Affiliates have taken advantage of social media platforms to enhance their marketing efforts to generate income and traffic. However, platforms have been getting stricter with affiliate marketers. Here’s how you can adjust your Pinterest affiliate marketing strategy to make the most of it.

Pinterest is now the fastest growing social network. It’s based on the creation and sharing of images known as Pins to build collections of a specific subject known as Boards. Until February this year, many affiliates had made a lot of money by using affiliate links on Pinterest. Power bloggers actually helped Pinterest become what it is today. But in February 2015, Pinterest completely banned the use of affiliate marketing links and most link shorteners (such as bit.ly). But all is not lost. Affiliates can still use the platform to support their online marketing strategy.

What Can Pinterest Still do for Affiliate Marketing?

Not only is Pinterest the social network with the fastest growth in members and active users in the past year, it’s also a great platform to drive traffic from a more targeted audience around a specific interest.

But there are no shortcuts. You still have to be creative and create engaging Pins. This means that your Pins have to inspire, educate or entertain. If your Pins are sales oriented, they should be focused on helping the user find the products they are looking for easily.

An example of an affiliate using Pinterest to successfully drive traffic to her website is the following Pin. This affiliate marketer uploaded a group of Pins including a group of images of cool gifts for guys. This image was pin-optimized meaning that it’s a high quality image, with a SEO-rich description text, and of course, has links to the affiliate’s website.

Pinterest example

This Pin generated 4,964 visits to her website post, in which she had her affiliate links for each of her gifts recommendations.  The post on her website also had more pin-optimized images that could be shared by visitors on Pinterest, so this becomes into a virtuous circle!

Who Can Take Advantage of This Network?

Affiliates interested in alternative traffic sources can definitely use Pinterest. But before rushing into creating a Pinterest account to link to your site, make sure you understand the platform. If you are promoting health and beauty products, you are in the right place.

Those whose main target market are women can also take advantage of this social network. According to Business Insider UK, the majority of this particular social network users are women from different age brackets, and this platform is most popular among the wealthiest consumers. You can see some other interesting facts on this graph from SproutSocial:

Pinterest usage among key demographics

Affiliates interested in producing visual content can also use this platform to generate traffic. Take into consideration that, in order to optimize reach, the recommended amount of Pins per day is from 10 to 15. The image characteristics are really important as well.  Optimized Pins have multiple dominant colours, 2:3 and 4:5 aspect ratio, no more than 10% background, and preferably no faces. You can also make your website images Pinnable by using the Pinterest Widget Builder.

What Can Affiliates Learn from the Pinterest Ban?

Diversify
Do not put all your eggs in one basket. The nature of digital marketing means that rules constantly change and you can’t rely completely on a third party, no matter if it’s a search engine or social media platform. But don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of innovative tools to drive sales!

Keep control
Focus on your own marketing efforts and basic affiliate marketing principles:
o Link back to your site from quality sources
o Build your own e-mail list; this is the one asset you have absolute control over
o Engage with your visitors – interesting and valuable content is still the best way to drive traffic and sales

This way, even if you find a great opportunity on a third-party platform, when the conditions change you can still rely on your own assets. In short, always think of ways to maintain your business in the long term.

Spam kills everything
Social media and users don’t hate affiliate marketers, they hate spam. Don’t ruin the opportunities for digital marketers who are trying to do things the right way.

Have you used Pinterest as part of your affiliate marketing strategy? Have you had a bad experience after Pinterest ban? Would you be interested in using Pinterest to get traffic to your site? Let us know in the comments area below.