How to Use Pinterest and Powerpoint to Drive Traffic and Leads to Your Website

Pinterest and Powerpoint Are a Match Made in B2B Marketing Heaven

Pinterest is a next generation social network tool that drives traffic to your website using images. 

How to Use Pinterest and Powerpoint to Drive Traffic and Leads to Your Website

Powerpoint is an older software tool that communicates important business concepts through images. 

Hmm…

It occurred to us that these technologies should be two great tastes that taste great together.  

And as good inbound marketing consultants, we figured out a way to put them together to help you drive traffic and generate leads. 

Step 1: Plan Your Social Media Marketing Campaign

Any good marketing campaign starts by defining the goals, strategy and tools & tactics to get the job done.  

What’s The Business Goal?

To drive visitors to your website from Pinterest and convert them to leads by getting them to download your informative Powerpoint presentation. 

What’s The Strategy to Achieve The Goal?

Create a Presentation Board on your Pinterest account where people can click on the Powerpoint slide image and go to the landing page where they download the presentation and generate a lead.

What Tools Do We Need to Execute the Strategy?

  • A Pinterest account
  • An Image of the Presentation
  • A Landing Page for the Presentation
  • The Actual Presentation

Step 2: Put Your Best Image Forward

Identify the best image you have in your Powerpoint presentation. This might be a colorful chart or a great image you pulled off of iStockphoto. Whatever it is, you’ll want to use the most visually appealing, informative and representative slide in the whole deck and make an image out of it. 

In Powerpoint, follow these steps to make an image out of a slide:

  • Make sure everything on the slide is “grouped” into one image in Powerpoint. Do this by selecting all the images and any text boxes and then clicking on Format –> Group. 
  • Now just right click (Control Click on Macs) on the entire grouped set and select “Save as Picture”
  • Save it on your hard drive; name the file something meaningful like “Presentation X Pinterest Image”

Step 3: Create a Landing Page

A landing page is a single web page whose entire purpose in life is to convert a visitor into a lead. This is often done through well written copy and the promise of downloading an in-depth article or presentation in exchange for the visitor giving up their name and email address.

For our example here, you should “gate” the Powerpoint presentation behind a small form that asks the visitor to input their name and email address to get be able to download it. This will represent your lead. 

For continuity’s sake, we suggest you use the same image in the landing page as the image you created for Pinterest in Step 2.

When you’re done, keep the URL of the landing page handy, because you’re going to need it later.  

For more information on landing pages, read this Hubspot E-book: An Introductory Guide to Building Landing Pages. If you need help creating landing pages, we heard this landing page design company is pretty good. 

How to Use Pinterest and Powerpoint to Drive Traffic and Leads to Your Website

Step 4: Upload Image to Pinterest

  • Go to Pinterest and log in  to your account. If you don’t have one and need an invite, contact us and we’ll send you one. 
  • Click on Add in the upper right corner
  • Select the “Upload a Pin” option
  • Click on Choose a File and upload the image you created in Step 1, Presentation X Pinterest Image. 
  • [IMPORTANT] Write a 500 character description of the presentation and its benefits to the end user. Make sure it’s

    How to Use Pinterest and Powerpoint to Drive Traffic and Leads to Your Website

    keyword rich! This is how people will find the image on Google and Pinterest

  • Click on the Pin It button
  • Click the Edit button you see above the image
  • [IMPORTANT]  Copy and paste the URL of the landing page you created in the Link field
  • Click Save Pin

How to Use Pinterest and Powerpoint to Drive Traffic and Leads to Your Website

Have a Board of Different Presentations Pointing to Different Landing Pages

You can create different boards for different types of content you may have – Charts, Infographics, Quotes to Live By and of course, Presentations.

You may even want to have several different Presentations Boards based on your different product lines for example.

But remember to point each presentation to a different landing page targeted to a different segment of your target market.  This makes it easier later to analyze which landing pages are converting and which one aren’t. 

We’d love to hear if you tried this technique and how it went. Did you generate traffic and leads? Let us know! Happy Pinning!


If you’re interested, check out some of our other interesting stuff like this pretty cool infographic to find out why you should work with an inbound marketing agency.

And if you want to dig in a little deeper, check out one of our latest guides – The Essential Guide to Internet Marketing as well.

internet marketing guide   inbound marketing infographic


Will Pinterest Replace Advertising?

What is Pinterest?

You may have heard of the latest social media phenomenon Pinterest.

Started in March 2010, Pinterest allows its users to create and share theme-based image collections.

According to the site, Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.”

