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Since Pinterest has introduced the new versions of story pins and video pins, and with the recent algorithm updates, you might be left wondering whether there still value in growing a Pinterest following. In this episode with Jillian Tohber Leslie of MiloTree and Catch My Party. we’re getting the lowdown on why you still focus on growing your followers.
MiloTree is a plugin that I started using back in 2016 to help me grow my followers. This plugin is so easy to use that I managed to add it to my website while being sick in bed with the flu. In the last four years, I have grown from 4,000 to 41,000 followers on Pinterest by using MiloTree.
In this conversation with Jillian, we discuss how things are changing on Pinterest and how you can strategically weave these changes into your business.
If you’re interested in learning more about growing your business, we’re spending this entire month talking all about strategy in The Simple Pin Collective. You can join the Collective today to take part in Pinterest marketing coaching, in real-time.
Pinterest Followers DO Matter – Use MiloTree to Grow Yours
Jillian has been on the podcast three times before, chatting with me about
- seasonality on Pinterest
- how to create the best Pinterest boards
- ways to get more followers on Pinterest.
Jillian and her husband Dave depend on large volumes of site traffic to monetize their main website. Like so many bloggers, they had been using Facebook to send traffic to their site until Facebook changed its algorithm a few years back. They realized that Pinterest was driving traffic to their site without them even knowing it.
According to Jillian, follower number does matter on Pinterest because it’s a signal to the Pinterest algorithm that your page is high quality. When they realized this, Jillian’s tech-savvy husband built a simple plugin for Catch My Party the creates a pop up with a call to action for readers to follow them on Pinterest.
After installing the plugin (MiloTree), they watched their follower number grow on Pinterest. This follower growth was accompanied by an increase in traffic from Pinterest. They soon rolled out additional functionality in the MiloTree plugin to grow followings on Facebook, Youtube, email lists, etc.
Jillian and Dave have continued to improve the plugin based on the feedback they receive from their customers. For example, you can now turn off the plugin on a sales page so that nothing distracts from the call to action on the page.
A Major Shift in Focus for the Pinterest Platform
Our creative director, Tina, attended the creators’ seminar that Pinterest recently hosted. One of the things they said was that they are changing as a platform. Initially, their goal was to drive traffic, but now they are focused on offering up great content on the platform (and encouraging pinners to stick around instead of clicking off to another destination).
A manifestation of this shift in focus is story pins. You can’t link to your site in a story pin, but you can get awesome exposure through them as Pinterest is currently placing a heavy emphasis on these pins in the algorithm. One goal for story pins is to use them as a vehicle for increasing your followers by using a CTA at the end of the story.
Pinterest is constantly changing and evolving. But followers have always mattered. They have just faded into the background over time and have been mistakenly lumped into the category of “things that are useful but not crucial on Pinterest”, like hashtags.
Jillian can pin a lot of pins on her Catch My Party Pinterest account and not be viewed as spam because the high volume of followers she has tells the algorithm that her account is high quality.
Diversifying Your Pinterest Marketing
When it comes to Pinterest marketing in 2020, the name of the game is Diversify. Change up your marketing so that you aren’t stuck in an old pattern of just repeatedly creating the same types of Pinterest images.
It’s time to break out of your old habits and try something new. Embrace the changes and find new ways to implement them in your Pinterest marketing. Test out different options with story pins and video pins. You won’t ever know if these types will work for your business until you test it.
It may take time for you to determine whether or not your ideal audience is interested in story pins. They may need some time to be educated on what they are and how they work. Don’t give up the very first time you try something new on the platform.
Pinterest Marketing: Experimentation and Tracking
With any metrics on Pinterest, you want to give it at least a full week to see how people are engaging with the content. You can use a spreadsheet to track your key performance indicators and take notes.
If you are making story pins, how are you working to get people to click on your profile and then click to your site from there? Track your story pin engagement and followers over a month. This will give you a holistic view of what’s happening.
Keep your goal in mind. Ultimately your goal is to get clicks to your site. You don’t just want your ego to be stroked. Your goal is to make money, not to get caught up in vanity metrics.
You can contact Jillian with any questions or ideas you have about your business and MiloTree. You can also check out Jillian’s podcast, The Blogger Genius. And Catch My Party has a ton of tips on how to stay safe and celebrate during this crazy pandemic!
For Further Listening/Reading: