Our friends at Full Tilt recently shared their thoughts on the future of Pinterest in 2017 and the marketing opportunities it will provide, arguing that the platform is the “top trend leader heading into 2017.” We agree - the potential of Pinterest is remarkable. Melinda Goodman at Full Tilt reports Pinterest has 100 million active users that spend on average 15 minutes at a time on the platform. An audience this large and this engaged is certainly worth noting and acknowledging.
At its core, Pinterest is a visual platform that acts as a digital mood board for consumers. Users pin content that communicates their personalities, interests, and overarching aesthetic. Brands certainly have the potential to use Pinterest to do the same. Your brand can communicate a humanized personality and create a brand experience with the pins you choose to share. When you pin frequently and engage often on Pinterest, these recurring brand experiences contribute to a more permanent and more impactful brand recognition.
Yet Pinterest is not right for every brand to dive head first into. Brands ready to make the most of this platform should have the right assets in place to shape brand perception in a positive way. Ask yourself these questions to see if you have the foundation in place to harness the power of Pinterest.
Are your visual assets up to par?
In their latest State of Social Marketing Report, Simply Measured revealed that Pinterest sees on average 130 million visual searches per month. The key word used here? Visual. Your recipe may taste great, use few ingredients, and take only 8 minutes to make, but unless the pin features a high quality, stunning photograph, it is likely the pin will be overlooked. As Goodman from Full Tilt states, “A picture is worth 1,000 words, and great photography and clear headlines get more pins.” If you have content you’d like to share on Pinterest, critically review the visual assets you have in place and consider taking new photography. Your efforts on Pinterest will go farther with a great photo leading the way.
Have you implemented Rich pins?
Pinterest has transformed into the hybrid of a social media platform and a search engine. With over 2 billion searches per month occurring on the platform, they’ve optimized the results to ensure their users value the experience. One element that the platform optimizes search results for is Rich pins. These pins include additional information inside the pin itself. For example, a photo of a recipe will include the recipe ingredients and a simplified version of the instructions directly on the pin. As Goodman reports, these pins drive an 80% higher save rate. Implementing rich pins requires coding on your website, which can consume quite a bit of time and incur quite a bit of cost. Optimize your content for Pinterest and consider choosing one or two pins (preferably those accompanied by stunning photos) to invest in developing into Rich pins.
Is your website optimized?
As Goodman reports, Pinterest creates about 5% of all website traffic from its platform, falling only behind Facebook in terms of traffic-driving potential. When all is said and done, Pinterest’s greatest value and return on investment seen by brands lies here- the traffic-driving potential. A pin that you link back to your site will live on forever, driving Pinterest users to your site each and every time the pin is saved. With so much traffic ready to be driven, you should ensure that their destination matches what they are looking for. Your website must, first, be optimized for mobile users since 80% of users access Pinterest through a mobile device. Second, your website must load quickly. Pinterest users are looking for instant results and your bounce rate will suffer if your website is slow to load. Finally, your website needs to match the brand perception you’ve created on Pinterest. Direct your traffic to an aesthetically pleasing, helpful website and you’ll see the traffic staying longer and visiting more pages. If your website isn’t ready for this kind of traffic, you may want to reconsider your time and budget spent on the platform.
Do you have a healthy budget?
Recent changes to Pinterest have created a bigger opportunity for marketers to advertise. You can now promote your pins using one-tap pins, video pins, and app pins, in addition to the original promoted pin. With the introduction of these new advertising opportunities, brands can expect to see organic reach and engagement decline. As with other social media platforms, Pinterest will reward advertisers with exponentially greater reach for pins they support with a budget. If you’d like to experience the power of Pinterest, you should consider budgeting to support your pins.
Though the impact is powerful, it’s important to weigh the investment of Pinterest with the return your brand can expect. Understand that Pinterest is crowded with branded content and your impact is completely dependent on the time and budget you allocate to it. Discovering its potential is possible when your brand has the right foundation in place.