Content marketing relies on a number of methods to build a brand. From blogs, to status updates, to videos, companies have no shortage of ways to define their voice and reach an audience. However, one highly sophisticated, tried and true method stands out among the rest: pretty, pretty pictures.
When it comes to grabbing people’s attention online, visuals are a powerful tactic. In fact, 40% of users respond more to a compelling visual than plain text. It’s no wonder, then, that Pinterest has become a social media giant among the visually inclined (i.e., most of us), and why many companies have incorporated it into their social media marketing strategy.
If your company is new to the Pinterest game, here are a few reasons to give it a try.
According to recent data, Pinterest users spend an average of 98 minutes per month on the site, trailing Tumblr and Facebook. If you’ve used it just a handful of times, then you probably understand. First of all, the visual layout is very intuitive. Directions become somewhat of an after-thought as you immediately start clicking through boards and scanning for striking pictures.
Secondly, the images are seemingly curated. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, whose news feeds can sometimes seem like an unruly dumping ground for your friends’ photos, the beautiful design of Pinterest makes all of the content seem professionally organized.
Users can easily scroll for hours as they begin to explore their interests. Want to make a board devoted to craft breweries in Southern California? There are pictures for that. From seemingly professional photographs to casually shot iPhone photos, boards allow you to testify to your passions and hobbies.
If your brand can tap into the aspirational quality of Pinterest, it’s likely to succeed on the social network.
It’s made for sharing content
Shares are one of the more coveted social media metrics. While likes and comments can show a brand’s engagement with its audience, they don’t expand its content beyond its own page. However, shares provide greater visibility for your pins, posts, tweets. With its awe-inspiring, informative and inspirational visuals, Pinterest is ready-made for sharing. Shared content can turn users into brand ambassadors, and earn you some free publicity.
In particular, Pinterest caters to people who post pictures of things or places that they love. If you have a great product (or even a semi-great product but with an amazing photo), and you’ve tapped into the right audience, people will share your images and participate in marketing at no cost to you.
If your brand is appealing to high-income, female users – a large portion of Pinterest’s users – then you’re already ripe for pinning. But other brands with different demographics have found success on the social network as well. Even B2Bs can grab people’s attention via pics from blog posts, infographics, and interesting behind-the-scenes photos at the office.
No matter what kind of business you run, the same rule applies for everyone on Pinterest. If you post compelling visual content, people will likely re-pin it. The takeaway? Pinterest users are passionate about the social network. If you can connect with them in that format, it may be a real boon for your business.
It’s easy to use
There really aren’t a lot of options on Pinterest – which is a good thing. The site stays focused on image-rich content, allowing for minimal text for support and user engagement. Users pin their own pictures as well as each other’s, and consequently can build a strong network of friends and followers with common interests. That’s basically it.
People love the uncluttered nature of its design and functionality. Furthermore, you don’t have to be on the site to access it. Pinterest offers a bookmarklet feature, which you can add to your browser. No matter what website you’re on, you can then choose to pin content to your Pinterest page. Just click the installed Pin It icon, choose an image from the page, and pin it to one of your boards.
It’s a smart way to keep the site on people’s minds, even when they’re hanging out elsewhere online.
It’s good for SEO
Social media can be an easy way to get an inbound link to your website, but its effectiveness is complicated. First, as far as SEO is concerned, search engines don’t always put a ton of value on social signals. In other words, if Jon Doe posts a link to your website, it probably won’t race you to page 1 of Google. The general rule is that easy links from low-authority sources and sites don’t pack much SEO power. Additionally, most social networks render users’ links as no-follow, meaning they tell search engines not to value the link.
However, Pinterest remains an exception to this rule. While some have speculated that its favorable SEO practices may eventually be eliminated due to the potential for spammers, it still holds a do-follow policy for links. That is, it signals to search engines that all of the links posted on the site are legit.
Brands should always embrace a diverse, flexible SEO strategy. In other words, don’t rely solely on Pinterest to earn you sweet link juice. But building out your boards and naturally planting links to your site along the way can help improve your organic search results.
It offers crowdsourcing potential
One of the most tried-and-true tactics among brands on social media is crowdsourcing. Whether it’s a contest based on user content, an opinion poll or other form of communal sharing, encouraging your followers to participate on social is great for engagement.
Pinterest is no exception. Brands can tap into the power of visuals to inspire themselves and others. For a great example of crowdsourcing on the social network, look no further than the queen of refined domesticity herself , Martha Stewart . In addition to the page’s own content, followers typically post pictures of their attempts at a Stewart-inspired dish. Not only does the page tap into that powerful key demographic in a simple, smart way, it allows users to share their own visuals while helping others. Often, people will even offer tips on their own personal modifications to the recipes.
Meanwhile, brands like Nordstrom, West Elm, and others have successfully driven engagement on Pinterest by asking people to submit photos of themselves with their products.
Just remember to reciprocate the love. After all, social media is founded on – you guessed it – being social. Make sure you keep up with users who follow you on Pinterest, liking, commenting on, and sharing their content as well.