Does Pinterest Have a Place in B2B Online Marketing?

Does Pinterest Have a Place in B2B Online Marketing?
2 years, 3 months ago 5

 People who know me – both online and off – know that I have become seriously addicted to a fairly new social media platform known as Pinterest.  In case you haven’t made the leap into “pinning” yet, I will fill you in on what you may be missing.

Pinterest is a “Virtual Pinboard.”   The site’s concept began in 2009 and launched as a closed beta in March, 2010.  The site really started taking off in late 2011 after being listed among the top 50 websites of 2011 by Time magazine.  According to data retrieved and recorded in Wikipedia: Pinterest entered the top 10 social networks according to Hitwise data with 11 million total visits per week in December 2011.   In January 2012 it drove more referral traffic to retailers than Linked In, You Tube and Google+.  The same month, the company was named the best New Start Up of 2011 by TechCrunch.

Pinterest has become quite popular, especially for females, as a place to organize images and videos, for various purposes.  The stats about Pinterest users vary slightly based on who is writing about it and/or when it was written.  In general though, it is women aged 25 to 34 who make up the largest demographic of Pinterest users.  This being said, the most popular pins include things for the home, style/fashion, and food.  I personally believe these are popular because they appeal to almost everyone…or at least everyone on Pinterest.

Pinterest currently presents a huge challenge to B2B online marketers who would like to be involved in this type of action, but just cannot figure out how to do so.  The stats regarding referral traffic from “Pinboards” to websites are especially appealing to many companies.  Let’s face it, Pinterest is a hot spot for visual and tangible content.  However, B2B marketing is mostly about the intangible.  A successful B2B marketing campaign is one where a solution is presented in such a way that the decision-maker feels somehow attached emotionally.  Needless to say, this is not an easy thing to do.

Social media and online marketing have certainly helped us in the B2B marketing world by providing tools which allow us to come across as “human,” and to more easily engage with our target markets and potential clients.  If companies doing business with other businesses want to become involved in Pinterest they now face the task of creating images of ideas and solutions that are not only fun to look at, but are also worth sharing.  It then becomes a matter of deciding whether undergoing this task is really worth the time it takes versus the number of visitors and potential leads that could be converted.  In my opinion, it currently does not look like a promising avenue for B2B online marketing.  There are other ways, and most recently through online marketing, to successfully reach potential clients, promote lead generation, and accomplish ROI.

Although I really enjoy Pinterest on a personal level, I am not convinced that it has intrinsic value in the B2B online marketing world.  At least not yet.  You may feel differently and I would certainly like to hear your thoughts.

 

Image Credits:

Photo credit: Wikipedia  (This is a logo of an organization, item, or event, and is protected by copyright. It is believed that the use of low-resolution images on the English-language Wikipedia, hosted on servers in the United States by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, of logos for certain uses involving identification and critical commentary may qualify as fair use under United States copyright lawAny other uses of this image, on Wikipedia or elsewhere, may be copyright infringement. Certain commercial use of this image may also be trademark infringement. )

Image: cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 



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About Jennifer G. Hanford

Jennifer G. Hanford is the Director of B2B Inbound Online, a division of OnTarget Partners.  She can be reached via email at jhanford@ontargetpartners.com or by phone at 469-200-4909.

5 Responses

  1. Doug Kessler says:

    Great post, Jennifer.
    You may be right about Pinterest for B2B.

    Econsultancy is using it really effectively, I think, and we’re giving it a go at Velocity too. I posted about our first efforts here:

    http://www.velocitypartners.co.uk/2012/04/10/pinterest-for-b2b-marketing/

    See what you think.
    Doug

    • Thank you for your comments, Doug.

      I must admit I am pleasantly surprised by the possibilities you have shown for B2B Marketing using Pinterest! I like what you have done and am following your boards now. I appreciate your insights.

      Regards,
      Jennifer

  2. Doug Kessler says:

    Thanks. It’s still just an experiment — I’ll let you know how we get on with it.

    Doug

  3. Jennifer,

    Pinterest does have a B2B future although it is perhaps better suited to B2C in general – in PR terms images, PR coverage in the media, visual aids such as infographics all can be conveyed via this channel. And then there is the link potential.

    Getting buy in from B2B clients is something else, but it has a future for B2B

    Rob

    • Rob, I appreciate your comments and do see your point. I am continuing to follow up on information I am receiving from others who feel there is B2B potential for using Pinterest in their marketing mix. My mind hasn’t been changed completely, but I am starting to come around. Thanks for your feedback!

      Regards,
      Jennifer

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