Have you incorporated Pinterest into your marketing mix yet? According to new study, there are currently 47 million active users on Pinterest and that audience is expected to grow. What’s more, Pinterest presents marketers with many opportunities to reach out to their customers and help them along the buying process through its attractive visual interface.

The Three Pinterest Advantages

Take a good look at Pinterest and you will find that there are a couple of big reasons why it’s a powerful social site on the web.

Its One-of-a-Kind Set Up – A feed of visual content that gets collected into user-created boards allows customers to collect their ideal stream of product options or dream concepts. The endless amount of content means users have the ability to create and collect content on just about anything.

Its Focus on Products – Pinterest differentiates from your traditional social site by focusing on products. While Facebook’s primary focus is connecting with friends and Linkedin is about connected with business contacts, recruiters, and colleagues, Pinterest conveniently delivers information on a wide range of products and goods to the consumer, especially for women in their 30s and young families, which is the demographic that dominates the social site.

It’s “Searcial” – a term coined by marketers that describes something that’s made up of both search and social. Consumers will often visit a search engine to research products and services. On the other hand, customers will go to social networks to connect to other users. Pinterest has the ability to satisfy both desires, which strengthens its appeal.

The Powers of Pinterest (According to Research)

Pinterest is the Ultimate Online Shopping Catalog

According to a study released May 12 by the Wall Street Journal, roughly 52% of the 1,500 active Pinterest users surveyed agreed that the site helps them find products they want to buy. Slightly less than half of respondents said Pinterest recommends relevant products to buy. In addition to this, 32% they purchased an item in store after viewing Pinterest content.

To supplement, another study done by Sharaholic at the beginning of the year shows that Pinterest users were bouncing off the social site to company websites in December 2014 at a rate of seven times higher than they were in 2011. The study also shows that Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube actually lost ground sending customer to websites. In fact, for a social site of only 47.1 million users, Pinterest send 5% of the 300,000 websites surveyed in the study. Pretty impressive!

Pinterest Users Doubled at the End of 2014

Pinterest’s visual appeal makes it a catalog for everything you could ever imaging purchasing on the web. Research provided by the Global Web Index, an Internet data analysis firm, reported at Tech Crunch, reveals that the number of Pinterest users doubled during the second half of 2014. In the last six months of 2014, the social site’s active users grew 111% and members increased 57%. As reported two months ago, Pinterest recently become the fastest growing channel, surpassing Instagram. Since Pinterest’s beginning in 2011, Pinterest has grown its user base to massive numbers, at a similar rate to Facebook, which achieved 33 million from its beginning in 2004 – 2008.

Pinterest Will Receive Steady Growth Year-After-Year

eMarketer expects a steady growth for Pinterest in the next several years. It reports that Pinterest will expect reaching a total audience of 60 million in 2019; Pinterest’s 24% growth rate will outshine Facebook’s 9.2%.

Pinterest is also working really hard to reach a wider audience; although a majority of its users are millennial moms, they have doubled the number of males signing up in the past year. And the male audience is expected to grow faster than its female audience.

Pinterest Will Be an Attractive Marketing Opportunity

With its carefully thought out ad options, Pinterest is offering a more welcoming feel that could turn marketers’ heads away from Facebook. Facebook, the current dominant social site has always been focused on social interaction, rather than marketing. Although Facebook has really stepped up in the last several months with new ad targeting options and video ads, it may be too late. Forrester’s Nate Elliott says that Pinterest will someday drive more sales than Facebook and Twitter, and by 2016, its ad offerings could trump those of other social networks.

Pinterest will be able to offer not only great ad options, but also great marketing data to back it up. While Facebook collects affinity data based on users’ interests, Pinterest directly targets purchase intent, which shows what users are searching for to make future purchases. Affinity data is more passive and intent data, which is more active. While Pinterest has still not released all its customer data, the social network is interested in making it as accurate as possible, which can provide big value for advertisers that’s very reminiscent of the data that Google’s collects for its search ads.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Pinterest is currently in talks to raise another $500 million. The article speculates that the money raised will be put towards building a buy button, a direct competitor to Facebook’s new call-to-action button and Google’s buy buttons.