To Pin or Not to Pin? Deciding if Pinterest is Right for your Business.

As a social media marketer for Patterson Riegel Advertising in Fort Wayne, Indiana, it is in my job description that I stay on top of all that relates to the web based phenomenon.  Therefore, I have a tendency to eat, sleep and breathe my job.  Not because I have no life, but because social media is ever changing.  The buzz around the water cooler as of recent is the new obsession with Pinterest.

Within the past few months Pinterest has become “the cats meow.” No, really! Check out this picture on Pinterest of a really cute cat!  

Pinterest has become third from the top in regards to social media websites.  Surprisingly enough, the site has been around for several years, only to have gained millions of followers within just the past few months!  To be honest, I made the best grilled cheese sandwiches for my family last night with a recipe I found on Pinterest. Granted, I’ve been making grilled cheese since I was old enough to use the stove, but these were oven baked…and simply amazing.

Those that aren’t busy spending hours on end getting their fill of photos consisting of recipes, animals, and outfits that normal middle class people will never be able to afford, are wondering what all the fuss about?

What does Pinterest even mean?

Pinterest is a social media site based on the users bookmarking or “pinning” their favorite sites and images on to a virtual pinboard. This then allows thousands of other users that share your same interests or just those just intrigued by your photo to “re-pin” your pin.  Thus creating a  cycle of recipes, craft ideas and cars.  Confused?  Take a look at my pinboards for example: 

Okay, okay now that you’ve taken a quick trip into the depths of my interests (and fitness desires) it’s time to put my marketing skills into play.  How would putting my clients on Pinterest benefit their business? In a recent Hubspot ebook, “How to Use Pinterest for Business,” it provides four benefits to B2B marketers on using Pinterest:

  1. Traffic – if more website traffic can increase sales, you should consider using Pinterest.  Early research indicates that Pinterest is more effective at driving traffic than other social media sites, including Facebook.
  2. Links – Adding a “Pin It” button to your product pages or blog posts will allow your customers and readers to pin your products onto Pinterest, thus providing a link back to the source.
  3. Leads – If you have closed-loop marketing analytics on your website, you can measure how those links become leads.
  4. Social Sharing – Pinterest enables users to log in using their Twitter or Facebook profiles. This enables users to automatically post new pins to their Facebook and Twitter feeds for others to see. That makes for more eyes getting access to your pictures.

One of the challenges some B2B marketers might face is a lack of visual content. However, there are some visuals that you can use:

  • Existing visual content – executive headshots and bios, employees at work or at company events.
  • Visuals from your website and blog articles – product visuals, offices, images from your company blog.
  • Infographics and data charts – Infographics are becoming very popular. And even data charts made in Excel can be pinned.
  • Ebook and book covers – Take a picture of the covers of any ebooks or whitepapers that your company has authored, pin them up and include a link to request the actual publication.
  • Pictures of your customers – It’s a great way to show how your product or service helps the user.

 Click here to download a copy of “How to Use Pinterest For Business.”

Along with this e-book comes a perfect Pinterest visual:

Who knows, maybe Pinterest will die out faster than Google+? (Whoops, was that out loud?) But that doesn’t mean that it’s not appropriate or beneficial for your business, at least for the time being. Patterson Riegel has taken the plunge into Pinterest, and thus far we’re seeing a reasonable amount of traffic. 🙂 Consider how appropriate it is for your business, and whether or not you have the means and the resources to make this addiction worth while. Happy Pinning!

Is Pay Per Click Advertising Dying a Quick Death?

Patterson Riegel Advertising has been in operation for almost 25 years, although a great deal of our work is in media buying, we have recently decided to take on another form of media…”social media.”  Shortly after becoming social media savvy,  we started to get our fair share of questions regarding the option of pay per clicks (PPC) from our clients. At first, I was at a loss for an answer that is until I came across this article on LinkedIn.  After a thorough read-through of “The Death of Pay Per Click Advertising,” I gained a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of PPC.  I am now recommending this Social Media Today article to my clients.

The Death of Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)

Is PPC past its Sell By date?

eguide download death of ppc

For something that’s been around for just a few years, PayPer Click advertising, or PPC has become an established part of online marketing for many companies. Put simply, “Paid search marketing is the process of gaining traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. It is sometimes referred to as CPC (cost-per-click) or PPC (pay-per-click) marketing, because most search ads are sold on a CPC / PPC basis.” (Source: Search Engine Land). Yet while PPC seems to have become a staple of online marketing, there are clear signs that it is dying out as a lone marketing resource. For example, recent research has revealed that just 18% of SMEs using Google Adwords actually recoup their investment (Source: YouGov).

