Today’s guest is Vanessa Kynes. Vanessa is a Pinterest Marketing Strategist for creative small businesses. She helps businesses grow using Pinterest by implementing strategies to increase visibility and website traffic. And during today’s interview we’re covering just that: How to use Pinterest to increase traffic to your website and grow your business.
02:10 How Vanessa became a Pinterest Marketing Strategist
06:27 The biggest benefit when people use Pinterest correctly
09:46 Advantages of Pinterest and opportunity in Pinterest versus Instagram, Google, etc.
15:23 The Pinterest Smart Feed
16:41 What to put in your Pinterest Business Profile
17:22 The three most common mistakes people make on Pinterest / Best image ratio for Pinterest
18:53 An easy-to-implement tip to get people to click-through on Pinterest to your website.
20:51 Finding the right keywords on Pinterest
26:57 How consistency leads to more visibility (and a tool to help)
31:16 Pinterest Strategies for 2018
34:45 Do followers matter on Pinterest?
37:00 Creating multiple pins for the same post.
38:41 What kind Pins work for Vanessa.
40:40 Where to use keywords besides pin-descriptions (and how many keywords to use)
44:00 What are some ways to make a website Pinterest Marketing friendly?
46:03 Tips specifically for wedding photographers.
49:53 Creating a Tailwind Tribe
Vanessa is a Pinterest Marketing Strategist for creative small businesses. Using YouTube and her blog, she helps creative small businesses blossom by creating traffic-generating Pinterest strategies to increase their visibility. Juggling the demands of her own budding business with those of family and home, she specializes in efficient productivity, making the most out of every moment, and every pin! Hailing originally from the great state of Texas, she has lived in two foreign countries and enjoys traveling with her three sweet daughters and memory-seeking husband while residing in the Pacific Northwest.
Website | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest
Resources Mentioned in the Episode:
Pinterest Start Guide
How to Use Tailwind Course
A note about the transcript: The interviews are transcribed by an online app, and there may be errors in the transcription. While we do our best to correct errors—especially those that may change the meaning of what a speaker was trying to say—we do not catch every error. Thus we ask that people refer back to the audio/video for quotes. Also, please refer back to the audio/video if something is not clear in transcript; however, if you are hearing impaired, feel free to email us for clarifications.
Vanessa: 00:05 The best way to find the key words to use on pinterest is to use the search bar, so if you put it in “Princess birthday”– let’s say we are going to do a Princess birthday party. You’re having a boy, right?
Davey: 00:16 We’re having a boy. So I’m guessing there’s not gonna be many princess’ birthday parties.
Vanessa: 00:19 haha! Yeah. I have three daughters, so if I’ve thrown many princess parties! So you start searching “dinosaur party” just like on Google, Pinterest will start to auto populate ideas for you to search and those auto populations of keyword search queries are the types of things that you want to take home and put into what I call a keyword bank.
Davey: 00:45 Welcome to the brands that book show where we help creative service based businesses, build` their brands and find more clients. I’m your host, Davey Jones.
Davey: 00:58 Today’s guest is Vanessa Kynes. Vanessa is a Pinterest Marketing Strategist for creative small businesses. She helps businesses grow using Pinterest by implementing strategies to increase visibility and website traffic. And during today’s interview we’re covering just that: how to use Pinterest to increase traffic to your website and grow your business.
Davey: 01:20 Well, Vanessa, thank you for joining me on the Brands that Book Show. I’ve been looking forward to this episode, especially since Pinterest is something that’s completely foreign to me. So today we’ll talk about why I should be more focused on Pinterest and I don’t even know where to start because I’ve never been on Pinterest. None of my friends are on Pinterest, but Krista is, I know she’s on it all the time and she uses it for all sorts of different things. So I’m really excited to have you with me.
Vanessa: 01:49 Great. Well thank you so much for inviting me. I’m excited to talk about my favorite platforms. Pinterest.
Davey: 01:55 Absolutely. So we always start the episode by just learning a little bit about how you started your business. You are a pinterest marketing strategists, so this is very much what you, what you’re focused on. Um, how did you, how’d you become a pinterest marketing strategist?
Vanessa: 02:10 Yeah, so I’ve always been a really data driven person and also visual and I’ve been using the pinterest platform since its inception, so I think around 2011. I think that’s when it started. So I’ve always been really into the platform and a few years ago I had a friend who had a really successful blog. She’s making money through ads– it’s home decor. So I just reached out to her not really even knowing anything about the online business world if she needed any support. I had no idea exactly what I was asking. And she came back and said yes, that she would love for me to basically get onboard and manage her facebook page, her pinterest page and a little bit of instagram and just help her with content creation. And I’d actually had a wordpress blog from when we lived in the UK for six years. And so it’s pretty similar with how to use wordpress.
Vanessa: 02:58 So from there I was managing all those different accounts and I realized very quickly that I preferred pinterest and I was seeing the power of pinterest to drive traffic to our site. So very quickly, I saw how powerful that was. Basically it’s the reason why she gets ad revenue because of the volume coming from there. Facebook wasn’t sending a lot of traffic, but we all know it’s important to at least have a presence and instagram was sending almost none. So for me, I was just really driven by seeing the analytics, like you mentioned through your website and the ability for her to get profit from it. And so about a year ago I started shifting away from doing all those services to just pinterest. I didn’t see a ton of people focusing on that. There are a few out there and the last two years I’ve been to pinterest headquarters twice and I am actually headed back in June, so in a couple of weeks from now to participate in one of their content creation workshops.
Davey: 02:58 Whoa, yeah that’s really cool.
Vanessa: 03:56 Yeah. Pinterest is really focused. The headquarters, they’re really focused on the content creator and they really want you to succeed. I feel like other platforms, there’s a lot of distance, but right now pinterest is really turning to the content creator to help them drive traffic to their site. So I just think it’s a really powerful tool that people, like you mentioned, just don’t really understand.
Davey: 04:15 Have you seen your own business pickup once you started focusing just on pinterest and not so much on all of these other strategies that are out there?
