February 4, 2014 | Emily Winsauer

New Pinterest Interests Is Great for Marketers

Pinterest Interests for Business

Last week, Pinterest introduced a preview of its new “Interests” feature, which is designed to helps users find new pins related to their interests. It’s not currently offered to everyone, but Pinterest promises that Interests should soon be available on mobile devices and to users worldwide.

Pinterest Interests uses your pinning history to present you with new pins—not based on broad categories like “History” or “Art,” but on specific topics like “pinecones” or “geometric necklaces.”

If you’re a jewelry designer, you should be jumping up and down right about now.

Here’s a screenshot of my Interests feed:

Pinterest Interests Feed

And while I DO like Edinburgh and glitter shoes (so sue me), I’m not remotely interested in coffee signs.

As Pinterest is quick to point out, Interests is still in preview mode. They’re still refining their algorithm, and they admit that you still may see a few categories that “aren’t quite your thing.”

However, the Interests feature represents a major jump forward for Pinterest. Almost every social media platform is following the general push toward user personalization, and that push can not only improve the user experience, but also increase the value of these social media tools for marketers.

I read a post the other day from a very well respected marketing company that said that there wasn’t a “clear, actionable marketing takeaway” from the launch of Interests, but I’ll have to respectfully disagree. After learning everything I could about Interests, I put together a list of 10 Action Points for Marketing with Interests, which you can find at the bottom of this post.

Marketing research from HubSpot and other sources consistently demonstrates that context and relevance are the most important elements in marketing success, so businesses and marketers who learn how to make the most of user personalization will be able to connect with the right customers better than ever.

As you saw above, the Interests Feed features suggestions organized by keyword, so Interests makes it even more important to keyword-optimize your pin and board descriptions. Just click on one to view more pins like it, gathered from all users rather than just those you follow.

Here’s an example of pins categorized as “geometric necklaces” – notice how many link to Etsy sellers.

Pinterest Interests Geometric Necklaces

Previously, pinners mostly found pins they liked by following other pinners with similar taste. Unless you were willing to sift through search results from all 70 million Pinterest users, building an interesting Home Feed was a matter of tracking down individual users who shared your taste.

Interests should take over a lot of that for you, unless you enjoy looking at hundreds of amateur photographs of polished fingernails and wedding craft ideas (and, honestly, a lot of people do). Even then, Interests will help you find better nail polish and wedding ideas.

A user’s Interests will continue to refine and evolve as he or she pins new things and find new real-life interests – the more active you are, the more accurate your Interests will be. As Pinterest users continue to use it to find new products, recipes, design ideas, and more, Interests will help companies connect with the most active, and likely the most receptive, Pinterest users.

Most importantly, Interests will connect marketers with Pinterest users who are already curious about what they have to offer.

How Can I Use Interests to Improve My Marketing?

The takeaway from this change is that if your business offers products or blogs regularly, you should consider using Pinterest to better reach your buyer personas.

The development of enhanced pins (or “rich pins”) is pretty solid evidence of this, if you ask me. Business users can now create pins with more information for products, recipes, movies, articles, or places, directing pinners to business websites and blogs.

So what can you do to start taking advantage of Pinterest Interests today?

10 Action Points for Marketing with Interests:

  • Verify your Pinterest account
  • Keyword-optimize your pin descriptions, board titles, and board descriptions
  • Look in to using rich pins for your business
  • Search for keywords you're targeting to get pin ideas
  • Create boards based on your buyer personas’ interests
  • Treat your Pinterest account as curated content to gain followers
  • Pin your own products and blog posts along with similar valuable content
  • Use Pinterest Analytics to find your best ratio of curated pins to original pins
  • Don’t just re-pin, bring in new content from outside sources
  • Pin regularly to maximize your exposure

While many of these tips would improve your Pinterest performance even without Interests, they will help your pins show up more frequently in relevant users' Interests feeds, help your pins gain momentum with more likes and re-pins, encourage users to follow your boards, and ultimately help potential customers connect with your business.

Interests isn’t the only news from Pinterest; the folks over there have been burning the midnight oil recently. Pinterest now supports animated GIFs and can notify you when a product pin drops in price. It is also exploring “promoted pins” based on relevancy and interests. To stay up on these and other social media developments, check back here for more information. You can also let me know in the comments if there’s something you’d like to read about!

How do you use Pinterest for Business? Let us know in the comments!

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Emily Winsauer

Emily Winsauer

As VIEO's content director, Emily Winsauer was responsible for content strategy for VIEO and our clients for over 5 years. She recently moved to Seattle where she's still creating compelling content in her new role.

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