Pinterest for a Local Newspaper

When people ask what I do, I say “Pinterest marketing.” The other evening, I met someone who was adamant that Pinterest had no place in local news marketing; that readers went to the newspaper’s event listing via Google and that Pinterest was only useful a source of craft ideas.

I didn’t argue. I don’t push string.

The business of a local newspaper is to drive traffic to its advertisers. Newspapers use stories as reader-bait. Some local newspapers are famous for stuffing their articles with the names of townspeople; others use the slogan “relentlessly local.”

Readers visit the newspaper website for information about what’s going on in town this weekend. This particular newspaper website maintains a top-ranked listing in the Google SERP because of the backlinks accumulated over time and the huge number of stories they have run featuring on the keywords of city and town.

Local news by Michael Avory (avorym)) on 500px.com--how local newspapers can use Pinterest to drive traffic
Local news: Man keeps up with the local news on a Roman street wall by Michael Avory

Pinterest won’t contain the most timely information, but on the other hand, it’s GREAT for sharing information that has a long shelf life. Local feature stories, in particular, have enormous shelf life, much longer than stories in the state and national papers. Grandma will still be interested in the twin’s softball activities long after the dust has settled on the latest international security threat.

Pillar articles about local points of interest (in my town, this is the railroad museum) never outdate and instead, accumulate traffic and visitors over time.

Newspapers can EASILY use Pinterest to expand their internet reach, driving traffic directly to the newspaper home page and from there, to advertiser’s links.

The newspaper website may own the top SERP position for events listings. Who owns the top listing for RR Museum? What if people don’t know to search your town for that story? What if people who collected railroad images would visit your town if only they knew you had a RR museum?

I watched a coffee shop crumble many years ago, back when allowing indoor smoking was up to the business owner. Every time someone complained about the atmosphere, the owner would survey the patrons to learn that most of them wanted him to continue to allow smoking. By the time the state law changed to ban smoking in commercial spaces, it was too late. All the non smokers had gone to the new coffee shop on another corner. They didn’t come back.

It’s good that a local newspapers’ readers know to search in Google for the local events listing. However, that paper is missing out on traffic from people who are searching in Pinterest for stuff that the town offers, but isn’t provided in a way that these searchers can find.

Don’t assume the way you use Pinterest is the way everyone uses Pinterest.

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