Vanessa: 04:25 Yeah, absolutely. So I have a blog and I blog weekly and I’ve just made a really strong commitment to do that blog and I’m getting, I mean, I would say that’s most of my traffic. I’m not as present on instagram. It’s just harder for me to do that and I’m already getting pretty consistent affiliate income through one of the products I recommend and client leads. So I know that your business, the people that listen to this podcast, really focus on client leads that book. And so I’ve seen so many people show up in my email list who email me and say, can I hire you? Can we do a consultation? So for service based business, there’s plenty of room to use pinterest to really grow your client leads. And so I’ve been surprised by that, but I think it’s because people keep coming back to my site and seeing that trust or developing that content and thinking about the wedding industry, I’ve worked with a lot of people who are photographers or sell wedding based services and those brides are looking on pinterest. They’re looking on pinterest now and they’re coming to your website and hopefully you have the right client captures on your website to convert those leads into paying clients.
Davey: 05:40 yeah. I know I mentioned to you even before we started the show that it is something that generates a ton of traffic for us, for our wedding photography business and even things that were pinned years and years ago. Just keep on getting repinned and keep generating traffic for us. And I kind of looked at Krista one day and was like “why have we spent no time on pinterest for our, Davey and Krista business” and really intentionally up until this past year we kind of did the bare minimum. So really what is the power in investing in pinterest? What are the biggest benefits you would say for somebody spending time on Pinterest?
Vanessa: 06:27 Well, the biggest benefit is it’s the number one traffic driver for most people using it successfully. So I have a client who does service based and product based business and she basically launched your new website in November and she’s seeing 75 percent of her traffic is coming from pinterest. So the power is there are different platforms for visibility and let’s say that instagram is one of those that really is for developing your personality. Pinterest is a little bit less about personality and it’s really about content and getting people to your website. So I think that that’s the value, like it’s similar, you really have to view pinterest as more similar to Google or yahoo– or do people even use yahoo anymore? It’s really a search engine and a visual search engine. So you view it differently from a social media platform. There are some aspects that are social and I feel like they’re trying to re- incorporate the social aspect of Pinterest, but at the bottom line, it’s a search engine that you use. You plug in keywords into the top and you find things. What pinterest wants is people producing content that is useful and practical. And so it’s all about finding the answer to your problem, which is a big part of marketing. Pinterest provides that.
Davey: 07:38 Absolutely. And I love that it’s very intent based, right? Like when you’re searching on pinterest for something, you’re ready to solve that problem. You’re looking for a solution to a problem. Whereas on, on facebook, really you’re trying to interrupt the scroll, you know, you might be trying to call attention to a problem that somebody doesn’t even know exists, right? Whereas on pinterest in Google’s the same way, um, when somebody jumps on there, they’re actually searching for a solution to their problem. They’re, they’re more likely to buy. And so I think that’s definitely one of the biggest benefits in pinterest. And I like that. You compare it to google as a search engine and I guess it is, right? I guess that’s really what it is. A visual search engine.
Vanessa: 08:22 Yeah. And you know, you mentioned comparing, instagram and pinterest. Pinterest people don’t come. So here’s an example. I use a lot more specific in e-commerce. If you want to buy a pair of Nike shoes, you don’t go to Pinterest, you go straight to Amazon or Zappos or whatever. But if you want to explore ideas about the best summer tennis shoes, you come to pinterest. So you come to pinterest a little bit wider and broader and because you’re not exactly sure what you want and you want to be inspired. And so pinterest kind of allows you to funnel your ideas into something specific and you’re hoping as a content creator that you’ve keyworded your pins properly, that the search is going to land on you and then go to your website. So it’s really about capturing people in that beginning stages of planning. And I’m funneling them to you.
Davey: 09:11 So you had mentioned, and we chatted a little bit before this, this episode started and I talked about again how well it’s worked for our wedding photography business, how we’ve put some time into it for Davey and Krista, we haven’t seen quite the same results. And you had mentioned that, um, perhaps pinterest was a better tool for B to C. So business to consumer rather than business to business. Do you find that certain kinds of businesses can make better use of pinterest than others? Or is it just a matter of adjusting your strategy depending on what kind of business you are?
Vanessa: 09:46 I think that it’s, it’s super effective for for B to B or B to C. I think we were just talking about the volume. And so I think that when you think about the B to C or you might be reaching millions of people, millions of people might be interested in a recipe recipe. Something we’d see a lot on pinterest and a lot of people might be searching for the best cinnamon roll recipe, but as a, B to B for something so specific as a brand strategist, I think you have to be a little bit– your expectations have to be realistic and that you’re not going to get thousands and thousands of hits. You might. I think it would take time to get there, but I think that those clicks over are super intentional. And the other thing that I think is important is that if a lot of brand strategist or let’s just pick pinterest marketing strategists, there aren’t that many of us, are on pinterest earlier, we’re basically getting that momentum before everybody hops in.
Vanessa: 10:35 So there’s a little bit of like I’m being an early adopter, which is super important. So if you’re really niched, it’s still super powerful, especially since people are going to be searching for that niche and come to you if there’s not a lot of competition, but I think your expectations of the type of volume you’re going to get compared to like a food blogger or whatever are going to be different. So I think it’s still super powerful. Like I get tons of emails from people on my email list. I mean, that’s something that I think is really important is your email list and with all these gdpr changes it’s a little bit annoying. But yeah, that’s been quite the hassle for many of us.
Vanessa: 11:12 I mean, I know some leading marketers like Melissa Griffin and Jenna Kutcher, they talk about their email list growing and a lot of them are utilizing the power of pinterest to grow because you have these people coming from pinterest and clicking over to your site and pinterest users are notoriously bouncy, meaning they bounce back off the platform if they don’t see what they see. So you might only have seconds to capture those people on your email list, but once they’re on your email list, you get a chance to nurture them. So that’s another really powerful thing about pinterest. I think if someone is following you on Instagram, they’re getting to know you and your personality and they’re more likely if they do come to your website and that’s a big if they bounce over to hang out. But pinterest people, this might be the first taste that they have of your brand, so getting them on an email list is a super powerful way of just continuing the conversation.
Davey: 12:03 Yeah. I guess another difference between pinterest and something like instagram –you just mentioned it– was how easy it is to go from somebody from that platform to somebodies website. Whereas even for Instagram, I’m thinking about it now, I very rarely, even when I am interested in what somebody saying, you know, click into their profile and then click the link in the appropriate link in their profile. I guess they’re getting a little bit better about making it easier to get to somebody’s website with like the swipe up feature. But pinterest very much is meant to I guess refer you to, or to keep, something top of mind for somebody and refer somebody to somebody else’s content.
Vanessa: 12:41 Yeah, exactly. It’s designed to be able to click over. Whereas instagram really makes it more difficult even with the swipe that people just aren’t interested.
Davey: 12:51 I’m guessing that instagram, I would assume that one of their metrics they look at is how long people spend in their app so they’re probably doing things to a certain extent to try to keep people there. Whereas Pinterest maybe doesn’t have, if they’re really about the content creator, they’re making it a much, much easier and much less friction between getting from pinterest to the content.
Vanessa: 13:11 So I actually asked them about that idea, like do they want to deflect people from leaving the platform or are they okay with that? And they totally are okay with it. One metric that they are using is to determine the validity of the pin that they do measure is if the people bounce right back? So if I clicked on a pin that was about, I don’t know, I always use cinnamon rolls as my example. So one that was about cinnamon rolls and I clicked over to that website and there was nothing about Cinnamon roles there so I immediately come back. Pinterest is going to know that that pin actually wasn’t very useful and so it’s going to demote it in the pinterest smart feed and so they’re actually using data on how the user interacts with what’s on the other side of the domain. And so they’re much more in tune to that I think than other platforms. So I think that’s really interesting. They want to note, was that pin great like did those people not bounce back? It was probably an awesome pin and they’re gonna push that up in the pinterest algorithm.
Davey: 14:08 That’s fascinating. And I want to explore this one more similarity here between that and Google. For Google I wouldn’t say– I mean there’s definitely challenges to getting on the first page of Google. Would you say that it’s easier to get a pin to start generating regular traffic than it is to rank on the first page of Google for your main keyword? Or is that too hard of a comparison to make? Because I would understand because there’s so many variables involved.
Vanessa: 14:37 Again, I think that’s where if you’re really niche specific, you have a better chance. If you’re trying to compete with millions of other recipes and that one particular food item, but one thing I will say about pinterest that I think might be different from Google and I’m not an SEO expert, is that pinterest really is prioritizing new content. So they love brand new content. So if you start posting new stuff, they really start to push those newer items. Whereas I feel like Google and SEO is going to be a little bit more focused on the oldies but goodies like the standard websites that people have been going to for years. So you know on Google you have to like change the parameters. If you want to see the newer content you have to kind of adjust it. Whereas pinterest is really going to be promoting the newer content now.
Vanessa: 15:23 I think a lot of that is more going to be seen in the smart feed. So let’s talk a little bit about that. So there’s like when you go to Pinterest, there’s like your homepage and what you’re seeing is a smart feed and it’s basically determining based on what you pin and the type of content you searched for, it’s going to try to guess why you’re interested in now. And then there’s the search bar, which is where you would search for a particular item. The pinterest smart feed is going to prioritize newer content that relates to what you’re interested in. Whereas the search feed probably is going to prioritize more historically established great pins, there’s a little bit of each, I feel like when you’re coming to the platform you can get the new content, but then also find the really useful content that’s kind of going to stand the test of time.
Davey: 16:08 Alright, so that’s great. So let’s focus now on getting started with pinterest or for those people who maybe have pinterest accounts, never really used it for their business. Let’s start with what common mistakes do you see people make on pinterest? So right off the bat, they know and, and we talk a lot about this. I feel like with facebook ads people getting the facebook ads realizing it’s a little harder than they thought or they make certain mistakes and they just give up. Is there something similar on Pinterest, like do you see people making the same mistakes on pinterest and getting discouraged and just kind of giving up from there?
Vanessa: 16:41 Yeah. So before I tell you about my three common mistakes, I will say that you have to have a business profile. It’s not an option if you’re using pinterest for any business capacities, but the great benefit of having the pinterest profile, the business profile, is that you get a little profile window where you can tell what you’re about. I like to recommend people use that small real estate to link to their opt in Freebie. And then of course you want a picture that relates to your other platforms. The one that you know, whether it’s your logo, your face, so that’s the first thing. But I think the three most common mistakes that people are making is they don’t have pinterest optimized images and we’ll talk about that. They’re using key words wrong and they aren’t consistent. So those are the main three things.
Vanessa: 17:22 And I think pinterest images have changed a lot, especially in the last year. Pinterest platform prefers a two to three ratio. So basically the number, they’re giving us, a 600 by 900 pixels. It doesn’t have to be 600 by 900, but 600 by 900 is a two to three ratio. And so in the past you’ve seen these super, super long pins. It might be like a bunch of collage pictures, like stacked on top and basically, I mean I talked to them at headquarters about this, they’re annoyed with that. They think that it’s basically like a really spammy billboard that’s like taking over the platform. So they’re really working hard on cracking down on those large images. And demoting them in the smart feed. So what’s important for you to know about images is that 600 by 900 ratio. And so Pins that have a text like something that’s useful, like “how to make Xyz” get more clicks than pictures without. So when I think about the home decor field, I mean that’s something that has a lot of visuals. You might have a beautifully styled room if you have a beautifully styled room, but no text the users much more likely to save that to their boards to use that as inspiration. But if you have an image of a beautifully styled living room and you put some text that says how to achieve the farmhouse, look, people are much likely to click. You’re giving them context to say, hey, there’s information behind this.
Davey: 18:53 So there’s a little bit of a difference between strategy there? If there’s no text, people will will pin it and save it, but they won’t necessarily click. So it’s really the text that gets them to click through.
Vanessa: 19:08 Yeah, It’s that subtle psychology, subtle “call to action” that they can get more information than just this picture that they’re going to be able to grab content from it. So those are the main things I would say about the pinterest images and I think in the past people have gone more “go big or go home” and they make really long pins and I’m here to tell you that the platform is actively cracking down on those long pins. So don’t fall into that trap. Really focus on 600 by 900. Some say up to 600 to 1260. But yes you can use that to 1260. But I talked to the guy there and he just feels like no, don’t go big but useful like make use of that space. So that’s the number one mistake.
Davey: 19:51 So number one mistake is a images and the important things are a two by three ratio, and text overlay to get people to actually click.
Vanessa: 20:04 Yeah. And I think in the B to B world, like the world that you and I are in giving content information, it’s super obvious that like on the pin you might want to have your logo on the pin. And well, and as we get more into this, like, you know, you work with brands, your pins need to have a consistency so every pin doesn’t have to be the same, but you want to be able to eventually see like, oh this is a Davey pin. Like we really recognized that as his brand. Mine are often like feminine. I use the same fonts and I kind of vary them a bit, but you start to see a theme and my pins.
Davey: 20:42 That’s going to be one of my new goals is to have a Davey pin, like people get on pinterest and be like, yeah, that was Davey. That would be, I don’t even know what that would be something.
Vanessa: 20:51 Haha, that’s important and that’s kind of like a little bit more higher level. So those images are super important. And I think the second most common mistake is keywording. So you can’t just plop a pin on pinterest and hope that it takes off. You really have to be intentional about those key words. So this is where I feel like pinterest is more related to SEO. And so my recommendation for people is do not keyword stuff. This is another thing at pinterest headquarters they talked about, they’re going to be— the algorithm is getting smarter, it’s figuring out when people just shove key words into a pin description. So like for example, um, for a pin like mine, don’t do pinterest marketing comma, pinterest tips, comma, pinterest for business like, that’s not going to get you anywhere. I recommend using a two to three key word rich sentence with hashtags. So what I mean is I’ll say, are you looking for the best pinterest marketing strategy in this blog post? Because the pin will lead to a blog post. I’m sharing how to use hashtags on pinterest. And then I’ll follow up with a few hashtags like pinterest tips, pinterest marketing, et Cetera, et cetera. And in that description, I’ve got the key words like pinterest marketing, pinterest tips, hashtags on Pinterest, but I also have a call to action. I still am letting them know that there’s a blog post behind this pin that is going to give you the more tools and be more practical for the problem you’re having, which might be how to use hashtags on pinterest. So it’s really all about using those keywords, but also in a way that you’re softly calling them. If you have a shop, you might say, I’m looking for the best party decor ideas, in this blog post I’m sharing how to throw the best princess party come shop with us at, et Cetera, et cetera. So it helps you kind of know, okay, I clicked on this pen, there’s a whole shop of stuff that might help me pull together this Princess Party that I’ve been trying to plan. So you’re giving them more context by using that pin description.
Davey: 22:51 When we’re working on Seo and we’re working on our blog, we do plenty of keyword research. Um, is there a way to do keyword research on pinterest or not so much?
Vanessa: 23:01 I think that those key, those preliminary keywords that you’re using for Seo are still useful on Pinterest, but the best way to find the keywords to use on pinterest is to use the search bar. So for example, let’s do like birthday party. So if you put it in “Princess birthday”– let’s say we are going to do a Princess birthday party. You’re having a boy, right?
Davey: 23:29 We’re having a boy. So I’m guessing there’s not gonna be many princess’ birthday parties.
Vanessa: 23:39 haha! Yeah. I have three daughters, so if I’ve thrown many princess parties! So you start searching “dinosaur party” just like on Google, Pinterest will start to auto populate ideas for you to search and those auto populations of keyword search queries are the types of things that you want to take home and put into what I call a keyword bank. So I have a file. You could use trello or a google doc where you start to insert the types of keywords that you’re going to use over and over for your content. And then when you searched like dinosaur birthday party and click enter and the pinterest smart feed, it’s going to give you all these little sub key words and so they’re like in little boxes right below the search feed and it might have boy’s birthday party or it might have a, you know, dinosaur party favorites, things like that. So you can start to get a better idea of what the key word search terms people are using on pinterest because you want to use the search terms that people on pinterest are you using. I think there is going to be overlap between like Google and Pinterest, but there’s not any like really sophisticated way that I’m aware of, of seeing volume in Seo, Like a thousand people
Davey: 24:42 Like you mentioned there is probably some similarity between the volume you would see when doing keyword research for a google search versus the volume that you would see somebody searching on pinterest. I’m sure it doesn’t exactly line up, but I would imagine that it’s somewhat similar.
Vanessa: 24:58 The tools are better to use for Seo. I mean there’s just better tools. There’s more money behind it. And so I think you get a little bit more exact data, but I think those ballpark terms are similar. I mean, honestly, people use Google to search for pinterest ideas and many times they’ll like go and start on Google and ended up in on the pinterest platform. So there’s even connection there. You can’t go from pinterest to Google, but being on pinterest will actually improve your google results.
Davey: 25:31 You’d mentioned that you keep track of these, these keywords, and you said you do that in Trello. Do you have a template for people that they can use?
Vanessa: 25:42 I’ve actually thought about developing a little mini course to kind of help people do that research and then develop that so if I wasn’t moving cross country right now, I probably would have that finished.
Davey: 25:54 Well, when you do that, let me know and I’ll make sure that I put it in the show notes and I’ll make sure we already announce that because I’m sure people like me we’re sitting here thinking like, okay, I need to figure out how to do that.
Vanessa: 26:06 And also I recommend having like a Hashtag Bank. So hashtags started being used on pinterest in August and in the past, they’ve always been kind of a no, no on the platform. But now they’re recommending them and hashtags are clickable. So if, for example, you have, #Vanessakynes and you see one of my pins and you click on that Hashtag. What’s gonna happen is all the other pins that I’ve pinned with that Hashtag are going to populate. So it’s a great way to kind of see either more of an idea, whether it was birthday party to see other people using that term or a way for people to have access to my information all at once. So they’re useful. They’re not used in the same way that you would see on instagram for example. It’s a little different.
Davey: 26:53 So we have images, we have keywords, so what’s number three?
Vanessa: 26:57 Consistency. So I think people plop a pin at once and call it good and it’s not good. Like you need to be a little bit more strategic there. So pinterest like every other platform they know when you are using them and they know when you’re not. And so it, in my opinion, it’s not a super hard to be consistent if you’re using one of my favorite tools which is tailwind, which is a pinterest and instagram scheduler and I use it every single day. Tailwind is an approved pinterest partner. You don’t have to worry about whether it’s allowed. In fact, pinterest themselves– it was recently Webinar which said it doesn’t matter if you pin live or use a pinterest scheduler like it’s all the same. So basically they want you pinning as little as five pins a day and instead of like 70 in one week they would much rather you be consistent on the platform daily than what would I like to call binge pin. So I think that’s where busy entrepreneurs kind of have to like decide “how am I going to be consistent, am I going to come on live during pinterest optimized times?”, which is another thing to highlight. You do want to pen at the optimal times for your account and I’m going to go ahead and say generally it’s in the evening when people are using pinterest, so if you can’t as a busy business owner or you don’t have office hours during that time, get on pinterest to pin those. That’s where I would really recommend using a scheduler. Now I do just as a short plug, I do have a lot of tutorials on my website. VanessaKynes.com, on how to use tailwind because it’s a little bit tricky and I also have a course that you can use to basically really maximize that effort, but I just would really recommend whether you’re pinning live or you’re using a scheduler just to be consistent on the platform.
