Pinterest has become the third largest social network, offering authors a new platform to increase their reach and promote their books. With over 80% of pins being re-pins, new authors can use Pinterest to raise awareness on new projects or their brand as a writer. However, it’s important to avoid incessant self-promotion and instead focus on building trust, loyalty, and engagement with pinners. As an author Pinterest can be an amazing tool to market your book.
Pinterest is a quieter platform where authors can express themselves primarily through images. By providing remarkable content that teaches, entertains, and inspires their audience, authors can increase awareness of their brand, drive more relevant traffic to their website, and ultimately increase book sales. In fact, Pinterest drives more referral traffic to websites than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined.
1. Setting Up Your Pinterest Profile
When starting on Pinterest, it’s essential to establish a business account to represent your author brand. Use a consistent name and professional photo across all platforms to enhance recognition and connection with your audience. Ensure your profile description is compelling and includes relevant hashtags. Link your Facebook and Twitter accounts and verify your website on Pinterest. It’s also crucial to review and adjust your search privacy settings to allow search engines to display your Pinterest profile in search results.
2. Adding the “Pin It” Browser Extension
To simplify pinning content while browsing the web, users can add a Pin It button to their browser’s toolbar. This button makes it easier to pin blog posts, images, or videos, automatically adding a link back to the original source.
3. Downloading the Pinterest Mobile App
Utilizing the Pinterest Mobile app allows users to browse, pin, and re-pin content while on the go. As many users access Pinterest from mobile devices, experiencing the platform from the audience’s perspective is crucial for optimizing content and images.
4. Creating Boards
Understanding the target audience’s interests and needs is vital in defining boards that will engage users. Start by creating 8-10 boards with at least 5 pins each, using relevant keywords and crafting catchy titles. Boards should include descriptions to clarify the content found within and should encompass a mix of both user and external content.
5. Adding the Pin It Button to Your Website
By incorporating the Pin It button on your website, visitors can easily share your content with their Pinterest followers. This can be achieved through social sharing plugins or Pinterest Widgets, making it convenient for users to share your content.
6. Using Descriptive “Alt Text”
Ensuring that images’ alt text is descriptive and includes relevant keywords (up to 140 characters) makes it easier for users to pin your content. Additionally, adding your website URL to the pin description can further enhance engagement.
7. Adding the “Follow” Icon to Your Website
Encourage Pinterest account growth by allowing visitors to follow your account directly from your website. Utilize the Pinterest Widget Builder to create a customized Pinterest Follow button for seamless integration.
8. Adding a Pinterest Tab to Your Facebook Page
Integrating a Pinterest tab to your Facebook page can be achieved through platforms like Woobox.com, providing users with an easy way to access your Pinterest content directly from Facebook.
This comprehensive approach ensures that authors can effectively utilize Pinterest to build their brand and engage with their audience.
How and What to Pin
Pin Selectively, But Consistently and Frequently
When it comes to pinning on Pinterest, it’s important to be selective with the pins you add to your boards. Curate only the best of the best in a category, so that when visitors check out your boards they will equate the quality and usefulness of your boards with your expertise on the topic. Providing extraordinary content is as important on Pinterest as any public work that represents you.
It’s also essential to build a relationship with your audience through the beautiful and compelling images you choose to share, and add to your ‘collection’ regularly. The more active you are at pinning or re-pinning noteworthy content, the more likely you are to get noticed in other pinners’ feeds.
Another important tip to remember while pinning is to keep it organized. With approximately 80% of Pinterest users being women, a jumbled mix of boards and pins with no clear organization would not entice the average pinner to engage.
When organizing your boards, if you wish to change the main cover image to better reflect the board content (or to a more interesting photo) just hover your cursor over the main image to choose a new cover.
Include a Description
A good description is important because it tends to follow the pin as it gets re-pinned and it gives you another opportunity to engage a user and draw them back to your site.
Take a few seconds to ensure the description is accurate, add the title of the post if appropriate, make sure keywords are hash tagged, and if it’s your work, add your author website URL.
Be careful not to ‘pin dump’, and overwhelm your followers’ feed with a bunch of your pins all at once. Spread your activity out over the week by using your secret boards.
You can create a secret board on your Pinterest account (by scrolling to the bottom of your profile), which you can use to ‘hold’ your pins – when on a pinning binge. Then when you’re ready, you can re-pin those pins to your public boards at a more even pace, and ideally during optimal times.
