In the early days of Pinterest the image-based platform, described as a “big online corkboard”, was viewed as little more than a place to exchange recipes, home decorating tips, fashion and craft ideas. But while Pinterest may be a relative newcomer to the world of social media, this highly visual network now has more than 70 million users and a wealth of untapped potential for businesses of all sizes endeavouring to build their brands.
Just how effective is brand building on Pinterest? According to data from marketing research firm Annalect:
- Pinterest leads social media networks for brand discovery, with 40 percent of social media users learning about a new brand (compared to 27 percent on Facebook, and less for other social networks)
- 67 percent of users source and share for special occasions on Pinterest, with second place going to Facebook at only 21 percent
- More than half (55%) of Pinterest users click through images they like to the company’s website to learn more about a product or service
- Users pin products they are considering purchasing (62%) and products they have already purchased (21%)
Using Pinterest for your business is easier than you might think. These tips will help you create your brand strategy and engagement on Pinterest coupled with driving brand visibility across all of your digital marketing channels.
1. Show Your Brand Story
Your brand story serves as the foundation for your company’s brand, ensuring memorability, recognition, relevance and resonance with your target audience. If a picture sells a thousand words then the visual nature of Pinterest is an unbeatable strategy for illustrating your brand story in a way that ensures significant impact with your customers, especially when you consider that social media content with images drives three times more engagement than text-based content.
Because Pinterest is visual in nature, the platform is highly effective for creating an emotional connection. Remember people buy with emotion, not rational! Well-chosen and powerful images or attention grabbing video that features your products, services, key people in your business or relates to the core of your organisation’s brand, all serve as visual story amplifiers that communicate who you are, and what you stand for, in a really visceral way.
Pantone Colour Institute makes excellent branding use of Pinterest with its boards for Colour of the Year. Each board features images of the highlighted colour featured in foods, flowers, hairstyles, event ideas, and even celebrities wearing the year’s colour. The visual marketing strategy has earned Pantone nearly 50,000 Pinterest followers for 2014’s board alone, and more across the company’s 45 boards.
2. Use Pinterest to Drive eCommerce Growth
Images are inspiring, and the right images can truly transport an audience. Another highly effective brand strategy for Pinterest is to show your customers just what their lives would be like with your brand in them, so they can easily picture themselves owning and enjoying what you have to offer. Pinterest is particularly effective, when used appropriately, with tangible products as part of an integrated brand strategy to help drive eCommerce growth. Illustrating your products or services in action works really well in this regard.
You can also take your lifestyle brand a step further by recommending or joint venturing with other complementary brands products or services and showing your customers a fuller picture that brings the brand elements together. For example, a gourmet dessert company might pin images of a friends celebrating with everyone enjoying their products on a particular occasion or holiday event using the table décor of another popular lifestyle brand.
Once you’ve identified complementary brands, consider partnering with other Pinterest business users to cross-promote and increase your followers and visibility. Re-pinning content is one of the most effective ways to grow Pinterest traffic to your boards.
3. Maintain Brand Consistency Across All Content
As with any social media platform, the key to success on Pinterest is converting followers into leads and ultimately loyal customers. Pinterest provides several ways to reinforce your brand consistency and funnel visitors to your website, landing page, or email list signup.
Pins can be linked to your website, both the images themselves and the text in the description. Every piece of original content you pin to your boards should be linked to an actionable target, making it easy for customers to learn more about the images you’re displaying, and how or where to purchase them or the service they relate to. With linked images, you’ll also gain more visibility as other Pinterest users re-pin your content to their own boards where their followers can also click through.
UK online fashion retailer ASOS is a strong example of brand consistency on Pinterest. The company joined Pinterest in 2012, but didn’t see much traction until an overhaul in 2013 when it streamlined and consolidated its boards, and began posting only branded and linked pins. Now, with 35 boards and nearly 80,000 followers, ASOS enjoys strong customer engagement on Pinterest.
4. Engage Others to Spread Your Brand
Pinterest is a community, and getting others to share your content helps to grow your brand exponentially. More than 80 percent of the total content on Pinterest are repins from other boards, so it’s essential to interest your audience enough to repost your content and share with their own followers.
Having other Pinterest users highlight your brand is a far better endorsement than plugging your business on your own. This holds true not only for repins, but also for user-submitted content that you pin to your boards. There are many creative ways you can invite users to submit pins. For example, auto manufacturer Honda created a campaign called “Pintermission,” where the company chose five influential pinners from among their followers, and gave them each $500 to bring a pin from their own boards into reality.
The company asked the pinners to collaborate with each other, and to upload photos of their projects to Pinterest once they were completed. Honda also created promotional posters for the campaign that parodied popular motivational images. As a result, the Pintermission board received more than 4.6 million views and over 5,000 repins—and the campaign also spread to Twitter with the hashtag #Pintermission.
5. Your Brand, Visualized
With a compelling brand design, and easy tools for linking and sharing, Pinterest is a really powerful branding tool for most businesses. You can strengthen your brand visibility significantly through the use of meaningful images, engaging video, consistent brand messaging coupled with encouraging user engagement through pins, comments and competitions on Pinterest.
What do you think?
• Is your brand a good fit for Pinterest?
• Are you sharing your brand story through images or video?
• What might complement your brand lifestyle messages and help customers envision your brand as part of their lives?
• How are you ensuring you maintain brand message consistency with your images or video content creation?
• Have you used Pinterest effectively yet to help drive your eCommerce growth?
Feel free to share your thoughts or comments in the box below. We’d love to hear from you!