Davey: 28:43 Yeah, that makes sense. We use, I think later for instagram which makes it easy in that respect, but there was always some concern but there was always some concern about, okay, well if we post something through coschedule, is facebook going to throttle that post more than if we actually went on the facebook app and posted something and I know there’s a lot of people out there that think that they do, even though I think facebook has come out and said that they actually don’t, so that’s good to know. I have heard that tailwind is THE pinterest tool from a number of different people, so we’ll have to check that out.
Vanessa: 29:21 There are other ones that you can use, but there might be one other that I don’t think a lot of people use that is pinterest approved, but the other one we’ll just call it “the other”, the other one that people use and I think in our world and our niche isn’t pinterest approved. So I mean it does work, but I just, I don’t really see a huge advantage to using that because I think tailoring offers a lot more features. And I worked closely with tailwind. I mean I’m not like an employee, but I know that they’re a great, great product and they really care about their product and when they have maintenance issues they really respond. But either way, fine, if you want to live pin you just really have to get on the platform and set a timer every day and get on and do it. So that’s the most important feature.
Davey: 30:05 Yeah. And I guess I gotta imagine that for tailwind there’s a probably a way to upload a bunch of pins and then set when they’re going to be scheduled instead of having to do it yourself.
Vanessa: 30:14 Yeah, exactly. So I think all the instagram schedulers now you don’t have to push through any more, right?
Davey: 30:19 Yeah. Because they can auto post. They got rid of a couple of annoying things like for instance, you can’t tag people. Like it used to be that you could look up people’s handles within whatever app you’re using, whether it be planily, or whatever. Now you can’t do that. So you kind of have to double check your work, afterwards make sure you tag the right people. But that’s besides the point.
Vanessa: 30:45 Yeah. I was going to say Tailwind basically has a queue. You can tell it how many times a day you want it to pin. You throw all those pins up. So for example, if you want to get like a whole month’s worth of pins, you just throw them on the queue. You can shuffle it and then set it and forget it. I mean, and that’s what I do in fact right now because we’re in such a busy season of life, for my own personal account, I think I’m scheduled all the way through the end of June. So if life hits sick kids or, holidays, you know that your account is staying active and it’s just brilliant. I love it.
Davey: 31:16 So we’ll definitely have to look into that as we expect our first. This might be my last interview, pre-baby not last interview ever, but a last interview, pre having a kid. So moving on, we talked about three common mistakes, and they were around optimizing images. They were around, keywords and consistency. And so now let’s move into what strategies you see working on pinterest this year in 2018.
Vanessa: 31:48 Yeah. So there’ve been a few changes to pinterest in 2018 and I think we’ve mentioned pinterest has been really transparent and they really want people to understand the platform. So there’s been a few things: the first thing I would highlight the number one strategy–other than what we just mentioned– of those three common mistakes, is consistency. And we talked a little bit about that. In 2018 they introduced the “following” tab. So the following tab is actually a separate tab on the pinterest platform it’s like a little icon of two people. And what it is, is you get to see the content that’s most freshly pinch from the people that you follow. And so whether people are using it a lot, I don’t know because it’s hard for me to remember how someone uses pinterest as a common user versus the way I think about it, but that new “followers” tab is basically kind of reintroducing the social aspect of pinterest. For example, if I know I love your content, everything you produce weekly, it’s going to give me more opportunity to see the stuff that you come out with ’em. And they’ve also introduced this new first five pins of the day are going to be prioritized. And um, we’ve asked, uh, you know, the pinterest strategists of the world have asked a lot of questions from pinterest about that and what they basically mean is the first five pins that you pin at the uts at midnight utc. So utc is somewhere over, I think the ocean between America and the UK. So you need to look up your utc time for your time zone. For the east coast, I think it’s eight for me, it’s 5:00 PM and you want to pin your top pins after 5:00 PM, so like between five and let’s say 6:30 or seven. So if you have fresh content, you would either come alive, which we’ve mentioned is a little bit tedious, or you would use tailwind descheduled, that fresh content of the day at around 5:00 PM. And so pinterest is going to prioritize that pin and also aligns well with the highest traffic time that users are using pinterest. So that pinterest to optimize time to get your content in front of those people. So that really, really relates to the pin, the following tab and not so much the smart feed. But I can tell you that when you pin new content, pinterest goes wild, they want to share it with people, so you do get kind of a boost for being new content.
Davey: 34:01 I think that should be so encouraging for people especially because I don’t think google necessarily goes wild in the same way, right? What you produce, you spend hours maybe writing a blog post and you post it and it might be six months until that blog post is ranking for whatever keywords in Google, if it ranks on the first page at all. So, I think it’s refreshing to hear that there’s this platform out there that goes wild about new content, wants to connect people with it. It just sounds like there’s so much opportunity there.
Vanessa: 34:28 I really don’t want the same material would be recycled over and over again. They’re really into having new content, which makes sense.
Davey: 34:33 Yeah. And I think that’s awesome. One question I was going to ask about the “following” tab. Do you think that people be worried about that? You know, I mean,
Vanessa: 34:45 You mean don’t have a lot of followers?
Davey: 34:46 Not, no, not that necessarily. Like should people be trying to get more followers? You know, if you think about Instagram, right? Where it’s kind of about the people that are following you. You want more followers because otherwise people don’t see the content you’re putting out there. Whereas with Pinterest, people can see the content you’re putting out there even if they’re not following you. So do you think that there should be sort of an effort to get people to follow you? Or do you think it should just be, hey, focus on pinterest strategies that get your content out there and kind of the followers will come?
