I’ve got my friend and Pinterest expert, Kate Ahl from Simple Pin Media, back on the show for her third appearance and we are talking about what’s working now on Pinterest.
Some of the topics we discuss in this episode:
- The power of “Fresh Pins”
- How to schedule out your new pins
- Why relevancy matters
- Why you want to add your call-to-action directly to your pin
- Why you might want to experiment with Video Pins
- What Story Pins are and how you might use them
If Pinterest is important to your business, don’t miss this episode!
Table of Contents
- Catch My Party
- The Blogger Genius Podcast
- MiloTree Coaching Group
- MiloTree Membership Group
- MiloTree Mastermind Facebook Group
- Simple Pin Media
- Simple Pin Podcast Story Pins
- Simple Pin Pinterest Strategy Facebook Group
Subscribe to The Blogger Genius Podcast:
Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the show. I wanted to start by saying that building a business on the internet is a journey.
So for example, David, my husband and I started our first business Catch My Party in 2009. And we grew it—and it’s still growing—into the largest party ideas site on the web.
And then, because we needed to grow our own social media followers, David built MiloTree, the pop up that grows your followers on Pinterest, and Instagram, and YouTube and Facebook and your email list, and all of that. We built it for ourselves.
And then we rolled it out as a separate business because we thought other bloggers and online entrepreneurs could get value out of it. So boom, there we started our second business, and then to put a human face on MiloTree which looked like a cold app.
I started The Blogger Genius Podcast where I interview the best experts, online experts, successful entrepreneurs to really figure out what’s working now in online business. And from this, David and I, given all of our experience, started coaching.
And so we have a Six Week Coaching Group, and we have a Membership. So once you finish the six weeks, you can join our Monthly Membership. And in the six week program, we get to know you so well, and we help you build your business in real time.
So we do live Zoom calls every week. We give homework every week and hold you accountable. Not only that, but we know all about your business. We know all about your website. We are constantly giving you personalized attention.
If that feels interesting or something you’d like to participate in. Please head to milotree.com/group and you can read all about it. Our new group is starting August 4, and I’d love to actually get on a call with you to talk to you about it. Just a free call to give you some insight.
I want you to send me your website so I can take a look, give you some pointers and see if it’s a good fit. That’s interesting to you. Please reach out to me at Jillian@milotree.com.
I’ve got one of my favorite guests on the show today. It is my friend Kate Ahl from Simple Pin Media. I’ve known Kate now for years.
This is her third appearance on the podcast. And what I love to do is to check in with Kate to talk about what is working on Pinterest right now. Pinterest is a huge traffic driver for all of us.
Why Pinterest Is Like a Good Boyfriend
I feel like Instagram seems really sexy. But Pinterest is like that good boy friend that shows up for you.
And it’s like a slow burn. We talk about this idea that Pinterest wants new content. What does that mean? How do you share those pins on say a scheduler like Tailwind? How to think about video on Pinterest? I know that Pinterest has really gotten behind it.
What does that mean for you and your business? Also, we talked about story pins, which is a new thing on Pinterest. I think you will really like this episode. And if, again, if Pinterest matters to you, please listen to this. I think it is really powerful. So without further delay, here is my interview with Kate Ahl.
Kate, welcome back to the show.
Kate Ahl 3:50
Thanks so much for having me. I’m glad to be back.
Jillian Leslie 3:52
So I think this is your third time on the podcast.
Kate Ahl 3:57
Yeah, it is. And I want to say you’ve been On my podcast three times too.
Jillian Leslie 4:01
I think it was only two.
Kate Ahl 4:03
Okay, two, but still.
Jillian Leslie 4:04
Kate Ahl 4:05
I’d love to have you back for a third.
Jillian Leslie 4:06
I would love to. So okay, you are my go to Pinterest expert. So I love checking in with you from time to time because I feel like you always have your finger on the pulse. So right now, what would you say is really working on Pinterest.
Why Fresh Content is Working on Pinterest
Kate Ahl 4:27
Okay, right now I’m going to say that new fresh Pins are working. And this could be a Fresh Pin is defined as a new image. It can be an old URL, or a new URL. So that doesn’t necessarily have to be its today’s new post or new product. It can just be a new image that’s attached to a URL.
We’re seeing Pinterest, put these in the search feed, we see them put them in the main home feed. And they’re really asking us for more of this to make Pinterest really diversified. But that being said, too. We’ve seen some of the new stuff we are seeing still the older stuff still do well.
So just note that it’s not 100%. And your algorithm too how you interact with your main home feed could be different too. So all that to say, Fresh Pins are good, new images are good, but don’t neglect the old stuff too.
Jillian Leslie 5:20
We do a coaching group and I was talking to them about Pinterest, and we were talking about repinning. And how does repinning now because repinning was a little bit like I’ve got Pinterest covered, because yeah, I’m linking ever so often a new PIN.
Because I’m repinning the Pinterest algorithm is happy with me and I’m refreshing it and then Pinterest, came out and said no, no guys, we really want new content, new Pins. What is your advice on repinning is that dead?
Kate Ahl 6:02
Well, this is such a great question. Actually it surfaced in my membership group last week about Pinterest using certain terminology. Tailwind using certain terminology and the creator community using certain terminology and there’s a lot getting crossed.
Different Types of Pins on Pinterest
So I’ll do the definitions first Fresh Pin can only be that first pin. So when it hits the platform, that’s a Fresh Pin. Now, even though that’s technically a new image, the subsequent Pins like let’s say two through nine that go to different boards.
If you schedule those through Tailwind, or you schedule from your site, to add them to Pinterest, we like to call those new Pins, they’re new Pins they’re not the fresh one. So it gets a little bit confusing, but it’s a newer Pin.
