Sunday, February 26, 2012

How Pinterest can help Emerging Markets

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Pinterest
Over the last few weeks I have been glossing over the fact that Pinterest is driving much of the social traffic. It has been a site which has generated a great amount of (p)interest in the social world off the last few months & well, I was kind of lured to visit. Just as we saw a huge amount of noise created by enterprises to launch their brand pages across Twitter, Google+, Facebook - this year start seems to be devoted to Pinterest.

What is 'Pinterest' ??

The first thing that stuck me was that the site is still not officially open to all & is strictly invite-based. Not that it would be an issue as I have never heard anyone's request turned down, but I agree, its a better way to keep off some unwarranted noise.

Started by Cold Brew Labs with an intention to share images based on themes, Pinterest helps users curate images from various website using its 'Pin it' button or by uploading the image & is shared over its canvas (pin-boards). It basically is a platform where images can be shared & marketed.

While I was waiting for my request to be approved, which was done over a due course of time, I took some time off to ponder over the facts (from Mashable):

Pinterest -
  • is the fastest to reach 11.7 million unique visitors in Dec 2011 (comscore)
  • Has 10.4 million registered users (Source)
  • Averages 1.36 million users daily
  • Has 68.2% users as women
  • Has a healthy 3.6% referral topic, better than Youtube, Google+
  • Estimated unique visitors to Pinterest.com increased by 429 percent from September to December 2011. (via Monetate)
  • Top interests in the U.S.: crafts, gifts, hobbies/leisure, interior design, fashion designers/collections. (via Ragan.com)
  • Has seen 289% increase in apparel retail traffic between July - Dec'11
Looking at those stats, you're sure that it would be an interesting business proposition to put your wares on the Pinterest platform. 
 
Volkswagen USA
Have a look at Etsy or Volkswagen USA boards on Pinterest & it will be easy to gauge the kind of potential Pinterest has and it would make sense to to have your items displayed there.

And the one market that can obviously leverage on the social channels was the "Emerging Markets". Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) in those markets can certainly gain a mass following outside of their geographies by having a display over and above their own portals.

Pinterest offers a very simple way to get you onboard & start pinning (the equivalent of displaying & linking product photo).

1. Get an account. Simple go to the Pinterest site & "request for an invite". Enter your preferred email id & you should soon have a link from the team to proceed with creation of your account.


2. Create a content strategy. Gregory Pouy's presentation shall help you decide on the strategy.

3. Create Pin-boards. Login to the account & start creating pin-boards based on your product themes - Weddings, Formal Wear, Casuals, Gift ideas. It will help you manage the product lines & an easier track back.
Etsy

4. Pinning to Portal. Each image on the pin-board can be linked to your portal. Also, like this user, you might can also display the price on the pin-board & get the viewer to visit the website to transact further.

5. Promotion.  Link the pin-boards to popular social sites like Twitter, Facebook or Google+ and enterprise can achieve better mileage for their brands.

6. Feedback. Create a board where users can re-pin your products & based on the products shared, the enterprise can determine the demographics of the users & promote the range of products in a particular geography. eg. A user in the Middle-East, Asia tropical region shall not be looking to buy woolen clothing designed for colder climates. Such information can be leveraged while creating pin-boards.

I believe this are good times for the SME in the emerging markets to grab some eye-balls & create a generous fan base. With the kind of growth Pinterest is going through, it has to be part of the content strategy for enterprises in these markets to leverage it over & above the conventional portals & other social fan pages.

But yes, there have been concerns over privacy & copyrights over the images being shared which I believe would be thrashed in coming days.

Needless to say - "Go ahead...Needles are waiting to be pinned" !!!

So, do you find some of these strategies exciting?? It would be great to hear your views & learn about other successful ideas and how they are being implemented.

Let me know through comments & will be glad to engage in the conversation.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

How-to setup an Editorial Calendar for effective Content Strategy?

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Image Courtesy Stuart Miles
Writing is a wonderful art & over the time since I started to write - blog, articles, whitepapers or for that matter any content, I have found that the only way to better it, is to follow a certain content strategy. 

Your single most goal is to build content that will generate more traffic but the challenge is how-to translate that into action...
Regardless of your goals, one of the way to setup an effective content strategy that can improve over time, is to build a "Editorial Calendar". I have seen multiple templates available on the web, but having picked up few of them I have gone ahead & personalized it to suit the content that I produce.

An editorial calendar is a great way to do forward planning - research, et al for your content and also helps to keep track of your ideas, users.

Though, one of the goal that every content strategy should address is to show up on the search ranking, so have a post that has a blend of "search engine" specific keywords in title & post.

Here the glimpse my "editorial calendar" and you might want to personalize it to your requirements:

Editorial Calendar

I've divided my calendar under columns like:

Week
As I do my posts on weekly basis, the first column was to put a date/week for each content. It helps me channelize my research, thought process in the run-up to the week.

Key Goal
Its good to define your key goal at the start. It has been my experience that until you have a certain goal in mind, it would be difficult to setup your thoughts over the huge amount of noise generated on the web.

Heading
The first place where the viewer might get interested to go through your content is the "heading". This is the single most piece to attract viewers and gather a certain fan following. Also, the traffic from social channels will most probably be driven by it.

"Headings" need to be creative, suggestive or even controversial so that viewers will read further & comment too.

Have a tentative heading to start with as you might need to revisit after you have defined your keywords.

Keywords
Go through any SEO optimization techniques & the stress is to have maximum coverage of keywords. 

"Keywords" supposedly are instrumental in driving the traffic to your site from the search engines. Make sure your post, heading have a mix of them so that your page is search-engine friendly.

I make sure that my post has a good set of keywords for it to appear in the search engines & help drive first-time visitors.

Hits/Week
Once I am done with posting my content, I track the stats for a week. It helps me to analyze the content of my post - what worked & what didn't. 

A deeper analysis can reveal which channel has generated traffic - search engine, Twitter, Facebook. It is one detail that can helps you to decide which channel to emphasize for your content.

Comments
These is a very personal column that I use to deduce the judgmental errors.
It helps me in planning for my next post & I try to avoid the mistakes that could have occurred in previous posts...

And while you are here, do not forget to leave your comments. They are welcome & helpful too...