From pins to purchases: How to boost your sales with Pinterest

What comes to mind when you think of Pinterest? 

For me, it’s curated boards of recipes, home design, and wedding planning. What’s special about Pinterest and differs from other social platforms is that many users “pin”, the action of posting or re-sharing a post on their own board. Users do this to catalog, refer to, or share with others the things they care about, like, or aspire to. And for a marketer that is a gold mine of insights when creating or targeting a customer persona. 

But are there really that many people on Pinterest?

Yes! I was shocked to see that nearly 465 Million people use Pinterest every single month. Of those users 45% of the US audience has a household income over $100,000. Brands who have been sleeping on Pinterest need a wake up call as they look to increase channels of organic and paid acquisition. Let’s get into it. 

Research and planning 

Have you heard of Pinterest Predicts? Before researching I had no idea about this tool. What I have learned is that this tool is reported to be 80% accurate as Pinterest reveals future insights from its users (your customers). That is because as mentioned above—folks use Pinterest to plan—which showcases commonalities and trends that are likely to occur. 

Note: Pinterest Predicts 2024 is now available

Brands are constantly looking for ways to better understand their customers. Whether through zero-party data, first-party data, or third-party data (which as many know is getting tricky with privacy blockers and iOS updates). By identifying your target audience on Pinterest brands are able to better understand their customers interests, behaviors, and demographics. 

This can inform your persona development, product planning, marketing strategy, campaigns, and more. Pinterest can also be a great source for seeing what competitors are doing and what is working well with a desired demographic based on real social metrics like impressions, comments, or engagement on a Pin. 

Search and verification as merchant  

The Pinterest search bar is no joke (has roughly 5 billion searches monthly) and provides a variety of both organic and paid ad results. Take for example the screen shots above. I searched “mens clothing” and was given a huge selection of results and styles. This can help show your product in action or within a real lifestyle scenario for customers to aspire to or pin. It’s a great place for posting user generated content (UGC) or sharing seasonal/stylized content that could connect with your customer.

As a brand you can see if your brand qualifies for the Verified Merchant Program on Pinterest. This tells customers you are verified with a blue check next to your brand. Take for instance Thursday Boot Company (image above) who has over 46,000 followers, verification badge, and urls directly to their Shopify store from their pins. This was one of the results after searching “mens clothes” and offered an easy user journey from search to Shopify. There I could learn the story around their high quality boots.

A huge plus about Pinterest is that if you post correctly by filling out the details brands can have over 3 opportunities for URL clicks that are directed right to a brand’s Shopify Store—Pinterest encourages users to engage with the brand directly on their website. When this occurs and you have proper UTMs or conversion tracking you can analyze this traffic. We will talk more about that later in this article.

Test out Pinterest by creating a business account and launching your own brand boards, getting verification, and starting out with organic pins your products. 

Engagement and Community

Similarly to platforms like YouTube once you pin or post the content is evergreen for users to engage with, share, and re-pin themselves. Creating another point of discovery for your brand from a growing social channel. 

Not to mention, many users on Pinterest like other popular channels, have an audience of their own! These influencers can also help with your organic traffic from the platform or may be open to collaborating with your brand ongoing through paid opportunities or in exchange for free product. 

Another tip to foster community is being prompt when replying to comments. This is a chance for brands to showcase their brand voice and team’s personality. Pinterest is a very creative place so don’t be afraid of personalizing responses or commenting on users’ boards directly. One way brands can also grow is by collaborating with group boards—it’s a great way to foster a community for your brand on Pinterest and drive more conversations. 

If you are new to the idea of creating a pin or are not sure where to start check out Pinterest’s best practices before you jump in. 

Data and Analytics 

If you are new to the world of Pinterest you might be surprised that they offer a reporting dashboard of their own for both social metrics and conversions. Above you can see a screenshot of Pinterest activity from an account’s past Pins. 

Things like impressions, engagements, total audience and engaged audience are a good source of information to see how your brand and content is doing on the platform. To give you an idea, the screenshot above was taken from a Pinterest Business Account which hasn’t been posted to in a year or two—but as you can see there is still organic engagement happening. 

That said, while social metrics are a good baseline for engagement DTC brands care most about conversion metrics. This is because metrics from engagement do not always mean impact on sales or what we are all after with our channel marketing—revenue! So, how do we track these conversions or events leading to them?

Like many social apps you can install a Pinterest Tag (similar to Facebook’s Pixel) for tracking to help measure conversions of ads. The issue here is that iOS updates and privacy blockers might hinder advertisers from seeing important data or conversions. However, this can be resolved. Pinterest recommends implementing their API for Conversions for a more complete picture of the user journey. In short, so you do not miss any events that the Pinterest Tag might not capture due to the mentioned limitations.

This is where the power of Littledata comes to life as our app automates this API for Conversions directly with your store! Being a third-party app on Shopify we are proven experts in tracking and collecting meaningful marketing and sales data for DTC brands.  Implementing manually is always an option but will require you to work with a developer and continue maintenance ongoing if there are any changes. 

Take it from our friends at Geologie who said this about using the Littledata app while they worked to develop their own long term solution in house:

I had always looked at Littledata as a temporary solution, but given the complexity of bringing the development of our analytics in-house compared to the pricing and high level of support of Littledata, it really doesn’t make sense.

To learn more about the differences and event details captured between using Pinterest Tag and API for Conversions you can visit our HelpCenter

Paid Advertising 

Most DTC brands today benefit from omni-channel with their social marketing which includes the main contenders of TikTok, Facebook, and Pinterest. Pinterest itself is expected to grow annually by 15.9% bringing in over $2.91 billion in 2023 in ad revenue.

As you’ve learned, Pinterest search can be a powerful tool organically and for showcasing paid ad placement. That is because Pinterest offers, from my perspective, a less invasive paid marketing approach by embedding their ads to relatable content and context. This hyper personalization and targeting is often better for the brand and the customer—leading to an experience that feels, right.

If you have gotten this far—know where I am going with all this—get going with a Pinterest marketing strategy! Starting with research and planning, posting in a way that supports Pinterest’s powerful search function, creating a verified business account, setting up accurate conversion tracking, and finally testing out paid ads.

Half of getting started is jumping in… testing the waters, and building upon the data and findings. 

If you are a veteran on Pinterest already all the better to see how you might be able to capitalize on missed conversion data from the channel. We offer our Pinterest API for Conversions connection free for 30-days for new customers. If you are an existing customer you can easily add this connection to your plan by visiting the app

Takeaway 

We live in one of the best times in history for first-party data and understanding our customers. While the processes and implementations can seem cumbersome they don’t have to be.

Social tools are adapting to the times with conversion API connections while respecting customer privacy. Third-party data and analytics apps like Littledata on Shopify are also making it easier for you to connect directly.

At Littledata we want to make it easier for you to connect with your best customers from the channels they engage with the most. Driving data based decisions for your teams through accurate data and analytics. If you jump into Pinterest as a new marketing channel let our team know so we can follow your journey. Good luck!

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