Google set out to clean the web with their Panda and Penguin algorithms. The result: thousands of genuine bloggers and businesses were put out of business.
If you are one of those people still struggling to recover your lost organic rankings and are waiting for the next big update from Google, stop bothering.
There are plenty of other strategies that can give you the results you need. One that I’ve started focusing on 2016 is Pinterest marketing.
Facebook and Twitter are undoubtedly are great tools for social marketing, but Pinterest is the platform that has been showing the most active growth. The New York Times reported that Pinterest recently surpassed the 100 MILLION MONTHLY ACTIVE USERS landmark and is continuing to grow at an explosive rate. In an interview with VentureBeat, Pinterest shared some interesting statistics.
– About 70 percent of people visiting Pinterest are not just finding items of interest they are taking action too (save or click-through).
– The number of searches done on Pinterest has also grown 81 percent annually.
– Two-thirds of all content people pin comes from a retail site or blog.
The power of Pinterest is amazing.
When Allrecipes added a Pin It button to their web pages, it resulted in 139 million Pinterest impressions, and more than 900% increase in clicks on their content. (success story)
When Bank of America promoted their pins, in 5 months they reached nearly 6 million unique Pinners, generated more than 29 thousand repins and led to thousands of actions on BMH.com. (success story)
WikiHow invested in pinning high quality and relevant content on Pinterest and grew its referral traffic dramatically. Currently Pinterest is the top traffic driver among social platforms, providing 4 times more traffic than Facebook. The site is averaging more than 3 million impressions a day thanks to pins and repins from their community. (success story)
Etsy jewelry seller Rachel Ball found that pinning her products to her boards resulted in a 22% jump of her average page views/week while weekly sales figures saw a 20% jump. (success story)
Now that we’ve established (to some extent!) the power of Pinterest, let’s take a look at how you can leverage it for your business or website.
If you don’t already have a Pinterest account, then create now right now. Set up boards (or categories) and start following people. Everyday, set aside some time to share pins that are valuable to you and your followers. This can be pins from your site but it should definitely include other people’s pins as well. Keep at it everyday and over a period of time you’ll have a good following, a good number of pins, good traffic and increased sales.
If you have a Pinterest account, chances are you are already doing all of the above.
So have you seen a growth in traffic from Pinterest?
Well, that’s probably because random acts of pinning will get you nowhere!
To truly know if your Pinterest marketing efforts are paying off, you need to know what your audience is consuming, which pins and boards are trending, which are the best times to pin and who are your most influential followers are.
Pinterest’s Analytics page shows you stats such as your average daily impressions, monthly viewers and engagement levels, but they are very basic in nature. In fact they are so basic that you may be forced to rely on tools like Google Analytics to get a better understanding of what is happening behind the scenes.
One tool that can make a solid difference to your Pinterest marketing efforts, one that works wonders for me and one that I heartily recommend is Tailwind.
The Power of Tailwind
Tailwind is a powerful tool that lets you grow and track your fans and followers, view audience engagement details and measure your ROI. It is also a tool that tells you the best posting times, allows for bulk and multi board scheduling and a tool that help you identify content that can be better optimized.
If you are a small blogger like myself or running a small business with a tight budget, you’ll appreciate many of the features that are packed into its economical Plus plan ($9.99 billed annually). If you are big brand or an agency, you’ll get plenty of extra features for $799.99/month and there’s a comprehensive package for Enterprise level users too with custom pricing.
Designed Even for Bloggers & Small Businesses
Most analytical tools today are out of reach of the hands of small bloggers and the ones that are affordable or accessible are either convoluted or too time-consuming to figure out. What I love about Tailwind is the effort they have taken to prepare a special plan for bloggers and small businesses that is not only affordable but also one that can deliver the Analytics we want to see in an intuitive platform.
I signed up for the free plan, loved what I saw and then upgraded to the Plus plan, which I am currently using.
And I’d like to take you around Tailwind to show you all the little and huge advantages you can get out of this tool!
The Tailwind UI
After signing up and linking your Pinterest account, your analytical data is displayed on Tailwind’s Dashboard. This is a jumpy little board that holds two sections: the left pane which holds all the main sections of the tool and the shifty right pane, which displays the results of your selection.
All the main activities in the account are displayed on the Profile Performance tab in the Track Your Brand section on the left pane.
Profile Performance tab
This is where you catch up on your Pinterest growth statistics. You can find how your followers, pins, repins, and likes grew over the week or over a custom time period. Below the growth chart, you’ll see 3 major scores that tell you at a glance whether you are shining or lacking in your Pinterest marketing efforts.
Virality Score: Shows you how much your pins are being repinned
If your meter is full it indicates that your pins are pretty viral and are receiving a lot of attention and love from the Pinterest community. A score of 10, for instance, indicates that about 10 times the amount of content you pinned is getting repinned.
