Pinterest is a fast growing platform and one where I have been carrying out a lot more work for clients in the past few weeks. I have had some successes with getting more Pinterest traffic and even some great links from bloggers by using Pinterest as an outreach tool. So in this blog I’ll share some tips and tricks I have picked up.
How to Drive More Traffic from Pinterest
The first thing to do is make sure your content on Pinterest can be found easily. A lot of Pinners don’t add a description to the images they are pinning and therefore it is hard to find them when you conduct a search in Pinterest.
You want to treat your description as if you were writing an excerpt for a blog post, so make sure you advise of the benefits of the visitor clicking through to your site. You have a maximum of 500 characters but I have found keeping descriptions around 50-150 characters, you can also add a web address and hashtags in your description.
Next you want to add a Pin it Social button to your website so your visitors can pin any images they like on your site. Navigate to the Goodies area and scroll down to the Pin it Button for Websites area.
Fill in the relevant fields and then an embed code will appear which you can add to your site.
If you have a WordPress site then there are a number of Free Plugins you can install on your site.
Now you have optimised your blog or website for Pinterest you want to visit your evergreen content that still receives traffic from search engines or referrals. If your site doesn’t have too many images then you want to add some nice looking photos and pinnable images, such as memes or inspirational quotes.
For one of my clients who were a food blog I created some funny quotes based on the recipes on the site; if you aren’t au fait with Photoshop or other image editing software then hop on over to Fiverr there are lots of designers who will be more than happy to provide you with some cost effective images based upon your requirements. With in just a few days of adding these images to the site referral traffic from Pinterest was up by 65% & the average Pinterest visitor stayed on the site for about 6-7 minutes and there was a reasonable bounce rate of 42%.
If you are looking for more ideas to developing content for Pinterest then I recommend this post on SEOmoz by Coby Almond.
Is it time to invest our budgets in Pinterest content?
A lot of businesses are starting to invest their marketing budgets in creating boards, contests and Pinterest targeted content and with the news that Pinterest is now driving more traffic than Bing, Twitter or Stumbleupon you can start to understand why. Shareaholic is one of the main providers of social sharing buttons and collates their data across 200,000 websites. They have a reach of approximately 300 million so are a fairly reliable data source. From the below figures you can clearly see that in June Pinterest over took Twitter in driving traffic to websites but when you actually look closer at the numbers you see an interesting set of results.
It is clear to see from the table above that the total traffic driven to websites via Social Media is approximately 10-11%, with Direct traffic driving almost twice that amount and Google search bringing in 45% of all traffic. So I wouldn’t be making a significant reduction in my search budget to start to focus on expensive Pinterest friendly content just yet. But that’s not to say you can’t create something small scale and affordable to increase the likelihood your content is shared.
However if you are running a business within a niche that is popular with the stereotypical Pinterest user e.g. Food and Drink, Women’s clothing or home decor then it is more important that you begin to define a clear strategy than if you are a car mechanic or health care provider.
Who is Pinning my Content?
Once you have devised your Pinterest content strategy you want to begin to understand who is pinning your images to their boards. You can do this yourself by going to Pinterest.com and adding your domain name after source.
There are also two tools that I have used recently when carrying out this type of analysis. The first is by Gaz Copeland which is a simple bookmarklet that allows you to see which images have been pinned and by who when you are browsing a website.
The other bookmarklet is by Aaron Friedman and Josh Nankin which does a very similar job to Gaz’s bookmarklet but instead of taking you to Pinterest to view this data it creates a CSV file you can download and manipulate in Excel.
To add these bookmarklets to your browser just drag and drop them to your bookmarks bar.
Once you know who is pinning your content (or your competitors content) you can begin to devise an outreach strategy to obtain more Pins or links.
Using Pinterest as an Outreach Tool
The great thing about Pinterest is how personal it is. It really is an insight into the lifestyle a person either lives or aspires to live. You can find out what food’s they like, what cars they want to drive, the holidays they enjoyed and the books or movies they love. This information is absolutely gold to an outreach specialist or link builder.
For example if I was carrying out an outreach campaign for a “link building infographic” I can run a simple Pinterest search for my keywords. For this example I will use the keyword phrase “Link Building Infographic”.
From this search I can find out the pins that have received the most re-pins, likes and comments. I can also click on a pin and see what the source URL is; so I can begin to create a list of blogs I might want to target with my blogger outreach campaign too.
Another useful insight I like is the fact you can find the most common people who your target re-pins. Which gives you more influential people to add to your target list. Once I have created a list of pinners I then try to segment them even further to find the really heavy hitters. I do this by asking myself the following 4 questions.
- How popular is my target on Pinterest?
- Are they regular contributors?
- How active are they on other social media networks?
- How good is their personal website?
Now, I have segmented my targets I can now begin to start my outreach.
I have found the best way to begin a conversation with a Pinner is by commenting on their pins. Most popular bloggers will receive hundreds of emails and blog comments every week. But the great thing about Pinterest is that not many people are commenting on the site (just 0.5% of Pinterest users spend time commenting), so by doing so you really will stand out. Once you have let them know who you are, you can take the conversation to email or another social media platform.
To obtain the best results from your outreach you want to consider following my A, B, C’s of blogger outreach:
- Association –How can I develop a long term relationship? Could I offer a series of guest posts? Could I run a contest?
- Be Specific – Bloggers are pressed for time so what do you want them to do? Pin your content? Publish a guest post? Do an Interview?
- Content – Is my content unique or adding value? Is my content informative or entertaining? Is it relevant to their community?
Here is an example of an email I used for a recent infographic campaign once I had started to develop some basic relationships with my target bloggers:
I came across your site via Pinterest and wanted to share this new <redacted> infographic.
I was wondering if you’d be willing to share the infographic with the readers on your blog? I think <redacted>
Anyway I have published it here: <link>
If you do want to share it, here is an easy to copy embed code:
If you have any trouble with the embed code or have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thanks for your time,
As you can see I was brief and gave them clear instructions as to what I needed them to do.
I hope this blog post has gone some way to helping you use Pinterest better as part of your social media strategy. If you have any questions or great Pinterest case studies please drop them in the comments below.