Make Pinterest a part of your Holiday Marketing

This year, I recommend businesses consider making Pinterest a part of their holiday marketing campaigns. The social network has become extremely popular with users and brands, and a recent study by Bizrate Insights has shown users on are influenced by products they see on Pinterest.

Making Pinterest a part of a marketing strategy takes time and careful planning. There are a few steps brands can follow to help formulate a strategy for the holidays:

1. Make sure your customers are there. Look at similar businesses and how many followers they have. Study what type of users are on Pinterest. Pull reports from studies to see the demographics of Pinterest users.

2. See if your competitors are on Pinterest. If they are, make note of their strategy. If they’re not, you’re already one step ahead of them.

3. Register your page. Similar to the problems late adopting brands found on Facebook and Twitter, users can sign up for a Pinterest URL you might want. Even if you aren’t planning on pinning soon, register your page to prevent this from happening.

4. Determine your content. Do you have an e-commerce site? Do you have access to or the ability to take photos of your products if you don’t?
For the holidays, promote your products as gift suggestions. Take a look at Lands’ End, which is pinning gift suggestions to their Pinterest page from their website. They’ve included prices with the gifts, which makes it even easier for consumers when they see your pin. I highly recommend this as it gives users a sense of what they could afford to purchase for those on their holiday list.

5. Make your content actionable. When you pin a photo of your product on Pinterest, you can add a link to the product on your e-commerce site if you have one, or you can add a link to something else on your website- like a store locator.

6.Plan your content. Make a calendar of when you’ll post. Do you have specific products you want to promote each week? Will these be promoted on a specific day? As you begin posting, you can adjust the time of day you’re posting based on user engagement  you’re seeing. Also, take a look at your followers. Do they follow hundreds of people? Thousands? Find an average of followers of your followers. If it’s relatively high, you’ll have to realize they will have hundreds of pins showing up in their newsfeed daily. This means you may need to pin the same content more than once a week in order for your followers to see the content.

7. Get analytics in place. Look into products like Pinterly or Google Analytics. Make sure you can easily evaluate if Pinterest is driving sales.

8. Drive traffic to your Pinterest page and integrate your campaigns. Nobody will see your pins if you aren’t driving traffic to your Pinterest page. Considering running paid media to drive traffic. Also consider your other media outlets. Have a website? Have a Facebook page? Integrate them all for the holiday campaign. This will increase your overall traffic flow throughout your media outlets and hopefully increase sales.

9. Consider creating contests or other fun activities on Pinterest. Many brands have run “Pin to Win” contests in which users repin posts by brands to win products. This works to help drive traffic and create buzz.

By following a few simple steps and evaluating the tool itself, Pinterest can become an integral part of your holiday marketing campaign. As brands wait for Pinterest to create paid media offerings, it’s up to us marketers to create innovative and effective marketing campaigns on Pinterest to help drive user engagement, and in the end increase sales.