The overall popularity of Pinterest may be undeniable, but B2B organizations still have questions about the value of Pinterest video marketing.
Not long ago, ReelSEO (an excellent resource for anyone working with online video) posted an article covering five ways to use Pinterest for video marketing. The article covers many of the same points as other Pinterest-focused content: that Pinterest is now one of the biggest traffic drivers on the Internet, that it generates more referral traffic than YouTube or LinkedIn, and so on and so forth.
Essentially, these posts all start out the same way, arguing that Pinterest really is a great social media marketing tool, whether you choose to believe it or not. I certainly won’t deny that this is true for B2C organizations. Retail product categories like “jewelry” or “shoes” are among the most popular on Pinterest, and many retailers have swarmed to the site as a result. It makes sense; a buyer can see pictures or videos of a cool necklace and decide if they’d like to purchase it or not.
But for B2B organizations with more complex product offerings and much longer buying cycles, things are obviously a little different. In the latest B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report (a joint effort from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs), only 26% of B2B companies cited Pinterest as part of their social marketing strategies.
Now you can take this data two different ways. One, you can argue that Pinterest is still very new and be impressed that it’s achieved this level of growth in such a short period of time. On the other hand, you could use its lack of popularity with B2Bs to prove that the site just isn’t viable for those companies. Personally, I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. While 26% represents far from a majority, it still beat the usage of older tools listed in the report like SlideShare, Vimeo and StumbleUpon. Then again, Pinterest received so much hype last year that I’d expect many companies experimented with it simply because so many people were talking about it.
The question is – how effective is Pinterest for B2B marketing? Data like this is much harder to find, but you could argue that the greatest value comes in the form of referral traffic. As mentioned above, Pinterest is one of the top social sites when it comes to referrals, which is one of the most powerful ways to turn followers into customers (this is still marketing, remember!).
A cool infographic can be hyperlinked on Pinterest to take viewers back to your site, allowing them to learn more about who you are and what your business has to offer. Pinterest video content works the same way – sort of. Unlike with other social sites like Facebook or Twitter, you can’t embed and play video content straight from the Pinterest site. Instead, when you post a video (whether it’s hosted with Brainshark, YouTube, or someplace else), you are essentially hyperlinking a thumbnail for the player, not the player itself (here is an example).
Is this good? Well, it can be. Videos are visual presentations, meaning you already have content that’s in a way ready-made for Pinterest. If the topic and messaging for your Pinterest video content is compelling, then you could see an uptick in referral traffic. That alone could be worth the price of admission.
So to sum up, yes, I think Pinterest video marketing can be valuable for B2B companies, as long as you have the right content to promote, and your expectations are tempered. Mitt Ray wrote a great post for Social Media Examiner that offers 7 Pinterest tips for B2B companies, with examples of the types of content that typically work for the site (note that this goes beyond just video content).
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should suddenly throw all of your eggs in the Pinterest basket. But as far as tools go, the popularity of Pinterest is worth at least investigating for B2Bs, particularly those who already have a host of content created for video marketing.
For more details on using B2B content marketing with Pinterest, check out the resources below. Also, be sure to visit the Brainshark Pinterest page and let us know what you think!
Should B2B Brands Jump Aboard the Pinterest Bandwagon? (OpenView Labs)
Pinterest for B2B Marketing: Why We Decided to Join (New Breed Marketing)
Mastering Pinterest for B2B Marketing (Mindjet)
Image Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net