The post is a guest post written by Rana Hill.
Pinterest is in serious growth mode! Recently it’s been in the news for becoming a publicly-traded company, but Pinterest is also hitting the radar of many businesses as an impactful marketing tool to drive website traffic. If you’re in the camp that thinks Pinterest is only for moms searching for recipes, crafts, and DIY projects, it might be time to reconsider.
While most would classify Pinterest as a social media site like Facebook or Instagram, it actually is a visual SEARCH engine more like Google or Youtube. Users don’t typically come to Pinterest to “follow” friends or check status updates; instead, they come to plan or discover through searching keywords leading to pins and boards that relate to a specific topic.
It’s quick. It’s efficient. It provides reliable, trustworthy information that often includes comments and reviews of others, too.
Why Should Pinterest Be a Part of Your Vacation Rental Marketing Plan?
Travel brands, content, and destinations consistently rank as one of the top interest categories among users. Pins about travel and tourism make up close to 25% of all activity on Pinterest. If you are driven by numbers, then consider the following 9 reasons for becoming an active “pinner”.
1. The Numbers Are in Your Favor
Over 200 million people use Pinterest every month, conducting over 2 billion searches. Of those users, 98% have tried something new they found. Moreover, 84% report using Pinterest when trying to decide what to buy or to plan “life moments” (i.e. vacations).
2. Powerful (Traffic) Driving Force
Pinterest drives 33% more traffic than Facebook, proportionately. Pins are designed to be an “advertisement” linking the user back to content-rich information on your website. Unlike Instagram, which only provides a website link in the profile, EVERY pin is linked back to a specific page on your website which could be an article, a sales page, and/or a lead-generation form for your business.
3. Long Lifespan Means More Bang For Your Buck
The lifespan of a Pinterest Pin is far greater than any other platform. The “official” life of a pin is 4 months compared to 5 hours for a Facebook post or 24 hours for Instagram. Many content creators (including me) agree that a strategically well-designed pin with evergreen content can almost be immortal, producing traffic up to a year or more.
For example, I created this pin and first posted it when I published the associated blog post on July 4th, 2018. If you look at my pin analytics now, 10 months after the initial pin post, it still ranks as my highest performing monthly pin! **Note: Analytics for pins only go back for 30 days from current day. The activity noted here would be from April 9th – May 9th, 2019.
4. Travel is (Pinterest) Trendy
Travel is a significant interest category on Pinterest (as stated earlier – close to 25%) with trends that are growing rapidly. Consider…
- 40+ million people in the US alone are on Pinterest every month for travel ideas.
- 49% of US travelers who spend $1000 or more on travel are on Pinterest.
- Pinterest reaches almost 2x more online travelers than top online travel agency sites.
- Pinners are looking for where to go, how to get there, where to stay, and what to do when they arrive.
5. Pinpoint Targeting to Precise Reach
Pinterest reaches 83% of US women aged 25-54 with 42% of those finding content through Google image search that picks up pins on Pinterest. Pro Tip – Design your pin with this in mind! Your image is very important and should directly relate to the keyword you are targeting. For example, if your content and hence keyword is targeting Maui, then your pin image should be a beautiful image from Maui.
6. Prime Demographics = Ideal Audiences
High-income and educated US households are twice as likely to use Pinterest. More importantly, Pinterest users spend 29% more than non-users, and 40% of people in households earning $100K+ use the platform. This is excellent news for vacation rental owners looking for potential clients with disposable income ready to spend on quality properties.
7. You Can’t Beat Free
Pinterest continues to be a FREE way to market and drive potential clients to your website. While Promoted Pins is growing as a form of paid advertising, the majority of pin activity is completely organic. In fact, most marketers would argue it’s better to build your traffic first before trying to target and pay for promoted pins.
8. Genuine Bonds Lead to Lasting Relationships
Pinterest users are ACTIVE and ENGAGED! Data shows 70% of pinners will search, save, or click on a pin. For businesses, this means strategically designing, describing, and placing your pin can pay off in your overall marketing plan and significantly impact your website traffic. In the case of my website, www.thefoodieedit.com, Google analytics shows 88% of my traffic is currently coming from social media channels, and of that, 99% is coming from Pinterest. It is my #1 source of traffic to my website!
9. Sweet Simplicity
Pinterest is not as complicated as it looks! Getting started involves 4 steps:
- Setup a free Business Pinterest Account. You absolutely must have a business account (which is FREE) in order to see analytics or use Promoted Pins. Pro Tip: Instead of converting your personal Pinterest account (if you have one), start fresh by creating a business account. The platform has wonderful video and text tutorials leading through the process.
- Create a keyword-optimized Business Account Profile.
- Set up content/keyword optimized Pinterest Boards related to your business, ideally 8-10 boards to begin.
- Create visually appealing, keyword optimized Pins linking to your website (2-3 different pins per blog article or page link) and pin to your corresponding board.
Pro Tip: Stocking Your Toolkit
Canva is an excellent, easy, and free tool for creating beautiful pins. Other tools like PicMonkey and Adobe Spark are great, too. If you don’t have your own photos, check out Pexels and Unsplash for free stock images that create beautiful pins.
Final Thoughts: Harnessing the Power of Pinterest
The numbers are impressive. If you are not currently utilizing Pinterest, I would argue that these statistics make a very good case for adding it to your marketing plan. Before you start, however, it is important to understand a couple of guiding Pinterest principles.
First and foremost, know that Pinterest values their users’ experience above all else; it consistently ranks as their #1 priority. Consequently, preference is given in their smart feed algorithm to high quality pins that link to actively engaged, content-rich domains. This means they want to see consistent pinning activity both of your own pins (pins you create) plus re-pinning other pins to your boards that have related content.
Secondly, patience is a necessity on this platform…think marathon not sprint! It takes time to build your monthly views to a level that is producing good saves, clicks, and re-pins. Generally speaking, I usually give a new pin 3-4 weeks to start building traction and 3-4 months to really start seeing meaningful account analytics. The good news is that once it starts performing, it can continue to produce results for many months.
Successful Pinterest management takes commitment and time, but it’s time well spent because the power of pinning is REAL, and it can lead to REAL results!
This is a guest post by Rana Hill, The Foodie Edit and Super Size Social Media.