Interview: Blake Cahill, President of Banyan Branch, Explains How Brands Can Utilize Pinterest

Pinterest is quickly establishing itself as a must-go destination for online marketers looking for a fresh approach to reaching the desired audiences. It has been around for two years but it is the very recent growth spur that caught the attention of users and marketers alike. With millions of consumers signing up, brands are scrambling to develop strategies for marketing on Pinterest and to efficiently engage with those who are pinning their interests.

Social media agency Banyan Branch ( is developing highly successful campaigns on Pinterest and we spoke with Blake Cahill, President of Banyan Branch, about the specifics of the platform and how brands can best utilize it.

Otilia Otlacan: We have recently noticed a number of high-profile campaigns developed by Banyan Branch on Pinterest. What made you consider adding a relatively new platform into the social media mix for your clients?

Blake Cahill: Pinterest demonstrates some of the strongest user engagement, retention, and virality metrics we’ve seen in an online business for sometime. It’s core demographic and the potential reach of its users lends itself to many of our fashion, home and beauty clients.

Otilia Otlacan: Was it difficult to get your clients excited about Pinterest? Why so?

Blake Cahill: No, not really as our clients are used to Banyan leading the way to bring them appropriately into new platforms and communities that can support their marketing or sales goals. We are always testing and executing programs, platforms and contests that can extend the reach and results of our clients.

Otilia Otlacan: Will budgets shift from other, already established social media platforms to Pinterest, or will Pinterest be able to entice brands to spend more on social media campaigns overall?

Blake Cahill: It’s early days, but for some clients Pinterest is revealing more user engagement and sharing with some demographics than investments on other platforms. So, we will shift time and resources from one to another but we are tying Pinerest and contests on Facebook together fairly closely as you can see in my example below for Gilt Home.

Otilia Otlacan: What makes a successful Pinterest campaign? Could you also share the pitfalls, if any?

Blake Cahill: Success varies depending on clients goals such as awareness verses sales, but reaching new people for you overall community efforts is a great measure of success. Additionally, many of the early adopters are very influential and attaching your brand to these folks can create a strong long tail of validation for the brand and for getting increased website traffic. From, a pitfall POV we see three areas: finding the right visual brand voice, balancing the level of investment, and naturally balancing self-promotion verses authenticity.

Otilia Otlacan: Targeting on Pinterest may not appear to a marketer as straightforward as targeting on Facebook or Twitter. How would one go about making sure that a brand’s message reaches the right audience?

Blake Cahill: Curation is key, establishing that visual brand voice and interacting with other Pinterest community members that align with your vertical/business is a key to success. No one wants to see a PIN of a dog or a paper clip from Office Depot on the Bergdorf Goodman Manolo Blahnik shoe page, keep it relevant.

Otilia Otlacan: Can you comment on the level of earned media through Pinterest versus Facebook? How would you measure it?

Blake Cahill: Earned media in general comes from having a very curated, compelling PIN board, and interesting campaigns or tie-ins to other branded platforms or properties. Again, at present we measure success in term of site traffic and if the clients is an e-commerce players we can track further to the shopping cart when web analytics tags can be embedded.

Otilia Otlacan: Tell us about attribution for to Pinterest campaigns; do you see the deep integration of Pinterest into Facebook and other platforms as a hindrance to accurate attribution?

Blake Cahill: I’d argue that there really isn’t deep integration and I don’t think it would be a hindrance. We leverage Facebook to host information on the campaign or content that we are running.

Otilia Otlacan: Is there any exciting campaign that you run on Pinterest at the moment and would like to share it with us?

Blake Cahill: We are presenting running a campaign for Gilt Home and Kids on Pinterest that attracts influencers to our weekly Facebook Q&A’s with notable design experts. So far the results are pulling in new and unique users that we were unable to connect with on other platforms.

Additionally, the following PIN demonstrates a promotion of a visual Facebook contest for Gilt:

About Banyan Branch

Banyan Branch, based in Seattle, WA, is a full-service social media agency that provides end-to-end marketing services including strategy, creative, execution and analytics. With a holistic approach that integrates Strategy, Social Media Creative, Engagement and Research & Analytics, Banyan Branch delivers social media programs unmatched by smaller agencies, while providing more personalized service and quicker response than large-scale digital firms. Dozens of the world’s leading brands, including FOX, Viacom, Paramount, Hartz, Univision, Gilt Groupe, Microsoft and Windstar Cruises have partnered with Banyan Branch to implement a wide variety of social media campaigns. Any company ready to connect with its customers where they live and breathe, can contact Banyan Branch via

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