Rethinking Pinterest, Getting Beyond Visual Inspiration

Simply put, Pinterest leaves marketers dumbfounded.

According to a study about Pinterest benchmarking by Pinsights, an analytics platform for Pinterest, pins by a brand that come from another site are 50% more  “viral” than posts from its website.

At the same time, a sustained stream of content is the only way to gain a following on Pinterest.

This can leave companies in a bind since pinning a majority of content from other places is a risk some brands won’t take.

Last spring’s dispute over Pinterest’s copyright issues  have left some brands fearful of repinning content they don’t have rights to.

Managing a content stream for Facebook with a post a day is a challenge, but with the amount of content one has to pin to be relevant, finding content that is “up for grabs” can seem impossible.

However, Pinterest can be used for something other than creating an engaged community.

Enter Pinterest 2.0

Pinterest can be used as it was originally intended, as a functional way to organize content. It was only after Pinterest began generating more referral traffic than Twitter and news of their majority female audience that marketers really started to notice.

However, what made people rave about Pinterest initially was its functional use and grid design. Weekly digital design magazine Dolody even dedicated an entire issue about the design of Pinterest. Leveraging that attribute over the need to tap into an audience could be the key to bringing something unique to the platform.

Uniqlo’s “Dry Mesh Project” on Pinterest shows how a brand doesn’t need a presence in order to make an impression.

With the new announcement that Pinterest will now attribute and support content from SlideShare and SoundCloud, there are even more opportunities to use Pinterest not as just a social platform to engage with, but as a new way to publish.

Pinterest boards have been used as resumes (such as Rachael King’s), implemented by colleges such as Drake University and Oberlin College for recruiting, used by teachers to share lesson plans like this one on space, and even for Obama and Romeny’s political campaigns.

Marketers can start thinking about Pinterest 2.0 by answering the follow questions:

  • What visual story couldn’t be told through a stream like Facebook or Twitter, but would make sense in a place like a Pinterest board? An aspiring journalist or designer could use it as a free but sexy portfolio.
  • Are there multiple pieces of content that need to be shared as a bundle? If a band’s manager wanted to share a press kit for their band, they could create a board with backstage photos, tracks, videos, and online overage.
  • What part of an existing content strategy could be enhanced by Pinterest? The Today Show’s Pinterest is a great example of enhancing a story that is already happening.
  • What else exists as a grid? Inspiration can be drawn from comic strips, storyboards, calendars.

Pinterest has been a game changer because it brought back the ability to categorize content to become an entirely new destination.

With Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, users have become used to constant streams of content with no filtering. Pinterest predicted users’ need to curate and organize, not because of a need to be relevant but the desire to filter the content one shares.

Get better at your job right now.

Read our weekly newsletter to master content marketing. It’s made for marketers, creators, and everyone in between.

Trending stories