Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Tourism Website
We welcome Louise Cottrell from Travel Pinners to chat with us in episode 66 of Tourism Upgrade and we will we discuss how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your tourism website.
Please see the show notes below. There is more detail in the audio recording and we urge you to press play and enjoy or head over to iTunes and check it out there – episode 66 Using Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Tourism Website.
Louise: Thank you so much Holly for having me it’s great to talk with you.
HollyG: Now I need to confess that of the entire social network out there Pinterest is the one I really have sort try to avoid, not try to avoid but sort of avoid it. I mean is Pinterest is even class as a social network?
Louise: Well that’s a common misconception it’s grouped and the category of the social networks and really there is a bit of interaction and engagement in terms of likes and sharing, now called saving and commenting. But not actually very common to people to interact with each other on the channel. It should be taught as more a visual search engine or actually a social bookmarking platform. Well it’s more like a search engine, you can compare it to Google images search, it’s all user generated. So people are pinning the content, uploading the content themselves. So from a user perspective, it’s considered as a visual discovery tool. It’s a place where people go to plan. It’s the leader and visual marketing platforms right now.
HollyG: I think thinking of it like that sort of takes a pressure off a little bit, I like that. Because so many people think that “Oh my gosh I don’t wanna be involved in another social network”. But thinking of it in a bit different way, I think it thus take the pressure off. I guess it’s sort of people thought of it as a social network because it came out around the time that all the other networks came out.
Louise: Yeah. But I think they are going more the commenting and interaction part is sort of falling by the way. And they are trying to get it more to be considered to be like a social bookmarking and a search engine tool.
HollyG: Yeah. Okay cool. Oh you’re obviously a fan of the platform. And you built your business is around it. What makes Pinterest so great for travel brands?
Louise: Well I think that it should be something that travel brands focus on. Because they already have the visual assets, they already doing that part of marketing so well. So travel, just a huge component of marketing travel is the images. And what it takes to do well in Pinterest is to have amazing images that you can just add and share images or turn them into graphics with text over them. So if you already have thought of those or have a subscription to a good stock photo library that you use to get nice photos. That’s what you need to promote your content as well. Whether if you’re a tour guide, destinations, if you selling gears, boutique company, hotels. You are creating content, if you’re planning to create content, or if you already have a scheme marketing going with your business it’s a good free way to get eyes on your content and to increase your brand awareness and get people clicking to your website.
HollyG: So I guess there are couples of objectives there. One is around that brand awareness and the other side which we tend to hear about in relations to Pinterest is about driving traffic back to website. Do you worked with clientsfor both or one or how is that sort of work. From objectives point of view.
Louise: For me I try to get traffic back to the website. Because that’s measurable. You can now track impressions but I find that, it’s one thing rebooks see your content in their news feed or smart feed as they call them in Pinterest. And it’s another for them to say, this information is what I want to learn about then they go to your website to get that information. So I think traffic is a big one, but you can also track growth in followers and people sharing the content and are pinning it as well. I think the key one for conversion is traffic.
HollyG: Yeah I guess if you like, with travel brands you think you’re already on, I have a management website, I already have Facebook, and I’m already on Instagram. You’d really need a specific purpose for being on Pinterest and I guess that purpose is about driving traffic.
Louise: Yeah and it’s also a place to promote actual written content and audio content as supposed to just instagram, I think it more on images and to get following to build community. Pinterest isn’t as much in building community as it is serving your community and getting people to become aware of your offerings and sort of relying on you is a source of useful information and hopefully buying from you afterwards.
HollyG: Yeah great. So as we are talking to business and brands to this podcast, I’m guessing we need to have a Pinterest business account ad suppose to a personal account. Can you tell us a little bit of differences?
Louise: Yeah so you can either set up your account in the beginning as a business account. Or if you are already using Pinterest for personal use you can convert the account to a business account. But in that case you may have to change your board around and do some cleaning up in case you’re using it for recipes or do it yourself ideas, home decorating.
HollyG: Planning your wedding or something,
Louise: Exactly if you already have a personal account that’s already built up. You can just start a new account fresh. Which also takes a bit of work to get the board set up but at least you don’t have to sort of give up the boards you already have in your personal account. But the benefits of business accounts. There are a few things. You can link it to your website which then allows you to set up Rich Pins, if your spend any time in Pinterest you might have notice, there are pins that’s pull the data from the post. Like they pull the title and the description from the blog post and there even, whether you’re pinning it or a visitor to your website is pinning an images from the site to save. It will pull out information and it stand out more and you can only get those with the business account the rich pins. And also personal accounts can only be your name as the account name and business account you could name it up to your business and also includes keywords in the profile name field. They actually don’t want personal users promoting business content on their personal profile. So if you are going to promote content from your business it’s actually required that you set up the business account. Then you also get things like access to analytics, and there’s a possibility for advertising and promoting pins as well.
HollyG: Well that’s great. I dont know that about the rich pins. So I mean there’s a couple of weeks ago in the podcast were talking about SEO, and we are talking about how important it is to put that made data in your images or descriptions or things like that in your images. I guess it’s just another reason why is because platforms like Pinterest of people that are pinning your content can pull that rich data out.
Louise: Yeah its actually comes from the atl tags so when you get rich pins set up whatever you put in the alt tags of the image gets pulled as the Pinterest description which slow duffle but that’s just the way to do it.
HollyG: That is very good to know. So we definitely talking about business accounts and I guess one of the things that is important is obviously we wanted to measure our activity. What sort of thing should we be measuring when we are looking at working with Pinterest in a business perspective?
Louise: So the big one was your traffic. And there’s 3 ways I measure it.
1) In Pinterest analytics
2) Another I use is a scheduling program called Tailwind that has a great analytics maybe a little more advance than Pinterest.
3) But the very best one is just to go to your Google analytics because it’s the most accurate even though Google analytics isn’t 100% accurate it’s more like 99.9%. But you can go and specifically see your Pinterest referred traffic for whatever period of time you’re trying to track.
You can also set up goals in your Google analytics and that will tell you how much is your Pinterest have traffic ends up on a certain page like you can set up a goal and say how much traffic from Pinterest ended up on my sales page or on my Thank you for signing up for my news letter page.
HollyG: Great then you can actually track the conversion which is what we want. We had one of the co founders Danny Melony and I interviewed him in episode 32 talking a little bit about Tailwind. It actually going back a little while now. But yeah it’s interesting.
Louise: I listen to that on yeah.
HollyG: Yeah. Interesting to talk to him that’s a good episode to listen to as well. So yeah we are measuring ideally traffic. We don’t wanna get hang up with vanity metrics and things like that and I think that’s a really good thing.
Louise: Yeah you have to look at it over time definitely. Also what you pin out keep circulating you can get traffic for months or even years later. SO the effort you put in now, it could keep coming back specially with seasonal pins. Pins about being related to holidays or Christmas market. In New York for example this pins starts to pick up steams every holiday season again. It’s interesting to go in your Google Analytics to see which working in different times of the year. Even if it’s not something you post recently.
HollyG: Interesting. SO what are the key things we need to be aware of or action if where as part of a new Pinterest strategy like we are obviously of thinking about driving traffic to our website. What sort of thing work or do we need to do?
Louise: I say that you need to:
- Be making content or have an upcoming plan to do marketing, blogging or having podcast episode that you can promote with graphics.
- You need content and you need good content that your ideal customer and your audience would be interested in reading about
- And then just above that is a great pin design.
You can make a design template using Canva which is a great graphics design and that’s free to us online. Even if you don’t have template, if you just have a little bit of a creative act or maybe a graphic design on your team. You can make good pins that promote the content that you’re creating and when you start your Pinterest market strategy is that consistency is probably the most important thing.
