Social media posts that include images generate higher engagement, so it’s not surprising that image-centric platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram are getting the attention of online retailers.
Pinterest, in particular, is perfectly set up for businesses to drive traffic and increase conversion. Here’s why:
- Pinners are 47% more likely to experience a major life event within 6 months. They’re also disproportionately using Pinterest to plan for these moments. As a result, they’re more receptive to new ideas and new brands, and more likely to make major purchasing decisions based on images they collect.
- With two-third of pins representing brands and products, Pinterest provides a great environment for retailers to cultivate relationship with consumers.
- Among pinners who have actively used Pinterest in the 6 months prior to this study, 96% reported they used Pinterest to research and gather information. 93% reported that they used Pinterest to plan for purchases, and another 87% reported Pinterest engagement had helped them make their purchasing decision.
- Each “pin” that a user attaches to one of his or her Pinterest boards is worth, on average, 78 cents in additional sales to the brand whose merchandise is featured.
- Up to 47% of online consumers from the US have made online purchases based on Pinterest recommendations.
- The contextual relevance – made possible by the ability of a user to choose boards on a particular topic to follow – allows each pin to garner 4 times more revenue per click compared to Facebook and Twitter.
- From a purchasing psychology perspective, consumers use Pinterest as a means to construct their ideal selves. This encourages meaningful engagement between brands and consumers, which can help brands elevate from being considered as “commodity” to being “aspirational,” thereby creating a unique positioning and building a loyal customer base in the process.
Pinterest help consumers make purchasing decisions on these top categories.
Despite the compelling stats, using Pinterest for business is still relatively new for most brands. In fact, only 17% of the Fortune 500 are active on Pinterest.
That means smaller brands can take the opportunity to establish their presence and carve out a space on this platform to cultivate a deeper relationship with consumers.
But you can’t just stick some pretty pictures up and call it a day.
Like all social media platforms, there’re strategies and tactics you can employ to make sure your effort pays off in the form on more quality traffic to your website that leads to increased conversion and revenue.
In this article, we’ll look at 6 ways to drive traffic and increase conversion on Pinterest:
- Create high-quality, evergreen content
No matter what platform you’re on, your content needs to be relevant, valuable and shareable for it to be effective.
Pins, unlike Facebook posts or tweets, have a much longer lifespan. They spread out their effects over a period of months. Study has found that a full 50% of referral traffic driven by pins takes place after 3.5 months, and 50% of orders happen after 2.5 months.
Moreover, seasonal posts that do well year-over-year often have Pinterest as their strongest referral channel.
Image source: TruConversion
This long lifespan is partly due to power of repin. Only 20% of pins are original, the remaining 80% are repins.
If you’ve a good image that’s valuable and relevant to your followers, it’s very likely that it’ll be repinned over and over again. In turn, your brand can be exposed to more new potential customers and generate more attention compared to Facebook shares, retweets and Instagram shares.
That’s where the importance of “evergreen” content comes in.
Given the long lifespan of a pin, you want to make sure that an image is still relevant a few months down the road if you want people to repin it.
To create content that not only generates interest but also drives traffic and conversion, make sure your images are themed around your brand message, the culture and conversation you want to create, and the relevance of your products or services.
Create boards that give clear indication on what the images are about so you can attract a highly targeted following who’d be more likely to repin your images.
And don’t forget to do some research – look at what other pinners and brands are doing in your space to understand what types of images generate the most engagement.
- Make your pins go viral
As you can see above, pins can really have legs if they are valuable, relevant and share-worthy.
Try these tactics to give more “legs” to your pins:
- “Watermark” your pin by adding your business name and URL to the image.
- Create vertical images as they stand out in Pinterest. A minimum size of 700px by 800 px is recommended.
- Use catchy titles to garner more repins.
- Rework older posts if necessary to attract more repins.
- Add a Pinterest “Pin It” button to your website to encourage social sharing. You can also explore other plug-ins, such as SumoMe, that offer image share functionality.
- Pin your images on multiple boards (as long as they’re relevant) and set up a schedule to re-pin previous images after a few weeks.
- Join relevant group boards and share your images.
- Don’t slack on your alt-text: Pinterest pulls an image’s alt text as pin description when someone uses the “Pin It” button on your website. Make your alt-text descriptive, relevant and click-worthy.
- Generate excitement and anticipation
One way to increase sales and conversion is to create buzz and anticipation for new product launches, and you can do so effectively on Pinterest.
Give your followers sneak peeks of what’s new and exciting in your product lines. Get them involved in the conversation and maybe even ask for their input about certain features or design to incorporate into the final product.
You can make this sneak peek Pinterest-exclusive. Drive traffic from other channels to your Pinterest board to take advantage of the platform’s retailer-friendly environment.
Don’t forget to pin the link to the product page after the release to make sure your loyal followers who are excited about the buzz can easily purchase the product.
- Use the Pinterest “buy” button
Pinterest’s buyable pins are helping consumers discover new brands, leading to incremental sales for online retailers. Merchants getting a bump are using the social network’s pins that let consumers buy products directly within a pin while using the Pinterest mobile app.
Since launching its buy button for iOS devices in June 2015, the number of “buyable pins” has exceeded 60 million. Early results show that buyable pins are “more than doubling” the rate at which shoppers convert into buyers, compared with regular pins. (source)
Pinterest, with its already large collection of “inventory,” is evolving from a platform where users browse and then get redirected to external websites, into a marketing and discovery platform with eCommerce integrated into the user experience.
- Use Pinterest contest to generate high quality leads
The use of different boards for different interests allows retailers to attract a highly targeted audience.
Take advantage of this to turn your casual followers into loyal subscribers so you can continue the communication with them through additional channels, such as emails.
One way to do so is to hold a Pinterest contest in which a requirement to join is to opt-in to your mailing list. This generates high-quality leads because they’re already expressing interest in your brand.
You can then continue the conversation and warm up your leads by sending newsletters to them with useful information, product updates, and links back to your website.
- Measure your results
The proof is in the pudding. Any time conversion metrics are involved, you’ve to look at the data and analytics to gauge the effectiveness of your tactics and make adjustments to maximize the results.
You can use Pinterest’s analytic tools to find out how your pins are performing, what people are pinning from your website, who your audience is and how well the “Pin It” buttons are generating referral traffic back to your website.
You can also get a deeper understanding of your audience by seeing what their interests are, so you can tailor your pins based on their interests.
Bonus Tip: Jump on the video bandwagon
We all know that video is generating more engagement on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Product videos are great tools to drive conversion. Combined with the purchasing mentality of Pinterest users, the use of video represents a great opportunity to drive traffic and increase sales.
At the time of writing, Pinterest is looking at integrating video and planning on rolling out video ad unit. Stay tuned, and make sure you take advantage of the medium when it becomes available on Pinterest.
Pinterest is a fast-evolving platform with a lot of potential for online retailers. Besides keeping an eye on the latest development, the best way to get the most out of the platform is to create valuable, relevant and pinnable content, and focus on using it to spark conversation, build relationship and inspire loyalty with your followers.
Over to you – how do you plan to use Pinterest to increase your Social PR conversions? Leave a comment below and share your insights: