Are you someone who is interested in using Pinterest more but you're just not quite sure how? Well, you're not alone.
Many of us think of Pinterest as a place for just fashion, décor and DIY crafts - and if we don't use it ourselves, it's probably not even on our radar for business.
Many brands still underutilize this social media channel because they don't understand how it can add value to their business. This misunderstanding results in part because it's such a visual platform – if people think they don't have anything to "show", then they probably think the platform is not meant for them.
According to Marketing Week, there are 100 billion pinned images and 2 billion boards on the site, with over 90% of active pinners claiming that Pinterest guides their purchasing decisions – which is why Adweek agrees that brands shouldn’t miss joining and capturing the attention of 200 million engaged pinners.
So, what's all the fuss about? Let's take a good look at three examples of successful Pinterest advertising campaigns to find out more about the many ways businesses can incorporate this innovative social media tool as a key part of their social media campaigns.
Joy Cho (Oh Joy!) is truly the queen of Pinterest, and she shows no signs of slowing down. With well over 13 million followers and 4.4 million monthly views, she is the number one most-followed person on the platform.
This designer and blogger has built her pinning empire using a few key strategies and a lot of high-quality images. It helps that most of her followers are genuinely interested in her visual design and creative concepts. And it doesn’t hurt to be a visual professional who’s well-versed at the art of self-promotion.
Joy is the ultimate example of how a creative professional can boost their personal branding power. Not only is she talented at sourcing some of the most beautiful images, she also chooses modern, quirky designs of just the sort that would appeal to a Millennial creative demographic.
She also has a ton of boards, and while topically there’s a broad variety of subjects, each board has a somewhat specific focus – for instance, there’s one devoted to just packaging.
IKEA is one of the best examples of a global company that has used social media to its advantage in innovative ways. With over 10 million monthly viewers and over 500,000 followers on the IKEA USA page alone, they have established a global presence.
Part of the reason behind the furniture store’s Pinterest success is that the audience is already 'engaged' in projects like décor, so the people that use the app or site are essentially already planning to purchase specific products. IKEA has also taken advantage of Pinterest's new advertising formats such as shopping ads, which has helped them lower their cost-per-click (CPC).
One example of a successful campaign was the one that they ran last year. The furniture retailer realized that back-to-school was one of their key seasons because students are going to college and they have both limited budgets and space. Add that to the fact that Pinterest sees a 36% year-on-year growth in Millennials, and there’s a massive opportunity for selling to college students.
Since they recognized that college students were the perfect demographic to target, they started to push traffic to their website, focusing on dorm-friendly furnishings and accessories as well as design ideas for small spaces. They used Promoted Pins and keywords like “dorm ideas” and “dorm room organization” to push traffic in the right direction.
The results? Their click-through rate increased by 72% and CPC decreased by 37%.
Travel is another very popular category on Pinterest, with about three-quarters of users claiming that they find brand-based travel content useful. Boards featuring dream vacations and trip planning topics are quite popular, and plenty of people use the platform to search for and bookmark accommodation.
These behaviors make sense, given that so many people use the boards for learning, planning, preparing and sharing as they consider upcoming projects and plans. Lonely Planet, the popular travel guide company, has a whopping 700,000+ followers and uses a super simple but effective tool to boost their exposure - a 'Travel Quotes' board.
How else do they engage users? Specialized key phrases like “solo travel” or “wellness travel” are increasingly popular, and targeting specific interests ranging from food to activities to even different modes of travel are different ways that they appeal to a broad audience.
They also partner with third-party sites as well as other travel writers, which creates even more opportunity for people from all backgrounds to feel like they’re a part of the brand.
As a marketing platform, Pinterest can be used in a variety of ways and for most types of businesses. The important thing is to determine precisely how you will use it before you spend a lot of time on it. Bear in mind that it’s a platform for inspiration, discovery and ideas, so for the most part to engage users, you have to “catch” them in the planning and consideration phase of a project or purchase.
Here are some tips for businesses to use Pinterest effectively:
- Incorporate videos to drive engagement.
- Make quotes boards because they are super simple, shareable and easy to create with tools such as Canva.
- Share different information and images about your business, such as team members, events, and even customer testimonials.
- Use Pinterest to track engagement metrics.
- Have a board dedicated to a specific client or customer or to a niche that you specialize in.
- Take advantage of promoted pins and shopping ads.
So, what's the bottom line? Pinterest isn't just for fashion and home décor. It can be used to promote all sorts of businesses.
With a little creativity and strategy, there are plenty of ways to use it for the benefit of your particular type and style of business - and best of all, you’ll probably have some fun doing it!
(First published October 2018)