Pinterest is the place to be for small businesses and these 8 companies around the world prove it
Finding inspiration is what moves us forward and sparks creativity in our lives – the same is true when it comes to starting or maintaining a business. Whether it's for connecting with users, increasing brand awareness, growing your business or discovering new ideas that will help you achieve your business goals, Pinterest is the place to be.
With 300 million monthly users around the world, Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that helps people to find and do the things that they love – from what to do for dinner to planning a holiday. What this means is that people come to Pinterest with an open mind, which makes it an effective place to reach people while they’re still considering their next buying decision. In fact, more than 97% of the top searches on Pinterest are unbranded, leaving plenty of space for all business sizes and types. The visual element of the platform is essential for helping brands tell a story and connect with consumers through their entire journey so that they can help people turn their dreams into decisions.
Searches for 'business motivation' increased +199% during the past year, which means that Pinterest is a source of inspiration for some entrepreneurs to launch their business, and for others, it's the tool to make them grow. Take a look at their stories below:
Anita Grant is a natural hair and skin care brand based in High Wycombe, UK. When founder, Anita Grant, suffered blistering on her hands after using a hair lotion, she decided never to buy an off-the-shelf beauty product again. Fascinated by the natural options available for black and curly hair, she began mixing her own potions after work in her kitchen using ingredients such as coconut oil, dark chocolate and honey. She used Pinterest to research what products were out there in the market and what sort of trends customers were resonating with: 'My main reason for being on Pinterest as a business is for my followers and potential customers to know what I am into and what the brand is all about.'
Pinterest is allowing her business to grow; she is getting a higher conversion rate on Pinterest than on any other social media platform. 'I have drawn a lot of business from organic traffic from Pinterest and brand awareness. I use Pinterest at the moment for announcements, for displaying what I like and what I see as a good fit for the brand,' added Anita.
Mimoo Toys is a Brazilian online shop for children's toys, founded by the stylist Branca Polegato. After working as a stylist in Sao Paulo from 1997 to 2013, she decided to get pregnant and move to the countryside to have a more relaxed life and do something different. 'During that time, Pinterest was key in helping me to choose my new path. In my creativity classes, I learned to select and keep references in a notebook to use as the inspiration for my work. At that time, I was also referencing international magazines and websites in my research. When I first discovered Pinterest, I fell in love with being able to organise my ideas and inspirations into boards that could be shared with others who had the same interests as me. And when I decided to change my life, this research on Pinterest was my driving force. On Pinterest, I had all the places that I wanted to go to, the style that I wanted to follow, the shops that I dreamed of visiting… so it was easy to find my new path!,' says Branca.
In September 2013, she founded Mimoo Toys as a physical shop, but she soon realised that her clients were in big cities, so she opened an online shop and decided to create her own content. 'I started to take photos of children's rooms with only items that could be found on my shop. By this time, I had many unique items that I brought from abroad. It was amazing for me, and a great help for mums who could find inspiration and immediately buy the product that they wanted for their child's bedroom. So Pinterest went from being just a source of inspiration to a permanent catalogue of my work, like my blog, but with much more visibility,' she added.
Slowdeco is a furniture company based in Valencia, Spain that aims to bring Scandinavian design to Mediterranean customers. Founders Alicia Martínez Calvo and Pablo Esteban Risco use Pinterest as an inspiration tool to reach audiences looking to decorate their homes.
'Pinterest allows us to create our brand philosophy in a visual way. Through Pinterest, we create content with our blog that allows us to reach our target audience, by sharing ideas and inspiration for their homes,' state the duo.
Slowdeco’s traffic to their website from Pinterest has increased 170% in the last year.
TIPTOE is a young French brand, designing and selling modular furniture, founded in 2015 by two long-time friends who had dreamt of creating unique and inspiring furniture for years. They wanted it to be both affordable and durable enough to be passed down through multiple generations. Today, people in more than 40 countries own TIPTOE’s products.
The brand noticed that 10% of their orders came from clients who discovered them on Pinterest. That’s when they started to implement a strategy on Pinterest, putting the recommended best practices in place (button, auto-pinning, rich Pins, etc.) and running their first Promoted Pin campaign in France during the summer in order to reach active home décor shoppers.
'Pinterest is a very valuable platform for brand discovery, delivering 2% of our referral traffic but resulting in 10% of our total orders. We have gotten promising results from using Promoted Pins, and will continue to test new landing pages to further improve our cost per click,' stated Vincent Quesada, Co-founder of TIPTOE.
TIPTOE’s sales coming from Pinterest increased by 95% following the paid campaign that they implemented.
Koogal is a clothing brand based in Sydney, founded by entrepreneur Tram Tran four years ago. Tram started selling clothes on eBay at the age of 16 when she was still in secondary school. She then moved to Shopify and started using Pinterest to promote the content from her website.
'I have a love story with Pinterest. When I started Koogal, I was mostly looking at Facebook and Instagram, but then one of my Pins took off. It went viral, driving crazy traffic to my website. I started pinning similar images and being consistent by pinning every day – that’s the key. I found my audience on Pinterest: women with high incomes who are into fashion,' said the founder.