Vanessa: 35:18 I do. And I think that, you know, people say followers don’t matter on pinterest. They don’t matter in the same way that they do in instagram. When you go to Instagram, it’s like super obvious the number, the metric is front and center. It’s a little bit more hidden on pinterest. It’s not like the first thing that you see, but the reason why I recommend it and I think it’s important to kind of, it’s like your email list getting people to follow you. It means that they’re more likely to see your content as it continues to roll out and those people are more likely to revisit your page. One of the tactics I just recommended for people with the new “following” tab is like in your email list to tell people to follow you on Pinterest, on your website. You can use, if you’re using wordpress, I don’t know anything beyond that–I don’t know that much about squarespace– but you can put a widget of like your profile, your pinterest profile with some of your content or you can use some of these sumo apps or whatever that say, “hey, come follow me”. And I think the reason why it’s important isn’t so much for all the random people that out there. It’s for the people who are already paying attention to you and it just basically keeps them in the loop. And so that’s why I think it’s important. Now if you the other place where I would say followers matter– and maybe it’s not as applicable and our niche– is if you are working as an influencer. So influencers absolutely count all those numbers across all the platforms. So if you say you have 50,000 followers on pinterest and I have clients that do get more money for your influencing product so it matters there, but it’s gonna be hard to get 50,000 followers these days because it’s just clunky.
Davey: 36:49 yeah, and I guess like you said, it really doesn’t matter. You know, what kind of industry or sphere you’re in. So obviously it would matter a little bit more for an influencer that maybe a wedding photographer.
Vanessa: 37:00 Yeah. Yeah. So going back to the pinterest strategies, one of the things that I was going to recommend is creating multiple pins for the same blog post. So like for example, I usually create two pins per blog posts. I could go to a third, but at this point I actually have someone who’s helping me create those
Davey: 37:00 And you’re moving, haha.
Vanessa: 37:23 Haha yes, and I’m moving and I have three small children and a life, right? Haha, we do what we can do. But I recommend at least two pins. And so they should be different with different images. They sometimes have a slightly different call to action on them or text. Right now I’m using the same pin description for both those just to keep it simple. So what I’m doing is A-B testing an image. If it has the same pin description, then it’s more about what type of image appealed to the pinner and I actually have seen one style that I’m doing that really gets a lot of clicks. So it’s interesting and I’ve started to repeat that style. So there are things that you can do now. Pinterest has said, and I think it’s a great idea, it’s just hard to measure is they said change the pin description for each pin. So by changing the pin description you have a greater overall SEO effect on that pen. It’s more complicated. Also very difficult to measure if you have two different images in two different pin descriptions, it’s difficult to know what was doing well. That’s another strategy that I think a lot of people don’t think about. So creating multiple pins isn’t that much more effort for one piece of content.
Davey: 38:31 You sort of just mentioned this, but do you have a certain pin format that you use that you find works well?
Vanessa: 38:38 Can you clarify what you mean.
Davey: 38:41 So, like how you create your image, and the kinds of texts you use, that sort of thing. I mean, I know we talked about the two by three ratio and all of that, but is there anything else that you do to make your pins more clickable?
Vanessa: 38:56 Well, I have stock images. I actually have my own set of stock images that have me working at a desk and hands closed up. So I tend to have one pin image. There’s a solid background and it’s usually the hex codes of my colorings. Pinks, blushes, kinda like Ivories, sure. And I’ll just put plain text. Sometimes a little icon and I’m doing this all or my assistant’s doing this all on canva. I think the advantage for people in your field is they’re really good at design things so you can really take off with this. And then the second pin image will usually just be like a stock photo and then like maybe I’ll change the capacity and kind of lightened it up and just start texting. But I will say that I’m starting to see more people’s faces on pinterest. In the past people haven’t used faces on their pins, but I’m starting to see more of that and I don’t think it’s a bad strategy. I can’t prove that it’s going to be super successful. But again, it’s kind of like developing that visibility on pinterest. Like you start to see that person’s face over and over again, you’re going to know it’s their content. So a lot of it is just testing in this world. I mean, when you’re in a different market, like food obviously you want great pictures of the food, but whatever you do, I would just make sure that they’re branded. So you throw your logo or some kind of sub logo so that people began to see that pin and that logo and associate it with you.
Davey: 40:14 And you mentioned canva. So anybody listening that that doesn’t consider some self necessarily, a designer, and you don’t know how to use the adobe suite then Canva is a great resource for you. And then I’m sure there’s a bunch of you out there listening who are wizards in the adobe suite say—
Vanessa: 40:14 Eye rolling I am sure haha!
Davey: 40:14 Yeah, exactly.
Vanessa: 40:30 We can’t all be designers. Yeah.
Davey: 40:32 Yeah. But canvas canva is great alternative. Uh, so what’s next?
Vanessa: 40:40 Keywords are not just for pin descriptions. You can use keywords in other places and you do wanna use them. You want to use them in your profile. So for example, my profile’s Vanessa kinds, my name pinterest marketing strategist because that adds a key word to my profile. You want to make sure that those keywords are also in your board. So you can edit your.
Davey: 40:58 I’m sorry, can you repeat that again?
Vanessa: 41:02 Vanessa Kynes Pinterest marketing strategists. So if someone starts searching pinterest marketing, one of the search results can actually be my profile. So it’s important to include it there and then also in the profile which is a really small amount of space and I recommend, I might say I can’t even remember what mind says, but “pinterest marketing tips for the creative entrepreneur, grab my free pinterest startup guide” and then I’ll include a little link to where they can get my opt-in Freebie. I think that’s important as people land on your site that it’s an easy way for them to opt in. But then also people forget to add keywords to their boards. So you can have a board and let’s say it’s all about pinterest marketing, you can edit it and throw in keywords and this is where I’ll put “pinterest tips”, “pinterest marketing”. It’s not like the style and the pin where you add a call to action. It’s just little keywords and then choose a category. So I would say there’s not a great category for people like you and me. And so I always use technology. But actually for wedding photographers you could choose weddings, things like that.
Davey: 42:00 Are there certain amount of keywords per board that you recommend because you had mentioned earlier not to keyword stuff for sure.
Vanessa: 42:06 So I do, yeah. I would say like pick five, don’t go overboard. I mean if there are a lot of keywords that relate to the content, there’s only so many ways you can write pinterest marketing for me. But the reason why you want to do that is that the boards are searchable, so they’re less likely to be searched. I think there’s a statistic like maybe only 20 percent of the time, but by key wording the board, what you’re doing is giving more context to the pin. So that pin it’s in that board is attached to that board. So it tells pinterest there’s keywords in the pin and there’s keywords in the board and it gives it more metadata to properly place that pin and a search query. So again it’s just a different way of giving more context to that pin.
