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Pinterest shifts marketing campaigns and expectations

This screenshot from the mobile app for Pinerest depicts a search on the platform for "Funny t-shirt." What might your customers be searching for?

This screenshot from the mobile app for Pinerest depicts a search on the platform for “Funny t-shirt.” What might your customers be searching for?

Following its launch in 2010, Pinterest grew to become relevant. The web site, which has quickly grown to an active user base of 291 million users and is available in 27 languages, centered itself around the idea of “pinboards,” which contained images of cool finds and products of interest known as “pins.”

On these pinboards, Pinterest’s active user base drives others to visit web sites with these products. Once considered a more female-centric website, Pinterest is now known for attracting a more general audience, driving money and products and sales to make it an outstanding marketing platform, if used correctly.

Businesses using Pinterest correctly are finding themselves in an advantageous position these days. For specialists like Pinterest Strategist Elreyna Jane Cale (www.byelreynajane.com), the platform has proven to be a vital tool both in presenting what her clients have to offer and making a solid case as to why the user should be interested in what’s being presented. Cale, a social media manager for various small businesses, trained herself in Pinterest via self-paced courses and purchased coaching sessions from other strategists and has since centered a good portion of her strategy model around the Pinterest platform.

“Pinterest is a search engine where people actually come into the platform ready to check out what you can offer,” Cale said. “However, the platform isn’t aggressive but is more about touching the emotion side of the audience and focusing more on user experience. Pinterest is more about planning and lifestyle, which appeals to the audience more.”

And perhaps this is the secret sauce that has boosted Pinterest as a platform and brought it a steady stream of success since it broke out in 2011, snagging accolades along the way. Pinterest found a way to be a nuanced catalog that users would want to visit, browse through, and click web links to products that complemented the lifestyles they were working to build.

Cale

Cale

For content creators and strategists like Cale, the platform also provided a growing toolset with features like automation and video that have come in handy. “There’s a long shelf life for your content and it runs on autopilot for free,” said Cale, who also noted that strategists still have to make a continuous effort to tweak their Pinterest strategy until they hit momentum. 

Pinterest may not reflect the most overwhelming, high-end marketing campaign that money can buy for a business, but it can offer some of your audience what other kinds of marketing can’t: instead of it being your idea to find them, they use Pinterest to find you because it was their idea. This isn’t the equivalent of buying a Super Bowl ad spot, as much as finding a neat curio in someone’s house at their cocktail party and asking the host about it.

Marketing on Pinterest usually isn’t as simple as putting up a few images and waiting for the money to roll in, Cale said. “You have to put in the effort of tweaking your strategy over and over until you hit momentum,” she said. Experience as a searcher on Pinterest and being part of the digital community can help when trying to use it for marketing. Cale said she uses the site to search for resources to improve her skills.

Pinterest, if played well, represents a powerful weapon in a marketing arsenal, and could be worth looking into for your business. Sign up for free and start experimenting with your pinboard from there. Success with Pinterest might not happen overnight, but if it draws more and more people in to casually see what you have on offer, then the battle’s already won.

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