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The Drum Awards for Social Purpose 2021

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How Gymshark leveraged Pinterest to provide inspiration during lockdown

COVID-19 has seen an increase in people seeking to beat the lockdown blues by keeping active at home.

Gymshark’s in-house team won the ‘Best Use of Pinterest’ category at The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries (DADIs) 2020. Here, the team behind the entry reveal the challenges faced and strategies used to deliver this successful project.

The challenge

In March 2020, Covid-19 hit and sparked a trend of the public seeking to beat the lockdown blues by keeping active at home. As a UK fitness brand which creates tools to help people unlock their full potential, Gymshark wanted to get involved and support home fitness enthusiasts to put their ideas into action.

Pinterest's mission is to help 'Pinners' create a life they love. Hailed as ‘the last positive place’ on the internet, in a year which has been difficult for so many people globally, Pinners were turning to the social platform as a place to plan for recovery and rebuilding with searches such as ‘positive mindset’ & ‘positive habits’ up by 60%.

Pinterest insights revealed that searches on the platform for terms around working out at home had increased significantly during the early stages of lockdown (268% increase in home workouts, 93% increase in home gym and 170% increase in loungewear). People were suddenly faced with either rediscovering exercise or trying to continue their regimens without their usual fully stocked gyms.

Gymshark wanted to capture the spirit of the moment, to help people with what it knew best – fitness. The aim was to raise awareness of the Gymshark brand to new people, as well as recontact its community on Pinterest through its unique workout content. Further to this, it looked to add value to people’s social media experience and showcase its marketing-leading workout gear and kit.

The strategy

Additional Pinterest insights showed that performance was shifting across the platform - 60% increase in searches YoY, 30% increase in signups, click-throughs and saves on pins YoY, 3x more video views YoY; all of which underscored the need for Gymshark to double-down on Search Ads, Video Ads and Organically discoverable content.

In addition, there was undoubtedly a growing sense of confidence in Pinterest’s ability to drive both brand and performance for Gymshark, with metrics like 1p CPV for home workouts in March, as well as one of the best performing ads coming in at a 51p CPA.

Gymshark prides itself on its distinctive products, genuine passion for fitness, UGC creative style and amazing Athletes – Gymshark was uniquely placed to give people real workout ideas and information that would genuinely help them in this situation, regardless of their knowledge levels from beginner to gym veterans. Pinterest, being the home of inspiration and discovery, stood out to Gymshark as a key part of its plan to put this in-front of people actively hunting for help in this area. Pinterest had a strong relevance to the Gymshark community across English-speaking countries and in Europe, so implemented a dual-pronged strategy across organic and paid pins.

The campaign

Gymshark worked with its creators to build a raft of various workout routines for a multitude of needs across areas such as mobility, HIIT, toning and more – the desire was to build a library of ideas, which would contain something for everyone. Video Pins were taken to the max. which showcased the snackable exercised videos perfectly within users’ feeds.

The paid media approach had a full funnel and sequential plan: a) Top Funnel: to surface the most relevant workout video to pinners who were looking for exercise ideas; b) Mid Funnel: to continue to serve both useful and inspirational Paid Pins to these new users; c) Bottom Funnel to retarget people who’d engaged with the Gymshark x Pinterest campaign and/or had visited Gymshark.com to view content/products and serve them dynamic product suggestions via Dynamic Ads.

The upper funnel activity homed-in on driving video views with Video Ads, the Mid Funnel with a focus on satisfying specific intent with Search Ads and the lower funnel tactics continued the conversation and drove people to take their Gymshark journey one-step further to the site via Dynamic Ads. To add a layer of learning into the campaign, Gymshark also utilised the Pinterest Video Collections alpha Adformat to split test it versus the standard Dynamic Ads.

The results

This campaign effectively showed how adept Pinterest users are at crafting their own online experiences. Aside from the feed-based, algorithmically generated experiences, it’s clear that people are extremely clued-up to research and hone information and content that really matters to them and a great deal of this happens on Pinterest.

17.3 million Gymshark workout videos were watched over the period of the campaign, with an overall engagement rate of 3%. The content was delivered free-of-charge and, as a result, people exercising at home continued to feel a strong affinity for Gymshark. This delivered 2.63% CTR, proving the value of right time, right place, right content when planning campaigns.

“We’re extremely thrilled with the simply phenomenal results we’ve managed to achieve on Pinterest with Gymshark so far. Clearly, it’s a place that our Gymshark Community loves to inhabit every day to be inspired and find useful ideas. We’ve found the experience of marketing on Pinterest to drive results but also allow us to make meaningful and helpful marketing touchpoints with people, when it matters.” - Kevin Chan, head of paid social, Gymshark

This project was a winner at DADIs 2020. To find out which Drum Awards are currently open for entries, click here.

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