Top 10 Marketing Tips From Full-Time Etsy Sellers

When we invited five successful full-time Etsy sellers to nominate their best marketing advice, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that they shared a good deal of strategic wisdom and tricks of the trade. Here are the top 10:
 

1. Make Your Photos “Drool-Worthy”

 
Four of the five full-time sellers nominated quality photography as the key to successful online sales. “Photos should be drool-worthy and reflect the aesthetic of your work, of your shop, of you,” says Stephanie of metalicious. “Ensure that all your item photography is as good as your best-selling item.”
 
 

metalicious
 
Her attractive photography contributes to her successful sales, but that wasn’t always the case. Stephanie says it took her a long time to stray from using a plain, white background, which she assumed was the best choice for her items. “Once I moved away from a white background, my own style came through and my jewelry could finally stand out,” says the New York jewelry designer. But you know what they say: Different strokes for different folks. Though white backgrounds aren’t the best choice for Stephanie, they could be just right for your items.
 
Kate Sitzman of woolgatherings recommends using multiple photos to show as many item details as possible. “Customers may want to know what an item looks like from the back or whether it has pockets inside,” says the wool, yarn and fiber seller. “Some shops have great success with staging, models, and intriguing angles. Figure out what showcases your item most effectively.”
 
 
woolgatherings
 
If you’re not feeling confident about your photo editing skills, Sandra Durkin of snapcrafty recommends seeking a graphic designer’s help.
 

2. BYOB (Build Your Own Brand)

 
Kate says the look and feel of your shop should reflect your personal style and shop items. “Though it may be tempting to replicate the success of a brand you admire, it pays to differentiate yourself,” she says. “It’s also a lot easier to market something you live and breathe than it is to pretend to be something you aren’t.
To help figure out how to express your personal style and brand, Sandra of snapcrafty recommends asking yourself these questions: What message are you communicating? Who’s your target customer? Is this message carried through in your logo, shop banner, tagline, and photographs?
 

3. Provide Good Customer Service to Encourage Word-of-Mouth Promotion

 
Word-of-mouth is one of the strongest forms of advertising, says Sandy Machado of Boston Bag Lady. “If people are talking about your business in a positive light, that’s advertising gold.”
 
How do you get people to talk about you? In three words: excellent customer experience. Sandy says sending customers a friendly confirmation email after they’ve made a purchase, a handwritten note in packages, or a freebie sticker goes a long way in establishing a good customer relationship. “Keep buyers up to date with the status of an order, from start to finish,” she says.
 
Kate takes a similar approach. “Because I sell supplies — something you can buy more than once — I rely on repeat business and referrals,” she says. “The most important part of my marketing strategy is providing excellent customer service and retaining customers.”
 
What does Kate’s excellent customer service entail? “It’s nothing fancy,” she says. “Fast shipping, good communication, and setting appropriate expectations with accurate listings and photos.”
 

4. Experiment With SEO

 
Sandra says good SEO (search engine optimization) increases your search rankings and, consequently, the visibility of your products to potential buyers on Etsy.
 
Kate from woolgatherings agrees. “There really is no substitute for the kind of visibility a good search ranking can bring,” she says. How does she optimize her shop? The key is asking yourself, “What words would buyers use to find your product?”
 
Also, make sure your titles, tags, and descriptions are accurate. Even if a particular keyword makes your items appear in more searches, it doesn’t help you if it doesn’t coincide with what the searcher is looking for. Next step: Study your Shop Stats. If you notice that your tags never appear in your Shop Stats, try replacing them with other words and phrases.
.

5. Get Smart About Social Media


Stephanie says Etsy sellers don’t need to tweet, Facebook, Instagram, pin, and blog all day, every day. “No one has time for that,” she says. “But you do need to select one platform that works for you and use it. Regularly.” As for spreading the word about your preferred social media, Stephanie suggests following other users and including social media URLs in your Etsy profile, note to customers, and shop announcement.
 
As you’re building your fanbase, Stephanie suggests developing an engaging communication style and building trust by showing followers your creative process. “Get them excited about what you’re making,” she says. “And respond to their comments. People will become invested in your product and become your best customers, because they will get to know you — a real person who earns a living doing what you love.”
 
