4 Pinterest Strategies for B-to-B Marketers

Zach Brooke
B2B Marketing
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Key Takeaways
​What? Pinterest is a social media platform with 100 million monthly active users worldwide.

So what? Pinterest is unique among social sites in that users browse the site in "consideration mindset," looking for products or services helpful to them.

Now what? B-to-B marketers should consider setting up a Pinterest account and possibly even buying sponsored content in order to promote their offerings to other businesses.  

April 25, 2016

Visual scrapbook site holds unique promise by attracting users eager to window shop 

Most of the conversation about social media seems to start and end with Facebook and Twitter, but the universe doesn’t end there. While those two tech giants dominate the digital content universe with 1.49 billion and 319 million monthly users, respectively, the platforms are not the be-all, end-all of social media. In fact, there may be one site out there that’s actually a better fit for B-to-B marketers: Pinterest​.

With 100 million monthly active users worldwide, the scrapbook site is far from an online desert. And unlike other social sites, which were originally geared to social sharing, Pinterest occupies a uniquely product-oriented space in the social landscape.

As the company itself describes it, Pinterest users browse the site in a “consideration mindset” that makes them “open to inspiration from credible sources.”      

Anna Bennett​ is the owner of White Glove Social Media​, a consulting business that helps companies market themselves on Pinterest. 

Many businesses don’t realize that Pinterest is not just for products but also for service businesses like mine.  I do great with Pinterest,” Bennett says. “As a B-to-B service company, I rank on the first page of Google consistently with my chosen keywords because of Pinterest. What’s not to love about that?

"The purpose of using Pinterest is to make more money.  You do that by ranking higher and getting found more often on Pinterest’s and Google’s search engines. More eyeballs on your boards and web pages or in your stores leads to more potential for sales. It’s as simple as that.”

Bennett recommends that B-to-B marketers follow these steps to develop a social platform that meets their expectations:

1. Create great images

 More than any other social app, save Instagram, Pinterest is visual. The consideration mindset Pinterest talks about happens because users are essentially window shopping from behind their screen. Therefore, marketers need an attractive, eye-catching display.

“The very first step in our process whether we are providing a strategic plan, managing their account or Promoted Pins campaigns is to examine and analyze all of their images to determine if their images are good enough for Pinterest,” Bennett says. “If not, we make recommendations to create the right images that fit within their budget.”

Once you have the images set, set up several boards that showcase your products or services. Organize them by theme. For example, what are the different values you provide other businesses? 

2. Determine what should go in your own account, and what—if anything at all—should be sponsored

“What many businesses don’t realize is that Pinterest is a search engine. In order for your pins and boards to rank high on the Pinterest search engine in order to get as much traffic as possible, you have to garnish your pins and boards with the right keywords in several places. Ranking high organically on Pinterest can take several months,” Bennett says, “With over 1 million businesses on Pinterest assume that your competition is already there fighting to get the attention of your existing and new customers.”

If that’s not the amount of time you’re willing to invest, Bennett recommends purchasing ads within a month of setting up your account.  

3. Set up a Promoted Pins campaign

Even if you decide the long-game is best for your B-to-B company, you may still want to use sponsored content, called promoted Pins, to generate more interest in your accounts. “According to Pinterest, businesses who invest in Promoted Pins received an average of 20% more (free) clicks in the month after the start of a Promoted Pins campaign,” Bennett says. 

4. Make sure your business website is on point

Pinterest is a great platform to generate interest in your business, but it’s only as good as the rest of your online presence. In that respect, it’s helpful to think of Pinterest as a top-of-funnel component to the sales strategy. To convert viewers, you need a great second act: your website.

Says Bennett: “Brands that typically do well on Pinterest are those who have a lot of products combined with a blog. You need a lot of images on Pinterest to drive traffic from Pinterest to your website,” Bennett says. “If your business doesn’t have a lot of images then you will need a blog. But your blog also has to have multiple images. Pinterest is a virtual pinboard if your business is to have success with Pinterest marketing you need several tons of images that will ultimately drive traffic back to your website. That is why putting images in your blog and pinning your blog on Pinterest helps you.”

Author Bio:

Zach Brooke
Zach Brooke is a staff writer for the American Marketing Association. He can be reached at zbrooke@ama.org.
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