Update: Since the writing of this article, Pinterest has gone up in valuation to $2.5bn, as they’ve just raised a further $200m bringing the total to $337m.
Pinterest is the world’s fastest growing social network and thus many companies are adding Pinterest marketing to their overall strategy. Having achieved 2000% growth in 2012, with 28 million US visitors as of December, up from 25 million in September, Pinterest is achieving a trajectory comparable to Twitter a few years ago.
However, for businesses it has not been the easiest social network to get to a grip on. They recently launched Pinterest for Business, but they are still holding back on unveiling a long awaited public API.
The Hidden Value of Pinterest Marketing
According to the LA Times it is “ranked by Experian as the third-most-popular social network behind Twitter and Facebook.” Its real strength for businesses lies in the demographics. Forbes reports Pinterest is very popular with “college-educated females between the ages of 25 of 44.” Known as a ‘sweet spot’, for brands, due to their purchasing power, and prolific use of e-commerce and social networks.
Wired notes that “a Pinterest user is 72 percent more likely to have found an item to buy on the site than a Facebook user.” If you are an e-commerce company, or drive any significant amount of your revenue from these demographics, then marketing Pinterest for your business is something you are going to want to dedicate time to in 2013.
The Secret Sauce of Pinterest’s $1.5bn Valuation
It all comes down to marketing. Going somewhat against the hacker culture of Silicon Valley, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann credits marketing, not algorithms, as the reason behind the websites rapid growth.
Silbermann deployed a content marketing strategy designed to engage people who shared similar interests, and organized get togethers, both on and offline, so those who wanted to work on creative projects could do so. Thus better engaging, and successfully increasing the number of active users they had.
Pinterest has gone far since those halcyon early days. Marketing was key to the growth of Pinterest, which helped it reach its current valuation of $1.5 billion. Marketing your business through Pinterest, especially if you are targeting the same demographic ‘sweet spot’ it occupies in the social media landscape, could be an important growth strategy for your business.
How Can You Market Your Business on Pinterest?
- Great, eye catching images are key
- Written content works, within the framework of images, so ensure what you are pinning has visual appeal
- Seasonal images and content
- Contests, lists, and tutorials are all examples of strategies which work well for high ranking users and brands alike
- A fashion designer, Joy Cho (83 boards, 12.4 million followers, and counting) is a Pinterest power user which Pinterest for business customers can learn a lot from
- Images are key, but so is authenticity and passion
- Sharing real life images, like the photo of President Obama being caught by the son of a White House staffer in Spiderman’s net, can form emotional bonds between a brand and an audience
- Anything which projects humor, or a real ‘wow’ factor will go far on Pinterest
Pinterest marketing for business is an excellent way to be involved with one of the most lively social networks in the world, providing your campaign is underwritten by a desire to be as fun and authentic as the customers you are connecting with.