Maximize the Power of Video on Pinterest

There’s no question: video is the hottest thing in internet marketing right now.

Sales letters are now being delivered in video. Content is being syndicated on YouTube, Vimeo, and other huge networks. And visual curation networks like Pinterest are making it increasingly easy to share video. The continuing popularity of Pinterest as both a source of social media activity and of website traffic have made it important to understand how to make the most out of video on Pinterest.

What are the benefits?

There are several benefits to posting your videos on Pinterest. Before we got into the specifics, let’s take a look at the reasons why it’s worth investing the time:

  • Increased exposure on another channel for your video content;
  • Drives up your video views for content on YouTube and Vimeo;
  • Attracts new subscribers to your content over the long-term;
  • Improves the quality of your content on Pinterest, which will help grow your followers and influence there;
  • Links to your videos have positive SEO benefits for our video to appear within Google search results and also within the platform that hosts the video.

Where can I post videos from, and what’s the best option?

With the recent announcement that Pinterest users can now pin video content from Vimeo on their boards, the visual landscape of the site continues to evolve. While integration with YouTube began last August, the Vimeo integration is likely to have a larger impact on the number of users pinning videos for a couple reasons.

Vimeo allows you to create custom video thumbnails very easily, and the site is more widely used by artists and filmmakers, so the content tends to be more aesthetically pleasing. This helps the videos fit in seamlessly with Pinterest’s platform. Video pinning is becoming increasingly popular, and Google is indexing video content on Pinterest at a rapid rate.

Given the choice, we recommend posting your videos to Pinterest from Vimeo. However, if you already have video content on YouTube or YouTube is a priority channel for your content strategy, pin directly from that site.

From the end of March to mid-April, the number of Pinterest videos indexed by Google jumped from 1170 to 5870. If you are a marketer or using Pinterest for your business, now is a good time to make the jump into video pinning if you haven’t already.

So how do I get started?

Pinning videos to Pinterest works exactly the same way as pinning photographs or other images from the web. Assuming you have an active Pinterest account, install the in-browser pin tool. Then visit the site you want to pin from and click the button. This will open the pin-able content on the page, including videos.

Here are some best practices to keep in mind as you pin your videos

1. Create custom thumbnails for your videos.

Pinterest at its core is about attractive visual content, so you’ll want to make sure you’re paying attention to your video thumbnails. The best video thumbnails are images that are beautiful in and of themselves, and could be a beautiful or artistic photo that would normally be featured on the site.

Vimeo has the best and most user-friendly option for easily creating custom cover images. You simply select it when pinning the video. For videos on YouTube, users with YouTube Partner accounts will also be able to set the image. General YouTube users will be stuck with the default option on YouTube.

2. Keep your videos short and to the point.

If possible, it is a good idea to keep your pinned videos short. The Pinterest platform is designed for users to consume visual content quickly, so keeping your video short will create a bigger impact than if you were to pin a 15 minute video. This is not to say that pinning a 15 minute video is a bad idea – there’s definitely room on Pinterest for how-to videos, which will likely be more in-depth. Also be sure to include the length of your video in the description, as people are used to seeing length when they search for videos online.

3. Entice users to click on your videos.

Thoughtful video descriptions are an important element for user engagement. Most Pinterest users have become accustomed to clicking on photos, rather than video content. It’s far more likely a user will click through on your video if you provide an interesting, keyword rich, informative description that spells out the benefits of the video for your user.

4. Leverage SEO best practices

Informative descriptions are also important for SEO purposes. Each pinned video should have a clear description that features keywords related to the topic. This will help interested people find the videos more easily when searching, and will encourage people to include them when they are building thematic boards. The better the SEO in your description, the higher your video will rank. Strong rank has good impact on your visibility within Pinterest as well as the broader impact on the original video.

5. Be creative with your pin boards.

Just as the names and descriptions of your individual pins matter, so too do the names and descriptions of your pin boards. It’s probably not the best idea to create a pin board entitled ‘videos’ and stick all your video content up there. (It happens, I’ve seen it). It’s boring and not likely to drive user engagement.

Instead, try embedding videos onto existing boards, and integrating with your products. If you’re going to create a board that’s comprised of all videos, group them thematically and name accordingly.

For example, you might want to consider doing video demonstrations of how to use certain products to create a more interactive experience for your users. The key here is to find ways to clustering videos that create value for the user, or that use the videos to add existing depth and interest to existing video.

6. Be friendly and engage to help grease the wheels of engagement.

Repinning is the highest form of flattery on Pinterest. It is also the best way to build your network.

If you are a brand on Pinterest, identify influencers in your space, follow them, and repin their video content onto your own pin boards. Be sure to make note of whose content you’re repinning in the description. This is a great way to build relationships with thought leaders in your space. In turn, they will often take notice of you and begin to engage with your content as well.

7. Add hot, new content

Is there an interesting video making the rounds in your field? One aspect of Pinterest is adding your own content, but the other piece of the process is curating other people’s content. Look for interesting videos that offer fresh looks at topics, valuable how-to information, or beautiful filmmaking on a particular topic and add those to your pin boards. Be sure to add strong descriptions. Don’t copy titles or descriptions to help avoid looking spammy.

8. Encourage people to pin your video content

As a general society, we’ve become accustomed to sharing things on Facebook or retweeting on Twitter. But we’re still at the point of needing to educate our audiences to share video content on Pinterest. If you’re posting your videos to YouTube or Vimeo, consider annotating the video with a call to action requesting that they share. If you use an intro/outro for your videos, add a request to share the videos on Pinterest there. If the video is featured on your own website, add a note asking people to share the video. If you use a widget such as ShareThis, make sure that the Pinterest option is available and visible. Imbed a share button next to your video player. The options for making this happen are endless: the key is to make the request clear and then make it easy for people to do so in multiple ways.

9. Customize a video campaign for Pinterest

One of the mistakes that users make with Pinterest is just dumping existing content there. There’s logic in the idea of getting the most traction possible out of existing materials. But each platform has individual strengths, sensibilities, and communities that can be leveraged for maximum effect. There are some great examples of competitions being run on Pinterest. Many brands have run competitions inviting people to post their best or craziest picture while holding the product. Others create thematic campaigns: one car insurer in the UK invited drivers to post pictures of the craziest shoes that they have worn while driving.

Pinterest continues to experience explosive growth, and the landscape is ever-evolving as users become more comfortable with visual content curation and consuming video content via the platform. Sharing videos related to your brand is a great way to stand out and make the most of your pinning. Make sure to have a clear strategy behind sharing your videos on Pinterest and invest the time to learn best practices to maximize the return on the investment of your time.