Pinterest Marketing Tips from Nell of Me Marketing Group

Now, Pinterest marketing is still very much an emerging field. But what advice would marketing agencies give you about it? We’ve been interviewing some of them to find out.

Today, we’re interviewing Nell of Me Marketing Group for his views on Pinterest marketing…

Nell is an entrepreneur with multiple business ventures across entertainment, printing, marketing, media, and also real estate. He is currently preparing to launch several monthly publications around the Greater Detroit area.

1. When and how did you first get into Pinterest marketing?

We began offering Pinterest marketing soon after the site began to gain popularity. Initially we were a bit skeptical about the impact that the site would have in the marketing world for business owners, but soon found the site was becoming an effective tool. Once customers started inquiring about it we added it our mix.

2. What’s your involvement with Pinterest marketing day-to-day at the moment?

On a personal level, I’m just getting started in using the site, however, we discuss daily with customers the importance of business using it as a tool to market products and brands. Some customers remain reluctant or skeptical, but we have seen a huge rise in clients needing help in getting started on the site.

3. Are you seeing a lot of interest from clients for Pinterest marketing?

Yes and No, a lot of clients are still searching for info about the site and looking for a way in which they can use it for their brand. Some clients are so focused on Twitter and Facebook marketing that they are reluctant to try it, mostly because of time restraints or lack of knowledge of how to use it.

4. How should business owners decide whether or not to spend time on Pinterest when there are so many other things they could be doing?

Consider your product and target market before devoting a lot of time to a site like Pinterest, but that can be said about all social networks, every site isn’t a great place to devote your efforts to, you have to find the one that meets your needs best.

5. For businesses that are already using Pinterest to some extent, what’s one top thing most of them could improve to make their efforts more effective?

Pinterest is a visual site because its based on pics, so your campaigns should be eye catching. They don’t have to be all snapshots of products that you offer, it’s not a sales paper. If you are a company which sales home decor items, try using pics which have products similar to yours in a real life setting. Be creative with your graphics, spend time editing pics, use contrast highlighting your items… make sure that you do more than just have a basic picture.

6. What are some Pinterest marketing campaigns you’re particularly proud of/impressed by?

I’ve ran across a few Pinterest campaigns that were impressive, the ones that I particularly enjoyed the most were from a travel agency we worked with, for obvious reason it’s not hard to imagine a beautiful board for a nice island get away.

7. What’s your favorite Pinterest marketing tip for more advanced Pinterest marketers?

Keep active with your boards, and continue seeking new followers and follow people with similar interest back. Also remember Pinterest is a site that has long visit spans from visitors. The average visit last about 5 – 10 minutes. Once you have a persons eye, it’s a good chance you can keep them engaged for a long time. That can lead to a new customer for your brand.

8. How do you see the world of Pinterest evolving over the next 12 months?

I can see the site continuously gaining popularity once people start using it more. It’s honestly one of the more unique and addictive of the social sites because unlike most sites which are based on words… it’s based on pics… that’s a huge advantage for Pinterest along with it being interactive with your web experience with the “Pin It” tab you add to your browser. You’ll find yourself using it more and more often and creating more boards due to that alone.

9. How can people best find you online?

Check out our site www.memarketgroup.com

Thank you, Nell!

Have you seen these other posts in our series of interviews with Pinterest marketing experts?

Is there someone you’d like us to interview next? Let us know in the comments!

 

Pinterest Expert Interview: Dr. Dave Chaffey of SmartInsights

Pinterest Expert Interview: Dave Chaffey of SmartInsights

What would you want to know from a leading Pinterest marketing expert?

In a bit of  a change from our usual articles, we are running a series of interviews with marketing experts who are using Pinterest as one of their platforms. For our first such interview, we speak with Dr. Dave Chaffey of SmartInsights.

Dr. Dave Chaffey is the CEO and co-founder of the online marketing advice publisher, SmartInsights.com. He enjoys learning and sharing information on best practice in the world of Internet Marketing. (SmartInsights, 2012) 

1. When and how did you first get into Pinterest marketing?

As a follower of the latest SEO practices I first became aware of Pinterest when links were dofollowed from Pin descriptions and then Pinterest changed them to nofollows because spammers were exploiting them. Then there was the affiliate link skimming used by Pinterest to raise funds which got a lot of press.

