According to Wikipedia there are 18 social media platforms which boast over 100k active users. Whilst there are hundreds if not thousands more social media sites floating around cyberspace, inevitably not all of them can be as successful as others. However there’s a good variety of social sites with huge audiences which you can utilise to drive more affiliate sales.

They also report that in 2016 46% of the world’s population (that’s 3.4 billion for those who don’t know!) have used the internet within the past year, which really highlights the sheer amount of potential users you could gain access to by marketing online. Incredibly, 1.71 billion (half of all internet users) are active on facebook making it the number one social media platform, Wow!

 

Social Community

 

There’s no prizes for guessing some of the top social platforms. We all knew Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and so on would be featured, but there are a couple of social sites you may not have come across before. Perhaps some platforms are not so popular in your native country. However, this may raise your awareness to a potential new market and new platform to utilise.

Affiliate marketers who already use social media will typically work with Facebook and Twitter, and rightly so – just look at the number of active users! However, today I want to talk about a more visually dominant social platform; Pinterest. The relatively young six year old company has grown extensively over the past few years and is now a part of many people’s daily routine, including mine! The main purpose of Pinterest is to inspire, gather ideas and share projects. CEO Ben Silbermann described the company as a “catalog of ideas that inspires users to go out and do that thing”.

So you may be wondering how exactly this image sharing site can make you money? Well, there’s been some changes in the past year or so regarding the use of affiliate links on Pinterest. The ban of such links was recently lifted which is great news for affiliates. In this article, I will guide you through creating your Pinterest account, growing your followers and utilising boards, pins, ads and more!

 

Step 1: Creating A Pinterest Account

When you open a new account you can opt for a standard or a business account. By choosing a business account you are able to have access to analytics, see how other businesses are using the platform and reach your audience with promoted pins. Alternatively, if you have an existing Pinterest account, or you opt for a standard account but change your mind, you can switch a standard account to business.

Create your business account here; https://uk.pinterest.com/business/create/

 

TopicsBusinessAccount

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you’ve created your account you will be invited to start following relevant topics. Pinterest will show you pins related to your chosen categories in your homepage feed. Think about the most relevant categories to the niche you are promoting in. When your home feed is refreshed with new images, the more niche specific content Pinterest shows you, the more free content you’ve got to repin and share to your own audience, so choosing the right topics at this stage will lighten your workload further down the line. Once you’ve completed the setup of your account you will be taken to your home page where relevant pins will be displayed in the feed.

Before we move on, make sure you update your profile, settings and notifications. You can do so here or by clicking the pin icon in the top right and navigating to settings. Ideally you will already have a business name and branding for your affiliate work, so update the profile image with your logo, and be sure to link to your website and link up any other social media sites you have. This will make it much easier to share Pinterest updates across multiple platforms and vice verse.

Pinterest Business Account

 

Step 2: Creating Boards

There are a few different ways you can source images for your Pinterest boards. You could create your own imagery, source existing images from around the web or repin existing content from other Pinterest user’s. To begin, decide on a couple of key boards you’d like to create and focus on building those up before creating too many different boards. Over time you will naturally add more relevant boards so there’s no need to create too many at this stage.

There’s also several types of imagery you can pin and you should focus on pinning a variety of the below examples. In this case the below examples are relevant to the fitness, bodybuilding and weight loss niches;

  • Inspirational quotes – Industry Professionals
  • Memes – Celebrities
  • Infographics – Products
  • Transformations – Food/recipes
  • Equipment/gyms – Exercise routines

Some pins are more engaging than others and you should avoid pinning images which are boring, unclear and don’t add value to your user’s experience. Ideally you will gather a selection of images first and then pin them all to the relevant boards. From then on you can add new pins regularly as and when you come across them.

If you’re a dab hand at photography then you can go out and take some photos of your own. Alternatively you could create your own images using online software, this could be a meme, infographic or editing existing images to enhance the quality, brightness or add text/borders etc. Below are some useful sites for creating your own images online;

Memes – https://imgflip.com/memegenerator

Infographics – https://piktochart.com/

Photo Editing – https://www.befunky.com

Once you’ve compiled your own images and uploaded to the relevant boards you can begin repping some existing images on Pinterest. Now, we haven’t got to the stage of building your following, so it’s likely that you have no followers and aren’t following anyone yourself.Not to worry, we’ll get to that later and for now you can still repin images from your home feed and through searches. Any interesting, funny, useful or engaging images that take your fancy can be repinned and added to your own boards. To do so, click on the save pin icon which will appear as you hover over an image.
Pinterest image

Pin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you save the pin you will be given the option to save to an existing board or create a new board. When you repin other’s images you can update the description, although not the link or title. However, you can still optimise the description with relevant text and add a link in here to either your Pinterest profile, your affiliate website or an article that’s relevant to the image. The benefit of repinning other’s content is that you will be able to reach more users. For example, a very popular pin will be saved multiple times and once you’ve saved it, your icon and link to profile will be on that pin, so there’s more opportunity for new followers.

