As Pinterest grows by leaps and bounds, marketers are working on how to leverage the social media site to engage shoppers without alienating them with a hard sell message. Digiday recently recognized several brands for managing to pin interesting content and creating boards that don't feel too much like marketing. The five brands that "get" Pinterest are:
• Sephora. The high-end cosmetics brand Sephora appeals to the makeup-obsessed with boards that are useful for identifying the latest colors and styles. Pinterest users can also use how-to photographs to get the look themselves. (11 boards,
• Land's End. The keepers of the apparel manufacturer's boards ensure that the Land's End Pinterest presence is updated daily. While the brand does pin its own products, it also includes lifestyle photos that reflect the Land's End ethos. In addition, boards are created to help with gift giving ideas or other inspirations related to shopping occasions. (16 boards
, 336 pins,
• Coca-Cola. The beverage marketing giant is handling its Pinterest presence with a deft hand. The content evokes moods that reflect the brand rather than straight product information. For example, one board is called "Keep Discovering" which features a man playing hide and seek, people reading in the woods and other scenes of discovery. (5 boards,
• Gap. The casual clothing retailer subtly marries product pins with inspirational messages on boards which don't feel like marketing. For instance, one board is titled "How to Picnic" and features food and beverage suggestions as well as clothing recommendations. The information is accompanied by appealing visuals, e.g., picnic blankets on green grass. (21 boards,
• Macy's. Macy's department store is taking a similar tack with pins and boards that revolve around the hottest fashion trends. Along with pins of products, Macy's also pins inspirational lifestyle photos of beaches or other vacation spots in "The Magic of Summer" board. Another notable board is "The Magic of Timeless Style" which features photos of classic fashion icons like Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and even Kate Middleton. (28 boards
, 852 pins,
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME?
Brands need to straddle a very fine line when interacting with shoppers on Pinterest. It's difficult to get just the right balance of product marketing with lifestyle inspiration. Too much product focus and Pinterest users will be turned off; too little focus on product and the brand doesn't benefit. Taking a cue from these five brands, you would do well to use pins and boards as a way of inspiring longing for the emotions your brand delivers on as well as the occasions your brand provides solutions for. Encourage shoppers to bring their thoughts and inspirations to the table and make it a dialogue that reflects your brand. Whatever you do, don't do the hard sell push. There's no faster way to turn off shoppers in this channel.