Pinterest - even the most reluctant social media participant can't have failed to have noticed its impact over the past 12 months. However, you'd be wrong if you continued to buy into the misconception that it's just all pictures of wedding plans and cupcake designs. Pinterest is now the fourth largest source of traffic after Google, direct traffic and the ubiquitous Facebook and is continuing to grow exponentially.

In fact, it drives more referral traffic than YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ put together. It's time to start taking this site very seriously.

5 Ways To Use Pinterest For Effective Video Marketing

Those active on Pinterest also tend to shop a lot more often and spend more money on those purchases than users of any other social network. And although images form the bulk of the content being pinned, videos are becoming increasingly important to both the site and its users. Google are now indexing over 200,000 of those videos and both Pinterest based videos and images regularly appear in the universal search results. Now that Pinterest have removed their previous ban on commercial and business accounts and facilitated ways for merchants to promote their content, this particular social network should be very high on the list of those that are being optimised for.

We've put together 5 ways in which video content producers and marketers can make sure they get the very best out of the site to generate brand visibility or champion their product or service.

1. Create Board Titles & Pin Descriptions that Include "Video"

Obvious, we know, but users do search for specific video content and with an image heavy site like Pinterest, getting your particular pins to stand out means understanding user intent. If it's video content they specifically want then make sure you can be found for that!

On the subject of titles and descriptions, try to follow general SEO best practise guidelines - be aware of what the searcher is likely to be looking for. If you have keyword research data or feedback then use those findings here too.

2. Add Backlinks in the Description Field

Pinterest won't allow you to leave the description field empty so this area is the ideal place to tell the user about your video and/or the product it references. This is really, REALLY important as the video content itself will take the user back to YouTube or Vimeo, not to your site (even if you have embedded the video there). If you want the pinner to visit your site you will need to add a backlink in the description box for them to do so.

ALSO ►  Facebook Video Owns Day One, But YouTube Wins the Long-Term Love

Also, remember that even if the thumbnail image is clear and inviting, users will take a second to read what you have written, so make it engaging and add as much info (without keyword stuffing) as you can in a couple of sentences. Don't forget that you can deep link back to a specific page on your website - handy for individual product pages.

5 Ways To Use Pinterest For Effective Video Marketing Pinterest description

Finally, if you are uploading video from YouTube or Vimeo then make sure that you have optimised those particular landing pages so they include a link back to your site or a page within your site too.

3. Add Pinterest CTA on Your Video Landing Pages

Pinterest itself make this very easy for you by providing the coding for 'Pin It' and 'Follow Me' buttons on their Goodies page. Pinterest is currently the third most popular social network after Twitter and Facebook so if you have those social media icons activated, you need to think about adding a Pinterest one too.

4. Curate and Share Other Video Content

We're not suggesting that you promote your competitors video content but as Pinterest is based primarily on the concept of sharing (i.e repinning) you need to make sure that you are as active in this area as you are about marketing your own brand. Those who receive the most traffic to their own boards are busy re-pinning, liking, sharing, and commenting on others’ pins so make sure you are doing the same.

Curating others' video content is a great way of utilising the medium if you don't have any of your own. For instance, if you sell jewellery you can create video boards that tell a user how to clean specific pieces, or what jewellery to wear with what outfit etc. and look for videos on YouTube or Vimeo that reflect those aims. Informational videos do fantastically well on YouTube and in Google's Universal Search results and there's no reason why you can't utilise them to bring others to your Pinterest account. User generated content is handy for this too!

5. Produce Videos that Others Want to Repin

As with any other aspect of video marketing, fresh, informative, original content is everything. If your video is doing well in terms of engagement outside of Pinterest, the chances are that it will do well on Pinterest.

If you are promoting video content elsewhere on the web but not on Pinterest, now is a great time to set up an account and see how it works for you and your brand.

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5 Ways To Use Pinterest For Effective Video Marketing pinterest button

  • Adreana_Langston

    Carla, this was a very helpful article. My employer has plans to do a lot of social media outreach in 2013. Pinterest is definitely part of those plans but the company was not thinking of it in terms of video. I have one question though, is there a place you can recommend off the top of your head where I can get data on the gender breakdown of Pinterest users?

  • Ross Therrien

    Now where did they get that picture of me.

  • Ross Therrien

    Thanks for the inside workings of a beginner it was well done and informative.

  • Grant Crowell

    I'm glad to hear about the updated traffic information with Pinterest, but I believe that a lot of this information has already been previously covered, especially with all of the tips show here. Or did I miss something?

    • Barbara_Mae

      I must have missed out on reading those articles, becuase I found plenty of things I didn't know. Great article.

      • Grant Crowell

        Thanks, Barbara! I'm inclined to believe businesses would be apt to include Pinterest in their video marketing if they have some case studies to follow. I did manage to find a few, and I was fortunate to talk directly with the folks at Pinterest, too. (They are pretty hard to get a hold of.)

    • Guest

      Just because some of this has been covered elsewhere doesn't mean it can't be covered elsewhere. Did you leave the same comment on your articles, as those tips have been covered elsewhere prior?

      • Grant Crowell

        This is a bit strange.. the comment here says "Guest" with my own name in it, and I certainly didn't make that post. So then why in my e-mail reply does it show the name, Mark Robertson?

        Of course it can be covered elsewhere, but professional journalism (including guest contributions) does require first checking out what's already published and referring to the original source. Simply Googling "pinterest video marketing" will have my Mashable article show up at the top. Nothing against Carla's post, but c'mon Mark, your brand does say Reel S-E-O... you're already supposed to know that.

        (If that comment didn't come from Mark, my apologies for the confusion.)

        • Mark Robertson

          That is weird cause I didnt post that. Maybe it refers to my email in all "guest" unidentified.