I think what really caught my attention was the report from the Shareholic sharing service at the start of 2012 proclaiming that Pinterest Drives More Referral Traffic Than Google Plus, YouTube and LinkedIn Combined. These amazing reports have continued with Techcrunch saying July 2012 that Pinterest Traffic Passes Google Referrals, Bing, Twitter & StumbleUpon. Impressive stuff, but I have to say I think misleading compared to what we see in the Europe from the analytics of clients I’m involved with. Still, it was a wakeup call and like many companies we claimed our stake to protect our brand.

2. What’s your involvement with Pinterest marketing day-to-day at the moment?

We’re big advocates for using Pinterest marketing daily in sectors like Fashion and Travel where it will make a significant difference. For us, I don’t think it’s that significant for us at SmartInsights.com right now, since we see that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ drive more visitors than Pinterest.

That said, before we even had our Pinterest boards live we could see our visuals being shared on Pinterest – we have a lot of digital marketing models and infographics on our site because we believe they’re a great way of planning and managing marketing better than your rivals.

Our marketing infographics board is still the most popular and we aim to have one original infographic each month, but we find we have many more repins direct from the site rather than on Pinterest.

We have discovered that sharing the very best infographics from other sites on our blog is effective in getting more shares and visits back to our site. We try hard not just to post what everyone else is pinning, but be earlier or find more “left-field” pins.

3. Are you seeing a lot of interest from clients for Pinterest marketing?

We certainly see lots of interest from marketers whenever we cover newer approaches to online marketing like QR codes, Google+ or Pinterest. These tactics are “hot” this year and are most widely shared and commented. We help marketers by covering “best practices” in digital marketing through reviewing examples and case studies. We published our Smarter Pinterest marketing guide to help with this.

This said, I think many of our clients are still more concerned about getting more from the key techniques like search marketing or the bigger social networks, so getting Facebook or Twitter to get work harder for them.

4. How should business owners decide whether or not to spend time on Pinterest when there are so many other things they could be doing?

You’re right about many other things to do, so I think marketers struggle to make the time for Pinterest because it needs richer, quality content for sharing than some other social networks.

To help decide see how much sharing Pinterest is driving in your sector use Pinterest to see the level of sharing. I mentioned above that we were seeing quite a lot of sharing of content on our site even before we launched our Pinterest boards. I recommend that, to assess the potential, owners use the “source” syntax in the URL to see what is being shared on their site and competitor sites. For us, the syntax is www.pinterest.com/source/smartinsights.com. We saw good sharing of our infographics which showed we should focus more attention on Pinterest.

5. For businesses that are already using Pinterest to some extent, what’s one top thing most of them could improve to make their efforts more effective?

As with any content marketing I think it’s about being a better publisher – that means having a regular process of quality shareable content that works for the Pinterest audience. I see lots of examples where companies make a start and fade away, like we saw with early efforts at blogging. You have to have a sustained stream of quality content which is shareable, but also presents your brand well. I know that’s obvious, but it’s what I see. To keep it sustained, try a regular feature every day or once a week. For example ASOS have the 3’s (Simple, Sexy, Seductive) in different categories like celebs.

6. What are some Pinterest marketing campaigns you’re particularly impressed by?

A strong, “fun” offer and integration are what I look for to give the campaign the biggest impact, that means integration with the website, email marketing and other social channels.

Harrods ran a Street party competition linking Pinterest and Twitter. They asked customers to create their own mood boards for a street party, told them a board title to use and a hashtag to include and also asked entrants to tweet them their entries. This is a clever to way to engage with customers as well as boosting your presence across social media.

This board description gives the entry details which shows the mechanic:

Have you ever fancied designing your own window at Harrods? We are inviting you to create a mood board on Pinterest, which will be the inspiration for a ‘Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Street Party’ window. Your board must be titled ‘Harrods Street Party Window’ and once complete, you must tweet us a link to your board (@HarrodsofLondon) including the hashtag #HarrodsWindows. Here is one we have created to give you some ideas“.

7. What’s your favorite Pinterest marketing tip for more advanced Pinterest marketers?

That’s simple “Reach out”! With Pinterest, it’s all to easy to focus on your own board, but it’s the same as with blogging, you need to get involved with a community of interest and partners to get more visibility.

So, comment on the pins of boards you follow to show interest in what they are pinning, and if you think it is relevant either repin or ‘like’ it. To communicate directly with a Pinterest user, you first need to be following at least one board belonging to him/her. Then, type the @ symbol immediately followed by his/her username. Potential matches to this username will begin to load; when you see the person you want to mention, click his/her name. You can mention a user in a pin/repin description or in a comment. The user you mention will receive a notification.

