It’s the run up to Christmas in New York.
Fifth Avenue is packed.
Because everyone wants to take a quick look at the Saks Christmas display.
Tourists and locals come from all over to take a quick peep at the demonstration. And it translates into more business for both Saks and other stores nearby.
Visual perfection and retail sales have always gone hand in hand.
Which is why Pinterest is one of the most promising social networks for any ecommerce brand.
However, to the uninitiated, Pinterest can seem daunting. Impregnable even. But it doesn’t have to be.
Decode the ecommerce brand’s favorite channel with this guide and start reaping the rewards of highly visual content today.
Why should I use Pinterest?
First things first: why exactly is Pinterest so popular with online retailers in 2018?
Well, first and foremost is the engagement and audience.
Most people don’t realize that 40% of Pinners have a household of $100k or more and 50% have an income of $50k+. That means there’s a huge number of people with expendable income.
With 250M active monthly users, that’s a pretty sizeable audience with cash to burn.
Add to that 93% of active Pinners are actively looking for products (and 1 in 2 end up buying from Pinterest), it’s got a lot of potential.
But what makes it so popular with your customers?
Part of its allure lies in its visual format. We all know customers want high-quality product images, right?
To have highly visual boards of your product just takes it that one step in giving the customer what they want.
These kinds of product collections and striking flat lays pique customer interest.
The curated format of the social platform makes it easy for individuals to shop around and be inspired.
And if a potential customer does like a product or service and they want to return to it later, Pinterest lets users save Pins to dedicated Boards for a personalized shopping experience.
For example, if I was shopping for that perfect winter jacket, I could create my own Board entirely comprising winter jacket Pins.
Here’s an example of personal boards revolving around photography.
On top of the wealthy user base and ability to curate your own high-quality images, it’s increasingly popular with Millennials.
Half use Pinterest at least once a month to create wish lists for weddings, houses, pregnancies, and other milestones.
With Millennials becoming the primary purchasing powerhouse in the world, this is a big deal.
Pinterest is more than just a social platform — it’s a digital vision board through which people plan their lives.
But ultimately, Pinterest is a visual search engine.
It lets people search for images based on keywords and phrases, which means ecommerce brands can play the SEO game and get their products seen.
When it comes to your ecommerce business, Pinterest is one social platform you can’t go without It has a proven track record of driving huge traffic to online stores.
One need only look at ecommerce businesses for sale to see the possibilities afforded by Pinterest.
The benefits of Pinterest for ecommerce stores cannot be underestimated. Its perfect blend of heavy visuals and unique shopping experience makes it a valuable addition to the ecommerce entrepreneur’s toolkit.
Brands doing Pinterest right
Pinterest is awash with savvy brands who have nailed the visual platform game. Here are some examples you can learn from.
Yogurt brand Chobani’s Pinterest is a foodie’s mecca. Replete with gorgeous images of French toast, chicken chilli, and banana muffins, Chobani provides its customers with dozens of wholesome and hearty recipes.
Appealing to its health-conscious customers, Chobani shares healthy recipes, motivational graphics, and fitness tips. To top it all off, the Pins fit seamlessly together, with each one embodying the Chobani brand aesthetic. A feast for the eyes.
What we can learn from them
Just as content marketing is about delivering value, so too should your Pinterest strategy. Chobani does a couple of things really well here;
- They focus on value – providing the kind of advice their ideal audience want and love
- They couple that advice with beautiful visuals
- There’s a good mix of advice and visuals to prevent it becoming too much of the same thing
- Most importantly, it’s focused on the user and their needs.
The Today Show
The Today Show is a US talk and news show covering a range of domestic and international topics.
Aimed largely at lifestyle-conscious women, its Pinterestreflects its typical audience by sharing recipes, wellness tips, inspirational quotes, and beauty advice.
Not only do these Pins tap into audience desires and pain points, but they’re also highly repinnable.
Health-conscious viewers can easily Pin these to their own boards, where they can lead new Pinterest users back to The Today Show’s own profile.
What we can learn from them
The Today Show has done a great job of creating a highly engaging Pinterest account, and they’ve done it through only a handful of simple actions.
- Again they focus on the user. They have an established audience thanks to the show and ensure Pinterest is tailored to their needs.
- Their images reiterate the goal of the post so you know at a glance what to expect
- The extra copy within the images increases shares which increases their reach
How can I use Pinterest?
You know why you should use Pinterest. But what can you do to help your ecommerce brand profit from all the potential that Pinterest proffers?
Play the visual SEO game
As mentioned earlier, Pinterest is a visual search engine. Just as you’d type in a keyword to find a website in Google, so too will a search query on Pinterest bring forward relevant results.
