Susan Wenner Jackson of Ahalogy joined me on the Simple Pin Podcast to talk about using Ahalogy for Pinterest scheduling. We use Ahalogy for several of our clients here at Simple Pin, and it has some features that other schedulers don’t. I wanted the opportunity to hear the Ahalogy story and to learn more about how it can be beneficial in Pinterest marketing.
Susan Joins Ahalogy
Susan began her career as a journalist, and moved around in marketing and advertising. After she had her first child, she started a blog and used it to practice what she was learning in her career. A good friend contacted her one day in 2013 about coming to work for him at a new social media company. That friend just happened to be Bob Gilbreath, one of the co-founders of Ahalogy.
The founders were looking for someone who understood both marketing and blogging, and who had a connection with other bloggers, and Susan had both, plus experience. She was one of the first employees of Ahalogy, which now employs over 50 people!
To create a mutually beneficial ecosystem for content creators, brands and the end consumers.
They began with Pinterest because they were looking for content creators, and that’s what Pinterest is all about.
Ahalogy, Bloggers, and Brands
How did Ahalogy reach out to bloggers when they first got started? With good old-fashioned hard work. Susan contacted bloggers she knew, she attended conferences and spoke about the new company, and she emailed anyone she could think of. It was tough going in the early days, but one by one they gained users, and Susan well remembers the day they hit 100 bloggers.
While Ahalogy has never had a large advertising budget, they’ve been able to grow through word-of-mouth, from blogger to blogger.
Because Bob Gilbreath had actually worked with some large brands, like Tide and Mr. Clean, he knew the potential was there for brands to benefit from Pinterest; they just needed someone to help them figure it out. The major problem was that brands didn’t have any content to share, and if they created content, it looked too much like ads.
So Ahalogy went after the content creators- bloggers. They created a network of bloggers who were already blogging about products, and brought the brands into this network so that they could share the content that these bloggers were creating. Pretty soon, the brands wanted their specific brand to be shared, so Ahalogy talked to the bloggers to see if they could create the content for the brands and be paid to do so.
They act as the go-between for the brands and the content creators, in order to smooth the process for everyone involved.
Data, Reports, Trends and “The Bump”
The editorial planner that allows you to plan out an entire year is amazing, but that is far from all that Ahalogy offers. You can see categorical results by topic, or simply what’s trending. (Download the data trends report here.)
We are obsessed with trends…
Here at Simple Pin, we have noticed a “bump” in Pinterest traffic when a blogger starts using Ahalogy. (read more about how scheduling affects Pinterest traffic.) Susan says there are a couple of different reasons for that:
Creating content on a regular basis gives you a natural bump. When you publish content consistently, people see that and will come back for more.
Ahalogy has a large network of brands and bloggers who share their content. Sharing is expected, so whether you have a huge following or a smaller one, there are more people sharing your content so more people will have access to it than before.
Ahalogy for Newbies
There are two options for new Ahalogy users:
- Pinterest Scheduler – After being accepted by Ahalogy, you put a snippet of code on your site, which helps Ahalogy to track your site’s performance on Pinterest. You also get a pop-up box, which encourages readers to follow you on Pinterest, along with a tool to help you build your Pins for your content. And while you are sharing that content on your own Pinterest page, you can also opt to have it shared into the Ahalogy network. You can log in to your Ahalogy account to see all the best content being shared in their network. (Apply for the Ahalogy network here.)
- WordPress Plug-in – If you aren’t interested in using the scheduler, you can simply install the Ahalogy plug-in to your WordPress site in order to automatically have your content shared within the network. This allows the brands to view your content and potentially work with you.
You can even use the scheduler to schedule other users’ content. Simply leave the box unchecked that says, “This is my content”, and that’s it!
Here’s an example of how a blogger might use Ahalogy to share their own and others’ content:
- Write a blog post
- Create several Pin images for that post
- Schedule those Pins with Ahalogy
- Use the Ahalogy app to see the other content available in the network
- Schedule the other content.
Ahalogy does limit users to 25 Pins per day. They do this for two reasons:
- Pinterest issued a warning about users Pinning too many Pins per day.
- If you need to Pin more than 25 Pins per day, you likely don’t have the engagement that you need.
Getting Accepted into Ahalogy’s Network
After not accepting new clients for a period of time due to their servers being insufficient to handle the data needs for all the people who wanted in, Ahalogy has now been accepting new users for over a year. Apply here.
One of Susan’s team members will take a look at your site to be sure that it is original, good quality content. People don’t want to share generic, stock photos. It needs to be content driven, not coupon or deal heavy or spammy feeling.
Ahalogy is currently looking to expand in three specific niches:
A lot of brands are looking for content in those three areas. However, Ahalogy is still interested in content for kids, families, travel, health and fitness…any lifestyle type content.
The Future of Ahalogy
Within the next year, they will be working on a product that will scan Facebook and Pinterest to see what topics are trending, and then showing content from their network that follows those trends. This will allow the brands to not only share the content that is already out there, but also to develop new sponsored content opportunities for bloggers. This leads to paid work for bloggers, and while Ahalogy is doing this now, it is currently done manually. Once the product is completed, a blogger can create a “brand version” of a piece of content that they already have in the network.Brands and bloggers both win when they work together. Brands get their name out there for a better price than big ad agencies, and bloggers earn money for creating content.Click To Tweet
Brands and bloggers both win when they work together. Brands get their name out there for a better price than big ad agencies, and bloggers earn money for creating content. Brands are also very interested in creating video content, but they typically only have experience in television or professional videos for their home pages.
I strongly recommend that bloggers begin to implement video, in whatever way it works for you…start getting practice now, because the brands pay really well for video…
People are looking for the face to face connection that comes with video. And once you make your video, go ahead and make a Pinterest image for it so that it links back to the video. While Pinterest isn’t currently video driven, you can take people to your site or to Youtube to watch the video. And if you are comfortable using Snapchat, by all means use it!
As a content creator, the less tied to one type of content form you are, the more poised you are for success, because as things change, content is still content…the more forms you get your content into, the better chance you have of being successful.
Make sure you connect with Susan if you’re interested in learning more about Ahalogy.
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