Should You Use Pinterest for B2B Marketing? Yes or No in 5 Minutes

March 30, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Use Pinterest for b2b marketingAs a Marketing Leader, you hear Pinterest in the news.  The key question is should we be using Pinterest? Will it work for complex product/service offerings with 6+ month buying cycles?

The answer rests with the target audience of your Ideal Customer Profile.  Will your potential buyer consume content on Pinterest?  To help you make a decision, let’s break it down below. If Pinterest makes sense, you can download this guide for your next brainstorm session. 

This article is written to drive two potential outcomes:

  1. Help you identify a unique opportunity to leverage a targeted social platform to drive results.
  2. Provide you with a clear understanding that Pinterest isn’t for you.  Save staff time researching, halt any unproductive pursuit.  Either way, 5 minutes is a great investment.

Why you should care - An Executive Summary of Pinterest

 Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media networks with a 15% share of the internet users (Twitter is at 16%).  Pinterest users visually share by posting (pinning) images or videos.  The sharing is done to their own account or group ‘pin’ boards. The images users share can either be uploaded or used from a website. It’s essentially a place where you can organize anything visually appealing that you come across online.

Pinterest , Not Just B2C

B2C companies leveraging Pinterest have experienced tremendous success driving revenue.  Click-through and conversion rates can be twice as high as Facebook and Twitter. Although Pinterest thrives on visual imagery, it is increasingly being used to collect text based content. This is where blog articles and ebooks are gaining traction in b2b marketing. 

Blog articles will have at least one picture.  Posting the picture with a title and link on a relevant Pinterest board, can drive significant traffic.  This is an opportunity for B2b to demonstrate expertise and credibility in any given area. Being visible on Pinterest gives you an additional marketing channel to reach more people.

So does Pinterest have the right audience for your business?  Breaking down the recent pew Internet research study, women are about 5x as likely to be on the site as men. This is the largest swing in gender difference among any social site.  If your buyers don’t represent a high percentage of women, then Pinterest may not be for you.  

The disposable income of Pinterest users appear to be higher than average too. Additional demographic data from the study is shown below.  Use this to help decide if your buyer’s are Pinning.

Pinterest for b2b marketing demographic data

If you concluded that yes, my buyers are pinning then it’s time to start strategizing how to leverage your content marketing.

Taking Action – Leveraging Pinterest for B2B

Visual assets can be used to drive referral traffic and optimized for Lead Generation.  Set goals and experiment with pinned content to engage new users. The top goal is for users to like what you pin and re-pin it, helping your content spread virally.  This ensures that your content reaches additional potential buyers, who might not otherwise have been exposed to your usual marketing channels.

Here are top B2B tips we have seen used successfully in B2B

Top B2B tips to get you started

  1. Identify areas of interest on Pinterest that would resonate with your buyer.
  2. Post your eBooks, whitepapers, infographics and webinars. A great example is Hubspot's Pinterst page here.
  3. Research what B2b companies in your industry or related industry are doing now.
  4. Post company events, community projects or work you’re doing.
  5. Engage your fans and share their content. Just like you do on Facebook and Twitter, have conversations to make your fans feel special.
  6. Display your Products or Services (Another great example by Hubspot here).
  7. Include keywords from your research intertwined with the content you’re posting.
  8. Promote your pinned content on other social channels.
  9. Write ‘how to’ guides that deal with common problems your ideal customers encounter, providing them with real value
  10. Measure your traffic and leads. Don’t just measure the source; track everything you are doing on the boards to know which pin works.

Download the complete list of tips and ideas here.

Key Takeaway:

Pinterest marketing can be valuable to B2B companies but first you must find out if your buyers use it.

  • The first point is to find out if your buyers fit the Pinterest demographics. 
  • Next, you must have the right content to promote that will generate leads.

Several ideas are listed here.  As always when first launching into new marketing channels, you must test, experiment, set goals and measure.  Be smart about how you prioritize your marketing initiatives and the specific benefits this new social network can provide to your business.

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Topics: Lead Gen, Marketing Resources

Posted by John Koehler

John Koehler
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