Social Media

How Pinterest’s ‘Visual Search’ Makes Brand Content More Discoverable

November 13, 2015

Words don’t always cut it for those 17% of daily Pinterest users who are trying to find that perfect something. Sometimes, users just need to see it, to know it’s what they are looking for. Recognizing this need state, the platform rolled out a revolutionary sight-driven tool called, “Visual Search.”

Introduced on Monday to IOS, Android and the web, this sight-driven tool allows users to identify and learn more about objects in pins (see how here).

This is a logical next step for Pinterest, a company that prides itself on being not just a social scrapbooking site, but a vertical search site that evolves alongside consumer (search) behavior. According to the CEO of Performics, “Searchers are moving well beyond keywords to discover things,” and with this update, there is certainly a heavier lens on discovery. Now, users can more easily come across things they didn’t know they liked, or even needed for that matter.

However, Visual Search doesn’t just benefit the Pinterest audience, but marketers and brands alike. Below are a few next steps marketers can take coming out of this news to better evolve their strategies on the platform.

  1. Don’t hesitate to participate – If it aligns with the brand’s social strategy, get on the platform (if not already) and create a strong presence with multiple boards and pins. Given the updated search functionality, it is easier for users to discover content.
  2. Optimize owned assets on the .COM – Marketers should ensure their brands’ websites contain updated imagery (i.e. relevant products and/or high resolution photography) so when an image is pinned, it provides a better user experience within Visual Search.
  3. Leverage the shopper mindset – As users discover things they want or need with Visual Search, marketers should be there to provide them with quick solutions to purchase, such as Buyable Pins.
  4. Feature multiple products in pins – Marketers can increase Visual Search opportunities for users by showcasing multiple products within pins.

Pinterest is making great strides in the search space, and its search is up 81% year-over-year. The platform has evolved its capabilities around location (Place Pins), keyword (Guided Search), eCommerce (Buyable Pins), and now visual data to ensure users are discovering relevant and actionable items. Although Google has had similar functionality for years, Pinterest may prove to be a more practical application that sets the tone for future players. Google, for instance, delivers web pages about things, but Pinterest delivers the thing itself, as well as where to buy or experience it.

As Pinterest continues to grow and evolve, marketers should consider how they might be able to best capitalize on updated features and functionalities such as Visual Search, and continue to monitor the platform for any new opportunities that arise, especially as we enter the New Year.

Cover photo via The Wall Street Journal.