Pinterest has allowed the business to grow and reach customers all over the world. Pinterest’s organic traffic is responsible for 70% of the company’s revenue. She is now 27 and runs the business with her husband. They also have a physical shop in Sydney, but most of her customers are in the United States and they now deliver to over 94 countries. With every dress sold, they donate a meal to children in need. So far, they donated more than 6,000 meals.
'My goal now is to convince other small businesses like mine to use Pinterest. In Australia, people don’t know about the potential of Pinterest yet, they don’t know how good it can be and how much traffic they could get from it,' added Tram.
Chika Yoshida, known as Bilingirl Chika, is a Japanese-English bilingual YouTube celebrity and an entrepreneur. After living in the US for 16 years, she started her career as a management consultant in Japan. In 2011, she uploaded a video to help her Japanese friend with an English CV, and since then, she's been leveraging her bilingual skills to create YouTube videos. She now has over 800 videos on her channel, ranging from English lessons to travel vlogs of her trips around the world. Chika produces, films, and edits all of her content and has published numerous books about the English language and travel, as well as releasing an English learning app for her viewers. From finding design ideas for new products to searching for inspirational quotes, Chika uses Pinterest every day for her work and also in her day-to-day life, not only to help her stay curious and inspired but also to bring all of her business ideas to life.
'Pinterest is my first go-to whenever I start brainstorming for a new project or business. It’s where I find inspiration to fuel my creativity and has been helping me give shape to all of my ideas for as long as I can remember!' states Chika.
A few years ago, brothers Tyler and Braden Handley, noticed a gap in the tattoo industry between permanent tattoos and sticker tattoos. So they decided to create inkbox, a Toronto-based company that develops semi-permanent tattoos that last about 8–18 days so that customers can test the design out, before invoking the needle.
Because Pinterest is a popular tool for researching tattoo designs, inkbox is able to reach customers in search of inspiration at the beginning of their tattoo journey. Pinterest has helped the business to grow and has increased their reach to more than 10 million monthly profile visitors. 'A lot of other platforms can be intrusive, but Pinterest is not. People don’t see our brand as advertising on Pinterest – organic is big for us. That’s something to highlight. In a world where organic reach is diminishing and where you have to pay for anyone to see your content, Pinterest still allows our content to reach people organically. This is super valuable to us,' states Brodie Mazurek, Digital Marketing Lead at inkbox.
kartenmacherei is a family-owned online stationery retailer and has become the European market leader for personalised greeting cards with more than 200,000 products. It was founded by Jennifer Behn and her husband Christoph at home in 2007. When their son Anton was born, Jennifer was finally able to 'let off some steam' creatively. She had the idea to create a line of birthday cards. In 2010, the Behns continued to develop the idea and set up their own card-making company in their attic. Every time that Anton slept, they worked on the project. Just a year later, the card makers had a solid customer base. The attic eventually became too small – so they moved their employees and equipment to larger offices. And their story still continues. Now, kartenmacherei is selling over 15 million cards per year, and has expanded beyond Germany into Austria, France and Switzerland.
The fact that Pinterest delivered 30 per cent of their organic website traffic helped to foster their growth. 'For such a small company like ours, we put a lot of effort and hours into our Pinterest account, it’s a really important factor for us,' says Maria Ramming, Social Media Manager at kartenmacherei. She adds: 'Our content is evergreen on Pinterest; we've noticed that some Pins from a year ago are still really popular. That's great for us because we are not an instant-buy company. Pinners might save some of our Pins and come back to them later.'
Connecting with your customers in a way that is different from any other place is what makes it a great tool for your business, but the platform is also the go-to place for people looking for inspiration and new ideas to energise their work, to continue growing and to achieve all kinds of goals.
Small businesses are a big topic, with increased searches for terms like small business marketing (+181%) and small business plan (+164%). For business owners and brands, staying focused and organised is a primary goal, and they are looking for business motivation (+199%) and branding inspiration (+231%). Improving the way that things are done and finding ideas to make changes are also important, as evidenced by the increase in searches for packaging design (+837%) and business card inspiration (+386%).
Steps for SMBs to make the most of Pinterest
Helping brands and businesses to have the best performance possible, Pinterest has a few tips and best practices for every step of the way - from starting out to reaching potential and current customers - that are easy to incorporate and are proven to increase engagement and conversion.
1. Starting out - Set up a business Pinterest account to have access to insights that will help you better understand your followers and the content they like the most. Use high-quality photos, add a detailed description and hashtags, and apply text overlay to catch the Pinners’ attention.
2. Growing your business - Organising your Pins in boards and sections lets users look and see specific products and looks. Try creating boards for specific things, such as types of products, a new collection or a seasonal campaign. Tip: because people on the Pinterest plan ahead, brands should do the same, sharing seasonal content 2 to 3 months before the event.
3. Increasing brand awareness - Tutorials, lists, and step by step content helps Pinners understand how to use a product. Make the most out of videos - the searches for "inspirational videos" grew 31%. Take a look at what brands like Anita Grant, Koogal and TIPTOE are creating on Pinterest.
4. Converting consumers - Pins that are shoppable and in-stock have a shopping tag icon that will make users aware they can shop that specific product or look. Also, make sure to always use the link to a specific product when that product is showing on a regular Pin. That way, when they click they will be directed to a product page where they can shop what they just saw on Pinterest.
Trends are calculated using an increase in normalized searches from January to July 2019.