Read more


How to Convert More of Your Blog Readers to Leads

Your Blog is Your First Meeting

These days, when someone reads your blog post, it’s like a having a first meeting with your company. People find you on search or social and read your post. You, of course, make a great first impression with an informative and professional article.

They’re impressed and feel good about receiving something of value for free.

Read more


Inbound Marketing to the B2B Buying Cycle: Know Who Your Customers Are

3 Things You Must Know Before Marketing to Your Customer’s B2B Buying Cycle

Like any marketing program worth doing, inbound marketing requires a significant amount of research and preparation before you get started.

We think it boils down to three simple things you need to know:

  • Who You Customers Are
  • What Kind of Content They Consume
  • What You Want Them to Do

    Read more


What is Inbound Marketing?

What The Heck is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is the process of attracting people to your website who actually care about what you have to say. It’s about creating content that people are interested in consuming. It’s about admitting that the old way of marketing – interruptive advertising – just doesn’t work anymore.

What is Inbound Marketing

It’s marketing and selling your products with authenticity and transparency.

It’s what people want. 

You may have heard Inbound Marketing referred to by different names. Some people call it Content Marketing or SEO or Social Media. The truth is Inbound Marketing is all of these things and more. 

Inbound Marketing is a Puzzle

Inbound marketing is like a puzzle – but not because it’s confusing. It’s a puzzle in the sense that it’s made up of many pieces. Pieces that should not stand on their own, but when put together, make total sense. To truly succeed online, business need to have a comprehensive strategy inclusive of all the pieces in the puzzle. Assembling the pieces together into one, cohesive strategy is the key to marketing success.

Four Core Pillars of Inbound Marketing

In order for your Inbound Marketing program to be successful, it needs to deliver in four key areas:

Traffic Generation

Generating more traffic for a website is like a recipe: you will need the proper mix of ingredients but there’s no one single formula for success. Rather, it’s a set of strategies and supporting tools working together. Those strategies are Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Customer-Oriented Blogging and Social Media sharing. All three working together will ensure an adequate supply of targeted traffic to your site. 

Lead Generation

So you’ve optimized your content, your’re blogging regularly and you’re getting some content shared on social media. Great start. But just because you have traffic coming in, doesn’t mean you’re getting any leads.

This is where premium content, landing pages and great calls-to-action come into play.  

Lead generation is a tacit quid pro quo between the marketer and customer. You have to convince your potential customer that what they’re getting (information) is worth more than what they’re giving up (their name and email address). Giving away useful customer-focused, problem solving content in exchange for information is one of the best ways to do this.  The amount of information you ask of them is directly related to how valuable the content you’re giving away. The more valuable the info, the more information you can ask of them.  

Once you have their name and email address, you can begin the process of nurturing leads toward sales. 

Sales Conversion

Would you consider someone who Likes you on Facebook a lead? Would you consider someone who downloads your whitepaper a lead?

The truth is that not all “leads” are created equal. 

That’s why managing your leads realistically while taking the long term view is a key part of converting leads to sales. Lead nurturing and segmented email campaigns are your primary tools for converting your leads into sales over time. 

Analysis & Measurement

One of the great advantages of internet marketing is access to data. With the proper tools such as Hubspot or Google Analytics 5.0, you can track almost everything about your site visitors.

The reports you generate should tie directly back to the goals you’ve set for the business. Is your goal to increase site traffic? Is your goal to improve traffic from social networks? Is your goal to increase conversion of your existing site visitors? All of these can be reported on analyzed. 

Remember, data doesn’t lie. It doesn’t matter what your boss wants to do or what some article says you should do. If the data shows that you’re not meeting your goals, change tactics and try again. Your inbound marketing program should be a continuous process of testing, measuring and tweaking. 

Making the Leap to Inbound Marketing

If your business is looking to consistently and affordably generate leads over time without annoying your customers, Inbound Marketing is something you should look into.

Spark Inbound Marketing is a full service inbound marketing agency that can help you make the leap to Inbound Marketing. We don’t promise overnight success but we do promise a system that delivers results over time.

Drop us a line, we love to talk about this stuff!


Inbound Marketing: You're Not Doing it Right

My Internet’s Not Working…

Almost every day, we talk to people about their Internet marketing efforts.

Most of the conversations start off something like this:

[box color=white]”We have a Facebook page but it’s done nothing for our business”

“We started a company blog last year but haven’t seen more visitors to our site”

“We spent a lot of money on Google Ads and got very little return out of it”

[/box]

The DIY Web Marketing Myth

Today, putting up a web site and getting a Facebook account is so easy your grandma could do it. 

