Pinterest Secret: The Curiosity Driven Pinutorial

Joe Sugarman Pill CuriosityJoe Sugarman in The Adweek Copywriting Handbook states,

If I had to pick the one major psychological reason that makes direct marketing so successful today, it would be curiosity”

How are smart marketers taking advantage of this in Pinterest? With the ‘Curiosity Driven’ Pinutorial of course.

A ‘Curiosity Driven’ Pinutorial is one that uses an image that seems odd, unexpected, somewhat wrong, or out of place – as a teaching device.

In this case, everyone knows that when you’re taking an Asprin, there is a tricky moment in your mouth when it’s starting to disolve, and if you haven’t gotten it swallowed by then, you’re going to get a really horrible taste. And you’re certainly not supposed to allow Asprin to dissolve in your hand, right?! Bam – we’re hooked!

This marketing tactic, when done well, is powerful. In the case of this Asprin image – it has been repinned 5882 times. Imagine how many times it will be repinned over the next few years as Pinterest grows in influence & traffic, (wow).

This technique is not manipulative, or wrong, or bad. It just toys with a deep seated psychological habit we all have wired into our DNA. We build up a set of ‘understandings’ or ‘lessons’ about a product, or object, and when those lessons or messed around with – we take notice. And when we are taught something new in the process – we appreciate the new information – and pay attention to the smart person, (or brand), that showed us.

I don’t know why, but as I’m writing this blog post, the example that comes to my mind is Jesus, and how he did many of his miracles. Water into wine, mud in the eye to heal a blind man, etc. Maybe he knew some deep seated psychological triggers of his own.

Anyway, back to Pinterest. The steps involved in taking advantage of this technique are pretty obvious, (a minute to learn, a lifetime to master kinda thing). You’ve got to:

  1. Have something unique to teach,
  2. Find a unique image that will stand out as your anchor content, and
  3. Develop a ‘pinutorial’ message that makes the connection between the image & what you want to teach.
  4. Incorporate brand & url elements so you can drive traffic to your site.

No, it’s not easy, or more people would be doing it. But if & when you get it right, watch out!

Ps. As part of this article I took a screenshot of this image, and included my commentary below the original commentary and pinned it on my “pinutorial examples” pinboard. My commentary was about the ‘curiosity driven pinutorial’ aspect, and I put it on my board. But of course you know what happened. People started repinning my screenshot – odd comments and all – onto their health and beauty related boards. Did they care what I was talking about? No! It just goes to show the power of the image when creating a pinutorial. This one is mesmerizing.

Pps. Okay, I had to do it. How could I not? Here is my doctored up version of the image, which I’ll pin with silly content, which would only be mildly humorous to copywriters, but they’ll (possibly) repin it within their copywriting circles and we’ll see if it leads to traffic back to this site. We’ll test the power of the image, since clearly it won’t have any Asprin Mask content anymore. But I did provide ‘props’ to the original image source – the painted-ladies.com. If they get mad at me I’ll take this down.

Jason Miles is the CEO of Liberty Jane Clothing, a Seattle based ecommerce company, and the author of the Bestselling Pinterest Power book - the definitive book on Pinterest marketing. He regularly partners with leading online groups and sites including, the American Marketing Association, IBM's Connectchat, Social Media Examiner, Profnet, Marketingprofs, and similar groups.

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