AngieMakes
 
Are you trying to figure out which form of social media is best for you? There’s no right or wrong answer. For example, Stephanie’s a Facebook fan, while Sandy from Boston Bag Lady swears by Instagram — “the strong visual component really helps with sales,” she says.
 

6. Define Your Niche

 
What makes you stand out on Etsy? How can you serve a specialized market? Being able to clearly define the answer to these questions will help you define your niche. For Boston Bag Lady to stand out from other vintage shops, Sandy decided to curate a collection of vintage paper ephemera. She started with greeting cards and eventually expanded to giftwrap, card games, paper doll books, and more. “I get a lot of sales from people who are collectors or giving these items as gifts, and from people who use these items as part of their own crafts,” she says.
 

7. Study Successful Shops

 
Sandra recommends researching the most popular shops in your category. “Don’t copy their ideas, but do take notes on successful Etsy businesses,” she says. Using sites like Craftcount (a third-party site that uses Etsy’s API), Sandra suggests studying top shops’ sold products, branding, and photographs and implement similar strategies that could work for you.
 

8. Engage Fans With E-Newsletters

 
“Every time I send an e-newsletter, there’s a huge peak in my traffic and sales,” says Sandra Durkin of snapcrafty. She recommends using MailChimp to offer promotions such as special discounts, free gifts, or entry in giveaway contests to customers who sign up for your newsletter via your blog or a URL from your Etsy About page. “Incentivizing can really help attract new subscribers,” she says.
 

9. Send a Package That’s Worth a Thousand Words

 
Do you ever get a boost of energy when you shop at a brick-and-mortar boutique that’s filled with inspiring objects and displays? Amy from AHeirloom suggests replicating a similar feeling of excitement by creating an attractive aesthetic with packaging and shipping materials.
 
 
AHeirloom
 
“Your packaging shows how much you care about your brand,” says the Brooklyn-based maker of state-shaped cutting boards. “A shopkeeper cares about how his store looks and how the work is displayed — your product on your customer’s doorstep can inspire that same kind of desire for a return trip.”
 

10. Send Samples to Tastemakers

 
A great way to capture the media’s attention is by sending them a taste of your treasures. Amy of AHeirloom recommends finding bloggers who share your aesthetic and sending them your best item along with a one-sheet write-up about yourself and your business. You never know — it could lead to press.
 
“While some bloggers are super busy people and tend to have tons of products coming their way, you can get noticed with a well-made gift, good graphic design, a solid logo, and some photos of you and your work,” Amy says.
 
 

26 Crazy Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Google

Love them or hate them Google are a monster of a company! Their products and services dictate the fortunes of every online business so let’s face it, they are the boss of the internet.
 
They haven’t always been a monster though, in fact you’ll be quite surprised by some of the things that happened in their early days – from using lego to house their “servers” and misspelling their name to end up with the word everybody knows as Google.
 
Take a look at this infographic from Who Is Hosting This for those and more crazy facts about Google.
 
26 Crazy Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Google
 
 

Social Media for Photographers: The 10 Worst Mistakes Everyone Makes

The internet is awash with stories of epic social media blunders, from Tesco’s ‘time to hit the hay’ tweet the day before the horse meat scandal broke out to racist tweets that got people fired and companies discredited.
 
And while a single photographer is unlikely to attract a storm of abuse like McDonald’s, British Gas and JP Morgan when inviting feedback on social media, there are still some pitfalls that all photographers should avoid. In their latest guest post the photo management and Canon Project1709 experts at Photoventure share their list of the 10 worst mistakes photographers make on social media.
 
 
Social media for photographers: the 10 worst mistakes everyone makes
 
 

Social Media Tips for Photographers: 1. Only Sharing Your Own Content

 
Getting your work seen is one of the main reasons you should use social media in the first place, but if your status updates are always about your own work, it will come across as advertising rather than genuine sharing, and your followers will eventually stop paying attention to you.
 
In addition to your own work, share links to funny, fascinating or useful content elsewhere on the web that your followers will find interesting.
 

Social Media Tips for Photographers: 2. Sharing Unfinished Work

 
People will judge you on what they saw last, so your best strategy is to keep posting your very best pictures; not your half-baked experiments accompanied by an excuse like ‘this isn’t quite there yet’.
It’s better to become known as a constant source of inspiration than a hit-or-miss amateur.
 