But setting up your marketing tools is just the beginning.  

Now the hard part begins – establishing a presence on the Internet, driving traffic, converting traffic to leads and ultimately increasing revenue. 

And trying out social media with a couple of interns and a tiny budget just doesn’t cut it anymore.  

The bar continues to be raised every day

To make matters worse, the easy accessibility of free tools like WordPress, Facebook, Twitter etc. give people the false impression that the tool is the solution.

All they have to do is set up their free Twitter account and their marketing woes are gone forever. 

This is just plain false. 

Yes, in the hands of skilled technicians, tools are indispensible.  But in the wrong hands, they can be disastrous or at the very least ineffective. 

Would you trust your 5 year old with a chainsaw? I hope not. 

It’s the same idea with web marketing. 

Google’s own Avinash Kaushik even says that you should invest 10% of your budget in tools and 90% of your budget in people. 

It’s that important. 

Web Marketing Has Grown Up

Most companies tend to be good at some parts of web marketing, but not others. 

For example, some are great at creating content but aren’t good at generating traffic from it.

Others are great drivers of traffic but don’t know how to convert all those new visitors to leads.  

This common problem is often why their web marketing efforts fail. 

And it’s not easy to get right. It takes skills, perseverance and a willingness to try and fail until you get it right. 

These days, if you wish your web marketing efforts to succeed, you need access to: 

  • Marketing strategy talent
  • Top notch design and user experience talent
  • Keyword and expertise
  • Writing ability (hired an out-of-work journalist yet?)
  • Editorial and publishing experience
  • Video production capability
  • Conversion optimization experience
  • A/B testing experience
  • Analytics interpretation experience
  • Lots of time and energy

Inbound Marketing Methodology

Regardless of whether you hire those skill sets in-house or you partner with an agency, make sure they have the skills and methodology that covers all the bases of inbound marketing. 

Not doing so, can result in less than stellar results in your web marketing program. 

 


Spark Inbound Marketing Methodology

Here at Spark, we think about inbound marketing all day long. If you’d like to chat with us about our Inbound Marketing Methodology, drop us line. 


Groupon Re-Tools Coupons for the Internet

The most basic think about Groupon is that if you are a subscriber, a deal a day comes your way via email (or maybe Twitter). Over 35 million people now subscribe to Groupon’s local area offers in over 160 cities in the U.S. and over 100 more in about a dozen other countries. Groupon recently rejected Google’s offer of $6 billion and is reportedly preparing for a $15 billion IPO during 2011. The company is a money-making machine, taking in a sizable share every time a special offer is purchased.

Is Groupon Right for You?

Groupon seems to work best with local retail businesses like hair salons, restaurants, and clothing stores, but it can be used for many other kinds of products or services. A more analytical way of putting it is that the system favors businesses that can offer a commodity on a volume basis at price points that can attract a lot of people. That said, the price points don’t eliminate the luxury or premium goods segments – if you can handle volume and have local outlets, Groupon might work for you.

Why it Works

Business owners take a steep discount to have a deal of the day available for 24 hours, but they make no upfront payment. Offers are not activated until enough people buy it, ensuring that the deep discount is partially compensated by volume. Since small businesses have been overwhelmed by responses, Groupon encourages limiting the number of coupons available (unless you happen to be a huge national chain like the GAP which could handle 445,000 redemptions). Businesses report acquiring many new customers through Groupon.

How it Works

Groupon expands city by city, starting by recruiting highly rated local businesses that it believes will be successful. It attracts local subscribers, and then pushes a daily email to them with the offer of the day. You can purchase online or on mobile device (iPhone or android app). Once enough people have purchased (the deal is ‘tipped’), you can redeem the offer. Print the coupon to present for discount, or show the vendor your coupon on a mobile device.

Relationships Build Groupon

Personalization helps target offers to you, though you can always browse your city
for more. Groupons direction of evolution is toward more and more social integration as it runs hard to stay ahead of the many competitors it has spawned (including Google).

Groupon has a lot of competitors, the largest of which is LivingSocial. But it is much larger than any competitor, and growing rapidly. If Groupon is active in your market, it is a powerful marketing tactic you should consider.


5 Great Online Coupon Networks

It seems like a new online coupon network pops up every day. Marketers are a creative bunch, so new twists on methodology add dimensions to the nonstop competition.  In this post, we look at a group of 5 of the bigger networks, followed by a short list of wannabes.

This post is the third of 5 about online coupons. You can get the previous two following these links: online coupon overview and reasons to use online coupons.

