There are many different ways to use Pinterest as an effective marketing tool. It is also incredibly easy to get distracted once you log on; trust me, I speak from personal experience here.Thinking through your goals on Pinterest before you start creating boards and pins will help you keep your eye on the prize and stay focused once you dive into this amazing world of party ideas, inspirational quotes, and epic pastries.
Here are four examples of attainable goals for brands using Pinterest and examples of companies who are doing it well. Before we delve into the details of each one, I’d like to point out something all four have in common. All of these brands do a great job of summing up their reason for pinning on their page in 11 words or less, and making sure every board and pin relates back to that mission statement. So what is your mission statement?
Goal 1: Strengthen brand identity
Studentrate is a website dedicated to hooking up students with vendors who offer student discounts. If your primary target audience is college students, it is clearly in your best interest to appear trend- conscious and kinda cool. Enter Pinterest. Not only is Pinterest kind of trendy in and of itself, Studentrate has done a nice job of curating boards that cover topics like [Dorm Room] Trends, [Negative] Freshmen 15, and [Spring] Break, further cementing their brand identity.
Did you pick up on the odd use of brackets in these names? See how those same brackets are a part of their logo? Nice touch, Studentrate.
Goal 2: Position yourself as a thought leader and expert in your field
When Etsy started out, they did something very smart. They didn’t just create an online marketplace where crafty individuals could sell their projects. They created an entire online community that connects crafters with shoppers not only by categorizing handmade items by type, but also by solution. Shoppers on Etsy can look through curated treasuries created by individuals with similar tastes to theirs or they can “discover” themed collections of items featured by Etsy. They can shop by occasion for gifts, shop local to find crafters in their region, or shop by color.
Now what they’ve done on their Pinterest page is replicate the experience of solution-focused shopping on Etsy. Get the curated experience by checking out Stuff We Love for pins that are handpicked by Etsy. Browse by occasion on Gift Ideas and Etsy Weddings. Or if you want to browse locally, Etsy has boards for EtsyDE, EtsyUK, and other regions. They’ve truly asserted themselves as the uncontested experts in buying and selling handmade goods online, and that expertise is apparent on their Pinterest page.
Goal 3: Drive traffic to your website
Now even though, a large percentage (probably the majority) of Sunset Magazine’s pins direct back to their own website, they’ve found a balance by also linking to the blogs of freelancers who write for the magazine, re-pinning content from gardeners and chefs already on Pinterest, and actively participating as contributors on boards that are managed by more than one individual or brand like What Is Your Favorite Garden Plant of All Time. By being actively involved in the community aspects of Pinterest as well as including lots of lots of links to Sunset.com, they avoid looking like spam and still reach their ultimate goal: quality traffic.
Goal 4: Inspire and delight your customers
Chobani, nothing but good pins from America’s #1 yogurt. True story, in my last job as Marketing Director, my main directive from the CEO was to “inspire and delight our customers.” Believe me, I know there are no cut and dry metrics for measuring inspiration and delight, but it is still a lofty and worthwhile goal in my estimation. Now on the surface, yogurt may not seem especially delightful or inspiring to you. Yogurt is not especially photogenic, in my opinion. And what is there to really say about yogurt? Well it appears to me that to the bright minds over at Chobani, “Nothing but Good” is not just a marketing slogan, it is a mantra. If you spend 10 minutes on their Pinterest page, which is filled to the brim with lots of good boards, I can practically guarantee you are going to be inspired by what you find. You might be inspired to start a new fitness regime. You’ll probably find a mind-blowing new way to use yogurt when you cook. Point is, they’ve given people a lot of reasons to want to buy their yogurt whether it’s to lose weight, make a new recipe, or as an excuse to buy a cute new spoon. Now, if they can do that for yogurt on Pinterest, what can you do for your brand?
Some of you over achievers out there are probably thinking, “why stop at one goal? I can do all four.” Yes, you probably can, but can you do all four well? Write your mission statement and pick one goal as your top priority. Then every time you log onto Pinterest re-read those 11 words and make sure everything you pin, re-pin, and every comment you post is in alignment with that goal.
Speaking of pinning, re-pinning, and commenting, next we’re going to go over some of my personal pet peeves and how you can avoid making me and other Pinterest users cranky. Stay tuned.
If you missed my previous post on how to determine whether or not Pinterest is right for your brand, you can read that here.