Pinterest is quickly becoming more than just a place to post (i.e., pin) your destination wedding pictures or recipe cards.

The marketing firm Piqora reports that, in the first half of 2014, about 400 of its customers who used Pinterest for their business saw a 67% jump in online revenue and an 8.3% jump in traffic. In 2013, the same firm reported that a Pinterest pin generated roughly 78 cents in sales and also resulted in increased visits and sales even months after the original pin.

The Pinterest users who witnessed a jump in their revenue figures weren’t just selling wedding paraphernalia either. About 90% of those users had websites featuring apparel, home decor and retail items.

Pinterest is definitely maturing and moving beyond its once primarily female audience. Today, brands like Overstock, AMC, Orbitz and Steve Madden use Pinterest and its associated “Pin it” button for their marketing efforts. Obviously, brands like Martha Stewart are going to do better on Pinterest than say, DeWALT, because they better hit their target audience; however, that hasn’t stopped those “other” brands from also creatively improving their popularity on the site:

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dewalt pinterest

What makes Pinterest particularly appealing is the longevity of its pins. Unlike sites like Facebook or Twitter, where only the most recent posts or tweets are immediately visible to the user, Pinterest pins splay out across time and fuction like a digital magazine. As a result, Pinterest users who start out looking at one pin often end up browsing other, and older, categories and sections.

With this in mind, how can you take advantage of Pinterest for your own affiliate or online marketing efforts?

10 Ways You Can Use Pinterest for Your Online Business Marketing

1. Pin your best stuff.

Become highly selective about what content and pictures you want to pin and choose only your best and most striking pieces. Remember that the objective here is to get users back to your site and looking through your content and products, not lollygagging all day on Pinterest.

2. Go the extra mile with pictures.

Don’t just pin the same stock photos with your content or products. Get creative and include a few of your own photos, drawings or other artistic renderings. At the very least, invest in good stock photography so that your pins don’t look like copies of one another.

3. Add the “Pin it” button.

You can integrate the “Pin it” button on your website or blog, making it easier for your readers to disseminate the content that they particularly like on Pinterest. On Pinterest itself, you can also add a follow button to your profile.

4. Interact with other pinners.

Pinterest may be a digital magazine but it’s still a social network. As you pin your content and images, don’t forget to interact with other site users in your niche and repin, like or comment on their content and/or follow the pinners themselves. You might even consider featuring some of them on your boards in order to attract a wider audience.

5. Add some content too.

Don’t just pin a bunch of photos or blog posts with no explanation of what they do or are. Describe each of your Pinterest pins using a short sentence or two. Get as creative as you can with your one to two sentence “teasers” in order to attract attention to your pins.

6. Switch up image orientations.

As you create your image catalog, find vertical as well as horizontal pictures for your Pinterest boards. Pinterest accommodates differently oriented images and generates more interesting layouts as a result.

7. Generate secret boards.

You can create up to 500 secret boards on Pinterest- these are boards that aren’t visible to the general public and can only be accessed via invitation. Secret boards are great for holding contests, sweepstakes and other promotions or just collecting user feedback. You can eventually publish your secret boards too.

8. Use tools for better reach.

There are a number of snazzy tools available for Pinterest users that help them extend their reach on Pinterest. For example, WiseStamp allows you to add a “Follow on Pinterest” button to your email signature. This enables you to gain Pinterest followers through email marketing. Here’s mine:


Reachli (formerly Pinerly) allows you to track the popularity of each of your pins by providing reports of their clicks, likes and repins.

Pinpuff works along the lines of Klout, assigning you a specific Pinterest score and even monetary value based on your pins. This tool can help you not only determine the ROI of your Pinterest pins but also identify major influencers in your niche.

9. Make it personal.

You need not use Pinterest solely for online marketing. By creating boards that feature your own unique interests or hobbies, you can gain additional followers who become personally interested in you. From there, it’s just a skip and a hop away for your followers to delve into your affiliate or other marketing efforts.

10. Engage your followers.

Ask your followers to generate their own boards using your images or other Pinterest board content. Just make sure that your boards don’t contain copyrighted material that could be construed as being republished without permission. Alternately, ask your followers to submit their own personally created pins to your boards. Such requests engage your followers and increase your audience.

How have you used Pinterest for your own online marketing efforts? Please let us know in the comments below.

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