Almost one year has passed since Pinterest announced YouTube integration as a way of pinning videos on the popular pinboard-style social photo sharing website. With the addition of Vimeo integration in April of 2012, it’s no surprise that people are seeing their video views and referral traffic skyrocket since adding Pinterest to their video marketing efforts.
If you read my previous post on Pinterest, you know how to create a board and pin your videos with all the necessary titles, descriptions and categories. Here are a few advanced tips for distributing your videos on Pinterest:
1. Make Videos for Pinterest
It’s not enough for Pinterest to be just another place to distribute and promote your video content. A true content marketing strategy recognizes that each social network carries its own individual audience, and content should be tailored for them. Pinterest offers a unique opportunity for niched content, particularly in the how-to, DIY, craft and cooking verticals (just to name a few).
With those audiences in mind, consider producing a series of videos just for Pinterest. You may find that they perform better than those videos created for other purposes or with other social networks in mind.
2. Make an Appealing Thumbnail Image
Despite the fact that you are pinning videos, Pinterest remains a photo-sharing site. When you pin a video, Pinterest will take the thumbnail image of your video as the photo that appears on your pin. This is a critical element in generating clicks and views for your video content.
Since YouTube only allows three automatically-generated thumbnails, it can be difficult to control what your thumbnail image is, and typically YouTube thumbnails occur at awkward moments of a video – a person may be mid-sentence or have an odd expression on their face.
Luckily, it is possible to manipulate your thumbnail image by inserting one frame of a custom image into your video during the editing phase. YouTube takes frames from your video as thumbnails at 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 of the video. In other words, your video is 200 seconds long, YouTube let’s you choose from thumbnails that appear at 50 seconds, 100 seconds (1 min 40 secs), and 150 seconds (2 mins 30 secs). If you have the patience, insert a single frame of an enticing image at one of those three points.
3. Make it Easy for People to Pin and Repin your Videos
To generate traffic directly to your video on YouTube, add annotations asking viewers to pin your video. For traffic to your webpage or blog, make sure your blog or website includes “pin this” social sharing buttons (note: in this case, your thumbnail image will be generated from your webpage and will not be a YouTube-generated thumbnail).
4. Use Pinerly to Measure How You’re Doing
Pinerly is an awesome curation and analytics tool for Pinterest that will help you track the effectiveness of your boards and pins. Use the data it gives you to hone your content, posting times and descriptions – and keep that data in mind as you produce new videos. While you’re at it, check your YouTube analytics frequently to see if Pinterest is creating referral traffic to your videos.
Your overall Pinterest strategy should revolve around one or more niche topics of interest, and video is a great content medium to spinkle in with photos, articles and blog posts. Don’t be afraid to include other people’s videos on your board(s) as well as your own!