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5 Ways To Grow Your Business with Pinterest’s Flashlight

 

Discover 5 ways to use the new visual discovery tool within Pinterest to grow your business. Back in February of 2015, Pinterest announced ata conference that they were working on a tool called “Flashlight.” A tool that I labeled as “visual discovery on steroids. ” This feature will revolutionize the way that visual search is conducted online.

Flashlight is a feature on Pinterest that allows you to highlight a particular part of a pin, and Pinterest will then show you pins that are visually similar. It’s not exactly perfect right now, but it’s definitely an exciting work in progress.

As a side note, Pinterest never called the new visual discovery feature as Flashlight when it officially launched, but that was the name it was given when it was in the testing phases.

Visual Search Tool - GIF

Flashlight is being rolled out globally to the public starting November 9th to users of the desktop, Android and IOS versions of Pinterest.

Why This is a Game Changer for Online Retailers

This is a big deal because it will save people time in discovering where to buy a product that they accidentally discovered on Pinterest.

Here’s a scenario that happens a lot. Someone sees a pin that takes place in a living room. She clicks on it and it leads to a blog post about how to save space in an apartment, but she wasn’t interested in the topic, instead she was interested in the speakers that were featured in the pin.

Since she doesn’t know what the brand the speakers is, nor does she have the patience to try to search through the results on Google, she gives up on trying to find those speakers.

With the new visual discovery feature on Pinterest, she can go back to the pin, highlight the speakers and find visually similar results with the hopes that one of the results will lead to a retail site that sells the product (or something similar to it.)Orb Audio Recommendations 2

Even if she doesn’t buy now, chances are she’s going to save a pin from the side, as a reminder to take a closer look at the product later.

Pinterest also tries to help you narrow down your search by providing words that are related to your visual search. As you can see on the right-hand side, there are suggested word tiles such as speakers, audio, audio engine, and front load washer (the last one made me laugh because I could never imagine those as front end washers). You can tap on those word tiles to help provide more relevant and personal results.

Now before you get all excited, you also have to realize that it’s not a perfect system. When I highlighted the speakers in the background, these are the results I got.  As you can tell for the word tiles,  Pinterest didn’t recognize that they were Orb Audio speakers. The visual recognition engine believes that they’re door knobs.

Orb Recommendations

Which Businesses Will Benefit Most from Flashlight for Pinterest

Here are some fun stats about Pinterest users.

  •  52% out of 1,500 active pinners surveyed agreed that Pinterest helps them find items they want to buy.
  • 79% said that Pinterest helped them with purchases involving food and ingredients.
  • 60% said that Pinterest them with purchases involving home decor.
  • 53% for clothing and accessories.

Most likely, Flashlight won’t increase the food and ingredients category, but it most likely will increase the numbers for home decor and clothing and accessories.

With 100 million active users on Pinterest, if even just 2% of people use the feature on a daily basis, you can imagine how much more potential business can flow to online retailers.

Here’s the Downside of Flashlight for Business

For businesses, this can also be bad news because people may actually discover your competitors. The goal of Flashlight isn’t to show you the exact same image up close, it’s to be able to show you visually similar results.

If you happen to be the owner of an e-commerce space, and you source your products from the same wholesaler as someone else, then this can provide some pretty stiff competition.

A potential customer may click through to your product pin and go to the page, find out what the price of your product is and then go back to Pinterest and then select the another pin to see what your competitors are charging.

If you’re not the exclusive retailer of a product, you could be at the losing end of Flashlight.

How to Make the Most of Flashlight for Pinterest

1. Load Up On Close-up Shots

Load up on pins with product close-ups. That’s my advice if you haven’t done so yet. The reason for this is because if your product is featured on a variety of different pins but you don’t own those pins, then when someone highlights your product, he is more likely to see visually similar results of a competitor.

If Pinterest can only recommend pins that are in their system, and your pins are not in the system, then they can’t recommend them. It’s that simple.

The goal is to have your pins show up in the “visually similar results” as much as possible, not someone else who’s potentially taking your business away.

2. Load up on Environmental Product Shots

You’ve also got to do the opposite. If you have a product that fits naturally into a specific type of environment, ensure that your products stand out in the picture but make them fit naturally into the environment.

A lamp standing in the middle of a white background isn’t very sexy, but if you have the lamp placed next to a nice comfy couch, it makes the lamp sexier. People can now imagine how that lamp fits into their own home.

As more people become familiar with using Flashlight with Pinterest, they will start highlighting products featured inside your pins.

The one thing I learned is that if your products are in an environmental shot, they should clearly be recognizable visible on a mobile device. In the first picture featuring Orb Speakers, you can see them clearly. However, the speakers are hard to identify on a smartphone screen, making it hard for Flashlight to recognize the object.

Objects that are too small in your environmental shots are bad. 

Ensure that your products are nice and visible on a mobile screen.

3. Take Photos of Your Products in Different Colors and Angles

Pinterest needs your help to identify products with Flashlight. In order to do this, it needs visual data points that will tell them what an object most likely is. And if there aren’t a lot of your products on Pinterest, you need to help Pinterest out and provide those visual data points.

This means that if you have a variety of products that come in different colors, make sure you upload those photos onto Pinterest and write good descriptions about what those products are.

Upload photos of your products taken from different angles to help Pinterest identify your products from different angles. Again, provide great keyword descriptions that will help Pinterest what the product is.