Social media for photographers: the 10 worst mistakes everyone makes
 

Social Media Tips for Photographers: 3. Not Interacting

 
Don’t let your efforts go to waste once you’ve created a buzz; silence discourages people from coming back, so be sure to reward people who comment on your content by responding and encouraging dialogue.
 

Social Media Tips for Photographers: 4. Failing to Reveal your Personality

 
You’ve always been told to be professional, but that doesn’t mean you need to be impersonal. The beauty of social media is that it allows you to curate and show the sides of yourself you’d like people to see.
 
Clients, prospective employers and curious visitors often take to your social media feeds to see what’s behind the professional image on your website, so let down your guard and show the world that you’re a real person they can relate to; it pays dividends.
 
 
Social media for photographers: the 10 worst mistakes everyone makes

Social Media Tips for Photographers: 5. Having Too Many Images on Your Flickr or Website

 
There is such a thing as oversharing, and for a photographer the main problem with a flooded social media presence is that it might dilute your brand.
 
It’s important that potential clients or important contacts can get an impression of what you’re really about without having to sift through 500 images of varying relevance to get the right idea.
So clean up and make sure everything you share is relevant to your brand.
 

Social Media Tips for Photographers: 6. Not Maximising Your Sales Potential

 
Did you know that you can sell images on 500px? Or that Getty monitors Flickr and regularly requests submissions?
 
You might not be interested in either of these options, or they might not be relevant for your business, but you’d be a fool not to familiarise yourself with the money-making potential of the social media outlets you already use, and the ones you don’t.
 
Social media for photographers: the 10 worst mistakes everyone makes
 

Social Media Tips for Photographers: 7. Not Checking Privacy and Usage Settings

 
This sounds obvious, but many of us forget or postpone the tedious task of checking the legal bits when creating a profile on a social media outlet.
 
That can cost you if your work is unintentionally licensed  and used under creative commons.
 
Or you could end up in your clients’ bad books if the work you’ve done for one company shows up unauthorised on another company’s website.
 

Social Media Tips for Photographers: 8. Tagging with Typos

 
Creative tagging of your images can make all the difference when you want to get seen by new clientele online, but don’t make the mistake of treating your tags like an afterthought.
 
If you half-heartedly fire off a couple of words at the last minute, you’re likely to make spelling mistakes that will cost you the opportunity to be seen by people searching for the word you meant to write.
 
Instead, take your time to think, not just about the spelling of your tags but about outside-the-box tags that will make your work show up in new markets.
 

Social Media Tips for Photographers: 9. Not Checking Your Flickr Mail

 
Getty, magazine editors and anyone else can contact you through your Flickr mail, and it’s not uncommon that editors sift through Flickr to cover their more unusual, pictorial needs that people might just happen to have covered.
 
News editors work to a slim deadline and will need a fast response, so it’s a good idea to stay logged in or to make it a habit to check your Flickr mail once a day.
 

Social Media Tips for Photographers: 10. Not Posting Comments on Relevant Topics

 
A tweet that is relevant to a current topic in the news is much more likely to get retweeted and seen by the world than a quip about your boring breakfast.
 
So stay up to date with the news, particularly anything that relates to photography and photographers’ rights, and comment without falling into the pitfalls of sounding bigoted, making inappropriate jokes or offending others.
 
 

The Essential Cheat Sheet of Cover Photo Dimensions for Facebook, Twitter & More

Having a social media profile without a cover photo is like having a brick-and-mortar business without a store sign. Although brands could technically do without either, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Social media cover photos are great for communicating brand values, highlighting a current campaign, or conveying what your company has to offer. But if you’re a social media marketing manager who doesn’t also happen to be a designer, creating cover photos for your social accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is probably easier said than done. You either have to struggle to design a professional-looking cover photo for each social network on your own, get a more design-savvy colleague to do it for you, or outsource the work to a freelancer or agency. 
 
And considering social media cover photos are likely something you’ll want to update regularly to align with new campaigns, cover photo design can be an ongoing process — not to mention how frequently social networks redesign their layouts, inevitably affecting cover photo sizes by cropping, warping, and mucking up your existing design. 
 
