It is all too easy to spend serious time on Pinterest. The images that fill this visual social media platform are just so addictive. This compelling visual content is the reason why many marketers are now focusing their attention on Pinterest. Sadly, creating something that becomes addictive or goes viral is not an exact science. There is no secret sauce or winning formula. However, by following a few key steps you can give yourself the greatest chance of creating the perfect pin.
These key steps are:
Step One: Content
Step Two: Design
Step Three: Keyword Descriptions
Step Four: Timing
Step Five: Cross Promotion
So, let’s drill down and examine each of these five steps in turn.
The first thing to consider when creating a successful pin is your content. What will your pin be about?
Pinterest content typically falls into one of these four categories:
You should aim to include a mix of content that ticks all of these boxes.
As with your marketing efforts on other social media sites, your main objective is to help your viewer and not attempt to make a quick sale.
Visualise your ideal client and consider what problems that client has. You can then create content to try to solve those problems. For example, you could design an infographic or an instructographic.
Pinterest users like to repin content that inspires them. One way to create inspiring pins is to search for positive and uplifting quotations relevant to your industry. Then find a stunning image and place the quotation along with some unobtrusive branding (such as your website address) on that image before you pin.
You can pin a mixture of different content types on Pinterest. For example, you can pin graphic images, slide shows, artwork, cartoons and videos. You should aim to pin a good balance of all these content types.
Once you know what type of content you want to pin, it is time to consider your design. Pinterest is full of beautiful visuals and it can feel quite overwhelming to try to make your image stand out from the crowd. What if you are not a graphic designer? What if you can’t afford a graphic designer?
Well, let me put your mind at ease. You don’t have to be a professional designer to create stunning visuals for Pinterest. All you have to do is visit Canva or Picmonkey, have a little play, and you are away!
Once you have looked at Canva or Picmonkey, go back into Pinterest and work out what images stand out for you. Think about how you can take those designs, or aspects of those designs, and make them work for your content.
It is important to consider branding here. Tie in your designs with your brand by using your business colours or fonts. Then make a note of the colours, fonts and filters you use so that you can use them again in the future. Or, if you want to be extra productive, you could make a batch load of images all at once (thanks to the awesome Donna Moritz for that tip!).
Another tip that can help your pin become perfect is to add a call to action. Pinterest users find that, if they include such a call to action, their pins are more likely to be repined, liked or shared.
We are well and truly in the age of visual social media marketing. All key social media platforms have gone from text-based content to image-centric streams.
However, you should not create one image and use it on all platforms. The graphic that suits Twitter will not necessarily work as well on Pinterest.
In addition, dimensions are critical. If you want to create the perfect pin, you should aim to make it tall and slim. Pinterest gives every pin the same amount of real estate when it comes to width but allows you much more space lengthways. Try to exploit that by creating long pins as these will stand a greater chance of being noticed.
Once you have created your content and designed your pin, you have a couple of house-keeping issues to attend to. Quite simply, you need to optimise your pin in order for it to work its magic.
First of all, add a description for your pin. Many Pinterest users fail to take full advantage of this step. This is such a missed opportunity as the pin description allows you to include your vital keywords.
Your pin's description will become increasingly important thanks to Pinterest’s new Guided Search initiative. Your descriptions and the key words that you choose will help other Pinterest users find your content.
Your next house-keeping task is to include a link in every image you pin. Once you have pinned your image, go into the pin's edit mode and add a link that will take the viewer to a place where there is more information.
Consider the link that you want to use. If your image relates to content from a recent blog, create a link to that exact blog post. Alternatively, if your visual is of a product, link to a page with more information about that product. Remember that you always want to drive traffic to your site and you never want to make it hard for your viewer to find the information they need.
Finally, rename all of the images that you create using your keywords. So, instead of saving an image called “Design 28877” save and use an image called “How To Create The Perfect Pin”.
Your pin can’t be perfect without good timing. You can use analytic tools to discover when your pins get the most attention. Once armed with that information, aim to pin at those key times.
Of course, if you are at the start of your Pinterest journey you will not have access to this data. At this stage you will need to consider more generic Pinterest timing analysis.
You can also use your common sense. Think about who you are trying to reach. Is this person a stay-at-home mother who is busy during the day but free to explore Pinterest at night? Or is that person an office worker looking for your product or service during more traditional working hours?
Soon you will build up enough activity and engagement to know what time works best.
You can make your pins work twice or even three times as hard by cross promoting your content. For example, if you are writing a blog, think of ways to use visuals to accompany your text. You can then pin those images with a link back to the post itself.
You can also link your Pinterest account with your Facebook and Twitter accounts. By doing so, you can tweet and share pins. You can also use your other social media accounts to build up your presence on Pinterest by including a link in your tweets and posts to a pin with a ‘Pin for Later’ tag.
By following the above five steps you will soon realise that the perfect pin is not about creating the most relevant content or designing the most stunning image. It is not about timing, keywords or cross promotion.
It is, instead, about all of these things combined. Add them to your Pinterest mix and you should be able to serve up the perfect pin.
Thanks for reading! If you have any thoughts on how to create the perfect pin I would love to hear them. Please feel free to leave a comment below.
Take care, Jane x