Although only in development in 2009, Pinterest quickly grew to become one of the most popular platforms for sharing visual content. According to Alexa, Pinterest is now the 29th most visited website in the world, (13th in the U.S.) making it second only to Instagram as a visual discovery network. While less than half of online brands include Pinterest in their list of their digital marketing tools, more businesses are investing in the platform every year, particularly those in industries that rely heavily on visual appeal, such as interior design, fashion and travel.

1 - Influence Purchase Decisions

Visual content is a critical part of almost any digital marketing strategy, particularly in the case of B2C businesses. Content such as infographics and other visual presentations have been proven to have a dramatic influence on purchase decisions, and many Pinterest users rely on the platform. Engagement levels with visual media, such as the images and infographics on the virtual pin boards, are particularly high, with the majority of users having made a purchase after viewing a product presentation on the network.

2 - Use Social Selling

Many social networks have chosen to integrate e-commerce features, allowing users to make purchases directly through the network in question. Pinterest is no exception, and the new Buyable Pins feature will allow your customers to make purchases using the Pinterest app, available for devices running iOS or Android in the US. Pinterest provides its own checkout and payment system as well, and it doesn't cost anything for retailers.   

3 - Strengthen Your Brand

Appealing imagery provides a powerful way to strengthen your brand and give people something to recognize and remember you by. Best of all, you don't even need to have a particularly active profile that needs to be updated on a regular basis. You can simply populate your pinboards with as little or as much content as you like but, provided your content is useful and engaging in nature, it will eventually get noticed. Of course, Pinterest is not without its strong social element either, since it gives you the opportunity to comment on pins, particularly those where your brand is mentioned, in order to become part of a fast-growing social community. It’s worthwhile to note that 39% of retailers report that they have changed their social networking behavior in some way due to Pintrest.

4 - Increased Content Exposure

Pinterest has grown incredibly quickly to enjoy millions of views per day, and while it's certainly not up to the level of Facebook or Twitter, it is one of the most far-reaching visual platforms of all. Simply put, there are few better places to get more exposure for your visual content than Pinterest. In fact, some brands even get more traffic to their websites from the network than from Facebook. Pinterest also makes for an invaluable accessory to any blog or website that relies heavily on visual appeal, such as fashion, retail, food or travel. As Pinterest continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, the increased content exposure it affords is hard to pass up.

5 - Boost Search Rankings

Sharing your content and talking about your products on the mainstream social networks can be an effective marketing tactic, but it's not going to do much for your exposure in the search engines which are, after all, where most Web traffic originates from. However, by properly optimizing your Pinterest profile and the content you post, you can make a significant impact on the search engine results pages as well as on the website's own search engine. You can get a better idea of which keywords to target by using the automated suggestions provided when you search for a topic using the on-site search function.

Final Words

As a growing social network with a relatively unique purpose, Pinterest is a promising platform for marketers. A solid visual content marketing strategy, powered by the likes of Pinterest and Instagram, can help foster engagement with your brand and increase conversion rates. Best of all, the platform is also completely free to use, and it doesn't require anything near the time investment demanded by marketing on Facebook or Twitter.

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