PINTEREST: A PLATFORM OF POSSIBILITIES
We wrote a previous article on Pinterest, outlining how it can fit into a brand’s social media strategy and sharing our advice about what content works best and why. We then got the lovely Bindi, Partnerships Manager and Kate, UK Content and Community Manager, to come and talk about the platform at our summit in January 2018 and learnt that as the platform for possibilities, its own are pretty endless.
If you’re not already familiar with Pinterest, now’s the time to start. With 10 million unique monthly users to the site and over 100 billion ideas saved to Pinterest globally (3 million ideas saved to the UK every day), there’s a lot of content on the platform, inspiring users to get doing and consequently, driving online conversions. People who engage with Pinterest content are 12% more likely to buy in store and Pinners are 5.8x more likely to convert online. As a brand or influencer, it’s a highly valuable platform to curate your content and drive impressive results.
From Evergreen to the Everyday
We had always considered Pinterest as a planner’s platform for the big events, but interestingly 53% of users are on Pinterest to plan for those everyday moments, in contrast to just 33% who are more likely to plan for big moments. In the UK, its audience is 40% millennials, 70% of whom are female, highly interested in experience and actively doing things. What does this tell us? That yes, Pinners plan for key seasonal events, but also that the platform is no longer just riding on its evergreen content ability; instead, it’s providing the inspiration for daily activities, from beauty routines to dinner on a Tuesday night. This has opened up the type of content that brands can and should upload to Pinterest and increased flexibility on the timing of these uploads. Of course, don’t neglect the longevity of its content value and do consider this for timely uploading of certain product. However, also keep things current and curate boards which have more real-time impact aligned with daily happenings.
With 75% of Pins coming from businesses, Pinterest gives brands the opportunity to reach an audience that is proactively looking for ideas. Audiences typically split into two types, Discovery and Search, the former encompassing those just looking and the latter already conscious of the type of result they want. Pinners approach content in these differing states of mind, so it’s important to balance out your content with a mix of aspirational images and product-focused pins. For brands who are yet to set up their Pinterest, it’s highly likely that much of your content is already on the platform being shared by users. What your own brand account can give to users is one space in which to find all content, facilitating their search and attributing the pin to the brand, rather than the user.
To set up your brand successfully on Pinterest, you’ll need to firstly have a business account, which will also give you access to Pinterest analytics (we’ll come on to this after); with this set up, you can begin to grow your following and develop your profile, through both the app itself and its integration into your own website. It’s also worth noting that 75% of Pinterest usage takes place on a mobile device, so make sure that your own website is optimised for mobile use to get the most out of the platform.
Pinterest has some brilliant tools for business through its plug-ins, that can be easily and aesthetically installed on your own website. The Save Button, as the most straightforward, either as an automatic or hover feature, allows your website visitors to add more of your content to Pinterest. This means that other Pinners will see it too and your overall impressions will increase. Installing Pinterest widgets on your site will also allow you to incorporate either single pins or depending on which widget you choose, up to 30 pins from any board or profile. This is a great way of developing your brand image on your own site with images that aren’t just of product, as well as growing your presence on Pinterest by directing users from your website.
Pinterest, much like its competitors, has its own extensive analytics tool which as a business profile holder, gives you access to vital information about your own content and how your audience reacts to it. Pinners behave differently to users on other platforms, so knowing these valuable insights will allow you to improve your Pinterest profile and monitor how best to adapt its integration on other sites. You’ll be able to see your most loved pins and boards both on a monthly and all-time record; consider why these have attained this status for an understanding of content-of-the-moment, as well as wider trends across your profile.
Pinterest’s audience insight not only gives you the standard breakdown of age, gender and location, but it also provides you with detailed interests of your audience, helping you to get ideas about what other content your audience likes to see. The audience insights also show you boards from your audience’s own collections, so that you can see how your brand is pinned and how your audience organises it in relation to others. What’s even more interesting is that the platform shows you how your audience interacts with other business accounts, providing an essential insight into their future interests and what they’re looking to explore. This is particularly helpful when creating targeted Promoted Pins, using the record of your audience’s other interests to accurately target more Pinners.
For a full breakdown of the analytics available, check out Pinterest’s guide here.
