This is the first installment of our Reach Expansion Final Four series for this month. For the purpose of today’s post, we will discuss why you should consider utilizing Pinterest as a way to increase traffic and sales.

pinterest pinboard

Since its founding in March 2010, Pinterest has captured the attention of many individuals across the web. Featuring a clean interface and personalized content, this pinboard-styled photo sharing website has become yet another popular social media avenue with a lot of potential. In fact, Pinterest catered to roughly 11 million visits each week in December 2011 alone. After generating so much hype and popularity among users, it’s no wonder that marketers such as ourselves yearn for a chance to harness that traffic. For that exact reason, the staff here at PPC Hero felt obligated to include this in our Final Four series this year.

How Are People Using Pinterest?

Like any social media website, Pinterest is a place where people can connect and interact with one another. However, unlike the traditional Facebook or Twitter experience, the content is primarily visual and easy to digest. As one user described it:

“I love Pinterest because it’s like receiving a whole bunch of magazines without the additional clutter and costs. There are so many great ideas and recipes, and it’s all organized on the computer so I can access my favorites anytime.”

In this way, Pinterest acts as a digital pinboard where users can post high-quality images of recipes/crafts/projects and show off their creative side to others. Aside from having the ability to post your own content, you can also “pin” content from other users to your own boards and organize them as you wish. The end result is something like a tamed down version of the Display Network.

Is Pinterest Worth My Time?

As account managers, we’re constantly looking for ways to optimize not only our traffic, but our time as well. This is why asking yourself this question becomes particularly important; is it worth my time? To answer this question correctly, you will need to consider two things:

  • Merchandise – Consider Pinterest’s top categories like fashion, weddings, recipes, room décor, and do-it-yourself crafts for example. If your product(s) align with any of these categories then spending some time signing up for Pinterest would probably turn out to be time well spent.
  • Customer – A recent infographic provides some useful demographic data to consider as well. The gender breakdown shows that 68.2% of Pinterest users are female. Another statistic reveals that 50% of users have children. Once again, if your product aligns with a Pinterest category then you may want to read on.

How Can Pinterest Contribute To My Advertising Campaigns?

Although Pinterest wouldn’t be considered part of the paid search family (AdWords, adCenter), it currently lends itself more as a great branding tool that can help generate additional traffic and awareness. Who could argue with some free brand exposure and a boost in pageviews?

More importantly, Pinterest can also supplement your revenue growth as well. Here’s an example to help illustrate: User A is looking for a new pair of basketball shoes and wants to know what’s in style. He then decides to hop on Pinterest to look for ideas and check out what his friends are wearing. Along the way, he comes across an image of some nice Nikes that User B posted and proceeds click on the link associated with the image. User A is then re-directed to the Nike website and notices that the shoes are exactly what he was looking for, so he makes the purchase.

In this way, Pinterest can certainly contribute to additional sales. However, as with any third tier platform, success will vary. I came across an interesting article today that described it well:

Becca Bijoch does public relations for the Minneapolis store Creative Kidstuff. Often the physical store will feature online ads and Pinterest promotions. Soon the company website will feature Pinterest buttons. So far, the campaign has yielded about 150 extra page views directly from Pinterest and two direct sales. Not astounding, but that’s only after using the site for about 30 days.

As you can see, Pinterest certainly has the potential to help supplement revenue for your advertising campaigns. Run promotions, connect with others, encourage user interaction. It’s probably safe to say that not every visit will result in a completed sale or conversion, but you’re nonetheless building awareness around your brand that could end up generating results down the road. Why not give it a shot?

Feel free to leave any comments below, thanks for reading.