Why Are You Still Skeptical Pinterest Can Work For You?

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Pinterest may bug you.

What with all the images of Italian sunsets and glamour pics of Ryan Gosling.

But so what?

Pinterest, with its 70 million users, is driving an avalanche of referral traffic to websites and blogs.

Right now, Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+ … combined.

And contrary to popular belief, maybe contrary to even your belief, that traffic is converting … because many pinners use the site specifically for product and content discovery. (Get ready for some compelling stats about this in a minute.)

This makes Pinterest a powerful tool for ecommerce.

So if you’ve been ignoring Pinterest, you’re late. But there is still time to catch up — and you should.

Pinterest statistics are showing no signs of stopping their upward trend, and smart online publishers will take steps to grab a piece of the Pinterest pie for themselves.

Pinterest is already working for these folks

Need to see some success stories? Here are a few examples of online publishers benefiting from Pinterest:

100th Day of School Ideas for Teachers

This pin leads to a sales page for a $1 digital download of a worksheet teachers can use in their classrooms to celebrate the 100th day of the school year.

According to the sales page, this simple worksheet image has been pinned more than 10,000 times.

How to Paint Furniture Like a Real Pro

Blogger Nester Smith wrote this post detailing how she learned how to paint furniture. It has been pinned more than 514,000 times, and she has received tens of thousands of new visitors and subscribers from this post.

Do I have your attention yet?

You can write off Pinterest if you want. Say it’s a chick thing. Announce to the world that Pinterest bugs you. Complain that its content makes you crazy.

But while you scoff, Pinterest is working for these content creators and so many more — folks who are reaping some incredible benefits while you sit skeptically on the sidelines.

So how can you get up and get in on the Pinterest action?

Here’s a simple 6-step process to drive more Pinterest traffic

Try these steps. They work.

1. Create a useful post geared specifically for your target audience, and give it a killer headline.

Need help with this?

Sign up for a free MyCopyblogger membership and get access to the world’s best content marketing advice (including a comprehensive 20-part content marketing course and our exclusive ebook How to Create Magnetic Headlines).

2. Create a visually interesting badge for your post.

Exactly like I did for this post.

Your badge should include:

  • An interesting photo or background image — preferably something that ties into the subject of your post
  • The headline of the post in an interesting font, positioned prominently on the badge
  • Your domain name — usually in smaller font, at the bottom of the badge

Examples of effective badges include the one in this photography tutorial from Click It Up a Notch and this organizing series from Home Storage Solutions 101.

My favorite tools for creating shareable badges and graphics are PicMonkey (a free online image editor) and Piktochart (an inexpensive tool for creating infographics).

I realize not all of you have a top-notch design team at your disposal like Copyblogger does to create graphics like this.

That’s why I purposefully kept the badge for this post simple — and used only free tools to make it: to show you how easy it is to create a badge that will get the job done.

No excuses.

3. Embed your new badge at the very top of your blog post.

Make it nice and big. It’s a good idea to make the image as wide as your content column will allow.

The image should really jump out at the reader as soon as your readers land on the post.

4. Make sure it’s easy for your audience to pin your badge.

You need either a simple Pin It button (you can get a free one from Pinterest) or a slicker-but-slightly-more-expensive WordPress plugin that adds a better button and lets you customize your images for Pinterest.

Or you can use one of the myriad social sharing plugins for WordPress.

5. Once your post is published, it’s time to pin it to your own Pinterest boards.

Here’s your plan of attack for publishing it to Pinterest:

  • Pull a strong, interesting quotation from your blog post and include it in the pin description.
  • Pin the image to several of your own Pinterest boards during peak pinning times. Early morning and late evening (Eastern Time) often work well, but test pinning at different times to see what works best for your audience.
  • Consider pinning your badge multiple times. It’s okay to put it on several boards over the course of a day (or several days) to get the attention of as many Pinterest users as possible.

6. Repeat this process for every blog post.

Tutorials, how-to’s, and other useful content does particularly well with Pinterest users.

And no, your content doesn’t have to be “girly” for this to work — Pinterest is attracting more men every day, and there are many different kinds of pins doing well on the site.

For example, an infographic giving specific fixes for difficult golf shots has been repinned more than 500 times, and a list of uber-cool iPhone 5 voice commands has racked up more than 2,800 pins.

When you follow this process consistently, you will see a substantial uptick in traffic from Pinterest.

