I’ve been reading a lot of articles about Pinterest lately, a relatively new site that a lot of companies and brands are using. The site allows you to pin pictures, videos, etc. that interest you, and repin things from others that you find interesting, ultimately connecting people with shared interests and tastes. As new as Pinterest is it’s ripe with possibility, if people can figure out how to avoid pitfalls. Everyone has questions, and the articles I found were not much different. Some wonder, like anyone would about a content sharing site, how do you drive revenue? Then there’s the fact that while they’re focusing on revenue they miss all the different ways things can be marketed via Pinterest. Pinterest is not a one-sided venture. It is about engagement on both sides. Few offer solutions, and that is what got my mind thinking. Without further ado, here’s my take.
Alexandra Samuel’s article focuses on “Moving Customers from Pinning to Purchase” http://bit.ly/MitTGq. In it she discusses a survey by Emily Carr University and Vision Critical focusing on the pinning habits of 500 select Pinterest users from the U.S., Canada, U.K, and Australia. The results are that more than 1 in 5 users has pinned an item that they later purchased. Correlation between pinning and offline purchase was 16% while the correlation between pinning and online purchase was only 12%. Overall, the number of people who pinned and purchased came to 21% (some purchased both online and offline). The problem here is how to drive online purchasing via Pinterest. I think every object that’s pinned should contain a link, so that when they click on it they’re redirected to the page where they can learn more about it and add the item to their virtual cart. If not that, there should be a “Buy Now” button that appears when they hover over it and that would lead to the same type of page with the item automatically added to their cart. Customers crave convenience, make it easy to purchase online and that percentage should increase.
While most focus on revenue, they miss the marketing opportunities of Pinterest. Pinterest is more than just brands or companies with Pinterest pages, it’s about individuals having pages too. Not just any individuals, prominent individuals. Rob Lightner’s How To article about pinning more than pictures with Pinstamatic on Pinterest shows that there’s more options out there and thus more opportunities http://bit.ly/KZFFk9. He mentions that text, URLs and music tracks can also be pinned. That means that Pinterest is also a place where music artists can create pinboards of their work, and in this way it’s a venue for promoting and selling tracks. Pinterest should not only partner with Spotify but partner with iTunes, or at least refer users hovering over tracks with their mouse or listening to iTunes to buy them. There could even be a message board devoted solely to concert appearances with links to buy tickets. Perhaps Pinterest could even receive a cut for purchases that came from their site. An additional way to earn revenue and market artists. The same goes for marketing artists and political candidates. Artists’ art could each contain a link to more information and where that item could be bought. Political candidates can feature endorsement quotes, pictures that represent their vision for the future, and URLs that link to videos of speeches on different aspects of their position. There needs to be more ways to cut through the clutter and reach your audience, and Pinterest is a way to do that. Not using Pinterest to market and engage customers with linkable content is a major mistake. Do the opposite, and they’ll keep coming back for more.
It’s about expanding the definition of Pinterest. What people first think of when they hear the word Pinterest is pictures pinned that can be shared. What they should think of is ways to not only drive revenue but to market and engage people, making it easier to find out more information about and engage in as few steps as possible. When something benefits both sides, success abounds. It’s possible with Pinterest, all you have to do is figure out how to reach out and grab it.