Pinterest is a social networking site driven by visuals. With nearly 100 million users, more than 14 million articles are pinned every day. Needless to say, when it is used wisely, Pinterest has the ability to drive lots of traffic to a business’ main website.
For example, Pinterest’s Group Boards – where users of similar interests pin images based on a common topic – can have huge followings, giving brands tremendous exposure while also helping to drive traffic. These Group Boards – also known as Contributor Boards – are similar to regular pin boards, but they allow multiple users to contribute pins.
Here’s how brands can drive traffic using Pinterest Group Boards.
1. Participate on other Group Boards
While a Group Board can be created at any time, I suggest that those new to Pinterest in a marketing capacity should first get involved in pre-existing Group Boards. This will lead to instant traffic and more exposure. Brands like Yummy Recipes and Fashion and Popular already have thousands of followers.
Though this can yield positive results when executed successfully, it’s important to note that establishing your brand as a credible contributor to other Group Boards isn’t as easy as pinning any random thing – it requires thought and strategy.
Begin by finding the Group Boards that relate to your niche market. Then build a relationship with the host brand as well as with other participating pinners to prove your worth as a contributor, especially on highly popular Group Boards. Capture the attention of the administrator and introduce yourself by following their personal profile, actively interacting via comments and repins, and regularly visiting the board’s blog. This is networking 101 – to foster a quality relationship, you must remain genuine and authentic.
Request to become a member by first looking for the Invite Principles button – some Group Boards will even have this within the group’s bio information. Other avenues of entry may also entail an email to the administrator or a tweet asking to join. Whatever your choice path for approval to contribute to an existing Group Board, be sure to include your Pinterest URL or log-in email ID in the request message, as they can’t add you without this information.
Once the group’s owner allows you to add pins to their board, you can start pinning away. Keep in mind that it is very important to only add pins which comply with the group’s policies and rules.
For example, this Group Board has very specific instructions to joining the group.
Have a balance between pinning from your site and pinning from other site resources. When pinning a third-party URL to a Group Board, always be sure to check the pin for spam content. I was once banned from a Group Board after adding a pin from an external site that led to an affiliate product, in spite of the fact that the pin was relevant and useful.
2. Create your own Pinterest Group Board
Creating your own Group Board gives you the upper hand in deciding many things, including who you want to add as collaborators. This also provides you with access to the group’s analytics.
To make your own Group Board:
- Log-in your account.
- Click the first tab with the plus-sign symbol on it – this creates a new board.
- Add keywords to the group’s name for better visibility in the search results.
- Add a brief description about the group board and its goals.
- Also include the rules for users that seek membership in your group within your description.
- Add the usernames or email IDs of any users interested in contributing to your board.
3. Drive traffic to your website
Whether you have Group Boards of your own or are an active participant or collaborators for other’s Group Boards, you can begin to utilize them to drive referral traffic.
Here is how to do it like a pro:
Pin value-oriented images. If you are a contributor to a Group Board with a decent following, then it is expected that you will add pins that point to authoritative sites in your niche area. Use Pinterest’s Popular function to find what exactly is trending in your niche. Create content for these topics to grab additional eyeballs from the Group Boards.
Repinning is also a great way to provide variety to your audience with minimal labor. For those lacking the time or resources to always create new content, simply repin pins that are popular in your niche.
Sneak your own articles into pins. I use the phrase “sneak in” to emphasize that you should not appear self-promotional while pinning your own content. When you are pinning 20 images per day, one or two pins from your own site is tolerable. If a group has a following of 5000 and only two percent of people actually click your image pin, that’s still 100 visitors – not a bad output for a two-minute strategy.
Make your pins clickable for referral traffic. Images with moderate saturation will attract the most clicks. Studies show images with 50 percent saturation receive four times more repins than those with 100 percent saturation. Pinterest recommends the use of high-resolution, professional-quality photographs and illustrations. Poorly lit, out of focus, amateurish images are a no-no.
Optimize pins for better clicks by pinning taller images. Social scientist Dan Zarrella analyzed the data sets of 11,000 pins and found that taller images earn more clicks and repins. Though you have the option to follow a size that suits your style and branding, know that the ideal Pinterest image size is 735 x 1102 pixels.
Obtain higher click-through rates (CTR) by using relevant keywords. Choosing the right phrases can be powerful for your brand. A research paper from Georgia Tech University studied about 2.9 million pins and 989,000 pinners to find out what words were most attractive to the common Pinterest user. These are some examples of a few that bring a majority of the traffic:
- unicode heart ( < 3)
4. Use Pinterest’s analytics to understand traffic
Use Pinterest’s analytics to check what boards have the most impressions, clicks, and repins, then use this data to optimize pins for more clicks and referral traffic.
These insights should also be used to help you create content for your website, as they essentially dictate your audience’s interests and personal preferences. Allowing this information to function as a compass for your new content will lead to more interaction and engagement with your brand.
5. Give your Group Boards more exposure
Take your Pinterest marketing to the next level by taking Group Boards outside of Pinterest. The ultimate aim of doing so is to get more followers and exposure to Group Boards to increase clicks.
Blog round-ups are a great way to achieve this; fix a day in your editorial calendar – either weekly or monthly – to post a round-up about activity on your Group Board. Include links to the most clicked and repined articles, even if they are from other blogs. Inform the authors from these other blogs that you made mention of their work, as this will make them more inclined to share your round-up article. While this method might not have an immediate effect on your traffic, but it will help you to create a dedicated community over time, giving you more traffic in the long run.
You can also let others know about your Pinterest Group Board by adding links to boards in your email campaigns and sharing them on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Like any other form of content or social marketing, all Pinterest really requires is a little innovation and the ability to be tactfully assertive while developing relationships.
However, it is important to be strategic about how your brand plans to leverage existing Group Boards on Pinterest or sees value in creating your own. Be sure to market and drive traffic to the boards, using the steps outlined above.
Do you know of any other strategies for Pinterest Groups? Share them in the comments below.