Online Coupon Giants

  • Groupon.  This is the 800-pound gorilla in this category. Google is reputed to have bid recently for Groupon, with a purchase price as high as 6 billion dollars, and was rejected (and is now preparing its own coupon network called ‘Google Offers’).  Groupon has a powerful business model that incorporates a pricing structure that allows a business to pay only for actual sales and leverages the social networks of participants to reach new customers. Groupon has a slew of competitors headed by Living Social, but they are all far behind in this competition.  We’ll be publishing a more in-depth piece on Groupon in a few days.
  • Google Places.  If you have one or more local businesses, chances are you have a Google Places account (if you don’t, set one up before the end of the day). In the very first screen of your Places account, Google invites you to “Attract new customers by creating an offer for your business”.  These offers will display with your listing in localized search results, and they will also display on mobile devices (unless you toggle off that distribution). You will have the options to add an offer code and image if you wish.  Google will even give you a preview of what the printed coupon that customers will bring into your stores will look like.
  • Valpak.  Valpak has been a giant direct marketing firm for a long time. Now they have an online distribution network you can access to promote your business to the geographic areas you choose (note that Valpak is not your only option in this category – a brief search will yield many coupon networks).  For a local area, just visit the general contact screen and you will be sent to a form that will be submitted to a representative in your area.
  • RetailMeNot.  This large network has mainstream stores like Barnes and Nobel, Victoria’s Secret and Banana Republic. You can either select coupon codes (which link to the vendor’s landing page), printable coupons, or grocery coupons. A nice feature is the map display of coupon opportunities available in your neighborhood. RetailMeNot has recently added a social component to allow bargain hunters to interact directly with each other. You can use your favorite social network login, like Facebook Connect, to participate.
  • Coupon Cabin.  Coupon Cabin is one of 8 online coupon outlets in a group run by Network Solutions. These systems capture email addresses and send customers coupon codes for online redemption at participating vendors OR printable versions for in-person redemption.  Coupon Cabin has hundreds of vendors, many of them making online offers only.

More Online Coupon Networks to Check Out

http://www.grocerycouponnetwork.com/ Printable grocery coupons very similar to the traditional coupons you get in the Sunday supplements (remember newspapers?).

http://www.godaddy.com/ecommerce/savings-network.aspx Domain and hosting giant GoDaddy also runs a proprietary online coupon network. I guess Network Solution’s coupon business attracted some attention at GoDaddy.

http://www.couponnetwork.com/ CouponNetwork.com offers printable coupons that can be personalized to feature “your favorite stores”.

http://www.theshoppingnetwork.com/ The Shopping Network is a more traditional brand name aggregator, but it offers “coupons/discounts” in the main navigation.

http://www.couponcraze.com/ Online coupons for redemption at a variety of ecommerce outlets for products from software to vacations.

Come back for our next installment, where we take a closer look at Groupon.


8 Good Reasons to Use Online Coupons

This is the second in our series of 5 posts about online coupons. Take a look at the introductory piece about online coupon basics and then read this one.  The next installment in about a week.

The most important, basic reason to use online coupons is to get or keep a customer. In fact, this is the basic rationale for all marketing.  Coupons can be used to get or keep customers in a number of ways that correspond to the conditions in your business.

However, coupons are often used to motivate sales through discounting. While discounts can lead to customer acquisition, you have to maintain the distinction between motivating short-term sales and building a customer base. Since low price is the lure for online shoppers in most categories, it is tempting to use coupons in price competition just to boost sales. But if you do this, you have to be very careful to make your business case for discounts with the thought in mind that you may be setting a price ceiling, not a floor.

But businesses that rely on continuous discounting create the expectation among shoppers that “full price” is for suckers only.  Why would you use a coupon campaign?

Here’s How to Use Online Coupons

We see two basic ways to use online coupons to get or keep customers.  The obvious one is to motivate purchases through discounts or other offers. The second, increasingly important in the relationship-building that online marketing promotes, is getting and keeping a customer.

Reasons to Use Price to Motivate Customers

Clear inventory: Stimulating sales in the short term to clear inventory to make room for new products or new models, or simply to boost top line revenue, is a classic use of coupons.

Increase market share: Increasing market share in a well-defined niche is where the price competition bites hard. Depending on how well differentiated your product or service can be, you will be going more or less head to head against your competitors. If discounting is easy (and your discounting is easily visible), this can be a very costly form of customer acquisition characterized by a dive to the bottom price-wise. Online coupons can still help increase market share if your markets are already highly price competitive and/or your competitors are not using them.

