According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are predicted to spend a whopping $602.1 billion during the 2013 holiday season and statistics show that 78% of shoppers research products online before buying.
It’s a fact of modern commerce: Retail Therapy no longer requires currency, just a Pinterest account. And with 70 million users hunting, gathering and stashing DIY tips, fashion photos, recipes and mood boards as a way to pass the time, Pinterest should be a white-hot spot for brands to strut their stuff - especially around the holidays.
Except only 30 percent of brand-related pins originate on the brands’ own Pinterest boards. The rest – a healthy 70 percent— of the brand specific content on Pinterest is found elsewhere, then brought into the Pinterest hive by consumers themselves to be curated and shared repeatedly. So how do brands get in on the Pinterest conversation if their boards are being ignored?
The answer is simple: don’t act like a brand.
Beauty is Pin Deep.
Pinners want content that inspires, challenges, educates, or entertains — but they didn’t join Pinterest to read. It’s a beauty contest out there, and your pin has to accomplish one (or several) of the above on looks alone. Mood boards and styled photography have the longest life cycle on the site, with bonus longevity points for combining an especially a gorgeous image with a DIY component. Consumers will soon be decorating their homes for the holidays. Think holiday decor tips, recipes or beautiful images of gifts for family and friends. Show, don’t tell
Your brand is a lifestyle.
You don’t have to have a pretty product—or even a stylish brand—to nail it on Pinterest. You just need a story. Pin-smart Greek yogurt maker Chobani uses the site to tell its brand story, starting with a board titled “Nothing But Good.” Listen up, un-flashy brands: it features nothing yogurt-related. Instead, it’s filled with visually pleasing quotes and phrases about what it means to be “good.” Other boards like “Fit with it” and “Kitchen CHObsessed” follow suit. Simply put, Chobani saw that its audience – young, educated women with disposable income—were pinning and re-pinning the elements of a healthy, positive life. So Chobani gave them what they wanted: a nicely curated, Chobani-branded lifestyle with the exact same values and visual cues they can’t get enough of. Opah!
Keep it Simple
Not getting any of your content pinned? Make it easier. With help from redpepper, home décor retailer Kirkland’s went from a paltry 81 pins to 300,000 in just one month with its couldn’t-be-simpler Pinning Parlor, a microsite full of gorgeous, pin-ready custom photography and beautifully styled spaces. An ultra-easy ‘Pin + Win’ contest gave users an extra incentive to pin pics from the parlor, tripling the industry average and blowing its big-name competitors – West Elm, World Market and Pottery Barn—out of the water. Strategize on what items your fans might be interested in during the holiday season and use those products to drive pins.
Go Off the Grid
Ultimately, you want to make the consumer like you enough to meet up outside of Pinterest. French car manufacturer Peugeot Panama successfully lured fans closer by pinning jigsaw puzzle images of their latest models with missing pieces that could only be found on the Peugeot website and Facebook page. Fans scoured the Peugeot site and friended the brand to locate, pin and piece together the cars, returning to Pinterest to share completed puzzles and win prizes. The real winner was the Peugeot brand, with 50,000 interactions in just one month and a 320% increase in its Facebook fans.
Make Friends, Make Customers.
Your audience has interests beyond your brand, and those interests are the key to a relationship with your audience. But what is it they care about, exactly? Pinterest can answer that question better than any other social platform. Kotex searched Facebook and Pinterest for 50 inspiring women, then got to know them quietly through their pins and boards. Kotex then reached out to each of the women (in a non-creepy way) with a personalized gift, chosen or created based on their Pinterest activity. All the women had to do to claim it was post one little pin. And pin they did—all 50 of them—along with accompanying posts on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, to the tune of more than 600,000 impressions for the Kotex brand. And not one of them featured a maxi pad.
Follow these five steps and you're sure to land branded pins on users' profiles everywhere, and at any time of the year. But don't stop here, keep adding value to consumers' lives and maybe you'll end up with a pin-worthy story to share too.