How fashion publisher Who What Wear engages their audience on Pinterest

April 11, 2019

Written by Katherine K. Ellis
Fashion strut

Since our last hard look at Pinterest in 2018 new publishers have broken into the top 10, and Pinterest has filed for an IPO. So what do publishers, brands and agencies need to know moving forward?

In the past we’ve covered our Pinterest data by detailing a food publisher’s rise to the top and how to supplement Facebook content with pins, among other things. With the announcement of the platform filing for an IPO and being worth nearly $12 billion, we thought we’d take a look at who’s doing well on Pinterest these days and how publishers, brands, and agencies could refine their strategy.  

Food rules Pinterest, by a long shot

In a breakdown of the top 100 pins from 2018, 75 percent were not only food-related content, they’re recipes. Recipes have increased slightly the past four years as far as the type of content that’s pinned, but nothing else even comes close to that. Topics that seem to rule the platform broke up the other 25 percent, but it’s the place where people can come for new ideas and food is king.

Pinterest sees 250 million users each month and they are primed to discover new things. Pinners are open to buying, ready to click through to other sites, they’re expecting to browse ideas and find a solution on the platform. There’s a lot of engagement to be had on Pinterest and since our last report, one publisher has steadily climbed its way into the top 10. The seventh most engaged publisher in the past year is fashion site Who What Wear, a publication dedicated to accessible style content.

In 2017 the Daily Mail was the only news publisher to break the top 10 in engagements, but this year Buzzfeed secured the third spot, passing the Daily Mail’s royalty coverage that’s popular on Pinterest. Buzzfeed has a different strategy for Pinterest than other platforms they frequent. They know what works well and create boards full of their content, but content which wouldn’t be out of place on Pinterest. This includes boards for recipes, home decor, quizzes, comics, style (and more!) going directly to their 10 million monthly viewers.

Fashion is a popular topic on Pinterest. Users go there particularly for inspiration, to discover new brands, when they have a specific event to attend and don’t know what to wear, the options are endless. They’re searching for something specific and engagements are largely driven by fashion sites, many of which started as blogs or are popular bloggers posting links to their latest outfits on Pinterest. Street style photos are rampant, as pinners add to their “outfit inspo”, “style goals” or other boards. Who What Wear is by far the most engaged fashion site on the platform.

Both the US and UK sites take the top spots and more surprising, their engagements double that of the most recognizable women’s magazines in the industry. Who What Wear’s engagements outpace even Vogue, the top women’s magazine publisher on Pinterest.

Most magazines aren’t utilizing their Pinterest page (if they have one) to the fullest, but Who What Wear ensures content is easily recognizable and their street style shots, whether an intentional part of their strategy or not, end up on a lot of users’ boards because the images are exactly what you imagine while browsing for a new outfit.

Their articles waste no time, you will get a Survival Guide: How to Dress for Humid Weather, or 4 Under-$50 Trends You’ll See Everywhere This Spring, regardless their titles might as well be built-in searches on Pinterest. They already write about things pinners are looking for and once users find it, there’s no need to go searching for details, you’ll immediately see photos and links to products they mention or feature.

It’s the key to their success: consistent, well-branded, highly visual content with actionable steps. Do you like those shoes? Click through to buy. Do you wish you had her hair? Products are linked below the image. It’s why when their content is posted to Pinterest, people who come across their images re-pin with abandon. The instagram photos they repurpose and tag blend in seamlessly on Pinterest’s homepage with popular street style shots, which lead to more pins. If you go to Who What Wear’s pinterest page (that sees 10m+ viewers a month) it looks like your friends’ page. There’s boards for shoes you’d want to buy, celebrity trends, different boards for styling tips and tricks. While some pins lead back to original content on Who What Wear’s website, most link directly to where you can purchase the item in the photo.

Additionally, their Pinterest engagement is much higher than their Facebook engagement, which has typically carried the bulk of publishers’ reach on social media. They know where their audience spends their time and it shows. Beauty brands are catching on as well.

While it’s obviously helpful to write content or sell products that resonate on the platform that reaches 83% of women in the US ages 24-54, it’s important to remember fashion content isn’t even the highest engaged topic on Pinterest. There is room for all other brands and publishers to expand and grow an audience on the platform.

So what we’ve got is a platform where earned media is very high, (once a pin has been shared to someone else’s board, it loses its “promoted” tag) an audience of 83% of women 25-54 in the US who are actively seeking new ideas and new brands, with high engagement in very specific categories (food, DIY, home decor, crafts, fashion, beauty).

Key Takeaways:

  • Pinners are open, they’re in “discovery” mode and want to find what they’re looking for
  • Brands that promote on the platform are meeting their customers in an important stage of the funnel
  • Pinners are using Pinterest to get ideas for “life moments” (Marriage, trips, holidays, events, what to wear)
  • 51% of pinners report being exposed to brands they’ve never heard of through pinning
  • Instagram has 4x as many users but the same discoverability for brands as Pinterest (59%)
  • Recipes aren’t slowing down on the platform, still rules the top spot
  • Publishers, brands and agencies that develop a separate strategy for Pinterest can find success tapping into the most popular topics on the platform that make sense for them

If you want to see how your company is performing on Pinterest, check out NewsWhip Analytics.

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