I absolutely love color! But, outside of attractiveness, strategic color usage can be a very beneficial marketing technique (especially with Pinterest). That being said, I will refer to Pinterest as an example throughout this article.
Be sure to take a look at some of the branding strategies gigantic companies use (worksheet attachment), and how they incorporated coloring techniques (and pray none of these are copyright protected). I promise you, nothing here was done by accident.
One thing you want to notice, contrary to what many Pinterest users do- these multi billion dollar companies I list (attached) use contrasting PRIMARY colors. There is very little pink, green. light blue, or other secondary/tertiary colors They do this to create maximum brand recognition.
My Early Struggle
I had a lot of difficulty establishing a foothold among my niche (female bloggers/ entrepreneurs) on Pinterest due to this. I know exactly what works in the business world, what people remember and what stands out, what companies spend millions to market. On Pinterest, however, everyone in my niche wants to use these light, clean hues, colors that would probably not fly in the real world because they don’t jump out immediately (like my blue/pink above; compare it to something like McDonald’s red/yellow logo).
This is an example of why market segmentation it is so very important, or at least specific targeting.
So, I was faced with a problem; how do I create eye catching images without using primary colors (well, besides yellow)? My solution is something like the one above. I have decided to leave the logo (dog) out, since it is already on the pins I post anyway (why you need rich-pins!). I don’t want someone seeing those pins and thinking they relate to dogs.
Contrasting colors, also complimentary colors (I know, it contradicts) are directly opposite each other on the color wheel. You can use this trick when you want one color to stand out on top of another color, or in my case- two pins to stand out from all the other pins on a page.
They are complimentary because they compliment each other; they contrast because one is very visible when used on top of the other.
This is an experiment I just began trying recently, and it had fantastic results! If you want to maximize your exposure, if you really want your pins to get noticed, pay attention to this.
The point here was to pin two good quality pins directly back to back. The catch- these pins are going to blatantly contrast each other, both already being attractive on their own. The idea here is to draw more attention than what would normally occur to one or the other without the viewer consciously realizing it. Let me provide an example.
It doesn’t quite matter if the subject matter of either is related or not because the human brain is first going to register the appearance before anything else. Of course they both do need to fit the boards overall idea.
The blue pin on the left there is one of mine, leading to an article about branding and image recognition. The one on the right is from The Nectar Collective, a blog about entrepreneurship, and- well, blogging. I posted these back to back on a few different boards, just to test my theory.
Your first assumption may be- ‘Cheater!’ I promise you, I’m not at all abusing the system or Pinterest. As it turns out, this was fantastic advertising for both Miss Griffin and I- better for her in the end; her 18 or so thousand followers possibly having something to do with it.
The end result was immediate, and I mean within seconds. In less then 10 minutes, 12 different people saved the yellow pin to their individual accounts, something- even with my absolute most popular pin out of 400 or so- that particular one having been shared over 70 times in less than a week- I’ve never seen. In less than an hour, over 20 people saved her pin to their accounts.
No, mine didn’t get as much attention. Maybe the color isn’t as appealing, or because Melyssa is a more established blogger, or the wording she used in her title is more eye catching (she did offer a bonus, which I didn’t)- either way, it doesn’t matter. You know why? My account is still being advertised, regardless of what gets saved.
Even better, my theory proved true! Can you imagine how exited I am to try this with two of my own pins? Too bad the spamming issue dictates I wait until tomorrow.
UPDATE: I just looked into one of my group boards, and three major, well established bloggers were using the same color strategy! Even better, my blue/purple pin above started the trend; it was like a beautiful domino effect! Let me tell you- it was probably the prettiest portion of the entire board (and it is no small board).
Compliment Strategy # 2 (Triad):
I’ve tried this strategic color usage for my profile board imagery. As opposed to complete contrasting, this would make both pins appear attractive- something you may or may not want if you are trying to draw attention to one in particular. Of course- feel free to test both strategies out (avoid becoming spammy).
Note: Even though they may be opposites on the color wheel, light colors or busy looking lightly colored pins aren’t as effective (I also tested this theory out).
While they may not be exact opposites, my favorite here are Red/Blue, Green/Blue, and Red/Green. In ‘technical terms’, this would be referred to as a triad color scheme. Red and green are very vibrant and appealing, but you also need to keep your ideal audience in mind. I have noticed very few established female bloggers around my niche (again, 80-85% of Pinterest) post anything bright red, green or blue. It is almost always clean, lightly colored hues (this is just my niche- blogging, marketing, advertising, etc.- it could very well differ anywhere else). Seriously, so much white starts to hurt my eyes after a while…
How about a lighter scheme, like Yellow/Purple/Blue? Indeed, I have noticed this combination is very popular among Pinterest users. Ironic, because that just happens to be the colors of the 3 pins on this page…
No kidding, that wasn’t intentional. I seriously just noticed.