Pinterest announced a partnership with Apple that allows pinners to directly install iOS apps from pins within the Pinterest app from their iPad or iPhone. These new type of pins, referred to as app Pins, will only show up on iOS Pinterest apps. The app pins will have a blue “install” button next to the Pin it button on the top right-hand corner as seen in the embedded tweet below.
Will Pinterest Change the Way People Discover and Search For Apps?
One of the biggest challenges that app developers face is having their apps discovered among the millions of apps that are available. There have been a few startups and sites that have tried to make app discovery by search much easier, but it seems that there isn’t a dominant go to tool for that.
When you think of doing a search on the Internet, you most likely think of using Google. But if I asked ten different people to name me the number one app search engine, they probably would have trouble.
With Pinterest that could all change. Users may be able to discover apps while scanning or searching Pinterest. Over time (I would say in a period of 2-3 years) people will start to type in search terms such as “Health App” in the Pinterest search box to help them discover new and amazing apps.
This is exciting news for apps and startups who are looking to expand their reach and grab a whole new audience, especially if you don’t have millions of dollars to spend on marketing and advertising. This means that Pinterest has the potential to be the go-to place to discover apps.
This means apps and mobile games need to be ready to use Pinterest as part of their marketing. So how do you market your app on Pinterest? Here are 8 tips to help you out.
How to Market and Get Your App Discovered on Pinterest
1) Create Beautiful and Pinnable Images
Melissa Megginson, the Marketing Manager at Tailwind, a Pinterest analytics company, offers this advice:
“If I were to give just one piece of advice to app developers, it would be to invest in crafting beautiful, pinnable images to boost with promoted pins.
“You can pour as much time and money as you’d like into Pinterest, but if your images aren’t eye-catching enough you won’t gain any traction.
“There are great free tools like Canva and Unsplash (an amazing free stock photo site) that can help make even the most design-challenged a pin creating machine.”
Creating a pinnable image means creating a pin that people want to click through and repin. This is the first step to getting your app pin to go viral.
2) Use Promoted Pins
As mentioned earlier by Melissa, you should strongly consider using promoted pins to advertise your app.
Promoted pins is one of the ways that you can advertise on Pinterest. You choose a particular pin you want to promote, choose the keywords that you want the promote pin to show up for, and then choose how much you want to spend for the campaign.
Promoted pins charge based ont he number of clikc throughs to your website, and repins are free of charge.
You can decide the maximum price you want to pay for each click, and the daily budget set for the advertising campaign.
Let’s say you an app like the one from Hip2Save.com, which is all about finding the best deals and coupons.
You can create a pin, have it promoted for search terms like coupon app, or couponing. With promoted pins you can also target users who are exclusively on the iPad and iPhone ensuring that the people who see your app pins are the only ones that will have the option to directly download your app. .
In order to have promoted pins for your Pinterest account you need to have a business account and apply for promoted pins. For the moment, only U.S. based businesses are allowed to use promoted pins.
(You can’t see me right now, but I have my sad face on because I’m Canadian, so I can’t use promoted pins for my own business. I have in other countries who feel the same way.)
Here’s a video by Ileane Smith from BasicBlogTips.com that goes into detail about promoted pins.
3) Don’t Just Pin Your App. Create a Lifestyle Around It.
Kelly Lieberman, the host of #PinChat, that takes place on Twitter on Wednesdays at 6pm (PT), offers this advice for app startups:
“Pin images and content that relate to the overall lifestyle associated with using the app. Inspire, inform, and be helpful.
“Here is an example of an app that is doing all of this http://www.pinterest.com/myfitnesspal/ MyFitnessPal.”
If you’re hoping that your app is going to skyrocket just because you pinned it, guess again. Creating a Pinterest account means being a resource to your followers and pinning what’s interesting, educational and entertaining for them. It’s not just all about your app.
If your followers feel that you’re helping them then they will be more interested in downloading your app.
4) Hire an Influencer to Curate a Board For You About Your App
One of the ways to get your app out in the open on Pinterest is to hire a Pinterest influencer to help curate a Pinterest board.
