Blog | Marketing Madness

Promoting Your eCommerce Website Via Pinterest (Pssst! It’s Not For Everyone!)

23/07/2015

Ask yourself, how many companies do you think have set up a Pinterest account because ‘everyone else has’?

When looking to set up social channels for your brand, you’ll no doubt read hundreds of articles about how to engage all the  channels available to you in different ways.

However, as it often transpires after the fact, to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park;

marketing-meme

The biggest problems with combining your eCommerce website and Pinterest typically fall into one of the following problem areas;

  • In the rush to cover as much ground as possible, businesses often enter into social media channels such as Pinterest without a clear plan of what they want to do with it
  • You create a mishmash of boards that have no cohesion, or more likely, a Pinterest account that is used for a couple of weeks and then forgotten about
  • A dead social channel is a useless one and as any marketer will tell you, time is precious and you don’t have any of it spare to be wasting on a dead-end avenue

Pinterest can be extremely useful and beneficial to eCommerce if you understand how it works.

A few changes to the way you approach Pinterest can make all the difference between a handful of followers or a legion of fans.

It’s Not About Budget

Some of the biggest brands around at the moment have only a fraction of followers of individual users.

Retail giant Amazon.com has around 11k followers, while blogger and graphic designer Joy Cho has more than 13 million. Clearly, it’s not the budget behind you that matters.

At Spiral Media, we’ve built a different eCommerce website for every individual client, each with its own budget and target audience; some have Pinterest and some do not. It all comes down to knowing your eCommerce business and your audience inside and out. What can you offer potential customers that matches their interest?

The four main themes behind every Pin on Pinterest are;

  • Inspiration
  • Motivation
  • Insight
  • Interest

Whatever you post on a board, it will fall into one of these four slots. When creating a Pinterest account for your website, you need to ensure you a providing at least one of these within every one of your Pins.

5 Successful Pinterest Users

Joy Cho

13,272,312 Followers

Pinterest Oh Joy

Style Me Pretty

5,754,006 Followers

Pinterest Style Me Pretty

Ruffled

3,794,790 Followers

Pinterest Ruffled

Everyday Health

3,610,391 Followers

Pinterest Everyday Health

Etsy

585,802 Followers

Pinterest Etsy
Joy Cho is, at the time of writing, the most followed person on Pinterest. But she is not a multi-million pound company; she is a designer and blogger who runs her own design studio in Los Angeles. Her success doesn’t come from throwing money at her Pinterest account. It comes from knowing precisely what her followers want to see.

In fact, the top 10 Pinterest users at the moment are mostly within the fashion/lifestyle industry and many are single bloggers or design enthusiasts who have managed to beat out the big boys.

The first non-fashion/design Pinterest doesn’t appear until number 22, and even that is focused more on travel with a dash of fashion thrown in.

The lesson to learn here is know your audience and know your identity. Connecting the two is how to make your Pinterest a success.

Which brings us on to…

Cultivating Your Identity

Looking at the successful Pinteresters above it is obvious that knowing where your strength lies is the key to more followers.

Don’t attempt a blanket covering in your Pinterest account. Trying to fill a board of fashion when your business makes engines just isn’t going to cut it. Target your audience.

So let’s use the engines example. You are a business that builds and sells car engines. Your target audience is going to be males in their mid-20s to late-40s.

Already you have hit an obstacle. Figures show that Pinterest users are mostly female and the top topics searched for are;

  • Food and Drink
  • DIY and Crafts
  • Home Decor
  • Travel

DIY and Crafts is probably your best best, but you’ll still be going up against thousands of boards featuring cushion covers and ways to antique a dining table.

There is no harm is being specific with your Pinterest boards. Create one for each type of engine that you produce. Ensure every image is high-quality, has a short description (200-300 characters is about right) and add a link back to your website.

Once you have established your identity on Pinterest as an eCommerce website that creates and sells good-looking engines, you can then start to branch out and try to catch other audience groups in your net.

The trick here is to angle your Pins in a way that will catch the right audience in the right place. Engines for cars means images of cars. Engines are not sexy, cars are sexy. Cars can draw the eye and still be a relevant subject area for your business.

Another tack would be humour. Programmes like Top Gear have shown that speed, cars and comedy go together quite well.

Showing Your Colours

If you are worried that your Pinterest account will look too narrowly focused if you only Pin products, then consider uploading team images as well.

Showing your audience that your team is made up of living, breathing, interesting people allows them to form a better relationship with your brand. Anything that they can identify with in those images will make it easier for them to relate to you, such as;

  • favourite foods
  • fashion sense
  • your pets
  • hobbies

You can also use your Pinterest to tell stories;

  • Are you developing a new type of engine?
  • Can we see your workshop?
  • Who are the people involved?
  • What steps are you taking to make sure your new product is a success?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so if you can fill a board, you’ve got a novel right there!

A great avenue for engineer or science companies to go down is the Experiment! route. If shows like Mythbusters has taught us anything it’s that people love it when things go boom (whether they were supposed to or not).

There is actually a board dedicated to adding explosions to otherwise mundane imagery which has more than 87k followers.

Explosions
See, we weren’t kidding!

Now, you may think that showing uncensored experiments of your inner working is a bad idea, and it is. But it is easy to create images that look rough and unedited but still maintain your business’s credibility.

Know When To Say No

Now, there will be some with the opinion that you shouldn’t give up on Pinterest before you’ve even started, and that even the most conservative eCommerce website can find a way to engage if they try hard enough.

The cold hard truth is that if you can’t manage any of the methods mentioned above, then Pinterest is not for you. It is not worth putting time and effort into something that simply doesn’t fit with your brand identity.

If you are going to create a Pinterest account, it has to reflect the tone of your brand with every pin. Shoehorning images that don’t fit in with your brand will only deter potential followers.