Guest post by Victoria Greene

Selecting your marketing channels is a critical step in the development of your overarching business strategy. From your website to word of mouth, every engagement makes a difference, and it is important to convey the best possible brand image every step of the way.
For many businesses, this means embracing social media and opening a dialogue with their audience. Some even advocate signing up to as many networks as possible to increase business exposure.

Related: 5 Ways a Social Media Audit Can Give Your Business a Leg Up

However, this can be counterproductive due to the work required to maintain a large number of accounts. As a result, the quality of interactions decreases and more people are left waiting indefinitely for a response, which can negatively impact their impression of your business. It is often better to focus your efforts on one or two platforms and branch out as you become able to accommodate the additional demand.
Meanwhile, flying under the radar for the most part, Pinterest has gone from strength to strength, accruing a monthly user base of over 200 million people. Furthermore, these accounts receive around 10 billion recommendations every day. For businesses, this is a golden opportunity to reach a proactive, highly engaged audience. So if you have not yet explored what this platform has to offer, you could be missing out.

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Niche Demographics Are Visibly Represented

One of the key strengths of Pinterest’s hobby-focused, visual experience is that the collections or ‘boards’ of pinned content are created by users with a specific passion for the items featured. Boards sometimes contain hundred of pins, each tagged and commented upon by enthusiastic individuals.
This makes it far easier to identify users by their interests and compare taste profiles across a wider audience. Furthermore, by identifying key interests, Pinterest is able to more accurately place recommendations, increasing the likelihood that your content may be pinned, shared or engaged with by your target audience.
A good way to gauge whether there may be an audience for your product is simply to search for it and see what shows up. This also provides you with an overview of what’s available, and the type of reception it is receiving. If nothing shows up, this could mean you need to focus on a different platform. However, it could also mean that you have found the perfect opening in the market.
Take the time to run some trial content and analyse its success. This will informs your overall marketing approach, and over time will allow you to construct realistic buyer personas based on trends in your demographic’s data.

Pinterest Users Are Often Ready To Buy

Paid pins can be targeted with precision to reach the correct audience members at the right time. Since many Pinterest users search for and collect pins relating to something that they wish to purchase, you are already in a strong position.
According to the platform’s annual summary, 93 percent of users claimed to use Pinterest as a means of planning purchases. In addition, more than 85 percent claimed to have purchased something because they had seen it on Pinterest.
If you can tap into this market, you may find that you can build a powerful campaign. A well-timed, tailored advertisement, delivered at the right moment, could be the difference between making a sale and losing a customer.
Using the platform’s analytics data, you will be able to identify which pins drive the most traffic to your website, which are repinned, and which appear to be underperforming. As you develop an understanding of your audience’s habits, you will be able to plan your future pins more effectively, increasing conversions and making your boards more interesting and valuable to your customers.

Use Pins To Directly Drive Sales

One of the factors that separates Pinterest users from many other audiences is that they are often actively searching for new ideas, brands, and offers. By combining this with the strength of eye-catching content or exclusive offers shared via your Pinterest account, you can quickly begin to build an active, engaged audience, providing you manage to catch their attention in the first place.
The buzzwords of all marketing practices apply here just as much as anywhere; consistency, clarity, and continuity of content helps to increase familiarity with your brand, which in turn builds trust and recognition. As such, your pins should be in keeping with your overall marketing message, and relevant to your audience’s needs.
With this framework in place, you can boost traffic to your ecommerce site by using “Product Pins”. These operate much like any other pin, but link to a landing page where the user can purchase the item or service displayed. You can also sell your products directly from the Pinterest app.
This ease of use and strong visual approach is a powerful way to drive impulse purchases, and is an effective means of funneling new customers to your website.


New Business Tools Provide Analytics Insights

Whether you are new to the marketing game, or Pinterest is simply something you have always overlooked in the past, it is worth reassessing your target demographic to see if this platform could be a hidden fountain of opportunity.
Using Pinterest’s business tools, you can develop a clearer picture of your audience’s composition, including their location, interests, gender and income. In addition, you can discover which pins were best received, which drove traffic to your website, and which failed to engage at all. This will allow you to refine your approach, share more content similar to that which has been successful, and look into means of improving that which hasn’t.
Keeping up with the website’s blog and insights pages can also provide a fresh perspective on many online marketing trends, and offer a detailed overview of the platform’s user base as a whole.

The Audience Is Diverse and Growing

As you already know, there is one-size-fits-all strategy for business development, and for all its strengths, Pinterest may not be for you. At the same time, you may find that the network’s audience is more widespread than you had guessed.
While women comprise 70 percent of Pinterest’s audience, recent months have seen a significant increase in the number of men using the platform. Furthermore, around 50 percent of the network’s users are based outside of the US, making it a viable global platform for your marketing efforts.

Credit: Pinterest

It is free to set up a business account, so if in doubt, you could always test the waters and see how the results compare to your existing marketing strategy. This will not only give you an insight into the particular audience that sees and engages with your content on Pinterest, but will also allow you to gauge whether it might be worth investing further time and resources in the service.

This, in turn, can be coordinated with your other social media accounts, or may even supercede them. It is important to give each platform enough time to see genuine results. However, if something isn’t working, then there is nothing wrong with abandoning it in favor of a more successful strategy.
Spreading your resources too thinly will only cause you to burn out, and will reduce the overall success of your marketing endeavours. Focus your efforts where your audience is most present, and deliver a high-quality message that engages and converts.

Whether on Pinterest or otherwise, it is your continued adaptation, and attention to detail that will enable your business to grow and evolve in accordance with the market’s needs. Only you can fully recognize what is best for your business, so seize upon that, and use it to fuel positive change, and facilitate the transformation of your enterprise from an ambitious startup to a high-ranking contender with an audience that spans the globe.

Victoria Greene: Writer & Ecommerce Entrepreneur

When I’m not traveling back and forth between the USA and the UK, I’m geeking out on any new social media news I can get my hands on. I love sharing my marketing experience with other entrepreneurs and get a real kick out of helping people improve their businesses.

Want to work with Rachel?

Rachel Beaney is a writer and social media content specialist, helping businesses connect with their audiences.

She’s worked with local, national and global companies, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping businesses tell their stories with creative and data-driven solutions.

She is based in Sydney, Australia.

Want to work together? Rachel would love to hear from you. Get in touch today.