Pinterest isn’t just for B2C marketers anymore. B2B marketers need to start caring about this visual search engine with a social twist.
As I wrote in part 1 of this two-part blog series, the platform can give your content an extended shelf life with little extra investment.
The question that remains, though, is how to get started marketing B2B content on Pinterest and how to measure its impact.
As with most promotional channels, a lot of trial and error will go into your brand’s efforts. Here’s what I’ve learned so far from my experience managing PR Newswire’s Pinterest boards in hopes that it can guide you.
HOW CAN I GET THE MOST OUT OF PINTEREST?
From what to pin and how to structure your page, there are a few best practices I’ve observed when setting up your brand’s presence on Pinterest.
The long, scrolling format of the platform favors a vertical, or portrait, visual layout. The optimal size of a pin is commonly cited as 735×1102 pixels.
Users typically come to the platform with an aspirational mind-set, looking for tips or inspiration on how to create their best life. Quotes and infographics are popular among Pinterest’s users.
Among the sea of visuals in a Pinterest stream, you’ll need to consider how your graphic will stand out.
Brighter colors will more likely draw the eye. Also, text within a visual that can be easily scanned in both thumbnail form and on a smartphone will help your audience quickly decide if they want to see more.
Captions that work
Always be sure to include a caption with your image. They help users find your pins, drive engagement and spread your message.
Although Pinterest has invested in visual search recognition software, its capabilities are still limited. Including important keywords will help audiences find your content. Remember, text in the image is not indexed for search, so you may need to repeat the words within your caption.
Calls to action within pin descriptions have been reported to increase engagement by 80%. Unlike Instagram, URLs included in Pinterest captions are clickable.
Although there is no limit in character length for your pin’s caption, longer captions are truncated to three lines in the mobile app.
Plus, lazy pinners won’t bother writing their own caption, so the caption stays as you wrote it – spreading your optimized message to even more users.
Most Pinterest boards are based on your targeted personas’ areas of interest. Your board titles should be interesting, but avoid being overly-clever – keywords still play an important role here.
Don’t skip filling in a board description, and again be sure to use keywords that match what your audience is likely to search.
You can also create separate boards dedicated to infographics, quotes, white papers, blog posts, employees, portfolios of work, humor, etc. This may be a great solution for seeding visual content into the channel that falls outside your main topics of interest and doesn’t fit into other boards.
Hopefully, users will follow all your boards, but for the more selective crowd be sure to place your most popular and/or important boards at the top of your page.
Remember that Pinterest search is optimized within the platform. You may need to tweak your typical keywords to better match Pinterest users’ search terms.
Do a test search of your keywords to see what related categories and keywords pop up in the prompts at the top. Consider adding these to your board titles, captions, etc.
What to pin
Considering its long shelf life, keep to evergreen content. Avoid content with short-term references that will be invalid next week. That said, seasonal content can do very well – just group it into its own board.
Maintain a steady stream of content to your feed by posting fresh items from your editorial calendar, such as blog posts, white papers, and annual reports.
Create additional visuals to promote your most popular or important content. It’s ok to create multiple images that all link back to the same URL.
Because some of your followers will only be following one of your boards, it’s ok to pin a single piece of content to multiple relevant boards. You may wish to tweak the caption in each to better match audience interest.
Due to the viral nature of Pinterest, you will have little to no control over your content once it is pinned to other users’ boards.
However, you always have control over the source content, so make sure your popular pins are always linking to information that is up-to-date and include additional calls to action that align to your current strategy.
And for more information on using Pinterest for B2B content marketing, check out our companion SlideShare.
HOW CAN I MEASURE MY PROGRESS?
Demonstrating the worth of your brand’s promotional channels is a must-do for every marketer. Here’s how to effectively measure Pinterest’s impact on your content marketing goals.
Typical of many platforms, Pinterest offers free analytics to business accounts.
While information about pin visibility can be alluring, the most valuable data you should be tracking is clicks.
This conversion metric not only confirms a user has both seen and liked your pin, but also signals their desire to move forward as a possible revenue opportunity for your organization.
You can review “clicks” in the Pinterest Analytics dashboard, but the data here is limited. If you have a marketing automation system in place, it’s worth the effort to create trackable links for pinned content so that you can more effectively measure generated traffic, and ultimately revenue, from this channel.
Another metric I like to keep my eye on is followers. While the visibility of your pins goes way beyond just followers of your boards, this metric provides insight into how your board topics are connecting with audiences and how to further optimize your boards for even more engagement.
If you notice that a board is no longer connecting with Pinterest users, consider:
- Re-arranging the order of your boards on your Pinterest page
- Tweaking titles and descriptions for stronger keyword use
- Reviewing board content for quality and audience relevance
- Driving more engagement with promoted pins
Pinterest offers a unique opportunity for B2B content marketers to engage with new audiences. If your brand is already investing resources in visual storytelling, the extra effort to optimize your content for this channel is minimal.
Quality visual content pinned to the platform can continue to drive engagement and click-throughs for months, and even years. It’s important to keep in mind that the benefits of this long tail channel may not be seen immediately — organic results may take some time.
A mix of quality content, promotion within the platform and some patience will help make this a profitable addition to your multichannel campaigns.
Learn more about social media’s impact on press releases and other content — and how to leverage it — by downloading our white paper Tips for Creating a Press Release that Maximizes Social Sharing.
And if you’ve used Pinterest to promote B2B content, leave a comment below about how it’s going so far!
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