Next is that you wanna have not just your own content, but you will be curating content from other pinners as well sort of that community aspect and for also sharing things from around the website that maybe you’re not creating yourself but other people are so that you can sort of present something to your audience that shows that you re quality source of information even if it’s not 100% your own. And great ways to do all of the is scheduling programs like I mentioned Tailwind and XXX another one. The consistency part because you should be pinning several times a day and that’s nobody wants to be sitting on a social media platform checking several times just to share. SO that really helps with data aspect of it.
And another thing you have to consider is that the smart feed on Pinterest has its own algorithm. So it has its own set of rule has to how your content will get seen and will get picked up. It doesn’t show everything in chronological order anymore it’s been that way in few years now.
There a lot of people that try to kinda figure out how it works and then people catch on its trick and the rumors spread and then they hanged something and then it’s used to about group words. Because group words are boards where some =body has invited other pincers to collaborate, someday has a really big following and you get invited to collaborate and invited to pin on their group board. You get your pins reaching a much bigger audience; this is goo especially in the beginning when your following account is load. But now since they has such a surging popularity the algorithm has actually change a bit to put a less of a focus on group boards and more of a focus on people pinning other own board.
And the last thing I want to talk about is that you should optimize your website to be Pinterest friendly so you can promote your profile on your website in the side bar, you can create a burin that say “Follow us, saved this” there’s a plug-in that make it for word press anyway that makes it every image you have if you hover over with tee house it will say pin it. Its kinda draw attention to people toss hare your images and the of course elf you already have following s and other platforms you can tell people. Come follow us on Pinterest, you an promote it to your current fans and get more following in that way specially when you first starting out and you don’t have many people on there.
HollyG: SO one of the things you mentioned there was around doing up template for something like that or something like canva. I’m a bit fan of canva; we have talked about that fantastic free tool couple of times in previews episodes. SO just say you’re creating a template for a great new blog post that you’ve done and you creating that template in canva. Would the photo that you created in Canva would that actually got to the blog post or that one just goes to Pinterest? With the link?
Louise: That’s a really good question. I’ve personally advised my entire client to put it on the blog post. And have a call to action, [00:14:38] this, save this on Pinterest, this is for your Pinterest boards. Which vie seen a lot of people do which leads to more pinning of the graphic. But another thing you a do is there’s an html code if you Google html code display you can get actual code maybe you can fit it on the show notes. That’s for people don’t want the image to appear right on the blog but somebody has a Pinterest extension like in their chrome browser. And if somebody wants to save and your link on Pinterest and they hit that your Pinterest optimize image will appear as one of the options to pin but it’s hidden to the actual page. It also helps f you have a load time issue and young want the image to affect your load time. It’s another way to make it your website, so your website will load quickly but the image is there. I actually have a client that we do have for because his particular with his attics and people are still pinning those from his website that way.
HollyG: Yeah interesting. Are there any travel brands that you can talk about or direct us to doing that you thing they are doing it well?
Louise: Yeah so a big leader in the Pinterest marketing space is Lonely Planet. They have some powerful group boards that they manage and they have invited some really great people who only pin the most high quality stuff. It’s Lonely Planet, so they are focused on content but also building and working. I will recommend specially to bloggers if there is a Lonely Planet group board that fits your needs to reach out to them I’ve got few of my blogger clients on their group boards and they have pretty high engagement they have a lot of followers and some Pinterest profile can have allot of followers but not a lot of enegagefollowers. And Lonely Planet is one that has a lot of engage followers. So they see a lot of re pins and a lot of traffic coming from what they share.
And other one is Boutique Japan, it’s a Japanese tour company that organizes spoke tours for people who go to Japan, They are actually a client of mine and they just have an amazing content on their blog and I Find that also they are filling a need there’s a gap in the market because there’s not a lot of high quality information from blogs about trailing to Japan and its sort of a difficult country to do research on I find. And so wave seen a lot of success during allot of their blog post on Pinterest have graphics, both images that they have taken while travelling and while living on Japan and stock images that look really great.