The Best Things Come in Threes…
When we listened to Bindi and Kate talking about Pinterest, they mentioned three new major features that we, and naturally you, should want to be aware of. Each with their own individual function but collectively representing Pinterest’s ethos of sharing is caring, Tried It, Visual Search and Lens are three updates that are fun, informative and incredibly useful to brand and consumer alike.
Tried It: Pinners can now checkmark when they’ve tried an idea, offering feedback, notes and photos to help others decide if they should give it a go. The platform is all about being yourself, not your selfie and it wants users to focus as much on the creation as the end result. It’s not about being perfect on Pinterest and just showing life’s highlights, but rather presenting more realistic and attainable outcomes that Pinners can enjoy themselves both individually and together. Brands should note that the Tried It checkmark is only available on organic content and won’t appear on any sponsored pins, but it is a great way of seeing how well product is received by your customers and improving if and where necessary.
Visual Search: a mecca tool for product association, visual search allows you to select a certain part of a pin, say a pink cushion on a pinned sofa, and the platform will provide you with several alternatives to the original as well other ways to style it; it doesn’t just allow you to identify what an item is, but also how it can fit into your life’s narrative. What’s more, download Pinterest to your Google Chrome or Firefox browser and visual search extends to any image on the internet as a starting point for your digital journey.
Lens: Perhaps our favourite feature on Pinterest, Lens is some pretty impressive stuff, helping you find ideas inspired by the things you see in the real world. Simply hold up your camera to something you see and the feature will bring up various associated themes, products and ideas for you to browse. It recently celebrated its one year on the app and since its launch, Pinterest have been at work reinventing it to understand more than five times as many things: from hundreds of recipe ingredients to clothing styles and all those odd objects you may find around the home, the visual model is rebuilt nightly (!), so it’s constantly understanding and identifying more objects in the world.
Ok, so we couldn’t just mention three. The introduction of Pincodes is the perfect example of merging offline with online and the platform has been working with multiple brands to incorporate these into store labels and experience. They’re the platform’s own, prettier and more colourful version of QR codes, a system which never really took off in the UK, and once unlocked with the app, give immediate access to Pins, boards and thousands of other ideas on Pinterest. Only business accounts can generate Pincodes, but as we see them gain greater traction, they’re the ideal way to add a new dimension to the user’s experience in their everyday life.
Pinterest is a brilliant advertising tool and the platform has learnt that to do advertising right, it needs to be subtle and well-integrated. Much like Twitter and Instagram, where promoted ads look almost identical to organic content, Pinterest’s promoted pins don’t disrupt or distract Pinners in their world of possibilities. In fact, 73% of Pinners say that content from brands makes Pinterest more useful, so promoted pins are actually an essential part of the user experience and success of the platform.
Pinners are actively excited to see your content and ideas, so using Promoted Pins to get these in front of an audience is exactly what its users want to see. Moreover, Pinners are ready to act, searching for ideas and inspiration so that they can do: 61% of Pinners have made a purchase after seeing business content on Pinterest. In contrast to other platforms, where we’re familiar with scrolling past or ignoring ads, on Pinterest, people save sponsored brand content. What the platform then does is place this saved Promoted Pin in the feeds of the pinner’s audience, gaining you earned media (yay!) and resulting in more sales from increased brand awareness amongst other users.
Pinterest is a pretty epic platform and it records that people do more than 600 million visual searches using Lens, their browser extension and the visual search tool inside Pins each month. That’s a lot of visual searching and just seeks to cement the ever-increasing power and presence of the pictorial platform. On that note, we’ll leave you with some parting advice for your creative - both profile and pins - to make sure you’re nailing (pinning?) Pinterest for your brand:
Be helpful: Offer tips, advice and instructions as well as showcasing the product so that users align your brand with this interaction.
Be beautiful: As a pictorial platform, the quality of images on Pinterest is noticeably high, particularly because a substantial amount of content comes from businesses and professional shoots. Ensure that your own images are of a quality that fits that of the platform.
Be actionable: Pinterest isn’t a highlights’ reel, it’s actually real. Its users want ideas that can be done in life so make sure your audience can easily act on the content your providing.