Traditional media, such as television, billboard and print advertising, where companies continually repeat the main message about a brand, used to work well in the past; however, in today’s mobile world, this old type of marketing only serves to alienate consumers, becoming less and less effective over time. Nowadays, consumers want to interact with brands before they buy; they want to be able to handle them, even if it is virtually – and rich media makes that possible in a variety of interesting ways.
With rich media, shoppers can engage with a product by interacting with it. By giving people the power to take a virtual test drive, and then instantly purchase the real thing, businesses can build stronger brands, drive sales, and increase customer loyalty. Engaging copy can drive up to 20 percent higher click through rates. By incorporating rich media, such as video and images directly into creative ad units, brands can provide users with more opportunities to respond. Attractive, high-quality photos work well for product presentations, but one problem to watch out for is long loading times, so be selective. Better images typically produce better results, but if they take too long to load, your customers will run right to your competition.
Use rich media to showcase all the special features of your product. For example, if you sell electronics, you can use images that show functionality. You can also use rich media to zoom in on a product, turn it in all directions, and vary views. Be consistent, and match your product images to the design of your website. Make sure to optimize rich media for both mobile and tablet devices of all types, creating a balance between quality and image compression.
Integrating social media extends a marketer’s reach and encourages more consumer engagement. For these reasons, more and more companies are sitting up and paying attention when it comes to social media. In fact, a study by BloomReach shows that companies spend an average of 8.4 percent of their marketing budget on social media. Clearly, people are hooked on the rich capabilities of their mobile devices, and this phenomenon is not going anywhere anytime soon.
While Facebook certainly drives the most traffic, Pinterest brings the dollars. According to BloomReach, traffic coming from Pinterest converts 22 percent more often and spends 60 percent more than traffic coming from Facebook.
What this means for businesses is that Pinterest needs to be the focus of many of their marketing efforts. Pinterest is making that easier with their release of “Rich Pins”. Rich Pins let businesses put the information that drives sales – like price and a link to their web site – right in front of their customers’ eyes; instead of making them drill down to find that information.
Before Rich Pins, a food and wine magazine, for instance, would often pin a picture of a gorgeous, elegantly plated dish. But that’s all Pinterest users would see, and they may or may not be interested enough to click on the image and learn more. With a Rich Pin, the magazine could include a few ingredients as well as a link to the recipe, helping Pinterest users to decide that it’s worth their time to follow the link.
For now, there are four types of Rich Pins: Article, Product, Recipe, and Movie.
In addition to the traditional Pinterest image, Article Pins include the title, author, and a brief description. This lets pinners know right away if they’re interested in repinning the article to read later, rather than just clicking on the image only to find out they’re not interested after all. An auto manufacturer, for instance, could pin an article about fuel-efficient vehicles. By itself, an image from the article could mean just about anything; adding the title and description lets pinners know that it’s an article about choosing a fuel-efficient vehicle.
The most important thing about Product Pins is that they include real-time pricing and stocking information. So instead of posting a photo of the latest smart phone and hoping pinners dig deep enough to get to their website, a retailer could include their logo, their web site, their price, and how many they have in stock. With Product Pins, pinners don’t have to work so hard to find what the business wants them to see.
Pinners will often notice a great-looking recipe but assume that it’s too hard, too expensive, or requires ingredients they don’t have. Recipe Pins put that information right out front, including things like ingredients, cooking time, and serving information. Pinners have enough information to decide, “I can do that!” without having to click any further. Once they’ve decided they’re interested in the recipe, they can click through to see all of the steps.
Movie Pins include not just an image from the movie, but ratings, cast, and reviews as well. Like with other Rich Pins, Movie Pins give pinners more information for less work. And more information for less work leads to higher conversion rates.
According to Pinterest, the first step in using Rich Pins is to add some meta tags to your web site. If you don’t know how to do that, there are many developers who deliver rich media for online shops. Once your site has been properly tagged, it’s just a matter of running Pinterest’s Rich Pin Validator and applying for your Rich Pin to be included.
Several studies have shown that Pinterest users tend to be in more of a buying mode than Facebook users (who are more concerned with building relationships). A lot of people on Pinterest have already decided to buy, but they demand instant information to help them figure out what to buy. Rich Pins give customers the information they need to make that one additional click that takes them to your website.
Mathilde Chenel is in web marketing. She enjoys integrating technology into innovative marketing strategies using social media.