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Brands Planning Ahead for Success with Pinterest

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When BrandContent met Lizzie Sibley – Community Marketing Manager for Pinterest UK – at #OiWest’15 she unveiled the secrets to a perfect pinning strategy. Here are some invaluable insights for brands, curious about launching content on the platform, straight from the buzzing epicenter of Pinterest HQ.

“Active Pinners use Pinterest to collect ideas for major life decisions”

People are pinning the things they spend the most money on, meaning that weddings, renovations, home décor, a healthy kick start and seasonality are massive pulls on Pinterest. For example, this year Christmas trended in August (!). If your brand is all about making a difference and improving the lives of your customers (and that must be nearly every product on the market), then you should be on Pinterest.

“Amateur or user generated content doesn’t work on Pinterest”

Pinterest is not Instagram and a graying picture of homemade spag bol will switch-off users, rather than get them pinning. Pinterest users are searching for aspirational and inspirational content that they can strive for, because it’s a future-planning search engine. Listicle and graphic overlay images work particularly well because it’s instantly clear what the content it is and how it will help. So, don’t think a quick on your smart phone will do. Invest time and energy creating beautiful and helpful content for your audience to share and Repin.

“Every pin is subjective”

This beautiful kayaking picture could have been pinned by an adventure brand to advertise a kayaking holiday. But those who Repin the image could have saved it to a ‘wild swimming’, or ‘colour contrast’, or ‘Alpine culture’ board. Even if the repin is off brand, the value of the share stays the same. An image is open to a thousand interpretations, making your brand more accessible to a wide and varied demographic. Take that on board internally too – repin your image to every board it’s appropriate for and alter the accompanying information to suit.

“Pins are evergreen”

If you share a picture on Facebook, it has a half-life of around 90 mins. On Twitter it’s even less, at just 20 minutes. On Pinterest, a pin lasts forever and each time a season rolls round, your content will gain new relevance and significance. If it’s well optimised, your pins will stay relevant and appear in listings so long as it answers the question of searchers.

Deleting boards and pins upsets the ecosystem of Pinterest – please don’t do it. Once deleted, it means your followers and new searchers can no longer access your content. Remember, no one looks at your profile page except you, so if your content doesn’t appear current, or if it’s too seasonal, it won’t affect how your audience interact with you. But, to keep your page looking fresh and to avoid deleting your content, drag and drop the seasonal or irrelevant boards to the bottom of your profile page.

“Answer personal questions to make your content a success”

Unlike Google, Pinterest answers questions that don’t have a direct answer, for example ‘understated autumn wedding guest outfit’. What’s more, the results are trending and localised, and curated, not computed.

“Don’t make your pins look like banners, logos or contain distracting text”

Pinterest is a personal and private space and users don’t want to feel encroached upon by hard-sell content. Branding however is welcome, but it must be tastefully done (check out GQand Film4 for a best-practice starting point).

Implement a clear Pinterest call to action button on your website, so your visitors and readers can easily ‘Pin’ your content to their boards. If well optimised, Pinterest will scrape your website for all the essential information such as page title, description and a link back.

“Men are on Pinterest”

Yeah, that stat that proves there are no men on Pinterest is officially bogus! In Japan, the number of men using the platform far outweighs the women, and in the UK there’s a swathe of trend-setting affluent men using the platform for aspirational content too.

“The metrics to measure are Repins, clicks and impressions”

Not followers.

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Sharon Flaherty

Hi, I’m Sharon the Managing Director of BrandContent. Day-to-day I oversee client satisfaction and carry out strategic client work. I work on both established financial services brands as well as challengers and love working on both. In a previous life, I was a journalist at the Financial Times and worked in-house for brands including the MoneySuperMarket Group and leading their Content, PR and Social divisions.

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