Pinterest has been working with brands including Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Manchester United on “trial partnerships”. Pinterest’s brand partnership team approached the companies about a closer working relationship, but no money has changed hands
Pinterest introduced advertising in the US in February 2014, with the first campaigns running from May. However it is yet to reveal the results of those campaigns or introduce advertising outside the US.
Speaking to Marketing Week in November, Pinterest’s global head of brand partnerships Joanne Bradford said its focus in the UK was on educating brands and agencies on how best to use the social network to build up and engage with their audiences. It is in no rush to push out paid ads, she added.
The renewed brand push from Pinterest aligns with this. A Marks & Spencer’s spokesman says the brand now has a “more formal” relationship with Pinterest and has greater access to the platform’s analytics. This gives it a “more rounded” view of impressions, visitor volume and audience, as well as more standard data on functions such as re-pins and clicks.
Why brands are an “essential part” of Pinterest
Adele Cooper, UK country manager for Pinterest, told Marketing Week that brands are an “essential part” of Pinterest, responsible for two-thirds of the organic content on the site. Users are keen to engage with this content even doing things in real life based on pins, such as using recipes.
“Providing the best Pinner experience possible is one of Pinterest’s primary missions and we think about that in terms of helping people discover, save and do more.
“We’re especially interested in long-term partnerships with meaningful brands in the UK as one way to enhance the experience.”
Adele Cooper, UK country manager, Pinterest
Cooper said as part of that strategy it is providing business analytics so brands can see data on what people are pinning and engaging with content.
“Brands are able to see the mindset of their audience and can learn a lot by how people pin and what boards they pin to,” she added. “We see partnerships with brands as a way to showcase the treasure trove of great content they’re pinning so even more people can discover it and be inspired to use it for their future projects.”
Working with brands
Pinterest says it has been working with Waitrose to “create and surface great content” for people in the UK within the food and drink category. The supermarket’s current “Taste of summer” campaign is part of a strategy to “engage with UK consumers in an even deeper way around Waitrose’s engaging food content”.
Alongside the usual analytics available to brands, Waitrose has also had information on trending topics. This includes data such as the fact that “watermelon” was a trending ingredient over the summer and that “cocktail ice lollies” were increasingly being pinned on the site.
“Surfacing emerging trends is another way that we can work with brands to show content that Pinners are looking for and narrow the trends for them even further into inspirational themes,” said Cooper.
Waitrose’s social campaign launched at the start of June on Facebook and Instagram but was expanded onto Pinterest in late July. The aim, says Waitrose’s social agency Manning Gottlieb, was to use Pinterest as a discovery tool to allow consumers to engage with its content.
Tim Pritchard, who heads up social media at Manning Gottlieb OMD, says while Waitrose has had a “successful Pinterest presence for some time” it is now working more closely with Pinterest on getting “unique” data to ensure its content ends up in front of the right users.
“Pinterest selects their partners, this hasn’t been open to anybody. This has been the Pinterest team working out which brands feel native and approaching them to work collaboratively. This time we are getting data from Pinterest that they are sending to us to dynamically represent what people are saying about summer,” he adds.
Pinterest hasn’t given a date for when ads will come to the UK but is known to be working on new features such as a self-serve platform for smaller US companies and new ad targeting capabilities. Pritchard says he expects brands to take up the opportunity once ads are available in this market.
“We weigh up ad platforms based on the whole market but there is a benefit in being first to market. It seems once the ad platform launches there will b