If your product comes in a variety of colors, then you need to upload dozens of pins featuring your product with that color. If you don’t, Pinterest may mistaken your product as something else (similar to the bronze Orb Speakers being misinterpreted as door knobs).

4. Exchange Product Placements

If you have a unique product, you should consider doing joint product placement partnership with another vendor who also sells a unique product but is not in your competitive space.

Feature each others’ products in a pin and then share them with each others’ Pinterest audience.

Partnerships

 

5. Showroom Multiple Products in One Pin

IKEA is the leader when it comes to showrooming their products within the same space. They never try to sell you a bed, they try to sell you a closet, a table, a chair, a knick knack that nobody ever seems to be able to pronounce except someone Sweedish.

IKEA

You can do the same thing with your pins. Place several different products that you sell in your pins, but make sure that they are visible enough to see on a mobile device. This way someone can select the products within the pin.

Conclusion:

The new visual discovery tool by Pinterest is a game changer in the world of search. Flashlight is relatively new and will continue to improve over time as billions of more visual data points are added to their system. 

As a business, I highly encourage you to start uploading your product photos on Pinterest. Too many people discover products by accident, and you will never know who’s going to discover yours.

For more tips on Pinterest, make sure you sign up for my newsletter.

Flashlight for Pinterest – Visual Discovery on Steroids

Flashlight for Pinterest. This tool is visual search and discovery on steroids. Find out what the pros and cons are of using it for your business. Article by Vincent Ng of MCNGMarketing.com

This is truly exciting! When I heard what Pinterest was working on, I ran up to my wife and showed her. She thought it was the coolest thing to hit the world of Pinterest. This is how I felt when I discovered the new tool, Flashlight by Pinterest.

Cereal

Back in February of 2015, Pinterest quietly announced at a conference that they were working on a new visual discovery tool called Flashlight, which I believe is still in the alpha stages of testing.

In my opinion this will change the way that Pinterest works and the world of visual search discovery.

What is Flashlight for Pinterest? 

Flashlight is a tool that allows you to drag your mouse over an object or area of  a pin and allow you to find pins that contain a similar object.

You can see the “Search Image ” button at the top. When clicked on, you will be presented with a selection tool as you will see in the picture below. The pictures bit blurry because it was taken off a YouTube video.

You’ll also notice near the bottom of the picture that the flowers have been highlighted. Once you select this area of the pin, real time results will show up on the right hand side of the pin that shows similar pins of that object.

Flashlight for Pinterest. Image and object based

Flashlight for Pinterest. This is visual search and discovery on steroids. Article found on MCNG Mareting.com by Vincent Ng

With Flashlight you’re able to choose the object and then Pinterest will provide similar results on the side so that you’re better able to discover similar or the same product and hopefully find the source of the product.

This Will Change the World of Visual Search and Discovery

Back in August of 2013, I wrote about why Pinterest was a better search engine that Google, and this is what I wrote as my first headline for the article “Pinterest is Grooming to be a Visual Recognition Search Engine.”

I have long advocated in my book that businesses actually need to observe the type of colors, shapes, and objects that are within popular pins of their competitors to help them be found in Pinerest search results and related pins.

With Flashlight quietly being worked on by Pinterest, there’s no doubt that this will change the way that search and discovery is done on Pinterest and the world of social media.

It’s time for businesses to start paying attention, not just to text based SEO (search engine optimization) for the Pinterest search engine, but to VSEO (visual search engine optimization) for their Pinterest marketing. This is why it’s important to ensure that you have a team member that understands how the Pinterest Search Engine works as a whole.

This means that you need to pay attention to creating images that are visually stunning on Pinterest, but also taking visual elements from the most popular pins on Pinterest to help your pins become more easily discovered and if you want to increase your chances of your pins showing up in Pinterest search results.

How this Changes the World of Business

The Good

Let’s say that you happen to see a pin that shows off a living room. You notice that in the living room there are these round little speakers, but you’re not too sure what they are, and they’re not mentioned in the pin description at all.

The worst part is that when you do click on the pin, you go to a website that’s irrelevant. Maybe because it lands on page about TVs.

Orb Audio

With Flahslight you can choose the speakers, and can find similar pins, and hopefully this will help you find the product page you’re looking for.

This can be great for businesses that have unique products that have a specific design that can’t be found anywhere else.

The Bad

For businesses, this can also mean bad news because people may actually discover your competitors. Savvy shoppers may find similar styles, colors of products that they like even better.

If you happen to be the owner of an e-commerce space, and you source your products from the same wholesaler as someone else, then this can provide some pretty stiff competition.

How You Can Prepare for Flashlight for Pinterest

I believe that Flashlight will become a reality. Pinterest rarely announces something to the public if they aren’t serious about it.

To prepare for the launch of Flashlight for your business, especially one that’s object based like electronics, purses, jackets, and cups, you need to start uploading a variety of product shots that are up close, and a variety of product placement shots in different environments.

This way when people do Flashlight your products within envrionments shots, they are able to see the close up object pins on Pinterest.

If you’re interested in learning more about Flashlight, you can check out this video, and make sure you sign up for my newsletter for great tips on Pinterest.

 

Gender Search on Pinterest: How to Market to Men on Pinterest

How How to Market to Men on Pintrest using gender based Pinterest search results @mcngmarketing. You can get more tips about Pinterest marketing at http://www.mcngmarketing.com/blog #PintalysisAcademy

Pinterest Search Results Will Differ For Men And Women

Pinterest announced in late January of 2015 that the gender of the user will influence how Pinterest results are shown to him or her. The visual discovery tool that has been used mostly by women is now able to show results to men that are more relevant and less “womanly.

