Steven Van Belleghem (one of Europes thought leads on social media) suggests Pinterest forces you to think visually about your business. A visually appealing website is half the battle won, coupled with interesting, targeted and unique content then you have a strong position to take authority, rank and conversions away from competitors.
In the B2B market place we need to get our creative hats on think how Pinterest can be utilised to fulfil our goals. So what goals could we have for using Pinterest?
Attract a new audience we didn't reach out to before
Help nurture existing leads into converted sales
Attract new candidates and talent into apply for positions
Build brand authority and voice
There are plenty more goals Pinterest can help you achieve, but I see these are the main ones that are the primary focus of campaigns we do at Newedge.
Before we do anything, make sure you have a Pinterest business account, so you can get access to rich pins and extended functionality and then apply for rich pins once your developer has created the oEmbed tags.
Infographics still have a place in marketing toolkit - a well researched and creatively designed infographic will have strong sharability. Check out Mashable’s infographics board for some ideas on how infographics are being used on Pinterest. They have 93k followers on their board, getting an infographic repinned by Mashable could lead to considerable exposure to their audience.
With the recent addition of expanded article pins launched on the company’s blog, Jon Parise from Pinterest said, "We’re always looking for ways to make pins more useful so that when you discover and pin something great, it’s easy to act on it, whether that’s cooking a dish, watching a movie, buying a new gadget or reading an article.". These expanded article pins allow you to expand the information you pin, to include headline, author, story description and link.
When you go to a conference, event or exhibition you have a fantastic opportunity to use social media channels to gain visibility to others attending and those following the hashtags.
Here are some ideas of what to post while attending:
Use a place pin to include a map of where you are and take a picture of the event signage with you in front of it and pin to your board for the event.
Find new and interesting products, snap them and post to pinterest - if they are your products then use a Product Pin to include real time pricing, availability and a link to buy.
Pin notable comments from speakers using a service like quozio.com to create the quotes with a nice simple background.
Celebrity or notable speakers attending? Get a selfie with them and pin to your event board with a quote. This can help build authority so your buyers know you're hanging out with the right crowd.
You can pin more than just photos with Pinterest, pin videos from YouTube, slideshows from slideshare and audio from soundcloud.
YouTube videos on Pinterest could be used for explaining products, or cool videos of people using your product in different ways (think GoPro), or what it’s like to work for you, if you’re trying to attract top quality talent.
With SlideShows on Pinterest, it’s really a case of opening up a new audience channel to your slideshows, i.e. getting your Pinterest followers to view your slideshows. Remember you can reuse your content if it’s still current and pin all your slideshows to your Pinterest boards.
SoundCloud offers you the ability to either upload your own content (podcasts, etc) or post other peoples content to your Pinterest board. Going a bit out of your comfort zone here, you could create a playlist of tracks that aligns with your brand image, or maybe staff favourites that are played in the office. You could collate a list of podcasts that you list to and create a board them all, this is useful for industry peers and potential customers.
Do you manufacture a product for a specific client? Take photos of it and publish to board all about the client, with detail shots, group shots and individual shots. Maybe you create digital images, artwork or similar - this is all good material for Pinterest. Is there a specific process you go through to make your product, can it be photographed and published? Is there a case history of work you have completed that you could release over time to Pinterest?
Using Rich Pins you can pin your products with extended information on price, availability and a purchase link. With services you can create a great look graphic and again pin this, even using a product pin with a price starting from (if applicable). If not you can create a blog post about the service and use an rich pin to tag additional information as mentioned before.
You could create boards for each category of products and services, then post pictures of products in use, how they are made, the people who make them (adding to brand voice) and so on.
Found a great ebook or book on amazon? Think your customers will benefit from reading it? The share it on Pinterest with the book cover as the image. You could also pin white papers, articles and blog posts that others have written and will benefit your audience too. Create a different board for each reading list, for example “Helpful small business eBooks” or “Health & Safety Guides for business”.
Growing businesses need candidates to fill job roles and attracting the right talent is difficult. Pinterest offers you a potentially new avenue to show what it’s like to work at your company. Create a new board called “Work life at Company ABC” and empower your employees to post up pictures of work events, visits to exhibitions, celebrations, company days out, etc. This will show candidates that you’re a great company to work for, and you know how to have fun as well as work hard.
You shouldn't be afraid of showing less formal and non-official photos, done right it can give your business a personality, knowing there are real people with real lives behind the all the marketing brochures.
Although Pinterest is the focus of many B2C businesses it does also have a place in B2B too, as with all content marketing tactics you need to have specific goals, target your audience with content they want to consume through that channel, monitor pinterest analytics and post engaging content that is repinned and shared through the social sphere.
The other great thing about Pinterest is that it’s completely free, so it’s only going to cost you the time and effort you put in.