Engagement Score: Shows you how much your audience is engaging with your pins
This score tells you how engaged each follower is with your content. For instance, a score of 6 indicates that your Pinterest followers engaged with at least 6 of your pins over the last week.
Engagement Rate: Shows you a percentage value of how relevant your content is to your audience
This score tells you how much your audience resonates with your pins. A score of 100 indicates that each of your pins received at least one pin during the week. Wouldn’t we all just love to see that!
Board Insights Tab
Right next to the Profile Performance tab is the Board Insights tab. This screen shows the most popular boards that had the greatest impact. Again, you can see the pins, followers, repins, virality and engagement scores for each board. You can click on a column title to sort through your most and least popular boards.
When you click inside a board, you can drill down further into your data and see the performance of each pin within that board. Again, you can sort the columns to see the detailed stats on the pins. An Enterprise level plan will offer deeper insights such as trending pins from your website, heatmaps and such, but that’s beyond the scope of this post and my budget!
Industry Trends Tab
Available only for the Enterprise plan, this feature lets you track how your followers, pins, repins and likes are stacking up against industry standards.
To get an overall view of all your weekly stats at a glance, head over to the Weekly summary section on the left pane. This screen crunches the numbers for you and offers a quick summary of how you fared over the week. You can see:
Repins: You can see the exact number of repins, how it compared to the average, how many repins you had last week and your current total. Next is a summary of how you fared and finally you have a link taking you directly to the report that shows your most repinned pins.
Domain Pins: You can see the exact number of domain repins, how it compared to the average and how many domains repins you had last week. You can see a visual summary of your recent pins a link taking you directly to the report that shows your most recent pins.
Followers: You can see the exact number of followers, how it compared to the average and how many followers you gained last week. You can also click the link taking you directly to the report that shows your follower trends.
Recent Comments: You can see the latest comments on your pins and can respond directly from the dashboard.
Most Repinned Boards: This section shows the 3 most popular boards along with the virality score.
Optimize Content Section
If your Pinterest marketing efforts are not yielding the expected benefits, this section will provide you with all the information you need to start focusing in the right area.
The Pin Inspector tab is the only one that works with the Plus plan. Here you can find information on the pins from your domain that were most engaging based on repins, likes, comments, and date pinned and you can even reschedule a pin from this section. Again, you can sort through the columns to understand which types of pins work best and which ones don’t.
This section is rather basic with the Plus plan but with an Enterprise level plan, you can do some deeper analysis such as:
Discover Trending Pins: This report will show you exactly which pins went viral over a period of time.
Discover Trending Topics: The boards where you pin most of your content may not be the ones that your followers engage most with. The Interest Heatmaps tab shows you which types of content are the most engaging so you can refine your pinning strategy to match your audience’s interests. As with all heatmaps, the darker the colors, the hotter the content.
Peak days and times: This report will help you figure out when you should be pinning based on when your audience is most active.
Monitor Your Domain Section (Need Enterprise Level plan)
If you want more insights into your domain’s performance in Pinterest, this is the section to head to. With a Plus plan, you only get bare-bones data. You can see the daily average pin volume chart and your latest domain level pins that received engagement.
With an Enterprise plan, you get more such as discovering trending topics across pins from your domain, and see charts of the best times when people are actively pinning from your domain. You can view this information by pins, pinners and potential impressions.
You can also view how your latest pins are faring, your most pinned images, most clicked pins, most engaged pins and pins that attracted the most comments and conversations and compare your performance with the industry standard.
Finally, you can sync your Google Analytics account to Tailwind to see the estimated revenue that referral traffic from Pinterest is likely to generate. You must have goals with values set up in Analytics for this to work.
As you can see, at the Analytics level Tailwind offers you plenty of great value even for the ($9.99) a month Plus plan.
Saving the Best for Last
Tailwind’s Analytics is good, but what I love (and bloggers will love this too!) the most in Tailwind is its pin scheduling feature. If you head over to the Publish section, you can prepare drafts, schedule pins, view published pins and more. The monthly billed Plus plan comes with a cap of 400 pins a month but upgrading to the annual billing plan removes that restriction. Let’s see how pin scheduling works!
The best way to start pinning with Tailwind is by installing the web browser extension.
When you browse a website and find an attractive image to pin, you just hover over the image and click the little Tailwind Schedule icon at the bottom of the image to pin it. If you want to pin multiple images from a web page, clicking the Tailwind icon on the web browser bar will display all the images and you can then choose the ones you want to pin. Once selected, the image or images are saved to drafts. The feature even works if you are browsing within Pinterest.
You can select a board name, change the pin description, schedule it to go now or save for later.
Tailwind’s Draft feature is very handy because you can quickly save up a collection of pins for scheduling later on at one go. No need to spend time filling details such as board name, description and so on for each and every pin before moving on to the next one. Another plus is that you can collate all your pins and outsource the pin filling and scheduling to someone else.
