Increase Holiday Sales with a Focused Marketing Strategy on PinterestThis holiday shopping season social media is a much larger factor than even a year ago for driving more leads and customers to your business. While Facebook remains at the top of the scale, Pinterest is climbing up the ranks as the third most valuable network.

According to Adept Marketing around 92 percent of consumers go online to research products and make purchases. Additionally they report that eCommerce sales grew on social media by 202 percent.

A study by Shopify shows that “87% of Pinterest users say they have purchased something they discovered while Pinning.”

And Shareholic data shows Pinterest driving 30.06 percent of referral website traffic next to Facebook at 48.85 percent.

Can you imagine how great that would be for your business this holiday season?

If your business needs to amplify online sales this year, then a focused marketing strategy on Pinterest will help. Unlike other social networks, pins have a longer shelf life for consumers who search for new products, fashion ideas, content, car brands, and more.

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Now is the time to start planning and executing your marketing strategy on Pinterest in order to tap into a growing number of online shoppers. Buyable Pins are just one way to gain more exposure for your brand. There are other creative ways to drive more leads and sales through your content.

Know your niche market

Find out exactly who is searching for your products or services, and create your pins according to their needs and desires along with helpful tips and ideas. The most popular topics on Pinterest are food, fashion, music, celebrities, and office supplies. These can change frequently, but creating a campaign according to what speaks to your audience will gain the most repins and action:

When creating your content you will want to take into consideration the age range, income level, location, ect. are all factors. This can be discovered according to your blog and social media analytics as well as through conversations with your leads and customers online.

If your business sells products, then including specific keywords like Christmas, holidays, gifts, ect. will increase your chances of your pins being seen from Pinterest’s intuitive search. For example, when I entered, “Holiday Gift Ideas for the Office,” I came up with this pin that has garnered 7.3 thousand pins:

Make sure the Pin button is on your website

Before your marketing strategy begins on Pinterest you will want to enable a Pin It button on your sales page in order to make it easy for visitors to share your products. If you’re tech savvy you can install this yourself, or enlist the help of a developer or download a WordPress plugin that can be installed on your website. Once this is visible you will want to enable Rich Pins, which helps your content stand out much more than standard pins. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is with the Yoast SEO plugin. Keep in mind that Pinterest must authorize your website to allow this — as explained on their website with step-by-step instructions.

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Start pinning to your boards

Once you have your target market and topics in place your business should start the process of pinning as soon as possible in order to be ready for the holiday season rush. Create specific boards that cater to different needs and desires, and include important links to drive your clicks directly to your website or sales page. Make sure each board has a description that includes important keywords and a clear description that draws people in, like this example from Pauline Cabrera of TwelveSkip:

Share your pins online

Cross promote your pins directly from your product page to your boards as well as targeted group boards in addition to both Facebook and Twitter. You can also share any new product news or releases directly with your followers and through your email campaigns that contain a link to your pin. Be sure to encourage people to pin your content to their boards as well. Use contests and other promotions to drive even more viewers to your boards.

Install a Pinterest widget

Both Facebook and WordPress allow you to showcase your latest pins and activity through widgets and on your website with specific plugins. These free plugins will help keep your content updated and drive more traffic to your Pinterest account. You can also embed a widget of a specific board just by clicking on the settings as shown here:

Track your progress with Pinterest analytics

Turn your Pinterest account into a business profile for free in order to get in depth analysis of how your pins are performing such as which pins are being re-pinned the most. You can share this information with your customers, and showcase your best-selling products or services during the holidays.

There is no doubt that Pinterest goes beyond your favorite images of things you want to do or see. Using this powerful social network for business as a way to generate sales and website traffic is now easier than ever. By preparing now for the upcoming holiday season your business can be ready to attract buyers who are actively seeking products and ideas. These users are ready to make a purchase, which makes your marketing dollars stretch a lot farther than just focusing on places like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.