 million unique visitors mark. It has continued to grow in popularity and it now receives over 18 million unique visitors a month.

Creating A Pinerest Marketing Strategy

Images are a powerful marketing tool so the advertising potential of Pinterest should not be underestimated. Creating a clear and concise plan that will help you to develop and maintain your Pinterest account is important. Here are a few of the factors that a successful strategy should include:

- Setting up your business's Pinterest page

Add visually appealing pictures to your Pinterest pinboards that will capture people's attention and make your pages popular. You can then divert this traffic to your official website by adding links between pinned images and relevant web pages. Pinterest encourage users to keep original source links for each pin, so even if it is re-pinned onto another user's pinboard, potential customers will still be able to follow it back to your business's site.

- Getting followers

Building up followers is the best way to ensure that you have a large audience for your product images. Competitions are one of the most effective ways of doing this in a short period of time. Competitions could reward the person who re-pins the most of your content or be a prize draw among anyone who likes one of your pins.

Another way to build up followers is to include interesting images from external sources as well as from your own site. You may not get the same immediate benefits from this, but you can insure that your pinboard remains fresh and interesting.
- Connect with your website

By using a downloadable Pinterest badge you can create an easily recognizable link from your official website to your pinterest page. Here customers can get a snapshot of your products or even choose to become your follower.

Users can install a 'Pin-it' button on their own web browser to take images from your website and add it to their pinboards. The Pin-it function automatically credits your site as the original source and creates a backlink. Your products are advertised by Pinterest users for free, and by displaying a Pinterest badge you can encourage them to do so.

The Results Of A Successful Pinterest Marketing Strategy

There are many benefits that can result from a successful and professional marketing strategy on Pinterest. Here are just a few:

- More sales

Increased sales are the ultimate aim of nearly all advertising strategies. Fortunately, a well-presented Pinterest pinboard, which features links between product pins and the relevant sales page on your official website, can convert followers into sale more successfully than almost any other social media network.

Fashion site Bottica reported that the average spend from users inbound from Pinterest was $180 compared to just $85 from Facebook. A similar trend is reported by other online traders.

- Brand awareness

Images are powerful, and through them you can use Pinterest, not only to advertise your services, but also to inform customers about your company's ethics and influences. Your pinboard, which can appear in Google searches, is a creative way to engage customers and create a deeper relationship with them.

- Interconnected social media marketing

Keeping up with many different social media sites can become a chore for small businesses. Fortunately, your Pinterest page can be added to your Facebook timeline and to personal blogs, so that when you create new content on one site you can easily update all of them.

- Understanding

Customers can choose to 'like' your pins and leave comments on them. You can also annotate pins with open questions if you would like to find out specific information from your followers. Reading this information will provide you with a more complete understanding of the popularity and general opinions of your products. By assessing which of your product images was the most re-pinned or liked, you can develop a clearer idea about future development within your business.

How To Get Started With Pinterest

Implementing a Pinterest strategy is a perfect way to boost your sales, increase you customer understanding, and create more meaningful brand awareness. However, some business owners can find the process difficult, especially when they have little experience in the area. Unfortunately, a badly organised marketing strategy can struggle to build up followers, and swamping the site with too many images can frustrate existing fans.

Turning to an online marketing specialist to develop and manage your Pinterest site and its connections to your existing website is an ideal solution. Advertising experts can make sure that your Pinterest boards are interesting, positive, and most importantly increase your revenue.

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