The home furnishings retailer used keyword targeting and Promoted Pins to reach students in the US shopping for university-accommodation décor and organisers, increasing their click-through rate by 72% and decreasing their cost per click by 37% year over year.
Reaching students before move-in day
Guided by the concept that good design should be available to the many, not the few, IKEA produces and sells hard-wearing, affordable home furnishings for everyday life. Since its founding in 1943, the Swedish retailer has expanded to more than 400 stores in 49 countries, including 47 stores in the US.
Back-to-school season is big for IKEA. Students are packing themselves into university accommodation, getting themselves set up for the academic year – hopefully in style and without breaking the bank.
To reach all these potential customers, the retail giant knew that Pinterest was a great fit. Half of all millennials in the US are on Pinterest1, and 72% of people on the platform use it to find ideas for their daily lives.2 Furthermore, the home category is booming on Pinterest, with a 75% increase in home Pins in 2017 over 2016.3
IKEA wanted to efficiently drive traffic to their website to increase awareness about their university-accommodation products: desk lamps, under-bed storage and other organisational solutions that make the most of small spaces. As most sales happen in-store, the retailer primarily wanted to encourage visits to its brick-and-mortar locations – where students (and their parents) could find even more smart-living solutions that would still leave room in the budget for books.
What blew us away was how many searches contained the word 'idea'. This means shoppers are using Pinterest as an idea starter while they're still in the consideration phase. For any retailer, this is exactly the phase when you want to be reaching them.
Meeting searchers with great ideas
IKEA launched its campaign in June 2017 to take advantage of the annual increase in back-to-college Pinterest searches. With over 40% of clicks off Pinterest coming from search results and related Pins, the retailer knows that search targeting is always a smart way to reach their audience.
IKEA used Promoted Pins targeted to a number of keywords relating to US university living, including 'dorm ideas', 'college ideas', 'college bedding' and 'dorm room organisation'. That way, their products appeared when people in the US searched for ideas relating to setting up and decorating their new digs.
The ads themselves mixed lifestyle imagery and product shots to showcase IKEA solutions for compact living. One Promoted Pin featured 'the sweeter side of dorm life' with a photo of a rolling shelving unit perfect for storing snacks and coffee fixings. Another, called 'playful pastels', featured cushions, prints and other fun décor items in trendy colours: turquoise and millennial pink.
IKEA worked with their agency Wavemaker, which manages their media strategy and execution, and helps them reach new audiences. The retailer also worked with Pinterest partner Kenshoo to ensure that the campaign would be as efficient as possible, and is the first brand to launch a Pinterest search campaign through its self-serve platform. Kenshoo provided the advanced reporting and optimisation tools that helped IKEA and Wavemaker save time, understand what was working and make changes on the fly, like identifying the best-performing keywords and increasing their bids.
Making the grade with keyword targeting
IKEA saw efficient traffic and improved metrics from Pinterest during the campaign. In particular, the retailer measured a 72% higher click-through rate than the same period in 2016, and a 37% decrease in cost per click on Pinterest versus their 2016 average.
The bulk of the search queries that brought people to IKEA’s Promoted Pins included the word 'idea'. It’s proof that people use Pinterest to look for inspiration when they’re actively considering the kinds of home furnishings and organisational solutions that IKEA sells.
1comScore, Nov 2017
2Pinterest category usage study, Sept 2017
3Pinterest internal data, Sept 2017