Popular photography and video tagging site Pinterest and its many clones have sparked a product-photo sharing frenzy that may present a good marketing opportunity for retailers.
Pinterest and similar sites allow users to “pin,” “fancy,” “tag,” and “tap” images and videos in a manner very much like how Digg, Delicious, and other social news sites allowed users to share articles in the middle of the last decade. Popular pins can mean a significant amount of exposure and traffic.
Marketers will certainly want to begin any pin-based marketing on Pinterest itself — since it is the pinning-movement’s flagship site — but there are also other pinning and tagging sites that present niche opportunities.
What follows are several Pinterest-like sites worth paying attention to.
Fancy is part pinning site, part store, part blog, and part magazine, according to its creators. The site allows users to find, share, and purchase products from participating merchants, and may be the best of breed site for online retailers.
Shopcade ties its social sharing into a Facebook-based shopping application that allows users to shop together on the site. Shopcade has millions of products already listed, according to some estimates.
Pinshoppr collects Pinterest’s most popular pins, finds the pictured items for sale online and republishes them, making it a sort of ecommerce search engine. This model will have to evolve a bit to be a useful marketing tool for retailers, but it has great potential. Like Pinterest, it is primarily focused on women’s interests.
Curisma focuses its attention on high-tech gadgetry, allowing users to discover, like, and even purchase technology oriented items. The site may be more appeal to male users.
Tapiture is a not-necessarily-safe-for-work photo-sharing site aimed at readers of The Chive as an edgy site featuring humor, gear, and images of bikini-clad ladies. The site offers a distinct alternative to Pinterest, which at times can seem like a very large wedding registry.
Pinspire is almost identical to Pinterest in function, purpose, and audience, but it still provides another possible channel for reaching shoppers.
Gentlemint is, according to its creators, “a mint of manly things.” The site seeks to be an anecdote to Pinterest’s alleged femininity. The site may tend to link to more article-like content than products, which might make it an interesting option for merchants wanting to promote, as an example, photo-rich blog posts. Gentlemint does require invitation.
Manteresting, as its name implies, is another Pinterest-like site aimed at addressing things other than women’s fashion. Sites like this one may present an excellent opportunity to reach hobby-focused men.
Chill focuses its pinning on videos. Because videos are more difficult to produce than still images, marketing on the site will require more work than simply posting on Pinterest, but clever marketers willing to invest in entertainment marketing, may find Chill to be an excellent community to join.
Bo.lt is a sort of combination Pinterest and Evernote — to use apps as descriptors. The site allows users to permanently store entire pages. The image from the page will be featured, but the entire contest is stored.
We Heart It
We Heart It targets an audience very similar to Pinterest’s — but perhaps younger — and offers similar functionality and use.
Knack is a Pinterest-like wedding registry that allows young ladies to pick the products they most want as wedding gifts. The site could be a good resource for retailers who want to reach the bride market.
Juxtapost allows private pinning and features an inline “More Like This” feature that can help users find just the sorts of posts they want. Like any of the pinboard sites mentioned here, Juxtapost may represent a marketing opportunity for merchants.
DartItUp is something of a newcomer in the Pinterest-for-men field, but it had garnered significant media coverage. Online marketers seeking male shoppers could find it a good community to market to.
The sites listed above plus Pinterest represent 15 pinboard marketing opportunities. Some offer a relatively broad demographic, while others reach a particular niche. Ecommerce marketers might be wise to choose a handful of these sites and seek to engage shoppers with excellent, product-related content.