If you’re a woman that types in the search term, movies into Pinterest search, you may see pins related to Titanic, Frozen, or the Notebook. It seems that the theme of romance movies comes up. But with the new search, men may see movie pins related to Gladiator, Guardians of the Galaxy and Fight Club as the top results.

The Number of Men Using Pinterest Doubled in 2014

Pinterest announced that the number of men using Pinterest doubled in 2014, but this still makes up a minority of users. What’s interesting to note is that there are more men that use Pinterest in the U.S. than read Sports Illustrated and GQ combined.

Late in 2013 I made the prediction that in 2014 there would still be problems trying to get men to jump aboard Pinterest. And the main reason for this is because of the irrelevancy of many search results when men use it.

First time and non frequent users of Pinterest don’t go and follow boards – they use the search box.

And over time if search results don’t bring back what you want, you abandon using the search engine. And Pinterest is a search engine, and in many ways is superior to Google.

If users aren’t able to find what they need they’re going to abandon using search engine. For those of you who remember the days before Google, you will remember how horrible it was using search engines like Lycos.

There’s a lesson to be learned in all of that.

You have to give users  what they want. And that means giving men relevant information as soon as possible. New users are only patient up to a point before they abandon a network or any search engine.

Now with a search engine that provides results based on gender, it’s assumed that men are going to get more relevant search results.

This is good news for both users and for businesses. I truly believe that we’re at a point where more men are going to be using Pinterest as a search engine, but it’s still going to take another two years before it becomes mainstream.

The question is, “How to market to men on Pinterest?” Here are three guidelines.

How Your Business Can Market to Men on Pinterest

If Pinterest wants to be incredibly profitable and wants more advertisers to jump on board, they know that they HAVE to grow the amount of active males users.

With Pinterest being serious about growing their male users, you should strongly consider using Pinterest to grow your business. And here’s how to get started on your Pinterest marketing.

1) See If There’s A Hot Bed of Activity Going On For Your Product or Service

The first thing that you want to do is to see if what you’re selling or something related to what you are selling is already on Pinterest.

To get an idea of what’s popular and whether people are interested in what you have to sell, type in your product in the Pinterest search box. If you happen to sell chairs, then you can see what type of chairs that men are paying attention to on Pinterest.

How Your Gender affects Pinterest search results by @mcngmarketing.  You can get more tips about Pinterest marketing at http://www.mcngmarketing.com/blogHere are the first few search results for chairs when using a female user account.

How Your Gender affects Pinterest search results by @mcngmarketing. You can get more tips about Pinterest marketing at http://www.mcngmarketing.com/blog

When looking at Pinterest search results, what you’re looking for is the repin activity regarding this product and the type of photos that are being used. Notice if the pins are just product shots, or products in an environment, or if they’re pins with people using the product.  All those details will matter in trying to grow your Pinterest business with male users.

Pinterest’s job is to provide relevant results. And so they are constantly adjusting search results to match what most people are looking for and clicking on.

For example, when you type in glasses, you’ll notice eye glasses pop up versus drinking glasses for the first few results, and that was decided by users’ actions and engagement with pins.

How Your Gender affects Pinterest search results by @mcngmarketing. You can get more tips about Pinterest marketing at http://www.mcngmarketing.com/blog

If Pinterest finds that people click through on pins related to eye glasses more than pins about drinking glasses, then that’s how they know that they should show eye glasses more often for the search term “glasses.”

When you’re able to see what pins already exist and are already popular, you can start to create pins around the same themes and with some results you’ll notice the same color themes.

2) Used Guided Search for those Gender Keywords

Guided search is a type of search recommendation tool for Pinterest searchers. The goal of Guided Search is to help you find what you’re looking for, or to help you discover what you’re looking for that you’re not aware of.

In the previous picture, you will have noticed words that are above the pins. The tool that recommends those search terms is known as Guided Search.

With the new gender based search results with Pinterest, Guided Search itself also receives a bit of a gender twist.

What’s great for you, as a business, is that you now know what type of words male and female users are searching for and you can start to add those keywords into your pin descriptions.

Go back to the earlier photo and look at the recommended search terms. Now look at the photo below, and notice the Guided Search terms that show up on the tiles for the search term glasses for a female user.  Some of them are the same, while others are quite different.

How Your Gender affects Pinterest search results by @mcngmarketing. You can get more tips about Pinterest marketing at http://www.mcngmarketing.com/blog

In the Pinterest search results for males, you’ll notice that Guided Search recommends the term etching, but with the female search results, it’s not shown in first few results.

If you happen to be targeting males on Pinterest, you now have some insight into the type of search words that they are using to find your products.

3) Use Pinterest Data For Content Creation

What’s I love about this new feature is that Pinterest is giving you a lot of free data. A lot. And you have to take advantage of that, because if you don’t someone else already is. I know, I’ve consulted for some of these businesses that use this technique.

The most popular guided search term associated with glasses, is “For My Shape.” People are genuinely curious to know what type of glasses fit what shape face. And if you run a glass store, and have a blog, then this definitely needs to be one of topics for your blog.

Once that blog has been written, and you’ve created an image for it, post it on Pintrest.

