Pinterest is the “little engine that could” of social networking platforms.
Earlier this year, Pinterest raised $367 million in additional venture capital funding, and the company is now valued at $11 billion.
And as the Pinterest user base keeps expanding, the platform is rolling out new changes that could be highly profitable for content marketers.
Want to know what’s new in the Pinterest world, and how it affects you?
Read on to discover five new ways to use Pinterest in your content marketing.
1. Don’t exclude men
Still think Pinterest is a platform for women?
Men are now pinning, too — in huge numbers.
Men are now the fastest-growing demographic on Pinterest — there are currently 21 million male Pinterest users.
To put that in perspective, the male user base on Pinterest is larger than the combined subscription bases of GQ, Esquire, and Sports Illustrated magazines.
To get more male Pinterest users to pin (and buy) your products, make sure your online catalog or digital commerce pages are all pinnable, so men can easily pin them to their boards and buy them at a later time.
And the non-negotiable rules of content marketing still apply, so make sure you’re creating top-notch content on your blog or podcast so men and women want to share it on Pinterest.
2. Take advantage of an improved search functionality
Pinterest recently overhauled their search functionality and made search results within the Pinterest user interface more relevant.
To make sure you get found in Pinterest’s new Guided Search, always include keyword-rich descriptions on your pins and pinboards.
More importantly, you can influence how your blog post images get found in Pinterest, too.
When you upload images and embed them in your online content, pay special attention to the “Alt Text” for each image. Pinterest automatically reads “Alt” data when a Pinterest user pins your image — so whatever you enter as the “Alt Text” for a particular image becomes the default pin description for that image.
Pinterest’s Guided Search looks at pin descriptions to decide which pins are relevant (and which are not) to show in user searches, so it’s critical to make the “Alt text” for every image keyword rich.
Here are more details about optimizing your images for Pinterest.
3. Enhance the user experience with Rich Pins
A Rich Pin on Pinterest is a unique type of pin that offers more information than regular pins.
There are five types of Rich Pins:
An Article Pin, for example, may include a blog post headline and the article’s introduction below the image that has been pinned.
The good news is that Rich Pins aren’t just for big brands — all bloggers and website owners can add Rich Pin data to their content.
Once you’ve added Rich Pin data to your posts and pages, that data will populate to Pinterest when someone pins one of your images.
Want to add Rich Pin data to your blog posts and other online content? The process requires three steps:
- Add Open Graph or Schema.org markup to the individual posts or pages of your site.
- Use the Rich Pin Validator to make sure Pinterest can see the Rich Pin data.
- If Pinterest gives you the thumbs-up, click “Apply now” in the validator to submit your Rich Pin to Pinterest. Make sure to select “HTML tags” when you’re applying.
You can use Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin to add Open Graph data to your posts for most Rich Pin types, and there are several Rich Pin WordPress plugins on the market that make this process a lot smoother.
The Article Rich Pins for WordPress plugin is one of my favorites.
See this page for detailed instructions about Rich Pins for developers and content creators.
4. Buy Promoted Pins
Pinterest advertising is here! You can use Pinterest’s Promoted Pins program to get your pins placed in other users’ Pinterest feeds.
Promoted Pins even blend in seamlessly with the rest of the (non-paid) pins in a user’s feed.
Current Pinterest ad prices are considerably lower than those on other social platforms, so you might want to try some experiments.
Need a little inspiration? Here’s a miniature Promoted Pins case study:
Andrea Beltrami, blogger and graphic designer at The Branded Solopreneur, is currently managing several Promoted Pins that drive traffic back to special posts on her site.
Here, Pinterest users click Andrea’s Promoted Pin, which directs them to a blog post with a prompt to opt in to get Andrea’s PDF Branding Guide:
Right now, Andrea is getting a 74 percent opt-in rate on that blog post, so a huge majority of Pinterest users who read that post are then signing up for the guide.
Using several similar Promoted Pin campaigns, Andrea is currently bringing in 800 to 1,000 new subscribers every month — and paying less than $125 for her ads.
Want to know more about how to set up a few Promoted Pins? Get instructions from Pinterest on starting your first campaign.
5. Prepare for Pinterest’s Buyable Pins
Very soon, Pinterest users will be able to buy products directly from the Pinterest mobile app. With this Buyable Pin functionality, users will see a blue “Buy it” button on items that are available for direct checkout through the app.
All order fulfillment and customer service will still be managed by you (the vendor) if you use Buyable Pins, and Pinterest isn’t currently planning on taking a percentage of each sale.
You can get the “Buy it” button for your products right now if you use Shopify as your shopping cart service, or you can get on the waiting list for Buyable Pins and Pinterest will alert you when they’re more widely available.
Creating engaging visual content is still as important as ever
It’s more important than ever to embed big, bold graphics and images into your online content, to encourage your users to share your best work.
For a great example, check out Brian Clark’s new curated email newsletter, Further. He includes a memorable quote and a powerful black and white image in each edition.
Tools and resources for creating compelling graphics keep getting cheaper and easier to use, so now content creators have no excuse for not creating visually appealing content.
Getting the most from Pinterest
With all of these new Pinterest tools, it’s a great time to consider adding Pinterest to your marketing mix.
If you’re already getting traffic, subscribers, and sales from Pinterest, these new opportunities can help you get even more from your pins.
The Pinterest user base is growing exponentially every year, so it’s likely your readers and prospects are already on Pinterest looking for content and products like yours!