Tailwind’s next exciting feature is the ability to schedule one pin to multiple boards. You simply type the name of the board and hit Enter and then type out the next name. You can add as many board names as you like to a pin. You can also add multiple board names to multiple pins.
Let’s say you have 10 pins in your Drafts and you want to assign all of them to 2 specific boards. Simply head over to the Add Board to All text box to populate the board names. As you enter the board name, all your draft pins will get simultaneously updated. So in a matter of a few seconds, you created 20 pins to be scheduled. All that is left to do is queue it up!
If you like to set a custom time when you want your pin to go out, you can click the clock icon on the pin to bring down the calendar and pick your date and time. Or you can hit the Queue it up button to let Tailwind auto-schedule it for you. If you want to send your scheduled pins to Facebook and Twitter via Tailwind, you can click the social icon boxes on the pin when scheduling.
That’s a whole lot of options for you when it comes to pinning with Tailwind.
But, I’m not done yet!
Tailwind also lets you schedule pins like a pro!
If you head over to the Scheduled tab in Tailwind you’ll find all your pins queued up here. If you want to make changes to your scheduled pins, this is where you do it. The right side of the page gives you a visual calendar of sorts to see your pinning schedule at a glance.
Tailwind’s awesome Weekly Pinning Schedule (which you will find on the Your Schedule tab in the Publish section on the left pane) is where you can see the auto-scheduled timeslots that Tailwind creates for your account. When you sign up to Tailwind, it analyzes the kind of stuff you pin the most and when your audience is most active and creates a smart schedule for you.
That’s the little green timeslots in your Weekly Pinning Schedule. When you schedule pins to go out, it automatically gets assigned to a time on the green slots. You also have the freedom to create your own time slots or use the recommended ones that come with a dashed border.
Back in the Scheduled Tab, you can see all your scheduled pins that are set to go out at the various timeslots that Tailwind has picked for you. If you want to move a scheduled pin to a different time slot, just go to the visual calendar and drag and drop it in the new timeslot you want. How awesome is that!
You can also change a whole bunch of other stuff here, from the board name to the description to shuffling your entire queue. And all of these changes and edits should take you only a few minutes. It’s that easy.
Check out this video to see the scheduling feature in action.
Tailwind is just such an awesome, feature rich tool that can be immensely helpful to grow your Pinterest traffic, monitor your Analytics and get valuable insights on how you can expand your presence on the social platform.
Before I close this post, let me quickly summarize the top features of Tailwind that is making my Pinterest marketing efforts more effective.
How Tailwind Analytics Helps Me Understand my Most Popular Content
1. The Pin Inspector lets me see at a glance which pins are doing great thereby helping me optimize my content.
2. Tailwind dashboards make it easy to see if my efforts are showing a growth in Boards, Repins, Likes, and Comments.
3. I can filter my recent pins by the board, category, date, keywords, hashtags and more to analyze what is driving virality, engagement, and growth.
4. I can gauge my weekly growth with a quick glance of my dashboard that displays my analytics data in easy to understand charts, numbers, and scores.
5. I can see my top performing boards so I can focus my pinning efforts on the most impactful topics.
6. I can sync my Google Analytics account to Tailwind to see how much traffic Pinterest is sending to my site.
How Tailwind Helps Me Schedule Pins Like a Pro
1. Tailwind lets me schedule multiple pins across multiple boards with ease in a matter of seconds.
2. It automatically selects the best pinning times for me (based on audience engagement, virality, traffic and more) so that I get maximum engagement for my pins.
3. I can easily reschedule published pins (especially the viral ones) to go out again in the future.
4. I can automatically assign my pins to post to Facebook and Twitter as well.
5. I can bulk upload images to Tailwind to pin later on.
6. I can create brand new pins using Canva integration right from within Tailwind’s Scheduling dashboard.
7. Tailwind’s integration with Instagram means I can add Pinterest photos to Instagram and Instagram photos to Pinterest.
8. I can schedule repins directly from Pinterest.
9. I can use the drag and drop features to schedule or reschedule my pinning calendar at my convenience.
10. I can make use of the smart pinning recommendations from Tailwind to pin content that is hot and trending!
11. I can use the native Pinterest app to add repins to your Tailwind drafts via mobile.
The emergence of Pinterest as one of the most powerful social media tools of 2016 means that if you press the right buttons, you can leverage the power of this platform to drive massive traffic and sales to your website. Tailwind is just one of the best Pinterest marketing tools out there that can help you curate, schedule, and optimize your pins so that you are on the right track to achieving these goals.
Right now, Tailwind is the wind beneath my wings as I take off on my Pinterest leveraging journey. It offers a great direction to my efforts and it can help you as well.
If you want to succeed at Pinterest marketing in a systematic and structured manner, I believe Tailwind can help you! Its free to try anyway, so what have you got to lose?
If you have signed up for a free trial, do tell us what you think of Tailwind. And, if you have any questions on how to maximize the potential of this tool, feel free to reach out to me. I’ll be happy to help you get started.