Counteract cyclical downturns in sales: Many businesses have predictable seasonal variations in sales. Coupons can be used to boost business in the downturns in order to maintain production capacity, cash flow, or other business requirements that can justify reducing the revenue per sale.

Get customers in the store to get additional sales: You need to have customers in the store in order to make sales, right?

Use Online Coupons to Build Relationships

Capture a new customer: The lifetime value of a repeat customer may justify deep discounts for the first sale or lead. The requirement is to have a strong customer retention program in place to extract this value. Customer retention will be the subject of other posts because building online relationships is one of the bedrock principles of online marketing. But smart marketers know that customer retention is not only key to building a brand and sales directly, but it also leads to new customer acquisition through viral distribution. Its importance cannot be overstated.

Introduce a brand or product to a new market segment or location: Breaking into a new market is hard because potential customers already have 100% of their mind share allocated. New customer acquisition in these circumstances can be spurred by offers conveyed through third party coupon networks (Groupon is the innovation leader in this category) that have their own set of loyal visitors whose eyes you can borrow – for a price.  These third party networks can help you “get found.”

Introduce a new product or service to existing customers: Online businesses have a huge advantage in their solid connections to existing customers via email, texting, Facebook and Twitter. These channels are low cost and highly targeted ways to alert your best customers about new products and services, perhaps coupled with introductory discounts or other offers. Using a coupon in this situation may be ideal if you want to require an action on the part of your customer to confirm or reinforce the relationship.

Build a brand: Coupons can help reinforce the power of a brand. Since this is always a function of placement and repetition, coupons might be one component of a brand awareness campaign taking place in multiple online channels.

Our next post on coupons will look at 5 successful coupon sites, and we’ll toss in 5 more that are not so big but illustrate ways to use coupons.  The business models vary, so you need to be aware of how they might work for your business.


The Web is Awash in Coupons – Are They Yours?

The Web is doing its usual jerky dance these days, changing on the run. The talk is swirling about Yahoo’s death spiral, while at the same time Online Media Daily is reporting that Yahoo was the #1 site for unique visitors in November 2010. But the same story includes the nugget for online marketers that “coupons were the top-gaining site category [in November], with visits surging 40% from October…”

In case you didn’t already know, coupons are big on the Internet, where price competition dominates many categories.  Businesses of all kinds, from giant Proctor & Gamble to puny ma and pa eateries on Main Street, are posting coupons to entice people in the door. After being rejected by Groupon, Google is testing its own coupon network, possibly called ‘Google Offers’. Online coupons have become a major focus of an industry trade group, the Association of Coupon Professionals.

An important emerging trend in online coupons is the integration of social media with coupon distribution and marketing. These approaches not only build direct sales but also emphasize relationships. They help companies to be found and as such can be a part of a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy.

This post is the first of 5 posts about online coupons – we will post them every Tuesday for the next 4 weeks. The next 4 topics will include:

  • 8 Good Reasons to Use Online Coupons
  • 5 Great Online Coupon Networks
  • Groupon Redefines the Coupon for the Internet
  • Planning an Online Coupon Campaign

Online Coupons Share Basic Traits with Ordinary Coupons

Coupons have been around for a long time. Online coupons are similar to these familiar offers in important ways:

  • A coupon offers a discount, a bonus, or another form of enticement that the prospect has to claim through redemption.
  • Often a coupon is a physical link to a transaction between a business and a buyer or prospect for a specific item. Therefore, coupons are usually (not always!) redeemable in a business for something tangible.
  • Because coupons are usually redeemed in person, they are a good tactic for purely local businesses as well as national or widely distributed products.

Online Coupons Offer Unique Benefits to Marketers

As we know, the Internet has a number of advantages for marketing. This holds for coupon marketing as well:

  • Coupons are a good direct mail tactic, except using email allows much better targeting and tracking.  Offer codes are a thing of the past.
  • Social media make person-to-person distribution a reality, extending the reach of coupon campaigns to people not previously known to the marketer.
  • Online coupons can be set up to help marketers capture the buyer’s contact information and sometimes even profile data.  The implications for followup marketing are obvious.
  • Personalized options, either by segmentation or at the individual level, make coupons more flexible and more appealing to customers.
  • Online “coupons” can be emails that supply coupon codes to enable customers to get discounts in online purchases.

Building Marketing Campaigns Using Coupons

Online coupons have pros and cons. They are almost always a discounted sale and that’s a problem if it’s all you have going for you. But if the numbers work, coupons can be a great way to motivate buyers and establish relationships.  Our next post will look at how to decide if online coupons are right for you.