Alisa Meredith and Tina Gammon of Scalable Social Media did this with one of their clients to help him generate hundreds of leads. They created e-books, landing pages, and blog posts based on what was popular on Pinterest to help their client be extremely relevant to his Pinterest audience.

Not Every Search Result is Gender Based on Pinterest

Not every single search is going to bring up results that are different based on your gender. Search terms such as small speakers, and shampoo still show up with the same results.

This doesn’t mean that as a male oriented business that you shouldn’t get started with your products on Pinterest. This is because over time, Pinterest will keep refining their search until they can find that great balance. It never quite ends. The same way that Google will always tweak little things to ensure that search results are more relevant.

If you’re a business owner who sells manly products, I encourage you to go to Pinterest, search up products that you sell and see what’s there, and to at least start a Pinterest account. A good business doesn’t just think about the now, it also thinks about where its future customers are most likely going to be.

Additional Resources About Pinterest Marketing:

4 Tips to Make Your Pins More Searchable on Pinterest

Podcast: Pinterest Search Engine Optimization

The Pinterest SEO Checklist

Podcast: How to Use Pinterest for More Exposure

For more tips to help grow traffic and sales with Pinterest, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter.

5 Tips For Using Pinterest Messaging for Business

5 Helpful Tips for Growing Your Business with Pinterest Messaging. By @mcngmarketing. Read all about it at  http://www.mcngmarketing.com/use-pinterest-messaging-system

It seems like there’s so many different ways to be in contact with people these days, e-mail, text, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Twitter and the list just goes on and on, so why should you care about Pinterest’s messaging system and why is it important for your business? Read on curious pinner!

What Exactly is Pinterest Messaging?

Pinterest messaging system is a private messaging system that allows for you to send private messages to users who follow you on Pinterest. You do not need to follow them back, as I incorrectly sated in episode 13 of my Pictures to Profits Podcast.

Beyond your followers, you’re also able to message your friends who are on Facebook who have a Pinterest account, as well as people who you follow on Twitter and who follow you back who have their Twitter account connected with their Pinterest account.

Okay…I know that was a mouth full, but now you know the extent of who you can communicate with on Pinterest.

What makes it different from other messaging systems like Twitter’s direct messaging and Facebook’s Messenger, is that the tool is geared towards those who enjoy sharing ideas in a visual manner.  This can help can facilitate complex projects that would be hard to explain through words and is also an excellent tool for those that don’t want to send photo attachments back and forth. Through the messaging system you’re able to share texts, pins, boards, and links.

 

5 Tips to Improve your Pinterest Marketing with Pinterest Messaging.

This allows for easier back and forth communication. In the past, you would send someone a pin through Pinterest or to their e-mail, however, there was no way to privately communicate in a stream line way that kept track of what was happening in the conversation.

The Pinterest messaging system works across all platforms, so you can message people on iOS, Android and desktop versions of Pinterest.

Pinterest Messaging Allows for Group Communication

Unlike Twitter’s direct messaging system, Pinterest’s private messaging system allows for you to have group conversations with up to ten different Pinterest users at one time. This particular feature can be beneficial for projects that require a lot of visual co-ordination among a team.

For example, if there are several people involved in planning a fundraising event, and one of the members found a great idea on Pinterest she wants to share, she now can, and receive feedback from others involved.

Let’s move on to five tips for how businesses can use the Pinterest messaging system.

5 Tips for Using Pinterest Messaging for  Businesses

1) Help VIP Customers or Clients with their Planning

What makes Pinterest messaging so wonderful is that you’re able to streamline all the conversations in one place. With the new messaging system, you’re able to help your customers plan better projects.

Imagine that you’re a wedding co-ordinator and your helping your client plan out how to decorate her reception on Pinterest. Before you had to send pins one by one.  Now you’re able to send her different pins done at different weddings as well as decorations you planned with your previous wedding clients. Your client can then pick and choose which ones work best for her and put them onto her own secret board.

Or in the case that you have a VIP customer who buys a lot of your products, you can send her a pin of a product that she may be interested in and she can now pin that into one of her collections instead of trying to sort through all the hundreds of e-mails she gets a day.

Here’s a Pinterest Intermission:

You’re only able to share pins and boards that are available to the public. So if you have a pin on a secret board, you’re not able to send nor drag that pin into the Pinterest messaging system.

However, once a pin has been sent to a user, she can choose to put that pin onto one of her secret boards. Let’s get back to our regular programming shall we?

2) Develop Better Relationships with Your Followers

I enjoy commenting on Pinterest, but one of the major challenges is that when I do comment on someone’s pin, and he happens to be using a smartphone, the comment that I’ve left behind is barely noticed. The reason this happens is because the notification looks like any other notification whether someone repins or like one of their pins.

It’s only on the iPad or desktop version do people see a preview of the comment. What this means is that if you are trying to engage with your fans on comments, they’re probably not going to take notice.

However, if you are looking to develop better relationships with one of your followers on Pinterest, the Pinterest messaging system can allow you start that conversation back and forth.

One of the aspects of the Pinterest messaging system I like, is that I can drag a particular pin into the conversation and mention how much I enjoyed this pin he posted. It’s hard to comment on an old tweet from 5 months ago, but you can still message someone about their pin that he posted from five months ago.

Here’s an example of SociallyApt and myself having a conversation on Pinterest messaging. She sent me her compliments about my 31 Days to a Better Pinterest Page board. 

Pinterest Messaging System

This can be especially helpful in starting relationships with influencers who follow your Pinterest account.

