How to Inspire Your Customers on Pinterest Through Uncertain Times
Right now, people are looking for ways to get inspired and get creative while they’re stuck at home, and they’re turning to Pinterest for help. There are over 240 billion pin saves, 5 billion boards, and 5 billion searches each month, and people are using Pinterest to make the new norm more manageable. They’re looking for ways to better themselves through self-care routines or daily encouragements. Global engagement on Pinterest is at an all-time high, saves are up 30% YoY, searches are up 60% YoY, and creation of new boards is up 45% YoY. People are also visiting other Pinners’ boards to seek out inspiration and motivation. Brands that connect with their audience through Pinterest consistently have higher ROI than on other platforms. Brands can play an important role during this time by providing original content on Pinterest that helps spark the creativity people are wanting in their lives. After all, according to Pinterest, “Pinners bring the hope. Brands bring the ideas.”
Inspiring Your Audience on Pinterest
People are turning to Pinterest to meet their needs for three key “care” need states, based on the second phase of marketing, empathy, and relevance.
The first “care” need state is the “Me” state. These Pinners are looking for ways to care for themselves and keep themselves whole. We see the relevance of this care state on Pinterest right now: over 27,000 “self-care” boards were created in March for Pinners seeking positivity, new routines, and comfort in recipes. The second care need state is the “We” state. Pinners in the “We” state are looking for inspiration through creative ways to come together. 1 in 2 Pinners says they are spending more time socializing as a family or household as a result of COVID-19, so they’re looking for entertaining activities to try with their families, or they’re interested in new, innovative ways to connect with others from afar. Finally, Pinners in the “Us” care state are focused on discovering ways to care for and support their community, both locally and globally. There’s been a 30% increase in new “Helping Others” boards created from February to March 2020, and Pinners are reaching out for ways to help wherever they can.
How Brands Can Create Meaningful Content on Pinterest
These days, brands have to adjust the way they communicate with Pinners and bring thoughtful ideas to people in all three of the care need states. Pinterest is a platform where people come to consciously plan for their future, so Pinterest gets an earlier indication of where consumers are headed. This early glimpse into customer motivation makes it the best platform to help brands better prepare for what’s to come in their category.
Recent searches suggest that people are returning to planning for – and getting excited about – the future. Three huge trends have been identified that categorize almost 100% of all US search queries: future optimism, escapism and entertainment, and information for right now. After an initial drop-off, the future optimism trend line has seen a steady growth from March 22nd through April 4th, and Pinterest expects this trend to continue.
Searches for easy pantry recipes and at-home activities for kids predictably spiked immediately after isolation began, and while they remain strong, they have been noticeably leveling off in recent weeks.
Across all categories, brands should ensure content is original, relevant, visually appealing, positive, and actionable. Here are some helpful tips on how brands can create meaningful content for each of the care need states:
Beauty: Provide step-by-step instructions for beauty routines, at-home facials, or mani-pedi ideas.
Food and Beverage: Show how your products can be used in a recipe for cooking or baking! Step-by-step, easy-to-follow videos are best for showcasing the process.
Fitness/CPG: Use pictures or videos to give ideas on how to set up their at-home gyms, or give them suggestions for substituting everyday household items for weights or dumbbells. Short videos on at-home workouts are great fodder for content, too.
Food and Beverage: Show how your product can be used in easy recipes, ideal for making with kids, or even recipes that kids can make themselves (with adult supervision of course!) Step-by-step decorating tutorials are great and eye-catching as well.
Entertainment and Tech: Show how your brand can make the most of virtual hangouts with tips like how to host a birthday party online or ideas for fun virtual game nights!
Travel and Tech: Searches for virtual field trips and museum tours are up, so brands can highlight unique destinations that families can visit virtually and offer products needed to explore.
QSR and Retail: Share recommended wine pairings for your menu, highlight products that are locally sourced, or showcase sustainability and recycling tips.
Entertainment and Travel: Searches for scavenger hunts increased 2174%, which shows parents are desperate to get their kids active. Use film or TV show characters to create themed neighborhood scavenger hunts.
Any Vertical: Promote gifting content, from editorial ideas to popular products that are being bundled to create “care packages.” Gift cards to use at a later time are great offerings, too.
Planning Into the Future on Pinterest
The 4 phases of marketing are incredibly important for brands to consider while planning – or re-planning – their advertising investments in these uncertain times. These phases align with consumer behaviors and search trends on Pinterest, and they are key to understanding what consumers need from brands now, as well as what customers need from them next.
