New marketing tools that capture the imagination also raise questions about whether and how to use them in your own  programs.  Pinterest, which allows users to organize images and videos (pins) into collections (pinboards), is clearly one such tool that consumers in particular have embraced. Its visually-oriented design presents interesting marketing communications opportunities for B2B marketers as well.  So what’s the best way to use it?

  1. Create emotional connections
    Your B2B customers are people, too. Engaging photos and videos on Pinterest can foster relationships with your core audiences and humanize your company in the process. Is your brand known for having great customer service or amazingly talented engineers?  Then convey this attribute in an appealing way through visuals. I’m sure you can think of similar uses of visuals to give your customers a sneak peek behind the curtain.
  2. Directly engage customers
    Pinterest provides a channel to directly engage your customers.  Put on your creative hat and consider ways to benefit from this engagement and the format it offers. You can develop crowd-sourcing initiatives, for example, to get feedback on upcoming company initiatives.  Another option is to offer prizes for customer-developed, creative pins for marketing purposes.
  3. Leverage Existing Content
    Some of the elements you use in other campaigns make sense for Pinterest as well.  Infographics, videos, eBooks, white papers, etc. can help build your Pinterest presence into a “must-go-to” location for facts and information about your specific specialty or industry. Also, don’t forget to actively repin interesting content about topics in your marketplace.

Your Pinterest plan should also include integrating with other social platforms and your website using Pinterest buttons or widgets. There is also a role for hashtags (#keyword) in your pin descriptions to help in search.  Consider dedicated hashtags
 for your promotions and contests.

While Pinterest has strong ties to consumer content, it has potential for B2B marketers who recognize the impact of visual storytelling.  By providing a simple way to curate and present your visual content in a manner that makes it easy to share, Pinterest offers another platform worth considering in your social media business strategy.