Anum Tariq and Hiraa Khan met as undergraduates at the University of California, Berkeley, quickly became friends, then roommates, and today are the co-founders of Ansel & Ivy, an e-commerce business selling potted plants.
“Like so many of our peers, we find peace and calm in the presence of nature but also happen to live in urban jungles with limited access to green space. We believe that owning and caring for plants in your personal spaces, whether at home or in the office, can be a great substitute to consistent access to the outdoors. Unfortunately, we also know that buying and caring for plants can be a confusing process for many new plant parents,” says Khan.
“We help customers pick plants that match their commitment level and their environment by offering a number of online filters that guide them through their shopping experience. We also include digital care instructions with each order,” she adds.
Growing a company from the ground up is never an easy feat, but the founder duo successfully used Pinterest to build an audience and reach customers. They shared their top tips for using the social platform as a solid marketing strategy.
Establish And Refine Brand Aesthetic
Pinterest is a goldmine for researching brand aesthetic, logo design, and all other aspects of branding. And an affordable option as well since it’s a quick way to find freelancers, review their portfolios and hire someone to help with a company’s brand book. Armed with an official document that explains the brand’s identity and presents brand standards, companies can ensure that the entire team is on the same page when creating marketing materials, writing for the company website, and running the day-to-day business.
Ansel & Ivy goes beyond just utilizing Pinterest for branding research, they share the process with their followers as well. At a time when consumers appreciate transparency, this can go a long way in building loyalty.
“Since we use Pinterest actively for our own internal brand and design research, our account is a place where our audience and our customers can follow along on our journey as we seek to further define and build our brand. We curate boards not only focused on our products and plant education, but also our design-sense and aesthetic as a brand,” shares Tariq.
Find Inspiration And Track Trends
“Pinterest was an important platform for us to seek inspiration regarding trends. Much of our early research on Pinterest guided our design, color scheme, and product photography strategy,” says Tariq.
They saw an opportunity when they noticed that plant styling for everyday spaces was an underserved area on the social platform. And as a result, Pinterest became a venue for the company to share their own unique point of view, styling and care tips with their audience.
Share A Look Behind The Scenes
In today’s business landscape consumers demand transparency and authenticity. And with the myriad of choices when it comes to online shopping, a brand’s ability to connect with consumers is critical. Pinterest can provide a look behind the scenes of a brand, how they source their products, and even into the lives of the employees. When human touch isn’t accessible, the feeling of a personal connection is the next best thing.
“We strive to be fully transparent about not only our supply chain and our products but also who we are, how we work, and what inspires us. Social media platforms, like Pinterest, allow us to share our corporate values and personalities with our customers so we can further build these lasting relationships. By sharing places, spaces, colors, and art that inspires us we hope that our customers will understand us and Ansel & Ivy a little better,” shares Khan.
Analyze Audience Insights
With one peek into Pinterest’s Audience Insights, you can see what its 250 million users around the world are into. And this information can lead companies to tailor many aspects of their business, whether that be marketing campaigns, product development or visual merchandising. Companies have used this data to their benefit in the past and seen success, for example, used Pinterest’s trends for 2018 to decide which items to feature in its subscription boxes.
“Through Pinterest Insights, we discovered that one of the most popular categories for our audience is gardening. Given this insight, we began actively sharing original content focused on various aspects of plant care and gardening. Our plant care focused pins, which have driven significant traffic to our website, link to our Help Center where we share detailed care instructions for each of our plants, as well as to our blog,” says Tariq.
Utilize Pinterest To Drive Traffic
“We design assets specifically for Pinterest when linking to our blog. The pin image is sized for Pinterest and incorporates text and beautiful photography to guide the user to click through to our blog post and read more about the topic,” says Khan.
Planning photoshoots and creating imagery specifically for Pinterest can pay off with significant traffic being driven to a company’s site. In fact, Ansel & Ivy credit Pinterest for approximately 17% of all their traffic, and furthermore, users that visit their site via Pinterest spend two times the amount of time on the site as compared to those originating from Instagram.
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