I invited Joe Cox to discuss Pinterest and video marketing. Pinterest is becoming ever more significant as a referral tool; would including it in your video marketing campaign work for you?
The Rise of a Real Heavyweight
As the fastest growing social network on the planet and the second largest driver of traffic to publishers after Facebook, Pinterest has become impossible to ignore from a marketing perspective. Pinterest now refers more traffic than Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn and Google+ combined, with the last two of these respectively showing a drop and stagnation in referral traffic to publishers.
Marketers know all too well how the social media landscape can change in the blink of an eye and Pinterest is a perfect example of these constantly shifting sands.
Ever since Pinterest lifted their ban on commercial and business accounts, there has been a steady growth in brand promotion on the social network, with many companies’ Pinterest pages acting as a virtual shopfronts, driving sales far more effectively than their Facebook equivalent. There is also increasing evidence that Pinterest can have a strong impact on Google SERPS but more on SEO a bit later.
The commercial potential isn’t just limited to B2C sales either, it is an effective platform for businesses to communicate with other businesses as well, creating powerful networks of inter-connected companies (think of a wedding photographer repinning images of flower arrangements from a local florist). In the same vein Pinterest can also be used to facilitate effective corporate comms, helping to connect departments, shareholders and stakeholders by allowing them, for example, to instantly track and comment on the progress of a product or project.
It’s not just about the Pictures
Pinterest’s focus on imagery has allowed brand marketers to spread images of their products in innovative and often brilliant ways. With all this focus on imagery it’s easy to forget the power of Pinterest to promote video content and drive traffic to your site or YouTube channel.
So what are the best ways to get traffic heading your way using video on Pinterest? Well, like most social networks, the most important thing to understand is that you generally only get out as much as you put in. Pinning your own videos will only get you noticed if you create entertaining, engaging content that isn’t too long.
Remember that the videos you post show your personality; whilst this is true of an individual it is equally true of a company or business. Make sure you curate other people’s content and engage with the movers and shakers in your field, as well as those that may make people sit up and take notice. Building connections on social networks requires a degree of reciprocity, so share other people’s content and you might find them sharing yours.
To SEO or not to SEO
Backlinks from Pinterest are no follow but source links aren’t which means every image you pin, and then subsequently gets repinned, can influence your SEO.
Whilst it’s important to point out here that Pinterest still needs to be viewed as a social network and not an SEO tool, it’s something that every marketer would be wise to bear in mind.
There is a lot of debate on the net as to the SEO potential of Pinterest but it’s unlikely that social networks of any type will lend themselves to the practice of link building. Sharing and interaction are key to marketing success here; posting hundreds of videos and images will only serve to tick people off and make you a social network pariah.
Some Sound Advice
If you want your video content to be repinned and your fan base to burgeon it’s important to get the basics right first. Writing a short description for your video is often rushed or simply overlooked as window dressing, but it’s important to put some serious thought into this. A keyword rich description with hashtags will serve you well from an SEO perspective, as well as performing the perfunctory yet essential task of informing your audience.
Another excellent tip is to add the word ‘video’ to your pin or board titles. This will help people who are searching in the video category by flagging your content as actual video content.
Once you have lured the casual video browser in, it’s important to wow them with a brilliant thumbnail image. Creating a sense of intrigue and impact here is extremely important if you want people to actually hit that play button and watch your content. You can get really imaginative here.
Critically Acclaimed Video
All these techniques are worthless though unless you are creating brilliant and watchable video content. No well written description in the world is going to save your video from abject rejection if your content isn’t up to scratch.
Creating imaginative and compelling video that people will want to share while still promoting your brand is a delicate balancing act and outside the scope of this article, but it’s worth mentioning a couple of pointers.
Including annotations inviting your audience to ‘Pin Me’ in the outro to your video is easy to do and could pay dividends. Along with a ‘Pin It’ button and a ‘Pin This’ annotation, this will serve to encourage the viewer to share the content and get your content repinned.
Keep your videos short. It might seem like a no-brainer but it’s all too easy to get caught up in the production process, which can lead to artistic expression getting in the way of impact. Pinterest lovers tend to browse and are therefore prone to switch off quickly if they’re not engaged in the first ten seconds. So remember; keep it fresh, keep it punchy and keep it lean.