Influencers are totally having a moment right now, and Pinterest is jumping in on the action. Last month, the platform launched the Pin Collective, connecting top-notch content creators with brands who need them.
Pinterest hand-selected some of its most influential content creators like: Publishers Brit + Co and Refinery29; production studios The Mill; and blogger Amanda Holstein. These influencers have experienced tremendous success on Pinterest, providing them with a solid understanding of what works on the platform and what doesn’t. They know how to style, curate and produce visual content that drives action, which ultimately makes them the ideal contractors for brands looking to drive revenue and traffic.
Pinterest jumping into the fray is even more proof that influencer marketing is becoming a crucial tool for brands. While they’re not all rushing to pay $15,000 for a sponsored Instagram post, smart companies know that word-of-mouth marketing — especially by micro-influencers — is becoming essential.
For the Pin Collective program, Pinterest is acting as the middleman, matching brands and creators. Then it’s then up to both parties to negotiate the deal directly. This creates an opportunity for marketers who are working with limited resources to find a solution that works for them.
We all know how influencer marketing works on Instagram, Snapchat, blogs, and the like — takeovers, reposts, tutorials. But what about Pinterest? It isn’t really a social network, and it doesn’t lend itself well to the influencer strategies that work well on other platforms. On Pinterest, influencer marketing is less about the influencers themselves and more about the content they create. Unlike other platforms, Pinterest users aren’t going to engage with a Pin simply because it was created by someone stylish or cool. They’ll take action because the Pin is aesthetically pleasing, interesting or useful.
There are several ways brands of all sizes and verticals can create killer influencer strategies on Pinterest. Here are three approaches:
1. Send your influencer products, and have them work their magic. This strategy works well across verticals – from apparel to home goods and even food. Influencers on Pinterest have a great pulse on how to style and arrange products for photos. They know exactly how to place every item to create a beautiful scene.
Albertsons used this strategy by working with stylist Monica Lavin for the brand’s 2016 holiday campaign. They sent her products, and allowed her to do her thing. It resulted in beautiful Pins on a board titled “Pumpkins” that has 5.1K followers and counting.
2. Ask the influencer to curate content from other creators. The beauty of Pinterest is that brands can get away with aggregating lots of content from external sources. Because the platform is a place to gain inspiration more than anything else, curating content from other brands will actually be useful to fans — not look like you’re ripping off someone else’s content.
Now, I’m not suggesting that brands link to products from competing brands. Instead, follow LOFT’s example. The brand created a “Best Summer Ever” board and included lifestyle content from a variety of sources. In fact, none of the Pins on this board (which has 51.5K followers, by the way) linked back to the LOFT website. It’s a collection of Pins that aren’t clothing related, but that inspire fans to live the LOFT lifestyle.
Aggregating enough lifestyle content to fill a Pinterest board can be a challenging task for marketers who have a lot on their plates. This is where working with an influencer comes in. Many of them are followed simply for their curation of content, so this would be a great task to put into their expert hands.
3. Task your influencer with creating original content. If you find a creator that really aligns with your brand, present them with the challenge of producing original content for you. Think: unique recipes, DIY projects or blog posts on specific topics like travel.
That’s exactly what lululemon did when collaborating with content publisher Greatist. The recipes featured on the “smoothies & snacks” board stay true to the lululemon brand, but they were crafted by a team of experts who understand what inspires foodies on Pinterest.
Identifying influencers that align with your brand can be a challenge. Sure, the Pin Collective program can help, but it’ll only help on one specific platform. For a quick, painless way to find influencers you can deploy across all channels, use Curalate Explore. Explore allows you to discover micro-influencers who are posting high-quality content about your brand and sharing it with their followers. You can search for multiple hashtags and keywords or find results by location. When you get a list of potential micro-influencers, you can review their account details and content to make sure they’re a good fit. If you find a micro-influencer that piques your interest, you can either save their information for future outreach or engage with them immediately. Learn more here.