We’ve entered an age of consumer-driven marketing — when a friend’s product endorsement is more powerful than a brand advertisement. In response, marketers are creating brand advocacy programs across every channel, from website product reviews to YouTube testimonials.
And then there’s Pinterest — a rich mine of user-generated content. Users, not brands, generate 70% of brand engagement on Pinterest. By tapping into that natural behavior, brands are extending their reach, growing audiences, and driving online sales.
Here are five ways you can inspire user-generated content (UGC) on Pinterest:
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- Pin It: If you haven’t already, add the “Pin It” buttons to your e-commerce site. Use rich pins to automatically include information like prices, availability, ingredients and reviews. And add “Pin It” buttons to your email marketing campaigns and other social channels, like Facebook and Twitter.
- Make a big deal: Showcase your most pinned items by giving them prime real estate on your website. As a result, you’ll get even more pins. Target even does this in-store!
- Crowdsource content with contests: Crowdsource Pinterest boards through Pinterest contests that prompt users to submit pins. Encourage them to submit their favorite items, create fun content, or seek out new images that meet your specified guidelines. Also, prompt users to make new discoveries — in turn, they will pin items for their friends to discover.
- Keep campaigns broad: Don’t just ask followers to repin a specific item, or an item from very narrow category, like their favorite shearling coat. Give them the freedom of choice and a chance to show off their tastes. But don’t make the CTA too complex — requiring fans to submit multiple pins or an entire board will stifle participation. Pinterest’s contest guidelines encourage you to require only one pin from entrants. Make your call for content broad enough so that followers can get creative.
- Guest Pinners: Target top Pinners in your industry — the thought leaders of Pinterest — and ask them to collaborate on boards with your brand by doing the pinning for a given amount of time. Get them to engage with your brand and give your followers unique content from a fresh perspective. You can even turn it into a contest, such as “guess who the guest pinner for this week is,” and really let the guest pinner’s style speak for itself.
Pinterest is an incredibly effective platform for engaging with your fans and using UGC to tap into their networks. Remember, consumers are already sharing the products they love. By activating them to pin your items, you’ll increase impressions, followers, and sales.