Jillian Leslie loves her job, she comes alive when she talks about it. In one sense her job is one long party: every day her website CatchMyParty.com is the destination for thousands of people sharing and planning parties, and she gets to help them do it.
Her big marketing secret, although she doesn’t make much of a secret of it, is Pinterest. She says it has been essential to the success of her business, and today it’s the source of about 70% of the traffic to her site.
Since Pinterest is so important to her business she has spent a lot of time thinking about how she can be more successful there, and she’s come to the conclusion that the best way to get more traffic from Pinterest is to get more followers and to do that she needs great content.
A Simple Pinterest Strategy
“Our strategy is pretty simple, we Pin somewhere between 50 to 60 Pins a day, which sounds like a lot, however we use Tailwind to schedule our Pins, and without Tailwind we would be lost.”
“We started with 15 Pins a day and what we found was the more we Pinned and the more consistently we Pinned the faster our followers grew and we got better traffic from Pinterest.”
Jillian Pins 70% of her Pins from her own website and 30% from other websites. She makes a point of following new users all the time and pinning from other websites, not just to get the best content in front of her audience, but to discover content she’s not producing that she should be.
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Follow the Trends
“We can start to see trends bubbling up,” she says, “The big trend right now is giant paper flowers, like a big backdrop of them. That would do phenomenally well on our site. So immediately then we say, we’re going to put together some content, some blog posts about how to do a giant paper flower wall, because this is what people want.
”The source of so much of Jillian’s inspiration is analytics – data about what Pins are getting Repinned and what Pins are driving traffic to her site. There’s no better way to get the data than through Tailwind’s Pin Inspector and Trending Pin reports. “My audience is busy dealing with diapers,” she says, “So what I do is I look at their behavior, and I glean so much information from that.”
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With a seemingly never-ending flow of parties through her website, Jillian very much has her finger on the pulse. “Our best ideas come from paying attention to what is already happening… Take that Pin that went viral and build content that is similar to that Pin, because there’s something about that Pin that worked and resonated. So try it with a twist.”'The best ideas for #Pinterest #marketing come from paying attention to what is already happening.'
Adopt Pinterest’s New Features
She not only watches what her audience respond to, she also watches out for innovations in the Pinterest platform. Sign up to the Tailwind newsletter to be kept abreast of important changes to Pinterest. Jillian has been an early adopter of new Pinterest features like Promoted Pins, which she uses to increase the success of sponsored posts on her site, and has had a lot of success with Rich Pins.
“You get less than half a second to get somebody’s attention on Pinterest, so any way that you can make something pop, any way that you can get somebody’s eyeballs on your Pin you want it, even if it’s a tiny difference. So that’s how we feel about Rich Pins.”
Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
Jillian recommends thinking carefully about the keywords you use to describe your boards. “Keywords, keywords keywords,” she says, “We stopped naming boards ‘cool stuff’ or ‘things I love’ and we started naming them somewhat boring names like ‘LalaLoopsie Party Ideas,’ and then in our description really digging down on what kind of content you’ll find within this board. And then really describing what those Pins are with search terms so that people can find them.”
Pinterest is, after all, a search engine as well as a social network
Invest in Quality Photos
Jillian has seen big improvements in the engagement her Pins get by investing in something that seems so obvious that it’ll make you smack yourself in the head. She recommends buying a new camera every few years, by picking a second hand one up on Craigslist you can save yourself about half the cost. It will make all the difference to the quality of your photos, which will in-turn mean more engagement per pin.
Jillian’s Top Pins
“It’s all about the photos, and it’s all about portrait photos. And we have found that if we make collages that are obnoxiously long, they work. Warmer colors, I’ve heard, perform well. But I would say it’s really about putting stuff out there and seeing how your audience reacts to it, and then adjusting based on that.”
Always be Learning
Jillian’s passion for Pinterest is as obvious as her passion for helping her community of party-lovers, and her community of fellow bloggers and marketers. “My whole role,” she says, “Is to support other creators, and be a creator myself. I’m so inspired by our community that it makes me braver.”
For more Pinterest tips and tricks check out the Tailwind Takeoff Awards and we learn from a Pinner who got 120k repins in 6 months, an e-commerce store owner getting 80% of their traffic from Pinterest, and an influencer who has reached 1.4M followers.
Want to Grow Like Jillian?
She says she couldn’t have done it without Tailwind. How else could she manage to Pin 50-60 times a day?! It seems impossible until you learn that on average Tailwind members Pin 28 Pins a day!
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David is Tailwind’s Director of Marketing and Growth. He is a former journalist who wrote for The Times and The Financial Times, a marketing agency co-founder, founder of Confluence digital marketing conference, father of two, and early morning writer. He grew up on The Isle of Wight in England and lives in Oklahoma City.