Pinterest Breaks Brands Free from the Google/Facebook Duopoly

Spencer Altman

Concerns about being beholden to an advertising “duopoly” have brands scrambling to find marketing channel alternatives to Facebook and Google. Luckily, customers we work with have discovered a powerful partner in the Pinterest pinning and re-pinning platform. While there is definitely value in advertising on the network, brands get a tremendous advantage when they use it to optimize content seeding and sharing strategies. And while, paid media can be helpful, marketers really don't have to buy advertising to drive awareness on the platform.

Brands find it a perpetual challenge to identify new ways to get people to engage with content and purchase products. Digital marketing has never made it easy to drive awareness and shepherd consumers along the discover-to-buy pathway. However, according to a recent report by Forrester, brands can succeed if they expand their definition of search marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) into places like Pinterest.

While the razzle dazzle of the duopoly -- and of other networks such as Instagram -- may garner a lot of attention, we’ve seen that brands that don’t optimize their Pinterest strategy leave opportunities for engagement on the table. Thankfully, it’s an easy situation to rectify.

There are two easy-to-execute and basic optimizations often overlooked by marketers. Getting verified by the platform is the first, crucial step for any Pinterest-ed brand. The second is to make sure that each pin featuring a product goes directly to the corresponding product page on your website. I can’t tell you how many times brands don’t initiate these simple tasks to reap tremendous benefits.

Once you get these fundamentals knocked out, make sure you pin all of your content: influencer photos, product images, catalog shots and lifestyle content. Make sure to include different views of the same product. The aim is to have people find everything about your brand and products easily discoverable, searchable and pinnable.

Pinterest has a very useful tool that gives brands the ability to add a “save” button to their website, allowing visitors to pin directly, without the need to install a browser plug-in. This makes it possible for anyone to become a pinner and a disseminator of your brand images.

In addition to product images, some brands have other great content that can help amp up the power of their Pinterest strategy. For example, a CPG company like KraftHeniz that sells food or beverages has plenty of product shots, but they also have tons of recipe content, DIY projects, etc. They get enhanced value by making the recipes pinnable from their websites, optimizing them to be Pinterest-discoverable -- increasing engagement and sharing of the content. Among all the compelling research that shows how Pinterest drives discover-to-buy, it's been found that42% of users purchase items for recipes found on Pinterest, while 76% search or create boards for day-to-day meals.

Marketers may be spending a huge portion of their budget -- and attention -- on Google and Facebook, but as we’ve seen, there are numerous relatively low-cost and easy ways to get more value from earned media, social sharing and brand content: a smart Pinterest SEO strategy is all that’s needed for a marketer to break free of dependence on the duopoly.

Find out more about tools we've developed to help brand win engagement with their visual content.

Brands scrambling to find marketing channel alternatives to Facebook and Google have found a powerful partner in Pinterest
Spencer Altman

Spencer is director of client services at ShareIQ, based in Berlin