Artifact Uprising

A business discovered on Pinterest

Artifact Uprising is a Denver-based company that makes tangible goods from digital photos. One of Artifact Uprising's photo books was saved and later picked up by a blogger in Oct. 2012. Her post helped Artifact get saved again and again, leading to 48,000 hits to their site in the week following the post. 

“Our products by their very nature take time and intent to create," explains Kate Thurmes, chief creative officer. “We’ve found that Pinterest works as the motivational bookmark for these projects you aspire to create… Pinterest helps connect the dots between making projects a reality instead of a ‘someday.’"

Kate Thurmes
Chief Creative Officer, Artifact Uprising
“We’d still be working in a basement if it weren’t for Pinterest.”
Focusing on quality

Artifact Uprising shares inspiration around their products and overall brand identity. They share not only product Pins but also product inspiration that touches on lifestyle, including a board featuring different ways to use their products. They add Pins from their website and make sure those images are high quality. 

“Beautiful, contextual product shots drive the most traffic and revenue,” Thurmes said. “We’ll typically launch 3-4 different product Pins and put all of our promotion behind the best-performing Pin. The more iconic and beautiful, the better the performance.”

Pins with how-tos also send Artifact Uprising traffic. Since they’re all about photography, Pins that link to guides for taking better iPhone photos, for example, do well. 

Artifact Uprising adds Pins throughout the day—most often in the morning and afternoon. They also focus on seasonality, capturing interest in holidays and other relevant topics during the seasons. They do this without losing sight over their own brand guidelines, focusing on quality over quantity.

Learning what works

Artifact figured this all out with vigorous A/B testing of their Pins. Each week they test 1 or 2 theories on what will be popular, then monitor the results using Pinterest Analytics.  

And they’ve been surprised. Sometimes what customers responded to was totally different from what they initially expected. Mobile photography, for one, turned out to be a bigger category than they thought. They spend more time promoting their mobile products and app because they’ve been such a draw. 

“Unlike other analytics or social media channels, Pinterest allows us to see what other categories our followers are interested in,” Thurmes said.  For example, analytics showed a strong overlap between people who like Artifact Uprising’s Pins and those who also spend a lot of time on DIY projects. That insight led to Artifact Uprising focusing efforts on targeting DIY followers and blogs, which has been successful. 

Pinterest also allows Artifact Uprising to figure out product sentiment. 

“We can launch a Pin of a new product, or even an existing one, and have a good guess at how well our total customer base will respond to it based on how viral the Pins go on Pinterest,” Thurmes said. “It’s been invaluable to help us focus our marketing and product efforts."

Experimenting with Promoted Pins

Pinterest is at the core of Artifact Uprising’s marketing strategy. They’ve built a most Pinned section and idea gallery on their website to highlight popular, inspiring projects, added the one-click Follow button and integrated Pinterest into their regular email schedule. In their emails, they’ll highlight Pinner accounts their subscribers would enjoy and point them to other boards that might spark customer imagination.

When they think about collaborations with other blogs and tastemakers, they make sure the content produced will be super Pinnable. 

“We love Pinterest because there’s nothing else like it…its aspirational, visual and creative qualities make it an ideal channel for the kind of work we’re doing,” Thurmes said. “Pinterest represents an entirely new future for how brands can connect with potential customers and inspire those they already have.”

In just 18 months, Artifact Uprising has grown to a multi-million dollar company seeing triple digit growth. 

They’ve also been experimenting with Promoted Pins.

“Our company has always wanted to focus on awareness and Promoted Pins has given us a way to scale on an easy-to-use platform that we’ve been looking for,” Thurmes said. “We have learned more about our customer base and how to target and segment them from Promoted Pins than from any other media platform.”

Promoted Pins help Artifact Uprising reach the right people in larger numbers—so they don’t have to rely on a Pin going viral to break through. 

She added: “We’re looking forward to the creativity this new kind of advertising will demand of brands… That’s why we’ve allocated almost our entire advertising budget to Promoted Pins.”

Suggestions from Artifact Uprising
  • Use Pinterest Analytics to learn what your customers interests are and create a content strategy based on where your brand intersects
  • Add beautiful, high quality images that are a mix of contextual product shots, interesting use cases and inspiring lifestyle photography
  • Integrate Pinterest on your website and emails to drive followers and saves, highlighting top Pins and seasonal boards