3) Create Group Boards with More Ease with the Right People

Inviting other users to group boards was a bit of a hassle, because you may have wanted to invite someone who you thought would make a good contributor, but there was no way to directly message her to explain why you want to invite that person to your group board.

Sending users group invite that shows up at the top of their feed without proper explanation is always a little weird.

Now with the Pinterest messaging system, you’re able to message your followers and tell them, “Hey I noticed we create pins that have the same theme, would you be interested in joining a group board about XYX?”

This way you’re attracting the right people to join your group board and you’re not blind siding them with an unexpected invite.

4) Reward Your Most Engaged Pinterest Followers

One of the best things about the Pinterest messaging system is that you’re able to communicate with engaged loyal followers. Let’s say you have someone that has been pinning a lot of your content, and is responsible for driving quite a bit of traffic to your retail site.

Now, with the new messaging capabilities,  you’re able to message the follower and say , “Hey, thanks so much for always repinning our products. We want to send you a coupon code for your loyalty. Upon check out, use the coupon code within the next two weeks, and you’ll receive 20% off the order. Thanks again for all your support.”

Or if you have the marketing budget, imagine sending them a free gift for those that have truly been engaged with your content. Imagine the word of mouth marketing that could generate.

Let’s be honest, we love brands that appreciate us for what we do! 

5) Get Feedback from Your Pinterest Followers

Chances are it’s going to be difficult to be able to contact many of your Pinterest followers directly through e-mail, however, with the new Pinterest messaging system you’re able to send your followers messages and ask them questions.

Since every social network operates a little bit differently from the others, you’re able to to send surveys or questionnaires to people who specifically are following you and are using the Pinterest platform.

This will help give you insight into how your followers are interacting with your Pinterest page.

Those are five tips on how businesses can use the Pinterest messaging system for their business. If you’ve got a creative idea on how businesses can use the Pinterest messaging app, it would be fantastic to read about it. Drop me a line in the comments section, and share.

Additional Resource:

Curious to know how you can re arrange your pins in a board? That’s what I did for my 31 Days to a Better Pinterest Page board to organize it from day 1 to day 31. Learn how to rearrange your pins within your boards. 

Best Practices with Pinterest Contests (P2P Episode 9)

Have you considered hosting a Pinterest contests? It can get rather confusing with all the different rules out there and types of contests out there. On episode 9 of Pictures to Profits Podcast, I’m joined by Melissa Megginson, Marketing Manager of Tailwind, a Pinterest analytics company. She shares with you some best practices when hosting a Pinterest contest, and what some big no no’s are when hosting one.

 

Best Practices for Holding Pinterest Contests. Interview with Marketing Manager, Melissa Megginson of Tailwind. PLUS some exclusive news from Tailwind on the episode 9 of Pictures to Profits Podcast.

 

Tailwind Has Plans to Make Your Pinterest Marketing Easier

Melissa Megginson

I’m extremely honored that Melissa will chose to break some exciting news about Tailwind on Pictures to Profits podcast first. She’s going to share with Tailwind has planned for the future that could make your marketing life much easier.

I’ll also be sharing with you an interesting statistic about Pinterest regarding how much content on Pinterest actually comes from websites, according to an article by the New Zealand Herald.

In episode 9 of Pictures to Profits Podcast you’ll find out:

  • Best practices for holding Pinterest contests
  • Big no nos that violate Pinterest’s contest and branding guidelines.
  • Two successful contests held by Jetsetter and Pinterest, and how both contests are great examples of following the guiedlines.
  • Tailwind’s future plans that will make it much easier for marketers to find pinning content across the web.
  • Melissa’s Pinterest tip for creating successful Pinterest marketing campaigns.

Links and Resources:

Tailwind

Tailwind’s Blog Page

Jetsetter’s Pinterest Contest on Mashable

Mother’s Day Pinterest Contest hosted by Pinterest

B2B Pinterest Marketing featuring Melissa Megginson on Brandignity

Canva

Episode 7: Practical Tips for Using Canva with Peg Fitzpatrick

98% of content on Pinterest comes from Websites (New Zealand Herald)

Pictures to Profits on Itunes

hear us on Stitcher

Also, reviews on iTunes are so helpful and much appreciated! Feel free to share your URL there so I can contact you later on and say thanks.
I’m quite excited! I’ll be launching my own online Pinterest course that you’ll be able to take whenever you want. Thinkific and I are working together to provide an on demand Pinterest course that’s for small business in the next couple of months. It will include quizzes, video tutorials, and discussion.

In the course I’ll teach you how to use Pinterest to help drive traffic to your business’ website, how to generate more e-mail sign ups, and the most up to date and best tricks for getting your pins found within Pinterest’s search engine.

I’ll keep yo posted when the course officially launches.

Practical Tips for Using Canva with Peg Fitzpatrick (P2P Episode 7)

Are you looking for a free tool to help you create pins, Facebook covers, or even slides for your next presentation? For many small business owners we’re not savvy with Adobe, nor do we have time to learn all the different features. This is why it’s always beyond awesome when there are free online design tools like Canva.

Learn Tips and Tricks for Using Canva

Canva is an amazing free tool that can help you create a variety of different visuals for social media platforms. In episode 7 of Pictures to Profits Podcast, I sit down and interview Peg Fitzpatrick who is the Head of Social Strategy at Canva.  She shares wonderful tips on how to use Canva and how to create pinnable images.