And the last one somebody that I take a lot of inspiration from is a blog called The Blonde Abroad. Its run by woman named Kirsten who has an amazing design her graphics they’re all different and unique but they sort of have a similar style and she also has a shop on het website selling travel gears so I find it cheap while she pins a lot of products and travel style ideas, it’s sort of its not too promotional about the product but it’s also a good lead into that. Because she target the sort of solo female travel market and I just love her style, she got a really high quality pins and images and course as well.
HollyG: Yeah great well Ill make sure I pop those links in the show notes. And I will be really keen to look at them myself. So I guess before we start to wrap up. How much time where we talking that we need to invest? A bit of a tricky question. In Pinterest of we wanna start to see impacting our website traffic and are there you mentioned a couple of tools maybe you can re mentioned maybe some tools that can help us.
Louise: Sure. SO definitely in the beginning you can be a little bit hunting. There somewhat of a learning curve which I try to help people within my consulting to show them what my process is that I have refined over time. It can be a bit of a learning curve a daunting task in the beginning to figure it all up. But I think it’s pretty doable to get it down to above 30mins a week. Eve maybe 20mins or 30mins and you can plan out your whole schedule for the next two weeks, if you get a schedule like Tail win as I mentioned, tailwinapp.com it’s pretty easy to sort of optimize it. They have a browser extension where you can save a lot of images at once. That you wanna repine and then you can go in and assign the same pin too many different boards which is totally doable it’s nothing against us some people are “Oh I don’t know if I should pin the same pin tomorrow” It’s totally fine as long as it fits the topic. And then it allows you to shuffle it so you can find a bunch of it one time, Schedule a bunch at one time, and then hit the shuffle button and it looks totally natural like as if you’re in there pinning different stuff all the time. So I like Tail win I sort of dabbling a little because it has different features but overall the interface of Tail win is definitely the winner in the Pinterest scheduling app competition.
HollyG: Cool excellent. SO any final comments and someone I ask you to share how people can find out about you can connect with you?
Louise: Yeah so final comment is don’t under estimate the power of Pinterest and it can take a bit of time in the beginning but the pay of it can be expediential on what you do now their results from the efforts that you put in the beginning can last so long it really has a ripple effect and it’s you can see exordial growth. It requires some faith in the beginning while it takes time to sort of build up your following and your traffic about the amount of traffic that you can get from pins that you share months ago it will stains you. If you wanna find out more connect with me you can find me at travelpinners.com I have a free Pinterest checklist that you can download which will sort of make sure if you just getting started if you sort of set up a Pinterest account you wanna make sure you are on the right track. You can get that in check and subscribe to my news letter where I’ll be sharing tutorial videos and more information to hip travel brands with their Pinterest strategy.
HollyG: Fantastic Thank you so much Louise. You’re inspiring me to get on board with Pinterest for so much fun. It’s really good I mean I just hear so many people rave about it, about the sheer volume of traffic that it send to website. It’s something I will seriously think about. Now are you up for the bonus question?
Louise: Sure let’s do it.
Now it’s time for our thousand dollar bonus question!
HollyG: If you only have a $1000 marketing budget what would you spend it on?
Louise: For my Pinterest marketing, a graphic designer. And then maybe if I have a left over a content strategist to help me write some high quality blog posts.
HollyG: Yeah I like that response about the graphic designer, in a lot of the workshops I talk about I talked about working with a graphic designer just set up some templates for you. That investment to start makes life so much easier so I totally get that.
Louse: Yeah and they can even do matching template for your other social channels. I offer to my client to convert their pin images into twitter graphics and to Facebook graphics. With canva for work it’s you can do it pretty quickly and easily.
HollyG: Yeah nice. Now what if you only have $100?
Louise: Probably a Tailwind subscription for the year.
HollyG: Okay great. Excellent, well thank you so much Louise. It was really great to talk to with.
Louise: thanks for having me Holy. Its great being here,
HollyG: For the show notes with this episode, head to holyg.com.au you can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, deepcha or your preferred podcast service.
Tweet me with any comments or feedback @hollygalbraith or email is good too holly (at) hollyg.com.au
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