Are You Pinning Your Hopes On Pinterest ?
One constant about internet marketing, whether you are an affiliate marketer, own an e-commerce store or have a suite of niche sites is the need for traffic. Without traffic or people visiting your site, it won’t hit the goals you have set for it.
Hot traffic sources come and go.
A few years ago article marketing was the way to go.
Then web 2.0 sites like Squidoo or Hubpages where the flavor of the month.
Anyone for document sharing sites ?
How about Social media like Facebook or Twitter ?
Well, the latest traffic hotspot is Pinterest. Are you pinning your hopes on Pinterest to get you traffic or is it just another flash in the pan ?
What’s Pinterest All About ?
Pinterest let’s you put images that you like onto the web.
It’s like an old fashioned pin board that you might keep in your study where you pin random images, quotes and other bits and pieces that take your interest.
You could also liken it to the front door of your fridge, where relevant bits and pieces get stuck under fridge magnets.
Except that it’s a virtual pin board that you can share with the millions of other Pinterest visitors. On the virtual pin board, you place :
- things that your see as you hop around the web,
- images that you have created yourself,
- images that you see on pinterest that have been added by other members – this is called repinning.
It used to be hard to become a member of Pinterest a few months ago but this has changed and it’s just a case of registering an account nowadays.
Once you have an account, you set up “boards” or virtual pin boards.
Boards are simply topics that you are interested in. The types of boards you create are only really limited by your own imagination (although Adult content is not allowed).
If you have an interest in a certain topic then you create a board on it.
Once you’ve looked at how a few people organize their pictures, you’ll see some common boards.
- Animals are popular.
- Humor is also common.
- Others include Food and Drink, Things I Love, Books To Read.
These are all general in nature or catchalls but you can also have specific boards for things that you have a passion for.
Who Visits Pinterest ?
The thing that first strikes you about Pinterest is that it looks stylish or classy, like a glossy magazine.
It’s so easy to spend 5 or 10 minutes looking at the pictures. You might look at a cute baby animal, then spy a humorous postcard then go to inspirational quotes then onto books you should read.
If you are into fashion then you will look at the glossy fashion style pictures or images of shoes.
It’s that kind of site. People visiting the site aren’t going to have a huge attention span…for Pinterest anyhow. I imagine it’s something you look at in a tea break or at lunch time.
As you might guess from the images on the site, the main demographic of visitors is women. It’s estimated that 90% are women in fact, between the ages 18-44.
How Can You Use Pinterest As An Online Marketer ?
There are two main ways to use Pinterest as an online marketer, as already mentioned,
- for traffic or
- as a place to drop affiliate pictures/links.
Pinterest lets you link a url to a picture and places the url below the picture. These links are do follow links too. By clicking the image a Pinterest visitor will be taken to your site.
So you can get direct traffic and, in theory, the links will boost your website in the search engine rankings (but who knows these days).
You can place pictures from your website onto Pinterest or create unique images that fit in with the Pinterest look and feel. You are likely to get a better results if you create unique images but this can be time consuming.
Apparently you can get into trouble if you do too much direct affiliate linking or make it look spammy. I haven’t put any direct links onto my boards as yet so I can’t confirm this.
So How Is Pinterest Performing ?
I’ve been using Pinterest for about a month. In that time the results have been disappointing. I get dribs and drabs of traffic coming to my sites but not the huge influx that you might expect of something hyped as the next great traffic source.
Of course it’s still early days for me.
Things that I need to improve on are the quality of the pictures I am pinning to my boards. For the most part, I am pinning standard product images on white backgrounds.
This doesn’t really fit in with the style of Pinterest so the pictures may not be attracting much attention or people may just see them for what they are – attempted to get traffic.
The key to success with pinterest is to make unique imagery that attracts people. This is easier said than done of course and takes some creativity.
I attended a webinar about pinterest the other day that talked about using a online service called picmonkey.com to give your pictures a bit more va va voom. I’ve played around with it and it looks quite good. This is something I will be trying out going forward, along with a few other ideas.
Another key to success with Pinterest is to become more active in the Pinterest community. Just like other social networks, you have to get out there. That means following people, leaving comments and maybe even re-pinning other people’s images on your own boards. This will hopefully get people to notice you and start following you. And people that follow them will notice you and maybe go on to follow you…and so on.
As already mentioned, the key with Pinterest is to create attractive imagery. Also, create attractive imagery that fits the demographic of the site. If you can do this, people are more likely to follow your boards and you should get some good traffic going to your sites. This is something I’m still working on.
So are you using Pinterest ?
Had much success with it ?
What have you found works best on Pinterest ?