I’ve tried a lot of things in my Pinterest Marketing. Some worked. Some didn’t. You may be checking out this post because you’ve tried things that people recommended that just didn’t work, or paid hundreds of dollars for a course or service and they didn’t work either. I’ve been there too. It’s so important to understand why Pinterest marketing is important in your overall strategy to market your blog.
Note: Pin scheduler Traffic Wonker has sadly gone out of business, but owner and CEO Andy Fling has given me permission to share his useful Pinterest research and other information on my site. I jumped at the chance as Andy is the smartest guy I know when it comes to Pinterest!
Are you ready for a few ideas that make a difference?
This post provides list of strategies that helped me and a few that failed. By including the failures too I hope to guide you away from a trip down that time consuming and sometimes expensive road. The strategies that will be big wins for you include a thumbs-up rating next to the subheading. If you don’t find substantial success, please email me. We’ll figure out why together.
1) Pinterest Pin Scheduling
Pinterest drove 235K visitors to my sites last year and pin scheduling was one of my most important marketing strategies.
Pinterest experts are all over the map in their recommendations on how many pins to schedule per day, so I decided to find out what was best with a two month long data-driven study, The Science of Pinterest Pin Scheduling. After testing 72 pins per day, 36 pins per day (50% less), and 108 pins per day (50% more), our study found that 72 pins per day was best by far for attracting repins.
Daily clicks matter too because they result in sales. However, I don’t feel that daily clicks should be a primary focus in Pinterest marketing. Instead, your focus should be on repins and the long haul.
Repins build “points of entry” to your site. Striving for maximum repins per day will eventually build thousands of points by which Pinterest visitors can click to visit your site.
I built TrafficWonker to help me market my elementary music education site, MakingMusicFun.net, in 2015 and I’ve been scheduling about 72 pins each day. The following chart shows what’s been happening with Pinterest referral traffic since then. Pinterest Analytics shows a slight decline in clicks to MMF over the last year. However, referral traffic from Pinterest as a whole has gone from 53K visitors per year to 191K visitors per year. I committed to building repins over the long haul and I’m enjoying my best year by far.
2) Multiple Pin Images for the Same Post
I’ve had great success creating multiple images for the same product. Consider making two or three pinnable images for each blog post. Change the color, images, and maybe even the post title. Add your favorite to the actual post and the rest to Pinterest with a link point back to your post.
This works for a couple reasons:
a) Some people will respond to one image, but not the other.
b) Multiple image create multiple points of entry. Yep, this again and were only on tip number two.
You might not want to create multiple images for everything, but you should for the posts and products that attract the most attention.
3) Repurposing Content
Repurposing your content gives you a way to be discovered by a whole new audience. It’s way easier that creating a new post, as you’ll be making a new version of content that is already successful.
I’ve limited repurposing to eBooks so far. For my site, MakingMusicFun.net, I combined separate pieces of sheet music into digital print books. For TrafficWonker I’ve made repurposing as simple as adding a cover and introduction.
4) Image Size
Images that are taller than they are wide have performed best for us. In my early days on Pinterest I created a few shorter images. They got a few repins, but not what they did when I made their taller counterparts.
5) Building Boards Quickly
I love seeing members jump in with both feet when I offer suggestions. I’m that way too. Unfortunately, this all-or-nothing attitude doesn’t pay off if you go crazy adding 500+ pins to a board in one day. I lost 50-60 followers when I jammed up my followers SmartFeed with too many pins. After that lesson, I began adding pins to a secret board and then move them to my public board or start a brand new board as a secret board and convert it when it’s sufficiently filled.
6) Building Followers
Building followers helps, but it shouldn’t be your main goal. If you have a brand new account, take the time to follow other pinners with similar boards until you reach 200 followers. After that, work on writing the best blog posts ever and create the best products ever. Quality work will be discovered and shared.
7) Collaborative (Group) Boards
Both as a group board owner and a member of several group boards I can vouch for the value of group boards. Pinners at every level enjoy their benefits, but they are particularly helpful to new pinners with limited followers because they provide access to the traffic of every contributing member.
Here’s a list of tips to help you find quality collaborative boards:
a) Choose boards with 200+ collaborators.
b) Choose boards with 2K+ followers.
c) Choose boards that you can find in Pinterest board search. Type the name of the board and search. If the board comes up in the first 3-4 rows of results it’s likely getting considerable engagement.
If you match at least two items on the list you’ve likely found a winning board.
8) Powerful Pin Descriptions
The kind of business you own will determine the kind of pin description that you write. I’ve driven a lot of folks to my music education site with just the product title in the description box. However, asking questions or adding a call to action can strengthen your description.
Here are a couple examples:
Print and Download The Entertainer by Composer Scott Joplin for Easy Piano Solo. Format:PDF Pages:2
This description begins with a command – Print and Download, includes a clear idea of what Pinterest visitors will find if they click, and strong keywords to help my pin be discovered in search.