When adding your own images you need to select save a pin from within your profile page and you will be given the option to save from the web or upload from your own computer.

 

SavePinPins

 

When you upload an image from the web or your computer you have more freedom on what information you use to promote it. As well as adding your own description you can also add a link, which allows you to fully optimise the pin and use it to drive traffic through to your own affiliate site.

When adding new pins it’s important to have a good variety of content. It’s worthwhile repinning other user’s images but you must ensure you are spending time creating and sourcing fresh pins of your own. The main reason being is that these original pins have the most flexibility and while repinning can be great for exposure and growing your following, new pins are going to drive traffic through to your website and convert Pinterest users into customers.

Going back to the different types of imagery you could create, the majority of images would work best if linked through to a relevant article or review on your website. However, when it comes to pinning product images, this is where you can start to utilise the lift of the affiliate links ban. If you are pinning an image of the product itself or perhaps a CTA banner, then it makes sense to add your affiliate link as the link but in the description link through to a full review of the product.

Overall you should have a good split of image types and links. You will be able to drive traffic through to relevant, non sales focused articles, other users through to detailed product reviews and some direct to the merchant. I would strongly recommend keeping the number of affiliate links used on Pinterest low and try to keep track of them. As Pinterest has banned them once before, we don’t know if they will enforce the same rules again in the future. So it’s better to be safe than sorry and keep a small number of affiliated pins, with the majority linking through to your website. Of course, once a user lands on your site you can then guide them through from a general article to a product review and finally onto the merchant’s site.

 

Step 3: Keyword Research

As you would do for content on your website, you should also carry out keyword research to be used in pin descriptions. Now, although Pinterest doesn’t have it’s own keyword planner tool, there are a few ways you can gather clues as to what keywords you should be targeting. First of all is ‘Pinterest instant’, this is when you type a word into the search bar and Pinterest suggests additional searches below based on the most popular terms.

 

keywords

 

As you can see, Pinterest has suggested additional searches as well as recommending other user’s and boards to follow based on my search. Straight away this gives you a handful of search terms to optimise your descriptions with, as well as some new boards and users to follow.

The second option is Pinterest’s guided search. This is a feature which shows modified versions of your current search. So for example, if you searched for ‘workout gear’ a guided search may be ‘women’s workout gear’, ‘men’s workout gear’, ‘Nike workout gear’ and so on.

 

Promoted Pins

 

The final option is Pinterest’s promoted pin suggestions. You will need to create a promoted pin in order to see these suggestions. However, you don’t have to put the promoted pin live. You can simply cancel once you have gathered the keyword data. To create a promoted pin, navigate to the ads section in the top left corner. Once in the ads section click ‘promote’ on either awareness, engagement or traffic campaigns. You can now start creating your ad and for now, you can leave the campaign name as test if you’re purely doing keyword research. Once you get through to step 3 you will be prompted to list your keywords for this pin. Once you have added one keyword, Pinterest will suggest additional search terms which are relevant and highly searched for you to target too.

 

Keywords

 

So there are 3 simple ways of gathering accurate data on your search terms. You can compile a list of key terms based on these findings and make sure you optimise your titles and descriptions accordingly.

 

Step 4: Building Your Following

To begin with you can add friends from other social platforms and invite people you know to follow you. This will help you build a small initial following which you can continue to build on over time. Navigate to your profile, click the ellipsis icon and select ‘find friends’ from the dropdown or click here.

 

Friends

 

You should also add a Pinterest social icon to your website to allow visitors on your site to follow you on Pinterest. There are a few different icons you can add; a social sharing button to allow users to share your content on their own Pinterest, a link through to your Pinterest profile or a widget showing your Pinterest feed so users can see the sort of content you pin.

