Learn How to Increase Website Traffic and Sales With Pinterest
When you think about social media marketing you think about Facebook first and then maybe Twitter and Instagram depending on what type of business you have. Then there is LinkedIn if you are pushing a B2B service or product and even Vine for video marketing. What we don’t hear a lot about is Pinterest.
Most people think of Pinterest when they think about pictures of food or clothes, but it can be used to sell almost anything on an e-commerce website. You can also use it to push traffic to review blogs and virtually any other type of site. Even if your competition isn’t using it think of ways you can try to use it.. you might be able to uncover new traffic simply by taking a shot at it.
Since there is a lack of Pinterest discussion and I know how well it can help I wanted to put together a post that only talks about the steps needed in order to drive traffic and sales using just Pinterest.
Take this information and combine it with what you are already doing to add another solid source into your current strategy. You can never have too many sources for traffic and buyers, so don’t ignore this. Pinterest works and works well.
Steps to kick ass with Pinterest:
#1: Create a Profile
It’s important that you make a complete profile. Fill out everything. Pinterest has a very alert user base. They aren’t going to interact with your account unless it is complete and verified. If a company can’t take 10 minutes to do this they are missing out big time and probably getting killed by their competition.
When you set out to create boards you need to break them down and be as specific as possible. Don’t just create a general board and pin a bunch of random images. That will become a cluster and all the disorganization will actually push people away from your profile.
For example, if you had an e-commerce site that sold consumer electronics you would want to have a board for every type of product.. TV’s, cell phones, computers, laptops, video game systems, surround sound, etc. You can also take it a step further and have multiple TV boards: flat screens, curved flat screens, TV’s over 65”, etc.. you get the idea.
The goal is to make them as specialized as possible. When someone hits your profile you want them to explore. If you have very specific boards they can pick and choose what ones they check out. So, using the same electronics site, imagine if someone landed on your Pinterest profile and they saw you had boards for every imaginable electronics category and they just happened to be in the market for a new TV. If they were interested in a big screen TV they might click on your 65” on over board and then check out the pictures. The images do all of the selling. If they see a picture that interests them they can click over, land on the product page on your website and buy it.
So many people don’t think about Pinterest as a source of “buyer” traffic but it’s actually very targeted traffic. Think about it for a minute. Why do so many companies use infographics as part of their content marketing? Because people are visual and would rather look at pictures instead of read text.
The same goes for triggering purchases online. Is someone going to buy a TV from your website because you have a “500 word” article on your site or because you have kick ass images of the TV? Visual images sell.. do you really think someone is going to read an article about a TV? That content is just there to help pages rank in the search results, not sell. The images do the selling. People want to visualize that TV…
This is why you need to get great images form the manufacturers or if you are selling your own products then you need to hire a professional photographer and post great images. So many websites post crappy thumbnails that look like they were taken with a cell phone camera.. poor lighting.. bad angles. If you are selling your own items then pay for professional pictures. You will sell a lot more in the long run.
#2: Verify Your Site
This gives your Pinterest profile the verified icon and while anyone can do it some still don’t. Think about how much hype there is over Twitter verification. People go crazy over it and think it is some amazing accomplishment. There is going to be a huge number of people that visit Pinterest profiles and see that verification icon and will automatically assume the profile is something special because it is verified.
With a verified page and site you can then use the rich pins button, which allows people to share your images on their Pinterest boards. Why is this good? Well, as more people get used to sharing images they will see the pin button and every time they do this it will potentially introduce more people to your site.
Images are also more “fun” to share than blog posts.
Now here is my biggest piece of advice: MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR PRICE (if it is low) OR SPECIAL OFFER on your pictures. When people start to share your images you will get much more attention if you have your prices on them.
Don’t just use MS Paint and make some crappy/cheap looking design. If you don’t have photoshop skills hire someone! You can find great people on Fiverr for this. I typically HATE Fiverr.. but this is a perfect example of what Fiverr is good for. SEO? No.. but for little tasks like this you can do well there. So, if your pricing is very low then work it into the image. You want the price to stand out. Or if you have a special discount code then include that on the images. People are going to be drawn to images with prices. They tend to click on them more because they are curious.. and if they are in the market to buy a low price in the image can trigger an instant purchase!
Including prices and discount code in the images has many benefits and few drawbacks so I would suggest you do it. This won’t work for everyone of course, but if you are selling physical products and you have great pricing then take the time (and a few dollars) to get them done with prices.
#3: Promote Your Pinterest Profile
You will want to promote your Pinterest profile across all of your other social media profiles and also send it out to your email list. Why? Because there are A LOT of people on Pinterest and they are ADDICTED to pinning images.