Now a repin is simply when you hit the save button on Pinterest and you repin it to another board. And I think when Pinterest says Hey, we don’t want you to repin the same Pin over and over. We hear that and we’re like, oh, does that mean after I put my fresh image out there, does it mean I can’t share the same one again?
And it doesn’t mean that it just our terminology is getting crossed. So I think it’s confusing.
Jillian Leslie 7:19
Okay, let me say it back to you. Fresh Pin. Let’s say, I have a brand new blog post. I make a brand new Pin for that blog post. The first time I pin it into the first board. It’s a Fresh Pin.
Kate Ahl 7:33
Jillian Leslie 7:35
I take that Pin. It’s new. I made it yesterday. I’m going to pin it into the second board that’s relevant. You call that a new Pin. Not a Fresh Pin.
Kate Ahl 7:47
Jillian Leslie 7:49
To that board. Now. Let’s say I pinned a Pin three months ago. It’s been living on Pinterest. I go to that Pin. I’m going to repin that Pin. That’s called a repin.
Kate Ahl 8:05
Correct. Especially if you use that Save button within Pinterest
Jillian Leslie 8:08
Within Pinterest. Does it matter if I’m repinning a Pin that is three months old or three years old? Do you think and I know it’s not like the Pinterest people come and call you up and go, here’s how the algorithm works.
But do you think that repinning that Pin from three years ago doesn’t have as much juice as repinning the Pin from three months ago.
Why Relevancy Matters on Pinterest
Kate Ahl 8:42
I don’t think so much time matters as much as relevancy because we still see some of these older Pins from three years ago doing really well. So what we tell marketers is when it comes to repinning, using the Save button on Pinterest, don’t worry about that. That’s what a lot of pinners do.
That’s how their ecosystem works. And Pinterest is said, “Let the pinners do the repinning.” What we want you to do creators is add fresh and new content into the platform so that the pinners have something to choose from. We don’t want it to get stale.
So that one was three years ago, if you’re using the same image, just think of it like a new Pin. Again, it gets its own new URL. But if you create a new image for that three year old pin, then it becomes a fresh pin.
And so it’s a little bit confusing, and a lot of people hear that and they think I’m scheduling out my Pins to different boards. Is that okay? Absolutely. Pinterest just doesn’t want you to do, 100 times a day of the same exact Pin over and over and over again, they’re like, that’s just too much.
So get a variety for your audience. Get some new fresh Pins into the rotation, and let your audience do the repinning for you
Jillian Leslie 10:01
Now, what about this? Okay, so we on our blog and have a little Pin-It button on every image. If I am pinning an image that I had pinned previously, but now I’m doing it from my site versus being on the Pinterest platform with that same image pressing the Save button there. Is that considered the same sort of repinning?
When you Repin a Pin, Pin it From Your Website
Kate Ahl 10:27
No, because it’s from your website.
Jillian Leslie 10:30
Ah, so it’s better than if I’m going to reshare a Pin that I have pinned previously, to do it from my website, rather than do it from the Pinterest platform.
Kate Ahl 10:42
Correct. Pinterest has been very specific about that, too. They’ve said use a third party scheduler like Tailwind or use the Pinterest extension button to pin from your website.
Jillian Leslie 10:52
Got it. Okay. Thank you for for defining these different terms and different scenarios. So the best is fresh content brand new first board. The second is quote unquote new content, which is that new Pin in different boards, let’s say.
Or would you say that’s also pinning again from my site an image that I might have pinned previously. And then the third would be being inside Pinterest like saving it again and again to different boards or even the same board.
Kate Ahl 11:28
Jillian Leslie 11:29
Am I getting that correct?
Kate Ahl 11:30
100%. And a good rule of thumb for any marketer to remember is don’t worry about the repinning piece, just don’t worry about it. So then you always want to pin using Tailwind or from your website. If you do that, you’re good to go.
Jillian Leslie 11:45
Got it. Okay, so this is my question. I create a new blog post. And I am counseling people, and again, this is completely I don’t know this is all say you know what, when you create a piece, a new blog post, create three pins for that blog post.
How to Space Out Your Fresh Pins
Because that way you’ve got this storehouse of fresh content around that piece of content, that blog post. So I go into Tailwind and I pinned the first image into, let’s say five boards. I know that that first board, I pin it to matters the most I need to be incredibly intentional.
So I’m not going to pin it into a board that’s called my blog posts. I’m going to pin it into July 4 desserts. If I have a board like that, if it’s my apple pie recipe, it’s almost July 4. I’m going to pin it into the July 4 board first, and then I’m going to pick like let’s say I have a pie board.
I’m going to potentially wait a couple days let’s say or would you recommend a longer period of time to repin it into the next board or am I going to pin this one pin into five boards. What is your thought about that?
Kate Ahl 13:05
We have a variety of ways that we do it for both clients and even myself. I spread mine about five to seven days apart, so I have a longer bandwidth for it. But we also for some of our clients, because they’re creating so much new content, we have to get it out quicker.
I only post one time per week. We have other clients that post five times per week. So and then we would probably do 48 hours apart just because we need to keep that going because they just have so much
Jillian Leslie 13:35
Okay, so let’s go back to my July 4th apple pie, and I’ve created three pins. So I’ve now scheduled the first one. Let’s say I’m going to schedule it into five boards maybe every five days, five to seven days. Now I’ve got my second pin.
Do I want to hold off on starting that one going? Or when do I want to introduce the second Pin that’s going to link back to this new blog post, because there is this thing of recency. Recency matters for Google. And recency matters for Pinterest meaning new content.
You want to get every, like the juice.
Kate Ahl 14:15
Get the juice.
Jillian Leslie 14:16
So what do you recommend? I’ve got this second Pin for this blog post, when would you start that one going?
Kate Ahl 14:26
I think it also depends on you have this first one that’s out there. And let’s say you are doing it 48 hours apart. You can do the other one in between, that’s 48 hours and then 24 hours after that, so you can have this stagger.