This is because when Pins are uploaded to the platform, their descriptions are crawled in a similar way to how keyword-optimized sites are.
By focusing on relevant keywords and phrases in your Pin descriptions, you can drive your Pins further up the results pages. Check out the example below:
Perfectly keyword optimized for visual search queries. The primary title lists the overall resault and the in-depth description would hit more keywords for people searching for things like “what to do with Kiwi”.
And remember, Pinterest also ranks Pins based on the name of your image file, in much the same way that Google does.
Be sure to save your images with suitable keywords in their file name to up your SEO game.
Its status as a visual search engine makes Pinterest ripe for manipulation through visual SEO.
Savvy marketers can play the SEO game and make their brand rise through the ranks in Pinterest search queries.
Some basic tips to follow include:
- Optimize your profile and select an SEO-friendly profile name: your username forms part of your Pinterest profile’s domain, so try to hit keywords your customers will be using in it.
- Learn from guided searches to enhance your SEO efforts: when users search on keywords, Pinterest provides related terms to help them refine their search. These keywords can help you identify relevant modifiers related to your niche.
- Optimize your boards for your customers’ search queries: your boards are essential categories of your brand, which in turn help Pinterest determine how to rank your Pins. They also help guide your customers when they visit your profile. Arrange boards according to customer needs.
Maybelline’s Pinterest page is a fine example of the above point:
Its boards are full of optimized titles such as ‘Spring Beauty Looks’ and ‘Get The Look’, providing customers with exactly what they want. It’s user-friendly, optimized, and valuable, making it perfect for SEO.
Take advantage of a range of ecommerce options
Pinterest makes it easy for ecommerce brands to sell goods through its social platform.
Its first foray into online in-app purchases was with Buyable Pins, through which consumers could make purchases through the platform.
But it recently rolled out Product Pins, which lets customers learn more about a product’s pricing, availability, and more.
These are a type of Rich Pin, a Pin format that returns more information about products and services such as recipes, apps, and articles.
But there are also some great third-party tools which let you sell across multiple social platforms (including Pinterest) in one app.
jumper lets ecommerce brands consolidate their products into one app for their own ease, whilst simultaneously being marketed across a range of social networks.
Your customers can use Jumper’s intuitive chatbot to buy products quickly and conveniently, which is money in the bank for you.
While Pinterest is first and foremost a social platform, it offers some strong ecommerce options too.
Pinterest boards are perfect for creating curated collections of products based around a central theme, such as seasonal events or weddings.
Create boards for products you specifically want to promote so customers can easily follow and share them.
This can help pique their interest in new products, informing them as they move through their buyer’s journey.
Put time and effort into created Pinterest-perfect images
As a visual-centric platform, it’s natural that ecommerce brands should only upload high-quality and attractive images.
Carefully crafted flat lays and considered product staging will all go towards making your Pins clickable and pinnable.
But to really go above and beyond with your Pinterest images, create Pins that appeal to your customer’s journey.
I mentioned earlier that Pinterest is a place for millennials to curate wish lists for the important milestones in their lives — use imagery that speaks to those milestones.
For example, a florist could simply upload some pretty photos of flowers. But they could take it further by uploading a flower arrangement at a christening, or a shot of a bouquet being thrown at a wedding.
Appeal to your customer’s personal experiences and journeys by placing your products in contexts that matter to them.
Pinterest is a Visual Heavy Social Channel that’s Big on Sales
While other social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter cater for visual content, it’s not their primary focus.
A quickly-made graphic might suffice for those, but it won’t do for a visual platform like Pinterest.
If you plan on using Pinterest heavily as part of your social strategy, you’ll need to devote a considerable part of your time to creating powerful, striking visual content.
You might want to consider hiring a dedicated (and talented) creative. Photography, design, illustrations — these are all perfect for Pinterest.
Hire an individual with multidisciplinary skills who can create high-quality content for shareable Pinterest Pins.
For ecommerce brands, Pinterest is rich with possibilities and opportunities. From SEO-driven visual searches to plenty of in-app purchasing options, it has lots to offer your online business.
As Pinterest grows, so too will its potential for ecommerce brands, so don’t delay — start pinning today.
If you’re looking to add Pinterest to your existing social commerce strategy, be sure to check out jumper so you can sell across all channels with minimal effort.
Patrick Foster is a writer and ecommerce expert from Ecommerce Tips — an industry-leading ecommerce blog that shares the latest insights from the sector, spanning everything from business growth hacks, to product development. Check out the latest posts on Twitter @myecommercetips.