‘Eyeballs are shifting’: Why a DTC shapewear company is spending big on Pinterest and TikTok

Shapermint, the direct-to-consumer shapewear brand founded in 2018, is expanding its social media presence, upping its ad spend on Pinterest and TikTok.

The brand, which is owned by e-commerce group Trafilea, is looking to scale beyond its 6 million current customers by using Pinterest and TikTok to find new audiences, according to Massimiliano Tirocchi, CMO and founder of Shapermint. Per Tirocchi, Shapermint’s spending on TikTok has more than tripled since late last year. And on Pinterest, those figures are between four to five times more than what they had been spending. He did not offer exact spend amounts.

“We really believe in testing new platforms,” Tirocchi said. “We know that if you’re the first mover, you’re really trying to understand how to make it work, you can get an initial advantage.”

Since late last year, Shapermint’s TikTok strategy has centered around its community of creators and influencers. But Tirocchi says the brand predominately finds scale through paid ads. Here, the shapewear brand aims to launch a new campaign every two to three days, he added. On Pinterest, Shapermint is less reliant on influencers and more so paid ad units.

The goal is to boost brand awareness via Pinterest and TikTok, then retarget users through Facebook and Instagram, pushing them through the marketing funnel to purchase. Because users vary platform to platform, it’s important to have a broad range of touchpoints across the social media landscape to get more audience share, Tirocchi said.

“This way, the consumer can see you three, four or five times in a week across different platforms,” Tirocchi said. “That will give them a better understanding of the story that you’re going to be telling through your ads.”

From January to September of last year, the DTC brand spent more than $400,000 on media, per Kantar. That number is down from the $1.3 million spent during that same time period the year prior. (Those numbers do not include social media as Kantar does not track those figures, and figures for network radio are through March 2021.)

At the beginning of 2020, Digiday reported that Shapermint was spending 80% of its marketing budget on Facebook and Instagram. By that fall, the DTC brand was planning to scale its television advertising. And now by expanding its social media presence, it’s a sign that the startup is looking to capture shoppers wherever they are, said Adam Puchalsky, global head of content at Wavemaker.

“We talk all the time about how eyeballs are shifting in a major way,” he said. “What TikTok has done really well and what Pinterest has done really well is they’ve made the ad experience almost endemic to the platform themselves, which is what brands must be thinking about.”

As more advertisers continue to diversify their digital advertising spend and gravitate toward platforms like Pinterest and TikTok to diversify, CPMs will certainly increase, Puchalsky added. But at the same time, the platforms are improving their ad offerings, making the cost worth it, per Puchalsky.

At Shapermint, Tirocchi said the same. And as long as the ads work across Pinterest and TikTok, Shapermint will continue to spend.

“The reality is that, apart from the fact that the CPM has been increasing, so is their platform and their algorithm,” he said. “That means that they’re being better in terms of how and who they’re showing their ads.”


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