Why use something that’s not working right?

So why do businesses continue to use a marketing channel that is failing to win them new business? On the surface of it, PPC looks like an easy way to bring in new leads. After all, you can automate it – or ask one of the thousands of PPC agencies out there to do it for you. PPC is part of the many ‘get rich quick’ approaches that sprang up alongside the exponential growth of the internet in the past ten years. That isn’t to say that PPC doesn’t have its value, but it is currently being misused by many businesses. PPC can deliver results when it is used for a short-term, highly targeted campaigns, but used in the long-term it often becomes costly. Web users have quickly learned to filter out internet advertising, with fewer people clicking on advertising than on organic listings. All these issues add up to the important fact that PPC delivers lower returns than SEO and content marketing. In short, PPC done on its own is costly when compared to the alternatives.

Two important reasons why PPC is failing businesses:

PPC appears to offer a simple solution – paid ads to drive people to your website. But used on its own it actually fails companies because:

It’s a short-term fix

PPC is purely about grabbing the potential customer’s attention without actually developing a lasting relationship with them. It focuses on the attraction stage and neglects to actually nurture and convert the buyer. This is why used alone, it can only ever offer limited returns.

It is brand-unaware

PPC is purely about the ad and about capturing the interest of window shoppers. With no brand awareness or value proposition around it, the PPC campaign tends to attract window shoppers who are focused on cost rather than quality.

making ppc pay

Making Pay Per Click really pay

So PPC as it stands right now is not bringing businesses the rewards it could be. But what can companies do to win better returns from PPC?

Be strategic, not short-term

Planning your PPC campaign for the long-term will make it more effective and profitable. Fit it in with an overall inbound marketing strategy and you’re likely to gain more long-term leads and revenue instead of window shoppers.

Get real intelligence on web traffic

PPC is focused around gaining high volume results and often comes with confusing data and analytics on visitor numbers. Use inbound marketing technology to track conversions so that you can gain full intelligence on all your web traffic, right down to each individual web visitor.

Build loyalty to create long-term revenue

Use PPC within a wider inbound marketing approach to align your ads with matching content on your site and nurture visitors into customers. This also helps you to build a profitable profile as a thought leader.

Plan for the long-term

Instead of taking the quick fix route, use inbound marketing technology to shape a long-term PPC campaign that uses the relevant keywords and allows you to stay up to date with the search terms people are looking for right now.

Finetune and optimise for better results

Inbound marketing technology allows you to identify more effective and more targeted keywords. It also lets you eliminate negative keywords and reminds you about including misspellings – all helping to win you more sales. With inbound marketing technology you can also optimise your keywords for better results – so you know the exact details you need to know to reach the right people, including times, location of ads and demographics.

Test for the best

Get more from PPC by continually testing for what works best. Undertake regular A/B testing to create the most effective ads, keywords and landing pages to nurture and convert your web visitors.

Use Ad Extensions

Use Ad Extensions to include sub links in your text adverts and increase click throughs and boost traffic to your site.

Get linked up

Link your AdWords account to use Google Analytics and find out which positions your adverts perform best in and adapt your strategy accordingly.

Increase Click Throughs and Cost Per Conversions

Work on increasing your Click Through Rate and Cost Per Conversions as you could gain a reduction in your Cost Per Click as a thank you from Google for giving Google search users what they want.

Think bigger than basic

Look outside of the basic text adverts. Use graphic and animated banners across highly targeted websites in the AdWords Display Network.

The next step for PPC

PPC isn’t dying yet. But is still being underused by many businesses and offering very limited returns. So what is the next step for companies looking to get better results from PPC?

Create a strategy

It can be very tempting to go for a quick win with PPC. But this can end up costing you in the long-run. Instead, build a clear strategy using inbound technology to monitor and update your advert content, location and links. Use inbound marketing technology to gain a better insight into the results of your campaign, right down to the individual web visitor and how they got to your web page. Use A/B testing to make your PPC as effective as possible. Within this, include a plan to increase your Click Through Rate and Cost Per Conversion for rewards from Google. Create a clear strategy and you’ll begin to see the results you want with PPC.

If you’re interested in more, follow this link to the article’s website! The Death of Pay Per Click Advertising