How Kraft is driving real-time relevancy with Pinterest ads
By Chantal Tode
May 14, 2014
Kraft's Pinterest page
With Pinterest already the biggest source of referral traffic back to Kraftrecipes.com, the brand is one of the first to take advantage of Pinterest’s new Promoted Pins as a way to reach its customers with the right content at the right time.
With the launch of paid Promoted Pins, which are debuting with a handful of big brands such as General Mills, Nestlé, Expedia.com and Gap attached, Pinterest is taking its potential as a marketing platform to the next level. The visual storytelling capabilities offered on Pinterest are appealing to these brands as they continue to invest more heavily in digital marketing yet are still trying to find the strategies that help create deeper consumer connections.
“For decades, consumers have turned to Kraft for mealtime inspiration,” said Bob Rupczynski, vice president of media and consumer engagement at Kraft, Deerfield, IL. “And now it’s become even more real-time.
“Kraft is partnering with Pinterest on its Promoted Pins because these ads will help us to ensure we’re providing the right content, in the right context, at the right time, to the right consumers,” he said. “The partnership provides us the ability to connect with consumers in real-time via the Promoted Pins that can be saved, shared and clicked in mobile where 75 percent of its traffic originates."
Big brands such as Nestlé, Kraft, Expedia.com and General Mills are betting that Pinterest’s unique positioning as a consumer destination throughout the entire discovery process for new products will translate to increased brand awareness and sales.
The list of brands attached to the program also includes ABC Family, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Target.
For Kraft, part of Pinterest’s appeal is how strong a category food is already on the platform, with five billion pins on food alone.
Expedia's Pinterest content
Pinterest is also very popular with women between the ages of 25 and 54 years old, an important audience for Kraft.
Promoted Pins will also help Kraft gain consumer insights to help it continue to optimize its marketing strategy.
The CPG company will build off its existing content strategy on Pinterest with Promoted Pins across its major recipe-oriented categories, for brands such as Jell-O and Cool Whip, Kraft Cheese, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, as well as for its broader Kraftrecipes.com database.
“Already, Pinterest has become an especially powerful tool giving us real-time insights to generate new recipe ideas and identify trending recipes for our Kraft Food & Family online and print communications,” Mr. Rupczynski said.
“We have a team that each week reviews repins and click through rates from Pinterest, as well as data from other social channels, to learn what recipes people engage with most,” he said. “For example, recipes like mini corn dog muffins that are tied to seasonal and social events are often repinned.
“We noticed that the recipe for mini corn dog muffins was a trending pin so it was quickly programmed into a Kraft Recipes Food & Family newsletter.”
Building on digital experiences
General Mills is similarly looking to inspire Pinterest users with new ways to use its products in their recipes. Its Promoted Pins will be focused on the brands Old El Paso and Yoplait.
This summer, Old El Paso is launching Freshest Bloggers on the Web, a partnership with bloggers to create inspiring Mexican content utilizing Old El Paso products and Pinterest will be a key way it distributes this content.
Old El Paso on Pinterest
“Pinterest allows Old El Paso and Yoplait to provide recipes, ideas and inspiration to meet our consumers’ needs in a highly visual environment,” said Mike Siemienas, manager of brand media relations at General Mills.
“We believe that she is on Pinterest seeking ways to make her life better, cooler and more fun,” he said. “We feel that if our pin is good enough, she’ll be more open to sharing it with others.
“Pinterest is also a way for our brand to engage with our consumers in a meaningful way on mobile and tablet devices without interrupting their experience and instead building upon it.”
For Expedia, Pinterest ads make a lot of sense because it is a place where consumers already do their planning for trips. Expedia has run several contests on Pinterest and seen thousands of consumers engage with its content.
Similar to Kraft, Expedia will build from an existing strong content strategy with Promoted Pins.
“What we’ve seen is that a lot of users get very, very involved in these contests,” said Sarah Gavin, senior director of marketing at Expedia.com, Bellevue, WA. “Our Find Your Storybook campaign is by far the most successful campaign that we’ve done and we just extended the campaign another month because engagement has been very, very strong.
“A lot of people are repining,” she said. “There are thousands of people who have already participated and built boards tied to this idea of Find Your Storybook.
“To get people involved with the Expedia brand in such an organic way on a platform where they are dreaming about travel already makes a lot of sense.”
Expedia is also excited to be working with Pinterest in a collaborative way to test the ad product and help the platform build out the offering.
Ms. Galvin sees opportunities using Pinterest map pins to connect users to the Expedia brand during the travel planning process.
The opportunities also extend into other important categories for Expedia, such as its destination wedding group booking program.
Nestlé is piloting the use of Pinterest Promoted Pins for three of its brands: Nespresso, Purina and Dreyer’s.
“We are partnering with the social media site Pinterest, pioneering new methods to deepen engagement with consumers on social media through promoted ‘Promoted Pins’ on the site,” said Patrice Bula, head of marketing at Nestlé. “This builds on existing efforts to deepen consumer conversation through digital platforms,”
“We recognize the power of the Pinterest platform and this investment will create early learnings for our brands,” he said. “We see a strong potential in Pinterest as a visual storytelling platform, especially considering many popular pinning categories such as recipes and pets.”
Pinterest’s quick growth was originally based on providing inspiration to consumers for new projects and products but as the platform’s offering have become more sophisticated, consumers are increasingly counting on it for product research and educational content.
“Pinterest offers a number of unique benefits,” said Danny Maloney, CEO of Tailwind, Oklahoma City, OK. “One such benefit is the ability to engage a consumer throughout their discovery process.
“For example, my wife started getting into gardening thanks to inspiration she found on Pinterest,” he said. “She then used the platform to learn new tips and techniques. And today, she finds new products and tools there, too.
“It's rare that a platform lets a brand play a role in the entire consumer discovery process like that.”
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York
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