The important point being is that how quickly do you want people to engage with it. if it’s something that’s evergreen that goes throughout the year, or if it’s your apple pie and you know, you only have so many weeks, I would back up from that and then try to figure out how you could stagger it in there.
And if you want more traffic to it, the important point to remember is that you pinned that first one right away. That’s great. So these other ones, you get to choose to drip out. And I feel like we need a diagram for this, like on the wall to like draw things.
So if it were me and I was doing, let’s say, for example, that first Pin went every four days, then let’s say I pinned it on a Monday, the second Pin, I would probably start pinning on a Wednesday. And then I would probably start putting the other one maybe on like a Friday or something like that.
Jillian Leslie 15:32
Kate Ahl 15:32
So you have these different times that it’s hitting the platform. And since it looks different too I think that’s also really important too is that it’s not going to annoy the user. If they see it and go oh, this is the same Pin.
Jillian Leslie 15:48
Got it. So that’s interesting because that was my first instinct. I was saying, start your first Pin, let’s say on a Monday, and let it kind of go through its cycle. And then maybe start your second Pin on the next Monday, or the next Monday, just so that they are still bringing the juice.
Kate Ahl 16:08
Jillian Leslie 16:08
It’s not like I’ve waited a month to launch my next Pin. But they’re not just like on top of each other. But there is a little bit of breathing room. But you’re still building that momentum. One thing that I know is Google isn’t just looking at the new blog posts.
Google Looks at All Your Social Media to Determine How Good Your Content Is
They’re also looking at the signals that new blog post is getting on Facebook or on Pinterest so in a weird way. You want to when you launch a new blog post, share it everywhere, get people to share it, because it’s a signal to Google, hey, this is interesting content.
People are really engaging with it. Even on these other social media platforms. It’s not just within the Google ecosystem. Google’s picking up signals from all the other platforms to say Oh, woe’re going to give this a little bit more weight.
Kate Ahl 17:02
Yeah, I agree with that too, for sure. And actually, as you were talking, I was thinking about an example for us. That would also apply to some of your older content that if you go and update an old post, you write it and you’re trying to optimize for Google too.
What you could do is then create a fresh image, share that to Pinterest to try to start to drive this new traffic. And what we’ve found is we just started implementing UTM tracking pretty aggressively on my site over the last six weeks.
Why UTMs Tracking Codes Are Useful on Pinterest
And what we found is that every time we updated a new image for an old piece of content, and the reason we did that was because this old image on Pinterest, and even on Google just didn’t really take off but it had really valuable information.
So we updated it, updated the image, put it on Pinterest, put a UTM code with it to see did a Fresh Pin actually get clicks because I think that’s the biggest question we’ve been trying to ask. And what we found is it did and it rose to the ranks in Pinterest pretty quickly.
And it also helped us boost our Google ranking. So that further illustrates that this new image fresh image strategy is actually working for old content too. Now, the caution we tell people is that it’s very easy to update an image easier than it is to write a blog post for Google because there’s so much time.
You have to have a balancing act between new and old. So don’t just suddenly go back and go, I’m going to create all fresh images for this old stuff. You still have to have some new content, so try to find the balance of the two.
Jillian Leslie 18:39
Absolutely. Now, would you explain what a UTM code is and why that’s valuable?
Kate Ahl 18:45
Yes. So I’m going to say first disclaimer, my team has been asking me to install them for probably a year and a half, and they’ve sent me every Loom video under the sun and I refuse to watch it. And so finally, they just went around to me and said, “Well, if Kate’s not going to do it, we’re just going to go to your Google Analytics and set them up all ourselves or themselves.”
Jillian Leslie 19:08
What I know of them having that disclaimer is that it’s a snippet of code that you would add to the end that you use in the UTM creator with Google Analytics. So that allows you to say, like, Pinterest_image_pin A or something like that.
Kate Ahl 19:27
So we can see that. So then in Google Analytics, I can click on that in my campaigns and see how many clicks did it actually get. And then did they buy a product from us? Where did they go on our site? It’s essentially this little snippet of code that tracks the movement.
Jillian Leslie 19:46
Right. So it’s a tracking code so you can track a specific piece of content, and then watch what people do based on on this so it gives you more granular information. So it’s not just well, this blog post is doing well. It’s like, where did they come from, to get into this blog post? And so that’s like the beauty.
Again, I’m with you, which is we don’t really use them, even though I know that they’re really valuable.
Kate Ahl 20:20
Jillian Leslie 20:20
So I totally get it. But I wish like you’ve inspired me to kind of start setting some up and they’re not that hard to do. You just have to do them individually.
Kate Ahl 20:31
They are not that hard at all. You do have to do them individually. We have a spreadsheet, but you know the information we’ve learned about the type of images that get clicks, and that’s really what we’re looking for what image actually stops people from scrolling, and gets them to click.
That’s been so valuable to my image team to go, Oh, this is working. Let’s create more images like this so we can really optimize it. It takes the emotional gut like decision making out of it and puts it back in the data driven decision making, and to see where people go to.
We spend all this time on creating a post, creating an image, building our email list, to really not have the data and the information about what truly happens is a really big part that we’re missing.
And once I saw it, I was like, Oh 13 people clicked on this particular opt-in that I’ve had going for years, join the email list and then join my collective. I was like, I didn’t even know that was possible, but I got to see it with the UTM.
Jillian Leslie 21:36
Absolutely. Okay, so if you’re interested in learning more, go to Simple Pin Media because you have a whole teaching session on UTM. So I might be doing that after we get off this call.
How The MiloTree Pop-up App Grows Your Social Media Followers and Email Subscribers
I wanted to take a quick break to talk about MiloTree. This is the pop up that David and I built to grow our social media followers and our email list for Catch My Party. In fact, if you go to catch my party, you can see in action and it really works if you’ve got traffic to your blog or your website.
