Crowdsourcing Tips for Marketers on Pinterest
So far, Pinterest has been social media’s golden child in 2012. In case you’re unfamiliar, Pinterest funtions like an online pinboard, where users can share and discover their interests by “pinning” visual content on theme-based boards (see Crowd Creativity’s pinboards here). Users can upload images and videos directly to Pinterest or they can pin images and videos from websites using a special “pinmarklet.”
Pinterest has blown up over the last year with unique visitors to the site increasing by 155% between December 2011 and January 2012. Although its hype has allegedly peaked, businesses continue to use the social networks to creatively market themselves to online audiences and many marketers have already made their mark on the platform and pinning has proven particularly success for online retail outlets, fashion companies, and photographers.
In using Pinterest, effective pinboard marketing can follow many of the same best practices as creative crowdsourcing as both practices invite consumers to visually contribute to and interpret a brand’s storytelling.
Below are three lessons for crowdsourced advertising that our team has gathered over the last few years that we think might benefit eager marketers on Pinterest.
1. Understand how your brand fits into lives of your fans.
When crowdsourced ads, particularly video ads, it’s important to identify the relationship a brand has to the everyday stories of its fans and customers. Your goal is to remove barriers to participation in order to make your campaign as inclusive as possible. Similarly, Pinterest provides a great opportunity to solicit visual interpretations of a brand’s lifestyle from customers. But, in order to be effective, marketers need to the right questions to ask, the right challenges to pose. What’s particularly “visual” about your brand? In what ways to customers integrate your brand into their day-to-day?
2. Be aspirational, not technical.
Crowdsourcing campaigns are about the deliberate loosening of control over your brands message in order to permit customers to own a larger stake. Occassionally, marketers may feel compelled to list a litany of technical requirements or specifications that participants must follow. But getting too technical can thwart your fans from contributing images or videos and cause marketers to miss that rich collection of user-generated visual assets that they were seeking. While some requirements are unavoidable, do you best to focus on a feeling, a value proposition or a concept with which anyone can identify.
3. Draw insights that can inform creative strategy or brand positioning.
Many brands crowdsourced video and design not only to generate engaging content, but also to gather insights from their biggest fans and talented creative minds. But before incentivizing the crowd to produce work, it’s important that marketers understand how those insights will be actionable and determine what will constitute a meaningful and actionable insight. Similarly, pinboards can be a great forum to receive rapid feedback on a prototype design of a new product or marketing campaign or research the latest trends of their industry. Another great example would be using Pinterest as a targeted sample to determine the most impact entries of a recent video contest. The important thing is to consistently be experimenting, juxtaposing media for new ideas and openly inviting input from both customers and non-customers alike.
Interested in learning how crowdsourcing can work for your brand? Download our white paper, “Crowdsourcing Your Social Video Solution” to learn more.