Pinterest is an effective resource for healthcare marketing
Pinterest: A Venue For Successful Healthcare Marketing Initiatives

Pinterest Healthcare Marketing Strategy

Like Amazon, Pinterest Has The Potential For New And Effective Healthcare Marketing And Sales Initiatives…


It seems every company is trying to find a way to “Amazon” their sales initiatives to reach more customers, promote product, establish social media presence and provide immediate access to generate a sale

Pinterest has proven potential to deliver effective healthcare marketing results

John G. Baresky

What do so many healthcare companies and their marketers overlook in their digital and social media strategies? Pinterest. A differentiated and assertively growing commercial venue, Pinterest is a blend of social media and e-commerce rapidly taking shape. As Pinterest expands its commercial attributes, what may it offer healthcare marketers to generate more sales?

Across numerous industries, including healthcare, companies are trying to solve the equation of delivering greater value at less cost. Digital initiatives are part of the formula to accomplish this. In brand management and marketing discussions, social media strategy is an ongoing part of the conversation. Companies and marketers seek to have a presence via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to assert corporate recognition and brand awareness. In conjunction with social media and content marketing, e-commerce and sales becomes part of the dialogue. Like Amazon, Pinterest delivers.

Basic Features Of Pinterest For Multiple Healthcare Audiences

There are about 36 content categories including “health & wellness”, “products” and “shop” for users to choose from. Depending on primary categories or searches, multiple sub-categories to choose from may appear via tool bar. Content can be uploaded by users from other websites with “pinnable” content and shared on the Pinterest platform; users can create and upload their own pinnable content, too. Within Pinterest’s content, there is a strong emphasis on imagery, photography and graphics.

Users can create “boards” or collections of content by pinning / saving it and creating virtual portfolios. Boards can be open for all to see, open to only designated collaborators or secret and open only to the board creator. Items pinned can be shared between other Pinterest users (known as “Pinners”) and there is messaging capability between users via shared pins as well. Pinners can follow other user’s boards and can monitor updates of whom they are following or who is following them via a news feature. Pinterest has become a source of information, entertainment and commerce; it is built around content sharing and is inherently social.

…Pinterest users have learned to share and love doing it — there are over 50 billion pins across more than 1 billion boards…

Pinterest has diverse and growing content appeal for a variety of medical, wellness and other healthcare audience groups

Attributes Of The Rapidly Evolving Pinterest Audience

Ongoing market research shows Pinterest has over 100 million active global users. 34% of Pinterest users have an annual income of over $75,000. About 31% of online adults use Pinterest; most are women. About 44% of online women use it, compared to 16% of online men — although the male audience is growing substantially. 90% of the pins on Pinterest are done by women.

For companies and marketers frustrated about how to effectively reach millennials; Pinterest has appeal. About 1 in 3 Pinterest users are Millennials. Persons under age 50 are much more likely to be Pinterest users, 37% do so, compared with 22% of those ages 50 and older. Research indicates Pinterest users spend less time with television and print media. 30% prefer browsing Pinterest than watching television. Roughly speaking, about 25% of Pinterest users are urban, 29% suburban and 30% are rural.

…A healthcare marketing note concerning the Pinterest audience and demographics: women are greater consumers of healthcare and make about 80 percent of health care decisions in households…

For Healthcare Providers And Healthcare Businesses, Pinterest Is Commercial And Social Friendly…

Brand marketing is welcomed by Pinterest users! 75% of all content pinners save comes from businesses; this is a solid opportunity to promote brands, products and services where they are actively searched for and information about them is collected. It provides an open forum for communication and promotion via copy, images, infographs and other messaging. There is the distinct advantage of users being able to collect (pin) content and save it in their own self-styled category files (boards) for future reference, comparative assessment, etc. Pinterest is a platform for active and passive promotion, having active marketing engagement via Pinterest can build company/brand awareness, social media presence and with the right arrangements, generate sales.

For those doing business on Pinterest; their own websites can fortify Pinterest initiatives. By providing pinnable content and pin it buttons on a website, it provides ease of access and ongoing sharing via Pinterest by the website visitor. User sharing is key as the user is transferring content from the commercial website or other seller communications to the Pinterest platform for saving and widespread sharing.

Commercial Pinterest accounts can also place their own content directly onto the Pinterest platform and generate sales directly via virtual storefronts. Buyable pins cultivate user interaction and direct sales. Sellers can use Pinterest to generate direct sales if they have their Buyable Pins enabled, viewers will see a “Buy it” button on pins generated from their site. There are also “Rich” pins and “Promoted” pins with additional commercial attributes for sellers to utilize in marketing products and gauging marketing effectiveness. Virtual storefronts are supported with analytics similar to Google’s so user experience can be actively monitored.

Pinning has other promotional aspects. Companies and brands can experience ongoing exposure and viral inertia via sharing and repinning. Research says the average number of repins for a pin is 4.2; each time something is pinned, there is potential to reach an additional 4 viewers to increase sales potential.

Pinterest is a growing force in purchasing decisions. When users are browsing and pinning content, they are also collecting information to base purchasing decisions on. A report from Millward Brown conveyed almost 80% of Pinterest users bought a product based on details they collected from Pinterest; 93% have used Pinterest to plan for purchases they intend to make in the future. Research shows Pinterest referrals have greater average order values than Facebook. Shopify data indicates average order value by Pinterest referral traffic is $59.00 (Facebook’s is $55 although it has a higher rate of conversion).

