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Despite stalled growth in China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of newly middle-class travelers from the BRICs and beyond will start visiting international destinations in the coming decades — dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen thus far.
Pinterest gets less visibility as a social media marketing strategy, and travel brands need to learn and leverage the big female-skewing userbase in better ways.
Pinterest is keeping us on our toes and releasing new features to its site that enhance the context of each individual pin.
But can tourism and DMO’s utilize these new, shiny pins?
We’ve had a chance to play with them a bit, and take in the question.
Effective tourism marketing is highly visual. Reading about a vacation spot is nothing like the impression left after seeing photos. Pictures make it tangible: You can see yourself there, taking in landmarks, dining at restaurants, walking down streets and experiencing attractions. These are all the things that simply must make it onto your travel itinerary.
Pinterest is a highly visual medium. So if tourism marketing is visual — and Pinterest gives you a way to catalogue all that prettiness — it sounds like a match made in heaven to us.
Recently, Pinterest saw fit to bless us with five new types what it’s calling “Rich Pins.”
These Rich Pins allow users to associate context with photos, and therefore we see a new opportunity for an improved marketing strategy.
Rich Pins: Giving Photos Context
Below, we’ll get into detail about what each of these new pins are and what opportunities they present. But first, an explanation of what Rich Pins are:
There are six different kinds of new Rich Pins: Place, Product, Gift, Movie, Article and Recipe Pins. Rich Pins provide more information than a regular pin. Instead of a picture with a caption, and only that, Rich Pins include more detailed (meta) information, depending on the photo’s content. So, for the first time, we’re able to really categorize photos, making the user’s experience richer, and increasing our ability to target messaging more finitely.
What it is
Place Pins provide an obvious tourism marketing benefit, because they let you map out destinations and identify places you’d like to go or places you’ve been; both essential for trip planning or post-trip sharing. In fact, we’re crushing so hard on the Place Pins that we talked about it in a previous blog post.
Place Pins enable pinners to view your points of interest on a map. For example, let’s say you already have a Pinterest board with some of the great restaurants in your city. With Place Pins, now you could make that board into a map. Potential visitors can look at the restaurant recommendations that are close to their hotel and any destination within the city. It provides more information and more context for the visitor to explore.
Above is an example of Visit San Antonio’s great restaurant Pinterest board. It’s well fleshed out, has a lot of followers and fantastic captions that are really engaging. But what if that same board consisted of Place Pins? Take a look at the Chicago Pork & Whiskey Tour Pinterest boardfrom Thrillist directly next to the Visit San Antonio board. This board provides much greater context and information for the user, with a minimum amount of additional admin effort.
Sell Your Pins With Product Pins
Another addition to the Pinterest pin family is the Product Pin. Product Pins allow you to give product details, like pricing, availability (in stock/out of stock), and where to buy the product directly on the pin itself, instead of forcing pinners to take the extra steps of having to visit a website or search the web for more product information. Users can now peruse the brand’s Pinterest page just like they would the brand’s website and pick the items that they want.
How to Use It
The implication of the Product Pin for retailers is a little obvious, it’s a great way for users to learn about their brand and to purchase products. But as tourism marketers we ask, how can this be used for us?
Tourism consumers are shopping for a vacation. So to get the most from your Product Pins, we suggest using them to market four different types of “products”:
- Hotel packages
- Attraction ticket packages
- Event hotel/ticket packages
- Vacation travel deals
Potential visitors could add the travel package to a Pinterest board as they decide and plan on their vacation. That way, when they decide to commit and book the trip, they have the travel package saved on their Pinterest board, updated costs and all.
You can also enable your Product Pins to show up on the Gift Feed, located within Pinterest under the menu options. Giving someone a life experience, not just a thing, is something special. If people can see your event or vacation package while they are perusing for gift ideas, it could be just what that consumer is looking for. The Gift Feed also includes a few price filters so you can find something for every budget. $$$$ means the price is greater than $200, $$$ means the price is between $50-$200, $$ means the price is from $25 to $50 and $ is anything less than that.
Promote your content and events with Movie Pins
What it is
The new Movie Pins now include ratings, cast members and reviews to learn about new flicks. This is great for websites like Netflix and RottenTomatoes whose primary product is information about movies.
How to Use It
But for tourism, we see it is as a way to increase publicity about tourism videos, video contests and any film festivals coming to your area. Explore your current content, like Youtube or Vimeo videos that you could share using the Movie Pin and then look for future opportunities with events or related tourism videos.
Improve Content Marketing With Recipe Pins
Recipe Pins on Pinterest used to contain a ton of confusing, unorganized information into the caption of a pin which usually meant clogging up user’s Pinterest feeds and annoying everyone.
But now, you can click the new Recipe Pins and have the ingredients, cooking times, serving info and instructions all organized neatly into the pin itself.
How to Use It
Just like with the Movie Pin, we think the Recipe Pin is a great way to enhance content marketing. If there’s an upcoming foodie festival, you can help market the event using the new pin. Or, for general promotion of some great local eateries. If there is a local distillery or brewery in your tourism area, we think it’d be neat to use the Recipe Pins to showcase some delicious mixed beverages for your audience’s libations. Get creative and have some fun working these new pins into your marketing and promotion.
What It Is
The Article Pin is our favorite for content marketing. The pin will now contain the headline, author and story description to help pinners find and save stories that matter to them.
How to Use It
Many, if not most, tourism organizations are host to some sort of blog, and the Article Pin is a great way to reach a larger audience of a particular blog post.
Enabling Article Pins on your website allows people to engage with your blog more and increases your credibility as an information source. This will increase the number of repins and as a result, an increase to the number of visits to your site.
Bringing it All Together
Many of the new Rich Pins have obvious target uses for specific marketing audiences. For tourism marketers, it’s about getting creative. Find innovative, unexpected ways to use these new features and you’ll be praised for it by your peers, and loved for it by your travelers.
What’s Next for Pinterest?
Pinterest is always looking for ways to improve the user experience and expand the offerings for businesses. Just like with Twitter, Facebook and now Instagram, Pinterest will soon offer Promoted Posts where advertisers can pay for more exposure for their pins. The user experience is top priority for the people at Pinterest, and they assure us that promoted pins won’t hinder the use of Pinterest.
Pins will be tasteful, transparent, relevant and will improve based on your feedback. Pinterest wants to present the user with promoted pins that they actually want to see, which is also great for the advertiser. Just like the user, businesses don’t want the user to see their ad if they won’t be interested in it. They’d much rather be paying for views and clicks from folks that are likely to purchase their product or service.
Pinterest has begun experimentation with the promoted posts, so you might start seeing that in your personal feed. You can also request to learn more about the promoted pins, but you likely won’t hear back until they are ready to do further testing.
This post was first published on Aria’s blog. It is used with permission.