As of Q2 of 2022, Pinterest had 433 million monthly active users (MAUs) worldwide. That number is not even close to Instagram's, which has 1.3 billion monthly active users (DAUs) globally. (source)
But things get interesting when you compare the usage pattern, intent of users, and type of content on Instagram & Pinterest. Users conduct roughly 2 billion searches every month on Pinterest. 46% weekly “Pinners” have discovered a new brand or product on Pinterest.
Can your brand be one of these? Let’s find out.
Why Is Influencer Marketing On Pinterest Great For Your Brand?
Pinterest is more than a social platform. It's an inspirational search engine. People use the platform to find ideas, and templates, look for instructions and unconventional products, and marketers can capitalize on that search intent & boost brand discovery with influencer marketing. Like any other search engine, users enter keywords in the search tab, and Pinterest shows them related keywords as well.
Pinterest organizes content according to the “Smart Feed” algorithm instead of in chronological order. This algorithm allows users to see the best & most relevant pins for their specific search phrase irrespective of the time when content was posted. And that's why the content your influencer partners post today will stay "fresh" for readers over a period of time. That's unlike other platforms where any content that's from the past week is already old.
Pinners are usually planners. They start planning for an event or festival months before the actual event. This gives brands on Pinterest a chance to get in their mind space early on before every brand rushes for their attention close to the event/festival.
Because Pinterest is currently underutilized, influencers on this platform will likely charge lesser than influencers on Instagram.
Is Pinterest The Right Channel For Your Brand?
The 2 questions you should ask are:
- Is your target audience searching for content related to your brand on Pinterest?
- Are you ready to invest in long-term marketing efforts instead of being content with low ROI of running ads?
If the answer is yes, then Pinterest is the right channel for you. Here are some stats to give you an idea if your brand category would fair well on Pinterest:
According to Pinterest, female users accounted for 60% of the total Pinterest audience. That trend seems valid as women are more likely to connect with visual and aesthetic content compared to men. But Pinterest also revealed that the number of men grew by 40% in just one year in 2020.
The 10 most popular categories on Pinterest are
- Food and Drink
- Home Decor
- Health and Fitness
- Women’s Fashion
- Hair and Beauty
- DIY & Crafts
- Holidays and Events
If your brand belongs to one of these categories, you must leverage Pinterest to reach a new audience. But what if you don't fall into these categories? Look for "shoulder" brand categories.
Here’s an example. Maybe your company sells musical instruments. It's not on the list, but you can include it in the Home Decor, Entertainment, or Events category — which utilizes musical instruments.
How Brands Can Use Pinterest To Run Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Step 1: Find the right influencers for your brand
Here are a few ways to find creators who are posting content that will interest your audience:
1. Use your keywords in the Pinterest search tab and look at the top pins. Check who is creating these pins. If you scroll down from a pin, you'll see a "more like this" section that will show you related pins. This can also help find accounts with similar visuals as to what you're searching for.
3. Check other social media platforms
Influencers usually cross-promote their content across channels.
If you’re looking at a creator in one of the categories we've listed above, you might find their Pinterest linked somewhere on their Youtube, TikTok, or Instagram profiles. This way, you might work with a more engaged (and long-term) fanbase on Pinterest and end up paying less for it!
Step 2: Outreach
You can reach out to smaller creators via DMs, asking for their mailing addresses. Most creators have a 'Message' button on their profile.
Tell them that you want to send some free products, without any commitments. Explain how your product might be useful for them or why they and their audience might like it.
The creators who want to be reached out by brands usually put their email address in the bio or have a website that will have their contact details/contact form. You can get their email from there to send them a personalized outreach campaign.
If you want to search for influencers' contacts, we're building SARAL, a tool to help you build your relationships with creators. Let's say the creator you want to partner with doesn't have their DMs open, nor they have any website link but their Twitter/IG account link.
In that case, search for their profile on Instagram and open the SARAL chrome extension to find their email address, engagement rate, etc. These can help you make a quick decision on whether to contact them or not.
Usually, for bigger creators, DM’s may be ineffective. Sending emails is the best option as you would have a higher chance of getting a reply.
Here are some do's & don'ts to improve your chances of getting a reply from the creators:
- Keep the first message short
- Give, before you ask — Send your product for free without any upfront requests
- Work with creators who are interested in affiliate deals more than those who want flat payments to start.
- Follow up at regular intervals and stop after you've sent 5-6 messages
- Never expect them to give your product a shoutout just because you sent them a free product. Simply control all the variables you can to maximize the chances of that happening.
- Don't spam them with too many messages showing desperation for a reply.
- Never send them a creative brief or a budget in the first email
Check out our post going into detail with these tips and mistakes to avoid here.