8. How do you see the world of Pinterest evolving over the next 12 months?

Yes, it’s going to be interesting to see the owners try to monetise it. I hope the owners do a better (and quicker) job than Twitter.

I’d like to see the home page for brands to evolve to be more similar to Facebook company pages with options for offers or email sign-up. While it’s not likely we will see something like Facebook apps within 12 months, I’d love to see a way of running promotions with more prominence to help get sign-up or sale. But this will have to be sensitive to the aesthetics and vibe of Pinterest; it would be a shame to lose that.

9. How can people best find you online?

I’m fortunate to have an unusual name, so just Google “Dave Chaffey” to find me on a network! I like to connect on LinkedIn to answer questions.

I’m all about helping marketers work out the best way to plan and manage their online marketing. So if you’re involved with managing digital marketing, take a look at our free quick guides – we have them laid out visually here in our RACE guide to online marketing strategy.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Pinterest with us, Dave!

Dave clearly knows his stuff when it comes to Pinterest, I’m sure you’ll agree. We’ll be interviewing more Pinterest experts here on the TotalPinterest blog in the weeks to come.

In the meantime, who do you look up to for Pinterest advice? If you know someone we should be interviewing later in this series (perhaps even yourself), do let us know.

How to Run a Pinterest Contest

Contest

One way in which Pinterest can be used as part of a social media strategy is through contests for things such as “who can make the best pins and pinboards.”

If you would like to run such a contest to promote your own businesses as part of your own social media strategy, here are three things to consider.

1. Make it Easy to Enter

First of all, you should make your contest easy to enter. Remember that this is on a social network that was intended to be fun, friendly and engaging to your audience. A contest should look like something fun and spur-of-the-moment, not a cheap promotional tool.

2. Have a Worthwhile Prize

The second thing you should be keeping in mind is that the prize should be worthwhile for the contest winners. Your prize will be dependent upon what kind of business or website you have, but popular prizes include gift certificates or prize packages made up of special gifts from your site.

3. Decide What Type of Contest to Run

You should also know well in advance what kind of contest you want to run. Pinterest can run a few different kinds of contests such as a “Pin It to Win It” contests for the most creative board dedicated to a specific theme, photo contests for the most creative themed photographs, and contests to see which pins can receive the most “likes” from other users.

Pinterest contests can be easy for people to participate in, and they can be a lot of fun. Most importantly, they are a great way for you to build excitement for your brand or website.

Photo by Philo Nordlund

World’s Top 5 Pinterest Marketing Experts

World's Top 5 Pinterest Marketing Experts

With millions of active users worldwide, Pinterest is a powerful marketing tool if you know how to use it effectively.

Several firms and freelance marketing consultants have already established themselves as leaders in Pinterest-based marketing; let’s examine some of them, and the valuable lessons we can learn from each.

1. Barrett Niehus. Advertising expert Barrett Niehus is a one-man clearinghouse of information to help individuals and companies increase viral traffic on their Pinterest boards through creative application of SEO. Niehus recommends choosing a Pinterest page title and/or user name identical to the word or phrase you’re trying to rank on search engines. Creating multiple pinboards (and even multiple Pinterest accounts) with the same general theme and keywords also helps increase search engine ranking.

2. Jason Miles. Marketing strategist Jason Miles uses Pinterest as a major component of his advertising, marketing and public relations activities. Miles’ pinboards are packed with free information and advice for other marketing professionals who want to increase their efficacy on Pinterest. His boards can be found here. Miles also maintains a Pinterest marketing blog here.

3. Susan Gunelius. Marketing analyst Susan Gunelius often contributes to Entrepeneur Magazine; she also owns a marketing firm in Florida and has published several books on related topics. Her top tips include being social and connecting with other Pinterest users, pinning only carefully selected, high-quality images and creating pinboards that evoke emotional responses from viewers.

4. Kotex – through its marketing firm, Smoyz – recently launched an interesting and unusual Pinterest campaign designed to gauge customers’ Pinterest usage, increase brand visibility and strengthen a portion of its customer base. The company selected fifty female, highly active Pinterest users and sent each woman a digital “gift” via email. If the women posted about that exchange on Pinterest, Kotex followed up with a real gift sent in the mail. The company found that almost all of the women posted about their digital gift on Pinterest; many also posted on Facebook and other social sites.

