E026 How to Use Pinterest for Gift Guides
On today’s episode, Annette chats with Tracy Lynn of Simple Living Country Gal all about gift guides on Pinterest! They’re sharing best practices for creating guides, plus learn what Tracy does to get better reach and increased sales from those guides. And don’t miss our Peculiar Pin—the strangest way to make a planter from concrete! You can find this and all our Peculiar Pins on our Pinterest board.
E026: Gift Guides on Pinterest
2:20 Peculiar Pin
6:45 Gift Guide Intro
8:56 Best Practices for Creating a Gift Guide
13:00 Pin Images for Gift Guides
17:32 Using Pinterest to Share
21:29 Where to Send Pinners
25:00 How to Choose what Gift Guide to Create
What is a Gift Guide?
A gift guide is a blog post that lists items for sale in a specific niche. The reader can “window shop” (and hopefully buy) the products on your website! These posts are written with the specific intention of making money for the writer. This means every product listed either contains an affiliate link (the writer earns a small commission from the seller if you purchase—at no extra cost to you) or is a product that the writer has created.
Why do Online Shoppers use Gift Guides?
Gift guides do all the hard work for them! They don’t have to research brands, styles, price, or anything else. They get all the information they need to make an informed purchase while saving tons of time by letting the blog author do all the legwork. It’s also a great way to find new products that you would otherwise never know about.
Best Practices for Creating a Gift Guide
There are three important things to pay attention to:
The niche the guide is about
The selection of products in the guide
The organization of the items
The niche is the most important aspect because that’s what attracts your readers in the first place! When you’ve got that dialed in, give helpful information—do a writeup of each item in your guide so readers will know why it’s worth buying, if shipping will take extra time because it’s handmade, etc. Not only does this help your readers get to know the items you love and promote, but it helps manage their expectations, which is important in our 2-day shipping mindset!
Make sure your gift guides are user-friendly. Include 2 clickable links—a big, pretty, clickable image, and clickable text in your comments about the item.
Gift guides aren’t just for Christmas (anymore), they’re relevant year-round, so make sure you’re utilizing them all year! The trick is to change your pins to match the current season. Don’t use a Christmas-themed pin to promote your guide in the summer—even if the gift guide content doesn’t change!
Pin Images for Gift Guides
The most important thing to know about pin images? The rules of the companies you work with! Amazon has very strict rules, you cannot use their images in your pins—even in collage images. Before you put any image in a pin, make sure it’s allowed! Try contacting sellers (e.g. Esty shop owners) because many of them will have promotional images you can use for popular items they sell.
Pro Tip: Try contacting the sellers of the items in your gift guide and tell them you’d like to include their product in your gift guide. They are usually very excited and flattered to be included, so when they ask what they can do to help you, ask them to share the gift guide on their social media channels!
Instead of using images of the gifts in your guide, try using an image that showcases the niche. For example, Tracy has a gift guide for backyard chickens and her pin image show a young girl in a field feeding chickens.
Which is Better, Collage or Theme Images?
Tracy’s collage images do better at Christmas because people are in a hurry and they just want to know what you have in your guide—it helps them shop faster. Other times of the year, the theme image is actually more helpful because when pinners see collage images they think of Christmas, and that makes them think the pin is outdated.
Bonus: Pinterest loves new images, so even if it’s going to an old post, new images will benefit both you and your followers!
How to use Pinterest to Share Your Gift Guide
Start pinning Christmas stuff in the Fall—or earlier! People actually start shopping for Christmas in Augst, and even earlier if they have family overseas. It’s important to account for these timeframes, so make sure your Christmas gift guides are out in August or early September.
If you get your pins out early, it gives you more time to get different pins out. Have 3 or 4 pins ready to go in August so you can start staggering your pinning. Start with less seasonal-looking pins, but by the 4th pin it should be Christmas-heavy with an image that shows it’s geared toward Christmas shopping. This strategy works for all holidays, BUT other holidays can be pinned starting two months out instead of four to five months for Christmas.
Pro Tip: You don’t have to call it a gift guide! You could create a product guide for your niche, favorite items, top ten items, etc.
Should Pins go to Your Website or the Product Website?
Some people like to pin their guide AND an image of the product from the original site with an affiliate link. Tracy doesn’t like this practice for two important reasons. First, she wants more clicks to her site where readers can see ALL of the products they might want to buy, and second, getting those readers to her site gives them the opportunity to sign up for her email list. If she were to send them straight to the products company’s site, she’d miss out on both of those things.
According to Tracy, getting those website views is just as important as the purchase! Not only that, you can’t track clicks to other sites, only to your own. This makes it even more important to make sure you’re sending traffic to your website rather than a sales page. Most people aren’t actually looking to buy when they see a product on Pinterest, they’re ready to learn more about it so they can decide if it’s something they want to purchase. That’s exactly why they need your gift or product guide.
How to Choose what Guide to Create
Stick with what you know. Whatever you blog about—that’s what your guide should be about! You can create a gift guide for any niche. In fact, most guides will do better if you take the word “gift” out of it and simply call it a product guide. Use this “product guide” to transition a casual shopper into a lifelong reader by sending them to a product guide in a niche in which you have authority.
These guides are a powerful way to increase traffic, grow your list, and increase your income. Tracy was a wealth of knowledge! Be sure to visit her wherever you like to hang out online
For this Episode’s Peculiar Pin and all our previous podcast episodes, check out our Peculiar Pins Board