Users have had a few months to play around with Pinterest visual search since the platform announced the release of it’s “crazy-fun new visual search tool.”

People aren’t stopping keyword searches in droves to search visually. But, Pinterest’s visual search is among several indicators that marketers need to start testing visual marketing techniques and learn how to create effective visual content at-scale.


What is visual search?

Visual search is not exactly new. Back in 2009, the visual search tool Google Goggles was released on Android. But it wasn’t until recently that visually focused platforms like Pinterest and Instagram started taking off, creating user demand for visual search. Here’s a quote from Pinterest on how it works:

“When you spot something in a Pin that you want to learn more about, tap the search tool in the corner. Then select the part of the Pin you’re interested in, and we’ll show you Pins just like it.”

In practical terms, visual search may not have reached a degree of sophistication to be a game changer for e-commerce brands—yet. Here’s a picture to describe what we mean:


Desktop result for Kid visual search jacket

While the tool is successful in identifying similar jackets, the results aren’t granular enough to help the user find children’s jackets.


Does visual search matter?

While the technology isn’t perfect yet, it’s only a matter of time until some form of visual discovery takes off.

Empirically, everybody knows that visual content is more engaging than text-only content. But to what degree? According to Adobe, “posts with images produce a 650% higher engagement rate than regular text posts.”


What visual search means for you

Create lots of visual content. Image content is to visual search as keywords are to text-based search. It’s time to build your library of images and develop an efficient, scalable system for producing great visual content.

Not only is visual content immediately more engaging and impactful to your audience, the data you collect from it can serve as the basis for the next level in ‘keyword research’ or image research.

Create good content people want to share. Based on the limited details shared by the Pinterest engineering blog, we can deduce that the more a pin is shared, the more accurately it can be ranked within a visual search query.

Aside from the obvious immediate benefits to your brand of creating viral, socially sharable content, driving social engagement through actions like repins will help your rankability in visual search.



About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale.

The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.