As the user base of Pinterest, a “pin board-based” image and inspiration social media site, continues to explode, we are now seeing a shift toward using Pinterest for creating brand awareness and engaging customers.
Leading brands, celebrities, and nonprofits are flocking to Pinterest because of the simplicity of launching an account and because of the large market of passionate, engaged fans.
Though we are still in the early stages of using Pinterest as a marketing tool, there are a few brands who have put together marketing campaigns. Here are a few examples to use as inspiration in order to give marketing on Pinterest a shot:
Host a Contest on Pinterest
Brands have created a variety of contests where users create pin boards related to a brand that wins a prize based on the number of likes it receives or based on a random drawing. These contests are often called “Pin it, to win it” contests, since contestants must pin a brand’s contest advertisement along with other images to their pin boards in order to participate.
Clothing brand ModCloth put together a contest on Pinterest for the ‘best pin board’ that provided an extensive list of images that entrants must track down and post to their Pin boards. Their rules included:
- Must follow @ModCloth on Twitter
- Pins have to include relevant hashtags (#modcloth and #wedding)
- Pinboards must include a pin from 20 categories as outlined in the announcement
- Pins must have a caption listing the number and name the pin corresponds to
- Entrants share their boards by posting a comment (with a link back to their board) on the ModCloth contest announcement pin.
This promotion offered the dual benefits of creating a challenge for users, while still creating a broader brand awareness among customers.
Similarly, a simple contest was put together by Barney’s New York that offered customers a chance to win items they had posted to their pin boards, a campaign very similar to one run by Land’s End. According to Lauren Indvik of Mashable, Barney’s “encouraged followers of its other social channels to follow its Pinterest page and create a ‘Barneys New York Valentine’s Day Wish List’ board in the Women’s or Men’s Apparel categories. Participants were welcome to pin anything they wanted to their boards, but at least five items needed to be sourced from barneys.com to qualify for the contest. Entries were handled by email.”
Cross Social Media Platforms on Pinterest
Since Pinterest is easily linked to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media tools, it’s easy to encourage customers to cross link their pins in order to increase your brand’s exposure through a Pinterest promotion.
Kotex used Pinterest to figure out what 50 influential and “inspiring” women like and then sent them inspiration kits based on their pins if they agreed to post about them on Pinterest and other social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Though the ROI of this campaign has been hard to determine, the amount of exposure has been significant, especially since Kotex even made a YouTube videointroducing the concept of the campaign to a wider audience.
Create a Puzzle on Pinterest
One of the most creative Pinterest campaigns that also drove a lot of customer traffic to a brand’s website came from the French car company Peugeot. Todd Wasserman of Mashable writes, “French car maker Peugeot’s Panama unit recently ran a contest that awarded fans who completed a Pinterest puzzle. The brand’s Pinterest profile featured images of cars running over two or more boards. In each case, a board was missing. To get the missing pieces, fans had to go to Peugeot Panama’s Facebook Page or website.”
This complex and original campaign brought both greater exposure to the Peugeot website and the Peugeot Pin board.
With this all said, brands are still trying to figure out how to best utilise Pinterest for marketing campaigns, and it may be some time before they have a firm idea of a campaign’s ROI. However, we’re in an exciting time where brands can expand their marketing into uncharted territory, surprising and delighting customers and possibly even generating attention simply by virtue of giving Pinterest marketing a shot.
Feel free to follow my boards on Pinterest.
Have you used Pinterest for any of your marketing campaigns? How did they work for you?