We’ve been hearing from a lot of Tpters lately reporting that their traffic and views are dropping in Pinterest. So, today we’re talking about what you can do to combat that and increase your Pinterest activity. And, we’re continuing the conversation in our Mastermind group. Head over there to share what works for you and hear what others are saying: www.growwithusmastermind.com.
On this episode of the Grow With Us Podcast, we have Sara from the Stellar Teacher Company joining our conversation on Pinterest. When we saw the concerns around the current struggle with Pinterest, we put out a call in our group for new Pinterest strategies and someone recommended Sara. Her account has 4.4 million monthly viewers.
Sara creates and sells resources for upper elementary and launched her website earlier this year. We had a long list of questions and discussed the following Pinterest strategies:
The use of video pins
Sara shared with us that she noticed a big increase in her Pinterest views when she started using video pins. She only uses them to share and link to her products and isn’t using them to share blog posts or opt-in offers for her email lists.
A recent video pin had 149k views with 2.4k saves on these pins. It’s her highest percentage of engagement on Pinterest which really surprised her because they are pretty simple and straightforward. However, the videos are able to provide a more comprehensive view of what’s included in the resource which is what teachers are looking for. It allows them to get a good feel for the entire product.
How to create video pins for Pinterest
Sara reassured all of us that it really isn’t that difficult to create video pins. She likes to batch her work so she can create multiple pins at once. She uses her iPhone for all of the videos and photos that she takes for her marketing and really likes the time-lapse feature to help speed things up. This allows her to flip through an entire 50-page resource in a 7-second video.
Apps for video editing
When it comes to editing her videos, Sara likes to use PicPlayPost. She uses the paid version because it’s not that expensive but there is a free version as well. This app allows you to edit things like brightness and timing, which is helpful because your video needs to be at least six seconds long.
The app also allows you to add text and combine multiple videos into one. Sara shared that it’s easy to use and within an hour of playing around you can be pretty set on how to use it.
Importance of consistency
While video pins have contributed to Sara’s recent growth you can’t overlook the importance of consistency. She experienced what she calls the “Pinterest Crisis” last fall just like many others. In order to combat the dip she experienced, she began to post consistently.
While Tailwind was helpful, Sara didn’t enjoy using it so she eventually hired a VA to handle it for her and it’s made a huge difference. It helps here to keep the queue full of new pins or high performing ones that she wants to keep circulating.
This is the first year that she’s been consistently pinning the same number of pins every day. She keeps it to 25-30 pins a day and personally doesn’t use SmartLoop because her VA is helping do the work for her. The consistency has had a good impact on her growth since last fall.
When it comes to creating new resources, she tries to upload 20-30 new pins a month for it. And, while she does do repins of both video and regular pins, she makes a point to get the new pins out there too.
Batching work to save time
As mentioned before, Sara prefers to batch her work. For example, a few weekends before we recorded our episode with her, she created all of her video pins for the month. This is how it worked:
- Two hours spent on printing, cutting, and preparing
- Two hours spent on making the videos. This includes doing things like changing backgrounds or going outside for better lighting.
- Two hours to edit and get the final video ready to go.
She keeps a folder on her desktop to put her files in until they are ready to be uploaded. Then, she uploads a few pins every day for her VA to use. When the folder runs out then she starts the process over again.
Batching her work in this way makes it a lot quicker. And, she uses the same batch process for her regular pins as well. This allows her to spend one to one-and-a-half days a month on pin creation.
Using templates for pins
Sara admitted to us that she doesn’t follow any of the Pinterest “rules” that people recommend like sticking to a color scheme, specific font, or having a set formula. She actually changes them up quite a bit.
A lot of her pins are created in Canva so she will keep the template though and just swap the photos out. However, after a month or two she’s burnt out on it and ready to switch things up.
And, she’s actually discovered that she does really well when just using a screenshot of the product. This makes it really easy. You don’t even have to add anything else, just the screenshot.
This is a great tip if you struggle with spending too much time on trying to make fancy pins. The simple ones are working for her. It’s important to remember that what works for the TpT community doesn’t always follow the standards for Pinterest. Teachers want ideas for things they can implement right away. Seeing images without having to read a title can be really enticing, but Sara does try to use a variety of pin styles.
Screenshots that are really visual do really well. This is a great tip for those that need to quickly upload a bunch of pins.
Percentage of your pins vs pins from others
Sara personally tries to follow the rule of pinning 80% of her own pins and 20% of other people’s resources. However, if she has a bunch of new pins that she wants to get out then she focuses on that over maintaining the percentage. And, in the same way, if she is short on pins, she’ll fill the queue with pins from others.
Working with a VA
Sara encourages TpTers to get a VA to help with Pinterest. There are plenty of good VAs out there and they can be quite affordable. This platform is the biggest contributor to her success. If you aren’t leveraging the platform, you’re missing out on potential sales.
When Sara creates a batch of new pins and doesn’t want to pin them all in one day, she puts them on a secret board. Then, she lets her VA know they are there and she comes in and takes them from that board to put in Tailwind so they get added to the schedule.
She names the secret board by the month that the pins are for. If she adds any in later, she just makes sure to let her VA know.
Sara’s VA also keeps an eye on her analytics. This allows her to repin any pins that show evidence of success to keep it going as long as possible. And, when she’s promoting a pin, she lets her VA know and then she helps keep that pin circulating as well.
The VA stays consistent with pinning reading resources to all of the reading boards and vice versa. She has multiple boards for each area which was recommended by her VA. For example, for reading her boards include things like reading, reading workshop board, 3rd-grade reading, 4th-grade reading, and 5th-grade reading. This way the pins can go on multiple boards while still making sense.
Should you post on group boards
Because Sara felt like Pinterest wasn’t making group boards important, she doesn’t post on any. She does have a few Tailwind Tribes, but no specific group boards as she doesn’t think they are worth her time.
Sara’s traffic is organic right now. She has done promotional pins with varying levels of success. She’s run some conversion campaigns for the opt-in on her website and those seemed to go pretty well. However, she’s stopped running ads.
When she does do any type of promotion, she would rather spend money to get email sign-ups instead of sales.
The benefit of her Pinterest growth on her TpT sales
One thing that Sara wants TpTers to keep in mind is that Pinterest is the long-game. If you start doing it now, you might not see the benefits for a few months. However, the consistency will pay off. As her Pinterest viewers have grown, her TpT store sales have increased as well.
The majority of Sara’s pins are going to her TpT store right now because her website is still pretty new. When possible, she does send pins to her blog posts, but it’s mostly to her TpT store.
For every new resource, she creates 5-7 pins. She does the same thing for blog posts. Then, if she notices that a product line or resource isn’t doing as well as she thinks it should be, she’ll go back and create more new pins for it, but the video pins have the best results.
The “pin this post” column
On Sara’s Squarespace blog, she uses a column that allows her to show a pin and that has a button under it encouraging people to pin it. While this is something that Squarespace allows her to do, it’s also something that you can do on WordPress with the Gutenberg app. You can see the screenshot comparison of the two here:
The one thing to focus on when starting Pinterest
If you are just starting out on Pinterest or really trying to grow your engagement, Sara recommends that you focus on creating video pins. Overall, video is more popular on every platform and since they’re still newer on Pinterest, it’s even better for you.
And, if you create a video for Pinterest, you can also use the video on Facebook and Instagram. Once you make a video, it works well on all platforms.
If you want to see more of what’s working for Sara on Pinterest, you can check her account for the Stellar Teacher Company here. And, if you want to continue the conversation on growing your Pinterest success, join us on the mastermind group.