Girls ignoring you? Learn to live with it OR learn their love language. Click to learn words of…
This description begins by getting to the heart of what’s causing your reader to feel pain or frustration. It asks a question that the marketer hopes will be answered with a “Yes.” Then promise the help they’ll need with a call-to-action – “Click to learn more.”
9) Expanded Pinterest Profile Name
I mentioned earlier that Pinterest is primarily a search engine. That means there’s a need to optimize your profile so that it ranks well in the search engine results. Crave Bakery did a great job. They added two keywords to their profile title – “Gluten Free” – and now there are more ways Pinterest visitors can find them.
10) Rich Pins
Pinterest doesn’t tell you everything about how their search engine works, but they do let you know that Rich Pins rank higher in search results. Another perk is that since everyone isn’t using Rich Pins, the bold font on the Rich Pins will help your pins to stand out.
When I converted our pins to Rich Pins I also tweaked our pin descriptions and introduced a collection of new pin images for our posts. As a result, it’s hard to say what did the trick, but something worked because clicks to our site from Pinterest are up almost 500%.
11) Ranking #1 in Pinterest Board Search
People read top to bottom and left to right. When there’s almost no difference between your board and another board except the cover image and your logo, the best place to be is the first place they look. That’s a pretty compelling argument by itself. Here’s another one. Cornell University conducted a study to see how people interacted with Google’s search results page. The study found that searchers clicked on the first result 50% of the time, and the top three results 80% of the time. If you rank #11 (on the top of the next page) you’d be sharing only 1.1% of the traffic to that search term with the rest of the world. Not so good.
I own 51 boards that rank #1 for my search terms, and 71 more boards rank in the top ten. My system for getting there isn’t fool-proof, because there are things going on that we can’t see, but it is very effective.
a) If you have more followers than the top board, you just need to increase the number of pins on your board until you have more pins than they do.
b) If you have far fewer followers, it’s still possible to rank #1 for your search term, but you’ll need far more pins than the top board.
I have one board with 20K pins that took the top spot even though I have 10K fewer followers than the board that I bumped to the #2 position.
12) Testimonial Pins
One of my pins has a description written by a fan of MakingMusicFun.net, telling people how happy she was to discover our site. It has 5.6K repins. Nothing sells like a testimonial, which is why it’s always a fundamental part of every successful sales page.
Search Pinterest for repins of your pins to see what people are saying. You might find a great review that you can start promoting on your boards and through pin scheduling.
13) Similar Title Boards
I have several Pinterest boards that have virtually the same pins, and similar titles:
Pinterest Tips for Business
Pinterest places significant weight on your title and word order when ranking your boards. I decided to build several boards with slightly varied titles, including other relevant keywords, so one of our boards is discovered no matter what searchers type.
Pinterest Analytics shows us that it was worth the effort.
14) Cross-Promotion in Pinterest Marketing
Cross-promotion is the technique of using another channel or media to promote products to a different audience. On Pinterest that means pinning your pins on a variety of boards so no matter what board your potential customers visit they will find your pins. This is very helpful for incorporating Pinterest in marketing your website.
I add all of our pins to our Pinterest Marketing boards, but I also add them to our Social Media Marketing Tips and Blogging for Beginners. Some of my pins work for our Facebook and Twitter Marketing Tips boards, so I pin them there too. My MakingMusicFun.net account has a Piano Sheet Music board that is very active. To take advantage of this traffic I add my music theory resources to that board. They’re not a perfect fit for a sheet music board, but they are resources piano teachers and students will find valuable.
15) Multiple Pinterest Accounts
It doesn’t take many followers to get Pinterest working for you, so I’ve created several accounts to market the same pins. Many years ago I created a free WordPress blog to drive traffic to MakingMusicFun.net. More recently I added a Pinterest account for this blog. While this Pinterest account only has a few hundred followers, it still cranks 25% of the repins that our well-followed account generates with 15K followers.
16) Social Share Buttons
I’ve used AddThis.com social share buttons for years now, and they have been tremendously useful. I place one set of buttons between the title and the first paragraph, and another set of buttons following the post. Doing this makes the whole world your marketing team, and they’re doing it for free!
17) Number of Pinterest Boards
Our study, How Many Pinterest Boards is Too Many? found that while you can enjoy success on Pinterest with 100+ boards, most successful pinners will have far fewer boards. The average number of boards for top pinners with 300K+ followers is 56 boards.
18) Group Boards That You Own
Group boards are a great way to get boards you own to rank in Pinterest board search. I own several group boards, and three of them rank in the top ten. They aren’t always the way to go because your contributors can diminish the quality of your board and your ranking could go down. The upside is that you can manage who gets to contribute and you get to make all the rules. Here’s a post on why you need your own group boards and how to set them up.
by Andy Fling
Founder and CEO of TrafficWonker.com
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