Recently, the social network not only announced the addition of a Shopping Cart feature to its armoury but, more interestingly, an update to its visual search function.
Pinterest has been moving towards this moment for some time, with the launch of Buyable Pins last year being a huge step towards the network offering businesses a new conversion opportunity, but that’s not to say it’s right for everyone.
Like any marketing strategy, it has to be right for your target audience. As great as the network’s new features sound, and there’s no doubt that they will provide vast opportunity for many businesses, if Pinterest wasn’t on your radar before, then it probably shouldn’t be now.
Don’t jump on the hot new thing. There are many businesses Pinterest is and isn’t right for. DIY, weddings, travel, interiors, health, fashion and cooking are among the most popular sectors on Pinterest. Why? Because it’s still a woman’s world.
71 percent of Pinterest’s demographic are female. This is positive news if your target audience is predominantly female and you’re a brand because – guess what else – 83 percent of active users prefer to follow a brand than a celebrity on Pinterest. What other social network gives you that kind of stat?
Should everything fall into place for Pinterest and your business goals, then these new features could mean big things for your business and the start of a discussion with your SEO agency around Pinterest working its way into the mix.
When the image search feature was launched by Pinterest last year it was met with a lot of discussion, much of which was centred on whether the network would get the feature right. Many have attempted the technology, but few have succeeded. Even Penny from the Big Bang Theory was able to come up with such a concept, but that’s not to say it worked.
What this recent update, which Pinterest is calling ‘automatic object detection’, means is that users of the network will be able to search, and then buy, objects similar to those in a particular Pin. Why is this being rolled out now as an update? Because ‘visual search is one of the many fields transformed in recent years by the advances in deep learning’, meaning that the technology is becoming more accurate and therefore more effective for driving ROI.
Pinterest is not the only name to be upping its visual search game. Google recently announced that it had purchased visual recognition start up Moodstocks and it wasn’t too long ago that the likes of Facebook, and Microsoft announced technology that ‘read’ images. Facebook’s AI was even called ‘automatic alternative text’, and with Image Alt Text being a part of the SEO checklist for uploading, is it such a stretch to see the increasing importance of images in SEO?
Pinterest isn’t the only development morphing SEO tactics at the moment. SEO is an ever evolving discipline, one which was previously primarily down to algorithm updates and changes by search engines, but is now increasingly affected by other sources. Pinterest is one such source, as is social media as a whole. Social media has produced a new breed of influencers and influencers have a huge impact on SEO results and activity.
Outreaching to influencers in your particular sector or industry has been a large element of SEO work for a number of years now but as new social media networks are launched, influencers and the way they work are evolving.
Airbnb offers a great example of this and raises a question for the future of SEO. The popular accommodation rental company recently trialled a City Hosts programme where guests can choose to book an experience with a ‘host’ instead of just accommodation. The City Experiences guide section has been a large part of the website and Airbnb’s offering for some time but this new development could see a rise in City influencers and businesses targeting these influencers to recommend their activities or venue.
It’s a strange and exciting future for SEO and as its practitioners evolve to see these developments less as challenges and more as exciting possibilities, the more we will see a better, more rounded experience for both businesses and the consumer.
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