3 Case Studies That Show How Pinterest Can Benefit Your Business
3 Case Studies That Show How Pinterest Can Benefit Your Business
In only 6 years, Pinterest has grown a large presence in North America and is now focused on becoming a global force (experiencing strong growth in UK, France and Germany, as well as Japan and Brazil). Today, Pinterest holds an intriguing place in the social media space. As a platform Facebook is more focused on the past (relationships and connections), Twitter with what’s happening now, Instagram with the creation of content (mainly images), where Pinterest is centered on the discovery and curation of users content (images & content).
With over 100 million monthly users, Pinterest has become more than a scrapbooking tool where users organize and share images by creating “pinboards” around topics including fashion, beauty tips, recipes and home decor. Pinterest is more about meaningful content discovery, where users find inspiration and ideas looking to plan their milestones and enhance their daily lives
Pinterest has the profound ability to offer the future.
And this future focus is a gold mine for business as it allows them to engage throughout the buyers journey and to plant the seeds for when they are ready to buy.
Who are these Active Pinners?
According to a Media Consumption study conducted by Ahalogy
- Active Pinterest users are young, tech-savvy and have more disposable income than non-users
- The most active users are Millennial Moms with young children who grew up with smart phones and social media.
- 67% of Pinterest users self-identify as early adopters, which mean they like to try new things.
- They watch significantly less TV and are moving away from reading traditional print catalogs, newspapers and magazines, replacing that media consumption with Pinterest use.
Pinterest opens the door to a desirable audience.
Pinterest can provide you with a highly-coveted audience of young, tech-savvy users with a high disposable incomes who love to engage with brands and business and more importantly love to shop.
How they are using Pinterest:
- SEARCH: 39% of them are using Pinterest in place of traditional search engines, such as Google.
- COMMERCE: 75% of Pinterest activity is happening on mobile: 30% of active users use the app in-store to guide their purchases.
- DISCOVERY: Pinterest users are ready and willing to be marketed to—as long as brands do it organically.
- INTERACTION: 75% would prefer to follow and interact with their favorite brands on Pinterest rather than their favorite celebrities or so-called “experts.”
Three Business Case Studies
As the platform develops, more and more companies have started to explore the benefits of Pinterest and many such as Nordstrom, Bank of America, and Petplan who jumped on board early, have already experienced great success on the platform. Pinterest has become an integral part of their social media strategy.
Pinterest Supports Their Growth in Three Ways:
- It helps build brand equity
- It encourages Brand discoverability
- It is the logical partner for e-commerce
BUILDING BRAND EQUITY:
Building astrong brand is a key focus for most organizations.
Brand equity is simply “The perceived value your brand has in the marketplace”.
The more your customers like and engage with your product or service, the greater your brand equity.
A. DIFFERENTIATION: Who are you? Bottom line, what sets you apart from the competition? Is it meaningful to your target audience. What makes you stand out in the marketplace?
B. VALUE: Does your brand add enough value to consumer’s lives to be worth the price and the effort to buy it. What distinct benefits do you offer: Quality, credibility, trustworthiness, likeability, expertise, dependability, superiority, etc.
‘A brand’s value is merely the sum total of how much extra people will pay, or how often they choose, the expectations, memories, stories and relationships of one brand over the alternatives.’~ Seth Godin
C. PERFORMANCE: Are you delivering on your brand promise? Does your brand meet your customers expectations based on their perceptions of it.
D. RELATIONSHIPS: Over time loyal customers build an emotional connection to their favourite brands. Think Apple or Toyota. These brands have resonance with their customers whereby they feel that they are “in synch” with the brand.
“The customer who was extremely excited and waited in line for hours to buy the new iPhone is the same person who tweets and blogs about it when it breaks. Those two moments are connected, and you must connect the dots.”~ Source Mikkel Svane, Zendesk
E. ENGAGEMENT: Consumers are more in control of the buying process than ever. Businesses today need to provide real-time, personalized experiences that reach customers just as they are working their way through the buying journey. You need to find different ways from traditional methods to engage and connect with your customers.
CASE STUDY #1: Pet Plan Insurance
Show Your Expertise & Brand Personality
Petplan, a North American pet insurance provider, was looking for a way to visually showcase their expertise and convey their brand personality in the hopes of both growing the overall market for pet insurance (at the time only 1% of US pets were insured) as well differentiating themselves from the competition.
