Talking about B2B marketing…. here comes Pinterest.

Last night I did a workshop for a university, many of those who attended wanted to work in businesses rather than start their own, some even wanted to progress into B2B marketing. So I taught them about Twitter and Linkedin, but we didnt have time for Pinterest.

Interestingly, perhaps we should have started with Pinterest – according to some…

As FierceCMO reports B2B marketers, while not yet embracing Pinterest in huge numbers, are quickly beginning to realize it is becoming an essential marketing tool.

ComScore data reveals that the site surpassed 11 million unique monthly U.S. visitors in less than a year, which, according to TechCrunch, means it crossed the 10 million mark faster than any other standalone site in history.

To help prove B2B marketers prove ROI, Pinterest yesterday released web analytics that give site owners insights into how people are interacting with pins that originate from their websites.

Not only are traffic numbers huge, but surveys are showing that the social network is starting to gain traction with B2B marketers—a recent BtoB survey found that 19 percent of B2B marketers use Pinterest in some way.

Many big B2B marketers—such as Cisco Systems, General Electric, FedEx Corp., and IBM Corp. —are pinning on the social network.

Crispin Sheridan, senior director of global search at SAP, suggested on ClickZ that B2B marketers hop on the Pinterest bandwagon.

“With images, video, news stories and local search results all appearing right on the top of page one of a typical search results page, it’s becoming more crowded and challenging to rank for priority keywords for typical business websites,” he wrote. “That’s why it’s important to optimize and leverage social media platforms, such as Pinterest, to gain additional real estate and exposure for the keywords you know work in search.”

So, how can B2B marketers get started on Pinterest?

First, Crispin said, concentrate on pinning relevant content to your boards, such as white papers, e-books and videos, which can generate web traffic. “Once a person clicks, you can then prompt her to supply her email address in order to download the full white paper. Now, Pinterest becomes a lead-generation tool,” he wrote.

Social media marketer Sunday Avery also advised limiting the number of boards to five. “Make a board or two feature items that you may sell or links to the website, but don’t make it look like a wasteful 100-page Christmas catalog no one asked for,” she wrote.

With all that great content pinned, you want to make sure it’s findable. “Break through the pinboard name clutter and be specific and keyword-conscious in the selection of your board names,” wrote Katie Burke on HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Blog, “so that potential search terms align more closely with what end users might be looking for and increase the likelihood of standing out from the massive clutter of default—or just plain unoriginal—board names.”

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