And that traffic will convert (here come those stats) … if you’re smart about it.

Yes, Pinterest converts

It’s up to you to decide what to do with your influx of new visitors. The good news is that Pinterest users are buying.

Market analysis firm BloomReach did a study that shows Pinterest users are considerably more likely to be in a “buying mood” while on the site.

… an online store putting “manual effort and investment” into Pinterest can get a 1.56% conversion rate on traffic coming from the site. That’s pretty close to Google’s rate – impressive for a social media site.

1.56% does beat the conversion rate on traffic from Facebook – 1.13%.

Pinterest puts your content in front of a high number of “window shoppers” — people who will click when they see something they like, often with an intent to buy.

Facebook users, on the other had, are typically more interested in interacting with friends.

This makes sense when you think about how these two sites are set up and how they are used, as Gary Vaynerchuck explained in this episode of Marketing Smarts.

Plus, according to studies, 21 percent of Pinterest users have purchased something they found on a pin, and each pin is worth an average of 78 cents in sales — which is more than a tweet is worth.

And as this infographic from Shopify explains, visitors referred from Pinterest spend 10 percent more than those referred from other social media platforms … and 70 percent more than those referred from a website.

My advice?

Make sure your website is optimized for conversion (like this and like this) so it’s ready for the high-impulse Pinterest visitors you’re about to drive to it.

And get these people on your email list as fast as possible.

To do this, make sure you offer a great piece of free premium content (e.g. white paper, video series, email course) to entice people to sign up.

If you do market effectively to Pinterest users, the traffic won’t just bounce away from your site … and a lot of the visitors will be in the mood to buy.

More tips to help you succeed with Pinterest

What if you’re not a teacher, food blogger, or artist?

What if your business is visually “boring”?

Check out my recent post, 5 Ways “Boring” Businesses Can Succeed on Pinterest for ideas about sprucing your visual marketing potential.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind when you’re trying to attract more Pinterest traffic:

The larger your Pinterest following is, the better this will work.

So it’s absolutely worth taking the time to build a larger audience of pinners who love your Pinterest content.

Pin useful content consistently, and your following will grow.

You can also feature your badges in other ways.

They work well in email newsletters, on Twitter and Facebook, and anywhere you need visual content that will lead back to your site.

Copy what works.

Look for example of badges on Pinterest that get lots of traction, and use them as models.

Check out fonts, colors, photos — learn what appeals to your audience, and use that knowledge to create better content (and better badges).

Get your blog readers involved.

Don’t forget to ask readers to share your posts on Pinterest.

It never hurts to add a line at the end of your post that says, “Like this post? Share it on your favorite social networking site!”

Make it easy.

Want those new Pinterest visitors in buying moods to actually buy your products? Then make sure your stuff is easy to buy — with no roadblocks or complicated shopping cart hoopla.

Pinterest users are often impulse buyers, so make sure your checkout process is smooth and hassle free.

Have patience.

This approach does take a bit of patience.

As your audience grows, more and more people will pin your posts, which means even more traffic for you.

So keep creating killer content and embedding badges, and watch your readership grow over time.

Don’t be daunted — just get to work

Do these steps sound like a lot of work?

Yep, I agree — this system takes effort.

But at this point we know that anything worth doing (in the content marketing realm) is going to require time and effort.

Try this approach for three months, and see what happens to your traffic — I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised by the results.

And yes, I will guarantee that some Pinterest content will still bug you. You may need to grit your teeth when you see craft projects or kitchen redecorating ideas, if that’s not your thing.

But putting on your Pinterest blinders and ignoring some irritating content is absolutely, positively worth it.

I’ll bet even Ryan Gosling would agree.

Now over to you …

Did you like this post? If so, share it on your favorite social networking site!

That badge up top might look nice on one of your Pinterest boards.

And then tell us … what Pinterest strategies are working well for you? We can discuss below.

Editor’s note: Check out Pinfluence Academy, Beth’s in-depth Pinterest marketing program. Registration closes this Friday, March 14th.

Flickr Creative Commons Image via Simon Nippon (cropped from original)

About the Author: Beth Hayden is an author, speaker, and social media expert who specializes in Pinterest marketing. To get more traffic-building tips, download your free copy of Beth’s e-book, The Definitive Guide to Driving Traffic to Your Website or Blog with Pinterest.

The post Why Are You Still Skeptical Pinterest Can Work For You? appeared first on Copyblogger.

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