Peg Fitzpatrick, Head of Social Strategy for Canva shares practical tips on how to use this graphic design tool, and how to create pinnable images. Interview by Vincent Ng of Pictures to Profits Podcast.

Find out:

  • The story of how Peg Fitzpatrick and Guy Kawasaki came to work with the Australian startup.
  • Why for the longest time she was trying to keep Canva a secret.
  • How small businesses can work together with graphic designers in a collaborative spirit.
  • Why Canva is good to divert legal and copyright concerns regarding photo usage.
  • How to create pinnable images.
  • Where Peg believes the future of visual social media marketing is going.

Peg Fitzpatrick from Canva

The one key takeaway I got from Peg’s conversation is that it’s important to learn graphic element designs. As small businesses grow, and customers are expecting more visual media, we have to understand how to greate great graphics. Even if you’re not the person creating it, it will allow you to understand how to work with a graphic designer better.

Links and Resources:

Canva

Canva on Pinterest

Canva on YouTube

Canva on Twitter

Canva on Facebook

Canva’s blog

Peg Fitzpatrick’s Website and Blog

Cynthia Sanchez’s Pinterest Page

Rebekah Radice’s Pinterest Page

Anna Bennett’s Pinterest Page

Julie Deneen from Fabulous Blogging’s Pinterest Page

And as mentioned in the podcast, for those that are curious to see what push notifications look like for Place Pins, here’s a peek. You can read all about the annoucement here.

Notifications on Pinterst Android for Place pins.

 

Pictures to Profits on Itunes

hear us on Stitcher

Also, reviews on iTunes  are so helpful and much appreciated! Feel free to share your URL there so I can contact you later on and say thanks.

How Businesses Can Use Guided Search On Pinterest

How Businesses can Use Guided Search on Pinterest by Vincent Ng of MCNGmarketing.com

It seems like there isn’t a month that doesn’t go by where Pinterest doesn’t add a new feature, or tests out one. So after taking a vacation in Paris and Barcelona, and returning a week and half later, I wasn’t surprised to hear that there was a major update with Pinterest.

As a side note, I would like to happily announce that the main reason I was in Paris was to propose to the love of my life. I am now engaged to an amazing woman who I plan to spend the rest of my life with…but back to business.

After returning from my trip, I had a chat with Cynthia Sanchez from Oh So Pinteresting , and she informed me that Pinterest introduced a new search feature known as Guided Search, which is currently available on mobile to English users to start, but will be rolled out to desktop users and will most likely rolled out in other languages as well.

Guided Search On Pinterest - What this Means for Your Business

What is Guided Search on Pinterest?

Guided Search is a search function on Pinterest that offers additional recommendations that may or may not be related to a search term. These additional recommendations are based on popular and associated terms with the search term you typed in the Pinterest search box.

For example, on my Android smartphone I decided to type in the city, Vancouver. Other terms that were popular and associated with Vancouver on Pinterest, showed up. Search terms such as Canucks, Island, BC, Stanley Park, Cafe, Restaurant and so many more showed up.

How to make the Most of Guided Search on Pinterest by Vincent Ng of MCNGMarketing.com #Pintalysis

Another search term that was recommended that were associated with Vancouver was wedding. All you need to do is tap on the search term tile, and then Pinerest begins to load new pin results based on those combined search terms.

What I enjoy about using Guided Search is that it gives me more options for different types of searches, and offers a spontaneity factor when it comes to search. Adding that extra “unknown” factor can actually make search, dare I say, fun.

What will be interest to see is how the terms will change over time. As more Pinterest users jump aboard, the search terms provided by Guided Search will change as well. And of course, depending on the country and language Pinterest is being used in, Guided Search will bring back different results.

In the past I’ve called Pinterest the, “Accidental Discovery Engine” because users are discovering new ideas and pins by accident all the time. With Guided Search, accidental discoveries are going to be even more prevalent.

Pinterest is the Accidental Discovery Engine

I never thought of Pinterest as a search engine per se, but more as a lifestyle and discovery tool. I’ve written about 5 reasons why Pinterest is better than Google and why.

One of the main benefits that Pinterest has over Google is Pinterest’s ability to act as an accidental discovery search engine. When you go to Google, you’re going their with a specific intent, most likely to gain knowledge or collect knowledge to make an informed decision.

But with Pinterest, people discover pins and are presented a visual feast with a site that now has 30 billion pins, and growing by the billions each and every month.

You can type in the word pancakes in Pinterest search box and you get hundreds of pins about pancakes. You may have been so enamoured with the results that you may have forget what you were secretly, and unknowingly looking for.

But Guided Search suggests to us “what we don’t know” so that we do become aware of what we may want.

When I searched up pancakes, Guided Search suggested the words buttermilk, and fluffy. I love buttermilk pancakes, and love fluffy and light pancakes. But I didn’t know that that’s what I was looking for until Pinterest suggested the search term to me.

I landed on that suggestion and pins about fluffy pancakes by accident, simply by typing the word pancakes in Guided Search. And to me this was a GREAT accident. And the terms that are not relevant to me, such as healthy pancakes, well…I don’t click on them.

This means that more and more business pins are going to be discovered serendipitously. And since Guided search allows for more specific terms, this means that it’s going to be a more specific audience that’s interested in those pins. Guided Search is working hard on helping your business find the right customers, you just have to ensure you’re taking steps to do the same.

