124 - Pinterest 101 with Jess Bahr (And Why You Really Need To Get On It Now)

starting a business | Dec 04, 2017

I am a huge fan of Pinterest, and have seen my clients use it with great success.  However, I've always been a bit hesitant jumping in and using it a lot for my business.  Jess is a friend of mine and runs ads for some of today's top brands.  She has given me so many great ideas on how to utilize Pinterest, that I had to have her on the show.  Although, I'm hoping not all of you rush over there at once because then it won't be quite the secret that it is now.

You feel that Pinterest is still a bit of uncharted territory, right?  Jess thinks Pinterest is the goldmine that people are missing.  The reason is that Pinterest is a social platform where people will go when they have down time and to spend time looking for new things to do.  However, it's also like a search engine where people seek out specific things.   Pinterest really wants to be the search engine of choice for people.  So you have people on Pinterest with the intention of engaging with content from brands, not just content from friends and family.  And they're looking for the answer to a question, so the intent to engage is so much higher than any other platform.

So it's almost like Google where you're looking for something specific?  On Pinterest, you're not just looking at a single line of search results like on Google, you're looking at an unrestricted image and description.  People usually have issues with Pinterest because there aren't specific size requirements on your content, only recommendations.  If you're running a post for Facebook, you have a restricted size for the image.  Facebook prioritizes images if there is too much text on it, and with Pinterest, text overlays do really well.  it can be almost overwhelming or confusing to people when they first get in.

There are brands who are doing well on Pinterest because they have image-rich content, but there's even room for them to expand in using this platform to build their business by better formatting their content for Pinterest.  There just aren't as firm as guidelines for what you and shouldn't do.

What would you say to the people who might not feel Pinterest is for them if their business isn't necessarily food or fashion related?  Jess feels most businesses can make a case to be on Pinterest.  If you go out there and conduct a search around your interest.  If you start searching keywords around your business and find any results at all, then you probably have an opportunity.  Jess works with some brands who might not necessarily be Pinterest rich businesses, who are finding leads on Pinterest simply by sharing their content and getting it out there in the appropriate matter.

So let's talk about  the appropriate matter.  We know images are a must, but what about things like video?  Right now Pinterest doesn't have a native video player, although they have opened up to running some video ads on Pinterest.  On the organic side, this will be coming to Pinterest, it's just a matter of when.  Right now if you share a YouTube video on Pinterest, it will play in Pinterest.  However, the problem with this is that YouTube images are shaped similar to Facebook posts, which are short and wide.  However, Pinterest images work best when they're more narrow and long.  One thing you can do to get around this is to take image clips that speak to the stages of the video and make it at tall, vertical pin.  Then link back to that video that's embedded on your website.

Video will be stronger when they do release their own type of format player.  The short and wide right now is smaller and doesn't grab the attention as much.

What are some other general rules to follow if you're going to get more active on Pinterest?  The golden rule of Pinterest is to always be helpful.  Someone is there because they're looking for the answer to a question, or they're planning a vacation, or doing something in the future.  They're looking for something to answer what they're looking for.  The clearer you can be about how you can answer that question, the better it's going to be.  You do that by using vertical images that are laid out where they can see the value.  Then in the description, have longer descriptions that are more human-readable.  Describe what they might feel and experience, not just what the product or service is.  Paint the picture of what it will be like for them once they interact with your pin.  Let your reader imagine themselves with your product.

What about the timeframe of when to put out your pins?  There are two buckets of engagement that happens before holidays.  There's a bucket where people are starting to plan, and people use Pinterest do a lot of planning.  When you have holidays like Christmas, etc, people are planning for those months in advance.  You can see for Christmas where pinner activity will start like in June, July, and August.  People will pin to their boards and then come back about a month or two then they'll start to buy.  People will start pinning Halloween stuff in August, but then will come back in mid-September to buy.

