eBay: Leveraging content to increase Pinterest traffic — Live from the Brands-Only Summit

Coverage of this session by Jordan Ynostrosa of SocialMedia.org. Connect with her by following her on Twitter.

4:30 — SocialMedia.org's Jeff Casale introduces eBay's Tracy Baeckler.

4:31 — Tracy: I want to talk about Pinterest and how we are using UGC and how we are using pins to increase traffic.

4:32 — It's critically important to know exactly what you are trying to achieve. Take a step back and say “where do i want to go?” Set stretch goals. We had the normal “corporate goal” but we wanted to do something bigger.

We got together and decide we wanted triple digit growth with all pins having some level of engagement and start leveraging our community.

4:34 — Stretching yourself is important because you can always make incremental change. But when you make big goals, you need to focus on your primary metric. It's so important in social to focus on this one primary metric. (ROI, awareness, lead generation, traffic, engagement and perception).

4:35 — Your goal is going to drive you content. For eBay/Pinterest, our goal was traffic. Let's get people to our site then we will worry about them once they are there.

4:36 — As a DR advertiser, social for eBay starts as an upper funnel traffic driver.

4:37 — Step 1. Know the Platform. Pinterest is its own beast. It's very different. It's for things you are inspired by and for things you are going to use in the future. Who is your audience and what are people doing on the platform?

More than any other platform, Pinterest spends more time deciding everything they put in that flow. It will show you things that you are looking at in that moment.

4:38 — People go to Pinterest to look up and search for things. With that in mind we wanted to get people off of Pinterest on onto eBay. The content lives there forever — very different than Facebook or Twitter. We get traffic from pins from years ago.

4:39 — We know the platform, now the question is — where are the gaps?

4:40 — Tracy: eBay has TONS of content. When we started looking into it, none of it worked on Pinterest. If you are thinking about traffic, you cant put eBay's listings on Pinterest.

4:42 — Ex. bridesmaids gifts: If you search on eBay there are thousands of listings. NOT taking existing site content and putting it on Pinterest is what we decided to do. But, we didn't have scale to create new content.

This is where the influencer content comes in. Someone who knows about this content and who is in the community — that's where we develop the 1-on-1 relationship to use their content.

4:44 — Tracy: Now that we have the content, this is where the Pinterest content comes in. Back to the Bridesmaids example — you've got to find what's useful. We had great success with this influencer content.

4:45 — Iterate and invest for results. We have the content, but there are many iterations that we can make around the content. What are the keywords that we are using? How many images do we need to stitch together?

4:47 — Traffic from Pinterest — 2013 was our baseline. 2014 is when we started our influencer content and started getting small results. 2015 is when we started getting the real results and when we started putting the money behind it.


Q: Is the influencer content in response to needing content to post? Or were you doing it before, but increased the volume. How much more are you creating it now?

A: Tracy: The influencer program grew out of Pinterest, with the idea that there needed to be more content. Our program has exploded and is benefiting other teams as well. Very critical for the retail and seasonal moments. We rely on our influencer team from a content perspective. They are the ones that are telling us “hey we have some really great content”. We get thousands of pieces of content, but cannot use them all because we don't have the scale. We look at the metrics an what is performing well already.

Q: How much have you been pinning? Daily? Do you get analytics from Pinterest or a 3rd party?

A: Tracy: As far as volume, we don't look at that. Look at what we are publishing today and what type of content. Just because I pinned 5 pins today, doesn't mean anyone on the site will see them THAT day. A great example is seasonal. Right now Valentine's Day is heating up and all my pins from the past 2 years are starting to surface.

It's less about daily pins and more about…”Are we light in fashion, do we need more there?” — What do we need more of? We utilize Internal tracking metrics from our URLs.

Q: Would the algorithm change from pins from years ago. Are we monetizing the old posts? Or new posts that aren't getting visibility?

A: Tracy: We should be monetizing old posts. we have so much great new content coming out all of the time – so our first thought is to put money behind the new content coming in. It's a great point though, maybe I should look back on old pins and look at the rankings — but its hard to look at what's doing well and what's not.

Q: Did you see any corresponding in the bounce rate and average time spent on the website.

A: Tracy: There wasn't a benchmark. Everything else is going to items or search results pages depending on the channel. One of the things influencers are great about is, the guides will have it embedded. Which includes a link to search results. Not a lot of bounce rate coming off the first search page.

Q: Top 5 lists, leveraging, popular things being searched, and linking to individual searches. Can you talk about the benefits?

A: Tracy: We have to link to search results rather than products. It's a challenge because items turnover really fast on bay. A lot of items are auction based. In 7,10, 30 days the item will be gone. So we mainly go to search results page. We've seen great success with the guides, that speaks more to Pinterest users with the frame of mind they are in. If I'm a bride and i want to start looking at gifts, its a very different mindset than if you already have pinned.

Q: When you are trying to drive them to the site, from reading blog content – are you retargeting them in Pinterest with more product focused content?

A: Tracy: Anyone that is coming to the pages in general is eligible for broad strokes retargeting. As far as Pinterest specific, those retargeting tools don't exist in that level of implementation. We don't have a capability of where we are with our integration with them. But they would get retargeted in general.