In the wide world of digital marketing, Pinterest is something of a red-headed stepchild. Many seasoned marketers dismiss it as a clubby, insular platform for hobbyists, rather than serious commercial interests. Others wonder whether its audience is a mile wide and an inch deep, apt to gaze in without engaging.

    These lines of thinking are outmoded and counterproductive for marketers serious about leveraging every lead generation resource at their disposal. Pinterest has an impressive variety of commercial users, from the San Francisco-based wealth management firm started by Daniella Rand and her partner to some of the biggest blue-chip consumer brands in the North American market. For advertisers, it’s the real deal.

    Not convinced? Let’s take a closer look at why Pinterest’s perennially undersold marketing power is worth the effort needed to leverage it.

    Pinterest Is Upstream of Most Buying Decisions. Way Upstream.

    Pinterest is not the place prospects go to sign on the dotted line. It’s first and foremost a community, a place where regular (if a bit more creative than the average Internet user) go to get ideas about pretty much everything. 

    In other words, Pinterest is upstream of the point of sale. And that makes it an invaluable branding asset. Here, you’re free to set the terms of your interaction with the buying public conversationally, without the noise or pressure tactics buyers expect on other platforms.

    Its User Base Is Loyal. Very Loyal.

    Pinterest’s loyal user base makes it realistic, even easy, to curate long-running conversations with the same set of prospects. While other social media platforms have made strides toward conversational, interest-oriented marketing to captive audiences (witness the new and improved Facebook Groups function), Pinterest remains light years ahead.

    It’s More Collaborative Than the Alternatives

    If brokering authentic, non-competitive cross-brand collaborations has long been on your marketing to-do list, Pinterest may be the place to get it done. Audiences here expect a certain degree of cross-pollination, commercial interests notwithstanding.

    A Picture Says A Thousand Words. Sometimes More.

    Your Pinterest account will probably post less content overall than, say, your Twitter or Facebook account. But each discrete pin is sure to be more impactful than any random tweet or Facebook update. Put a modest amount of effort into your Pinterest content and you’ll be rewarded with high-quality engagement beyond your expectations.

    “Advertorial” Is Overrated

    Pinterest’s inherent creativity, conversationality, and community orientation make it an ideal vector for advertisers aiming to blur the lines between “advertorial” and “editorial.” All content marketing lives in this liminal space to some extent, but Pinterest is a more natural medium than most.

    Put A Pin In It

    Will Pinterest’s contribution to your company’s business development operation ever exceed the likes of, say, Facebook? Unless your company operates in one of a fairly small number of business niches, the answer is probably “no.”

    That being the case, should you bother heeding the advice above and devoting whatever limited resources you have at your disposal to establishing and reinforcing your Pinterest presence?

    The answer is undoubtedly “yes” — for all the reasons touched upon here, and more. If nothing else, today’s digital marketing game demands an all-hands-on-deck approach, and Pinterest provides a very capable set of hands indeed.

    Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.