As a B2B marketer, you might look at Pinterest with a curious eye. It is certainly a beautifully designed social network, laden with images and inspirational quotes typed in eye-catching fonts. You might browse through your personal profile envious of your B2C peers, as Pinterest drives just as much, if not more revenue per clicks than Twitter and Facebook. As you sign off and get back to work you might longingly imagine the day when you can Pinterest in your B2B marketing.
Well I have good news, my fellow B2B colleagues — that day is today. Pinterest is breaking into the B2B marketing mix. At Constant Contact, a provider of online marketing solutions for small businesses, we recently passed the 17,000 follower mark on the platform. Pinterest is now an essential part of our website-traffic generation.
Here are four ways Pinterest can be effective for marketing your B2B brand:
Find prospective leads. Pinterest is growing at an incredible rate. Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report found that the platform had a 1,047% increase in unique desktop viewers and an 1,698% increase in mobile viewers in 2012, which will allow you to find new leads on a platform that your competitors may not be on yet.
Do you happen to have overseas markets you’re trying to crack? Well you’re in an even stronger position to succeed with Pinterest, as the platform has exploded in international popularity in recent months. In June, 45% of new users came from outside the U.S.
Increase customer engagement.Much of your current customer base is already on Pinterest already, and based on the astounding revenue per click numbers, they come to the platform expecting to want something.
Even if one of your clients is on Pinterest looking for a new shirt, having a presence while they are thinking of buying plays favorably to your goals. Ultimately, Pinterest is a great opportunity to connect with buyers when they are in a buying mood.
Drive traffic back to your website. Images are effective at increasing click-thrus and engagement — and Pinterest is an image-based platform. Put two and two together and you have an equation for success.
The great thing about Pinterest is that the platform has been designed to maximize interaction with images. You don’t have to worry about whether an image is placed and formatted appropriately, as you would in your e-mail campaigns or selling materials. Pinterest has already done the hard part for you.
Repurpose content from other sites and social networks. As a B2B marketer, you have access to a wealth of content — white papers, videos, webinars, photos from events, e-mail campaigns, etc. By using a little bit of creativity you will be able to find a host of ways to repurpose them on this new and popular network.
Most of the other content you are creating has visual aspects to it. PowerPoint and SlideShare presentations have background images. Webinars and white papers often have data charts. At Constant Contact, my team takes these visuals and makes them the main aspect of a new Pinterest pin. Doing so essentially kills two birds with one stone — you have easily createable Pinterest content with which you can take advantage of the platform, and you drive more views towards content you worked so hard to create.
The days of Pinterest being an effective tool for only retail and food brands are over, and its popularity is quickly spilling into the B2B sphere. Regardless of what you sell or offer, images remain a provocative way to tell a story, and Pinterest gives you a great chance to do so immediately.
Erica Ayotte is senior manager of social media at Constant Contact, where she develops and executes strategic social business and communications programs that drive brand awareness, affinity, and conversion. She has managed marketing communications programs at several B2B technology companies. Erica has a background in content development, marketing analytics and project management. She holds a B.A. in English from Colby College.