This is definitely not ideal for brands looking to put their best foot forward in social media. So what’s a poor marketer to do when the only scalable option is to take graphic design into their own hands?

The Solution: The Essential Cheat Sheet for Social Media Cover Photo Dimensions


To make things easier on social media managers and non-designers doing design, we created an essential cheat sheet containing the most up-to-date social media cover photo dimensions — something you can bookmark and reference when you’re ready to create or re-create a cover photo for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.


essential_cheat_sheet_to_social_media_cover_photos_2015

 

Cover Photo Sizes for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube


  • Facebook: 851 px wide x 315 px tall
  • Twitter: 1,500 px wide by 500 px tall
  • LinkedIn: 646 px wide x 220 px tall
  • Google+: 2,120 px wide x 1,192 px tall
  • YouTube: 2,560 px wide x 1,440 px tall | Desktop Banner: 2,560 px wide x 473 px tall

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/social-media-cover-photo-sizing-cheat-sheet?utm_campaign=blog-rss-mails&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=15335921

Internet Marketing Essentials: The 4 Strategies Every Business Must Use

So you’ve started a new business, you’ve got yourself a shiny new website, but how do you get people to visit the site and start generating paying customers?
 
There are many ways to market a new business, but there are four absolutely essential methods that every business owner should use if they want a profitable online marketing strategy, and those are detailed in the infographic below.
 
Infographic brought to you by Imaginovation.
 
Internet Marketing Essentials The 4 Strategies Every Business Must Use
 
 

The Ultimate Guide to Jewelry Photography

If you are interested in jewelry photography, chances are you have already been involved in other styles of photography. You have probably quickly learned that there are several techniques utilized for photographing different types of objects or subjects so that the results deliver the most optimal, sharp, colorful and detailed image possible.
 
Photo Credit Gnilenkov Aleksey 
 
Additionally, different types of cameras and equipment can also be utilized for various subjects, and this also holds true with jewelry photography. It is not necessarily important to spend thousands on a camera and related equipment to capture dramatic shots; what is important are the techniques involved, which can mean the difference between jewelry that appears flat and unremarkable, and a piece that sparkles and dazzles the eye.
 
Getting the shot right every time takes practice. When shooting jewelry, there are some basic rules that should always be followed. It is important to find ways to ensure that there is no glare and that shadows are minimized. Additionally, jewelry often appears best against a clean background of a neutral color, or a background that best compliments the piece. There are also different props that can be used to better display pieces such as necklaces, earrings or bracelets.
 
Basic Rules for a Great Shot
 
Photo Credit Gnilenkov Aleksey

 There are three critical components to a ensuring a great photo:
 
  1. Lighting
  2. Focus
  3. Exposure
 
Understanding how each of these affects a photo and learning how best to use them to your advantage will enable you to take professional, high quality shots worthy of any major magazine pictorial or advertising campaign.
  
Lighting Essentials
 
Examining lighting first, there are essential pieces of equipment that you’ll want to obtain. These include:
 
Light Tent
 
 
Photo Credit Alison Christine

 
This item is a cube-like stand that is open on the side in which you will be placing and photographing the pieces. The EZcube light tent is one of the more popular light tents available. The purpose of the light tent is to provide you with a soft light setting, and helps to control reflections and interference from other light sources and shadows in the room.
 
A new EZcube design also allows you to hang items such as necklaces from the center if you don’t have to utilize a prop to hold them. Light tents are available in various sizes.
 
Backdrops
 
Basic colored backdrops to rest jewelry upon or use as a background. White and black are most typical, but other colors might add a more dramatic effect to certain pieces. Materials include cloth, acrylic, and others. The acrylic can be used to add a nice reflection effect to the photo.
 
A Tabletop Light Set
 
 
Photo Credit Hozae

 
There are a wide variety of lights to choose from, and some that add more effects to specific types of jewelry, but the most basic lights you will definitely want to acquire are a set of floodlights that utilize daylight color CFL bulbs. These bulbs are designed to provide a soft, simulated natural daylight lighting effect, which helps to eliminate the need for color correction most of the time. An additional benefit of the CFL bulbs is that they are designed to produce much less heat than other bulbs.
 
