Pinterest users are known to be planners, with some using the platform to create vehicle wish lists that they hope to turn into reality one day.
Digital Air Strike, a digital marketing agency, is helping dealerships pursue Pinterest’s affluent users as they build digital boards showing interests that can include wedding dresses and food as well as autos.
The company is testing the hub’s ad capabilities with three dealerships and is seeing “pinners” increasingly engage with the dealer content, said Erica Sietsma, Digital Air Strike’s COO.
Pinterest, according to site data, has 29 million auto service buyers and 8 million auto pinners and reaches 58 percent of U.S. adult Internet users with incomes of at least $100,000, including 84 percent of moms in that income range.
Sietsma, 41, spoke with Staff Reporter Vince Bond Jr. in December about why dealerships should pay attention to Pinterest. The agency is covering the spectrum, pushing Fords and Toyotas on Pinterest in addition to Bentleys. Here are edited excerpts.
Q: Why should a dealer show interest in this platform?
A: It’s a very high-spending demographic. Pinterest is the intersection of interest meets intent. They call their users pinners. Pinners are planners. A lot of their boards are geared around planning and planning for a future event. That also gives really great visibility at who those pinners are: “I’m planning for a wedding.” “I’m planning for a new baby.” And you can see it — you can see it on the board.
It skews very positive. It has a higher positivity rating than pretty much any other social platform, and due to that, I think you have people that are in shopping mindsets. It is product-centric; it is a platform designed around products. People pin books, people pin clothes, people pin activities like crafts, which you need to buy the product for the craft. It’s just so heavily product-driven, unlike any other platform. Fifty percent use it direct for shopping. Eighty-two percent say it feels personal, like it just feels more personalized to them, especially the algorithm serving stuff up that seems to be more highly relevant because the way it serves that content is guided by those boards that you have.
For these dealer campaigns, what kind of message are you pushing— Is it based on pricing, deals and traditional offers?
I really would like to try some that are more offer-centric, as much as that seems counterintuitive. For advertising, offer-centric does tend to do well because they are looking for deals in a way. Because if I’m in that mindset, it is helpful to see: What is the price [or] payment? So our first round of creative tests was more of the visual — what would you think of Pinterest? One of the brands is [Luxury Collection Walnut Creek in California], and then we had Ford and Toyota. Showing offers for luxury? It’s not a thing.
For the Ford [dealership], it was kind of introductory for that 2021 Bronco, so it was more experiential because we were targeting intenders. And then we were also targeting outdoorsy and hiking because we had an ad somewhat around that. Then for the Toyota store, it was “simple price, simple process.” They’ve got an A-to-Z process all the way through delivery. It was more kind of appealing to “you want it simple, you’re busy, don’t even worry about it.” It was more of that experience side.
Do users realize they are seeing advertisements?
You can tell they’re ads. It says “promoted by.” They’re not intrusive because they’re so related. Here I am in my pool ideas. We’re doing a pool; it’s the longest process ever. So these are all the ideas for my pool board for me to go through. Within the first few scrolls, maybe four ads, and all highly relevant. Like Home Depot — how to build a floating deck. We know buyers are here. We know exactly what they’re interested in.
How many dealers are you running campaigns for on Pinterest?
We have three in tests right now. Then we had a big national test with our national distributor partner in the tire space. We’re looking at learnings from those and how we want to expand and bring to market.
We were doing site retargeting. We saw a two-times increase, which is not surprising; any kind of retargeting, you know the relevance is already there. But we do retargeting with Pinterest, so you’ve already visited the dealer site, and now I’m in Pinterest, I see that ad, so it’s not necessarily relevant to my activities and behaviors on Pinterest, but it’s relevant to where I am as a shopper. We saw those click-through rates double. I think there is relevance with the retargeting and overarching strategies with dealers about how do we holistically approach digital retailing.