We’re diving into our final data post. If you’re just joining in make sure you check out the first two posts:
This time we’re going to answer the question — Should I use branded images on Pinterest?
Throughout the last two posts we’ve focused on what does or does not bring traffic from Pinterest. One of the biggest questions I wanted answered was if branded images would actually get more users to click over to the website. I know that I have personally noticed them but did the average Pinterest user?
First off, let’s cover what a branded image is. A branded image is not a watermark stamped over the top of your photo. Stop doing that if you are. It completely distracts from your beautiful photography. A simple watermark in the bottom corner is just fine if you’re concerned with people swiping your images.
A branded image is one that uses the same font, style of text overlay, colors and similar looking photos. There are tons of brands, businesses, and blogger who are doing brand images incredibly well. Here are a few examples of branded images:
Those are all from a variety of niches but you can see the way they have created their images to have a similar look. This makes their pins easily recognizable to their followers when they are scrolling through the feed. To make these type of images I recommend using Canva or PicMonkey. Canva has a free version, and PicMonkey offers a free trial. Both are beginner friendly are super user-friendly.
Branded images sure look cool, but do they result in increased traffic? To answer this question I compared two blogs that use a branded image strategy and two that don’t. It’s important to note that these case studies are done during the first full year of the Smart Feed.
Websites That Use Branded Images
*Rebranded in late 2014 and started using branded images in July 2014
Percentage of Follower Growth: 500%
Current Follower Numbers: 18K
Posts per week: 3-4
Page Views Increased by 1,766% since using branded images
July 2014 Page Views: 9K
December 2015 Page Views: 168K
Percentage of Follower Growth: 622%
Current Follower Numbers: 34K
Posts per week: 3-4
Page Views Increased by 475% since using branded images
November 2014 Page Views: 20K
December 2015 Page Views: 115K
Both subjects above used the same type of photo, same font, and the same location for the Pinterest photo on their site. Both were pinning the same amount of pins per day.
Looking at the data, branded images area clearly working for both of them.
Bloggers NOT Using Branded Images
Percentage of Follower Growth: 41%
Current Follower Numbers: 24K
Posts per week: 1-2 Pinterest-friendly
Page Views Increased by 5% over the year
December 2014 Page Views: 99K
December 2015 Page Views: 104K
Percentage of Follower Growth: 29%
Current Follower Numbers: 62K
Posts per week: 2-3
Page Views -28% over the year
December 2014 Page Views: 214K
December 2015 Page Views: 153K
Unfortunately we saw a slow or decrease in growth over the course of the year. Both websites had Pinterest images that were clickable and catchy so why wasn’t it resulting in traffic? Do branded images resonate better with Pinterest users? Does seeing a similar type of image encourage followers to repin or click through more?
Looking at this research above and my notations of other websites I would say yes. It’s important for you to use branded images on Pinterest. It will result in more traffic, repins, and possibly an increase in your readership.
If you don’t know where/how to start with branded images I suggest looking at your top ten pins already driving traffic. Is there something about those Pinterest images you can start to replicate? See if those simple changes results in more click-thrus.
Wrapping It Up
Next week I’m going to wrap up all the findings and give a bit of perspective about what I see in all the data and the questions I ask myself to evaluate traffic growth for our clients.
Kristie Hill says
VERY interesting study… I’m going to have to think about this one.
Great study! I was wondering though, the bloggers in the second group (the ones without branded images) didn’t put out as many posts per week (and therefore less possible pins), so do you think that affected their numbers as well?
Great question. Even though they didn’t produce as many posts they still had a ton in their archives and were creating enough pinnable images (and updated old ones) to stay on par with the top group. If they did happen to update images, none of them had a consistent look.
Good to know! Thanks for putting this study together, it’s really compelling!
ANTHONY LITTLE says
This is very good information, I really learn something today, Thanks
I’ve been pinning both branded and non-branded images from each of my blog posts. Should I only be pinning the branded photos?
Kate Ahl says
I would pin both and then review your analytics to see which ones get more engagement.
Sorry. I should have been more clear. My branded pins do better than non-branded pins. There’s no question I will continue to pin branded images. My question is… should I stop pinning the non-branded photos from each post? Based on your experience as a Pinterest expert, would you only pin branded images and try to funnel all engagement thru one branded image per post? Vs. spreading engagement among several branded and non-branded images for a given article?
Kate Ahl says
I see….I would only go with the branded image from now on.
Karen Askins says
I just listened to your podcast; I believe it was Pinterest for beginners. You mentioned specific straggles for photographers. However, I searched on Pinterest and on your page with no luck. Could you/Simple Pin connect me with the content?
Thank you ever so much!
kate ahl says
Sure Karen, here you go