  • Tip: Using the tabletop light set also eliminates the need for using the flash on your camera, which typically does not lead to great photos when shooting jewelry. The flash is too bright and adds harsh shadows or contrast to the jewelry when shooting so closely.
  • Tip: Try to get adjustable stands for your lights as well, so that you can position them correctly for the various pieces.
 
How to Position Your Lights
 
Many light sets come with only two lights, and that is really all that is necessary to get a good shot. Don’t be fooled into purchasing a larger set by thinking that more lights means a better shot. There may very well be instances in the future where you may want to add a third light, but for now, two is standard and feasible.
 
Simply place a light on either side of your light tent, and aim the lights at the jewelry so that any glare is eliminated and your piece is presented in a flattering manner.
 
  • Tip: Using a stronger light on one side can sometimes produce a more dramatic effect. If you do not have another light that is more powerful, you can try simply moving one light closer to the piece.
 
Additional Lighting Accessories and Options
 
There are other lights and bulbs that may be purchased that will enable you to produce more dramatic effects in your shots with specific pieces of jewelry, such as diamonds and gems, in which you really want to accentuate the facets. If you really plan on getting the most from your shots, you may want to invest in a few of these lights, such as the Diamond Dazzler LED bulb.
 
  • Tip: Make sure that the bulbs in use in all your light sources are consistent in model and color or you may have trouble getting a shot without odd coloring.
  • Tip: You can purchase lighting kits containing all of the above elements, instead of getting each component individually. If you are just beginning to get involved in jewelry photography, purchasing a kit can be an economical and easy introduction to the equipment.
 
Photo Credit Davedehetre

 
Focus Basics
 
Focus is of course an important element of all photography, especially when shooting jewelry, in which you really want to capture the detail. One of the biggest agitators of good focus is an unsteady hand. Even the slightest movement can cause you to lose a significant amount of detail in your shot. So it is important to invest in a tripod for your camera.
 
Camera Focus Settings
 
Almost all cameras available on the market today come with several different focus settings. When shooting close-ups of jewelry, you’ll more often than not want to be able to manually focus your camera or utilize a “spot focus” mode. This enables the camera to focus solely on the jewelry at the center of your shot, with a reduction in interference from other surrounding details and items. Using the manual focus will grant you the most control.
 
The Best Camera?
 
 
Photo Credit CloudsCarsCameras.com

 
There really is no right answer to this question. Keep in mind that focus is one of the most important components of jewelry photography, so a digital camera that offers you a true manual focus is definitely going to be important criteria when you attempt to choose. For true manual focus, look for cameras described as SLR cameras. These types of cameras often allow for lenses to be changed as well, which can come in handy as you grow your profession and aim to take more diverse types of shots.
 
Additional criteria or options to look for:
 
 
Photo Credit Andrewrennie
 
  • Small aperture – enables a wider area of focus
  • A lens or ability to use lenses with macro focuses – enables you to shoot close-ups with more precision and won’t interfere with lighting by being too close
  • Fitting for a tripod
  • At least 10 megapixels
  • Remote shutter release – reduces the amount of blur that may occur, even with the use of a tripod
  • Capability to easily connect the camera to a computer to upload and adjust photos if necessary
 
Exposure Basic
 
Photo Credit Paparutzi

The ability to control your camera’s exposure value (EV) is an important element in ensuring your jewelry photos are not too dark or too light. Because most cameras automatically compensate for shooting subjects set against very bright backgrounds, you will need to manually adjust your camera’s EV in order to ensure that you take the best possible shot.
 
You can begin by using the preset EV settings on your camera to see the results, and then select the setting that appears to deliver the most detailed, well-lit shot, without appearing too dark or washed out. As you gain more experience using your camera and become more familiar with the lighting equipment, you will quickly be able to determine the best EV setting for certain shots without having to experiment.
 
Using Photo Imaging Software to Fix Lighting and Exposure
 
Sometimes, even with the right EV settings, the right lighting, and the right focus, you may still get an image that needs a little work in order for it to be perfect. This is where photo image editing software such as Photoshop can save the day and make a good shot great.
 
Tip: Adobe Photoshop is the most popular and widely used software, but you may able to achieve excellent results with the editing options on your own camera, or on your photo layout program such as Apple’s iPhoto, which allows for a wide suite of corrections.
 
Using image editing software, you can adjust lighting levels, contrast, sharpness, color balance, color saturation, and much more to really produce an image that “wows”.
 