Vanessa: 42:54 And the more information you can give that search feed, the better you’re going to get results. And I will say that pinterest has changed a lot they’ve kind of gone back and forth. They have now put on there where you can follow boards, they took it away for awhile and now it’s back. So you’ll see in the pinterest smart feed, like, Hey, follow this board, it’s all about pinterest marketing and click on follow that. And so when someone follows that, you get a follower on your account, but then also they can go through that board and find a ton of your content as well as other related content. So I think it’s important and people forget about that aspect of pinterest. And my last thing for Pinterest, 2018 is to make sure your website is pinterest friendly. And what I mean is that you have a pin on your blog post that is pinterest friendly because you want people doing the marketing for you. You want someone to land on their website, whether they’re coming in from facebook or instagram or even your email list and to save that to the pinterest platform. So that’s important.
Davey: 44:00 what are some ways that you can make your website pinterest marketing friendly?
Vanessa: 44:04 Well, one of the ways is downloading, again, I don’t know that much about the other platforms but for wordpress, and I assume this is similar to show-it because it’s based on wordpress, is that you can download a plugin. I think mine’s called the jquery plugin, the free little plugin that hovers that little pinterest symbol above the image. Show-it probably has all these beautiful little pin style buttons you can use. And then the other thing I do is I’ll write a blog post and I have a pin at the very bottom and I tell people to pin it like, “did you like this content? Pin it!” you are just subtly telling them what to do but by doing that they do it and so they’re sending it to their account and then of course it’s gonna exponentially spread across their accounts. So I think that’s super important to do and people forget about that aspect. So make it pinterest friendly.
Davey: 44:55 Yeah. And I think people also forget about the call to action aspect of things. I mean, we, I know include a pinterest image at the very bottom of blog posts, but now that I’m thinking about, I don’t think we ever tell people, hey, pin that specific content, or go pin that and it’s one of those silly things but the truth is that if you don’t tell people to take an action, they just won’t take an action. So I think one of the things that you’ve really reiterated is something that’s really stood out to me is having that text overlay on the image. More people might pin the image if it’s doesn’t have the text but not as many people are going to click. And I think that’s so important, especially for somebody like a wedding photographer. And, and correct me if I’m wrong here, but I would assume that a lot of people go online as they’re planning their weddings and pin all of these images as inspiration for their own wedding. But what a wedding photographer wants is somebody not only to pin this beautiful image that they took, they use for inspiration for their own wedding, but to actually click through and go to that blog post and land on that person’s, on that photographer’s website and potentially inquire.
Vanessa: 46:03 Yeah. And I’ve done consulting for wedding photographers and I think it actually is both a very popular field on pinterest but also kind of tricky. So here’s some of the tips since it sounds like you have people in that niche. So one of the tips is think about where your bride is. If it’s August and she’s pinning, you don’t want to be pinning content about the fall. She’s not planning a fall wedding, she’s planning a summer wedding, I don’t know people about a year ahead. So let’s think about two seasons away. So for example, if you want to create content for your wedding website, create content about like the top summer bouquets and pull up pictures that you created or that you’ve taken. Use Your own content, be very careful about other people’s content, of like the top summer bouquets. And then at the end of that blog post, create a little collage or just like pick your favorite one and throw up like “inspiration for the top summer balloons. ” I’m just totally guessing here. And think about where your bride is. She’s not searching for Fall stuff in the Fall. She’s actually searching for Spring and Summer. So think about where she is. I think that’s when major tip that dawned on me when I was working with wedding people because people are searching for ideas in the future. Another thing is I think wedding photographers often just pin a bunch of images with nothing on them like you mentioned. And I think that’s dangerous because those are going to get saved and some other wedding photographers going to create that image for them. So, it’s important to have some kind of text overlay. Another thing that I think is important for local businesses is to use local keywords. So for example, if you’re interested in clients in the Greater Virginia area, then you’d want to use keywords in your description like DC bride or northern Virginia bride, et cetera, et cetera.
Vanessa: 47:43 So my, my business is it based on locality, but a lot of people do have businesses based on locality and you need to take advantage of those key words and then of course, once they land on your website, you need to capture those leads easily and quickly, whether it’s through like a contact page or I would recommend, and I think a lot of people do this “How did you hear from us?” and making sure that pinterest is one of those options so that you can slightly, not completely, but you can certainly start to develop data and see “oh, this has been working for me to find new clients”.
Davey: 48:17 Yeah. Anybody who is a regular listener to this podcast or reads our blog knows that I am all about the, “how did you hear about us” and tracking your inquiries. Again, something that I’ve come to appreciate about you is how data driven you are. So I hope that everybody out there listening, if you don’t have the, “how did you hear about us?” question on your contact form you need to have one. You need to know where people are coming from, where to credit referrals, all of that. So I love that you bring that up. So we had mentioned tailwind. So one of the things I wanted to wrap up, I was just asking what tools are out there that make it easier? Is Tailwind really the tool or are there other things that people should be aware of?
Vanessa: 48:59 I mean, I know how to use the other tools and sometimes I’ve inherited clients who are already using them and so if it doesn’t, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it type thing. But I would say like going forward Tailwind they’re introducing all kinds of new options and one of those is looping which is what makes like boardbooster for example, really popular people like the looping feature. But I will say looping is one of those interesting things. So looping means it takes a pen that you’ve already been and just kind of like re pushes it out. But according to pinterest they’re not really interested in old content being recirculated. So that’s a big question mark on whether that even is a really important strategy. But Tailwind allows you to schedule a queue and like I mentioned, I’m scheduled all the way through the end of June right now because I’m, my life is really busy.
Vanessa: 49:44 I’m more careful with my clients queue than I am with my own because that’s just common, right?
Davey: 49:44 Haha, I understand that.
Vanessa: 49:53 Like we don’t have shoes type thing, but yeah. But yeah, it allows you to schedule out. There’s also an important piece that we haven’t talked about which is tailwind tribes. So tailwind tribes are basically niche related groups where you can add your content in exchange for pinning someone else’s content. So for example, if you’re in a mastermind or you’re in a group of people who you really trust their content and you know it’s going to relate with your audience, you guys could start a tailwind tribe and as those pins go live or those blog posts go live, throw up your pin and someone else is going to pin it for you in your niche. And so it helps to promote the pin because you’re going to get eyeballs on that pin right away and get people sharing it right away. So I think that’s another…
Davey: 50:35 I’m sorry to interrupt. So tailwind tribes would be similar to like an instagram pod or a commenting pod, something like that where you’re basically helping each other out by getting more visibility? So for instagram I guess the concept is you go and comment on somebody else’s post so that it bumps their post in the posting the algorithm. So a tailwind tribes would be comparable to that?
