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how you can use pinterest during COVID-19

Amid COVID-19 restrictions, Pinterest usage has reached an all-time high. More and more people are turning to the platform for escapism, inspiration and entertainment ideas.

In one of our previous blogs, we discussed the power behind advertising on Pinterest. It seems a global pandemic has made this potential all the more for brands. As people adjust, businesses are continuously considering how they can best support their audience. For such a visual platform, the focus is on curating accurate and inspiring content to advertise to your target audience while they are in a research and discovery mode.

Throughout this article, we’ll look at how Pinterest usage has increased, what the impact has been on user behaviour and how you can understand people’s needs to reflect this in your paid advertising strategy.

what have we seen so far?

global usage hits an all-time high

As people adjust to their temporary new way of life, it seems they’re using Pinterest more than ever to stay inspired. General usage has increased substantially over the past few weeks:

  • 60 percent year on year increase in search volume occurred during the first three weeks of April.

  • 70 percent increase was seen from users engaging with their own boards vs. this time last year.

  • 220 percent increase in organic video views year on year. This has been particularly driven by food and drink, beauty, DIY, entertainment and home décor.

This increased usage has been driven by trends including self-care, home-schooling, board games and wellbeing, indicating how Pinterest may have moved beyond being an inspirational platform to one that’s about taking action. With the extra time some now have, Pinners are going back to their boards to make the recipes they have previously saved and start those DIY projects they had once researched.

These changes in user behaviour were reflected in Pinterest moving forward the launch of their Today tab. This new feature is a source of daily inspiration with curated topics and trending pins. The tab includes expert information from the World Health Organisation on topics such as hand washing during the global pandemic. It also includes more light-hearted, inspirational content from categories that are particularly popular such as baking ideas, garden inspo, self-care tips and food recipes. Not only does it make it easier for users to explore popular and timely ideas, it also makes it easier for brands to get their content featured in a more exclusive area of the platform.

the trends

When the virus began, Pinners focused on researching the areas that mattered most such as health, family, home and work. Think “how to cook meals with ingredients from the pantry”, “how to teach year 8 math”, “how to turn my dining room into a home office”, “how to cut my own hair”.

However, over the past month, people have been looking for ways to adjust to this new normal. This was reflected by searches shifting more towards mental health and taking care of yourself and family. For example, “how to talk to worried children”, “how to go easier on yourself”, alongside searches for stress relief and mindfulness tripling. In response to this surge, Pinterest created a separate website,, in partnership with Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation to provide reliable resources on health and wellbeing. Here are other Pinterest trends seen throughout April:

at-home beauty ideas

With more time at home, Pinners are investing in DIY beauty treatments and experimenting with make up looks.

  • 54 percent increase in “eyebrow shaping”

  • 43 percent increase in “creative eye makeup”

  • 48 percent in “pink eyeshadow looks”

If you’re a wellbeing or beauty brand relying on your online presence, provide guidance and offer expertise through advice led content. Whether it’s video make-up tutorials, homemade face mask recipes, blogs on how to prepare your skin, or how to clean make up brushes, there are countless ideas to show your value during this time.

quarantine celebrations

Birthdays still happen in lockdown and Pinners are seeking inspiration on how to celebrate with the perfect party at home.

  • 73 percent increase in “diy birthday celebrations”

  • 92 percent in “18th birthday party ideas”

  • 35 percent increase in “birthday cake decorating ideas”

  • 81 percent increase in “1st birthday party ideas”

  • 78 percent increase in “18th birthday gifts”

  • 74 percent increase in “oreo cheesecake” and “easy cake decorating”

As a bakery, cake provider or party merchandiser operating online, your products could be advertised on Pinterest using keywords linked to these search queries. Alternatively, you could provide educational content on how to bake and decorate the perfect birthday cake or how to create a themed party at home. Clothing and fashion brands can also create topical content by promoting “lockdown” or “isolation” birthday outfits.

making the most of your outdoor space

Pinners living in apartments or in homes with limited outdoor space are searching for inspirational ways to make their outdoor space more appealing.

  • 90 percent increase in “balcony ideas”

  • 64 percent increase in “small balcony décor”

  • 24 percent increase in “balcony plants”

  • 48 percent increase in “terraced garden”

  • 42 percent increase in “roof terraces”

Many garden centres are still operating, whether online or by delivery only service. Make the most of this increased interest by advertising plants, décor and materials that allow people to create outdoor living spaces. Support this with an informative blog post linked to specific search trends such as “How to create an outdoor living space” or “The best plants for your balcony”. This content can also be sponsored to drive traffic to your website.

For people who don’t have an outdoor space, you could still promote garden accessories, indoor plants, homeware and furniture as a way of bringing the outdoors in. This is likely to be a topic we see increasing as the summer months creep in.

summer beauty and fashion

We may be confined to our homes, but the recent spell of warm weather has got people searching for upcoming summer trends.

  • 92 percent increase in “summer fashion”

  • 11 percent increase in “pedicures”

  • 61 percent increase in “sandals"

Help pinners curate their ultimate quarantine wardrobe, providing styling tips, ideas and full outfits. Equally, don’t give up promoting your new season summer clothing and footwear. We may be confined to our gardens, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to look good.

how can you use this insight?

Pinterest is highly effective at getting your brand in front of users who are looking for related products that match their unique search intent. Teaming the platform’s ability with insight into trends and user behaviour is a powerful combination to generate targeted and tailored ads. Here are our top tips for advertising on Pinterest:

- understand which pinterest ad format supports your current goals:

  • promoted pins are ideal for increasing brand awareness, boosting traffic and growing sales

  • promoted videos capture attention while users scroll to boost brand presence and intent to purchase

  • promoted carousels can be used to promote multiple products, boosting traffic through one ad

  • promoted app pins increase brand awareness and app download conversions

- get to know your audience: No matter what channel you advertise through, get to know your audience. As behaviours, preferences and interests have changed due to the virus, it’s important to reflect this where relevant with your content and ads.

Research evolving trends using Google Trends and industry sources to connect your audience with fresh and relevant ideas. Not only does this help reach a targeted group, but it also drives your campaigns more effectively too.

- think image first: Pinterest is a visually captivating platform making it all the more important to have high-quality, inspiring imagery to support your ads. Tips to do this effectively include:

  • focus on the product with a clear, clean style of imagery

  • use infographics by mixing words with imagery for an informative yet easy to digest format

  • use vibrant colours to really capture the attention of users as they scroll through their feed

  • high-quality photography is a must to create inspiring and unique content

- optimise for mobile: Ensure your ads are optimised for mobile by tailoring font size to phone rendering and designing for a vertical aspect ratio. Pinterest recommends an aspect ratio of 2:3 - around 600 pixels wide by 900 pixels tall.

- use the pinterest ‘save’ button on your website: A quick and easy trick to give your content more visibility on Pinterest, the save button allows people to save content from your website direct to Pinterest. A clickable Pinterest logo appears on your website’s images. Users can click this logo to save content directly to their Pinterest boards. Each time someone uses the save button, they add more of your content to Pinterest meaning more people are likely to see it, increasing impressions.

Today’s crisis means your online efforts need to focus on engaging your audience through compelling and relevant content. For many businesses, it’s not a time to sell. Instead, it’s a time to harness brand awareness strategies to ensure you are at the forefront when people are ready to convert again. Fortunately, Pinterest isn’t just about selling. The platform has always been popular with those in a research and discovery mode, making it even more fitting to the current climate.

Contact us to explore whether Pinterest could help you reach and engage your audience during this uncertain time.

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