How To Use Pinterest To Build Your Online Audience And Generate Free Website Traffic
Give Pinterest a chance
Pinterest… it’s been around since 2010 but in recent years has been swamped by the buzz over newer platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. However – Pinterest has never gone away and quietly, in the background, it’s growing rapidly and becoming a platform you ignore at your peril.
Read on to discover exactly why you should be taking notice of Pinterest in 2020 and beyond.
Here’s a few things you may not know about Pinterest:
Mindset change required!
As mentioned above, Pinterest is a search engine – not a social media platform. That’s where people get confused, because back in 2010 Pinterest WAS considered a social media platform, meaning you had to work to build up your followers, encourage interaction and engagement, and all the other stuff required by social media – much of which can be somewhat of a drain on energy and resources.
The important thing to remember is that Pinterest users are there to find things – perhaps just inspiration and ideas, but often very specific answers to questions – exactly as we’d search on Google. When you keep this in mind, you’ll begin to see why Pinterest is a valuable marketing channel, with the added bonus of being a visual search engine. I’ve talked before about the power of visual content – the human brain is wired to react to visual stimuli way ahead of text, and everything on Pinterest is visual (image, gif, video). Starting to get the idea?
Repeat after me….. PINTEREST IS A SEARCH ENGINE 🤣
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Pinterest and me
I first joined Pinterest in 2011 – back then it was still considered a social network, and at the time, my business was mainly focussed on social media management and training. I was active on Pinterest for 3 or 4 years but began to lose interest – until last year (2019)
Since then I’ve completely revised my Pinterest strategy in line with its search engine functionality. I’ve learned that keywords are vitally important throughout the platform (bio, board titles/descriptions, pin titles/descriptions), as is pin design – and most importantly, that Pinterest is NOT purely for design-led businesses.
Bloggers in particular can be extremely successful on Pinterest with the right strategy. I now get a significant amount of web traffic from Pinterest – although Facebook is still currently my primary “social” source. I know, Pinterest isn’t social media, but Google seems to think it is – at least the Analytics platform.
Will Pinterest work for my business?
There’s a very easy way to find out. Go to Pinterest (you’ll have to create an account if you don’t have one – or ask a Pinterest user to do the search for you) and type a few keywords related to your business into the search.
You’ll see that the search auto-populates (as it does in Google) with related keywords; you will also see a page of results. These are images called pins, each of which links (or should link) to a specific web page.
Are any of the pins related to your business niche? If not, then fair enough, Pinterest may not be suitable for you – but if there’s a reasonable number of relevant pins, you should definitely consider getting started with a Pinterest business account.
Getting results from Pinterest
Pinterest works well for both product & service-based businesses – it’s traditionally been thought of as only appropriate for design-related and creative niches – but that’s an outdated viewpoint. People come to Pinterest to find solutions to their problems. They’re probably searching for the type of help that you provide…
If you’re NOT in a creative niche, now’s the time to get involved, because fewer businesses like yours have cottoned on to the power of Pinterest as yet. It’s a golden opportunity.
To sum up, Pinterest is a brilliant way to drive traffic to your lead magnets, blog posts, podcasts, YouTube channel, product pages (if you’re an online retailer). Basically, Pinterest is a source of free, organic website traffic… with no algorithm reducing the reach of your links or pushing you way down the feed because you’re a business. (Facebook, I’m looking at you!)
Pinterest boards and pins frequently appear in Google searches – double whammy!
Pinterest can be used as a brand awareness tool and source of referral traffic for big brands and small businesses. Remember one of the points at the top of this article? 97% of Pinterest searches are unbranded – meaning that small businesses can compete with the big guys on a level playing field.
Now, do you think it could be worth learning how to use Pinterest to promote your business?
But I’m not a graphic designer…
Neither am I. We don’t need to be. It’s true that Pinterest requires high quality visual content, whether that’s images, gifs or videos, but the good news is that there are plenty of easy ways to produce your own, using free (or low-cost) online tools.
A couple of my online go-tos are Canva and Easil, but there are many others, or of course you could use software such as PowerPoint (vastly underestimated as a design tool!)
Once you understand that Pinterest images need to be portrait format in a 2:3 ratio, you’ll be able to set up templates that you can edit over and over by simply swapping out the images, colours, and text to create new pins.
In fact, both Canva and Easil have lots of pre-made Pinterest templates – I’d suggest using these to begin with, (obviously changing the images etc. to match your brand) until you have enough experience to start designing your own.
Ready to get started?
I hope you’re now convinced that Pinterest is worth further investigation. I have just the thing – my free guide “Pinning To Win” gives you a basic understanding of Pinterest as a marketing platform, and also includes a discount code for £20 off my online training “Power To The Pin” meaning you get this for £27 instead of £47.
Here’s a quick video summary of what’s included in the training:
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure about creating your own visual content for Pinterest or elsewhere, I’d love to welcome you to my free Facebook Group VISUAL MARKETING IDEAS FOR YOUR BUSINESS, where I share lots of tips, tutorials, free resources and more for making the most of online design tools.
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