How to Make the Most of Guided Search for Your Business

The good news is that I believe the core Pinterest search algorithm hasn’t changed. This means using the right keywords in your pin descriptions, as well as the url of where an pin originates from matters.

It’s important to put in multiple keywords or search terms that you want your pins to be found for. If you’re trying to promote your pancake recipe site, you may want to add words like fluffy, healthy, and recipe along with the word pancake in a pin description to maximize exposure.

The key is to use the terms that have popped up with the main search term in Guided Search.

Here’s a great article written by Alisa Meredith about how to use keyword rich descriptions in pin descriptions to help maximize your search results with Guided Search.

Go Backwards, Not Just Forwards With Guided Search Terms

Let’s say you type in the search term, wedding, on Guided Search, notice what other words come up. When I typed in wedding in search results for my Android smartphone, it recommended search terms like dresses, ideas, hairstyles and more.

If you’re looking to get more exposure for your pins, I would suggest you reverse your keyword search.

For example, dresses, is one of the word tiles that shows up for the term wedding. I suggest that you wipe out the term wedding, and do a new search for the word, dresses. When I did this I noticed the search tile, “to wear to a wedding,” came up.

How to make the most of Guided Search on Pinterest by Vincent Ng of MCNGMarketing.com

For me this is actually quite fascinating, especially if I ran a wedding dress business. Since my core business would be wedding dresses, I would start a board that would help cross promote a local business that sells dresses to wear at weddings.

And in return, I would ask the business owners who does sell dresses for weddings to promote my wedding dresses on their Pinterest account. This way both businesses cross promote each other, without the need to compete in the same target audience.

The word casual is also another word that’s associated with dresses. So I may create pin descriptions that would have the words, casual dresses to wear at a wedding.

But it’s important to realize that keywords play only a part, not the whole picture (pun intended), and so it’s important not to just stuff keywords in pin descriptions. It will only go so far.

You’ll often find pins in search results that don’t have the keywords in them. This is because multiple search factors can play a role, such as the number of repins.

Local Businesses Need to Take Advantage of Guided Search

What’s been quite fascinating is that in the past, Pinterest often rolled out new features on the desktop version of Pinterest first, but this new feature was rolled out to mobile.

To me this is quite a shift in the way that Pinterest is thinking. Considering that 75% of daily usage on Pinterest comes from native apps, it may making the search function available on mobile first because it’s trying to make Pinterest incredibly appealing on a local level, similar to the way that Yelp is.

While Place Pins have been a big shift in helping promote local neighbourhoods and businesses, but it’s still far off. If I type in the search term cookies, and searched based on Place Boards, it doesn’t give me results of cookie places that are in my city. This is because it returns board results, and at this time there’s no way to get search results of just place pins.

When I typed in Vancouver in Gudided Search, words such as Aquarium, Cafe, What to Do, Stanley Park, and so much more came up. And what’s really interesting is that the results are visual results of pins, so this allows me to see pictures of the Vancouver Aquarium or Stanley Park.

Now are tourists, and locals going to start using Pinterest for local search the way they would use Yelp, or another other directory. I don’t know, I think at this time it’s a long shot. But what’s scary is that Pinterest’s mobile search may move into that field.

When Pinterest first started, nobody in their right mind would have thought that Pinterest would pose even the smallest threat to Google and other search engines. And yet, you can’t deny that it’s nibbling away at Google.

Pinterest’s mobile could do the same against Yelp. People search for Vancouver restaurants on Pinterest, and see the beautiful pictures. Click on the pin that leads to a blog post about the restaurant, find out it’s a good review and then eat there.

A more likely scenario would be that they may like the pictures they see on Pinterest and then go to Yelp to do more research about it. In this case Pinterest acts as supplementary information provider.

But with Guided Search, it may, because I haven’t tested this out, add supplemental search terms that are related to local businesses. If I type in Vancouver Restaurants, it may provide me with search terms like Chinese, Brazillian, Steak, and so much more.

This is why it’s important that if you have a local businesses to start putting in the name of your city in those descriptions. If you’re a restaurant in Chicago, you’ve got to put the word Chicago in there. After all, you never know if it’s going to be tourist, a local, or even somebody from a far away city that’s going to be bookmarking that pin on Pinterest.

If it seems like a stretch that this might happen, just remember how four years ago, it seemed like a stretch that Pinterest would be perceived as a potential competitor of Google.

What are you thoughts about Guided Search? What do you like or dislike about the new feature?

UTM Tracking Codes and Pinterest – How They Work

What you Need to know about UTM Tracking Codes on Pinterest by Vincent Ng of MCNGMarketing.com #Pintalysis
Pinterst announced that they were going to allow UTM tracking codes for pins. This is a major win for marketers and companies that rely on UTM tracking to get granular about what campaigns are working. This was a much requested feature.

What is a UTM Tracking Code?

A UTM Tracking code stands for Urchin Tracking Monitor, and it’s a type of a system that allows for bloggers, small business owners and marketers to know how well a specific campaign is doing to to drive traffic and/or lead to conversions using Google Analytics as the analytics platform.

This could be used to track Twitter ads, banner advertisements and now Pinterest!

All this information goes to Google Analytics, and so if you don’t have it for your website, and you’re a small business, you have to grab it. Extremely useful.

What’s the Benefit of a UTM Tracking Code on Pinterest

Pinterest is quite helpful in the sense that it already creates unique urls. Such as this pin’s that was created by Franscio Rosales from Social Mouths that discusses about Facebook marketing.

