They say there’s no time like the present. But revenue-focused marketers know that when it comes to Pinterest, it’s simply not true. Consumers check Facebook for their memories, scroll the ‘Gram for what’s now, but when they’re daydreaming about their upcoming wedding or need inspiration for what house furnishings to buy, Pinterest is all about the future.
With all this opportunity, marketers are chomping at the bit to get in. The result? A two-part series on how savvy brands are investing in their organic Pinterest strategy during 2019.
In Grow Your Organic Pinterest Strategy Part One, we reviewed the high-level themes that seasoned brands are covering for their visual commerce channel. We learned that timing is everything and that pinners are planners. In fact, pinners are planning for an average of 30-45 days pre-purchase, which implies a large window of opportunity to help influence buying decisions and increase product awareness.
For a visual marketing channel, telling a great visual story is critical to success. Besides selling a product, you’re selling an aspirational journey through your boards that should resonate with your audience and be in line with your brand.
Visuals are key for catching your audiences’ attention, but, as a curated search engine Pinterest leaves plenty of opportunity for SEO. For targeting consumers who are close to making a buying decision, we ruminated on using optimal keywords and hashtags to optimize for search, and adding the Pinterest save button to your site.
In part two, let’s dive into a few fail-proof ways that smart marketers are optimizing their Pinterest strategy and surfacing some key insights to help them along. Because it’s a critical time to get growing on Pinterest.
Why Pinterest, Why Now?
In addition to the big news that our friends at Pinterest went public back in April, which surely translates into an exciting trajectory in the near future, Pinterest is the new black—er, white space. Social users are starting to fatigue from the negative effects of other social channels’ focus on increasing personal popularity and peer to peer engagements. Pinterest is perfectly positioned to inspire and foster positivity, excitement, and hope. After all, Pinterest is where users go to get inspiration for their life. It’s not about projecting an image. It’s personal. In fact, in the product’s early days, pinners requested secret boards so they could protect their most intimate hopes and ideas in private. The channel doesn’t optimize for typical engagements (more on this in a hot minute👇), but rather to help pinners get inspired and plan online, with the end goal of getting the user offline and into the world. Despite loading pinners up with DIYs, inspo, and recipes to master offline, their average time on the app is a massive 14.2-minute session—clearly, people are investing their time in searching there.
So how to connect with a very engaged audience that is demonstrating intent to purchase, and choose content that makes it easy for the Pinterest audience to act on intent? Let's get into it.
The Who’s Who
With over 250 million users and 200 billion pins, there’s a whole lot to discover on Pinterest. The most important discovery is perhaps a perfectly-curated target audience for marketers. While 250 million users may seem small in comparison to larger social networks, it’s what’s inside that counts. Pinners come to Pinterest to inform their buying decisions, search for products, or plan out major spending sprees (we see you, secret house, travel, and wedding boards). Further to their intent, 93% of active pinners said they use Pinterest to plan for purchases and 87% said they’ve purchased something because of Pinterest. And this is no pocket change—40% of Pinners have a household income of 100k+. Jessica Alba recently gushed about her home reno on her 9.95 million dollar mansion that she fully planned—in detail—on Pinterest.
- First, see if you already have a Pinterest presence without even knowing it. Type www.pinterest.com/source/YOURWEBSITE.COM into your browser to uncover what pinners are saving from your website. Is there already a market for a certain product line? Is there a clear trend on which types of boards your products are being pinned to? This insight can help guide the visuals you focus on, products you highlight, and which keywords will surface most often for your fam.
- Speaking of keywords, Pinterest is a visual search engine, which means SEO is critical to becoming discoverable by your audience. Luckily, Pinterest makes this easy by suggesting key phrases that are often searched. And they take it one step further by highlighting popular complementary keywords after you’ve searched. As a brand, it’s easy to do a little digging and put this critical intel into your descriptions, board names, hashtags, and copy.
Influencer marketing is no new concept, but the clear white space on Pinterest deserves some special attention. As we now know, pinners are in the mindset of purchasing and planning, and they search Pinterest for inspiration on which product is the best. It’s basically an influencer’s haven. But because of some confusion on how to capitalize on this resource, the opportunity remains untapped and unsaturated—rare to find these days on a social medium. There’s an opportunity for serious ROI considering a single pin can drive engagement for over four months, providing value long after the content is live—no more fleeting posts with short-term impact.
A few things to keep in mind when blazing the trail with Pinfluencers. Pinterest is all about inspiration and aspiration. So allow influencers to create authentic content that’s going to resonate with their audience without feeling too “in their face”. Pinterest isn’t about followers and voice; it's about delivering content that the audience can place themselves in. This is an opportunity to get creative with your marketing efforts without a huge investment up front because of the lower demand for pinfluencers. Measuring results has only gotten easier since Pinterest released in-depth influencer analytics in 2018. So get going while the going is good—with 92% of brands who invest in influencers in Pinterest seeing success, it's only a matter of time before the market closes in.
Creating engaging and aspirational content that stops a user mid-scroll is the bread and butter of any visual marketing channel—especially on Pinterest, where 80% of users access the channel through a mobile device. Marketers need to ask what kind of content is going to inspire action. The best creative starts with audience insights. How are pinners going to use your product? What problem does it solve for them? And, considering pinners are planners, what seasonal events are upcoming that your audience is thinking about?
Strategy for net new content is one thing, but Pinterest is all about a steady stream of new content and insights to remain relevant. To keep up with the demand, don’t forget about visual content from other channels and sources, too. Now—there is a big difference between reusing and repurposing content. Smart brands will repurpose content, but put thought into how it will perform on Pinterest. Pinners are often searching for solutions and how-to ideas—translation, they are likely to spend more time with your content to investigate. As Pinterest tested, stitching together photos and videos to tell a compelling, complete story resulted in seven times more engagement than a single image. So spend a little more time and consideration investing in quality content (a job made super seamless with Dash Hudson’s Story Studio).
Remember, pinners log on to Pinterest with intent and mindset that are very different from users of other social platforms. On large social networks like Facebook and Instagram, marketers are trained to measure success based on reaching millions of users, although the users often have lower buying intent. But savvy brands know that not all users are created equal, and Pinterest views are focused more deeply on their target market.
All things considered, it can sometimes take up to six months to see organic returns when rolling out a new Pinterest strategy—mainly because of where the audience is in their buying journey. But be patient. This is a slow start with big rewards in the near future. In the meantime, focus on your brands’ awareness and impressions to ensure you are hitting the right users. Website traffic, click-throughs, and conversions are just around the corner.
Put a Pin in It
Now that we’re post-IPO, Pinterest is really just getting started. Investing in your Pinterest strategy in 2019 is guaranteed to provide serious returns considering the opportunity and white space for brand awareness, direct access to target audience, and creative marketing practice.
Header image: @annasheffield
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