You can install MiloTree and it will pop up and it will ask your visitors to follow you on Instagram Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, join your email list or you can customize where the pop up leads so you can lead it to a sales page or an affiliate anywhere now it is highly optimized.
A lot of times WordPress plugins they get a bad rap because a lot of plugins slow your site down but we have optimized it like crazy. Remember we eat our own dog food. What I mean by that is we use MiloTree on Catch My Party.
We monetize Catch My Party via ads. So if you ads is a big way you monetize you do not need to be afraid to put Milo tree on your site it will not affect your site speed and because we have different ways that you can set it up, it will not affect your ads.
For example, if you don’t want it to show anywhere near your ads, use our new exit intent functionality. This means that people can come to your site, see all your ads, see all your content. And then just as they’re about to leave, it will pop up and remind your visitor to follow you or subscribe to your list.
This is a new thing we’ve rolled out and we did it. So MiloTree will play even better with people who rely on ad networks. Now, ad CPMs the amount of money that brands pay you to run ads has dropped since this weird time of COVID. Therefore getting followers and subscribers is even more important.
We are relying on that more. We are selling to our email lists more, I recommend you do the same. I’ve done some great podcast recordings about these importance of your email list, which is something you can own. So if you’ve not tried MiloTree, if you have traffic to your site and you’ve not tried MiloTree.
I really recommend you do it, you get your first 30 days free, so there’s no risk, even if you’ve tried it, come back, try it again. Because again, it’s a pop up that plays well with others. It’s not obtrusive, we’ve optimized it for GDPR. We’ve optimized it for Google.
We really try to take all of that stuff onto our plate so you don’t have to worry about it. And the best part is you can set it up in literally two minutes. So again, pause, head to Milotree.com sign up for your free account and start growing your business while you sleep.
Getting People to Stop Scrolling on Pinterest
Jillian Leslie 24:44
Okay, now back to my interview. Optimizing a static pin. What have you discovered I need to have on my static pin in order to get clicks to stop the scroll?
Kate Ahl 24:58
I think one of the first things is going to be the title. And a lot of people think that they have to use the title of the product that they have or the title of the blog post. And that’s really doing them a disservice. What you want to do is talk about, let’s say, our templates.
We have Pinterest templates that we sell now. And so what we figured out is if we put the words “high converting templates” on there, if we put a number on there. Thirty high converting Pinterest templates, and then we have a small button.
That’s a call to action, learn more, get the templates, to where people can see what it is. And then they go to click on it because that button, it feels like a button. It’s a natural response. So we’ve seen this whole use of buttons and arrows be very, very influential, and getting the pinner to stop and take note to where they’re going.
Focus on How the Pin Will Impact the Pinner
Oh, how is this going to serve me and that’s another thing I tell people is when you’re thinking about what to put on your pin, people don’t care about the title. They care about how it will impact them. And granted, it’s really hard.
It’s really hard to talk about how like a vegan mac and cheese is going to impact them. But I think that’s a really important distinction is that I could look at a picture of mac and cheese. And I would have no way of knowing it’s vegan or gluten free.
So you have to use text to define what it is that I’m looking at. If it’s something where it’s like a service based, you need to talk about that how that service will impact them, if its product base, show the different views of the particular product.
And last, which this is a very interesting discovery for us just recently, through both our students and some other people is that if you’re in the home design space, your images probably won’t do well with text. They need something that doesn’t have text.
Jillian Leslie 26:52
Oh, wait, explain. Stop. I go back, right back. No, say that again.
Don’t Add Text Overlays to Home Design Pins
Kate Ahl 26:58
Okay, so we realized that when people who are searching for home stuff, they particularly want something that is just a view of their room, because they want to see it.
Jillian Leslie 27:09
Kate Ahl 27:10
Text hides that.
Jillian Leslie 27:15
Interesting. Okay. But would you put a button on it?
Kate Ahl 28:01
What we’ve found so far is that just nothing on it works best because people when they’re searching for kitchen cabinets or design of their living room, the text really blocks them and inhibits them. Whereas if they see everything all at once, they’re much more likely to click to learn more.
So that’s been the biggest discovery in design, in the layout in home decor. If it’s not DIY, don’t put text on it. You can definitely do a roundup if you want or something that talks about like 15 of the best drawer pulls.
They’re much more inclined to click on that than they are they sometimes they want to see the kitchen cabinet, they want to see the drawer pull in action, they don’t want your words, they just want your images.
Jillian Leslie 28:06
That is so interesting. So you’ve seen that in any other spaces where you’ve seen dumper text.
Kate Ahl 28:12
I know just that one. Even travel we see needs text, most every other space, besides this home design piece is that pinners and I even know for myself specifically, I’m in the middle of a kitchen remodel. It’s almost like I want to move the text out of the way like let me see the whole kitchen.
And what’s hard too is that when you go to click on some of these, there’s not a lot of explanation on the site, or maybe it’s just an image or its a round up or you just want to see the whole thing and sometimes the text blocks it. So yeah, it’s just something to play around with if you’re in the home decor space.
Why Hard and Fast Rules Don’t Always Apply on Pinterest
Jillian Leslie 29:32
What I love about that is these hard and fast rules don’t always apply and therefore test because you do not know when all of a sudden you go well, but I’ve been told I need text, and then all of a sudden you don’t do text, and then you get results.
It’s like taking everything we’re saying with a grain of salt, because you need to test it in your own business. And don’t be afraid to say, Well, wait a second on this one I’m not going to follow the rules. See what happens.
Especially if it doesn’t take that much effort to go create another Pin, or to just pin that image. So we at Catch My Party pin a lot. We get content people upload photos, and and some we put text on and others we just pinned directly. And do you know that a lot of those pins drive a lot of traffic to us. So if you have a naked photo, test it pin it.