They were looking for a platform where they could position themselves as thought-leaders and innovators with a goal to building a strong pet health brand that was dedicated to providing “pet parents not only with insurance but with the support, resources and tools they need to keep their pets, not just surviving, but thriving long into old age”. (Source)
Our approach is to make relevant and easy-to-digest pet health information available in a visually compelling format. This helps us engage with the pet-loving community on Pinterest, and achieve some of our broader strategic goals for driving explosive growth.~ Natasha Ashton, Petplan CEO
WHAT DID THEY DO?
They chose Pinterest. After researching the pet topics trending on Pinterest, they began creating boards with compelling images from their popular pet health magazine, fetch!. Over time, they expanded into specific educational content such as the “Health Tips” and “Breed All About It” boards. These boards currently have 14.7k followers.
Within a few months, Pinterest became Petplan’s second-highest source of social network referral traffic, generating 69% more page views and 97% greater time on-site than Twitter, and rivaling the performance of Facebook.
We saw great success in being able to attract people to our brand with general, broad-reaching content. Our success went beyond our direct community—two months after creating our Pinterest presence, Social Media Delivered included Petplan on its list of Top 20 Companies on Pinterest.
Essentially making it easier for customers or potential customers to find your products and services when and where they are actively looking for them.
This means developing and delivering the type of content through the best medium in order to meet and nurture your audience at the right time in the buyers journey.
Your content marketing strategy is key to discoverabilty and it’s efforts should focus on steadily increasing the size and engagement of your audience.
Businesses need to both create and curate content that is useful and valuable to its target audience, that is fresh and engaging, and showcases both your brand’s identity and its personality.
CASE STUDY #2: Bank Of America
Focus On Great Content That Attracts Your Target Audience.
When they launched the Better Money Habits (BMH) program, they wanted to reach millennials, a group going through many financial firsts —from getting their first paycheck to planning their weddings to saving for retirement. (Source Pinterest).
Research shows that Millennials consumed 52% of their content online via mobile devices (source). Bank Of America chose Pinterest to engage it’s target audience as it was the best platform suited to mobile, designed for storytelling with captivating images and an ideal vehicle to deliver their content.
Since one-third of all millennials are already using Pinterest to plan their futures, the Bank of America BMH team knew it was the right platform to reach their audience.
WHAT DID THEY DO?
Bank of America created boards for different life moments, like Buying a Home and Travel Plans, and populated each with relevant Pins that pointed to deeper educational content on BetterMoneyHabits.com. To maximize reach, they promote their Pinterest boards across their various social channels. The team also added Pin It buttons to all of their site content and uses Promoted Pins to increase their reach.
The team uses Pinterest Analytics and Promoted Pins measurement tools to carefully track what kind of content and topics people have found most useful. They compare these to popular topics on other platforms and take what they’ve learned to refine their Pinterest strategy.
“We are utilizing Pinterest as a visual search engine to reach consumers with the right message at the right time and tailoring our content to what consumers are searching for most often,”~ Christopher Smith, Enterprise Social Media Executive
In less than 5 months, BMH content on Pinterest reached nearly 6 million unique Pinners, generated more than 29 thousand repins and led to thousands of actions on BMH.com, including video views. Engagement on Bank of America’s Promoted Pins is about 2X greater than average (Source Pinterest)
“We’ve been successful because we’ve listened to what the community wants to know more about based on what people are searching for and customized our content to meet those needs,”
“Whether you’re planning a wedding and need some budget help or are looking to buy a house—we know we aren’t the center of those decisions, but we can help you plan.”~ Christopher Smith, enterprise social media executive at Bank of America.
Use Pinterest Analytics to develop and adjust your Strategy:
- What Pins and boards people love most
- What people like to save from your website
- Who your Pinterest audience is, including their gender, location and other interests
- What devices people use when they’re Pinning your stuff
- How adding the Pin It button to your website leads to referral traffic from Pinterest
A LOGICAL PARTNER FOR E-COMMERCE
There is a growing shift from Search to Social. Organic search typically conducted via Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. is slowly moving toward popular social media sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Places where consumers spend a great deal of their time already, and platforms that contain relevant and engaging content where the information has already been vetted by peers.
Pinterest is the #2 Driver of Referral Traffic.
A Shareaholic study published in 2015 showed Pinterest as the #2 social media traffic referrer behind only Facebook driving more than 5x as much traffic as many referrers as Twitter.
Why is this important?
Keep in mind that your Brand’s Home Base in the digital age is your website and/or e-commerce sites. The ultimate goal of your content marketing strategy is to integrate with your social media efforts to push people to your sites where they can buy your product or service.
