Insight, interview, Social Media, Thoughts

Driving Brand Value with Pinterest

Without much noise around it, Pinterest’s audience has recently seen great growth, in 2020 their user base increase by 140 million. They now have 460 million monthly active users. This could be down to a number of reasons from people using the platform to curate their interior home projects (something that has increased through lockdown), recipe-finding for home-cooked meals in light of restaurant closures, to moodboard planning post-Covid weddings and events we’re longing to go to. Despite the impact Covid-19 may have had on the usership of the platform; we don’t see this trend decreasing when things return to “normal”. 

We caught up with Carli Gooch, the UK Agency Lead at Pinterest, to discuss how Pinterest has changed since Covid-19, how the tool is evolving and what luxury brands can be doing to get on board. 

What can marketing with Pinterest achieve for luxury brands?

What’s special and truly unique about Pinterest is that we have a decision-oriented, commercially minded audience. That means ads are additive on Pinterest. We’re putting brands in front of consumers who are actually open to discovering something new and are full of commercial intent. In fact, 84% of weekly Pinterest users come to the platform when they are considering products and services to buy but are undecided. 97% of the top searches on Pinterest are non-branded. Brands who use Pinterest well, understand that their customers on Pinterest travel from inspiration to action and back again on the platform and savvy retailers on Pinterest target content and advertising accordingly.  

How has consumer behavior changed since Covid-19?

Last year was like no other. We were so inspired by the resilience we saw from so many of our Pinners as well as our brand partners. And, we were also happy that we could play a part in helping people find solutions for their new normal and maintain their optimism for the future. 

Pinterest reached all-time highs for engagement globally during 2020. We welcomed 100 million new monthly active users to the platform and saw searches up more than 60% year on year. 

We feel that we really made a lot of impact in helping Pinterest users find inspiration to adjust to life during the pandemic. We first saw that people needed Pinterest to help them adjust to radically changed circumstances which inspired them to cook at home plan activities for their kids and set up remote offices and home gyms. After they were settled into a new normal of staying inside, we saw that people shifted back to how they normally use Pinterest – planning for the future. 

Our advertiser growth accelerated year on year too. Advertisers turned to us for guidance on how to navigate the pandemic, and our insights have driven thought leadership and shaped their campaigns. We’ve been able to help predict trends on how to inspire through uncertainty and how to think about where ads should run with adjacency concerns becoming more and more prevalent.

Can you give an example of a luxury brand doing great things on Pinterest right now? Why do you think they are seeing success?

One of our luxury brand partners doing great things on the platform is Parfums Christian Dior. We partner with them on a full funnel approach for the brand, from awareness and consideration to conversion and shopping.  

They’re open to trying and testing new formats, complementing an ‘always-on’ strategy with upper funnel objectives for brand moments and brand launches, a mixture that has bolstered performance and enabled them to build more strategic plans on the platform. We know what Pinners are looking for ahead of time, and work with their team to adapt and tailor creative assets to really tap into key moments and trends on Pinterest like Christmas and Valentine’s Day.    

Why should luxury brands be advertising on Pinterest, above TikTok, Instagram and Facebook?

Simply put, with Pinterest, you can inspire the decisions of consumers. Unlike other platforms where ads distract users from reading the news or connecting with friends, commercial content can enhance the Pinterest user’s experience. People come to Pinterest looking for products and services to plan their futures and build their lives.

On Pinterest, brands are additive to the Pinner experience. People come to Pinterest to discover products and services, for their wardrobe, for their new home, for their next holiday and advertisers want to be discovered. There is incredible harmony between them both. 

97% of the top searches on Pinterest are unbranded, which is why the service is such an effective place to reach people while they’re still considering their next purchase and haven’t decided on a brand. 

Furthermore, businesses can reach people on Pinterest when they’re planning to act and open to new ideas and according to Nielsen, 98% of Pinners report trying new things they find on Pinterest, compared to an average of only 71% across social media platforms. The combination of consumer planning behavior and open mindset provides great results for retailers no matter what their objective – brand awareness, customer acquisition or retention. 

