How Brands Can Leverage the Organic Value of Pinterest

Phil Garbrecht

Building your brand on Pinterest means you have the ability to have an organic presence together with paid ads, but it is often the organic Pins on Pinterest that can truly take on a life of their own. Khoros customers have proven that having an organic brand presence on Pinterest is one of the most powerful ways to connect meaningfully with target customers and reach goals in driving engagement, traffic, and conversion.

We already know that Pinterest users engage differently than on other platforms that are focused primarily on social interaction. People plan for things big and small on Pinterest –– meals they’ll cook, products they’ll buy, how they’ll decorate their homes, and increasingly where they’ll travel and the next car they’ll buy. They are often actively searching for specific visual content in order to inspire ideas and decisions, and are designing their lifestyles and everyday preferences.

Pinterest users actively search for content to inspire ideas and make decisions.

Typically, their intent is commercial and is ultimately to buy something. That said, like on all mediums, sometimes Pins that feel too much like salesy advertisements don’t resonate… but content that is helpful, utilitarian, and taps into personal tastes, desires, and creative expression certainly do.

And, if you can provide your audience with content they find intrinsically valuable, “saves” can drive a unique form of earned, organic reach that can live in perpetuity. When someone “saves” your Pin — the analogue of which is someone tearing a page out of a magazine and putting it up on their fridge — they are indicating intent and desire to take action on that Pin in the future.

Unlike organic posts on other platforms, the life of a successful Pin can be a long one — it can continue to drive engagement and traffic for months, and in many cases, years. That sort of marketing longevity is unheard of these days in a world full of viral memes and fleeting instant celebrity.

Unlike organic posts on other platforms, a Pin can continue to drive engagement and traffic for months, and in many cases, years.

This is not to say that Promoted Pins don’t have a place in a winning Pinterest strategy. But when you start first with a foundation of an organic presence and content, building your brand successfully on Pinterest becomes easy. Khoros customers who start first by scheduling and publishing incredibly engaging organic content via our platform see their Pins saved 58 times on average.

So how do our customers do it? Here are three tips towards Pinterest holistic success.

1. Know your audience

Hot Topic’s young demographic of approximately 6.7 million monthly viewers on Pinterest is a very active group. Compared to traditional social channels, Pinterest represents Hot Topic’s largest reach among a youthful audience — more than 45% of their entire audience across all social channels.¹

And in terms of measuring success, Hot Topic Pins have a long shelf life, making analytics results something that must be tracked and measured over months and years. To keep boards fresh and their audience inspired, Hot Topic adds new organic Pins daily.

Hot Topic has found success in creating boards that sometimes focus on specific brands and interests (i.e. Disney, Harry Potter, or Marvel Comics). Other boards highlight thematic categories like t-shirts, hair, DIY, or anime.

A great example of organic content that is tailor-made for Pinterest is Hot Topic’s “DIY Not?” board, which combines both thematic and product-specific inspiration. On average, Pins to that board get over 2,000 saves. One of their highest performing Pins is a DIY corset t-shirt tutorial and was saved a whopping 8,000 times, generating a total of 740,000 impressions and 10,000 clickthroughs to the women’s t-shirt page on the Hot Topic website.

2. Focus on creating great organic content with evergreen potential

For Khoros customer Sally Beauty, this means constantly evaluating their overall online content strategy and goals. As the largest distributor of professional beauty products in the U.S., Sally Beauty aims to take the intimidation factor out of DIY beauty by posting long-form educational content that includes ideas, how-tos, and inspiration.

In lieu of a blog, Pinterest became the obvious place for them to reach and inspire an audience of approximately 3.2 million monthly viewers. Key Pinterest moments for Sally Beauty are sometimes in advance of an important holiday or annual event (Halloween and Valentine’s Day are great examples). That said, evergreen content can also perform consistently well throughout the year, thanks to Pinterest's inherent, self-sustaining nature of search and discovery. Great content rarely “expires” in its ability to reach the right audience.

Sally Beauty’s Pins sometimes feature specific products, but not always. A great example of one of these types of high-performing Pins contained long-form knowledge about “hair porosity”. That Pin drove over 75,000 impressions and hundreds of clicks to

It’s also worth noting that their organic and promoted content creation and promotion strategies are fully aligned. Sally Beauty’s paid ads team monitors the performance of organic Pins closely and promotes high performing Pins to extend their reach even further, all through the Khoros Platform.

3. Measure, reassess, measure again

Harley-Davidson’s Pinterest strategy has evolved over time. While Pinterest has been a consistent driver of e-commerce traffic to Harley Davidson’s website for the past several years, it’s not always easy to measure impact. This is largely due to the fact that while sometimes great content takes off immediately, sometimes Pins take time to get discovered by their audience of enthusiasts.

Harley-Davidson aims for a diversified Pinterest strategy that includes regularly posting both product-specific as well as inspirational content, and they are always looking to refine their approach based on the e-commerce and sales metrics they track.

A great example of an organic Pin that has performed well over a sustained period of time is this dark custom motorcycle Pin.

How Khoros can help

If you don’t have a strong organic content strategy on Pinterest, you may be missing an entire audience of people who are looking to engage meaningfully with your brand. Khoros offers robust Pinterest marketing and publishing capabilities, as well as strategic services to help think through how to approach the platform and build unique content that inspires. We’re ready to help you take advantage of the full power of an organic Pin. To learn more, visit the Khoros Marketing overview.

1. Statistic provided to Khoros by Hot Topic for use in this blog post.

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