According to an Ahology 2015 Study:
- 96% reported they use Pinterest to research and gather information.
- 73% of Active Pinners indicate they have bought something because they saw it on Pinterest.
- 67% of Active Pinners indicate that they look at items they’ve pinned while shopping in-store.
- About 40% of Active Pinners also use Pinterest in-store for comparative shopping or research purposes.
CASE STUDY #3: Nordstrom
Customer Service Excellence and The Online Experience
Nordstrom has been serving customers for more than 112 years. The fashion specialty retailer’s number one goal is service, which is the cornerstone of their customer-centric social media strategy. Nordstrom’s exceptional customer service comes primarily as a result of two main components, firstly their attention to detail when it comes to the customer experience and secondly, the level to which they empower their employees.
Nordstrom wanted to find a medium where they could continue to elevate their customer service as well as to inspire customers and tell a visual trend story. Pinterest fit that bill and Nordstrom became an early adopter,
WHAT DID THEY DO?
Keeping in mind their customer-centric content strategy Nordstrom began using Pinterest to get more insight into their customers by first Listening to it’s followers:
- ONLINE: Each week, they check analytics to see which items from Nordstrom.com are getting the most interactions. They add these Pins and similar content to their Top Pins: Nordstrom.com board.
- IN-STORE: Pinterest data is collected and used to influence buying and marketing decisions: identifying hot items and ensuring that they are available in stores.
- ENGAGEMENT: Nordstrom curates popular products from their online store, inspirational images from blogs customers love, on-trend fashion and helpful tutorials. Their Our Favorite Things board is a collection of the top products from Nordstrom.com and relevant content from third parties.
Nordstrom uses Pinterest online and in stores to give customers a personalized and relevant shopping experience.
Nordstrom Is using Pinterest to inspire (& sell) in-stores:
- Aware of the popular trend of “reverse showrooming“, Nordstrom developed a campaign that connected their online with their bricks & mortar: Products that receive the most pins are displayed in-store with the red Pinterest “P” logo on them. (source)
- They developed an internal iPad app that lets salespeople view the most popular Pins and match those items with inventory levels by store and department.
- The app made it easy for salespeople to elevate it’s customer service giving them the ability to show customers trending products and merchandise available in store.
More Best Practices From Nordstrom using Pinterest
- Viral Marketing: Adding the “Pin It” button to their website so customers could easily collect their favorite items.
- Integration: Consistently pinning the ideal 20-30 pins daily and adding ‘share via Pinterest’ buttons below every product image on their website
- Experimentation: Testing live-pinning at Fashion Week, creating boards for each season (Winter,Spring, Summer, Fall) and adding Pins from the Nordstrom catalog early on.
- Exclusivity: During the holiday season, they created customer experiences around Pinterest. This included a Top Pinned Gifts category on Nordstrom.com, top-Pinned merchandising in-stores and exclusive social media posts from the Nordstrom holiday catalog before it hit homes or the Nordstrom.com homepage
~ Source Pinterest Business page
Our Goal Is To Inspire Customers –
In the Way They Shop, Share, and “Pin”
One of the things we love most about Pinterest is that customers can get inspired and take an action on their own terms. In many ways, it’s the world’s biggest wish list.
~ Bryan Galipeau, Nordstrom’s social media manager.
Nordstrom was able to elevate it’s level of data through strong analytics garnered from their Pinterest activity. They were able to capture valuable insights that allowed them to better understand their customers needs: the ability to see what a customer had bought in the past, identifying their buying preferences, and even what they shopped for but could not find.
Today with 4.5 million followers on Pinterest, Nordstrom continues to lead the way in customer-service excellence. Armed with rich data derived from their Pinterest follower’s activity and interests, it is better able to respond to the needs and desires of it’s customers.
“Each month, customers engage with our Pins hundreds of thousands of times, generating millions of impressions and significant site traffic and demand,”~ Bryan Galipeau, Nordstrom’s social media manager.
Case Study BEST PRACTICES:
With the right strategic plan married with a real desire to engage and listen to their customers, these businesses have had great success building their brand equity with Pinterest.
All three had developed a clear content marketing strategy, and this along with a little experimentation allowed them to improve their SEO efforts (becoming more discoverable) and grew their overall traffic to their sites. This growth in traffic to their sites lead to an overall increase in new business.
Pinterest is a great resource for any business to utilize in order to build their audience. When combined wth a strong Content Management Strategy, Pinterest can help your business communicate their story, develop authority in your field, increase traffic to your site and most importantly grow your business.