Businesses don’t mention Pinterest as often as they should when discussing social media strategies. This is strange, since historically the platform has been nearly perfect for selling products.
Actually, we can now rewrite the last sentence, to eliminate the words “historically” and “nearly perfect” and just say “the platform is perfect for selling products.” Pinterest has made a change to its system which should have e-commerce business owners salivating.
If you sell products online, what would constitute Nirvana from a marketing perspective? It would be a platform where you could list each of your products with:
– An image of the product
– A detailed description including the price
– A link to the corresponding product page on your website
Now, as you construct your ideal setup, add an area where all the people viewing that information are specifically searching for products to buy right now. They have affirmatively signed up to see the products, so they are motivated customers with credit cards in hand.
We aren’t all the way there yet. Let’s make the platform free for businesses and consumers to use. We are now at the gates of Nirvana: a new type of feed on Pinterest.com.
The Gifts Feed
Pinterest’s Gifts Feed has everything a marketer could dream of. The feed is devoted solely to products. There are no pins of inspirational quotes, fluffy kittens, cute puppies or travel photos. As long as your product can remotely be classified as a gift, you can list it with all of the benefits mentioned above.
Just imagine the possibilities during the Christmas shopping season. Millions of people looking for gift ideas – and your products are front and center. That makes for a very happy holiday indeed.
In many ways, this new Gifts Feed is akin to the Google Shopping program that used to allow businesses to post feeds of their product lines for free. Google, of course, switched that program to a paid format, which made it much less friendly for small businesses on a tight budget. With Pinterest, the system is free and relatively easy to use, so any business selling products online which doesn’t take advantage of this feed should wake up and smell the money.
Of course, it’s important to stand out from the crowd on the Gifts Feed. To do this, you need to use what are known as “rich pins.”
Rich pins gather data from your site for all of the products you want to list. This data is used to create highlighted pins that include images, prices, descriptions and tags from your product page. Most importantly, the information in rich pins automatically changes if you modify the data on your website product pages. This is an incredible time-saver if you’re listing hundreds or thousands of products on Pinterest.
How does you go about setting up rich pins? Pinterest allows business to use either an oEmbed or semantic markup system. Each system is unique to Pinterest, and does have a learning curve. If you don’t want to spend time figuring it out, you can just hire a freelancer from eLance to take care of it for you.
Free marketing platforms are quickly disappearing from the web. Pinterest represents an old-school approach (with some technological twists), allowing businesses to market for free. If you sell products online, you check out the free Pinterest Gifts Feed before it’s too late.