Pinterest continues to grow not only for consumers but also for businesses. There are now over 500,000 business account users in Pinterest. Here are 10 brands that are doing well with Pinterest to show want can be achieved. The percentage of daily Pinterest users that consult it for purchasing guidance while in a store is estimated at 52%. With this trend in mind, how should you deploy Pinterest as a part of your social media strategy? You must be clear on you want to achieve up front. You should define how you intend to measure success against those goals leading to positive return on investment. Here are 10 steps for Pinterest ROI to help you do just that!
Step 1 – Define Goals
To be successful at any social media activity, you first have to define your goals. This is important for B2C or B2B etc. You should not create your boards before this step is done, even though it might be tempting to load up some boards with some images and just see how it goes.
Defining your goals will help determine the objectives and this must be done before naming and describing your Pinterest account, as well as the board names and the initial number to be created.
Step 2 – Define Objectives
Creating your objectives will follow on from your goal definition, now that you have decided to add Pinterest to your inbound marketing strategy. The objectives must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time defined).
Step 3 – Create Pinterest Tactical Approach
Now you should be ready to construct a blueprint of what your Pinterest account should be. This includes how it should be named, what category it should be in and the first draft of boards, board names, descriptions, and how each pin should be linked to your call to action destination(s). Validate (in Pinterest) your main web site domain where your major calls to action are located. Your Pinterest account must slot into your marketing ecosystem, with both your existing online and offline channels. Pinterest is great for linking direct to online web shops for B2C but can equally be used for B2B, integrating with your B2B touch points for lead capture or other key actions that you might have. When you devise your ecosystem with Pinterest, I strongly suggest to map out the paths. Some platforms may send users to Pinterest or the other way around or both. When I do this exercise, I like to estimate the annual or monthly traffic volumes. For example, widgets could be used on your web site to provide a link to your Pinterest profile, boards, or to a pin. You can edit your pins to ensure that they include links to your destination call to action points.
Step 4 – Create Pinterest Content Marketing Plan
If you already have a well crafted content marketing plan then you should add Pinterest to it. In this way you start to devise content for Pinterest that is aimed at meeting the needs and aspirations of your target audience. Without well tuned content, you have a low probability of call to action activity from your content. If the content is irrelevant the Pinterest ROI will be low or non-existent.
Step 5 – Create Pinterest Call To Actions
You should ensure that the set up of your Pinterest social media goals in your analytics tool is receiving data. For example, Google Analytics enables you to create different types of goal linked to your call to actions and enables you to test them with a verify button. This ensures that you have constructed the parameters correctly and data is flowing based on your recent performance. I found this very useful in setting up goals in the past.
- Client acquisition Goal: Create an account or profile
- Inquiry Goal: Viewed reviews and ratings
- Engagement Goal: Media play, including a video, slide show, or product demo
- Revenue Goal: Online order or payment
You can set up these goals to be triggered from many different call to actions. For example, visits to a thank you page after signing up. Some goals can be created by using regular expressions when it is not possible to define the goal in simple terms. There are many online resources available to provide help with setting up goals. Here is one that I like and have used in the past to construct regular expressions and everyone loves a nice cheat sheet!
I often track my social media goal completions by using path analysis. In this way I learn a lot about the paths taken to my high value goals compared to my lower value ones. I can combine all the channels into one display or switch off all but one to concentrate on its many paths to success. Often extra information is available within Google analytics. For example, with Google+ I can punch out to view the ripple diagram and re-run the small animation to see view how the public sharing played out, and at what times it spread the fastest etc.
Step 6 – Add Values To Call To Actions
This is a key step especially when you do not have your Pinterest pins directly linked to online web sales channels. All call to actions listed in step 5 should have a value placed against them. Spend time making sure these values are sensible using models like customer lifetime value to work back how much each goal is worth and also ensure that the business requester or sponsor is in agreement with these values. These values are essential for working out the Pinterest ROI.
