A few years ago, many people saw Pinterest as simply a visual bookmarking service used to collect recipe and fashion inspiration. Since then, it has attracted an audience that’s now in the millions. While it’s still used for inspirational purposes, brands now know how to integrate their content and convert Pinterest Pins into sales.
There’s no doubt that Pinterest’s visual nature makes it the perfect platform to showcase products. But with more than 750 million boards and 30 billion Pins, marketers want to ensure their Pins stand out. Recently Pinterest pushed Promoted Pins into the next phase of testing and now offers a do-it-yourself tool, allowing businesses of any size to promote their Pins and reach more people.
As Promoted Pins make their way into more branded content strategies, we’d like to share some success stories from businesses that have helped people around the world discover and collect the things they want to buy, plan, and do. Here are two ways Pinterest Pins have had a significant impact on brands.
Visit Kraft Recipes’s profile on Pinterest.
Recipes were already one of the most popular interests on Pinterest when Kraft Foods joined in January 2012. Since then, the brand has added thousands of recipes to Pinterest. In fact, the platform is now the greatest source of referral traffic back to Kraftrecipes.com.
But as you’ll soon see, just pinning your content isn’t enough; you need follow-through. “We are obsessive about content performance,” explained Dana Shank, associate director of CRM content strategy and media monetization. “Pinterest helps us find the sparks of content resonating in real time. We can then fan these flames immediately with further content distribution throughout our own channels.”
Every week, the Kraft team reviews repins and clickthrough rates from Pinterest and data from other social channels to learn what people like. They also try to identify food trends by looking to see what other food Pins are popular that week. Once they have a clear idea of what’s working, the team immediately optimizes content throughout their marketing. Kraft is continually adjusting its sails, so to speak, to ensure that its pinned content is always fresh, never stale.
When Sony joined Pinterest, the brand noticed how much of its product line and content was already being pinned. Eager to built its own presence, the Sony team created boards and added Pins that matched what fans liked, including new products, vintage ads, and unique gadgets. Sony’s boards continued to evolve as the company branched out to reach new audiences.
In 2012, Sony sent out a dedicated email about Pinterest to make more consumers aware of the brand’s Pins. Relying heavily on visuals, the email recommended a few of Sony’s boards to follow. It had an open rate 67 percent higher than its set goal and a clickthrough rate 16 percent above the goal. Sony resent the email two weeks later, garnering a 15 percent increase in subscribers and a significant jump in Pinterest followers.
Now, Sony includes Pinterest in most of its emails, especially product launches. In its VAIO summer line-up launch email, the brand included the Pin It button next to each product. “Adding the Pin It button to emails makes it easy for people to say, ‘That product looks cool, I’ll pin it so I can check it out later,’” said Callan Green, senior social media specialist at Sony. People pinned from the email 3,000 times.
As a business, you might find that many of your products or published content is already floating around on Pinterest. But obviously there are advantages to carving out your own presence and controlling some of that spread. Remember that your work is just beginning the minute you publish a Pin. Be sure you track your performance on the platform so you can optimize future content and improve your business goals.
As Pinterest gets closer to launching Promoted Pins, it’s giving companies with business accounts priority access to them. All you have to do is just fill out a form and you’ll be notified when you can get started. Promoted Pins will be available on a cost-per-click basis through ads.pinterest.com.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.