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Pinterest Is the Secret Traffic Source That Has Been Hiding in Plain Sight

September 25, 2020
Charlie Grinnell
in
Case Studies 💡

While not one of the largest social platforms, Pinterest can drive significant traffic and many brands are missing out.

Major athletic brands generate 1-12% of their desktop social traffic* from Pinterest, while smaller running apparel brands tend to generate a somewhat smaller proportion at 1-8%.

At both ends of the brand size spectrum, there are standouts that over-perform, specifically Patagonia (12% of social traffic) and Hoka One One (8% of social traffic). In absolute terms, these brands are driving tens or hundreds of thousands of website visitors quarterly using Pinterest.

Pinterest traffic also tends to be increasing for major athletic apparel brands. For major brands, Nike saw desktop traffic from Pinterest increase by +422% in July, while Adidas saw a +109% increase. Niche running brands like Hoka One One and Patagonia saw a +246% and +14% increase respectively.

Both Nike and Adidas feature running-related boards on their highlights, which acts as a homepage for their brand accounts.

Meanwhile, Under Armour does not highlight running on their profile page, but a running board is one of four boards they created for their account.

Nike has two boards dedicated to running, one geared towards their running-themed pages like their run club membership page while the other page is geared towards products.

On Nike’s “We Run” board, its primary focus is to produce inspirational and informational content, two of the main reasons people use Pinterest.

Pins on this board lead users to the Nike Running landing page or the Nike Membership page.

On Nike’s “Run Farther” board, the main focus is to push their products and entice followers to convert by various action and closeup shots of their products.

Pins on this board typically leads users to a related product listing page or a specific product collection page.

Meanwhile, Adidas only has one running-themed board on their account; however, its running board is further segmented once opened.

These mini-board categories consist of content that ranges from lifestyle/action shots to product-only closeup shots.

Even when producing product-only shots, Adidas prefers to go for in-situation images rather than a studio white background.

All posts from Adidas go to a product page or a product listing page (by collection).

Some brands treat Pinterest like a search engine - Patagonia uses descriptive, product-related keywords while Nike simply repurposes their Instagram copy on Pinterest.

Despite having only 2K followers, Hoka One One has 10 million monthly Pinterest viewers.

Hoka One One focuses on lifestyle and influencer pins while the majority of competitors focus on product-related pins.

Hoka One One’s primary focus is influencer content. They repost UGC hiking photos and have an influencer blog series called “Humans of Hoka”, which is featured on their Pinterest.

What Brands Should Be Thinking About

Evaluate Your Allocation of Focus: While not one of the largest social platforms, Pinterest can drive significant traffic. Running apparel brands generate 1-12% of their desktop social traffic from Pinterest. Patagonia & Hoka One One are the strongest performers on this platform. In absolute terms, these brands are driving tens or hundreds of thousands of website visitors quarterly using this social media channel.

Instructional content performs well on social: In our analysis of running content on other social platforms we’ve seen that instructional/educational content performs very well and this is especially true on Pinterest. Simple and eye-catching infographics and workout, stretching, and recovery plans are consistently top performers.

Treat Pinterest as a search engine: Use generic keywords such as “running shoes” rather than product or brand-specific keywords such as “Air Max 90”. Optimize your Pinterest page with keyword-rich descriptions, board titles and pin titles.

Link to both educational & product pages: High performing Instructional Pinterest content tends to link to deeper educational resources like blog posts or videos. While not directly driving conversions, these site visits can be re-targeted with paid campaigns. Consider testing retargeting that specifically reaches visitors from Pinterest. Product-oriented content from top running apparel brands tends to link directly to product description pages or collection pages.

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Charlie Grinnell

Charlie is the CEO at RightMetric. You can connect with him on Linkedin.

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