You’ve been thinking about getting your brand on (insert new channel here). How to break the ice and get a conversation going?
I tend to think in terms of three different approaches.
1. Mainstream usage, but better.
Use the channel the way everyone else is, making sure to do an A+ job, because hey it *is* your job, and you’re getting paid to create awesome, eye catching, fun (insert more on-brand adjectives here) content. it’s important to note that the brand page acts as much like a regular user as possible, which means relegating product placement and sale-sy copy to less than 20%. This tends to be the most popular route for brands, and fans easily understand and appreciate the value the brand is adding to the community.
An example of this on Pinterest:
- Recipes are huge on Pinterest, Whole Foods provides great recipes, leaving out the sales pitch.
- Healthy living is very popular on Pinterest. Whole Foods does a great job of speaking to this demographic.
- Creating collab boards, repinning, and commenting just like any other user who is interested in healthy food.
2. Turning the platform on it’s head
Use the channel in a way that was not intended by the creators, or by other users. You need to have an innate understand of #1 mainstream usage, and come at the channel from another angle. You get noticed more, and you get creative bonus points from your fans and other marketers. Sometimes this does not go well and your fans will go silent, but when there is a positive reception there is the chance for amplified exposure. Your approach is the share-worthy aspect of your presence, rather than the content you are putting out on the platform. This tends to be less popular, as it takes a real understanding of the channel paired with creativity and then on top of that the freedom to use that creativity in an offbeat way. You tend to get props from other marketers, and some brands are really into that.
- Photos are extremely long, so they show up in the feed for miles. They’re also super bright.
- When you click through from a pin to a board, scrolling down creates a great flipboard effect
3. Building a simple tool to create value
- oAuth Lyst’s Pinterest app and whenever an item you have pinned goes on sale, it will send you an email alert
- Engagement now spills over from Pinterest into email interactions as well.
- Lyst receives all data on what their users are pinning
Running sweepstakes and targeting influential users are common strategies as well, though I tend to lump that in with #1 Mainstream Useage. What else would you add to the list?