Pinterest for your brandLast week I had the opportunity to listen in on a webinar from the Content Marketing Institute, “Understanding Context: Deliver the Right Content to the Right Channel.” Joe Pulizzi of CMI and Jason Thibault of Limelight Networks both dug into one really important topic: creating content channels that meet the right audience at the right time on the right device (and sometimes in the right geographic location).

While there were a lot of lessons packed into the webinar, one really hit home for me: don’t try to pull your social media followers out of the platform.

In the early days of social media marketing, everyone tried to use Facebook as a way to get Facebook users on their website. Twitter was nothing more than a vehicle to rocket users from the Twittersphere back to the blog.

Fortunately, there are some brands on Pinterest, who are not operating with this flawed content strategy.

Using Pinterest as a glorified catalogue is a bad move. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe… but people really aren’t on Pinterest just to find their way to your online catalogue. It seems they’re actually more interested in… well… being on Pinterest.

These four brands get it

#1 Peugot

A lot of social media marketing gurus love Peugot. So, if you’ve already been directed to their Pinterest page, I apologize. It’s just too good not to highlight.

Peugot Biggest Things Board

Peugot has five boards featuring the Peugot Boxer, and the first board contains nothing but the logo. The main attraction here is, of course, the “biggest things” board, in which Peugot offers comic suggestions about everything that you might fit into the roomy interior of the Boxer. This board – which has nothing to do with Peugot – has 43 pins. The “Peugot Boxer features” board, on the other hand, has only 10 pins.

Great move! While people may not re-pin a picture of the Boxer’s driver’s seat, they definitely will re-pin a picture of the world’s largest dog. When these images get re-pinned, Pinterest users get a little dose of Peugot in their daily lives. Peugot has five more board series that function in a similar way. Definitely look to this brand for more great content marketing strategies.

#2 L.L. Bean

Who has nearly 4.8 million followers on Pinterest? L.L. Bean does. A little Pinterest homepage promotion helped them out, but that certainly doesn’t mean L.L. Bean’s success is unmerited.

L.L. Bean is a lifestyle brand if there ever was one: Made In the U.S.A., Boots, Camping, Woodland Creatures, Rustic Living… all L.L. Bean fans love this kind of stuff (or at least they pretend to). The ‘Rustic Living’ board pictured above is a great way to capture the interests of L.L. Bean fans and get them engaged in the brand without pushing a catalogue.

#3 Benjamin Moore

How do you sell paint on Pinterest? If you’re Benjamin Moore, you definitely don’t create boards of paint swatches. You leave that to your website. Benjamin Moore gets Pinterest. They aren’t linking to their catalogue; instead, they’re creating beautiful boards that anyone with an interest in design and style can appreciate.

Benjamin Moore Pinterest

Check out their “chalk it up” board. This board is a great example of how your social media marketing team should be meeting customers where they are. Benjamin Moore is riding the Pinterest chalk paint wave for all it’s worth. And, when you do decide to buy chalk paint, the name Benjamin Moore is already in your head. Much more effective than pinning a bucket of chalk paint with a link back to your online store, wouldn’t you agree?


HGTV is the kind of brand Pinterest was made for. No wonder they have a quarter of a million followers. However, you can tell that the content marketing team behind HGTV works hard to produce those numbers.

HGTV Pinterest

From DIY projects and tips to party food and cocktails, HGTV has boards to cover just about everything. If I can find one fault with the brand, it’s that they can be a little too self-promotional with their pins. However, unlike other consumer goods companies, HGTV isn’t linking back to a product; they’re linking back to quality content on their own site(s).

Pinterest & Content Marketing

The bottom line is this: Pinterest users are on Pinterest to explore Pinterest. Simple, right? Don’t let your social media marketing team treat it like an “interactive catalogue,” because it’s not. Explore creative ways to use the platform like these four brands, and keep telling yourself, “What happens on Pinterest stays on Pinterest.” Your efforts will pay off, and the results will ripple out into your revenues!

For more examples of brands killing it on Pinterest, check out How Big Brands Are Using Pinterest.