Marketing with Pinterest – 7 Unique Business Models

Pinterest seems to be the new cute girl at the dance that no one knows about – but everyone wants to get to know.

So how has this photo sharing site that is incorporating affiliate linking as its revenue model, capturing such interest and traffic share?

With a 400% increase in visitor count from September through December of 2011 – this little upstart site has marketers salivating at how to make new and interesting iterations turn into a Pinterest money tree.

Marketing with Pinterest – 7 Unique Business Models

This is a guest post by fellow marketer Doug Crosse of 4 C Communications

First – for the uninitiated – Pinterest allows account holders to create a virtual bulletin board – posting pictures of what interests them, cats, surfboards, musical artists – and like your old collection of baseball or hockey cards – other users drop by and evaluate your taste – and also peruse looking for rare and interesting items. If they see something they like – that image can be transferred to that persons Pinterest account. But what does it all mean from a marketing perspective?

The general thinking is that Pinterest is not a one size fits all solution when it comes to marketing. Banks, Oil companies and the insurance industry won’t likely get much traction as fans pin up photos of their favourite ATM – or teller at a local branch. But thinking smaller – there are a lot of great fits that would help businesses at a local level to attract traffic and also generate online and bricks and mortar sales.

Is there a Pinterest page for millionaires made rich off of successful marketing using Pinterest? No – that one may be some time off – but think back to 2006 when someone asked “are you on Facebook yet?” Uh huh – it could be like that.

7 ways to use Pinterest for Marketing

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  1. Art and Photography Businesses: This one is the proverbial no brainer. Show case your work in a stylish and engaging manner – with links on how to buy said images, built right into the framework. It turns a personal curation of items into a stimulating online store environment when done correctly.
  2. Sports Memorabilia: If you are a store or even just a collector – but you have no way of sharing with the world the fact you own the 58th Honus Wagner card and the spit bucket from the Thrilla in Manila. Like setting up a table at a flea market – people can browse, ooh and ah – initiating conversation amongst like-minded collectors – and also driving potential e-commerce transactions or straight up trades.
  3. Bars and Restaurants: Pictures of trivia nights, the Super Bowl party, the Third Wednesday of the Month club, a recent Tweetup your establishment hosted Рgive people who were there a sense of community and engagement Рthat people care that they were there. Not unlike a Facebook page for a bar Рthis eliminates some barriers to entry for those who are not on FB or do not like the practice of being tagged in pictures. The social side of comments etc. will bring customers back for more if they feel like they are part of the conversation and important to the success of the business.

    February 2009 Twestival Cleveland
  4. Template Production: Whatever your strength is in graphic design – showcase it on a Pinterest board. From Resumes to lower thirds for video production – you can organize and attractively display your best work and easily guide potential customers to a quick purchase through your online store.
  5. Musicians/Bands: What better way to build your audience then showcasing great photos from last night’s gig at O’Hanalon’s? This is fan aggregation at its best – giving those that love your music a feeling of being a part of the experience. And it can all link back to selling your music on ITunes or moving some merch like t-shirts and that interesting glass flower vase with a little bowl at the end of it.
  6. Pet Stores: If your business is selling fluffy animals – what better way to do it then through an ‘aw shucks’ display of their off the charts cuteness. It will get the maternal instincts flowing of those single girls who are one more cat away from being on an episode of Hoarders, or those families looking to get a first cat or dog. If all goes well they have found you through localized search – and are only a ten minute drive away from the eventual conversation of “I promise to walk it and feed it every day – please!!!”
  7. Clothing/Shoes retail: Picture your favorite celebrity – with a fabulous shoe closet. Now take shoe business on Pinterest?that shoe closet and put it on line – where like-minded shoe owners pin their favorite footwear for all to see. A virtual wish list that also acts a fashion sense divining rod – as those who admire that pair of red Jimmy Choos – repin it on to their own board while you get the juice for spotting them first. The key is that if you sell Jimmy Choos – and that is your Pinterest pic – it can all link back to you for a potential sale.

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You may or may not have any of the business examples listed above, but hopefully this got you thinking how this could apply to your business. People enjoy and respond to photos, as you integrate photos into your marketing, Pinterest should be atop the list of sites to engage with.

How are you using Pinterest in your marketing? Chime in below.
Image credit: Awesomo D90 

Author: Guest Marketer

We have quite a few guest's post here on the site. If this is something you are interested in message us on Twitter @mpdotcom.

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