Marketing to Women: Is Pinterest Effective Marketing?

July 24, 2012 § 2 Comments

I love Pinterest.  Yes, it’s a wonderful time suck, but it is also inspirational, it’s visual and it brings out the collector in all of us. As the third most popular social media network and with some 20 million of us using it, Pinterest has to be a consideration in marketing.  But is it an effective marketing tool?  There are two schools of thought about effectiveness.  I lean to the case for it being a strong referral media.

The Pros  Some experts also say that Pinterest is a valuable referral source.

“According to MSNBC, 40 percent of all social media driven purchases are expected to come from Pinterest during this quarter. Shopify, a company that offers software for creating online stores, notes that Pinterest users are 10% more likely to make a purchase (within the Shopify network) than those who arrive from other sites.”

“We found that Pinterest generates over four times as much revenue per click (attributable to first touch) as Twitter and 27% more revenue per click than Facebook. Pinterest’s success on this front may be due to the fact that it provides a social interest sharing component that presents contextually-relevant content to users and their friends.”

The Cons  In a Forbes article, there is a claim made that Pinterest users are just a glorified window shopper — lots of looking but little buying.

Jirafe, a New York-based ecommerce analytics company, took a look at the behavior of 89 million online shoppers who visited their clients’ 5,000 web stores in the last year. In terms of conversion rates (the percentage of visitors who actually bought something) and average purchase size, those coming from Pinterest placed fifth among traffic sources.”

In terms of conversion rates, Pinterest is the low-end of the totem pole, behind Bing, Google, Facebook, and Twitter.  Twitter shows an average order size 5.3x greater than Pinterest.

The Indications  The Pinterest user may be a more active online shopper.  Pinterest may also be important in its ability to influence customer purchase behavior by helping brands showcase products in a more visually appealing and shareable way.  Instead of being the last part of the purchase funnel, it may be part of the top part of the purchase funnel.

Certainly, there are categories that will benefit from Pinterest more than others.  Low conversion rates don’t necessarily contradict evidence of Pinterest’s outsized share of social media driven purchases.  Some of Jirafe’s customer base might not be good candidates for Pinterest because of their target audience and the “pinnability” of their products.

Like all social media marketing, you should set goals for the campaign.  The largest online Canadian bookseller Indigo has the following goals.  “We wanted three things,” McLean said. “A tool for customers to become more engaged, insight into which new products where worthy of being pinned, and the ability to reach the global Pinterest marketplace.”

For those interested in using Pinterest, you should go to Pinterest statistics to see where your category ranks in pins. This will give you some type of indication of audience interests.  Food&Drink, DIY, Home Decor and Women’s Apparel are the top pins.  Home Decor is the top category for followers.

Here is Shopify’s Infographic on their Pinterest Experience:


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§ 2 Responses to Marketing to Women: Is Pinterest Effective Marketing?

  • Tim Stansky says:

    Jamie, this post knocks it out of the park. It’s in the Lipstick Economy wheelhouse, cites authoritative cases, has powerful data and best practices for another marketing tool in the toolbox – or should I say makeup case? I’d Pin this blog if I could, but a Tweet will have to suffice for now.

    Here’s a link to a wordpress forum about adding a Pinterest button to a wordpress blog. It helped me do it successfully.

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