There are of course many other aspects of jewelry photography that you will discover with experience, but understanding these basics and learning how to utilize the equipment and your camera properly will ensure that you are well on your way to capturing great images.
 
 

20 Rules Every Business Needs to Know Before Posting on Instagram and Pinterest

Sharing images is all the rage in the marketing world at the moment and there are no bigger image sharing sites than Instagram and Pinterest.
 
No matter if you’re new to either network, or you’re seasoned users of each, there are still posting rules you need to abide by. Some of which you’ll find in the infographics below from Social Research Strategies.
 
20 Rules Every Business Needs to Know Before Posting on Instagram and Pinterest
 
 

Glass Photography

Nothing can make you quite as crazy as a photographer than glass.  It is, without a doubt, one of the most difficult things to photograph really well.
 
Glass is a nightmare for a camera.  It reflects everything, it displays bizarre catch lights and can seem nearly impossible to focus properly.
 
And yet you won’t be a professional photographer very long, particularly in advertising photography, before you’re confronted with a job involving glass.
 
 
Soft side lighting and a frosty glass to dampen catch lights – photo by Kristofer2

The temptation is to get frustrated and figure you’ll take care of the imperfections in post processing.
 
When you get there you’ll discover that glass is nearly as insanely difficult to get right in post as it is in the studio.  So your best bet is to shoot right in the studio and minimize the post corrections.
 
The first step is cutting down as much ambient light as possible.  That means dark backgrounds and draping your stand in black.
 
The next step is lighting.  A studio flash with a modeling light works for me.  The two best angles for lighting glass are directly above and directly behind and below the image plane.  That will yield consistently good photographs, provided the glass is empty or the liquid nearly clear.
 
Liquids add a whole new dimension.  First, you have to figure out how to get it in the glass without splashing the sides.  Try that sometime.  I experimented for quite a while before going down to the hardware store and buying a small hand pump.  You can also use a cardboard tube from a paper towel roll and pour the liquid into that (I don’t recommend drinking it afterwards).
 
For this type of shoot you’ll need to use some type of table top box like an EZcube.  You can get both dark and gradient backgrounds for your EZcube and it will save you a huge amount of trouble.
 
Place a light on each side of the soft side panels and you’ll get a great look almost every time.  Swap in a dark background for clear glass.
 
For clear glass on a gradient, you’ll need some dark paper rolls at the bottom to keep the bottom of the glass from disappearing into the lighter part of the gradient.  It cuts down the on the light from the sides and the glass will pick up black highlights, just enough to separate it from the light gradient.
 
With colored glass you have it made.  Put a gray gradient in your EZcube and you’ll be done in 20 minutes.  That will yield adequate results but if you really want to make colored glass pop, you’ll need another tool of the trade.
 
Another secret to shooting glass is having a daylight balanced flat panel.  It’s worth the investment as you’ll be using it for jewelry and other small objects.  Use it in or out of your EZcube and you’ll discover it adds really nice highlights to your glass subjects.
 
Even with the right gear, you’ll still find glass objects present constant challenges.  Just keep at it, and you’ll eventually learn how to turn in some amazing shots.
 
 

Pin-Worthy: Creating The Perfect Pinterest Image to Sell More

On Pinterest, a picture really is worth a thousand words…

  
Social media networks keep growing in users and relevance, and this growth does not seem to be on the wane. Image-based social networks like Pinterest and Instagram have seen their daily user percentages skyrocket over the last few years. Pinterest usage has increased 145% since January 2012 and is currently the network that most people use to share content online.

Simply put, we are social. In addition to sharing the latest news in our lives and reading updates from our friends and followers, we often share recommendations about products that we love on our newsfeeds. Very often, we share these recommendations by linking to product pages on e-retailers’ websites or social media profiles.

Having in mind that our online business ought be wherever our customers are spending their time, getting involved in this trend is a must. Having visibility in social media, and especially on these emerging image-based networks like Pinterest, will definitely contribute to generating leads and sales on your ecommerce site.

But how can we differentiate our product images from others on an image-based Social Network?


Publishing high quality product images is the key. Not only should you have high quality product images on your website but also on your social profiles. Additionally, good quality and attractive content will make you more appealing and have a positive impact on your rank in search engines.

