For the visually-minded, there is perhaps no greater online destination than the popular image-collecting site Pinterest. Many brands were quick to join the site, recognizing the potential for connecting with a passionate and engaged fan base while also driving traffic back to their sites. With so many brands on board, the Pinterest team realized it needed to tailor its tools for them. On July 22, 2013, Pinterest introduced “Rich Pins”, allowing brands to embed useful information directly into their pins.

Rich Pins currently serve three types of content: recipes, products, and movies. Brands using this technology can embed specific types of information into pins so that, when a user clicks an image, the information appears below the caption.

Recipe pins include ingredients and preparation time. Those using product pins can include automatically updated information about price and availability — a particularly useful tool considering Pinterest now alerts pinners when a pinned item’s price drops. Finally, there are movie pins, which include ratings from sites such as Rotten Tomatoes and Netflix, as well as the name of the director.

Smart Pinterest brands have long ago adopted a Pinterest strategy, but a number of these have integrated Rich Pins into the experience to make even better use of the platform. We chatted with Justine LoMonaco, Martha Stewart Living’s Senior Manager of Engagement Marketing, and Pranit Tukrel of jewelry brand My Trio Rings to learn about their strategies regarding Pinterest Rich Pins.

One Part of the Pinning Recipe

For the Martha Stewart Living team, Rich Pins continue on the success of a strong campaign built on high-quality, regular pinning. LoMonaco says frequently pinning beautiful images with helpful captions has helped engage Pinterest users who search for specific ideas then save them for later. Now, with Rich Pins, LoMonaco aims to continue promoting content worth searching for while providing more helpful information that will encourage users to repin.

“Through metadata tags, we are able to share more information about our recipes with our Pinterest audience,” LoMonaco says. “This is particularly helpful for our followers who have specific dietary restrictions or those who are looking for our quicker, easier recipe options.”

Providing recipe information upfront lets users know right away whether the content behind the pin is worth their time. LoMonaco says it’s too soon to identify new pinning trends, but that she has noticed an increase in repins of recipe content. She attributes this uptick to the additional information provided by Rich Pins.

For Small Brands, a Big Difference

Weber’s Law is a psychological concept that describes the concept of a “just-noticeable” difference. It explains why the addition of one to one (two) feels so much greater than the addition of one to 10 (11). In the first case, the increase is 100%; in the latter, only 10%. For brands like Martha Stewart Living, a slight increase in repins may not be notable. For My Trio Rings, however, the difference in engagement following the implementation of Rich Pins has been impossible to ignore.

“Our conversion rate in terms of impressions and clicks have increased sevenfold,” Tukrel says. “We find now that Rich Pins have the functionality to show when the price of a pin has dropped, all that has compounded and increased traction to the site.”

The key with Rich Pins is that they do not give away so much information that the user need not visit the product site. Rather, they provide enough detail that the user can decide whether or not the featured product is of interest as a potential purchase.

My Trio Rings produces its jewelry and sells directly to consumer, allowing the company to offer prices up to 65% lower than competitors. Many traditional jewelry pins reflect aspiration or desire. However, the addition of pricing information has helped My Trio Rings position itself as a viable purchase option for pinners who love quality but may not realize they can find something beautiful in their price range.

More Features, Please

LoMonaco and Tukrel agree that Rich Pins are a positive improvement for marketing purposes. However, each of them envisions some features that would make things even better.

For a category like jewelry, there is plenty of skepticism when it comes to buying online. Without seeing pieces in person, buyers often question quality and value. One way to fix this, Tukrel believes, is to add customer reviews from the product page directly to the pin. Just as Pinterest currently pulls in pricing and availability data, the platform could feature the most recent or helpful reviews.

In LoMonaco’s opinion, as a purveyor of content rather than a seller of goods, Rich Pins are in good shape. What she does want, however, is the ability to use Pinterest in more and different ways.

“I think, like most brands, we are eagerly awaiting the release of Pinterest’s API,” she says. “We would also love to see a feature that allowed us to host and manage Pinterest sweepstakes more easily.”

As more brands sign on to take advantage of Rich Pins, Pinterest is sure to respond with more and better features. For now, it will be interesting to see how the designation affects brands’ relationships with other pinners.

Are you using Pinterest Rich Pins? Share your experiences in the comments below.

[Image credits: PinterestShimelle LaineIRRI ImagesgLangille]