New research shows how marketers of all kinds benefit from Pinterest

Couple on a couch

3 reasons why people love Pinterest

Here’s why Pinners’ attitudes towards Pinterest are so positive:

1. People use Pinterest with intent: Unlike other platforms, Pinterest isn’t about killing time. It’s about finding something to do or buy.

“I’ll look on Facebook or Instagram just because I’m bored. I don’t really do that on Pinterest," says Lindsey, 33. "It’s about needing an idea for an upcoming party or new chair.” 

2. People on Pinterest say it adds value: The visual nature of Pins gives people a kind of inspiration they can’t get elsewhere.

“It’s like asking your best friend, ‘What should I wear for fall?’ said Kendra, 27. "It shows you, versus searching the Internet.” 

3. Pinterest is personal: The rise of technology has created a more connected world… and sometimes Pinners just need a digital oasis to pursue “me time.”

“It’s all about me and my interests," says Kelly, 28. "Those other sites are all about what other people like.”

The common thread that ties these 3 things together? Pinterest helps people discover and do what they love. According to survey respondents, it’s the platform that helps them feel more creative (73%), inspired (68%) and organized (62%). It’s no surprise that 61% of respondents said Pinterest is where they find ideas to be their best selves (the next highest platform was Google, at 40%).

“Those other sites are all about what other people like,” said Kelly, a 28-year-old Pinner from Denver. “On Pinterest, it’s ‘I love this, I love that.’ It’s very self-centered and not a waste of time.”

Across the board, Pinterest influences buying

Pinterest provides personalized and useful ideas, making it a go-to destination for discovery. 72% of survey respondents said they use the platform to find new ideas for their everyday life or hobbies—nearly double that of Google. “Pinterest results are more tailored to you, they’re things you’d actually use,” said Darius, a 27-year-old living in Los Angeles.

Many respondents even said that Pinterest has become their default search engine. And they’re not just searching or browsing for different things, they’re buying them too. To find out what exactly they’re buying, researchers asked Pinners to talk about how they use Pinterest across a variety of categories: Here's what Pinners who engage at least weekly with content on Pinterest in the following categories said:

  • Auto: 52% said they create boards or search for cars they want to buy. Meanwhile, 67% search for tips on car modifications and accessories, like Pinner Megan, 33, from Dallas. “I have a Jeep and I need new tires. I'll go on Pinterest just to see how people are pimping out their Jeeps.”
  • Beauty: 40% create boards for products they want to buy, and 67% use Pinterest to learn how to create new, everyday looks.
A 21-year-old Pinner from Los Angeles
“I saw a Pin of Rihanna wearing MAC lipstick called Sinful and she looked awesome! I actually immediately figured out where to buy it and picked it up because of that Pin.”

  • Entertainment: 37% create boards for events or concerts they want to attend, and 49% use Pinterest to discover new shows, movies or books.
  • Finance: 86% of respondents say they’re in the market for at least one financial service, and 49% said they’re looking for financial tips and tricks.
  • Food and drink: 42% of respondents purchase items for recipes found on Pinterest, while 76% search or create boards for day-to-day meals.
  • Home decor: 52% create wishlists for home decor products they want to buy, and 83% say they use Pinterest for DIY projects. “I found a really cute desk that looks like a credenza. It's from Urban Outfitters Home, which I didn’t even know sold furniture. I found it through Pinterest and it’s the cutest thing,” said Mirna, a 28-year-old in Los Angeles.
  • Style: 46% create boards for products they want to buy or receive as gifts. 66% use Pinterest to learn how to style fresh, everyday looks. “I used Pinterest to look at different outfits and ways to wear them. Then I searched Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and MR Porter,” said Brant (31, Dallas).
  • Travel: 68% create Boards for places they want to visit, and 46% look for hotels and other lodging for upcoming vacations.

Why Pinners welcome ads

Since people come to Pinterest to discover new ideas, they’re open to any Pins that help them do that—even if it’s branded content. “Pinterest is supposed to be a way for me to find out new things, so an advertisement makes sense on there. It might even be beneficial,” said 33-year-old Pinner Lindsey.

And it’s not just Lindsey. Overall, Pinners tend to be more open-minded to ads since they fit seamlessly within the platform. Nearly three quarters (73%) of respondents said Pinterest content from brands is useful, and this is true for both organic and Promoted Pins.

When we looked at just people who said they were aware of Pinterest ads, 61% said they’ve discovered new brands or products from Promoted Pins, and half of them made a purchase after seeing one.

This natural alignment creates great results for our advertisers: in a recent analysis, Analytics Partners looked at five major retail and CPG advertisers and found that for every $1 they spent, Pinterest provided $2 in profit. (And when looking at gross retail dollars instead of profit, that translated into a $4.3 return on each dollar spent!)

We’re thrilled to have created a platform that’s good for Pinners and good for marketers. And we’re so thankful to the millions of businesses who have been instrumental in building Pinterest with us.

Liz Xiao, currently saving to Paperback Writer