Pinterest estimates this phase to occur within the first 21 days, and it is characterized by a disoriented audience. Life for many had just been turned upside down, and suddenly, people everywhere were forced to figure out not only working from home, but also how to homeschool their children. While life had seemingly slowed down all around, living at home had become quite chaotic for many, and Pinners turned to Pinterest for help. During this rough time frame, searches for “Home Office” went up 150%, and “DIY Haircut” went up a whopping 400%.
For brands to strategically plan their messaging focus, those in the restaurant industry should focus 10% of spend on this phase, Big Box Retailers should focus on 5% of spend, and CPG industries do not need to focus on this phase.
Phase 2: Empathy + Relevance
This is the phase we are in now, and it characterizes days 7-45. This audience is worried because, at this point, loss and pain seem to be all around. Pinners are looking for solutions, but also an escape from the uncertainty on other platforms and news channels. These Pinners want to make themselves feel better, but they’re also passionate about helping others through this time. Pinners have limited resources right now, so brands need to develop creative solutions. Searches for “Care Packages” are up 112%, and “WFH Outfits” searches are up 209%.
Messaging focus for the restaurant industry should spend 50% on this phase, Big Box retailers should focus 40% of spend, and CPG industries should allocate 30% of spend.
Phase 3: Escapism + Optimism
This phase occurs between days 45-120, and, to say it bluntly, the audience is plain bored. People are also lonely and are desperate to escape the present, eager to start planning for their future, and they can see the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel.” This audience is hungry to be in control of something again, and planning hopefully for their future is the perfect way to do so. Search trends for this phase include, “Future Apartment” searches, up 70%, and “Future Wedding,” with searches up 40%.
Messaging focus for the restaurant industry should be around 40% of spend, Big Box retailers should focus 50% of spend, and CPG industries, 50% of spend.
Phase 4: Recovery + Rebound
This phase occurs immediately after quarantine and shelter-in-place orders are lifted and continues to about ten days after. This period is a time of rebuilding for your audience, and people will begin to figure out what “normal” looks like for them. Search trends indicate “Summer Party” searches are up 50%, and “Event Planning” searches are up 33% for this phase. Consumers will be eager to re-establish their routines, but will be likely to make more conscious decisions brand-wise than before. Economic concerns will also be at the forefront of people’s minds, and this might take precedence over health concerns.
Messaging focus for the restaurant industry is not important for this phase, Big Box retailers can focus around 5% of spend, and CPG industries may allot 20% of spend.
While these phases align with consumer behaviors and trends on Pinterest, they also assume that when shelter-in-place orders and rules loosen, we will all be returning to an injured economy and a collective changed mindset. It’s essential for brands to keep audience information, as well as messaging focus and spend, in mind while planning for right now – and for the future after COVID-19.
Brands now have an amazing opportunity to create meaningful and relevant content for Pinners. Pinterest, as a platform, is known for providing key information and trends for brands to focus their messaging and content better. If your brand isn’t already utilizing the platform, Pinterest is a great way to reach your audience. Here are some key things to remember, regardless of whether you’re already using Pinterest, or if you’re considering it:
3 ‘Care’ Need states
Me: Pinners need to care for themselves and keep themselves whole
We: Pinners need to care for and protect the ones they love
Us: Pinners want to care for and support their community
Brands can create meaningful content for each ‘care’ need state by:
Showcasing self-care activities (Me state)
Inspiring creative at-home activities (We state)
Giving Pinners ideas on how to make a difference in their community (Us state)
Finally, now is the time for brands to plan not just for the right now but for the future. The 4 phases of marketing are key to understanding how brands should focus their messaging and spend.
Phase 1: Triage + Information: Pinners are disoriented and desperate to figure out their new “normal”
Phase 2: Empathy + Relevance: Pinners are worried and want to help themselves and others with limited resources
Phase 3: Escapism + Optimism: Pinners are bored and are eager to start planning for their future
Phase 4: Recovery + Rebound: Pinners want to rebuild and re-establish their routines, but will likely be more conscious about their brand decisions
Adlucent is known for planning, creating, and executing conversion-focused campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, and leverages data to drive results for your brand.
If you are a large retail or ecommerce brand needing a strategic plan or guidance or are wanting to revisit your Pinterest strategy, make sure to check out our paid social services.