While your email drip is running, DM the creators informing them about your email, and engage with them in comments, so you stay on top of mind. Here are some additional influencer DM templates from our academy.
Step 3: Create your offer and start partnering!
Choose the kind of partnership you want to do.
Few ways to incentivize influencers to work with your brand include:
- Gifting or Seeding
- One-off Payment
- Pay Per Sale
- Base + Bonus
We've discussed all these in detail in our post here.
Since you can't expect immediate returns from Pinterest, it might make sense to go with the gifting approach. This is an unpaid way to do influencer marketing. You send your top products to creators in exchange for a Pin on their board on Pinterest.
Note: Gifting is different from Seeding as gifting has a clear exchange defined while seeding comes with no commitments.
Step 4: Awe them with your shipping and unboxing experience
Whether you are reaching out to the creator for a shoutout, pay-per-engagement, or any other kind of partnership, you will have to send them the product. This will be the first impression of your product, so make it delightful. It will improve the chances of them recommending your products to their audience.
Here are some tips we've seen working again & again for multiple brands:
- Customize your products by including their name on them. Make your packaging photogenic or, as we now say — 'Pinterest-worthy’
- Include a note & share the following in it:
- reference your conversation and say thank you for checking out your product.
- mention your social media handles, so they know whom to tag if they post about it.
- If your product is something new, include a bit about what's the best way to use it.
Want to wow them with your notes? Make it handwritten.
Here’s how Handwrytten makes writing multiple notes quick and easy.
- Make sure your branding is on point, and your logo is visible on the package and the product.
- Do an express & premium delivery if possible. It shouldn't be a hassle for them to collect your package.
- Include a coupon code that they can share with their audience. They would be incentivized to share about your product since it would add value to their audience.
Step 5: Track performance and leverage the content created
When a creator posts about your product, thank them for it & amplify that post on your own channels. You can save that, comment on it, or share it on your own boards. Give them a shoutout on other social media channels to show that you are also invested in helping them grow their audience.
Reach out to get usage rights (usage rights define who owns the content and where it can be used) for the video/post if you want to use those for your own ads, videos, etc. Here's a template you can use:
We're so glad you liked our product. Thank you for sharing it with your audience.
We'd love to be able to share this with our audiences as well! Could we have the right to use this content on organic and paid social sites for 30 days?
If the response to this message is a no, find out if they have any terms & conditions you can fulfill to allow you to still use the content. If they say yes, you can run ads via the creator's account so they can also increase their audience size — this is called whitelisting. Check out how a DTC brand, Athletic Greens, uses creator content for whitelisting ads.
Step 6 - Foster the long-term relationship
Influencer marketing is not like ads or street banners where space can be bought with money. Yes, you might have access to bigger creators if you have bigger budgets, but that doesn't guarantee a partnership.
What guarantees the authenticity with which an influencer promotes your product is your product alignment and relationship with them. Your goal is to make them your brand ambassadors and partner with them for a campaign whenever you want.
Fe tactics you can use are:
- Lead with a give rather than an ask — offer your free products
- Promote creators on your channels — share their posts, give them a special mention, etc.
- Offer higher commission to those who hit a certain milestone in bringing you sales
Maintaining relationships is going to be fulfilling but hard. That's where you can take the help of SARAL — a CRM that helps you compound your relationships.
Examples of Pinterest Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Here's an example of a simple influencer marketing campaign by a home decor brand. They collaborated with the Oh Joy Pinterest account (15M+ followers interested in home decor) to promote their new lamp collection.
The Container Store collaborated with the Japanese organizing consultant, author, and TV presenter Marie Kondo to create a series of videos for her Pinterest & their own as well. These videos show Marie using the products from The Container Store to organize things around the home.
Myntra, an Indian ecommerce brand, collaborated with a fashion & makeup influencer to promote their ongoing sale on the website.
Other than just products, people search Pinterest for video instructions on "how-to" do something. Here's an example of how Dyson promoted their Airwrap using that insight & collaborating with a fashion influencer:’
Conclusion and Summary
In an interview with Adweek, Amy Vener, Pinterest’s Retail Vertical Strategy Lead said,
“The fundamental core of what pinners are doing is not to connect with people—it’s to connect with brands that inspire them and to do things in real life.”
This aspirational marketing creates loyal customers by appealing to the yearning and imaginative aspect of human nature. When clubbed with influencer marketing, it can be a solid channel for your e-commerce brand to improve brand awareness as well as sales
Pinterest might not have a huge base like Facebook or Instagram, but the longitivtiy of content on the platform makes up for it. So don't sleep on the platform; start leveraging it and get ahead of the competition.