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/226798531209235069/

These unique urls allow you to know which pins are responsible for driving traffic to your site through Google Analytics. But it can get messy since a bunch of pins get tied up together.

With UTM tracking, split testing A/B pins is much easier, because each type of pin can be labelled for a specific campaign. You don’t have to sift through hundreds of pin urls.

With UTM, you’re able to label your campaigns with the campaign source (this is generally the referrer like Google, Yelp, March 2014 newsletter), campaign medium (banner ad, e-mail, or CPC ad) and campaign name.

What You Need to Know about UTM Tracking Codes on Pinterest by Vincent Ng of MCNGMarketing.com #Pintalysis

And so for me, the main benefit is that I’m able to do A/B split testing very carefully, and this way I can create two different pins and see which one converts better to drive people to my e-mail sign up page. For me this is truly exciting!

To find out more about how to create UTM for your website visit the URL Builder site.

If you would like more of visual format, I’ve explained how all this works with a YouTube video.

The Bad News About UTM Tracking…Kind Of

Rich pins and UTM don’t mix right away unfortunately. Let’s say you own a pin that is a rich pin, and you want to add the UTM tracking code.

The only way I’ve figured out how to add the UTM tracking code to a pin is to actually change it at the source of the pin. This can be done on the desktop version of Pinterest, by clicking on the pencil icon on the top right hand corner when you hover your mouse button over the pin.

If you need to know how to change the source of the Pin, the YouTube video below will explain that in detail.

What sucks about this is that once you change the source to include the UTM tracking code, your rich pin content doesn’t show up right away. It actually reverts back to a “normal” pin. However, if you refresh the pin in your browser or you wait a few minutes the rich pin will appear again.

It’s really rich pins playing possum.

Now I tried to pin directly from the site that had UTM code in the url, but unfortunately when I used a Pin it button, it stripped away all the UTM tracking code. I’m not going to lie, that made me sad, and generally I’m a happy guy.

HELPFUL HINT: I know some of you may be tempted to add the UTM tracking codes in the description area of pins, but those urls are long and ugly, and so they will work great on a desktop version of Pinterest, but in mobile it can really be annoying to read in the description.

http://www.mcngmarketing.com/3-ways-search-optimize-your-boards-within-pinterest/? utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=Test%20A&utm_campaign=Pinterest%20Test%20for%20Fun

And keep in mind that 75% of the daily usage is happening on mobile platforms for Pinterest.

The Good News About UTM Tracking Codes

Here’s some excellent news about UTM. You’ll be able to know how far of a reach your pinning efforts have really gone.

UTM tracking codes will be in tact when users repin your content. This means you’re able to see the success of how your original pin did when you posted onto your own Pinterest account.

Let’s say you pinned about an e-book you’re selling, like my Pinterest to Profits with Pintalysis, and you attached UTM tracking. You may want to know how successful a single pin that you pinned onto your board did.

Having a UTM tracking code can help differentiate whether it was a single pin you pinned went viral, and help differentiate it from whether it was someone who visited your website and pinned from there that led to all that traffic.

This is because when people repin your pin, the UTM tracking code remains. This means if someone ten degrees down has repinned your pin that contains your UTM tracking code, you know exactly how that all started.

This is an excellent use of group boards, and you may want to use a UTM to track the effectiveness of virality of a particular group board you’ve joined. You’re not going to know the total number of repins down ten degrees, but you’ll know how much traffic goes to your site.

Feeling like your head’s spinning a bit from all this geek talk?

For another great article that explains UTM in more detail check out this blog post at HeyStephanie.com. I highly recommend you to read it.

 

Is Pinterest Finally Releasing an Open API?

Is Pinterest creating an Open API for apps? by Vincent Ng of MCNGMarketing.com

Back in November of 2013, Pinterest announced a specific API that was accessible to select business partners.

With that specific API companies were able to show off their most pinned products or articles from their site. Companies like Zappos, Whole Foods, and BuzzFeed are partners with this particular API.

What was really fascinating was that I was checking my social connections on Pinterest (the desktop version) and I noticed that a new section was added. The section was called Apps, and it said “You have not approved of any apps.”

Is an Open API for Pinterest in the Works? by Vincent Ng of MCNGMarketing.com

Generally, connecting apps to Twitter and Facebook are extremely common and require an API that developers have accesss to.

The simple message about Pinterest, may be a sign that an Open API may be on its way, but it’s hard to say for sure. Pinterest has known to launch certain features and then they disappear within a day.

I’ve been very fortunate in terms of breaking relevant news on Pinterest. I was the first to report that secret boards were unlimited on Pinterest. So I’m hoping this will another one that will carry through, with an open API would allow for the creation of some amazing tools for Pinterest.

But knowing Pinterest, there’s going be an approval process before anybody can create any type of app that would use a Pinterest API.

P.S.

Do you have a system of finding group boards in your niche? Please share your amazing wisdom with our readers.

Cynthia Sanchez, from Oh So Pinteresting, and I are back at it again. We’re going to be hosting an excellent live online workshop for business owners and bloggers who are looking to drive more traffic to their website. We’ve already opened up registration for the course that Starts on April 30th.

Since this class is taught live, spaces are limited to 20 people. And 12 spots have already been sold. Find out more, check out the course outline. Or you can click on the picture below.

Cynthia Sanchez and Vincent Ng's Pinterest Business Workshop Series