For brands dependant on the holiday season, things are heating up. With holiday shoppers spending over $91.7 billion online, it’s a big time of year for retailers to compete for some serious (cookie) dough.
But it’s getting more and more difficult to differentiate, discount and do whatever it takes to engage consumers and reach goals without getting their tinsel in a tizzy.
So, what’s a brand to do? Turn to a channel that captivates customers, but is all-too-often brushed off by advertisers – Pinterest. Why would brands ignore the sixth most popular social media site that’s literally built to help people discover products?
One possibility is because there’s an incorrect assumption it’s just a place to pick trendy outfits and plan shabby-chic weddings.
But consumers search Pinterest for ideas to help plan just about everything. Vacations, home renovations, DIY crafts and yes…outfits and weddings. Pinterest’s main goal is to help people get inspired and take action. So why not give them an action to take? For example, these handmade candles are going to need mason jars.
Over 150 million people a month use Pinterest, searching 2 billion times – most of them for things they want to buy. I bet you know someone that’s pinning right now. If they aren’t pinning, they’re searching a pool of over 75 billion pins others have saved from around the web.
But check this out: only 3% of these pins come directly from brands. If you’re one of the many brands that don’t control your presence on Pinterest, you can’t affect how inspired people take action. Many pins come from people hyped over a product they found on a brand’s website. Make sure these pins connect people to products–ensure they also drive traffic back to your website. Ensuring there’s a link from a pinned product image back to a website is the first step.
Next is to serve pinners content that they are actively in search of. We’ll get to that.
Pinners’ path to purchase
Some Pinterest users search as much as three months in advance of planned purchases. Brands can use this opportunity to move shoppers into the top of sales funnels early. Pinterest has done a lot to help brands not only be a pinned image, but become a product or service that can be purchased.
Brands can use Pinterest as a way to reach users frequently and generate awareness. When they’re ready to take action, boom, you’re there. Don’t deprive your would-be customers of living out their dream-remodel because there isn’t a link to purchase your marble candlestick holders. Let them live, dammit.
Maximize your Pinterest presence
There are a lot of ways for you to help pinners along their path to purchasing your products. Here are some of the ways:
- Add a Pin-It button to your website. This ensures when an image gets pinned from a website, it’ll automatically link back by attaching a URL. (Note: If you don’t do this, the only other way it will have a link is if the pinner has installed a pin-it on their browser.)
- Make your content relevant. See what’s trending and create content that resonates with your audience. High-value, how-to content plus subtle branding is perfect (e.g. ‘buddy workouts’ are hot right now, so ADIDAS created video ads with ideas for them on Pinterest).
- Connect inspiration to action with “Shop the Look.” Pinterest recently launched this new feature for fashion and home decor images. It allows businesses to call out specific items in an image to help pinners shop.
- Use VisualDiscovery® tools. Pinterest’s pin-lens is a new tool for searching by image. If a user sees something they like without a link, they can find it (or something similar) and purchase it elsewhere.
- Run targeted ads. Engage audiences and get products noticed through Pinterest’s ad platform. Try promoted pins, customer list targeting, lookalike audiences and visitor retargeting.
- Beware of over-branding. Many companies such as Target use subtle branding. Pinterest promotes an aesthetic experience. Obnoxious takeovers and huge logos don’t tend to work.
It can be a chore to manage yet another social platform. A digital asset management (DAM) solution can be used to help marketer’s focus on the engagement, not management of content.
- Find assets quickly. Leverage a DAM solution that allows you to apply metadata tags to images or folders based on Pinterest board titles so you can easily organize and find content for pinning.
- Automate the mundane. Set predetermined download formats to images so you can upload them without manually converting them to Pinterest’s horizontal format.
- Get credit for repins. Use a system that can automatically add a watermark upon download to images so no branding opportunity gets lost from re-pinning.
The strategy ultimately comes down to creating brand awareness and a path to purchase at a point of discovery. Take time to learn from the brands using it effectively. Our customers, Lowe’s and Caribou Coffee, have had solid results.
There are many ways to engage with customers and meet them at the point of discovery on Pinterest. As marketers become more data-driven and Pinterest continues to further develop their ad platform they will serve as yet another way to engage on a more personalized level with your customer.