5. Proctor & Gamble are using Pinterest to create interest in the upcoming Summer Olympic Games, in which the company is a worldwide partner. Proctor & Gamble have created pinboards dedicated to the mothers of Olympic athletes. Photos and videos in the “Thank You Mum” campaign may be viewed here.

Photo by JenvanW

Pinterest: 3 Simple Yet Little-Known Ways to Get More Repins

Cute Puppy
How can you get more repins?

You’ve got your Pinterest account, created your boards, and are using good quality images. It’s one thing getting your Pins in front of your followers, but you are preaching to the converted if they are not sharing them with others. Follow these easy, yet little-known, ways for more re-pins and a bigger return on your Pinterest investment.

1. Use tall pictures. Pinterest limits the width of pictures to 600 pixels, but there is no limit on the height. Taller pictures are more eye-catching, and more likely to be repinned than wide images. Make sure the quality of your pictures is spot on. With so much competition, an unprofessional looking photo will be quickly passed over. Don’t limit yourself to images that relate to your product. Use inspirational quotes, and use tools like Quozio (Quozio.com) to make them look good. Appeal to the current mood. For example, a picture of a sunny, deserted beach in the middle of winter will strike a chord with people longing for summer.

2. Choose your words carefully. Dan Zarrella of HubSpot analyzed over 11,000 pins and found that those repinned the most had descriptions of around 200 characters. He also analyzed the most repinned words and identified recipe, chicken, and minutes were the top three most frequent. The top twenty are mostly cooking and craft related, so consider putting pins in Food & Drink and DIY & Crafts. Post a favourite recipe, like a BBQ marinade in summer, or cocktails at New Year. Your target audience has a life outside of your products, and diversifying will help them relate to you better.

3. Tag other Pinners. Using @ to link your image to other Pinterest users will make it more visible, and increase your number of repins. Use search friendly words to write your caption, so users searching for that product will also find you.

Pinterest is about sharing content. By providing Pins that are attractive, relevant, and easy to relate to, you will get more repins than simply pinning pictures of your products. Make your content appeal to a wider audience, and they will share.

Photo by _jennieMarie

Are You Doing These 5 Things When You Pin an Image to Pinterest?

How to Make Your Images Succeed on Pinterest

How do you make your images succeed on Pinterest?

We all know that Pinterest has the potential to be a fabulous marketing tool: 21% of users have bought something they have found on the site. It is free, there are 11 million users, and it is quick and easy to get started. However, given the pace at which it moves and the number of pictures you have to compete with, it can be difficult to make yours stand out. Here are five things you should definitely do every time you pin an image in Pinterest.

1. Use keywords and hashtags in your descriptions. Just as you would do when writing on your website, add a search-friendly description of up to 200 characters, then hastags with the main ones. For example: Fall/Winter 2012-2013 Fashion Trends: Metallics. Go for fashion Gold, Silver, or Bronze with new season metallics #metallic. Good Housekeeping (@goodhousemag) is a good example of how to do it right.

2. Make sure you link your image back to the specific page on your website that relates to it. It is no good pinning an image relating to a product or article, then directing interested people to your front page. Take them directly to it – just as you would in a store.

3. Create a catchy title. Perfect Palette (@perfectpalette), one of the most followed businesses on Pinterest, is a great example, with titles like Sunshine Soiree, for a yellow mood board, and Home for the Holidays for Christmas related pins

4. Credit the source of the image. It’s courteous and respectful to state where your image came from if you don’t own it. If they are on Pinterest, link to them with an @, otherwise make sure it links back to where you found it. Definitely don’t try and pass someone else’s image off as your own!

5. Use good quality photographs. They should be crisp and professional looking. Pinterest allows images up to 600 pixels wide, but there is no limit on height. Interestingly, taller pictures are repinned more often than wider pictures.

It also helps to post in the Food & Drink and DIY & Crafts section, as these are areas where most repins originate from. Every one of your pins is a reflection on your business. Think about your intended market and pin to suit their interests.

Photo by kimubert

The World’s Top 5 Pinterest Marketing Success Stories

World's Top 5 Pinterest Marketing Success Stories

If Pinterest’s meteoric growth in members isn’t enough to convince you that using it needs to be part of your marketing strategy, maybe this will motivate you: Shopify found that customers spend twice as much when they come to their sites via Pinterest, than if they come via Facebook or Twitter.

Here are our top 5 Pinterest marketing success stories.

