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UK Insights

Use Pinterest to engage

Ansie Lombaard

Global Innovation Director at Kantar (Insight brands)

Brands 05.06.2017 / 09:00


Building effective brand connections with Pinterest

Billions. That is how many moments brands now have in order to connect with people. And every moment can potentially change attitudes and behaviour, positively or negatively. These experiences are linked to touchpoints – those moments when people engage with and are exposed to a brand, whether in the form of a TV ad, a billboard, a shop display, or retailer site.

For years, finding ‘the right touchpoint’ for a brand has focused primarily on reach. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that different touchpoints play different roles and support brand equity and conversion in different ways, even when they have similar reach.

Touchpoint performance is not equal. In fact, Kantar TNS research shows that only 20% of touchpoints deliver 80% of the impact. With billions of potential moments for brands to connect with people, it is critical for brand owners to know which touchpoints to activate well. A successful strategy in this context rests on identifying the touchpoints that have the biggest impact. In short, we need to know which 20% require focus.

To show the value of measuring touchpoint impact, we integrated survey insights with passively recorded digital behaviour. Working in collaboration with M2Catalyst, we collected mobile behavioural data from 680 respondents over a two-week period towards the end of 2016 in the UK. We focused specifically on unpacking app usage behaviour patterns. We then combined the behavioural data with survey data from the Kantar TNS Connected Life 2016 study which covered 70,000 people across 57 markets.

Our research has shown that the overall impact of a touchpoint depends on two primary factors: the reach it achieves; but, just as importantly, the quality of the engagement among those reached.

While the reach of a touchpoint is relatively easy to determine, doing so for the quality of engagement is a more complex task. To make this easier, we developed a simple yet insightful segmentation based on the average number of sessions per day an app is used, and the average duration of each session. Where these two factors intersect, we have a behaviour-based indicator of touchpoint engagement quality. We then combined this with reach using the Connected Life weekly app usage penetration figures. In this way, we were able to deliver a behaviour-based model of touchpoint impact for each of the top mobile apps covered in our case study.

Ad _Map _2017

This segmentation allows us to distinguish app-specific touchpoint performance in more nuanced ways. Take Pinterest as an example: with a user base of approximately 150 million weekly active users, far smaller than that of social media giants like Facebook and YouTube, it is typically regarded as a niche app, leaving clients to wonder when to include it in a brand engagement plan. To compensate for the smaller user base, Pinterest has sought to differentiate itself based on the quality of user engagement, claiming that 55% use it to find or shop for products, and that it is five times more efficient at driving in-store sales than other platforms.

Our behavioural data shows that there is some truth to these claims. Despite not being used as many times per day, the average time spent on the platform when it is used is only surpassed by YouTube and Facebook. At two minutes per session, Pinterest users spend longer on it than users of Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter, all of which are known for their high levels of engagement.

Given the level of engagement with Pinterest, and therefore the potential to deliver overall touchpoint impact, this analysis demonstrates that stronger connection strategies should focus beyond reach alone. What is now needed is the ability to predict the best moments to broker a more direct dialogue between brands and their customers.

We can leverage behaviour-infused insights to help brands build more effective connection strategies with Pinterest by considering these four points:

1. Pinterest users are savvy online shoppers

Compared to the universe of internet users in the UK, Pinners (the colloquial term for users of the platform) are notably more savvy online shoppers. For example, they are more likely to buy from an online shop through one-click ordering (20%) or to have a saved shopping or favourites list (22%) than the rest of the Connected Life universe (who sit at 9% and 12% respectively).

They also skew towards those between 25 and 34 years of age, with a higher education, and a mid- to high-level income. They represent a younger, tech-savvy and highly informed Millennial generation who are less trusting of traditional platforms and have significant spending power. Brands therefore have the opportunity to leverage Pinterest as a touchpoint to meaningfully and creatively engage this high-value audience.

2. Pinterest users prefer video

Pinners have a notably higher preference for video content, especially branded video content: 62% say that they watch brand videos, compared to 27% of general internet users. This again suggests that while Pinterest might be a smaller platform, the kinds of users it attracts are digitally engaged – and can be further engaged with the right brand video content.

Until recently, brands could not use Pinterest to tap into this desire for video content, but in August 2016, the platform introduced ‘Promoted Videos’ for brands. It is described as an episodic viewing experience, where a brand can create a playlist of ideas for the user. The right kind of video content can help users discover fresh and trending ideas, thereby deepening engagement, on the platform and with the brand. It is an opportunity for brands to build on existing digital engagement, but also to cultivate a new kind of user behaviour – similar to that with YouTube and Facebook – which makes the platform ‘stickier’ and gets more people to come back for curated brand content every day.

3. Pinterest creates moments of inspiration

Using the behavioural data, we looked at what Pinners did in a ten-minute window, immediately before and after using the platform. Here, we found that searching on Google plays a significant role: in this small time window, we saw that every time Pinterest was used, at least one Google search was made close to that moment, with 60% of those searches happening just after a Pinterest session.

This suggests that Pinterest is indeed a platform that creates moments of inspiration for users, and that these moments extend beyond the platform.

A brand connection strategy may leverage the synergy between Pinterest and Google to actively direct users back to the Pinterest platform, via their Google searches, to relevant and carefully curated branded content that, as Connected Life shows, should ideally entertain and/or provide information on products and services. Through such a strategy, a brand can remain part of, and play an important role in, that moment of exploration and inspiration.

4. Pinterest in the morning, Pinterest in the evening

During a typical weekday, it is notable that planning routes and spending time on the phone feature more prominently for Pinners. While users still check in on social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp during the day, it is for very brief sessions only. More leisurely activities (playing Candy Crush, reading on Kindle and watching YouTube, for instance) take place on the way home and in the evening. By mapping out behaviour in this way, we gained insight into other moments of importance for users beyond Pinterest, and potential opportunities to leverage other touchpoints along with Pinterest to build a positive brand experience.

Pinterest usage happens early in the morning, just as users are waking up, as well as being used sporadically between four o’clock in the afternoon and ten o’clock in the evening. Such behaviour patterns provide brands with insight to support a strategy tailored to these unique users, who, as Connected Life shows, are already primed to have meaningful brand interactions: 53% regularly follow brands on social media, while 38% like to engage with brands directly, both significantly higher than the overall population. Delivering the right content at the right time, to what is already an engaged audience, will help facilitate stronger brand connections.

Not all touchpoints are equal. Finding the right touchpoint is not only about reach but also about the quality of engagement. In this context, the combination of survey and behavioural data reduces the complexity involved in navigating the touchpoint landscape by helping brand owners to better identify and activate against those touchpoint moments which matter most. This approach adds granularity that supports more precise touchpoint-specific media and activation planning. In short, it makes finding the right touchpoint easier.

Source : Kantar TNS

Editor's Notes

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