Kate Ahl 29:54
And use your UTM code.
Add Call to Actions on Your Pin Overlays
Jillian Leslie 29:55
Exactly. And then you can really see how well that works for you. So again, the thing that we’ve just started to do, which we had never really done call to action on our Pins like why our recipe bloggers not putting a call to action?
Why does it just say, the best apple pie? Or why doesn’t it say click to get the recipe or click now or something? So, definitely we go into these trances when we’re say scrolling on social media, especially on our phones. And weirdly, if you tell me what to do, like click, I might be more inclined to click.
Kate Ahl 30:15
100% we need that call to action.
Jillian Leslie 30:20
So don’t be afraid like if you’re selling something, of course, you think well, I need a buy button. But think about adding calls to action or arrows as you were saying or something to give people a way to actively interact with this Pin rather than just like scroll by it and go, “Its pretty.” Then move on.
Why You Should Experiment with Video on Pinterest
Okay, so let’s talk about video. Because I have heard so much about video. I’ve heard (A) Pinterest is really giving it preferential treatment. If you go do a search on Pinterest, you’re going to see a video probably come up.
If you’re doing it on a desktop, the top left hand first Pin will probably be video. I’ve heard though that it’s hard. It’s great for getting your Pins out in front of people, but it’s harder to get people to click on those video Pins to actually drive traffic. So what is in video that takes longer to create. So what is your thought or thoughts about video?
Kate Ahl 32:29
Yeah, I think one of the great things is you have to remember that that video on Pinterest needs to be very short, very poppy, very catchy. And I think it can work really well. You don’t have to use sound you can definitely you can play with that.
There’s a lot of great programs out there that make it easier for you. In fact, I was just doing a call with Jeff Sieh who he does a lot of great video experimentation. And looking at some of the apps that he was creating even Instagram stories with.
And then merging that into iMovie, or any other editing program to just condense it into this short snippet that gets people to click. So I think what we see with food is we see very tasty style videos like we did on Facebook for a long time.
And people might click they might not, they might just be entertained by it. We’ve seen some in the craft and DIY space, people will click on that because it takes more instruction. You need more of that. And then other videos that we’ve seen do well are they’re not necessarily videos.
They’re like an animated GIF, and that’s what you can do in Canva. And for some people in the design space again, that’s also good because there’s no text and you can see these rolling images of living rooms or pools or anything like that, that can do well, and they are popping up in the feed.
So we see video definitely popping up. It also depends on what you search. But video on mobile will show up at the top right always as ones you choose to watch. So I think it’s like this all in one integration of like, okay, we’re going to take static Pins, we’re going to take video Pins, and we’re going to match them up together in the same feed.
And then we’re going to let the user give us signals. Do they want more of these? Do they want less of these? So there really isn’t this way to make a blanket statement to say, X number of videos will end up in your feed, you might end up engaging with a lot of them.
I see video Pins all the time, because I’ve engaged with them. But other people who aren’t interested or keep passing them by Pinterest is going to go Oh, you’re not interested in these. Unless they’re a promoted Pin or promoted video. That might be the only time you see them.
Jillian Leslie 33:59
Interesting. Okay. Because I was at a conference I want to say maybe the AdThrive Conference and Enid from Pinterest was there saying that Pinterest is really pushing video and do you still feel like they’re pushing video?
What Are Story Pins?
Kate Ahl 34:16
Yeah, I do. But they just launched Story Pins.
Jillian Leslie 34:21
I saw that.
Kate Ahl 34:16
Last week. So we have heard rumblings that they’re going to put even greater push behind Story Pins.
Jillian Leslie 34:28
Okay. Can you explain the difference between a Video Pin and a Story Pin?
Kate Ahl 34:33
So a Story Pin right now, especially in North America is a image that just can be tapped on to I think you can do one to 19 frames that describes a project or showcases different views of the product. It is not linkable.
Jillian Leslie 34:52
So is it like a carousel?
Kate Ahl 34:55
It kind of like a carousel but it looks different. They call them cards. So it looks like these different cards that go through and even looks very similar to Instagram at the top where you can see where you’re at, but it does not automatically move, like Instagram stories do. So that’s the difference there. It does not link.
Jillian Leslie 35:16
So you cannot link it to a product or a blog post or anything?
Kate Ahl 35:21
Jillian Leslie 35:19
They’re living almost like these little islands on Pinterest.
Kate Ahl 35:51
Yeah, exactly. And then at the end, it prompts the user to go to the profile. It’s just a few things that are happening. One, I want to also mention for those that are international people that listen to your podcasts, international users on Pinterest, there is a rumor right now that you do have the ability to link if you do, go crazy.
You do not have that ability in North America. So unless you are a very subset product, they said they don’t know if they’ll always make sure they’re not linkable. But for right now they’re going to keep it very specific to only a few industries and I’m pretty sure you would probably hae to pay for it.
Jillian Leslie 36:10
So explain the usecase of the Story Pins.
Kate Ahl 36:17
Okay so our Promoted Pins Director, Erin, she was actually in the beta group for both the first round of Story Pins and this last round and she gave me a great idea because I was super down on Story Pins. I thought they were the dumbest idea ever.
Why Story Pins Are Good for Testing
But she said it’s a really good way for bloggers to tease out a future project without creating the blog post. So she said for her and she deals in the plant space indoor plant space. She won’t put anything on her blog that’s not indoor plant related.
So if she wants to tease out doing something that might be outdoor plant related or it’s something else, she can still show her expertise in gardening and with plants. But she can create a story that walks through how to plant an artichoke.
We’re just use that example in the stories, but it doesn’t live on her blog. Or if there is an idea for an indoor plant that she would like to do, but she’s like, I don’t know, if I want to spend the time to write a really long blog post.
