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Pinterest pushes ahead with video strategy

July 18, 2019

Pinterest Pinterest is enhancing its video suite for brands and businesses. Image credit: Pinterest


Pinterest is the latest social media platform to invest in updated video features, as it looks to help brands and advertisers serve up actionable inspirational content to consumers.

Brands and creators who have business accounts on Pinterest will now have access to an improved video uploader, analytics and other video-centric features. Pinterest has been focusing more on business capabilities and ecommerce since before its initial public offering this spring.

“People come to Pinterest with intent to try something and be inspired, and video can help people take action on the ideas they discover,” said David Temple, head of content and creator products at Pinterest, San Francisco. “With our new video features, Pinners can discover more great ideas in areas like food, home, fashion and beauty, and businesses and creators have a greater opportunity to tell stories of how to make that inspiration a reality.

“There are many places to go to watch videos, but increasingly, Pinterest is the home of inspiration,” he said. “In fact, Pinners have told us they’re 54 percent more likely to be inspired to action by videos on Pinterest compared to videos on other media platforms.

“That means brands and creators who create actionable and inspirational content like how-to videos and tutorials have a great chance of being discovered on Pinterest and growing their following with an audience ready to try new things.”

How-to videos
Pinterest boasts more than 250 million monthly active users, and 80 percent use the platform’s mobile application. Users have saved more than 200 billion “pins,” with the vast majority being images.

Video has increasingly become important on social media, especially among Generation Z consumers.

Pinterest is moving beyond still images. Image credit: Pinterest

Generation Z in particular has shown a strong affinity for YouTube, using the platform to discover new television, music and influencers (see story). It is possible some of these consumers will also search similar topics, such as beauty videos, on Pinterest.

Facebook’s Instagram ramped up its video offerings last summer with the launch of IGTV. Instagram is banking on the long-form vertical videos as a way of helping brands get even closer to their audiences, building engagement for the platform’s brand partners (see story).

Similar to IGTV, Pinterest is optimized for vertical videos to best fit into users’ feeds.

Along with the updated uploader, Pinterest has created a new video tab so brands can feature all of their video content in a centralized location. Business users will also have access to analytics and a Pin Scheduler tool for videos.

Since Pinterest positions itself as a discovery platform instead of a social network, brand videos have evergreen potential. How-to videos are some of the most popular on Pinterest, with searches for makeup tutorial clips jumping 2,063 percent from April 2018 to April 2019.

“We’re launching these new video features more broadly to give brands and creators the ability to leverage distribution across Pinterest’s recommendation engine, as well as benefit from features like metrics, which are not available when saving from other sites,” Mr. Temple said. “The number of videos on Pinterest has grown over 100 percent quarter-over-quarter, and there were more video views on Pinterest in Q1 2019 than all of 2018.”

Cosmetics groups are likely to benefit the most if Pinterest’s video push proves successful, since these brands have been early adopters of digital and influencer marketing.

Pinterest Video Pin Lancome

Lancôme shares video content on Pinterest

According to a survey conducted by Accenture, younger shoppers between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most apt to have found a new beauty product online, with almost half of these respondents saying they have discovered makeup via mobile. Beyond serving as a tool for discovery, digital channels are seen as tools for research (see story).

Beauty group L’Oréal has already used Pinterest videos for its many of its brands, including luxury label Lancôme.

For the launch of Burberry's Cat Lashes mascara, the British fashion label partnered with Pinterest to create individualized inspiration boards based on consumers’ beauty preferences (see story).

Pinterest push
As retail becomes more interactive and social platforms become multipurpose, Pinterest is continuing to make itself useful to luxury marketers and retailers with more commerce offerings.

The social platform has long been trying to harness its unique opportunity to sell products to consumers who come to Pinterest for inspiration. New features such as full catalogs, personalized shopping recommendations and shopping search aim to bring Pinterest closer to becoming an interactive retail platform.

With Pinterest’s Catalog feature, businesses can upload more products, allowing for the creation of more dynamic Product Pins. Catalog enables brands to upload entire catalogs into Pinterest instead of single products one at a time (see story).

Pinterest also recently looked to gain share in the influencer game with an additional API solution that could allow luxury marketers to better target influential users.

Instagram has been one of the most significant platforms when it comes to influencer marketing, whereas Pinterest has been low on the influencer scale, likely due to the lack of visibility for users. Pinterest is looking to change this with a solution that opens its API to third parties to view information such as monthly views, followers, impressions, click-throughs and saves (see story).

Emphasizing its video offerings is the next step in Pinterest’s evolution.

“Millions of people come to Pinterest in a planning mindset with intent – from meals they’ll cook to how to recreate a beauty look,” Mr. Temple said. “This means brands and creators can reach Pinners while they’re in the decision making process with video.

“People have always been able to save videos from video sites on Pinterest,” he said. “What’s special about video on Pinterest is it’s personalized for you, comes from experts in their field and can be saved for a lifetime of viewing.”