Hi everyone! My name is Paige and I’m the gal behind Studio Bicyclette, a boutique creative and educational studio that aims to inspire and help brands and businesses find their magic, style their brand and tell their story. After connecting with Meagan recently and bonding over a mutual love of Pinterest (naturally!), we realized there was a lot of crossover between our content and decided it would be fun to share some of our respective knowledge with each other’s readers. So here we are!
In my own business, I admittedly spend a lot of time on Pinterest, building up my own brand-aligned content on my account but also using the platform for a number of different purposes beyond simply gathering inspiration. Though it is essential to my behind-the-scenes creative process of developing visual strategies and creating content for my clients, I also believe it can be such a powerful platform to showcase your own visual point of view and strengthen your brand. When it comes to your brand, your intention for every touchpoint — website, social media platforms, newsletters, brand imagery, etc. —should be for them to visually communicate your brand style and story, allowing your audience to gain a clear understanding of what your brand is all about. And I believe Pinterest is a powerful tool to help you do just that if you think of it as an extension of your overall visual strategy.
So of course that begs the question — what is a visual strategy, exactly?
A visual strategy provides the framework within which to communicate the visual aspect of your brand — or essentially, how it looks and feels. By creating a signature visual style, you have the opportunity to capture people’s attention and create a recognizable brand, so I believe it’s essential to spend the time developing your own visual strategy and then making sure you apply that across all your brand touchpoints. And yes, that includes Pinterest, of course!
Let’s dive in into how exactly your visual strategy is going to show up on Pinterest. Below you’ll find an outline of five ways you can use Pinterest to strengthen your visual strategy, and I’ve also created a downloadable workbook for you, so you can walk through this process for your own brand as well. Find that here!
Your brand style and story.
This is essentially your “elevator pitch” of what you do and why you do it, capturing the essence of your brand and what you stand for in no more than a few sentences. You probably have a pretty good idea of what this is, but how does it show up on Pinterest? Pay attention to the tone words you use to describe your business and how you want it to look and feel, and then keep those in mind when you’re pinning content, making sure it’s aligned.
So say I’m a florist and I describe my brand style and story as “A non-traditional boutique floral company specializing in wild and whimsical designs, embracing the beauty in imperfection and a subtle elegance with a touch of bohemian boldness.” When I’m spending time on Pinterest, I’m using this as my filter and a guide, pulling out specific words, like non-traditional, wild, whimsical, beauty in imperfection, subtle elegance, and bohemian boldness, and hunting for content that aligns.
Your brand personality.
Similarly, I want you to think through what the personality of your brand is, thinking outside the box and having a little bit of fun with it. I have 10 questions to get you started, which will help you develop a brand profile, identifying and embracing the quirks and contradictions that make your brand stand out as you think about it a little more abstractly. And with questions that involve cocktails and ideal outfits, you can start to see how this content is so perfect for Pinterest and will give you a good basis to further showcase your brand style.
One thing I always urge my clients to do when they’re pinning content during the inspiration-gathering stage is to use the comment fields on images to jot down why they are pinning something and narrow in on how it ties into their brand and its’ personality. Not only is this a great exercise to do for your own exploration, it also helps to develop a language around your brand and comes in handy for SEO too!
Your content categories.
One of the things I always do with my clients when we’re developing a brand, visual or social media strategy is to identify 3-5 main content categories that they use across their platforms to help provide direction and give a little more structure to their content. These same content categories can also be used on Pinterest, and are great to keep in mind when you’re coming up with board ideas as well. They’ll showcase the type of content you create and share, and help establish you as a resource and an expert in those areas.
So going back to our florist example, perhaps my content categories are based on the primary services I offer — wedding design, floral installations and DIY workshops. I would then aim to have a Pinterest board that represents each of these, focusing on pinning content that is aligned with the work I do (or wants to be doing) in these three categories, style-wise. With a mix of aspirational and educational content (ie. tips and tricks), this is a great way to start to attract the right audience.
Your brand colours.
This is a fairly simple one, as it really just involves making sure your brand colours show up as much as possible in your Pinterest content. This doesn’t mean that every single photo has to include or be limited to those colours, but by making sure they pop up regularly in your feed, it’ll help to create that tie back to your brand through colour consistency.
Specific brand-related details.
I’m all about the details when it comes to crafting a visual strategy and creating content, and Pinterest is such a good place to start to pull in details that you want to be associated with your brand. An extension of your brand style and story, your brand details are really more about the specific way that these show up.
Go back to your brand tone words and then dive a little deeper — so some of my florist details may be bright, bohemian clothing, hints of sparkle, textured backdrops, and lots of greenery. These all relate back to my brand but are more concrete examples that are likely to show up in photos that I’ll find on Pinterest. And keep in mind that you don’t have to stick with content that represents exactly what you do. Instead, look for outfits, decor inspiration, recipes and cocktails, graphic design samples, designed quotes, product styling, etc. that incorporate elements of what your brand stands for.
And that, my friends, just about sums it up for now. I hope you’ve found this useful and can use some of these tips to help strengthen your own brand and visual strategy on Pinterest. Don’t forget to download the workbook for yourself!