The best time to be actively pinning and re-pinning content depends on who you are trying to reach. You can usually determine your target audiences’ pinning periods over time, but generally Pinterest users are most active between 2pm -4pm and after 8pm weekdays, and quite active on the weekends, especially Sunday morning.
Reveal Your Brand Personality
Inspire your reader. Create a visual experience of your philosophy and your author brand. Reveal who you are as a writer and as a person. Express yourself by pinning content that influences you, inspires you, and expresses your values, goals, and even your quirks.
Give your reader the opportunity to see different sides of you: as an author, a parent, a spouse, or simply as a person.
What is your mission or the message you’d like your readers to hear? What commonalities do you share with your readers? What connects you? Pinterest provides the medium for you to visually share your passions, insecurities, expectations, and dreams.
Do you have a philanthropic aspect to your work, a charity you support? Are you an animal lover? Let your audience know.
More Pin Worthy Ideas to Market Your Book
Here are some more ideas for pinning content that your audience will love:
- Resources: links to your favorite authors, sites where readers can go for more information on your genre or topic, free ebook websites, book blogger/reviewer sites, writing tips/hacks, research, and other facts, freelance resources, and literary news.
- Educational: satisfy those who are eager to learn with infographics, tutorials, checklists, lessons, FAQs, and how-to’s.
- Behind-the-scenes and sneak peeks: pin genre-specific tidbits, upcoming book launches (including yours), and insight into your writing process. Create boards for your book’s characters, the location/setting of your novel, and other concepts that you can pull from your book that might relate to your readers’ interests. Have a video gallery board of top book trailers, a ‘books worth reading’ board, or even a collection of your favorite writing spaces.
- Lifestyle: include pins that resonate with your readers and speak to what they value. Things like their children, family and home; hobbies, interests, and milestones.
- Inspiration and humor: pin quotes, books, projects, and photos that evoke strong emotion. A board full of outrageously funny photos and angry cat memes can do wonders for fan engagement.
- Business: grow your email list by creating a graphic with an incentive (updates/free ebook/manifesto) and link to your sign-up page. Add pins on your book reviews, testimonials, interviews, podcasts, book readings,
Use Pinterest for Market Research
Research Your Market and the ‘Competition’
Pinterest is a great platform for conducting market research. By analyzing your current followers, you can learn a lot about your target audience. Click on the ‘Followers’ tab to see who is already following you. Take note of their demographics, such as age, sex, and location. Also, see what boards and brands they are following and what topics they are interested in.
If you are new to Pinterest, start by checking out the followers of other authors in your genre. Analyze their demographics and interests to get a better understanding of your target audience.
Use the Pinterest search function to do a keyword or topic search. You can refine your search by choosing pins, boards, or pinners. This will help you find out what your audience is searching for and what content is popular.
To find out what content of yours people have already been pinning, go to http://pinterest/source/YourWebsiteURL. Analyze the content that has been pinned the most and see what’s working. Use this information to create more content that resonates with your audience.
Make a list of authors, freelancers, or any ‘competitors’ that share a similar target audience to your own. Analyze their top pins and see how you can use that information to improve your content and graphics.
Go Even Deeper
To gain deeper insights into your audience, analyze how they categorize your images. See what other pins they are saving in the same category and identify opportunities for tie-ins or cross-promotion.
Analyze how your audience describes your pins. Is their sentiment around your pins synonymous with your author brand? If not, consider tweaking your content and graphics to better align with your brand.
If your audience has linked to their other social platforms, analyze what they tweet about and share on Facebook. This will help you gain a better understanding of their interests and preferences.
Use Pinterest to get feedback from your followers on draft book cover concepts, illustrations, new book ideas, freelance opportunities, characters for your work in progress, or interest levels in upcoming projects. This will help you engage with your audience and provide them with what they are searching for.
Preparing and Pinning Your Own Content
Create Powerful, Share-worthy Pins
Crafting content, graphics, and images that resonate with your audience is key to creating share-worthy pins. According to search result 18, pins tend to go viral when they are useful or evoke emotion. Useful pins include tutorials, demonstrations, checklists, timelines, cheat sheets, and reader guides. Emotionally evocative pins include beauty, babies, animals, and humor.
