This article is part of a five-part series dedicated to the challenges and opportunities in content marketing.
Meredith has a longstanding relationship with Pinterest, with brands such as Allrecipes investing in creating pins for the platform since at least 2012. Since Meredith acquired Time Inc. in November 2017, that relationship has deepened.
In the fall of 2018, Meredith launched a dedicated Pinterest team, where several employees exclusively work on creating content for Pinterest across the media company’s publications, said Lorraine Goldberg, director of social strategy at Meredith. (A Meredith spokesperson declined to provide the specific number but said the team is sizable.)
Meredith’s Pinterest team currently creates pins for AllRecipes, EatingWell, Travel+Leisure, Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living, Parents, Shape, Health, InStyle, Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings. These accounts have more than 12 million followers and drive 200 million impressions per month.
Across these accounts, Meredith’s Pinterest team strategizes what to pin and how to pin it. For what to pin, they think not only about trending topics on the publication’s individual sites but also what’s popular on Pinterest. One of RealSimple’s recent popular pins is a simple drawing of a paintbrush and paint bucket with text that reads, “5 Paint Colors That Actually Help Your Home Look Cleaner.” The pin links to a RealSimple article with the same headline and had about 3,000 saves.
Goldberg said the team considers Pinterest’s long-tail effect, where they may not create winter holiday content in the summer for Instagram but they do for Pinterest. Allrecipes, which has 658,000 followers and more than 10 million monthly viewers of its Pinterest account, actively maintains a Pinterest board about Christmas cookies, not just about summer recipe ideas.
To strategize content, Meredith’s Pinterest team speaks with Pinterest’s team at least weekly. Goldberg said some of their recent conversations have focused on how to invest more in video on Pinterest. Meredith has garnered about 143 million video views on Pinterest, with some individual videos reaching more than 1 million views since October 2018. For example, a pin about a DIY fire pit from Better Homes and Gardens received 10.9 million views and about 228,000 saves.
One reason Meredith formed a Pinterest team is that it was looking to diversify its social strategy following the Facebook news feed changes in early 2018, Goldberg said. Additionally, Pinterest’s audience and their intentions align with many of Meredith’s publications.
“There’s a natural fit. Pinterest users want to find a recipe, or they’re moving into their first apartment, or first home or they’re having a baby — all those lifestyle moments especially of female consumers — it was a really good place for us,” Goldberg said.
Not all publishers are as committed to Pinterest as Meredith is. In a May 2019 Digiday+ survey of 179 publishing executives, only 39 said they actively used Pinterest to distribute content — making Pinterest the least widely used platform in the survey. For publishers actively using Pinterest, the platform meets different objectives, with 48% saying their primary goal with Pinterest is brand awareness and growing audience and 48% saying Pinterest drives referral traffic. The remaining 4% said Pinterest generates direct revenue.
For Meredith, Pinterest is beneficial for both brand awareness and referral traffic. Over the last year, Meredith’s impressions and engagement on Pinterest have grown between 200% to 400%, and referral traffic from Pinterest is up about 17%, Goldberg said.
“We definitely focus on how do we grow impressions and engagement on Pinterest, and we focus on translating that to traffic. We’re deeply committed to Pinterest. In terms of volume of traffic, it’s among our top three with strong year-over-year growth. We’re looking at ways to grow and expand our Pinterest presence and traffic across our brands,” Goldberg said.
In July (after the fiscal year), Meredith’s Pinterest team plans to invest in more publications in the portfolio, including Food & Wine, CookingLight, Myrecipes, Entertainment Weekly and HelloGiggles.
“We’ve seen a nice rebound in Facebook traffic, but we want to diversify the pie because we see opportunity. Pinterest has a strong, engaged audience in tandem with our engaged audience. We see good potential there,” Goldberg said.