On this planet of over 7 billion people, 2 billion internet users with 550 million websites creating massive amounts of “big data” it is sometimes hard to get noticed. Tweets on Twitter stream past your screens in torrents, Google+ refreshes with new images and updates every few seconds and on Facebook the ticker beckons us to click on our friends latest revelations and links.
You can buy influence and visibility to cut through this clutter or you can get smart and creative and crowd source your marketing with social media.
If you have a budget like Coca Cola then it is easier because big money buys massive media coverage. But even Coke realised that on a social web that the fans and followers can create more stories online about you than you can ever hope to buy or produce with your own resources. So they changed their marketing strategy from “Creative Excellence” to “Content Excellence. Coca Cola called this crowd sourced marketing “liquid content“.
Two principles of social media marketing
Two core principles of social media marketing that don’t require a rocket science degree to understand and are the foundations to social media marketing success are as follows:
- Create unique content in a variety of media.
- Market, hustle and promote that content to your followers on the social networks that you have created and built.
The more engaged and the larger the tribes on these social media channels, the greater the velocity and sharing that will result. Done correctly and with persistence will result in online visibility that will break through the clutter.
The barrier to success that a lot of people struggle with is that they want a quick fix. You need to be patient and persistent as this is an organic process that filters, permeates and weaves its way into and across the very aptly named world wide “web”.
Pinterest is one of those social networks that makes it easy for people to share visual contagious content with no ‘cut and paste’ but with just a few clicks of a mouse. The power of visual content lies in its high share-ability.
So how are some brands using Pinterest as a B2B business, retailer or online publisher?
1. Boticca Boutique
Fashion is one of those business categories that begs to be on Pinterest. The products are visual and enticing and invite to be shared on Facebook and Twitter.
Boticca the online boutique has creatively used Pinterest to create “Boards” that mirror its shopping store’s categories. The boards include images of the products within the category that directly link to the product page in their online store. The result is that 10% of its sales come from this Pinterest referral channel which surpasses the commerce driven from Facebook.
Hubspot is a B2B business that provides “All-in-One Marketing Software that brings your whole marketing world together in one powerful, integrated system”. They also state that they also like to have some fun!
One question is often asked about how to use Pinterest to market your business.
“How can I use Pinterest when my business products and services aren’t very visual.
Hubspot fits that question category. So how do they make their business marketing content visual and shareable?
They capture visual images and videos at their seminars and webinars and then create boards and pin them to Pinterest. They turn facts and figures into Infographics (Marketing Infographics Board) and also pin their ebook front covers to another board titled “Helpful Marketing eBooks”.
On Pinterest you can also “pin” YouTube videos and you can see how Hubspot applies this on the “Inbound Conference” marketing board.
So does that give you some ideas?
Mashable are always at the forefront of using social media to market their brand and that is one of the main reasons they became one of the most successful blogs in the world. Observing how they utilize the leverage of the social visual web is something to be aspired to.
The hot topics occupy the top row (just like breaking news in a newspaper) and they include two Pinterest boards. Infographics remain popular and are a type of image that tends to shared often. Photos of the latest tech gadgets gets a board as the type of people that love the latest tech toy are much more likely to share on Facebook and Twitter.
The popularity of Pinterest for Mashable is evident with over 500,000 followers. That gets you a lot of sharing and accelerates their brands’ online visibility.
4. Travel Channel
Travel lust is often driven by gorgeous photos of faraway and exotic locations. This can lead to them being written on “bucket lists”. The Travel Channel uses categories on Pinterest that they know from experience are clickable, such as “Beaches” and “Daily Escapes”. Even though the travel channel is a natural fit for Pinterest it is not as optimised and creative as Hubspot in their application of the Pinterest.
Nordstrom is a fashion specialty retailer of clothing, shoes & accessories. Pinterest is a significant social network for the retailer with well over 1.1 million followers. As you would expect the images are of high quality and the boards are well organised. Boticca though as a comparison is much more effective in its use of Pinterest as a social commerce channel.
So What About You?
How are you using Pinterest? Is it effective as a referral channel for your online store? Does it drive traffic to your blog. If so, how many hits is it producing?
Has participating on Pinterest brought you any business?
Look forward to hearing your stories.
Want to learn how to create contagious content that drives traffic to your blog and website?
My book – Blogging the Smart Way: How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media –will show you how.