5 Simple Ways to Use Pinterest Effectively for B2B Marketing
I was recently asked by a client whether Pinterest had any place in his B2B marketing plan. My first thought was “don’t waste your time.” However, I didn’t want to recommend against Pinterest without researching the platform, as I haven’t given it much thought for the past few years, aside from watching my wife and daughter use it for craft ideas.
What I found was very surprising, and ultimately would prove useful to many of my B2B clients.
What is Pinterest Exactly?
Pinterest is a social media platform that uses images and videos to communicate your message. Pinterest states that the core functionality of Pinterest is that a user can “visually share, and discover new interests by posting (known as ‘pinning’ on Pinterest) images or videos to their own or other’s’ boards (i.e. a collection of ‘pins,’ usually with a common theme) and browsing what other users have pinned.”
1. Link Longevity
The main thing that stuck in my mind as I was re- familiarizing myself with the platform is that Pinterest pins last forever; meaning, that whenever someone searches a keyword and finds your pin board, your images, and more importantly links, stay there and are easy to find. This is unlike many of the other platforms where something is posted and shown for a short while and then gets buried under numerous other live feeds and gradually loses consciousness.
2. Google loves Pinterest Images
I took a number of keywords common to many of my B2B clients and their industries and searched Google images. Not surprisingly, numerous Pinterest images appeared on the first page of google image search. This is an excellent way to get traffic back to your website. Strategically post the images to Pinterest and get your website not only found, but found from a potential customer who already liked what they saw.
You Gotta Dig Deep (very important)
If you can’t find any pinboards in your industry immediately, you may have to dig a little deeper. Look for opportunities not only for your particular industry, but for other industries that need what you have to offer.
For example, I work with a sandpaper and abrasives dealer. When we looked into Pinterest at the most basic level, there were a few boards started with sandpaper for woodworkers and metalworkers, but nothing very exciting or usable. Knowing that a large part of their business comes from abrasive belts used for knife making, we entered terms for that segment and there were hundreds of boards and tangible opportunities to promote his business.
Another example was an aluminum framing supplier. We found all sorts of opportunities in DIY project pages for people building with the type of aluminum framing that he manufactures. Additionally, capitalizing on an industry need he discovered from his interaction on Pinterest led to the creation of a new product line for the company that is now doing very well.
Our product is relevant on Pinterest – now what?
You work hard and don’t have any extra time for social marketing, so I want to give you five down and dirty ways to get images that you should already have on your website, working for you quickly.
Tip: Remember when you are posting to create attractive titles using your keywords if possible, and link them to strategic pages on your website.
- Products or Services Board: This is the quickest way to get started as you already have numerous product images on your website.
Tip: To be efficient, right click to copy all of your images and save to a folder on your desktop. You will want to space these postings out and not throw everything on Pinterest at once. You can post daily, every other day, weekly – it’s really up to you and how engaged you want to be.
- Blog Posts Board – Save your blog images and post them with an introduction leading back to your blog article.
Tip: Try to vary your content on your boards with other fun or inspirational content. An example might be a funny image, an inspirational quote or something that helps add a personality to your company. Try to stay around the 40% rule as stated in Business News Daily.
“Watch your percentages. Achieve balance with the content of your boards by posting specific amounts of certain content. Leland said that, in general, 40 percent of your boards should be motivational and inspiring, 40 percent should be instructional and educational, and only 20 percent should be directly about your brand (things like announcements, contests, etc.) Although it’s important to see what works with your audience by looking at your analytics page, and adapt your strategy that way, too.”
- Videos – create a board for the videos on your website – find an image that is relevant and link back to the video on your website.
Tip: Be careful with the final two boards as they are often very dry reading, so try to mix them up a bit and take a little extra time to create or find an image that will draw people in.
- Newsletters Board – Save your newsletters as pdf’s or images and post.
- Board for Case Studies and WhitePapers – Make a board for your case studies.
Tip: If you find that it is taking too much time, there are numerous apps you can use to schedule your pins such as: Buffer, Viral Tag and Tailwind. There are free trials for each with a reasonable monthly fee after your trial period expires.
After reacquainting myself with Pinterest, I have found that it is very beneficial to many of the businesses I work with. Social media can be daunting to many B2B owners that don’t have hired social help, but with the ability to use already created material, schedule pins and create strategic and long lasting backlinks, Pinterest may be one of the most fruitful social media outlets for many business owners from a time versus reward perspective.
This article covers just the tip of the iceberg. If you want dive deeper, you will want to start repinning your potential customer’s pins, start building relationships by joining group boards, and watch your Pinterest analytics to see what is working and what is not, adjusting your methods accordingly.