You can create your own Pinterest widgets to add to your website here; https://developers.pinterest.com/tools/widget-builder/

 

Widget

Once you’ve added your widgets, invited friends and family to follow and begun building a small following for your Pinterest account you can now start working on adding relevant users from across Pinterest itself. In your home feed you will see relevant pins to the categories you selected during the signup process. From here, you can click through to see each user’s profile and selection of boards. You can then follow the user and/or their individual boards. This means any future pins they add to that board or pins they share in general if you follow the whole account, will be shown in your home feed.

You can also find users through searches. As mentioned earlier, Pinterest will suggest boards and users as well as other keywords when you start searching, so you can find more relevant users to follow this way. You should also follow large brands relevant to your niche and industry influencers who use Pinterest as they are likely to have a large following of relevant users.

By following all of these people you will find that many will simply follow you back. For those who don’t, not to worry as you are still benefitting from the content they share which can be repinned by you. As mentioned in step 2, this will enable you to add a link to your profile on popular pins you share from other users, regardless if they follow you or not.

You will also be building up the number of pins and boards you have, so over time more and more users will begin to follow you and your boards when they find content relevant to their interests.

 

Step 5: Creating Ads and Using Analytics

Creating an ad is relatively simple and follows the same steps as mentioned above when carrying out keyword research. On your homepage there is a link to ads in the top left corner. Once you click this you will see your ads dashboard. Please note, you can only promote pins which have been added by you. Anything you have repinned from another user cannot be promoted via Pinterest ads. 

 

Pinterest Ads

 

You will need to choose a type of promoted pin from the campaigns; engagement, awareness or traffic. Once you have selected a campaign you will be asked for the campaign name, a budget and time scale for the ad to run. You will then be promoted to select the pin which you’d like to promote. On the next page you will need to select the keywords you wish to target, along with supplying further information relevant to your ad.

You will need to choose a type of promoted pin from the campaigns; engagement, awareness or traffic. Once you have selected a campaign you will be asked for the campaign name, a budget and time scale for the ad to run. You will then be promoted to select the pin which you’d like to promote. On the next page you will need to select the keywords you wish to target, along with supplying further information relevant to your ad.

Add more

 

You will then be prompted to complete information about your business and proceed to the payment.

You can see analytics reports for all of your promoted pins, but you will also have access to data on general pins and boards. This information is very useful so you should spend some time monitoring the most popular pins before going ahead and paying for ads. Once you get a better idea of how certain types of pins perform and which ones are doing particularly well for you, you can go ahead and promote them to drive more brand awareness, engagement or traffic.

Moving on to the analytics section of your account, we will take a look at what data you can review here. The analytics section can be found in the top left corner next to ads.

 

Pinterest Account

 

At first, there won’t be much data in here for you to view. But as soon as you start adding pins the data will quickly build up. Here you will be able to view several things;

 

Your Pinterest Profile Analytics

Overview

Top Pins from the last 30 days

Top boards from the last 30 days

All-time

 

Your Pinterest Website Analytics

  • Overview
  • Top Pins from the last 30 days
  • Top boards from the last 30 days
  • Original Pins
  • All-time
  • Pin It button

 

Your Audience Analytics

  • Overview
  • Demographics
  • Interests

 

You will need to verify your own website within analytics in order to see data on your Pinterest website analytics. Using the analytics drop down in the top left you can navigate between profile analytics, website and audience.

Step 6: Managing Your Pinterest Account

To ensure your Pinterest account continues driving traffic after the initial setup you need to put a plan into place to manage your account. Ideally, you should set aside a small amount of time per week for general maintenance of your Pinterest account.

Weekly tasks to ensure the growth of your account:

  • Spend 30mins-1hour per week following relevant users and boards in order to build your own following gradually week on week.
  • Carry out keyword research each time you add new pins to ensure descriptions are up to date and optimised well.
  • Add a variety of new pins and repinned content each week. Perhaps a couple per day or every couple of days spend some time adding a new selection of content.

So, to summarise it’s important to have a good variety of engaging content. You should add new pins, follow users and carry out keyword research on a regular basis. Monitor your analytics closely to help make the best decision on which pins to promote. By managing your Pinterest account well you can begin sending through a high volume of relevant users to your site and in turn boost your sales and conversions with highly relevant users.

 

Don’t forget to share your Pinterest journey with your MoreNiche affiliate manager and if you have any questions or issues with building your following, creating pins or promoting ads, the MoreNiche team are on hand to help.