In the self-publishing world, words are your currency, so it may come as a big surprise that images are another powerful tool you can use in your marketing and promotions arsenal.
Photo sharing websites have gotten a bad rap.
Ask the average web user and they’ll say that people use sites like Instagram, Flickr and Tumblr to share pictures of beloved family pets, their latest outfits and creative breakfast creations.
The truth is that image and video distribution combine to form the latest content marketing ‘gold rush’.
Many savvy marketers and business people are just beginning to grasp the massive potential that image sharing websites have for getting the attention of a target audience, building strong relationships and driving robust sales.
What does this mean for you?
If you have a book launch coming up, want to breathe new life in to a previously launched campaign or simply want to promote your personal brand of one, your results can be remarkable.
With that said, let’s delve into the image sharing platform known as Pinterest and how you can use it to get noticed, stand out and boost your sales and income as a self-published author.
Why Promote with Pinterest?
Pinterest is among some of the most popular image sharing websites on the internet like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, with their user numbers growing exponentially year after year.
Today, with over 200 million monthly users, Pinterest quickly and easily facilitates sharing of just about any image, photo or graphic that you can create or get your hands on.
In addition to being able to ‘pin’ and share one-off images, Pinterest lets you create and share virtual bulletin boards that feature collections of any pins you create or discover that fall within a specific interest category.
This is a breakthrough feature for attracting potential customers that makes it easy to identify and share pins with other Pinterest users that have the same interests as you.
Think of Pinterest as a big lake where you can just sit back, relax and casually throw your well-baited hook out there and then wait for the best prospects to come straight to you and take a bite.
If you approach things strategically, Pinterest will help you to promote and share information about your brand and latest books without coming off as salesy or pushy at any point during the marketing process.
Simple Ways to Use Pinterest as a Marketing Tool
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of the Pinterest platform to attract prospects, build relationships and boost sales over time.
- Enhance Branding with Your Pinterest Profile
If you’re on top of your self-publishing game you already have a website and blog, a Facebook page and you’ve also taken the time to craft a killer author bio.
Don’t drop the ball with your Pinterest account. Keep building your brand awareness throughout every aspect of your overall marketing effort.
When you sign up, use your real name and a professional photo of yourself to complete your profile. That way prospects, present and future customers can readily identify your Pinterest account as yours. This serves to strengthen your author brand and increase its recognition.
- Create Boards for Each of Your Books
Every time you launch a new book it’s a good idea to create a dedicated Pinterest board.
Doing this helps to keep all of the pinnable information related to each of your book such as launch promotions, cover art images, testimonials and media features together and organized for potential customers to browse.
- Use Pins to Tell Your Personal Story
A unique way to get attention and connect with your audience using Pinterest is to share your personal story through a series of pins.
Use this special board to share things that are very important and inspirational to you. This helps to give your audience insight into who you are and what makes you tick outside of your books and your writing.
Curate Helpful Content for Your Tribe
As the leader of your tribe, one of the best things you can do to deepen the relationship you have with your audience is to become the go-to source for new and exciting information and entertainment happenings in your little corner of the literary world.
Achieve this goal by carefully curating your content and gathering pins that your followers will find exciting, highly relatable and emotionally impactful.
- Create Very Sharable Pins
The viral nature of Pinterest makes it very important to make your pins as sharable as possible.
What makes a pin more attractive for sharing and increases the chances of it going viral? A combination of visual styling, emotion stirring imagery and inspiring messages.
- Use Popular Pin Trends for Your Marketing
Once you start browsing Pinterest for pins closely related to your niche, you’ll begin to notice trends that reveal the content that is most popular among members of your target audience.
For example, infographics tend to be very popular in information-based niches while memes are popular in humor-based niches.
Be on the lookout for trends in popular pins that relate to the types of books you publish and promote, then use similar types of content on your own Pinterest boards to ride the wave to promotional success.
- Use Pinterest for Market Research
A smart way to use Pinterest to stand out in your niche is to do research to find out exactly what your market wants as well as to spy on the competition to see what they have to offer.
By following the boards of your closest competition you’ll be able to see what topics and areas of interest they focus on that you may have overlooked along with any unique methods they use to promote their books.
- Watermark Your Pinterest Images
A subtle but effective way to use Pinterest to help your brand stand out and be more visible is by watermarking all of the pinnable content you create for the site.
By watermarking all of your exclusive pins, you effectively brand everything that you share on the platform. When your content is re-pinned, you reap the benefits of prospects connecting with your brand and visiting your other web properties to find out more about you and your books.
- Use Pinterest to Announce Your Book Launches
Ever thought about using Pinterest as your own personal bullhorn to make a big announcement?
When you are ready to launch a new book, create a special based pin that functions as a one-click promotional tool that’s simple to create and highly sharable.
- Follow Boards of Influencers and Prominent People in Your Niche
Want to get noticed by the biggest names in your niche quickly? Following and commenting on their popular Pinterest boards is a fast and easy way to do it.
When you follow influencers and popular authors in your niche you instantly gain access to their audience, which is typically made up of the same type of people you are trying to reach.
- Use Pinterest for Giveaways, Promotions and Contests
One of the more fun things to do with Pinterest is to use the platform to run special promotions and giveaways of your books and other promotional items during a launch or a more general marketing push.
These ideas barely scratch the surface of what is possible with a platform as powerful as Pinterest.
Spend some time flexing your creative muscles and you’ll find endless opportunities to use images to promote your brand as well as all of the books you create and introduce to the world.
Play around with your ideas and pins and you may find Pinterest becoming one of your most beloved and effective tools for book promotion.
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