Vanessa: 50:58 Yeah, I mean, I think it’s more powerful. So we were in a tribe together with like five other people. I would pop my content up on there that week. You know, it’s good content, you would say to yourself, “I know Vanessa produces good stuff, I’m not putting junk up on my queue”. So you could go and schedule that to several of your boards and then pop it into your queue and likewise I would go and do that as well. But it’s more than just commenting like an instagram pod. It’s basically pushing that content out to all these other people. I feel like a instagram pod kind of benefits that one person, but tailwind tribe actually benefits many people and there’s all kinds of Tailwind tribes for niches, I think you can get small, like we mentioned, like maybe people you really trust, but you can be part of many. You could be part of one that’s like for wedding specialist or you could be in one for a digital marketing strategist people. There’s kind of different broad strokes, so you can get really specific in your own tribe and then you can also have many other tribes of people who maybe you only know through the interwebs, but they’re sharing your content as well. It’s just a great way to collaborate and to get more vitality on those pins. So I have a lot of blog posts on tailwind tribes if you’re a little bit confused, but it’s basically just a way to share other people’s content and I think it protects you because if you go to the pinterest platform and scheduled from pinterest on the tail end, you might end up pinning something that is spammy. You might pin something that leads to a spam website. I think there’s more protection on tailwind tribes because they’re active tailwind users who are leading to content, good content. So I think there’s even a little bit more protection there that you’re not going to pin something that’s spanning.
Davey: 52:43 And is a tailwind tribe created within tailwind?
Vanessa: 52:46 Yes, yes, yes. So you get a certain amount with your. So it’s a subscription based. It’s like 10 to $15 a month. It’s worth it like 10 bucks, like that’s nothing and you get a certain amount of Tailwind tribes free and submissions and then you can “power up”, like get more submissions. But I think most of my clients have not powered up. I powered up, because I happen to use it a lot, but most of my clients haven’t powered up and it’s been just fine.
Davey: 53:11 Okay, awesome. Yeah. So another difference there is instagram pod, something like that would be kind of this loose connection of people. There’s no really formal arrangement. Whereas it sounds like for tailwind, this is all done through the tailwind app.
Vanessa: 53:23 Yeah. Yeah. So it makes it super easy. So just even thinking about the workflow, what I have a whole huge. I’m on Youtube as well if you’re a visual person, but I have a whole workflow. So I’ll take a new piece of content. Let’s say just publish a blog post. I will get on Tailwind and I will schedule it to the relevant boards that it relates to. And right there is a little “add to tribes”, like you’re doing this all at once and I’ll just go ahead and click it and add it to tribes. So you know, really I’m just taking a few minutes as a blog post goes live to get it both on tribes and then also scheduled on my tailwind queue, so it just becomes like a habitual thing to get that pin out.
Davey: 54:02 Yeah. And so one thing that you mentioned was your Youtube Channel. You have a bunch of blog posts on a lot of the subjects that we talked about and I can attest to that. I remember one of the reasons I thought to ask you on the podcast was just because our friend Kat Shcmoyer had posted on facebook about teaching Matt, her husband who had come on full time with Kat relatively recently in the last year or so, teaching him how to use pinterest. And so there was some jokes going on with that and Kat had mentioned that matt had used your youtube videos to learn. So I can attest that there’s some great resources out there that you’ve provided on tailwind on pinterest and the sub topics that we’ve talked about today. Um, what are some other things that people can do to connect with you?
Vanessa: 54:50 Well, if you go to my website@Vanessakynes.com at the top, you can opt into my free pinterest startup guide, which is basically about five to 10 pages and it kind of goes through each category to start to get you thinking about how to start your pinterest strategy for your business. So by opting into that, you’re also gonna opt into my newsletter and I write weekly, I think I’ve only taken two weeks off. I really, really want to protect that tribe. I respond to emails. If you follow me on Instagram, you’re probably going to get like kid videos and so I’m not as active there for content, but I think if you subscribed to my email and you’re going to get what you need and you’re also going to get updates. So I have my ear close to the ground and when something changes about the platform I’m writing on it. And I mentioned the next two weeks I’m going to be back at pinterest headquarters for their in-the-making content workshops. So if there’s anything new that they’re presenting I’m going to be I’m writing about it. So I think it’s just, you know, by niching down I can really be focused on one platform and not worry about all the global changes across all of them. So I’m just here to help you and I really want to be practical and helpful.
Davey: 56:02 Yeah, and I have a feeling tha this episode if we let it would last like five hours. There’s just so much that we could dive into, but fortunately there’s so much good stuff on your site and maybe I’ll check in with you after you go back to pinterest headquarters and I’m sure you’d be writing about some of the things that you learned there and, we’ll link to that in the show notes of this episode so that you can get up to date information from Vanessa about the latest trends and strategies from pinterest themselves. So thank you so much for taking the time to join us today. I mean, I know moving– I’ve talked about this too because there was another guest that was moving– but anyways, it’s the one of the worst things ever in my opinion. I hate moving. I hate packing up.
Vanessa: 56:46 Haha! I actually listened to one of your episodes with Reina recently and you were saying I wish it’s the thing that you could outsource and I think that’s when automating is so important and you know, having automating strategies in your business for whatever you’re using just makes life a little bit less chaotic. And give yourself grace and know that it’s a short season.
Davey: 57:09 Yeah. Well good luck to you. Yeah, I hate moving but I’m guessing that with three young kids around it’s probably no better! Haha
Vanessa: 57:19 Haha, I love my husband and he really wants to take this year, so I’m just going with it.
Davey: 57:25 Cool. Well, we’ll be sure to link to a number of different resources in the show notes. Be sure to check that out and be sure to head on over to checkout everything that Vanessa has to offer around pinterest, especially because there’s just so much opportunity, so thank you.
Davey: 57:44 Thanks for tuning into the Brands that Book Show. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider subscribing and leaving a review itunes for show notes and other resources head on over to DaveyandKrista.com.
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