An Internet Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest

PinterestPinterest is the hottest little digital curation tool to come along in a while, and Internet Marketers are taking notice. Here are some ways you can use Pinterest to boost your online marketing efforts, and a bonus tip for keeping your content off of there.

Brand Awareness
To start, Pinterest can be used to share products your brand creates. Fans can then like a photo of a product, or re-pin it to their board.

Very Bradley Pinterest

Very Bradley Pins on Pinterest

While your immediate audience (followers) may be small, having the right person repin your content can be powerful (much like getting a RT from a Twitter user with thousands of followers). Tricia Meyer adds:

The key is getting others to repin. You don’t have to have as much of an audience yourself if you get OTHERS with an audience to repin for you.

SEO Benefits
Pinning a product gives you a backlink to the deep-linked product page (anchor text is the main domain name). This is a followed-link.

There’s also a no-follow link wrapped around the image. Unfortunately, the alt text of every image is “Pinned image” so that’s not giving you much value.

Leg Lamp on Pinterest

Leg Lamp on Pinterest

Affiliate Direct Linking
As Kim Rowley mentioned, if the final destination URL has your affiliate tracking information in it, you can pin your affiliate link and use Pinterest as your publisher’s site. (Make sure the program that you’re promoting allows this).

Amazon is a popular one that has your tracking link right in the destination URL. GrahicRiver is another one that you can deeplink to individual products, and maintain your affiliate tracking code (and lots of people are already doing this one).

Pinned Books

Books I've Pinned

If your tracking information doesn’t carry through, you can still pin the image from your site. Just remember it’s 1 more click before the cookie is set.

Pinterest has a Gifts section, which will highlight products categorized by price ($1-20, $20-50, $50-100, etc). How do you get your product shown here? Simple: include the price in the description! I wish there was more to this trick, but that’s it.

Pinterest Gifts

Pinterest Gifts

Pin It Button
Pin itDon’t forget the Pin It button for your site! You specify the URL, the image URL, and can even pre-populate the description. Remember what I said about appearing in the Gifts section? Make sure your pre-populated description includes the product price!

How to Block Pinterest
Some people don’t like Pinterest because they make a copy of the original piece. I’m not sure which is worse: hotlinking the image, or copying it. If you’re one of those people who don’t want your content pinned, there’s a solution: block the user agent via .htaccess:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^Pinterest
RewriteRule .* - [F]

If you’re running WordPress, some of this is already in your .htaccess file. Put the two lines (RewriteCond and RewriteRule) right under the “RewriteEngine On” line.

Pinterest is growing quickly (I’m seeing Server Error 500 daily now). If you run a website with Pinterest-friendly content, don’t wait any longer to learn how your audience is using Pinterest!

How To & Tips
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  1. Tricia Meyer
    2497 days ago

    I honestly hope that Pinterest is just another social sharing flash in the pan because I don’t want to have to keep up with anything else! That said, I am seeing so many more of my non-marketing friends on Pinterest than on any other “network” I am on besides Facebook. The question is what will happen once all of us marketers get involved. For now, we might as well capitalize on it.

  2. Vinny O’Hare
    2497 days ago

    Pinterest is a fad, the do follow link is nice for SEO but how long will that last will be anyone’s guess.

    Are people surfing pinterest with the intention to buy? I don’t think so. People want to buy what they discovered not what someone else discovers.

    I don’t like that Pinterest can make a copy of my images on the second of three pin pages. Since they are making a copy do they have the right to sell “Their images” at a later date. I feel like filing a DMCA everytime I see this. But since I feel it won’t be around long I haven’t bothered.

    • Sam Harrelson
      2497 days ago

      I’m not a huge fan of Pinterest itself, but I do remember in 2006 when everyone in the affiliate marketing world saying a certain other little site called Twitter was just a fad 🙂

  3. Howie Nguyen
    2496 days ago

    I’m guessing Pinterest is praying that SOPA doesn’t get passed. Thanks for the write up Eric.

  4. Danger Brown
    2495 days ago

    My wife and teenage daughter and other civilians I know spend crazy time on Pinterest. I’m sure it won’t last forever, but I don’t think it’s a fad. I’m sure lots of people try it and move on, but some of them are real die hards.
    Happy New Year Eric!

  5. Joe Zepernick
    2490 days ago

    Great info here. I’m going to have to give pintrist a whirl. I’ve been hearing a lot of people talk about it lately.

  6. Kush A.
    2488 days ago

    After seeing my wife and several female friends using it, I setup a profile and pinned some products. Within hours each new link sent at least one new visitor to our store. They didn’t stay too long though 🙂

    I don’t think it is a fad.

  7. Teresa
    2473 days ago

    How long does a gift stay in the gift section? seem like they disappear almost instantly, is that because people are adding at the same time? I notice when you get to the bottom of the page that is it, so how do people see your items for more than a minute?

    Just learning the site.


    • Eric Nagel
      2472 days ago

      Seems to be it’ll stay on the first page of the gifts section until something else pushes it out. And with Pinterest’s growing popularity, that time is getting to be shorter and shorter. However, if you have items that are getting re-pinned, you’ll be shown multiple times.

  8. Jesse
    2462 days ago

    I’ve seen a number of posts like this that suggest blocking the user agent, but pinned images don’t come in with a pinterest user agent. You’d have to block the referrer.

    • Eric Nagel
      2462 days ago

      Unless they changed something in the past month, this will stop them from pinning your images. When I tested it, the “Pin It” bookmarklet was useless on my site. Of course, I don’t mind my stuff being pinned, so I took it out.

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