When creating pins, it’s important to keep up with current image trends. According to search result 19, tall images (approximately 530 x 800+) tend to catch more attention than wide images. Infographics are also popular on Pinterest as they allow you to convey a lot of information on one image. Tools like Piktochart, Infogr.am, and Visual.ly can help you create your own infographics.
Instructographics are another popular type of image that provide step-by-step instructions via images. You can also add text to images or a plain background to make them more visually appealing. If you want to pin images from YouTube, use the Pin It bookmarklet you added to your browser in step 2.
Add Watermark to Images
Adding a watermark to your images can help with branding and ensure that pinners can still find you even if the link is lost during re-pinning. According to search result 20, adding your name, author website URL, or logo to your images is a smart move.
Photo Editing Tools
There are many free photo editing tools available to authors that make creating pinnable images a breeze. According to search result 21, PicMonkey is a great online photo editing tool that also allows you to create collages. MorgueFile offers fantastic royalty-free, attribution-free images that you can alter for blog posts, text-over-image graphics, and more.
The Phonto App lets you add text over images on your phone, and there are many other apps available to add filters and other effects to your images. Share As Image, as recommended by Ana Hoffman from Traffic Generation Cafe, lets you highlight text on the web and turn it into an image.
Add a Call to Action
In addition to creating visually appealing pins, it’s important to include a call to action. According to search result 22, including your URL within the pin description and telling your audience to head to your site for more is a good start. Adding a button within your pinnable image asking people to “click here,” “re-pin,” or “click for more” can also be effective. However, it’s important to avoid overt advertising as Pinterest users are more likely to share beautiful photographs than overtly promotional material.
Be An Excellent Content Curator
One of the best ways to engage with your followers and build community on Pinterest is by being an excellent content curator. This involves re-pinning other people’s content, sharing great pins across other social media platforms, and pinning and organizing your boards to share the best, most useful info on a topic or genre. By doing this, you can provide value to your followers and establish yourself as a reliable source of information.
Build Credibility and Authority
Building credibility and authority is crucial for becoming a go-to person for a topic or genre on Pinterest. You can achieve this by creating boards that provide tremendous value, inspire action, or evoke an emotional response. Additionally, you can gain attention by adding meaningful comments and liking other people’s pins. By doing this, you can establish yourself as a thought leader and build a loyal following.
Follow Individual Boards, or All Boards
Following pinners and boards that are within your target audience, as well as other authors, book bloggers/reviewers, freelance writers, agents, publishers, and even some Pinterest power users can increase your exposure. More followers equals more exposure. You can also team up with fans, fellow authors, bloggers, and others to re-pin each other’s most pin-worthy and relevant pins. By doing this, you can expand your reach and build a community of like-minded individuals.
Create and Participate in Group Boards
Group boards offer an excellent way to increase your exposure and reach, while adding value to your followers. By creating and participating in group boards, you can connect with other pinners who share your interests and expand your reach beyond your own followers. JeffBullas.com offers a fantastic post that shows how to maximize the benefits of group boards on Pinterest.
@ Mention Power Pinners
Finding top Pinterest users with large followings in your topic area or genre, as well as some ‘power pinners’ who share similar interests/boards with you can help you expand your reach. You can use the @tag or mention along with the user’s name to catch their attention and refer a pin to that user. Be selective and genuine with your suggestions, and you may find that they will share the pin with their followers. Remember to use the user name, not account name, to find the user name, look at the search bar of your browser while you are on the user’s Pinterest account.
Increase Engagement and Excitement
Pinterest is a great platform to increase engagement and excitement for your book launch. Here are some effective ways to do so:
Holding a contest on Pinterest can generate buzz and interest for your book launch. You can gain inspiration and ideas by looking at other contests held on Pinterest. Examples of contests include “pin it to win it” or sweepstakes style contests. Participation requirements may include following you on Pinterest, using your contest-related hashtag in the description, pinning, and visiting your website to sign up. It is important to follow Pinterest’s contest guidelines and comply with all legal requirements or laws in your area. Carefully read Pinterest’s promotion and marketing section in their Brand Guidelines for a successful contest.
29. Discounts, Promos and Giveaways
30. Announce Your Launch
You can build anticipation and buzz about your book launch by leaking information out to your followers with teasers, sneak peeks, and other news about your upcoming book launch. Use Pinterest to find and connect with other authors or related businesses who might like to do a joint launch or cross-promote your new book.
