Pinterest Is Made For The Promo Products Industry. If…


Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

Unless you’re Rip Van Winkle and have slept through the last 20+ weeks since Time magazine named this site to its 50 Best Websites of 2011, you’ve at least heard of Pinterest—the online pinboard-style social photo sharing website. I love, Love, LOVE Pinterest. And while I’m currently only using it for personal pinboards (you can check them out here), I’m about to kick my Pinterest for business into high gear.

Judging from the number of industry peeps that have begun following me on Pinterest in the last several weeks, I’d say there is definite interest. But it seems like many are unsure about how to use this visually stunning service. They are creating profiles but have yet to pin anything, taking a wait-and-see-how-everyone-else-gets-started approach.

Well it’s time to get off the sidelines and get in the game, my friends. And here’s why. To illustrate the point, the folks over at Modea have crunched the numbers, and have put together a very Pinterest-ing infographic, in true Pinterest style, of course. I think you’ll like what you see:

  • There’s an average of 1.36 million users every DAY.
  • Annual household income tops $100K.
  • Time spent on site is nearly 16 minutes, that’s almost four minutes more than session time on Facebook.
  • Total unique visitors have increased 2702.2% since May 2011.

All this while the site has been in beta mode. Just think what will happen once it opens up to everyone.

Why is Pinterest so captivating, and why should businesses be taking note? Modea sums it up perfectly:

“As marketers are scrambling to discover how to best leverage the new channel, one thing has become clear: The power of Pinterest lies in the fact that it transforms every one of its users into a personal curator of content at the click of a button. The visual nature and simple experience is a great fit for brands that want to be an organic part of their customer's social lives. Pinterest provokes a resurgence of web site referrals, which have been trending downward since the advent of other social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest is the new digital doorway to your brand and you're no longer the gatekeeper.”

Have I piqued your Pinterest yet? So how can businesses use Pinterest to their advantage as a marketing tool?

One of the best articles on the subject is from those brainiacs over at Copyblogger. “56 Ways To Market Your Business On Pinterest” is a comprehensive, tell-all guide to getting it done. Start at No. 1 and work your way down the list.

Not surprisingly, the folks over at Social Media Examiner have also penned on the subject, with “26 Tips For Using Pinterest For Business.” Between the two, you’ll be pinning like a pro in no time.

Another cool article on the subject is from 12 Most, a site with “savvy smartitude for busy professionals in 12 most easy-to-digest list posts that mean business.” The article "12 Cool Reasons Pinterest Could Work For B2B" is the “why” to complement the previous articles’ “how.”

You may also want to check out Inc. magazine’s post “9 Tips: Boost Your Business With Pinterest.” Pay close attention to “No. 7: Promote More Than Products.” Our industry doesn’t need to do anything to augment the “trinkets-and-trash” reputation that in some circles is still in place.

And I’d be remiss not to mention Hubspot in a list of references. These guys do such a great job educating that you won’t want to miss the 43-page free ebook How To Use Pinterest For Business.

Finally for those pinners with some experience, the article “20 Awesome Tools Which Will Have You Pinteresting Like A Pro” from The Next Web has some über-cool apps for adding Pinterest to your Wordpress blog and email signature. You can also check your influence on Pinterest and evaluate the analytics to see what pins are most successful at getting clickthroughs.

I know my powers of persuasion are working on you, and you can’t wait to join the Pinterest party. WAIT.

Everything I’ve said up to this point will only work IF we, collectively as an industry, do one thing: Get better photography.

Yep. I’m saying it. The vast majority of photography in our industry sucks. A lot. But don’t shoot the messenger. I’m saying this because I care. It’s time for some tough love.

Look at catalogs from retailers such as Victoria’s Secret, Harry & David and Williams Sonoma. What do you see (other than amazing supermodels, perfect pears and kitchen gadgets that you can’t wait until Christmas to get)? Amazing imagery.

These retailers get it. They are showing you the lifestyle you could have…if you just purchased their products. Composition. Lighting. Style. That’s what sets apart the ordinary photo from the extraordinary image that is so compelling that the viewer must click on it to learn more.

It kills me how we devalue our advertising medium by incorrectly showcasing it visually. Promotional products are a visual medium! Why aren’t we giving the products—and ourselves—the respect we deserve?

Do we want to be known as trunk-slamming, tchotchke-slinging advertising want-to-be’s? Or do we want to be considered viable, contemporary and successful promotional professionals? I’m voting for the latter.

One of the first steps is to change how we present ourselves to the world. And it’s an easy fix. Hire a photographer. Not a good photographer. A great one. Invest the money. This is your image we’re talking about—and in advertising, image is everything.

So while I believe Pinterest is tailor-made for our wonderfully creative industry, it will only work IF we create photographic content that is truly worthy of pinning.