March 26, 2014

Pinning is winning for brands online

by admin in News

What started as a place for soon-to-be-wed women, travelbugs looking to stave off the wanderlust or people like me, whose obsession with interior design (cushions!) cannot be contained in one small apartment, Pinterest is quickly becoming another resource for businesses hoping to connect with consumers in a new way. 

Pinterest’s rapid growth since launching in 2010 shows it is not one to be underestimated. Today, the site has more than 70 million users and more than 420,000 unique visitors in Australia each month. 80% of Pinterest’s users are women, with a good balance between consumer and business accounts (there are currently more than 500,000 business profiles).

Users create pins, which create a visual icon linking to a website and boards which help organise and categorise images. These boards and pins can then be accessed by other users searching for new content. With this in mind, Pinterest becomes a powerful referral tool for brands. Pinning your products not only creates a visual reminder for consumers, but these images also link back to your website and can be searched both on network and online. These images are also easily shared, as consumers repin for their followers, allowing you to connect to new audiences.

To succeed on Pinterest, it is important to stick to what you know to create a profile and boards that reflect your brand’s areas of expertise and interests. The key consideration should be to understand your consumers or target audience and pin content that reflect their lifestyles, interests and aspirations.

Here are five other things to consider when determining whether Pinterest is right for your brand:

1. Focus on your customers not just your products

Pinterest is a great way to connect your target consumers to your products, but you need to balance advertising with engaging.

Pinterest is a great visual medium and can showcase your products, but instead of posting product shots over and over, think about what your target customers like to do, and how they use your products. Use that as the inspiration to develop content that they will be more likely to engage with your page and pins; making it more likely they will like your next product post.

2.  ‘Look at this’ not ‘Look at me’

While Facebook and Instagram are great for ‘look at me’ content, Pinterest is closer to that of Twitter, with more of a ‘look at this’ mentality.

On Pinterest, it is the strength of what is shared that attracts followers, and Pinterest lends itself to sharing products, brand content such as recipes, and other lifestyle content. This lifestyle content shared by individuals and brands reflect their identities and becomes currency on Pinterest, as you find and follow like-minded people or brands and repin their pins to share with others.

3. Make it beautiful, but organised

Make your Pinterest boards beautiful. If you’re adding product shots or brand imagery, make sure it is attractive and will encourage users to pin, effectively sharing with others. If you’re pinning other content, make sure it reflects your brand identity. Think about what you want to say about your brand, how you want to position it, and choose content that is interesting and reflects that.

And while it might sound boring, it pays to be ruthlessly organised on Pinterest. This means adding lots of images so they look thought-out and complete, rather than half done, and ensuring images in each board relate to the topic at hand.  Keep relevant pins together and create new boards rather than trying to put too many different pins together. Label each pin clearly, with all product information and make sure people can clearly see what each product, pin and board is about.

4. Show off your brand style

Add some brand style and personality to your Pinterest page. This could be through quirky names for boards, or comments on each pin, customised content or beautiful lifestyle shots. The key is to create content that users want to share, and share content that reflects your brand.

On the other hand, consider your brand’s style before you post online. Make sure images are sleek, high quality and show off your brand in the best light.

5. Crowdsource your content

Pinterest is great for brands that have a strong brand identity but may not have the imagery to support social media. The site is about sharing things that are relevant to you, effectively curating the identity for your brand. This means you can balance brand images and content with that of other brands, bloggers, new sites and other Pinterest users.

Pinterest also has a fantastic option to create boards that other users are able to add pins to. This will not only help you be continuously adding to your boards but will also allow other users to engage with the brand directly. It will also give you a strong sense of what consumers consider relevant to your brand, which could provide valuable insights.

Written by Jackie Holt