Pinterest is an image based social network which saw phenomenal growth in 2012. Current estimates suggest Pinterest is worth somewhere between $1.5 and $2.5 billion, having so far raised $138 million. They gained 2000% growth in 2012, with comScore noted they had 28 million US visitors in December, up from 25 million in September. The secret to their success?
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.
Why Do You Need Pinterest?
Assuming you already have a blog, and a full range of social media channels as part of your marketing mix, you may be wondering the benefits of jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon. Depending on your product and target client the benefits fall into leveraging the demographics of Pinterest in order to achieve the kind of return on investment (ROI) you can’t get on any other social network.
If you are an e-commerce startup then this is where you need to be. TechCrunch has christened it “Amazon, but social.” Its true value lies in the demographics, especially for e-commerce and m-commerce companies alike, and particularly for those who sell predominantly to women. 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 reports that “a Pinterest user is 72 percent more likely to have found an item to buy on the site than a Facebook user.”
This represents a clear ROI for brands and startups alike. Pinterest users are self confessed addicts of the site, which is great for anyone looking to market to that core demographic ‘sweet spot’ of customers.
How To Use Pinterest For Marketing?
Images and authenticity is everything on Pinterest. The reason it took off as it did is because Silbermann was authentic when it came to engaging that first 5000 of users, and he made it a place where people could indulge their passions. This means using relevant, inspirational, interesting or informative images as your marketing material.
Organic growth won’t happen overnight, but if you share and re-pin images related to your brand, like fashion designer Joy Cho (83 boards, 12.4 million followers, and counting) then using Pinterest will start to generate results. Erin Hiemstra is another great example of how to build a successful business using Pinterest as source of creative inspiration as well as a marketing channel. Equally, if you invest in an analytics tool, like Pinster, (recently launched their free beta) then you can gain a greater understanding of your audience, including how and when best to engage with them. You will be glad you jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon sooner rather than later.
Image Credit: Forbes.com
Category: Startup Advice