Selling Services (and Ugly Products!) on Pinterest

Pinterest is made for the easily consumed product – the clothing, the accessories, the gadgets – but an effective Pinterest campaign can involve all types of businesses if done right.

Not only can Pinterest help drive traffic to your website, it can help instill a brand image and reputation that is not as easily done on a less image-based website.

Even though your range of products and services are not as “Pinterest-friendly”, you can still produce a plethora of beautiful, interesting, and pinnable images that will increase you brand visibility.

Brand Building

In order to have a cohesive and interesting feed, it’s important to first think about the scope of your brand, and in a way, the scope of your Pinterest boards. This scope can include your vertical, or the category that you fit into.

Figure out the broad terms first that fit your brand – technology, health, marketing – and then break it down into smaller categories, like software, fitness, and email. Keep breaking those down, taking note along the way of how your business fits into each category (and it’s okay if it’s not a perfect fit). All of these could be potential boards for Pinterest. This is a great starting point for generating ideas of what types of pictures to pin.

Beautiful Pictures

Sure, your product may not be a pleated skirt, but a quality picture with a unique angle can make any product (or service) pinnable, especially for those already interested in your sector.
In order to pin your own content to Pinterest, you need to have great content. It’s most certainly possible to pin every picture you have, but unless they are eye-catching or intriguing, no one is going to repin them (and the point of advertising on Pinterest is lost). One great example of utilizing photography is the Advanced Company Software Pinterest page, which you can see here.

It’s worth investing money in having great, quality pictures of your computer chip, or even your office if you’re a service where customers stop in. Not only will these be great for Pinterest, but they will also improve the overall quality of your website.

Infographics

Infographics are a straightforward way of making beautiful images that educate pinners about your business or vertical, but they need to be invested in. These can be especially effective for businesses that aren’t easily comprehended at first glance (tax preparation, anyone?), or for businesses that encompass and entire vertical and not just one service or product.

It’s easy, however, to fall into the trap of using free infographic creators and creating an informative, but mediocre, infographic. Someone may read the infographic if they see it on Pinterest, but it’s not going to get repinned unless it’s beautiful as well. These can travel a long way if they’re done right.

Fun Stuff

Consumers enjoy businesses that are transparent, especially on social media, so pinning images that are clever or silly can help improve brand reputation. This is when you’ll want to take advantage of content that is not necessarily within your website. These can be anything from clever inspirational photos to casual pictures of the office party’s cake. They exist purely to fill your feed and keep your name in your follower’s feed. Don’t be afraid to pin photos from other websites, especially as you’re growing your brand. People will like your feed more if they feel they’re getting great pictures and not just advertising fodder, as quality as that may be.

Blog Posts

Having a relevant blog post with an accompanying picture can be a great way to drive traffic to your website. Be sure to have a call to action in the pin’s description to let users know that they will have relevant information when they click through, and not just a page with a picture on it. The image should still be good quality, although you can be a little more lax here. Most pinnners will repin the photo because they liked the blog post, and not just for the picture.

Related Products

Your target audience isn’t solely interested in your product or service, and pinning images of the other things they like can draw in followers. Think about the demographics of your target audience – if you’re a travel agency, this could range from destination photos to pictures of the best hats to wear in hot weather. This is another case of not being afraid to post photos from elsewhere, as they’ll add great content to your page and give your Pinterest page more visibility. If someone were to repin one of your photos, you could gain a follower from a secondary repin after that. Your brand content would then show up in this person’s feed as well.

Clever Descriptions

It’s extremely important to take advantage of the description section under the pin, as it’s more likely that the picture may not speak for itself like a regular product would. Also, it’s a negative to have nothing in the description or just one word, so at the very least, put a short sentence in. It gives off an aura of laziness to have nothing substantial in the description, so don’t fall into that trap. This is a good place to describe what you actually do – little tidbits that might be good in an infographic, but fit in a smaller picture as well.

Pin Away!

Keep these tips in mind, and finding relevant, pinnable images should be much easier, even for a service-based business. Often, it seems like having such a business wouldn’t make Pinterest worth it because there didn’t seem like much to pin. However, if you think of Pinterest as a brand-building tool rather than a direct advertising tool, the process should become more streamlined. Remember to use our visual marketing tips when creating your pins and boards.

Companies like SEOmoz have made great, well-rounded Pinterest boards that showcase their company even though they don’t have a physical product. They and others have shown that Pinterest can be a great way to advertise for all businesses. Don’t forget to track your pins with the new Pinterest analytics that have been added to the site.