The best niche marketing allows brands to communicate the most appealing attributes of their products or services to the right consumers. The diversity of social media platforms makes niche marketing easier than it has ever been before. Pick any interest or hobby and there is an existing platform with a network of like-minded people to support it.
One platform that is well suited to many facets of niche marketing is Pinterest. The platform appeals to a variety of interests, such as fashion, travel, cooking, baking and design, and it is easy to segment these topics into different boards with their own set of followers.
Here are three simple steps to get you started using Pinterest to target niche demographics:
1. Identify your targets
Every marketing activity should begin with a plan, right? Start by deciding which consumers you want to engage with and create boards that fit the personalities of those individuals. Many brands have already set up their Pinterest profiles to appeal to a wide variety of consumer targets.
A great example of a company that uses Pinterest to speak to different demographics is Bloomingdale’s (right). Its profile contains a variety of fashion and beauty-related boards for its female shoppers, men’s style boards for their male shoppers, wedding pins for the prospective brides and interior design boards for consumers looking to decorate. It’s obvious why Bloomingdale’s would feature fashion and home goods because that’s what it sells. By separating its products by style, gender, season and occasion, it is able to segment followers by interest.
2. Leverage Influencers
There are tons of bloggers, celebrities and notable professionals who produce content that consumers care about. Brands can better promote their products on Pinterest by aligning with this content. It gives their marketing a cultural relevance and positions it as entertainment instead of advertising.
Bloomingdale’s shines here as well by mixing products from its website with content from celebrities and high-profile bloggers. It keeps their followers from clicking the “unfollow” button and connects their products to the content that consumers care about. Its “Fashion Photography” board features pins from a multitude of magazines, fashion blogs and designers. Including content from influencers is way more appealing than chiefly focusing on catalog shots.
3. Tie back your content to purchases
At the end of the day, Pinterest needs to have a role in sales to be a valuable component of your digital marketing plan. The best way to drive sales on Pinterest is primarily by creating boards that will peak a consumer’s interest and adding related products as a secondary focus. Followers interested in the topic will be pulled in by the most engaging content and then will be exposed to products related to their interests.
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Bloomingdale’s page does a great job of selling itself without it looking like a banner advertisement. It has a number of boards aimed at food lovers, bookworms and travel enthusiasts, which seemingly don’t align with anything that Bloomingdale’s offers. However, it is able to segment followers according to these interests, capitalize on what’s successful on Pinterest and tie-in relevant products. On its “pasta!” board, most of the pins are of pasta recipes, but there are also pins from Bloomingdales.com for cooking supplies, such as a cheese grater. The product is a perfect fit for food lovers but, arguably, a board full of recipes is more interesting and interactive than a board full of kitchen appliances.
By following the three steps above, any marketer can use Pinterest to his or her advantage. Fashion can be grouped according to style, occasion or gender; fashion bloggers can provide interesting content. Recipes can be used to sell kitchen appliances. Overall, brands can engage potential customers more effectively by tailoring products to specific target demographics.
Jaime Hoerbelt is social media strategist with Tenthwave, which ranked No. 73 on the 2012 PROMO 100. She can be reached at email@example.com.