Sponsored Content on Pinterest
I had the chance to talk with Liz Latham of Hoosier Homemade about working with brands Liz has worked with tons of brands and knows how to get the most out of her content, especially when it comes to Pinterest.
Liz began her site Hoosier Homemade back in 2009, as a place to share her passion for homemaking. As time went on, however, she found herself in need of another income in their home. So in 2010, she went to her first blogging conference and came home determined that her blog would be that source of income.
She had nothing to invest in it, so she started with a flip phone for photos, and she built her blog on content. She worked hard to make everything as professional as possible, even with her limited budget and less than extraordinary tools. Liz’s goal was to do everything she did at 110%, and that is still her goal today and what she credits with her blog’s success.
By 2013, Liz was so busy with sponsored posts that her husband was able to quit his full-time job and come home to help build the blog business with her. Today, they run two successful blogs, while working full time together from home.
Jumping into Pinterest
Liz calls herself a late bloomer when it comes to Pinterest. Her numbers aren’t what you see on some other large, successful blogger’s pages. But while the numbers might not be in the hundreds of thousands, she gets great traffic and engagement from the followers she has. Around 40% of Hoosier Homemade’s traffic comes from Pinterest, and that number goes up during the holidays.
Simple Pin manages Liz’s Pinterest account, and we add 25 Pins a day to her page. But she also Pins for herself, around 8-10 Pins per day, or 30-40 per week.
Working with Brands
Liz began working with brands in 2010, and it has continued to grow since then. In 2011, Liz was invited into the WalMart Moms blogger program, which proved to be a huge step for her. That invitation brought other brands in who were interested in working with her. But even so, Liz still attributes her success to content.
Currently, she posts 3-5 sponsored posts per week between the two blogs. One of the things Liz focuses on besides blog content is the photos for the posts. When thinking about Pinterest photos, it is so important to remember a few key things.
First of all, be consistent. You want people to recognize your Pins and connect them to your brand when they see them. So use an easily readable font, and use it every time. Check how it looks on mobile devices too! Liz almost always uses a white font on her Pins.
Use a photography editing tool to make your pictures look their best. Liz uses Pic Monkey because it is easy to use and gives her photos the look she desires. And while there are some amazing photo editing tools out there, Liz has stuck with Pic Monkey because it is simple, and she is getting great traffic from her Pins.
Another thing she has experimented with and found huge success in is using collages on Pinterest. This is a long Pin, with more than one photo, and a space between the photos. Liz began by using white space between the photos, but when she started using color, she saw her number of repins go through the roof.
Some of these collage Pins are as long as 1,500 pixels, which is less than ideal for including in a blog post. A photo that long would have your readers scrolling and scrolling to get past it. And that is a great way to lose a reader, especially if they are on a mobile device and can’t get past the photo.
Liz uses photos in her blog posts that are 600 x 900 pixels, and then uses the long collages for Pins only.
Product placement photos
Placement of product photos is key. You can’t just stick a sponsored post up and tell everybody they should buy the product. You need to make these posts as organic as possible by showing the product in use.
For example, when working with Duck Tape brand duct tape, Liz made several crafts using the tape and photographed the crafts for the post. This takes Liz back to her commitment of giving 110% to her readers. Instead of just telling them to buy Duck Tape brand duct tape, she showed them how to use it to make some cool crafts for Halloween.
Another thing that Liz recommends is not having the actual product itself in the “hero shot” for Pinterest. People tend to not click on a Pin that is obviously a sponsored item. So to avoid that, Liz will follow the requirements of the company she is working with, which sometimes is that at least 1 photo has to have the product in it. Sometimes that means that a recipe post will have a shot of all of the ingredients, and that covers the product shot.
Legal requirements for sponsored posts
Liz readily admits that she isn’t a lawyer, and so she does what she is told! With that said, here are a few things that she does know.
You must disclose that you are being paid by the sponsor, or receiving the product for free for the post.
Some contracts will stipulate that you use the hashtag “ad” any time you mention the product in your social media channels.
Tips for those getting started working with brands:
How do you maximize your sponsored posts to drive traffic, and not just have a one and done deal? Liz says it’s all about content. Content and consistency are the two things that built her business from that small beginning to being a full-time income today. Remember her commitment to giving 110%?
How does that translate to working with brands? “If a brand said they needed A, B, and C from me, then I gave them A, B, and C…and I threw in X, Y, and Z.”
This translated to companies coming back, again and again, to longer contracts. Instead of a one off deal, she was getting 6 month to 1 year contracts. And that is how she maintains a consistent income. Be willing to go above and beyond what is asked of you.
Remember that Pinterest users are looking for ideas to use in the future, so when you show them those ideas, they will purchase the product you are talking about. Provide them with useful ideas and valuable content, and they will rePin those for you, which will drive more traffic to your posts.
Don’t forget about Promoted Pins! When Liz added several extra photos to her media kit for brands, it increased her income. It’s just another way to give more than you are asked for, and make it easier for the brands to market their product.
Make sure you follow Hoosier Homemade on Pinterest for more holiday, baking and decorating inspiration.