What you want to do because Pinterest pins live together.  The average pin on Pinterest lives for 3 1/2 months, is you want to time when you can get the most life from your pin.  That will set you up for a stronger sales base when it comes up to the actual holiday.

For things like a webinar, you can use it to drive traffic.  Because pins live forever, you don't want to include something that's super time sensitive.  You can switch to your landing page, where after the webinar is over, you're directing them to a replay for driving more traffic.  One thing Jess knows people do is to use the term free, and you cannot use the term 'free' in Pinterest creative.  Because pins live forever, Pinterest doesn't want people to use time sensitive terms.  You can include it in the pin copy and change that after the event.  Free won't work as well on Pinterest.  On Pinterest you also can't use any url re-directs otherwise it will block the page from being loaded.  Use the actual direct links.  Use more time on Pinterest, not just re-directing it.

You can go back and update your direct link later.

Are hashtags relevant on Pinterest?  It's not really a thing on Pinterest. Hashtags work well on Twitter helps narrow the search down.  On Pinterest, they've put so much time in developing their searching algorithms, that typing in terms will come up with the right search items.  It's not about having stuff SEO'd well.  You can include them if you want if they're brand specific and unique to you and used tastefully in the description.  If you really want to rank high, use the related phrases in the description has a stronger impact.

What are some things you should do to make Pinterest look at your content as high-quality content?  The biggest lever you can pull is in the creative and having people click-through your pin.  Click through rate is the most important criteria in how your pin is performing on Pinterest, and if it will be served to other people.  The strongest lever you have on people clicking your pin.

If you were to start building an audience on Pinterest where do you start?  One of Jess' favorite tools is finding group boards that are related to your business.  You can join them and pin content.  Then look to see what people are engaging with and looking at some of the top performing pins.  Search for specific topics and what Pinterest recommends on what content is performing the best.  Create some different images for your pins to test them and out and see how they do.

One piece of advice Jess gives is having a great Pinterest presence starts on your website.  Make it really easy for your current fans and readers to share your content on Pinterest.  Have those images on your website so when someone does share, it pulls those larger ones that are already optimized for it.

Does commenting and engaging work?  Be the engagement you want to receive.  Especially if you find other pinners sharing similar content. Share their content.  Pinterest is just like any other event. People don't want to be sold to all the time.  Find content that your audience will find relevant.  Hopefully, then they'll share your content with their audience.

On Pinterest, pins really never die.  There are pins Jess has that still come up, and are several years old.  If two people repin it, it can grow exponentially.

So you're suggesting when you create something you want to pin to test several different pin versions of it?  Yes, you can do that by pinning the same link on to several boards.  Jess said to have several boards with the same type of boards with different descriptions.  Help someone get to the content that will provide the most value in the quickest way.  Have your boards split up to help people the best way you can.  Repurpose content in several different ways on several different boards.

What about personal vs business?  Always set-up a business because you have a lot more analytics, plus you can set-up rich pins.  It's actually against Pinterest TOS to promote business stuff on a personal board. When it comes to branding it as a business, most the studies have shown people prefer to engage with businesses and brands versus individuals on Pinterest.

Why are rich pins so awesome?  The good thing about rich pins is that if you're using Wordpress with a plug-in like Yoast SEO.  Pinterest uses the same mark-ups that you're using to optimize for Google. Jess has steps on how to set it up on her website (see below). You're verifying your website, and then you're telling Pinterest to set it up as rich pins.  Which means if it's an article, it will bold certain items, and will pull in the meta-data as a description.  Jess likes that because it gives you more control on how your pin is getting shared, and what the description looks like.

Be careful of using too much info like a full recipe because if no one has to leave Pinterest to get the recipe.  If you do have rich pins, and you want to make sure that you don't include everything on a rich pin, you can implement code that will keep some of the description off of the rich pin.

If someone wanted to find out more about Pinterest and your class where could they go?  Go to JessBahr.com, you can find a link to the home page or JessBahr.com/Pinterest

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