6 Marketing Tips From the Top B2C Brands on Pinterest


Pinterest is a growing social channel that has received more attention over the past few years. In our B2C report we examined the impact of Pinterest, among other channels, and found that for some industries in particular, Pinterest has been found to be surprisingly effective. From our data, I’ve identified six tips from some of the top B2C brands on Pinterest.

What can marketers learn from the top B2C brands on Pinterest?

Marketers are looking toward Pinterest as a great opportunity to expand their brand’s reach, and many want to know how to best utilize Pinterest for their digital marketing. What approaches are the top B2C brands on Pinterest using that see the most success?

To do this, I looked at five of the top B2C brands on Pinterest, based on pin interactions, and ranging across different industries, to see how the best digital marketers are approaching Pinterest. The brands I focused on are Nordstrom, TOMS, Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, and Ebay.

1. Pin what inspires you.

When it comes to Pinterest, marketers may think their brand or product does not relate to the typical food and tutorial posts found on this channel. And although that may be the case, when looking at these five brands, the top performing content is often not directly tied to their specific product! Rather, they create pins that shows what inspires them as a brand.

Both Nordstrom and Coca-Cola alike provided recipes and drinks within their more impactful post in the last 90 days. Coca-Cola approached this by relying on collaborations with other individuals and partnerships. Many of Coca-Cola’s posts incorporated their product, within the decorating guides and recipes using soda, whereas Nordstroms were unrelated to their product! (Food content is the most pinned content on Pinterest, making these recipes engagement magnets for both brands.)

Of Nordstrom’s 20 most impactful pins in the last 90 days, only seven were product-related! The others included quotes, do-it-yourself (DIY) tips, and food and drink recipes. This is not specifically what you would purchase within the store, however, lifestyle content performed exceedingly well for Nordstrom.

TOMS took a similar approach, and their best performing pins contained DIY tutorials for the home, or floral arrangements. ­It was found that 57 percent of pinners are sharing or pinning tutorials like these DIY posts, which have a 42 percent higher click-through rate.

Although these brands posted on topics outside of their direct product, they kept in line with their values and identity by posting content that inspires them, to relate to their audience. When pinning across topics, it will be important to see in real time what is working and what isn’t to know how to target your approach for the future.

What does this mean for you? Even if your product does not directly lend to these topics that see engagement on Pinterest, get creative and incorporate themes outside of your set product!

2. Utilize zoomed images.

Pinterest is a very visual channel! When looking at the images you are pinning, it is important to look at what tactics you are using. These top performing brands did very well when posting visuals zooming in on the specifics item or product.

L’Oreal approached this by including images of close up lips or features on the models, rather than a full scene or individual.

Nordstrom used this tactic in nine out of 10 of their most engaging pins! They often did this with a product as the full image, or zoomed in on a specific food dish they were showcasing. Rarely did you see an entire room or group of people in their posts.

The data shows that zoomed in images perform better on Pinterest! Images that contain 40 percent or more “background” will see two to four times fewer repins. And, images that show people’s faces receive 23 percent fewer repins, which can account for why these popular brands typically focus on specific features or parts of the body when people are included in images.

3. Quotes work.

One approach all of these top performing brands utilized on Pinterest was the use of quotes. Nordstrom and TOMS in particular saw success with quotes. When looking just over the last week at the pins that both brands put out, those containing quotes had a greater average impact!

Each of the brands approached quotes in a different way, that fell in line with their overall tone. TOMS quotes typically were more inspirational and quoted famous individuals. Nordstrom’s quotes tended to be more fun and lighthearted, using color.

Although TOMS saw success with quotes in images, the pins that contained the quote in the caption with an image with no text overlay, performed worse on average.

4. Highlight seasons, holidays, and events.

Another approach that all of the brands heavily relied on was the use of holidays, seasons, and timely events in their pins. Each brand found a way to incorporate tutorials and images that tied into their industry. In fact, holiday and event related content was found within the top 10 more engaging pins for all five brands.

Ebay saw success in posts that provided tips for saving money around the holidays, while L’Oreal focused on makeup types and techniques seen during the Golden Globes.

Coca-Cola and Nordstrom posted DIY tips for creating holiday-themed items and recipes tied to the winter season. TOMS also posted DIY pins for decorating during the holidays, but also highlighted gift ideas.

Because seasonal and holiday pins perform well, it’s be important to look back at which types worked well in the past. TrackMaven let’s you look at what was posted around previous holiday seasons by you and your competitors. This will allow you to plan out a strategy for posting to Pinterest around the seasons based on this data, and see what is working in real time!

5. Use numbered resources and guides.

Among the most impactful pins for these five brands, a strong majority provided a resource or step by step guide on a relevant topic to their business. Many of these included images laying out the steps or images with specifics numbers.

L’Oreal took advantage of this tactic by creating visual step-by-step guides for their Pinterest followers on how to use their products. Ebay took a different approach when providing resources, by including an image that included numbers and the topic. This tactic was so successful for Ebay that 13 of their 20 most engaging pins were of this type.

They used these graphics to catch the attention of the pinners. Although both brands went about this differently, they did so while tying back to their brand and product.

6. Pay attention to captions.

Although a picture is worth a thousand words, the caption matters too! This is the opportunity to promote your brand or product, or further draw in your audience. The topic of the captions and methods you use will be important when utilizing Pinterest.

When looking at Ebay’s most engaging pins, many of these contained detailed captions providing context about the pin and how it is useful or relevant to the pinner. These often provided some of the information from within the linked resource. They let the pinners know what they would be getting by pinning the resource.

This is consistent with Pinterest’s best practices for businesses where it states that from the top brands on Pinterest, every pin should have a description with context and help others imagine what they may do with the information in the pin.

On average Ebay used 78 words in their captions over the last 90 days and their posts containing 80 to 100 words within saw the greatest impact. Although, this length may not work as well for your audience, the key thing is that you are descriptive in your captions and letting the audience know why this is useful to them. In TrackMaven, you can use the content feed and data export to see which lengths are performing best for your brand!