As a place to get inspiration and plan for life’s moments, Pinterest has always been a more positive place. Pinterest is a leader in creating more positive environments for consumers, and therefore brands, with nearly 9 in 10 weekly users saying that Pinterest is an online oasis. 

Pinterest is known for being a platform for women . Is this correct and if so, how do you see this shifting now or in the future?

we’re now seeing a more expansive and diverse audience leveraging the platform. Gen Z, men and Millennials are the audience segments that are driving the majority of Pinterest’s new user growth. For example, Gen Z is turning to Pinterest as they become “new independents” and start doing many things for the first time—first car, first job, first apartment. They want to know how to do these things their own way and are looking for personalized ideas to demonstrate their individuality.

Men in particular have been turning to Pinterest during quarantine at-home ideas—everything from home decor to bread baking. Whether they’re upgrading their kitchen (‘modular kitchen’ is up 12x and ‘kitchen storage solutions’ up 7x among men) or upgrading their look (‘men’s fashion streetwear’ is up nearly 6x and healthy skincare up 9x among men). Men are also searching for “creative makeup looks” nearly 7x more than the same time last year. And, they’re getting creative in the kitchen: ‘one pan dinners’ are up 2x and ‘artisan bread recipes’ are up 5.5x among men, and updating their appearance with searches for ‘healthy skincare’ (up 9x) and ‘70’s inspired fashion’ (up 6x). It’s exciting to see that men now make up Pinterest’s second-fastest growing audience, increasing more than 48% year over year. 

How does Pinterest shopping differ from Instagram shopping?

At Pinterest we’re building a place to shop online—not just a place to buy. Shopping is about browsing, being inspired by new ideas and discovering something you didn’t even know you wanted. Every Pin can be a starting point for shopping and it should be seamless from Pin to purchase. New features will continue to build on this vision. We have a search and discovery engine, which is unlike any other platforms, providing recommendations based on visually similar ideas and your taste. 

We launched a suite of shopping features in the UK in 2020 including Product Pins and Lens visual search, to make it as easy as possible for people to find something they love, and be able to click through and buy it. Since then over 800 brands have uploaded their catalogues in the UK including the likes of Louis Vuitton, Parfums Christian Dior, Topshop and Trouva. 2020 saw a 60% increase in searches and 40% increase in saves on Pinterest, which is an all-time high engagement rate. 

What would be your key advice to a luxury brand looking to begin their journey with Pinterest?

Our mission is to help people create a life they love, and brands’ content on Pinterest is naturally serving this objective by being inspiring, in context and actionable. Our brilliant creative strategy team collaborates closely with brands to help them create content that is the most useful to Pinterest’s users and drive performance. 

Thanks to our Creative Best Practices available on our Business site, brands can easily learn to design the best Pins according to their marketing objectives. 

And what would your advice be to a luxury brand already on Pinterest but are not maximising their potential?

Pinterest has an ever-evolving suite of tools for brands to maximise their potential on the platform. Pinterest insights have always been a huge vehicle for marketers who want to make effective and inspiring creative, but it’s really unlocked a lot of new and creative campaigns on Pinterest.

For example, Trend Badges, one of our more recent additions, are an insights-driven ad solution that taps into the top themes and ideas that Pinterest users are searching for during key seasonal moments. It enables brands to reach consumers on Pinterest with inspiring content that stands-out and provokes action, the Pinterest Trend Badge gives advertisers the opportunity to own a particular trend on Pinterest giving them special authority and a ‘stamp of approval’ as the only brand to have the Trend Badges on Pins for the idea in that country. 

What is Pinterest HQ working on at the moment? Any sneak peeks you can give us?

In 2020, over one billion videos were viewed per day, which led to the launch of Pinterest Premiere last month, a new tiered video ad package that allows advertisers to target against the unique trends and moments that are made on Pinterest. We’re continuing to launch new ad formats and features that enable businesses to effectively reach consumers.

We’re working on building products that are inclusive and additive to people’s everyday lives. For example our skin tone ranges feature that we recently expanded to 13 additional markets around the world, makes it easy for everyone to find the most relevant Pins for their skin tone, style and life. 

Looking ahead, our ultimate vision is that you’ll be able to buy anything you see on Pinterest, or get personalised recommendations for something very similar.