31. Offer a Prize That’s Valuable
The value of your prize can make a significant difference in the impact of your contests. It is important to take a look at your budget and see what you can afford to offer as a reward to the participants. Ensure that the perceived value of the prize exceeds the “work” required to win it, and that it’s actually something your target audience will be interested in.
In conclusion, contests, discounts, promos, giveaways, announcing your launch, and offering a valuable prize are all effective ways to increase engagement and excitement for your book launch on Pinterest.
Add a Price to Your Book’s Pin
Adding a price to a pinnable image of your book is an easy way to generate sales. When pinning your image, add your description with the link to your sales page on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, or your website within the description box, and then add a price starting with a dollar sign. The price will appear in the upper left corner of your image. As a bonus, your book will also show up in Pinterest’s gift section.
However, Pinterest has made some changes. They now only add prices to websites that have pins with more information, which they call rich pins. This means that adding the price banner to your pins is no longer easy. Instead, you will have to incorporate rich pins into your website, which may require more technical knowledge.
To help with this, Pinterest offers resources on their website, including information on rich pins. Bloggers can also find helpful resources on Pinterest rich pins and how to add them to their WordPress blog.
By adding a price to your book’s pin, you can make it easier for potential buyers to find and purchase your book. The added bonus of showing up in Pinterest’s gift section can also increase visibility and sales.
Measure Your Results
Pinterest Analytics is a tool that provides insight into who is pinning your content and which of your content is the most popular. By using this tool, you can get an overview of the performance of your pins and boards. The tool allows you to track the number of impressions, clicks, and saves your pins have received. You can also monitor your audience demographics and interests. To learn how to use Pinterest Analytics, check out this Pinterest Analytics Walkthrough video.
Tailwind is a marketing and analytics tool that can help you monitor your Pinterest activity. It provides a range of features such as scheduling pins, analyzing your content performance, and monitoring your audience engagement. If you are looking to take your Pinterest marketing to the next level, Tailwind is a tool worth checking out.
How About You?
Are you using Pinterest to drive traffic to your website or promote your brand? If so, we would love to hear about your experiences and insights in the comments below. If you are just getting started with Pinterest marketing, which of these strategies are you planning to implement today?
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Frequently Asked Questions
How can authors effectively market your book on Pinterest?
Authors can effectively showcase their books on Pinterest by creating visually appealing boards with high-quality images related to their book’s genre, themes, and characters. They should also optimize their Pinterest profile by using relevant keywords in their bio and board descriptions. Additionally, authors can collaborate with other Pinterest users to increase their reach and visibility.
What strategies can be used to increase a book’s visibility using Pinterest boards?
To increase a book’s visibility using Pinterest boards, authors can create boards that are specific to their book’s genre, themes, and characters. They can also use Pinterest’s search feature to find and follow other users who are interested in similar topics. Authors should also regularly update their boards with fresh content and engage with their followers by responding to comments and messages.
Are there any specific advantages for self-published authors using Pinterest to market your book?
Yes, there are specific advantages for self-published authors using Pinterest for marketing. Pinterest allows authors to reach a wider audience and promote their books without the need for a traditional publishing house. Additionally, Pinterest’s visual focus can help self-published authors create a strong brand identity and stand out in a crowded market.
What are the best practices for creating engaging Pinterest content for book promotion?
The best practices for creating engaging Pinterest content for book promotion include using high-quality images, creating visually appealing boards with clear themes, and using relevant keywords in board descriptions and pin titles. Authors should also include a mix of original and curated content and engage with their followers by responding to comments and messages.
How often should you post on Pinterest to market your book effectively?
Authors should regularly post on Pinterest to market their books effectively. The frequency of posts will depend on the author’s schedule and availability, but they should aim to post at least once a day to keep their followers engaged. However, it’s important to avoid over-posting, as this can lead to follower fatigue and decreased engagement.
Can Pinterest be integrated with other marketing efforts to build a stronger author brand?
Yes, Pinterest can be integrated with other marketing efforts to build a stronger author brand. Authors can use Pinterest to drive traffic to their website or blog, promote their social media channels, and even sell their books directly through Pinterest’s Buyable Pins feature. By integrating Pinterest with other marketing efforts, authors use Pinterest to m a cohesive and effective marketing strategy that reaches a wider audience.