Business-to-business brands have historically been slow to embrace social media platforms. Even as they have begun exploring LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as content marketing channels, most have yet to establish a presence on Pinterest.
As a B2B content marketer, I see Pinterest as a unique and cost-effective channel for promoting our existing content, especially since we have already invested efforts to regularly include unique visuals as part of the production process.
I recently began managing PR Newswire’s Pinterest boards and in that short time have already been able to increase generated traffic to our website.
In this two-part series, I’ll share what I’ve learned so far from this experience. However, before we jump into how to use Pinterest and monitor its results effectively, let’s start at the beginning by answering what it is and why you should care.
WHAT IS PINTEREST?
Pinterest differentiates itself from the social media pack in two significant ways:
Highly engaging visual search
Instead of focusing on conversational interaction – the cornerstones of most social platforms – Pinterest is really more of a graphic search engine with a social twist.
Users search for images based on keywords and category prompts and then bookmark resulting visuals – which automatically include a link to the associated web page – into one of their own boards.
By following other users and topic-specific boards within the platform, the user’s home feed becomes a steady stream of visual, scannable content relevant to their interests that they can also quickly re-pin to one of their own boards.
A valuable, active audience
As of April 2015, Pinterest reported over 70 million users.
Although it’s widely known as a woman-dominated service, its U.S. male user base grew 73% year-over-year in 2014, and among its users outside the U.S. the male-to-female ratio is more evenly split.
More importantly – and especially compared to other social platforms – Pinterest users are enthusiastic to share the content of others, including pins from brands.
WHY SHOULD B2B MARKETERS CARE ABOUT PINTEREST?
The obvious benefit of Pinterest is that it can help drive additional traffic to your website and content marketing campaigns.
Considering each pin generates an average of 6 website visits, the question is really, “why not promote the content that you’re already producing on this cost-effective channel?”
Extended shelf life
Pinterest can help you connect with new audiences over a longer period of time. The half-life of a single Pinterest pin is three and a half months – more than 1,600 times longer than a Facebook post.
The platform can also give new life to older content. Unlike Google, Pinterest does not give more weight to “fresh” content in its search results.
Instead, pins that are high in relevancy and popularity within the platform get a higher ranking.
Traditional news publishers are already leveraging this opportunity to resurface archived content. Lauren Krabbenhoft, social media producer at the Orlando Sentinel, puts it best: “All your archived content sitting on your site can be new again. We’re going back through our archives and trying to find content to pin; we have so much from our archives that we can go ahead and add.”
Seeing the value of visual content, Google recently announced the addition of an image carousel in its mobile search results that features Pinterest pins. Not only will your content be more visible in organic search, it will be more visual as well.
Pinterest also offers a great opportunity within the platform for organic growth of quality content. The majority of pins in the platform are re-pins. This means that once you seed your content into the site, it can generate engagement by being found and re-pinned. Plus, Pinterest’s promotional pin advertising options can provide long-lasting viral effects at a surprisingly affordable rate.
Now that I’ve won you over to the wonders of Pinterest for B2B content marketing, the challenge is making it work for you and your brand. In Part 2 of this two-part series, I offer some best practices for setting up your brand’s presence on Pinterest and how to measure its impact on your content marketing goals.
Read more tips about executing a robust content promotion strategy by downloading our whitepaper Why Content Marketing’s Really a Question of Marketing Your Content.
Author Jamie Heckler is the Senior Creative Manager at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter @jamieheckle for more #design, #PR & #marketing updates.
2 Comments on Blog Post Title
Great post. I’ve been an active Pinterest user for several years (and yeah, I’m a guy). Everything you wrote makes a lot of sense. It’s surprising that more businesses and publishers aren’t utilizing Pinterest to drive additional digital traffic.
I’m just surprised Google hasn’t bought Pinterest yet. That’ll probably happen next week.
Hi Jeff, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Personally, I’m surprised more guys aren’t on Pinterest for the visual recipe searches alone.
Google might be taking a social media break for a while considering all the issues they’ve had with Google+, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they’re currently improving their own visual search based on what Pinterest is doing.