Bob Vila first became a household name on television, where for nearly 30 years, he taught people how to renovate and repair their homes. Now, the Bob Vila team’s gone digital: With Pinterest, they’ve increased referral traffic to their website by 33%, and the number of male Pinners who visit their website has grown by 20% each month.
“Pinterest was once a minor player in our monthly site traffic. As we’ve grown our dedicated base of followers and become smarter about how we Pin, Pinterest has grown to be one of our most relevant sources of unique visitors and page views.”
BobVila.com has saved more than 22,000 Pins to dozens of boards that cover creative ideas like spring cleaning tips to household gadgets and green living ideas. Even so, it took a bit of trial and error to figure out what kind of content works best for their audience. “Early on we had a notion that we needed to either be super technical or have lots of really stunning images,” said Caitlin Castelaz, editor and social media director for BobVila.com.
After experimenting with different types of content and checking their analytics to see what was working, they realized how-to content performed much better since it captures the interest of people who aren’t just Pinners, but doers. “Well-photographed and pristine interior design can be really compelling but it doesn’t resonate with our readers as much as practical projects and tips,” she said.
They also found that adding a bit of text on their images is an easy way to increase engagement, since it gives people a way to understand content with one quick glance. For example, this Pin with and without text overlay—the version with the text performed 150 times better. The BobVila.com team was also excited to discover that since Pins last forever, content they’ve added from a few years ago continue to engage people to this day.
As part of their Pinning strategy, BobVila.com monitors analytics and uses that data to inform what they should Pin next. “First, we share our newest and most seasonally relevant DIY content and then we keep an eye out for what’s resonating with folks. We try to bring that information back to our edit desk so we can build new articles and galleries that will help people in their DIY journeys,” Castelaz said.
They also don’t just strategize about what they Pin, but when they Pin. “I use Tailwind, a Pin scheduler, to make sure we’re Pinning an appropriate number of images a day and hitting the peak times when folks like to engage with our Pins.”
By making good use of everything their toolbox has to offer, they’ve attracted more people to their website. So far, for most of 2015, Pinterest has accounted for more than 1 million page views per month (a 33% increase over the previous year). Out of those visits, 15% came from male Pinners, and that number’s growing by 20% each month. Compared to visitors that come from organic search, people who come to bobvila.com from Pinterest browse twice the number of pages.