How to Use Pinterest for Sports Team Marketing

Photos are an awesome way to spice up any sports team website as well as showing off your team, events and other happenings around your club.

However, it doesn’t stop there. Photos and other types of images are also great material for marketing your website and online sports team marketing in general, especially as content for your social media networks.

A social platforms that is especially suited for visuals is Pinterest. In this article we will look at how the platform works and how you can use it to drive traffic to your sports team website.

Ready to get your Pinterest on? Then let’s dive right into it.

Why Use Pinterest for Your Sports Team Marketing at All?

In contrast to older platforms like Twitter and Facebook, Pinterest is a relatively new addition to the social media mix.

The network was founded in 2010 and has quickly made its mark in the online world. In fact, Pinterest was the fastest site to break the 10 million unique visitor mark.

With images being the only content you can share on the site, Pinterest also has a very unique approach.

To marketers, Pinterest is interesting as a big driver of referral traffic. In contrast to other platforms, its content doesn’t fizzle out as quickly and continues to generate traffic.

That’s because Pinterest is designed for sharing and not original content creation. Without being able to post status updates and other content, the platform’s users are always looking for more to distribute.

Finally, like many other social networks out there, Pinterest is free to use and therefore interesting for sports teams on a budget.

However, that doesn’t keep professional teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Tampa Bay Lightning to be on there, too.

If it’s good enough for them, why not for you?

How to Use Pinterest – The Basics

Now that I have your attention, let’s see what you can do to turn Pinterest into valuable source of traffic for your team website. We will start with the basics.

Create an Account

The first order of the day is setting up a Pinterest account. For that, all you need to do is go to the Pinterest homepage and you will immediately be asked to sign up.

However, after you have typed in your email address and password, be sure to choose Continue as business at the bottom of the next screen.

Otherwise you won’t be able to include your website address on your profile, making your efforts of bringing in additional traffic naught.

After that, fill out the necessary information. Don’t worry if you are not sure about everything, you can change it again later.

Once done, you will be asked to subscribe to at least five different topics so that Pinterest can fill your feed.

While you can always modify these topics, it makes sense to go with something that’s actually relevant to you and your team from the start.

For example, you can subscribe to Sport in general, your particular discipline, your home town or country and whatever else makes sense for you and your team.

After that, hit the big red button at the bottom to continue. Pinterest will now fill your start feed and then it’s time to move on to your profile.

Set up Your Pinterest Profile

To change your profile, all you need to do is click on your profile name in the upper right corner and then on Edit Profile.

Besides the name, every Pinterest profile consists of four main elements:

  1. Logo — This is a prime location for your team logo, wouldn’t you say? The recommended size is 600 by 600 pixels.
  2. Website address — Need I explain this? Only by adding your site can people go from your Pinterest profile to your team site, so filling this in is a must.
  3. Description — Include one or two lines about who you are and what you do. Be clear and concise.
  4. Boards — Boards are collections of Pinterest postings sorted by category. We will talk more about this later.

Pin Away

Now that you have a profile, it’s time to get busy pinning.

Pinterest only knows one type of content: Pins. It is basically an image plus an optional description.

The description can (and should) contain hashtags and keywords that others can find your pins under when using the search bar.

That’s the only way your pins will appear on your audience’s radar unless they are already following your profile or board directly.

Once someone sees your pin, they can click on the image to see its full version. From here they are able to pin your posts to their profiles and collections, like them or leave a comment. Of course, you can do the same with other people’s posts, too.

On the most basic level, that’s all there is to using Pinterest. However, now let’s see how you can use this tool effectively to get actual visitors.

Using Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Sports Team Website

Generating website traffic from Pinterest is basically a four-step process:

  1. Pin relevant and entertaining images
  2. Include a link back to your website
  3. Get as many likes and repins as possible
  4. Rinse and repeat

Of course, as with everything the devil is in the details and we will get to the fine print now.

Creating a Pin – The Right Way

Successfully using Pinterest is a mixture of publishing your own pins and repinning other people’s stuff. Let’s look at the first part.

For the most part, Pinterest let’s you get away with posting only your own stuff. So, if you have a blog on your site, this is an awesome opportunity to spread your content further.

Yet, also just spreading your images can be enough, if done in the right way. More on that below.

You can either pin a picture already on your (or someone else’s) website or upload it directly to Pinterest. Either starts with a click on the plus button.

If you use a web page to create your pin (such as a blog post) the platform will give you a choice of the images found in the address you put in.

Click on the one you want to share to enlarge it. This will also let you add a description to it.

Brevity is key here. Pinterest users don’t like to read too much. The sweet spot seems to be somewhere around 200-250 characters.

When you add a description, don’t forget to include relevant keywords and add 1-2 hashtags. That will make your pin a lot easier to find by your audience.

You can only add pins to pin boards, so create one while you are at it. Just type in a fitting name for the kind of content you want to share, click on the big plus sign and then hit Create. Done.

Now all that’s left to do is click Pin it on your newly created board and you have brought your first pin into existence!

However, the work doesn’t stop here. You need to take one more important step.

After you have finished the pin, click on See it now to be taken to its page. Then, find the Edit button at the top.

Here you can change your description, input where the image was taken and — more importantly — add your own website.