For example, if you knew that the average lifetime customer value was 300 euros, and you knew that 1 in 40 of your target audience who visited your web site via Pinterest registered and became customers. Then the value of getting a visitor to register from Pinterest would be 7.5 euros.
Step 7 – Select the attribution model
Google Analytics states that “Customers typically visit a site multiple times before converting. A potential customer may discover your brand via a display ad, return to your site later to research, and finally convert after searching for a specific product or offering”. It is important to not only select the best attribution model for each use case but also to gain agreement from all the key stakeholders and business sequesters about that selection. Now you will be able to view how Pinterest (and any other social channel) has contributed to each conversion goal compared to search, referral and direct traffic.
Google Analytics enables viewing of the value of social conversions in many different ways. For example, compare values using up to 3 attribution models, like last click vs. first click vs. linear. All social media channels can be grouped into one collection or all shown in a list. For my site results I see Pinterest behind Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter in terms of contributed social value. Pinterest has a benefits value in the results for the date range I selected so that becomes my value input into the ROI calculations in step 10.
Step 8 – Monitor your performance in Pinterest
Monitoring the on going performance of your Pinterest account is very important for achieving good ROI. You need to know when internal issues or other external factors have affected your Pinterest performance. You also need to be able to explain the factors driving success. For a high level view you could use the analytics that is available within Pinterest.
One of the high level metrics to track is the average daily impressions and users. Engagement must be tracked too, then compared to impressions. Monitoring these will indicate how users are reacting to your content if they they had the possibility to view it. Tailwind includes some nice metrics like Virality and Engagement score and rate to help understand how Pinterest is performing:
Virality is looking at how many of your pins are being repined from the total that you have. You can reconcile this back to your content marketing plan to see what content or themes are performing the best. You can do this using the analytics available in Pinterest or by using other Pinterest measurement tools.
Pinterest Analytics indicates the number of clicks your content is getting. You can also get this data from other tools as well. Check that these numbers are faithfully appearing in your call to action referral reports where you will start compiling your Pinterest ROI.
Step 9 – Monitor your audience interest profile in Pinterest
You should check your audience profile now that you are live and posting content and engaging with your community on a regular basis. Have a look at your audience demographics and interest profile within Pinterest Analytics in the “Your Audience” section.
Key to success is proving that you are attracting and engaging with the desired target demographic. Here is the audience interest profile from my Pinterest account as an example of how the information is displayed:
Step 10 – Perform ROI Calculations
Determine total costs, like fees, labor or agency costs and any costs from running and setting up Pinterest.
Pinterest ROI = Benefit values (as measured in step 6) x 100 / costs = % return on the investment costs.
Conclusion – Pinterest ROI in 10 Steps
Maximizing ROI for Pinterest or indeed, any social media channel starts with the initial planning stage and goal setting. The following steps are also taken without diving into Pinterest, which is where some eager marketers sometimes start their discovery with Pinterest and then work backwards. Try to use metrics that can be tied to call to actions which must be linked to your higher level goals. Move away from taking the easy way out by using the “low hanging fruit metrics” like the number of likes and followers. They rarely can be linked to business goals.If you are still not convinced, here are 10 examples of social media ROI from various types of businesses who took that extra step beyond engagement measurement to calculate their social media ROI.
A Forrester Research analyst who is creating research in this direction is Allison Smith. She recently said “track purchase intent, and the success of marketing efforts that turn prospects into customers, by linking social activity to purchase via attribution models“*
The future with Pinterest analytics after experience of end to end campaigns might be to create your own Industry benchmarks, embrace your industry influencers, and experiment with Pinterest advertising which is coming soon for all of us to use.
If you enjoyed this post, please let me know by leaving a comment below, or sharing it in your social networks. Thank you.
*Source: Forrester Research, Inc., Follow 10 Steps To Successful Social Intelligence Measurement, October 7, 2014