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How to Build Consumer Trust with Pinterest

How to Build Consumer Trust With Customers by Vincent Ng of MCNGMarketing.com Pinterest can be amazing when it comes to driving traffic. For me it’s my number one social media traffic source, and for others like Mike Alton, it’s helped him add another 1000 visitors to his site a month, which for a social media blog is excellent. As Pinterest continues to grow and starts becoming more part of the mainstream, it’s important not to forget a vital lesson. Are you using Pinterest to solve the main problems your customers are having?

I’ve consulted and worked with clients in the past on their Pinterest strategy, only to go back and tell them how difficult it is to use Pinterest for their business because they often try to run with the network before they learn how to walk. People who are often most successful at using Pinterest, in terms of increased sales, brand power, sponsorship opportunities and trust  do it through one thing – by helping their customers solve a problem they are having.

Sometimes I feel that I can get too attached to a network and BELIEVE that the problem that my clients and customers have is understanding what Pinterest is about, but for my clients the problems they have are about finding the right traffic to generate more leads (e-mail sign ups), generating more sales for their products, and increasing their reach  with a buying audience.  This helps me stay focused in building trust with the right audience.

Running Before Walking On Pinterest

I’m often surprised how much money is pumped into social media marketing because it’s the hot thing to do. I used to do marketing consultations for restaurants and I’m always surprised to hear owner’s friends tell them that they have to be on social media.  Often, if a restaurant isn’t doing so well it’s because they aren’t solving the expected pain problem of their customer.

When people go to a restaurant, they expect good food and good service for the price they pay. It’s that simple. If the food is delicious and priced at what consumers are willing to pay, then people will tell others about the restaurant over the months, but what they experience in the restaurants is important when it comes to building consumer trust. No amount of marketing can cover bad service and bad food.

As a matter of fact, doing social media marketing in that case only makes it worse.

The point of the story is to make sure that you’re covering the fundamental problems your customers have and to provide them with what they expect so that trusting relationship can be buit.

Customers Want to Trust You. Give Them Reasons To.

Okay, I admit, some customers are expecting you to be on social media. But what they’re really looking from you is guidance. They’re hoping to build a relationship with your business, but they need to know that you’re willing to commit to their well being first.

Keeping this in mind, Pinterest and social media aren’t always the answer. For many people, including myself, having a blogging platform is crucial when it comes to building trust.  Though you can also build on other platforms to build trust such as having your own audio podcast like Smart Passive Income’s Pat Flynn, or a video podcast like Jaime Tardy from Eventual Millionaire. 

Some clients want to jump into Pinterest because they’ve heard how much traffic it drives to a website, and in many cases I know professional bloggers and small business owners that state that it drives more traffic for them than Google.

Jenae from Icanteachmychild.com is a good example, where Pinterest is her number one traffic driver, and she receives over 75,000 visits from Pinterest.  But for those that have been most successful at using Pinterest to drive targeted traffic back to their site, it’s because they have valuable articles and blog posts to share. They’ve been providing excellent resources, just like a restaurant would provide excellent food. And when you can consistently provide excellent resources, both on Pinterest and on your own site, you increase that trust.

With a great blogging platform you have the opportunity to help address customer issues and take the initial steps into a customer trusting you enough to buy your product. Not only to buy your product but for becoming an ambassador.

If you create pins and it does is lead back to the homepage – well that’s fine and dandy like sour candy. And most people are not big fans of sour candy.

Do E-commerce sites Need a Blog or Educational Platform?

You may look at the success of sites like Etsy, Amazon, and e-bay and think to yourself that you don’t need a blog to be successful, but keep in mind that these e-commerce platforms built their reputation through blood, sweat and tears for years to get where they are now.  Amazon lost hundreds of millions of dollars when they first started. But they built an empire based on what customers wanted in an e-commerce platform.

There’s no doubt in my mind that if you a blog that it will help build your e-commerce business much faster.

While Pinterest purchasers tend to be the most spontaneous when it comes to social shoppers, meaning that they do the least amount of research online before buying a product, being able to provide a blog to help be a resource and drive additional traffic can create a strong brand affinity.

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A good example of a company that sells retail products, has a strong command on Pinterest, and has a strong blog is Lululemon. They write articles to help solve every day problems that their customers face. Lululemon had a great post, 10 Tricks to Sleep in the Heat.  

Even Pinterest itself has a blog to help be a resource for businesses, and people who personally enjoy using Pinterest.

Think Outside the Blog

Think of practical ways to be of help to customers, and they will love you for it. Of course don’t forget to make a featured blog image that’s pinnable. I’ve always believed in the power of evergreen content, content that can last for years. Think about all the different problems that seem to come up again and again that you can help address through your blog or educational platform.

Let’s say that you’re in the business of selling Christmas ornaments. I think it would be a great idea to be able to do a webinar on “How to Create the Best Looking Christmas Tree Ever.” A short 20 minute presentation that could be of value and that could be auto played. This type of video or webinar content can then be shared again and again every single year on Pinterest. It’s brilliant.

At the end of what I’m trying to say is this. If you’re hoping to get more traffic to your site with Pinterest, it can do that. There’s no doubt it will. But here’s something you need to keep in mind, if two new and competing retail brands are on Pinterest, and the fundamentals are all equal such as quality of clothing, great customer service, which one are you more likely to do business with over time? The one that provides you the goods, or the one that provides you the goods that also solves your problems every time you visit their website?

Dedicate time to creating great resources that will solve your customers’ problems, and use that to help grow your Pinterest following.

What are your thoughts, do you believe that you should have a blog before having a Pinterest account, or do believe it’s not necessary to help drive sales?

Special Offering: Early Bird Pricing for Pintalysis Academy

I’m happy to announce that I’m currently working on an online on demand Pinterest course that will teach businesses, bloggers and online retailers how to increase their revenue with Pinterest. It will teach you how to drive more traffic to your website, how to use Pinterest for local marketing.

In the course I’ll also go into detail about  how adapt to the ever Pinterest landscape of mobile users on Pinterest.

I’m offering a pre order special.  For a lifetime membership to the Pintalysis Academy will be $49  and then it jumps up to $79 and you will get the latest news and updates regarding Pinterest marketing.  Click here to get updates of when the course launches, and your early bird discount rate. 

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Vincent Ng is the founder of MCNG Marketing, and the author of Pinterest to Profits with Pintalysis and the host of the Pinterest podcast, Pictures to Profits. You can grab your free e-book on How to Search Optimize Your Pins for Pinterest and Search Engines."