Gadget Site The Grommet Reinvents Its Pinterest Strategy

TheGrommetPinterest made sense for The Grommet right from the start.

The Grommet is an ecommerce site where inventors and entrepreneurs can launch and sell their products – everything from the innovative (lunchboxes that unzip into placemats) to the strange, but cool (liquid that can be applied to the fingertips of gloves to make them touchscreen-friendly).

In the early days, a lot of the sharing The Grommet saw on Pinterest was organic. The products are highly visual, and they’ve got a sort of funky DIY vibe about them – very pinnable.

The problem, and the opportunity, came when Pinterest launched Promoted Pins at the end of 2014. The Grommet started taking advantage of Promoted Pins right from the start and the performance was promising, but setting up each pin individually was a ton of work and the cost per acquisition (CPA) left something to be desired.

“We were seeing between 80% and 90% new customers coming in through Pinterest, but we were also trying to manage over 1,000 different promoted pins, and that can get pretty overwhelming,” said Maggie Schulz, digital marketing manager at The Grommet. “We really needed a manageable way to scale that success and a much stronger toolbox to manage our growth on Pinterest.”

Which is why The Grommet hooked up with social data analytics company and Pinterest Marketing Developer Partner 4C to streamline its Pinterest strategy, especially around keyword optimization and specific targeting parameters. Pinterest is a highly intent-driven platform, and if a brand or product isn’t turning up in search, that’s a missed opportunity.

“Our goal is to help advertisers match keywords and discover the best audiences to reach,” said 4C CMO Aaron Goldman.

Most of The Grommet’s customers use the site to find gifts, and that can make the discovery aspect somewhat challenging. Keywords needs to attract both the recipient and the gift-giver.

“We create different target audiences based on who we think the gift recipient is – dads, boyfriends, husbands, brothers,” said Schulz. “But we’re also thinking about how we can apply keyword sets to multiple ads. We use 4C to group related products together and tweak the perfect audience for them on Pinterest.”

LettermateThe Grommet, for instance, targeted a small plastic stencil for addressing envelopes called Lettermate at DIYers, holiday card writers and people interested in stationery – a fairly niche group. The post became one of The Grommet’s top-performing Promoted Pins of all time, with more than 105,500 re-pins and over 23,300 likes.

But The Grommet was looking for more than top-of-the-funnel vanity metrics. After tapping 4C to improve workflow efficiency, Schulz and her team stopped focusing on the manual labor of pin management and instead worked to reduce The Grommet’s cost per acquisition on Pinterest.

Over the first month, The Grommet brought its CPA down by 21%, and two months in, orders derived from Pinterest interest had grown by 64%. By month three, orders were up by 630%, and by the start of Q4 2015, 10% of The Grommet’s overall order volumes could be tied back to Promoted Pins.

The Grommet’s customers will often save what they like on Pinterest, returning later to convert on the re-pin when they’re ready to buy. It’s the nexus of earned and paid, said Michael Akkerman, head of marketing developer partnerships at Pinterest.

“There’s a sweet spot between virality and amplification where we see pins and re-pins continue to live on and purchases continue to accrue,” Akkerman said. “It’s sort of like the gift that keeps on giving.”

Part of The Grommet’s success on Pinterest is also attributable to the natural alignment of their audiences, Akkerman said.

“The Grommet is a discovery network for the innovators of new products, and Pinterest is a discovery engine for life,” he said. “And when people come to Pinterest, they’re doing so with the intent to take action.”

It’s that buying mindset that sets Pinterest apart, Akkerman said. He pointed to Pinterest’s buy button, which The Grommet is planning to start using in the first quarter of 2016.

Although social buy buttons didn’t perform all that well across the board this holiday season – even Pinterest, which is arguably more ecommerce-centric than either Facebook or Twitter, was reportedly seeing less than 10 purchases a day through its shoppable pins – Akkerman takes umbrage at being lumped in with the crowd.

“Our app lends itself to commercial discoverability, which is the state that consumers are in when they leverage and intersect with Pinterest versus other platforms, where that isn’t necessarily a natural behavior,” Akkerman said. “I can tell you that the experience is seamless. We’re not just slapping a buy button on a pin; we’re giving users the option.”

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