Images are a key element in customers’ decision-making processes and they are the main element which differentiates your company from your competitors.

Are you ready to create share-worthy images?


With this tutorial, you’ll get expert advice on how to produce high quality images that will boost your popularity on Pinterest, which will lead to increased website traffic and ultimately to more sales!

9 Ways to Use Your Images on Pinterest like a Pro

1. Follow Image Guidelines


pinterest1

Like most image-focused websites, Pinterest enforces structured image guidelines. Make that sure you comply with these guidelines to create successful pins:

– Size images to at least 600 pixels in width. Keep in mind that optimal image size is 736 pixels wide, tall images are most likely to be pinned, and that pins on the main page and on boards appear at 236 pixels until they are expanded (height is scaled).

– Images should be less than 10MB in size (and even that is too high). Large images will load slowly, leaving enough time for potential customers to click away from your board to find a faster Pin.

– Edit your product images according to the common standards of online marketplaces like Amazon. Unless you’re aiming for lifestyle shots, make sure to remove the background behind each item so that customers can fully appreciate your products.
 

2. Clean and Simple Image Backgrounds are Best


Images that contain less than 30% background are repinned most often because people tend to prefer the empty space because it’s less-distracting. Similarly, product images with busy backgrounds enjoy 40% less activity than images with clean backgrounds.
pinterest2
Clean backgrounds work better.  Messy backgrounds distract customers.
                          
 
Clean, light-coloured backgrounds also work best for videos featuring products. This type of background has become the industry standard. Customers expect products to be the centre of their attention, so be sure to cater to their expectations.
 

3. Angles and Details Matter


Customers make snap judgments, so it’s in your best interest to impress them right away! They should be able to perceive the quality of your products, and by extension, the quality of your company, just by taking one look at a product image in your online portfolio.


pinterest3

Displaying your products from a variety of angles can help your customers to better understand the size of an item and see product details such as fabric texture, interior lining, special thread, etc.
Photograph the front, back, diagonal, bottom, top, and interior of each product, drawing attention to important details, and thereby providing your customers with the motivation and confidence to buy your products.
 

4. Avoid Distractions on Your Images


Don’t waste your time adding finesse to your product images. The use of props may distract your customer from what’s really important: the products themselves. In fact, sometimes even lifestyle shots depicting models tend to get shared less than product-only photos. According to My Clever Agency, images with no human faces get shared 23% more often than those with human faces.
 
pinterest4
This is definitely not the way to go. Note the number of previous pins compared to the two images below it.
This image is well-captured, but still might distract your customer from the main item you want to promote.
In the image on the right, the product is clearly the main attraction.
 

5. Colour is King


Customers can feel frustrated when they receive a product that is coloured differently than what they looked at online, but this is only half of the reason why displaying the accurate colours of your products is mandatory for any e-retailer.

With respect to social media, according to recent studies, images with 50% color saturation get repinned 10 times more often than black and white images. Using proper lighting and color adjustment techniques, like a grey card, will guarantee that your images look professional and appealing on your Pinterest boards.


pinterest5

6. Be Consistent

 
pinterest6
Consistency matters to your customers, so it’s important that all of the product images on your Pinterest board look consistent in relation to one another. This means identical styling, lighting, sizing, and alignment standards across the board—and don’t forget white backgrounds!
 

7. Optimize Your Pinterest Boards


pinterest7

If you want to use Pinterest effectively to ultimately boost your online sales, then it’s important to always think like one of your followers. Your Pinterest followers will be more inclined to follow a link to your e-store if your Pinterest boards appear to be well-organised and professional.

Use highly searched keywords to name your boards.


If you want your board to be found in search results, then it’s the best to name your boards using popular Pinterest search terms. For instance, if you specialise in apparel, label your boards with keywords like “Women’s Apparel” or “Women’s Clothing.”

Encourage customers to follow your boards.


If Pinterest sees that you have a lot of followers on a specific board, then it will prioritise your board in search results. And the number one way to encourage Pinterest users to follow your boards is by posting stunning product photography.

Pin consistently.


The number of pins in each of your boards will also help your boards to rank higher in search results. As your pin count rises, in succession with your follower count, then you should see a rise in search rankings as well.

Organise your boards.