I can just take images, I can take pictures, put that into a Story Pin and see, do people actually engage with it, and there’s little emojis. And you can get stats about how many people saw it, because impressions is really what you’re going on here.
And she has seen that she will get a lot of impressions on certain ones. And that gives her an indication. Oh, I’m going to create a blog post for this.
Jillian Leslie 37:41
Got it. So she’s using it for testing. Now, let’s say like I’m a 25 year old, just living my life in New York City. I’m not I’m not a content creator. I post on Instagram and I love doing Instagram stories so my friends can see them and whatever. What would inspire me to do a Pinterest story?
Kate Ahl 38:04
Great question. I actually think this is one of the biggest reasons they pursued it was because they realized a lot of millennials and even Gen Z don’t have a blog. A blog is a little bit of the Gen X and even the later age millennials, whereas a lot of the other ones really live on social.
And so this gives them an opportunity to share about the projects they’re doing without having to be comitted to a blog.
Jillian Leslie 38:28
Got it. That makes sense. Okay, definitely I get that, especially because I’m so focused on living in my blog, and then everything comes off of that. That makes sense.
Okay, so Story Pins, that’s an interesting thing. Now, how would you say Story Pins play out with video, like meaning if you were to prioritize, where are you putting your energy?
Kate Ahl 38:55
That’s such a great question. So for me, video is a future dream. It’s not something we can prioritize right now. So Story Pins might be easier for us to do and really digest and so we could play around with them and see what kind of interaction we get.
And we did a podcast last week. So we have a Story Pin template that we’re giving people to start with, because you have to use their fonts and their sizes. The sizes are totally different than a traditional Pin.
Jillian Leslie 38:55
What are the sizes? Are they bigger? Are they longer?
Kate Ahl 39:38
They are longer. They’re longer. I have it up right now actually. And without even knowing we were going to talk about it. That’s a funny so one of the things I will read off really quickly, is the size is 900 by 1600.
Jillian Leslie 39:46
Kate Ahl 39:48
So it’s a little bit different than normal. And you can see in the blog post, we showed examples of what each one of them will look like and how we would use it. An example for us would be like nine steps to set up your Pinterest settings the right way.
But then we also have a tutorial of this video on the site. The video is not designed for Pinterest. So like it’s a long form video, it’s the settings and everything. Story Pins could lead into long form video that you have on your site if you’re doing that.
You Can’t Add a Link in Story Pins
Whereas video I think is really good for explaining something differently. And, again, there’s people who want to lean in really hardcore to video and there’s people who are going to want to lean into stories, I would say both right now, are equally weighted.
You just need to decide where your time can be spent, and where you feel like you get a quick win, I guess.
Jillian Leslie 39:55
Absolutely, absolutely and I would say the idea that stories right now can’t link anywhere.
Kate Ahl 40:43
Jillian Leslie 40:51
Puts them in like a very specific bucket. Really for us content creators. I do think we look at Pinterest as a way to drive traffic. And if that is your number one priority, and you’re not a millennial, or even like a Gen Z, who just really wants to share the cool stuff you’re up to in your life.
You might want to wait until you can get that link click so that again, they’re not living as like little islands in your Pinterest account, but that somehow there is that next step of taking action and go somewhere.
Kate Ahl 41:32
Jillian Leslie 41:32
And I think it’s interesting too, that Pinterest is saying in this, stay in our ecosystem. When you think of Instagram and Instagram has been very specific about not making it as easy to link off the platform. You need to have 10,000 followers to get swipe up and yes you can do it with some products and things.
But really you’ve got your one little link. And in that respect, one thing when we teach is Instagram is not the platform for driving traffic. Pinterest is the platform for driving traffic.
But now it’s kind of interesting that Pinterest is testing out this idea of like, hey, guys, don’t leave Pinterest, stay in our world and go explore a bunch of stuff. So that’s a really interesting pivot for that experiment.
Kate Ahl 42:33
And they’ve tried it before with communities. That was something that came out which was very much modeled after Facebook groups that died a quick death. And I think one of the things that we have to be looking for is, as marketers, there are tools that we can run into and use, but we have to wait for the pinner to actually use them.
Jillian Leslie 42:54
I love that.
Kate Ahl 42:54
So we have to wait for their signals, we cannot go out in front of them. So even friends that I messaged the other day. I was like, “Hey, do you guys see Story Pins now. Because they’re in my feed?” And they’re like, nope.
What is the “Today” Tab on Pinterest?
And they didn’t even notice the Today tab, which is another thing that Pinterest has just added, especially during this quarantine time. There are just things that pinners.
Jillian Leslie 43:08
What is it Today? I don’t know what it is. What is that the Today tab? I didn’t notice it.
Kate Ahl 43:22
So the Today tab is right at the top. And it’s basically five categories or topics with at least 30 pins in each topic, and they rotate through every single day. And it’s a way to get recent information to the pinners. We don’t know how they’re pulling in content here.
So we don’t know if it’s always new. But the topics change every single day and they say Okay, come back again tomorrow.
Jillian Leslie 43:48
Kate Ahl 43:50
Okay, again, I don’t know if pinners are actually using it or seen it or even paying attention to it.
Jillian Leslie 43:55
So I think then this is a really interesting lesson. Which is Pinterest is just like us in many ways. They put stuff out there, they test it. They see if people interact with it. If it’s something that engages the audience that works with their audience, because they don’t know.
And then all of a sudden they go, Hmm, is this something we should go deeper into? Or should we pull up and move in a different direction? Facebook is constantly putting out different apps, they will see TikTok is doing well.
And then they come out with their new version, the Facebook version of TikTok, or the Facebook version of Slack or the Facebook version of who knows what to see if they can get traction. And if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, but they’re constantly trying new things.
