It would appear that Pinterest is only becoming a greater source of web traffic for sites that focus on trying to get it. According to a new report, Buzzfeed, one of the Internet's biggest consumers of web traffic, is getting increasingly more traffic from Pinterest as time goes on.
Have you benefitted from an increase in Pinterest traffic? Let us know in the comments.
According to Forbes, Pinterest is now the site's second leading source of social referrals, behind Facebook, where we already know it's extremely successful. Buzzfeed started producing content specifically for Pinterest a couple years ago, and has a team that regularly shares insights around the site's Pinterest strategy with one another.
They've found that in addition to the types of content you'd expect to do well on Pinterest (crafts, food, art, etc.), humor posts have been particularly successful, especially when it comes to people actually clicking through to the website. Because of the visual nature of Pinterest, successful content doesn't always translate into referral traffic. People pin images they like, but they don't necessarily click over to the source site. According to Buzzfeed, they do more with humor posts, presumably because you don't get the entire message through a singular image in lot of cases (especially Buzzfeed lists). According to the report, 30 of the 100 Buzzfeed posts getting the most traffic from Pinterest are humor posts.
Interestingly, they're also finding that they're getting Pinterest traffic on articles sooner than they used to. In the past, it might have taken a couple months for the referrals to start rolling in, but these days they're seeing more spikes in the first week of a post's life, and then that traffic will sometimes continue on.
The report also notes that Pinterest "appears to have" more female users in the U.S. than Twitter, and possibly more users over all. It points to a recent study suggesting that Pinterest has surpassed Twitter in the U.S. Twitter is indeed often slammed for its slow user growth.
In terms of Buzzfeed's strategy, it's worth noting that the site started showing visitors from Pinterest's desktop site enlarged Pinterest buttons on its content rather than Tweet buttons, which weren't getting many clicks. According to the report, Pinterest shares doubled after that. Users who come from Pinterest on mobile see a Pin button when they hover over images. This, it says, has increased shares by ten times.
A recent study from Shareaholic found that Pinterest came in second in referrals behind Facebook, growing by 48% between December and March.
Unfortunately, it didn't register very high for post-click engagement.
UPDATE: Wow, Shareaholic literally released its new report for the second quarter right as I was posting this. Pinterest is actually down from the last quarter, but remains in the number two spot for social referrals.
While still in testing, do-it-yourself Promoted Pins are also coming, which should present businesses with some new helpful paid opportunities.
As businesses struggle with declines in organic Facebook reach, it's nice to see other opportunities from different sources arise. If you're selling products online, you'll want to pay attention to what Pinterest is offering, as ecommerce has been another recent focus on the company. Last week, for example, it teamed up with Shopfiy to automatically enable rich Product Pins on items. It also launched "Interest following," enabling users to keep an eye on topics of interest. This alone could help sellers offering specialty products.
ShareThis released results from is Q2 2014 Consumer Sharing Trends Report earlier this month finding that Pinterest is seeing increased mobile usage. 75% of shares on Pinterest are on mobile, it found. It's more popular with iOS users than with Android users apparently.
In terms of types of content being shared, it found that shopping is huge.
You can say what you want about Buzzfeed, but it knows how to get traffic. If you're looking to increase your Pinterest traffic, you may want to look to them for some level of inspiration, even if you don't intend to put out silly lists. The fact that they have a team dedicated to formulating a Pinterest strategy is a good start.
Pinterest launched a new follow button for brands a couple weeks ago, enabling users to follow your account without even having to leave your website. That would be another good thing to implement right away.
We recently had a conversation with Apu Gupta, CEO and Founder of Curalate, a visual analytics firm, which was recently included in Pinterest's new API initiative. He shared some good tips on developing a visual social media strategy. Visuals are obviously hugely important when it comes to a network like Pinterest.
"In general, brands are embracing the shift to images, but the majority still need a lot of guidance," Gupta told us. "The primary problem we see most brands facing is that they’re too focused on the content they’re pushing out rather than the content their fans are organically sharing. The vast majority of engagement on Pinterest originates from content that was sourced by a consumer visiting a brand’s website. That content goes on to get discovered on Pinterest and shared by other consumers. This has nothing to do with what a brand is pushing out on its owned channel on Pinterest."
"Pinterest by its very nature is about image sharing,” he said. “The majority of that sharing originates from content that exists on other websites. As a result, Pinterest will over index on content-heavy sites. As a result, we tend to see fashion / retail / luxury as well as publishers (including the blogs of brands) / recipe sites do very well.”
He also made the point that "Pinterest’s layout offers the opportunity to thematically organize images to tell a broader story."
It just so happens that a study we reported on last week found that sequenced ads perform better than sustained call-to-action ads. Ads that tell a story over time lead to more conversions. This study looked at Facebook ads, but could also be relevant to creative messaging via Pinterest content - especially once the ad platform is opened up to all.
Do you see Pinterest as a viable way to obtain substantial web traffic? Share your thoughts.
Images: Pinterest, Shareaholic, ShareThis