Pinterest- A Useful Marketing Tool?

Did you ever participate in “Show and Tell” in a classroom when you were a child? Well the old time classic is back, except now it’s happening online.

Pinterest’s popularity has sky rocketed in the past few months. Their traffic and user base has grown exponentially, bringing it to the attention of every digital marketer around the world. If you’re not already familiar with it, take a look and see if you can understand what the fuss is all about.

As marketers, one of the first things we ask before starting a project is, “who is our target audience?” This information is a huge factor when putting together any strategy or campaign.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the demographics behind Pinterest. In the past month, Pinterest has grown to over 10.4 million registered users and 9 million monthly Facebook-connected users. In this melting pot of users, there’s one thing that stands out: the site is nearly 80% females.


*This one sided demographic is one of the most unique factors of Pinterest and has forced many male-oriented brands to rethink their marketing strategy.


So why only women?

A recent study showed that women are more likely to take a photo of an image and share it, while men are more likely to use their smartphones to find information. Despite this study more and more males are slowly starting to use the site.

Personally what I found since using the site is the ability to coexist with the female demographic, while still posting my own personal content and interest. I’m not saying you should be posting pictures of adorable animals or what Kate Middleton is wearing for the Queens Jubilee but you should be finding common ground that both male and female users will find interesting.


*Some male-focused brands have started to gradually appear, Men’s Health has already established its presence with a strong following of male users, posting content focused around the male lifestyle and health.


How Engaging is Pinterest?

It was in 2010 that Facebook passed Google for the first time in time spent on site.

What is more telling is to compare the amount of time that the average user spends per month on the other social networks as a comparison measure of the level of engagement.
1. Facebook is the most engaging site on the planet at 405 minutes per month
2. Pinterest and Tumblr are equal in second place at 89 minutes
3. Twitter comes in third at 21 minutes
4. LinkedIn – 17 minutes
5. Google Plus – 3 minutes


So why is it so popular?

There are currently a number of sites and platforms that serve as similar social bookmarking tools. Delicious, Reddit and Digg are the most obvious variations on the concept, with tagging as the common theme that runs through each. None of which are as visual or easy to use as Pinterest.

The reason why Pinterest has taken to another level is because it appeals to some more basic human needs: the ability to browse content in a minimalist and visual way. This basic human need to feel a connection with someone by sharing a common interest is mirrored throughout the Pinterest site.


But how can I use Pinterest as a marketing tool?

Since Pinterest’s emergence as a popular social media platform, SEO’s and marketers have been asking the same question: what’s the best approach to increase both traffic and links to my site?

Of course this depends on the type of business you have and what you wish to give as an experience.
The brands that will be successful here are the ones that go beyond just using Pinterest as a storefront and use it to unite people around passion points. Of course, you’ll want to use Pinterest to drive sales (particularly if the majority of the products you sell are online). Make sure you think creatively about how you construct boards: rather than just listing products. (It is important centre on a theme!)



With Pinterest, because the mobile versions are just as simple as the web version – and because they’re based on image sharing, it’s more likely that we’ll see more retail driven activity, especially with a nation addicted to smart phones.

Also think about it the service as a whole: people, are creating mood/story boards which mostly contain pictures of products. Sure there is the odd useless pic, but sifting through the noise is not all that difficult and the number of actual products on there is staggering. To put it simply and as bizarre as it may seem… it’s a marketing tool that lets you look into the mind of your consumer.

Just like Twitter, Digg, Reddit, or any other social network, building a following is the upmost important thing. However, with Pinterest, it’s imperative that you have a following before you post any site or product related material expecting significant traffic. Otherwise you risk alienating your followers from the get go.

Once you feel you have a significant following, it’s time to start with the good stuff: viral marketing.
Before creating any viral content your marketing team should always consider the demographic of the social network they are going after.

In my opinion you have 2 options for creating viral content specifically for Pinterest.

Option 1: Simply uploading your products and hoping that they will be shared is excruciatingly time consuming and rarely will people visit your site.

Option 2: Take your time, think about the content, and create something that will force the user to visit your page.



Pinterest is an exciting site with the potential to drastically increase the number of visits to any business. Learning early on how to properly navigate the waters will be beneficial to any business. This is especially true for male focused brands that establish themselves early; this will stand them in good stead when the gender demographics start to balance and the site isn’t so female heavy.

Adding Pinterest to your inbound marketing strategy is a smart and innovative way to attract increased attention from your audience. The key to success on Pinterest is thinking up inventive and entertaining themes for your “pin boards.” So get creative and start pinning!