With a wealth of information and tools available at the touch of a button, today’s consumers are consistently carrying out pre-purchase research online – with 88% of shoppers reporting conducting research online prior to making a purchase in-store. Consumers’ needs and expectations for in the moment validation indicates a new language of trust and desire for transparency that is driving commerce. As such, marketers need to communicate in the moment of consumer demand as well as anticipate key touchpoints critical to an accelerated path-to-purchase.
This seemingly subtle change in behavior signals a more dramatic shift in the content that consumers want when making purchase decisions, as well as their expectations when receiving that information. Amid the wealth of content available and its proximity to consumers today, consumers are able to research and validate their consideration for products they need or desire within moments of their initial discoveries.
Consumers expect in the moment validation and, as such, marketers must make sure that they’re communicating with prospective shoppers across all touchpoints, and doing so in ways that build trust.With around 75% of U.S. internet users “regularly or always”’ searching for visual content prior to making a purchase, leveraging visual search presents the next big opportunity for marketers.
By 2020, an estimated 50% of searches will come from emerging visual and voice technologies. This isn’t exactly surprising. In 2017, we saw tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Pinterest all heavily invest in visual search engines. From Google Lens to Amazon’s image recognition app, leveraging visual search capabilities is key to reaching consumers and improving the customer experience. Image search is seen as a new, unbranded feature by some, and a unique, branded experience by others.
Pinterest: At the intersection of fast-emerging media trends
With more than 200 million monthly users, Pinterest is among the fastest growing social networks today – and it’s growing faster than ever. Recently, Pinterest crossed the 200 million monthly active Pinners milestone 2.5x faster than it took them to reach their 100 million monthly average user milestone. Its platform more closely resembles Google than it does a social feed, and it has completely changed how consumers shop online. And while Pinterest might not be right for every brand, if your audience is on Pinterest, you should be prioritizing it for your influencer marketing as well.
By helping users discover and do what they love, Pinterest has become the 5th most relevant brand for US consumers, with 53% of Pinners considering their time well spent on the platform – higher than users of any other social platform. Nearly half (45 percent) of all women online are Pinterest users, giving Pinterest the ability to reach 8 in 10 Moms and more females than Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. And, despite only 17% of online men being Pinterest users, 40% of new sign ups are men, which is a 70% increase in year-over-year growth.
In the pivotal customer decision journey, Pinterest is second only to search when determining purchase intent. Additionally, according to a Neustar MarketShare Retail MTA analysis, Pinterest is more likely to influence purchase decisions in the beginning of a purchase journey than any other platforms, leading to 40% bigger baskets and faster conversions. Lastly, Pinterest buyers spend more money, more often, and on more items than users from any of the other top five social media sites.
With over 2 billion idea searches every month, there is ample opportunity for brands to win customers on Pinterest – 97% of users searches are unbranded. As such, marketers who prioritize Pinterest now have a unique opportunity to maximize their Pinfluencer potential and own that share of voice in their category.
Despite Pinterest’s relevance in consumers’ and influencers’ (known specifically as Creators on Pinterest) lives, it has yet to translate into how the majority of marketers are prioritizing Pinterest in their influencer marketing and relations strategies. This is large in part due to Pinterest’s slow start in advertising in addition to originally lacking the scale, return and sophistication of the other players in the social space. However, in the past year, Pinterest has released an abundance of new features that have emphasized its search and scale functions while improving several analytics, targeting and ad options, resulting in many key industry players beginning to incorporate Pinterest-first strategies.
So how can you operationalize next steps for your brand to engage with the Pinterest platform? Download our 2018 Pinterest Influencer Marketing Playbook to learn how to optimize influencer-generated content for Pinterest, as well as best practices for amplifying top-performing content and reporting guides & checklists for how to measure KPIs.