When it comes to marketing, there is no question about the power of visual elements. When Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for a billion dollars, CEO Mark Zuckerberg invited brands to create profiles for their products and services, and in doing so he underscored the importance of social media engagement through images. A few years later, when Zuckerberg rolled out more video posting and sharing options within Facebook, he predicted that videos would soon replace the traditional combination of pictures and text, but this has not happened thus far, and marketing industry analysts do not think it will happen in the near future.
With about 335 million active users, Pinterest does not have the prominence of Facebook or Twitter, but it does have a very interesting statistic: Nearly 90% of Pinterest users visit the network specifically to look for images of stuff they are thinking about buying. This is known as purchase intent in the worlds of sales and marketing, and it is not something that can be said about any other social network unless you count Etsy, which is actually an e-commerce platform that happens to have social media features. For retailers that sell goods, the marketing potential of Pinterest should not be overlooked, particularly because the network has added new and interesting features over the last couple of years.
In case you are not familiar with Pinterest, here are a few things you should know about this social network. Development of Pinterest started in 2009; the original intent did not involve e-commerce, but it organically turned out as such because there were may Etsy fans among the first contingent of users. By 2012, it was clear that many members of the Pinterest social network were interested in looking at images of things they wanted to buy, and this is when business accounts were created. Not surprisingly, quite a few Pinterest users are women interested in beauty, fashion, decoration, jewelry, crafts, and household items.
Pins and pinboards are at the heart of Pinterest. A pin is an item with an image that points to website content; pins can be uploaded or posted by means of the Pinterest button, which is essentially a browser extension. There’s also the Pinterest mobile app, which is often described as being superior to the Facebook and Twitter apps. Most Pinterest users explain that online shopping is their main motivation for participating in this social network; however, Pinterest can be used for just about any purpose. An astronomer, for example, can create separate pinboards consisting of research articles on black holes, quasars, and Earth-like planets; as long as the content has at least one image, a pin can be easily created and placed in a pinboard.
Using Pinterest for Internet Marketing
If your business is in the retail sector, it will definitely be served well with a Pinterest account. You can even set up your Pinterest presence as an e-commerce store if you wish to do so, but most companies use this social network purely for marketing. In essence, the strategy you should follow on Pinterest boils down to four aspects:
* Content Distribution: A fashion boutique, for example, can increase promotion of products by adding a Pinterest sharing button on its website.
* Educating Customers: Let’s say the aforementioned boutique publishes blogs along with images of the apparel it sells. Making these blog posts a pin is a tactic that many businesses have adopted on Pinterest, and it can go a long way in terms of getting prospective and existing customers interested in your products.
* Increase Website Traffic: You may have already noticed that Pinterest appears very prominently on Google search results. This reason alone should prompt you to create a Pinterest account for your business.
* Build a Community: This will not happen overnight, but it is worth dedicating time and effort towards engaging your Pinterest followers. You may want to consider retaining the services of a digital agency for this.
Similar to Instagram, Pinterest is a social network where the quality of the images you share are crucial to your success. Here’s an example of a Pinterest page with stunning photos; it is for an online marketplace for jewelry, and it has various thematic pinboards. This is how you want your company Pinterest page to look like.
Achieving Pinterest success is easier if you already have an account in other social networks such as Facebook or Twitter because you can invite your existing followers. You will also learn that your competitors are already on Pinterest; if this is the case, you will have to pay attention to what they are doing so that you can learn from their actions.