If you have created a pin from a web address, this part will automatically be filled in.

However, it will be empty for uploaded pictures, so don’t forget to fill it! Otherwise you can wait a long time for your Pinterest referral traffic.

What to Post in Pinterest for Likes and Shares

After learning how to correctly post stuff to Pinterest, it bears the question what exactly to fill your account with.

What do the platform’s users like? How can you make sure your images bring in loads of likes, re-pins and visitors? We will get to that now.

However, first one important thing about image formatting: Due to the platform layout, Pinterest prefers images in portrait mode.

While landscape images also works, it just doesn’t look as good. Therefore, if you can, consider cropping your images to the right format first.

Alright? Then let’s get to the actual content you can post.

1. Memes

Some people say the Internet was only invented to give rise to memes. Whether that’s right or not, the fact is that memes are a type of content that works well in many environments, including Pinterest.

Just do a quick Google search for sports memes or have a look at this collection. Funny, right? There is loads of material like that out there, just waiting to be pinned.

Plus, you can create your own easily. Services like Meme Generator let you do it with a couple of clicks.

However, with memes you really need to know what you are doing or they will easily backfire. Therefore, get educated first.

2. Background + Text overlay

Simple to make but really effective. All you need is a background related to your sport or discipline with something written on top that appeals to your audience.

Free tools like Pablo and Canva also make them really easy to create.

The tough part is to figure out what to write on top. An all-time favorite are motivational quotes from sports stars or some other feel-good message to get people through the day.

This type of image is also a good vehicle to share blog posts including their titles.

3. Infographics

Infographics are another perpetual content favorite on the Internet. The human brain is hard wired to love them and they are a great way to summarize complex information.

For that and other reasons, infographics are an easy way to get a lot of repins.

You can even create them yourself without having to pay a graphic designer. It can be enough to produce a photo sequence that explains something people in your niche would be interested in learning.

4. Pictures of people

This part is really where your team photos come into play. Humans love to relate to humans, therefore, we are hard wired to be drawn to pictures of other people.

If you regularly take pictures of your games, practices and other opportunities to capture action, you should have plenty of images you can use on Pinterest.

You might even be able to combine them with the other types of images mentioned above.

Apart from that, just scour the platform itself, especially the popular section to get a feel for what gets a lot of response.

Pinterest Networking Like a Pro

Yet, content is only one part of the equation. Social networks are also all about connection.

Consequently, the better you connect with others, the better your chances of repins, interaction and — ultimately — traffic.

On Pinterest, you can interact with people in several ways: By commenting on, sharing or liking their posts. Some of the people you interact with this way will start following you.

Yet, the most effective way to gain followers is to follow them first.

Whenever you do, other users get a notification about it and will often check your profile. If they like it and the content you share (that’s why it’s important to be active!), there’s a good chance they will follow back.

Currently you can follow 300 people per hour. While only a fraction of them will reciprocate, if you do it on a regular basis this number will add up over time.

How to Find People to Follow

Finding users worth following can be done in two ways:

  1. Search for relevant keywords — Use the search bar to look up relevant search terms, click on the faces of people who are sharing content related to your team and start following them via the button in the upper right corner.
  2. Spy on the competition — By finding profiles and people in your niche that already have a large number of followers, you can simply look at their list of supporters and start following them.

One important note: Don’t follow accounts without a profile pic or very small number of pins. These are usually inactive and not worth engaging with.

Join Group Boards

Group boards are maintained not by one person but several who are all interested in the same things.

The advantage of becoming part of a group board is that it fills up one of your boards with fresh material without you having to do anything.

Use Pingroupie to find boards worth joining or create your own by adding collaborators to your boards.

WordPress Plugins for Pinterest Sharing

To get the most out of Pinterest, it’s naturally also a good idea to let your visitors share your own stuff. Who said everything on Pinterest has to come from you?

In fact, you can check if there are existing posts from your site by inputting the following link into your browser bar:

Just exchange the last part of it with your own web address.

With a WordPress website, you have a lot of choice to enable Pinterest sharing such as:

Apart from that, Pinterest also offers its own tool for building Pinterest buttons.

Therefore, as you can see there is no reason not to get your pin on.

Will Pinterest Be Part of Your Sports Team Marketing?

As a social network entirely based on image sharing, Pinterest is a very unique environment.

Sports teams wanting to extend their marketing to this channel need to be aware of its particular set of rules.

On the other hand, if you regularly use photos and other visuals on your site, the platform is a great way to bring in additional visitors and the steps laid out above will help you get started. If you’re thinking about your next team photoshoot, be sure to keep these things in mind.

By doing consistent work you should be able to gather a healthy number of followers, and — together with other marketing tactics — generate the traffic your site deserves.

If you want to dive even deeper into the topic, check out Buffers article on Pinterest marketing or Copyblogger’s 56 (!) ways to market yourself on Pinterest.

Plus, if you are looking for tools to make this work even faster, Quicksprout has got your back.

But now, all that’s left for me to do is wish you good luck. See you on Pinterest!

Are you looking to create a sports team website with WordPress? I encourage you to try SportsPress, it’s a free sports club management plugin for WordPress to help you build a professional looking website for your team. It’s 100% free so what do you have to lose?  If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with the team

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