For example if you happen to launching an educational mobile game that’s for children, you may want to pair up with an influential pinner in the parenting or educational space. The influencer can create the board and add educational pins to the board and include app pins for download.
However, Pinterest’s terms of service dictates that people cannot be paid to pin specific pins. So make sure you play nice with Pinterest.
5) Link Your App Pin Back to App Store
When you create your app pin, ensure that you have it linked back to your app download page.
To do that, go to the desktop version of Pinterest and click on the pencil icon when you hover over a pin.
A box will pop up, and there’s a place near the bottom that reads “Source.” In that box, you can add your download link for your app.
6) Create a Lot of Different Images for Your App
One of the most beautiful aspects about Pinterest is that you can create many different visuals for your app. Think of all the images that would relate to your app and have some of them link back to your download page on iTunes.
The more images that you can create around your app, the more chances of it being discovered by a user.
7) Use Reviews and Testimonials
Do you have some great reviews for your app on iTunes? Why not create pins that show off those wonderful testimonials and have those link back to your iTunes download page.
Here’s a pin that’s a testimonial for the book The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick. You can do the same for your app. As a matter of fact, Peg has a whole board that’s dedicated to awesome reviews for the book she co-authored. I would suggest you do the same for your mobile app or game.
8) Use Keywords
If you want your app to be discovered, you have to put keywords in your pin descriptions. To get an idea of what keywords your potential app users are searching for, go to the Pinterest search bar on the desktop version of Pinterest and start typing in keywords you believe people are searching for. When you start typing, you will start to see auto-suggestions that could be of help.
A little bit of information can go a long way. By adding keywords into a client’s pin description I was able to get the pin 4500 repins and over 200,000 monthly impressions. My little secret – I made sure that the pin contained more than one keyword, and so it ended up showing on the top of the results for two words.
Another way to find out what type of words your audience is searching for on Pinterest is to use Guided Search. Guided Search terms are suggestions that show up on tiles just below the main search box after you’ve typed in a search term. This will tell you words that people are typing that are associated with your search term.
Let’s say you have an app that’s focused on the city of Vancouver. Other terms that are also associated with it include Island, BC, and Canucks. These are keywords you may want to include in your pin descriptions assuming they are relevant.
And as a final word, here’s some helpful advice from Azure Collier from Constant Contact that’s good advice, not just for apps, but for all businesses using Pinterest.
“If you want to use Pinterest for marketing, make sure that the content you share connects to a business goal and helps to increase branding and awareness.
“Pin content that makes it easy for people to purchase your product and drive business. But don’t just sell on Pinterest. Become an information hub of created and curated content.
“Share your expertise by pinning tips, facts, stats, your blog posts, your infographics, helpful information from your website, and your videos. Curate content from other sources that’s useful for your followers and reflects their lifestyle in relation to your brand. When you strike the right balance of content, you’ll grow your Pinterest followers and your business.”
A big thank you to our contributors for their advice:
Melissa Megginson is the Marketing Manager at Tailwind, a platform that helps you schedule pins and provides Pinterest analytics.
If you happen to be heading to Social Media Marketing World 2015, make sure you drop by and say hi to her. Tell her Vincent sent you!
Feel free to test out their scheduling tool for free at Tailwindapp.com.
Kelly Lieberman is the host of #PinChat on Twitter, a Twitter chat that covers a different Pinterest topic every week on Wednesdays at 6 PM (PT) and 9 PM (ET). You’ll often run into other Pinterest enthusiasts in the chat such as Jeff Sieh of the Manly Pinterest Tips Show or Kim Vij from the Educator’s Spin on it.
Kelly also runs the BEST DAMN Facebook group, PinChat, but you should join one of her #PinChats on Twitter before joining the Facebook group.
You can find Kelly on Twitter at @Tribe2point0.
Azure Collier is a Social Media Content Manager at Constant Contact, where she develops content for the company’s Pinterest and Instagram channels, creates and presents webinars on social media and email marketing best practices, and writes for the Constant Contact blog. Follow her on Twitter at @azurecollier.