…Pinterest Is A Social Shopping And Technical Selling Experience…

Organizational And Commercial Developments Are Growing Pinterest’s Abilities To Widen Its Usefulness

Pinterest is well aware of its uniqueness and ability to be a highly effective marketing and sales entity. In the last 18 months, Pinterest has assertively demonstrated its intent to grow well beyond the image collector’s paradise of social sharing, wish listing and quaint shopping experiences. They have hired their first diversity officer as well as a vice president of sales who hails from Google. Pinterest has acquired two companies, The Hunt and Pext, to improve their ability to show relevant pins to viewers and boost mobile shopping. They recognize the importance of IT infrastructure and are working with three new e-commerce platforms: IBM Commerce, Magento and Bigcommerce.

To fuel their commercial operations and enhance user flexibility, they have opened their application program interface (“API”) to certain advertisers, marketers and other commercial entities — plus developers can apply to build apps for pinners. In early May, they issued a change in policy so users can insert affiliate links with their pins. This will help sellers create additional income with their affiliate marketing programs.

Pinterest has unique attributes for clinical, business and consumer healthcare marketing

Strategic Considerations For Healthcare Marketers Using Pinterest

Pinterest is a way to augment existing brand initiatives and cultivate new sales. For now, women and millennials are key consumer/patient segments — the “low hanging fruit” easily targeted via Pinterest. There is distinct content and boards relevant to healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other clinicians easily found throughout Pinterest; the same goes for consumers / patients. This includes information about diseases, treatments, wellness and other health-related topics.

…Based on information from Pinterest, 45% of people on Pinterest use the app while watching TV…

Pinterest lends itself to developing and accelerating trends due to the great degree of connectivity and sharing. Marketers and consumers can use it to identify new trends while fluidly adding more content and exchanging it. Active monitoring and competitive assessment can take place through identifying content sharing volume, studying certain popular boards and noticing high profile brand initiatives. Content getting the most pins or likes are indicators of interest/popularity and serve as direct or indirect lead generation assets.

As with all social media venues, there are limitations and risks with using Pinterest. Due to the ever-growing content in Pinterest, ongoing SEO and paid search options are important factors to consider if a large scale marketing initiative is being considered. Another important detail to think about is audience feedback on content. Comments from users on pins cannot be moderated but they can be deleted. This is why it is important to have a clear strategy for all healthcare marketing initiatives conducted via social media and to be able to financially and technically manage content that is issued through these venues.

Developing An Effective Healthcare Marketing Plan For Using Pinterest

Healthcare marketers need to equally understand Pinterest’s user/consumer and commercial business account functions first. Based on these capabilities, they can assess what company/brand objectives can be best served by Pinterest; i.e. will Pinterest initiatives focus on establishing a corporate presence, brand presence, disease awareness, direct or indirect sales actions? Will the content placed on Pinterest be for consumer, patient, clinician, payer or other audiences? How can the impact on sales overall be quantified / qualified?

A defined strategy is necessary to establish objectives, determine the content marketing approach, know what is required to manage/monitor the content, frame a budget and implement a pilot initiative within the context of clinical or commercial healthcare audience KPIs

Healthcare marketers can assess content in their existing commercial websites; determine what lends itself most to being pinnable content or what may need to be re-created as pinnable content. It needs to be mentioned Pinnable website content needs to be chosen carefully as, of course, Medical/Regulatory considerations apply. High-quality imagery is key; most Pinterest content utilizes excellent copy layout, photography, graphics and infographic-style presentations. The Pinterest content of competitors, other healthcare product manufacturers or service providers can provide insight. Given some of the unique presentation formats featured in much of Pinterest content, there is good potential to go in a reverse direction after developing content for Pinterest and redevelop existing information in company websites and communications.

Getting Started With Pinterest As An Effective Healthcare Marketing Venue

Depending on marketing / sales objectives, the nature of the product or service involved and budget/IT resources, there are numerous options to consider in getting your Pinterest initiatives underway. These may include brand or disease awareness, wellness content, targeted promotions driving direct / indirect sales or lead generation, investor presentations, professional publications, corporate communications.

Pinterest provides a venue for healthcare marketing and sales stakeholders to more deeply engaging social media audiences. User interaction (i.e. posting, pinning and purchasing), visual graphics focus, content sharing and buyable pins are just some of its attributes. As Pinterest evolves, its audience will grow; content marketing, social sharing and commercial capabilities will increase. There are immediate and future opportunities for healthcare entities and healthcare marketers / sales units to realize the benefits of Pinterest as it moves forward!

Thank you for reading this story

Learn more about the healthcare industry; read my articles about its medical and business trends, content marketing and digital strategy, brand and product management, mergers and acquisitions, consumer wellness, managed care and market access strategy.

About me

Hi, my name is John Baresky ( pronounced “ buh — ress — key “) and I have over 25 years of experience in healthcare.

Throughout my career, I have been writing about healthcare while developing and sharing important information with physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other clinicians plus consumers, patients, healthcare business professionals, investors and other stakeholders.​​

Healthcare is a vast industry. I organize its clinical, business, academic, technical and consumer topics into precise messages and stories that are easily understood and immediately useful. The content I write resonates across audiences with objective accuracy and clarity.

Visit my website and connect with me via LinkedIn and Twitter


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