Always think like a follower when you create and add content to your Pinterest boards. Finding the right products isn’t always easy, so help your customers out by organising and labelling your boards efficiently. You can organise by colour, product type, season or any other type of categorisation that may apply to your store’s catalogue.
 

8. Post at the Right Time


Every social network is different. Different market studies have proven that you can get better results if you publish your pins between 2pm to 4pm and 1am to 8pm, especially on Thursdays and Saturdays.


pinterest8

9. Make Your Pins Shoppable


pinterest9

Since each image can be linked to your company website, Pinterest can be an amazing way to direct sales to your website. According to Piqora, each pin is worth 78 cents in additional sales. Additionally, a study by Monetate showed that in the first quarter of this year, there was a 68% increase in Pinterest conversions when compared to the same period last year.

One way to make your Pinterest boards more shoppable is to utilise the Rich Pins feature. This feature allows Pinterest users to display complementary image details with each Pin, which can help potential customers to decide whether or not to buy your products.

We’re confident that these tips can supercharge the effectiveness of your Pinterest marketing, boosting traffic to your online store.

Happy Pinning!


http://www.removethebackground.co.uk/blog/creating-the-perfect-pinterest-image-to-sell-more/
 

How to Optimize Google Search Results for Pictures as Well as Words

Back in 2007, Google introduced “Universal” search results which combined results from general (text), news, video, image and book search results. It’s also called “blended” search because it “blends” all types of web results together.
 
Ever since, diversifying your content marketing strategy to include more formats and media types has become increasingly important. A few years later, monitoring and expanding your business visual context became even more essential when Google tweaked its image algorithm for it to become more varied and blended image search results with most “navigational*” query search results. (Navigational queries are those entered with the intent of finding a particular website or webpage. More often than not, these are proper names, such as brands, celebrity names, cities, etc).
 
Go ahead and try searching for [ann smarty], for example, and you’ll see what I mean: #3 position is taken by image search results relating to my name. That’s how important images are for my personal brand!
 
With blended search results, controlling your brand media (video and image) context has become more important. Let’s see how we can improve our visual brand visibility.
 

Visual Variety

 
Ever since Google introduced “Search by image” (“Reverse image search”) feature and thus marked the beginning of the high-precise visual recognition technology, the search giant has been paying more attention to the visual variety of its image search results.
 
In many cases, Google will even try to display original images sacrificing on relevance: If Google can’t find a new-looking image of you or your business, it will show something vaguely related which can often pose a threat to your brand integrity.
 
That being said, the more original images of your (personal) brand you publicize online, the better. This includes providing original images when doing an expert interview for a blog and publishing your images on your public social media accounts.
 
The more images of yourself or your business you publicize online, the more control you gain over your visual search results (which make it to your general search results as well!)
 
Basic search engine optimization (to make it easier for search engines to figure out it’s you) is still essential as well: Make sure your images have your name in the file names and (if you can control that) in the alt text of the embedded files.
 

Hosting Variety

 
From tests, it looks like Google is also looking for original sources (domains) in addition to visual variety. Neil Ferree shares his own success story with dominating image search results that proves that point to some extent:
 
“If you search Google for the long tail How to Manage Your Social Media Presence and select Images you will see I’ve got eight images that render above the fold. Some of these images point to my SlideShare Deck, some to my WordPress Website and a few to my Scoop.it topic page.”
 
That being said, extend your visual marketing efforts to as many channels as you can handle without sacrificing on quality. My own personal branding visual strategy can be summed up as follows:
  • Host your images on your own website (Think about your “About page”, blog sidebar, etc.) Whenever I mention hosting images on your blog, I always note that if you are going to do so, make sure your hosting is reliable. Images (especially if you or your readers are going to hot-link them from other sites) can bring any server down. Keep an eye on monthly hosting stats report from Sitegeek to make sure your hosting company is doing well.
  • Get very consistent with your social media profile pic: This is the only place where variety may hurt you. To make sure your friends are able to recognize you from social media network to social media network, keep your avatars the same throughout all the communities you are participating in.
  • Share more images of yourself and your team on your business pages, Pinterest account, Instagram (the more, the better). This will both drive more interest to your brand and diversify your brand visual context.
  • Create a set of professional images you are going to use in expert interviews.