Pinterest: How We View Matters [Research]

5 Actionable Pinterest Marketing Tactics

With Pinterest, seeing is believing. Pinterest’s visual distinction is more than image deep.  Your content must be pinworthy.

To better understand Pinterest, the Eye Track Shop conducted an eye tracking study of 600 participants to record their eye movements as they viewed top Pinterest category and brand pages for Mashable. (Check out the actual research.)

The product of this form of research are heatmaps. They reveal the amount users look at different parts of a web page. Red areas show where users look the most, yellow areas have fewer fixations, blue areas are the least-viewed, and gray areas have no fixations.

Unlike most web pages where participants form a F with their scanning activity, on Pinterest participants shifted their eyes from the top down the middle of the page.

Here are five Pinterest findings from the Mashable eye tracking study.

  1. Pin position matters. Place your best images top and center on your page to get the highest percentage of viewers.
  2. People look at people. No surprise here. People are attracted to other people’s faces, not objects. It’s how we’re wired. This behavior is consistent with the performance of people’s photographs on other social media and websites.
  3. Images trump text. While completing your brand’s profile information is important, less people tended to read it. Specifically, the most viewed pins received the same or more attention than the profile.
  4. Brand pages inspire Pinterest action. Participants were slightly more likely to say brand pages rather than category pages caused them to repin or recommend information. Further these pins contained useful information.
  5. Pinterest brand pages improve brand attitude. Participants were more likely to purchase something from the brand after viewing their brand page.

These findings are consistent with earlier work by Jakob Nielsen. Nielsen found that if images contained serious content, viewers carefully examined them. These results also provide insights for Pinterest use. Among the highlights are:

  1. Skip stock images. Understand your audience can tell when you’re using filler content, They like to look at images of real people. To this end, don’t just throw in images as filler. (Here’s how to make your photos more social media savvy.)
  2. Provide product information. Consumers can discern when photographs are useful and when they’re not. Show your products’ features as well as how to use and style them with photographs.
  3. Make small product details large. Focus on details that differentiate your products in a positive way. Make these images easy for your target audience to see comfortably without eyestrain.

Based on these two sets of eyetracking findings, here are five Pinterest tips to maximize your brand’s exposure on the social media site.

  1. Use Pinterest real estate effectively. It’s location, location, location on Pinterest. Take advantage of the top two rows of your Pinterest page with your best eye catching content. Actionable Marketing Tip: Develop a content strategy for Pinterest and your boards. Use a combination of original and repined content (aka curated content). This translates into roughly twenty boards with about ten pins each. Keep each board very tightly focused. (Here are additional image ideas.)
  2. Give power to the people. Choose interesting photographs of people using your products rather than text. Actionable Marketing Tip: Take photographs of models and customers to show prospects how to style and/or use your product. The Honeycomb Salon in Minneappolis does a great job spotlighting various hairdos. Don’t have enough content, ask your customers to share their photographs. (Instagram anyone?)
  3. Show the small stuff. Details can be presented beautifully in photographs. Use this strength to develop amazing pins for your brand, even if you’re a B2B company. Need inspiration? Check out GE’s board. Actionable Marketing Tip: Put your products on the runway. Use images that are unusual or useful. Ask if the image helps your target audience before you pin it.
  4. Get personal with your photos. Include photos of the people behind your organization. Participants and shoppers like to know with whom they’re dealing. Actionable Marketing Tip: Create a fun board of your employees.
  5. Be creative in your use of text. Think formatting for attention getting fonts and color. Above all be true to your brand. ESPNw does this well. Actionable Marketing Tip: Ensure that your text provides value to your audience and supports your 360° brand.

Use photographs and other images to provide unique and enticing ways for prospects and customers to discover more about your product offering and company.

What other actionable Pinterest marketing tips do you have? What has worked best for your brand on Pinterest?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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