And I think Pinterest is known for doing this and is known for going back and forth. Whether it be hashtags, yes, hashtags, no hashtags, yes, hashtags or affiliate links. Yay. No Yay. And just that the platform is always changing
Kate Ahl 45:04
Jillian Leslie 45:08
And that they are throwing stuff out there that all of a sudden, communities were like, oh my God, this is the new thing. And then to be like, no, it didn’t really stick. It wasn’t really the right kind of thing. So always take what we’re talking about not with a grain of salt.
But with a recognition that you should try it and see, but to not put all of your eggs in that basket, because who knows what’s going to happen. So I think that Pinterest is a perfect example of put it out there, see how people respond and then make decisions accordingly.
Running Promoted Pins Won’t Fix a Broken Sales Funnel
Which again, is something that you and I talk about all the time for our businesses. So now let’s talk about promoted pins. And what you’re feeling is, as if I were to want to advertise? Remember I tell this all the time.
Running promoted pins to get traffic doesn’t typically make sense because you will always be upside down, you’ll always be spending more. It’s like running an ad to make money via ads on your blog, not a smart way.
But if I have a product to sell, what is your thought about using promoted pins? Like where are you seeing be very successful?
Kate Ahl 46:31
One, I love promoted pins. But I we always tell the clients that we work with and we have a super rigorous process to be able to qualify them for ads is to say, running ads or running promoted pins will not fix a broken conversion system, a funnel, you can’t get people to buy if it’s not easy.
So to your point, yeah, don’t run ads to pay for ads on your site just to get traffic. If you have a product though or you have a conversion that you want to get. Promoted pins are great because you could target the people but you have to know that they’re going to convert.
And so we love promoted pins for our clients who already have a great conversion system. They just want to amplify it.
Jillian Leslie 47:11
Got it too. So as you’re saying, it has to be working without putting money into it. It’s like putting some rocket fuel behind it rather than, wow, this whole thing doesn’t work. But if I throw money at it, somehow it’s magically going to work like it still won’t work.
Kate Ahl 47:27
Jillian Leslie 47:20
And I would say like we are running promoted pins for MiloTree and having success with that, but it is a lot of trial and error, because you don’t at the top, know what’s going to work and you have to give it time and you have to again, be experimenting, to go does this work? Does this work?
Is it this image or this? What is it and then when you start to find traction, it’s like going deeper and deeper and deeper. So again, it’s not a no brainer.
Kate Ahl 47:57
It’s not a no brainer. And I think you have to be really smart and strategic about when and why you use ads. I think it just has to fit perfectly, and you have to know why you’re going to do it. And you have to be prepared.
I hate drawing this correlation, but is a little bit like gambling. You have to be willing to lose the 20 bucks you’re going to put on that table?
Jillian Leslie 48:22
Totally. Oh, my God. Absolutely. And it’s like, you have to be willing to spend money to learn.
Kate Ahl 48:35
Jillian Leslie 48:22
And the platform has to learn. So it’s like, you have to kiss like $500 goodbye. Knowing that it’s like buying a course. You’re hoping that that course pays off with the knowledge, but that’s like money spent. So it’s the same thing. Like you’re not going to put your $5 in and all of a sudden see $10 in return.
Kate Ahl 48:59
No, it’s like if you got it you wouldn’t be doing it.
Jillian Leslie 49:01
Exactly, exactly, exactly. And so totally. So be willing to know that you’re going to lose in the beginning and you have to have a stomach for that. There have been too many times where we have tried promoted pins.
And I have not had the stomach for seeing money going out of my bank account and not giving me back return. And this is really the first time where we are starting to really learn and we’re starting to really see success.
it’s not the easy win that it seems like it could be and you’re probably better off at this point taking that money and hiring somebody to help you make new content, new pins, fresh content.
So know that before you go using Promoted Pins.
Think about where is that money best spent and if you’re going up against say something like Away Luggage, like they’ve got a whole team in place to optimize their ads and to figure out how to make this work. And if you’re a one person operation, it can take you a lot longer.
Think about where you can get the most bang for your buck, in terms of that ad spent. Yeah, in terms of budgeting. Okay. So in terms of the whole kind of weird world we’re living in, where have you seen people having success on Pinterest?
Where Are People Having Success on Pinterest Right Now?
Like one one thing I would say is food right now, because we’re all at home. And we’re all cooking. But are there any other situations where you’re like, Wow, those people are real. I know that engagement on Pinterest is up right now.
So where would you say the verticals are or the people are that are really finding success today?
Kate Ahl 50:59
I would say that it’s very much a different season people are searching for things they wouldn’t traditionally search for during this time. So thinking about plans, travels taken a hit, obviously, but now it’s picking back up. Weddings are taking a hit and now it’s picking back up.
So what would normally be a traditional height for somebody has been a low, but garden like backyard design, home design. I think we also have to remember that people are still spending money, they’re just reallocating their budget.
So while they’re not going on vacation, they’re like, I’m going to be home. I know in our area, you can’t find a trampoline to save your life because people are like, I’m going to invest in outdoors or, I’m going to invest in gardening this year because I’m home.
And so any type of home activity that may not have gotten a lot of exposure before is now getting exposure. And I think it’s really important to know where your people are at and think about what part of the world they’re in? What part of the country they’re in? Because you and I were talking.
Texas and Oregon are very different right now, where we have not even entered phase one and you’re in like phase three. And so our lives and what people are doing and searching for in different parts of the country are just different.
So you have to really look at for us, we’ve just seen it all over the map, what we thought would do well is not doing well. It’s a very, very odd time of searches and people are searching for things they wouldn’t normally search for because they’ve got time.
