It’s that time of year again – the holidays are upon us. If you haven’t defined your Pinterest strategy for the coming weeks, now is the perfect time to finalize your plans. People are shopping for themselves and loved ones earlier than ever (as we have previously seen consumer patterns shift across the board).
The Current State of Pinterest
One thing is certain: Pinterest is not slowing down. The platform has trounced analysts’ growth projections for “monthly active users (MAUs), average revenue per user (ARPU), overall revenue, and adjusted earnings per share in the third quarter”. Global MAUs now stand at 442 million, up 37%, while U.S. MAUs have continued to grow and are now at 98 million, up 13%.
When looking at Pinterest users, there are some key trends we can see in the audiences:
- The predominant theme for the 2020 Pinterest user is positivity. People are flocking to social media for an escape and for brands to provide them with hope and inspiration in times of COVID-19 and the uncertainty of this year.
- Gen Z is focused on self-help. ‘Mental health check-in’ searches are up 5x. There are also increases in searches for ‘mindful eating’, ‘calming bedroom’, and ‘Zen bedroom ideas’ among the young Pinners.
- Millennials are directing their attention to their children. ‘Mental health activities for children’, ‘conscious parenting’, and ‘daily routine schedule for children’ searches have seen significant increases.
- Men use Pinterest too. Male usage is up almost 50%, showing interest in ‘home improvement projects’ and mental and physical health
- Pinners love the holidays. Board creations for “Christmas aesthetic” were up +239% in July. People are planning earlier than ever this year and looking for the joy that the holiday season brings.
Planning Your Pinterest Strategy for the Holidays
While the world has turned more and more to online shopping, shoppers are still looking for the magic of the in-store shopping experience as well as the best deals on the perfect gifts. Pinterest is assisting brands with this through a 2020 marketing hub created for businesses to more easily optimize their Pinterest strategy throughout the holidays. 89% of users use the app for purchase inspiration – it’s time to get your brand in front of potential customers.
Through the marketing hub, Pinterest has provided an in-depth guide that lays the foundation for a successful holiday campaign. It provides the following 5 step strategy:
When creating your content, focus on making it visually appealing, original, relevant, actionable, and positive (a callback to the overarching trend on Pinterest at the moment). Provide effective CTAs, eye-catching imagery, and inspiring messaging, while keeping your product and brand voice front and center. See below for an example post illustrating how you can utilize these 5 aspects to generate pins that motivate action.
Other options to consider are holiday-themed boards for your brand and gift guides for your customer to help make shopping for loved ones more simplified. Brands have taken full advantage of themed board opportunities with boards such as Starbucks’s “Peaceful & Present” focused on the little moments that make the holidays special, and Coca-Cola’s “Holiday” encouraging followers to share a Coke and spread the cheer. On the other hand, brands like Adidas have created holiday gift guide boards to make it easier for customers to find the perfect gifts for friends and family.
According to Pinterest, almost “50% of Pinners globally say they want help from brands taking the holidays to the ‘next level.’” Now let’s help them do it!
What’s New to Pinterest
The number of Pinners “engaging with shopping surfaces on Pinterest has grown over 85% in the past six months”. With that in mind, Pinterest has introduced new features to help your business thrive on the platform.
- New Storefront Profile and Discovery: As the Pinterest Newsroom states, an updated storefront brings the offline shopping experience to Pinterest users with “featured in-stock products organized by category, featured product groups, and dynamically-created recommendations”. Pinterest will also recommend specific businesses based on what a user is currently browsing.
- Product Tagging: Tagging allows businesses to tag their pins with the actual products, creating an easier way for customers to make purchases.
- Catalogs Updates: Pinterest has streamlined the process to set up accounts and become a merchant. Other features include the addition of collections as a shopping ad format and the ability for brands to create multi-image ad units. Pinterest also introduced the ability to use video as a hero in a Collections ad unit, broadening your options when defining your Pinterest strategy.
- Conversion Analysis: Businesses can use the visualizations tool to view how customers are carrying out their path to purchase, condensed into a funnel.
- Story Pins: Similar to Instagram and Facebook stories, Pinterest Story Pins encourage further engagement and interaction with followers and provide an opportunity to post up to 20 pages of content with the ability to then store the content on a storyboard. As of now, it isn’t a feature available to everyone on the site and is instead limited to influencers (as well as an opportunity for US users to request the function through an application). While brands don’t have access to Story Pins yet, influencers’ ability to use the feature presents the opportunity for impactful collaboration.
So, what can we learn from Pinterest on how to optimize holiday and e-commerce strategies?
- Be positive – in the uncertainty of 2020, be an escape for consumers and provide them with a joyful holiday season.
- Don’t wait until Black Friday to start inspiring shoppers – this year, more than ever, shoppers are looking and buying earlier for the holidays. Define your Pinterest strategy now and start seeing results.
- Focus on visually appealing content that offers inspiration to Pinners. Pins with CTAs are more likely to have higher click-through rates, so make sure any special offers are featured on your posts.
- Finally, take advantage of new features offered by Pinterest such as Story Pins, via influencers, and catalog updates, creating opportunities for increased brand engagement. These updates can aid in simplifying your strategy while giving your business amplified options to reach a wider, more connected audience.