Did you know influencer marketing can generate up to 11x the ROI than more traditional forms of advertising? Or that 88% of customers trust online reviews from strangers as much as they would a recommendation by a friend? With influencer worth expected to grow to more than $10B by 2020, it should come as no surprise that growing numbers of people are focused on establishing themselves as Influencers on social media sites.
While many influencer marketing advocates are looking toward Instagram, savvy marketers are also diving headfirst into Pinterest. Just this past fall, Pinterest announced its efforts to share API data with eight influencer marketing platforms, making it easier to track and value Influencer collaboration efforts. At the same time, with brands continuing to see a steady decline in referral traffic from social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest referral traffic continues to climb.
Whether you are interested in establishing your brand as an influencer on Pinterest or want to better understand the Pinterest influencers you would like to work with, we have gathered some valuable data and insights for you. Taking the time to better understand the posting habits of top pinners can also help you improve outreach strategy for upcoming influencer marketing campaigns.
Analyzing Top Pinterest Influencers
Using ranking data from Trackalytics, we gathered the 500 most followed profiles on Pinterest as a sample base of Pinterest Influencers. The pins featuring the highest volume of saves over the past year were analyzed using a machine learning algorithm to match pins with specific topical categories and sub-categories. The top 15 Pinterest accounts, as determined by the number of followers, were analyzed for both pin volume and topical relevance, using the SEMrush Social Media Tracker.
While many of our findings aligned with expectations, (i.e., a large portion of established Pinterest influencers were early adopters of the platform who established a strong follower base while competition for attention was still low) there were also a few surprises (i.e., cocktails are the third most popular sub-topic of recipes.)
Influencers Vary Wildly in How Active They Are
While it might be easy to assume Pinterest’s most established Influencers would be regular contributors to the site, our research found a wide variation in activity levels among the top 15 Pinterest accounts.
The most active Pinners, @janew (1829 pins in the last year) and @stylemepretty (1545 pins in the last year) were ranked sixth and eleventh, respectively. On the other end of the scale, users like @veanad (74 pins in the last year) and @llbean (7 pins in the last year) still cracked the top fifteen users list.
As you can see from the infographic, the numbers are all over the board. Only five users fall within the 200-450/posts per year range, demonstrating no set usage pattern that easily distinguishes top Pinterest Influencers from other users.
With this said, it is important to remember that many of the top Pinterest users established themselves early on when Pinterest used to recommend accounts to follow when new users signed up. Many early adoptees found themselves on these recommended lists and gained massive follower counts thanks to Pinterest’s internal referrals. Some, like @ohjoy, have leveraged this following into full-time businesses, inking partnership deals with Target and other retailers. Others, like @stylemepretty, may have started as individual users, but soon blossomed into full-scale publishing platforms with staff.
The takeaway here is that being a Pinterest Influencer is less about the volume of posting and more about the quality and targeting of the pins you choose to share.
Pinterest Influencers Focus Heavily on Style and Food
While Pinterest’s top Influencers do favor categories like fashion and home décor, our research showed that topics like food, DIY projects, art, and travel were not far behind.
Home Décor leads the way (28.9%) among top Pinterest users, with bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms drawing the highest activity levels. Style related pins make up more than a fifth (21.7%) of activity among top Pinners with fashion, hairstyles and beauty drawing the most attention. Food and recipes 15.1%) round out the top three with the highest focus on desserts, chicken, and cocktails.
It is especially worth noting that video pins are seeing a significant rise in interest across all categories. Video-based pins were easily the most successful pin types within the Food and Recipes related format. As with most other areas of social media content marketing, both Pinterest influencers and marketers alike would be wise to shift more attention to creating video-based content.
Keep in mind that Pinterest also does an amazing job of tracking and predicting trends across all the topical categories of Pinterest. Their latest trend report is available via PDF and can be a great source of ideas for upcoming content collaborations or influencers pitches. Just take the time to explore the categories you wish to tackle, then pull a few ideas from Pinterest’s trends report for the categories you have chosen.
Putting It All Together
There are a few key takeaways from this data that you can immediately put to use in your efforts to both build your own Pinterest presence as well as to better connect with existing influencers.
First and foremost, stop worrying so much about the quantity of content you are pinning and shift your focus over toward the quality of content you are pinning.
If you are planning outreach efforts to Pinterest influencers, take the time to figure out whether they are a selective pinner or a high-volume pinner. High volume pinners may be easier to pitch, as it takes a lot of content to fill those posting needs. More selective pinners may require a paid partnership or a more appealing pitch in order to qualify for one of their limited content spaces.
As for content, ask yourself whether your focus is more heavily on keeping an existing audience engaged, or on reaching out to new audiences. If you are looking to keep your current audience engaged, make sure to continue sharing content that has resonated well in the past. If you are looking to reach a new audience, consider exploring related topics in the areas of home, fashion, food, and DIY. With such a high volume of activity around these topics, you’re sure to land in front of some new potential customers.