Jillian Leslie 50:59
Absolutely. Like you can’t buy at least up until like two three weeks ago. You can’t buy dumbbells because they’re sold out like go to Amazon, because everybody is doing home workouts. Who would have thought for Catch My Party, our traffic dropped something like 67% because guess what, people are not planning parties.
Now what we did and have had some success with that is lean into this idea of that even though we are at home, and we’re trying to have social distance. First of all, for us it was how to throw a virtual party. And that has done really well for us. Just even like we give away Zoom birthday backgrounds.
Kate Ahl 53:21
Oh yeah. Okay.
Jillian Leslie 53:22
Yeah, they could have like a happy birthday sign behind your three year old with, like superhero themed, just so that people can have like a themed party on Zoom. And now we’ve come out with posts of how do you do a safe in person party, like throw it out doors.
And how do you think about food? And how do you think about party activities? Keeping everybody safe. And maybe a great party favor is a mask and that way you give them out and everybody can wear a mask at your party and they can be themed masks, who knows? But it’s like how do you pivot?
When it first happened, it was devastating for us because not only did our traffic fall off a cliff, but also CPMs, which is how much you make for ads on your site fell off a cliff. So we got hit in two ways. So the pandemic has not been terrific for us in terms of one of our businesses.
The Importance of Serving Your Audience Where They Are Now
So therefore we’re like, okay, quick, quick, quick. What can we do to serve our audience? How can we not seem insensitive? Like, hey, guys, check out this great, birthday party where, we’re showing photos of people all close to like 50 people.
Kate Ahl 54:39
And people are like, yeah.
Jillian Leslie 54:39
Yeah, it seems really weird, like, super weird. So okay, we’re like, okay, we can do that as a way to say remember when? Stay safe, but here’s just some pretty eye candy. But then how can we actually serve our audience by saying, look, it’s part of who we are to come together and celebrate.
Milestones are important, and we want to make sure you can still mark those important times. But how do you do it safely? And that’s where we’ve been able to take what’s going on in the world and lean into it rather than trying to fight it.
Or getting in my bed and crying, which believe me it happened. So that’s what we’ve been able to do. And we’re slowly like you were saying, certain things are coming back, our traffic is slowly coming, we’re still not there. But at least we’re seeing movement in the right direction.
And again, our goal is to keep people safe, but also you were saying it like that feeling of like, we just need to have some normalcy in our lives.
Kate Ahl 55:45
Jillian Leslie 55:28
So how do we do that? So, anyway, that’s definitely what I would recommend is again, lean into this time if it’s possible for you, so if you’re doing let’s say travel, maybe there’s a way to talk about, hey, when things open up how to travel or virtual travel, your favorite places to go.
Who knows? But are there ways to talk to people today about travel? Even if we’re not traveling?
Kate Ahl 56:14
Yeah, yeah. It’s hard to think it through. But I think once you do think about what the pivot is going to be, you realize you can really help people.
Jillian Leslie 56:23
Absolutely, absolutely like that. Alright. Well, Kate, how can people reach out to you learn more about you? You’re selling so many cool things right now. So how can people up their Pinterest game with your help?
Kate Ahl 56:47
Yeah, perfect. So we have a lot of different pathways. I would say simplepinmedia.com has a lot of free, a lot of paid, and then we can do it for you too, as well. So that’s really the hub and then you can just start listening to the podcast, which is the Simple Pin Podcast.
And once you get started, just reach out to us and ask for help. We have a free Facebook group. too, as well. So there’s a lot of great resources that people can take advantage of.
Jillian Leslie 57:05
And you are truly my go to Pinterest expert. And you have been and I feel like and by the way, I asked you back because somebody in my group said, “Would you get Kate on your podcast?” And I’m like, Oh my god, I haven’t talked to you in so long. So I’m so grateful that you have come back on the show.
How MiloTree Has Grown Kate’s Pinterest Followers
Kate Ahl 57:28
Anytime. And I just want to say too, it was four years ago that we met amidst me having the flu and you shared with me MiloTree. And I think at the time I had 3000 followers, and I just hit 40,000 followers on Pinterest.
Jillian Leslie 57:43
Oh my God.
Kate Ahl 57:45
I wanted to tell you that.
Jillian Leslie 57:46
Oh, my God, that is such great news. And can we say that Pinterest followers do matter because your followers see your content first. And if they interact with your Pins, it signals to the algorithm to show those Pins to more and more people, so it is an important signal in their algorithm.
I actually talked to Enid about that.
Kate Ahl 58:08
Jillian Leslie 57:46
To say how to followers fit in this whole ecosystem. So definitely yes, MiloTree will grow your followers. So that’s awesome. Oh, well, Kate, thank you so much for coming back on the show.
Kate Ahl 58:22
You’re so welcome. Thanks for having me.
Jillian Leslie 58:24
I love having Kate on the show because I always feel like then my Pinterest strategy, or what I need to know about Pinterest, is up to date. Hopefully, you can take a lot of her suggestions into your own business. If you have not tried video Pins on Pinterest.
I recommend you try them out, see if you can get them to work for your business. I think that when Pinterest comes out and says they are excited about something like video, we all need to pay attention.
If you want to continue this conversation and I hope you do, please head to Facebook and join my Facebook group. It’s called the MiloTree Mastermind Group. I’m in there all the time, and it’s filled with like minded entrepreneurs and bloggers, all trying to grow our businesses and support each other.
So again, head to Facebook search for the MiloTree Mastermind Group and I would love to welcome you into that community. And I will see you here again next week.
Imagine a world where growing your social media followers and email list was easy…
If you are looking for ways to grow your community whether that be email whether that be social media, right now head to Milotree.com install the MiloTree app on your blog and it will do the work for you. Let it do the heavy lifting for you.
Let it pop up in front of your visitors and ask them to follow you on Instagram Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, join your list, check out the exit intent but really get your community growing. And we’d love to help you with MiloTree. And I will see you here again next week.