1) Etsy (@etsy) was an early adopter of Pinterest as a marketing tool, and have since confirmed it is their number one traffic driver. They have nearly 90,000 followers, 1,609 pins and 30 boards. They don’t just promote items for sale on their site; their success comes from good quality information, like tutorials on DIY projects. Etsy understands that social networking is a two-way street and they interact well with followers.

2) Christine Martinez (@chrisem) is a stylist and fashion blogger. She has 984,088 users following 6,262 pins over 44 boards. Christine is the third most followed Pinterest user. She is not a conglomerate; she is one person proving that Pinterest can give a business a worldwide profile. Christine has used Pinterest to successfully build her own brand, sending her career soaring.

3) Wedding Republic (@WeddingRepublic) saw a 75% increase in traffic to their website after they started using Pinterest. Despite a relatively small number of Pinterest followers, their use of good quality photos, each linking back to their online wedding registry site, has successfully boosted their profile among their target market (Pinterest is very popular with brides-to-be), all for free.

4) Today (@todayshow) uses Pinterest to successfully connect with its audience. They provide information viewers want, from recipes to behind the scenes photos. They use Pinterest as an extension of their website (today.com) to keep viewers interested and involved when they are not on air.

5) Whole Foods Market (@wholefoods) has gained nearly 31,000 followers in less than a year after opening their Pinterest account. Their boards don’t focus just on food, but on things their customers are interested in: growing good produce, being fit and healthy, fashion, high-tech gadgets, and the environment. They use Pinterest not so much to generate traffic, but to build their brand.

Photo by jared

The World’s Top 5 Pinterest Marketing Guides

Sign saying "This Way"
Pinterest is no longer the little brother in the social network marketing world, tagging along in the shadow of Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest’s growth has spawned a huge array of guides aimed to help marketing professionals promote their business via Twitter.

Here is our pick of the best.

World's Top 5 Pinterest Marketing Guides
1) Quick Sprout has a great, easy to follow guide to using Pinterest as an effective marketing tool for beginners. It covers all the basics, including how to upload video and the best way to connect visually with your client base.

2) 9Clouds Advanced Guide to Marketing with Pinterest is a free eBook with step-by-step instructions from the people at DigSandbox.com. They help you define a specific marketing strategy, and cover issues like copyright.

3) The Ultimate Pinterest Marketing Guide by inBoundPRO is a straightforward guide suitable for both beginners and experienced Pinterest users, covering everything from getting started, to increasing your followers, increasing traffic, dos and don’ts, the legalities, and a lot of other tips and trips. It is not one single guide; rather it is a summary of the best articles available online, broken into easy to find categories.

4) Social Media Examiner has published 26 Tips for Using Pinterest for Business. Some of the tips are fairly basic, like using keywords and hashtags; but others, like using Pinterest as a focus point, are invaluable to marketers using Pinterest.

5) The Complete Pinterest Guide for Brands is a comprehensive eBook show marketers how to make the most of the time on Pinterest by engaging your customer base and optimizing your content.

Other useful guides worth checking out include Template Monster’s and Online Income’s eBook: Complete Pinterest Guide | SEO and Traffic Generation With Pinterest. Use a tool like Google Analytics or Pin Alerts to see what content has the most impact so you know where to best direct your efforts.

Photo by Steve Snodgrass

Great Pinterest Presentation from SMX Advanced Seattle

Spider's web on chain link fence
Here’s a great presentation on Pinterest marketing tactics from the recent SMX Advanced Seattle conference.

The slides are focused on techniques to hand-craft pins to go viral, drive large volumes of traffic to your site, and get you lots of links. The examples included are a little old now in Pinterest terms, but overall this is definitely worth a look.

(from Vince Blackham of 97th Floor)

Have you tried these sorts of tactics? Are they still working? What results have you seen?

Photo by randysonofrobert

Should You Have a Pinterest Board just for Promotions?

Poster offering fresh lemonade
What topics should you choose for your Pinterest boards?

Search Engine Land has a good article today with a few recommendations about this (the wider article is about whether and how local business owners can use Pinterest as part of their marketing efforts).

In her article, author Stephanie Hobbs covers the basics of Pinterest marketing. One suggestion I particularly like is to set up separate boards for special offers and discounts, for example “Under $50” or “On Sale”. Doing this gives people a clear reason to follow a particular board, so should help in getting more Pinterest followers.

That’s the theory. But how does it work in practice?

Have you tried pinning promotions to a dedicated board? How has it worked for you?

Photo by amy.gizienski