Don’t believe me? Ask your girlfriend, wife, sister, etc. Ask them if they have a Pinterest profile. It will shock you how many say yes. Then, ask them to see it. Seriously.. if you aren’t experienced with Pinterest you need to look at some legit profiles from active users. It will blow you away at how intense it can get. Dozens of boards and thousands of pins. It’s like an underground cult.
I really never thought twice about Pinterest until a mate of mine was telling me how he was driving huge traffic numbers to a local clothing boutique just from Pinterest. They were doing so well with their online sales that he then started to find ways to develop Pinterest strategies for all the local businesses he was working with.
This caused me to look into it and start to use it on a few projects of my own. The quality of traffic you get from Pinterest is much better than a lot of the other social networks.
Disclaimer: I have not played with the promoted pins paid advertising yet. I would assume that the traffic quality is just as high, but I am strictly only discussing regular Pinterest use and organic traffic. Not paid clicks.
So, share your profile link on Facebook, tweet it out and email it out to anyone on your list. There is a good chance that a lot of your social connections on the other networks are Pinterest pinners as well. This just gives them another way to connect to you. I’m telling you now guys.. these Pinterest people are insane. The more they pin the more other people will see what you are selling.
#4 Snipe Followers
Identify who your main competitors are and see who follows them on Pinterest. Then simply follow their boards.. all of them. Just like on Twitter, the more you follow, the more that will follow you back.
You will see that Pinterest users are much more active than Twitter. So many people on Twitter are using bots and will follow someone just hoping for a follow back. They will then never think of that account again. They just want another follower and they will do whatever it takes to get it. The Pinterest crowd is actually active. They use the social network as it was designed to be used.
There are going to be some automated spam.. it’s only natural.. but when you get followers the majority of them are actually into whatever you are pushing on your boards.
I’m sure there are a lot of good Pinterest bots out there but I don’t have experience with them so I don’t want to throw out some examples incase they are crap. (If anyone has good Pinterest bot recommendations mention them in this thread and be sure to mention the pros and cons so everyone gets the real deal on them)
I have a VA that manually does all this for me. Doing it this way might cost a little more but for me it is working well and I have never had any of my Pinterest accounts banned or closed. I guess if you aren’t working on a long term website you can spam and not worry about a possible closed board. All my sites that I have a Pinterest strategy for are long term sites that I plan on keeping for years.. so losing a board because of spamming isn’t an option. The traffic is high quality and it converts so I am willing to pay for a VA to do my sniping manually.
Use the freelance sites to find Pinterest workers CHEAP. You are going to have to try several out.. don’t mention that you are looking to hire a VA because they will try extra hard (more than they normally would). Hire the same people across different accounts to test them. This is a good way to identify inconsistency. If someone does a kick ass job for you across multiple accounts you know they are hard workers and then you can approach them about becoming a full time VA. (this same trick works for any VA really.. always test them across multiple accounts to weed out the inconsistent ones)
#5: Encourage Your Visitors Pin
Pinterest is still fairly new so take the time to make sure your visitors know they can pin your images. Having the rich pin option is nice.. but your visitors need to be reminded. There are a few things I do to help encourage this and it really depends on what each site is selling and how it is laid out.
Popup reminders: If I am working on a blog with really big awesome images within the content I will use a popup that fires after 1:30 on the page. This gives the visitor PLENTY of time to read the content.. then when it fires and says “Hey.. click the Pin button and add to your boards!” they will follow the instructions if they have Pinterest. Also, if someone is just glancing and skimming and leaves the page quickly they won’t see it and get annoyed because it is interrupting their browsing. You are only showing it to someone that is REALLY into your content.
Email newsletter mentions: On the sites that we publish a lot of content we also have a newsletter that goes out 2 times a month and it highlights all the most popular posts. We have a Pinterest reminder within the design of the HTML newsletter template. It isn’t in the readers face but it also reminds them that they can pin the images to their boards. This only works if you make your blog know to be image heavy. It isn’t going to work if you have a couple crappy small images in your content.
Animated arrows: Only do this if your site is “dumbed down” and targets slow people. I don’t mean this to sound harsh…but it is true. If you are promoting high end products animated arrows aren’t going to work.. now if you are promoting product like you see advertised late at night.. then jackpot.. animated arrows capture attention and drive visitors to pin your images. Something as simple as a red animated arrow with “Pin me” written inside can cause a big spike in pins. It all comes down to your audience.
Pinterest works.. it is that simple. I was not a believer until I actually started to use it. I always thought it was for stay at home moms to pass time. That isn’t the case at all. You can drive some of the highest quality traffic to your websites using it. I would suggest you give it a try.
That’s it for now. If you have any questions drop them below. As always I hope that you enjoyed the read. Until next time..