Many businesses, mine included now use Pinterest in their content marketing strategy, which is no surprise considering its referral potential. With around 48 million account holders, Pinterest is a cheap and effective platform to promote your brand and generate leads. It may not have as many followers as social media giants like Facebook or Twitter, but it is still a valuable asset to have in your content marketing arsenal. In fact, if you use it properly, it could turn out to be the most effective way to extend the reach of your brand online. Here are some techniques I use to make sure we use Pinterest to its full potential.

Showcase Your Brand's Personality

Pinterest is the ideal platform to showcase your brand's personality through evolving pinboards. By using themed boards, you can reflect the personality and philosophy of your company in different ways. For example, Coca-Cola has six boards, each approaching their brand philosophy from a different angle. With themes such as "Be Together," "Be Active," "Be Giving," and "Keep Discovering," they develop their brand's image and form a connection with their audience. If you can bring together interesting imagery and information, customers and prospects are more likely to share your content. Why not give your audience an inside peek into your company culture? Use pinboards to showcase your company style, projects, and even employees.

Provide Social Proof to Boost Credibility

Pinterest is the perfect vehicle for providing social proof, the phenomenon of looking to others to guide appropriate behavior. How are your customers using your products or integrating your services into their lives? Using photographs of your customers engaging with your brand, with links to their websites, is an effective way to boost credibility and build brand interest. Just remember to get their permission first.

Use Pinterest Web Analytics

With the right information at your fingertips, you can create more successful visual content and manage each pinboard more effectively. The web analytics tool from Pinterest helps you discover what people are pinning from your website, the number of views each pin receives, which pins get the most repins, and more. As well as exploring analytics, it can be useful to take a look around Pinterest to find out what other audiences are responding to. Which pins are getting the most attention? Use this information to modify your existing content and shape the way you create new material. You can also use these 17 useful Pinterest tools.

Highlight New and Popular Products

For product-centric businesses, pinboards featuring a list of best sellers are an effective way to build interest in your brand and products. Humans are naturally curious, especially when other people are a part of the equation. When a product is selling well, people want to know why other people are buying it, and they don't want to miss out. Amazon has best seller lists for this very reason. You can also build anticipation by creating a pinboard dedicated to the release of a new product. Highlight its features and benefits, and show the product from all angles.

Also, Pinterest has recently announced a very interesting new feature called "rich pins." The idea is that instead of a pin being just an image and description, certain kinds of pins might include other specific information that always applies to those kinds of pins, and make the pins far more informative and therefore more useful. Initially, the kinds of pins that have this capability are Products, Recipes and Movies.


Pin Items Your Target Audience Can Identify With

Some of your pinboards can be themed to specific subjects and areas of interest that your target audience will relate to. It's important to stay within the boundaries of these themes so that you don't alienate viewers. The more that people can relate to your pins, the more likely they are to comment and share. With useful information, attractive images, and surprising content, your customers and prospects are more likely to want to return for more.

Publish Pinnable Images and make them "Pinteresting"

An increasing number of businesses are recognizing the power of Pinterest in content marketing. As a result, more websites now feature the "Pin It" button to help people share their content. To encourage people to pin your content, you need to distribute high-quality images throughout your website or blog. The "Pin It" button needs to be highly visible on every page, and to encourage pinning, include the best images and the "Pin It" button above the fold (before users have to scroll down). Find unique images or create new content that appeals to viewers' emotions. Whether it is funny or thought-provoking, people are more likely to share content that triggers emotion. Finally, make sure your website or blog logo is pinnable, as it gives people the opportunity to be associated with your brand.

Pinterest may not suit every business, but for many marketers, it is one of the best content marketing tools available. Before using Pinterest, it's crucial to understand your marketing goals. Only then can you start to develop pinboard ideas and project a brand image on Pinterest that is credible and beneficial. If you apply these techniques effectively, you can boost your brand image and generate some valuable leads. Building a Pinterest community around your brand is a long-term commitment, but it could take your content marketing to the next level.

Are you pinning?