The Best Brands on Pinterest (and What They’re Doing Right)

by Adam WeinrothCMOJul 8, 2014

Pinterest is quickly becoming a marketing force to be reckoned with, evolving on a steady basis to help brands deliver more engaging content and reach the right customers. The platform launched self-serve ads last month, allowing brands to buy Promoted Pins on a cost-per-click basis. The system is auction-based, which allows for small-to-medium buys, a new addition to the platform that previously catered to big brands with CPM budgets around $1 to $2 million dollars (Gap, Kraft and more). There’s also the new addition of guided search, using descriptive guides to allow users to discover pins more easily and hot-off-the-presses (and relatively hush hush) new business insights API that allows a select group of developers to get a more comprehensive view on what content is best helping drive sales.

The basics of Pinterest and why it matters for brands:

  • Accounts for 25% of retail referral traffic
  • Drives 4x more money per click than Twitter
  • 47% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest.
  • Projected to have 40 million active users by the end of 2014

Some MVP brands on Pinterest:

Whole Foods: Screen-Shot-2014-07-06-at-5.17.05-PM-e1404842461922Great content marketing gives audiences a glimpse behind the curtain to learn more about your brand and what you believe in, and no brand does this better than Whole Foods. Of course, Whole Foods features healthy, seasonal food-focused content, but they fully develop their commitment to better living by sharing gardening tips, food science, recycled decor DIYs, fitness information and travel stories.

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Pinterest is at the very core of the brand’s content strategy, even pulled in to custom ad formats powered by Onespot.

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Kraft: As a visually-driven platform, Pinterest is practical and perfect for showing off recipes. In 2012, Kraft re-tailored its content strategy to help consumers discover and share delicious, but accessible meals. Since launch, the brand has been able to get real-time info and insights about consumers, using successful pins to help optimize and redistribute content across other digital channels.

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Free People: Fashion brand Free People takes a similar approach, turning their Pinterest page into a curated catch-all for fashion, music and beauty inspiration infused with a carefree, bohemian spirit. In addition to introducing models and showing behind-the-scenes content from photo shoots, Free People links pins back to blog content, showing the benefit of repurposing content to engage consumers.

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The Container Store: Millions of consumers were pinning content from The Container Store’s website before they ever had a profile on the platform. After seeing its success, the brand started to look into Pinterest analytics to start developing new content based on what was working. Today, the page is a balance of custom and curated content that is included in almost every element of the brand’s marketing mix. Great content can’t be an island: marketers must drive to it across channels.

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Land of Nod: Moms are 61% more likely to visit Pinterest than the average consumer, making it a perfect fit for childrens’ decor powerhouse, Land of Nod. The brand delivers seasonal content that leverages design trends and introduces readers to their artists and community initiatives. But their content isn’t one dimensional: Land of Nod extends their vision to provide inspiration for moms outside of life with their kids, touching on fashion, gardening and more.

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Intel: Technology giant Intel looks to both its past and its future on Pinterest, offering news articles from the brand’s history alongside technological advancements. The brand also features reviews of computers and laptops with Intel processors and invites consumers to get in on content creation by sharing photos of their workspace, using Pinterest to highlight products in a variety of interesting ways that still feel organic and shareable.

As Pinterest audiences grow, brands will continue to thrive by finding new ways to create content that connects, ranging from product demos and customer testimonials to custom infographics and expert tutorials, helping define the channel as a powerful addition to every content marketing strategy.

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