How Beacon Lighting uses Pinterest for awareness and conversion

Digital marketing manager talks through its social media marketing and campaign strategy

A ratio of two in three new customers from its first full-funnel Pinterest marketing campaign was one of the biggest markers of success for Australian retail brand, Beacon Lighting.  

Looking to capitalise on Pinterest’s home decor audience, the local retailer debuted its first paid campaign across the social media platform late last year to showcase its summer lighting catalogue as well as complement sponsorship of TV show, The Block.  

Beacon Lighting digital marketing manager, Mairaid Laskey, told CMO the business had already been engaged on Pinterest from an organic perspective, and uses other social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to engage current customers as well as reach new audiences from a paid and owned perspective. The brand operates a 120-strong national store network but also does sizeable business online.  

“We have always tried out new digital platforms and social is a big part of the strategy because social inspires and starts conversations,” Laskey said. “It also feeds right into the macro trend of Australians being house proud, helping us to connect with them on that level.”  

With 10 per cent of the nation using Pinterest for home decor inspiration as one of the platform’s top categories, it was evident an opportunity to engage an array of consumers was there. What was less clear, however, was Pinterest’s role in conversion.  

“We saw this initially as more about awareness and engagement and didn’t think we could use Pinterest for a full-funnel approach,” Laskey said. “With Facebook and Instagram, we have done massive shoppable campaigns and saw great growth.  

“Pinterest is great platform for engagement – it takes a bit longer for consumers to convert, but that trust in brands is clear. You’re not just pushing content out either; you’re pulling people in with content. Users go to be inspired, share ideas with other people. It’s a more organic path to purchase.”  

But thanks to the debut of shoppable and checkout capabilities across Pinterest, Beacon opted with its media partner, Carat, to create a campaign that could cover the full funnel. Two campaigns were built: One with creative focused on building awareness, and the other optimised for retargeting and conversion.  

Beacon Lighting used shopping ads to showcase their products in lifestyle settings and environments, and to highlight its sponsorship of The Block. Using Audience Insights and the Pinterest Trends tool, the retailer reached the more than 3 million Aussie Pinners searching for lighting and home decor inspiration.  

The full-funnel approach over September 2021 delivered 10x return on ad spend for the awareness campaign and 40x return on ad spend for the conversion campaign. Most importantly, two in three conversions (66 per cent) were from net new customers.    

“That’s really how we are gauging success: Growing our new customer database and audience. We knew it would be a great platform for us for that,” Laskey said.    

In addition, Beacon has seen both an uplift in online sales as well as flow-on effect to in-store traffic. Laskey reported Beacon’s trade business division has also benefitted.  

“We want to be there every step of the customer’s journey but also to set trends, not just follow them,” she continued. “On Pinterest, people are engaging with brands and coming to us for ideas. They’re more open and ready to create their perfect home. They might just be starting renovations, but we also want to ensure we’re there every step of that journey. The Block helped us work out what content would work best on the platform.”  

Laskey admitted to an early learning curve on creative, with Beacon first going heavy on sales messaging. “We needed to have an organic, creative lens in our advertising as well. For example, look at what is trending, our range, then shape messaging accordingly,” she said.  

Key to this achieving this and the final campaign results was A/B testing creative and optimisation as more insights came in on how people engage all the way through to conversion. Beacon runs its own internal graphic design team, which allowed the brand to push out revised creative quickly, Laskey said.  

Beacon Lighting is now continuing work on Pinterest not just with always-on activity, but also from a campaign standpoint for product launches as well as to share new home décor trends.­­ Laskey said the team is also using Pinterest Predicts insights to help understand how Beacon shapes its product portfolio. She noted Beacon’s designers and buyers are based in Australia.  

“We are informing them of trends using the insights tools, which means they can pivot based on these trends,” she said. “So this helps with product value drivers.”  

Keeping a pulse on consumer trends is proving critical as Australia steps out of Covid’s shadow. During the height of the pandemic, Laskey said Beacon saw its office brands and office lighting take off.  

“Post-pandemic, people are not necessarily able to purchase new homes, but they are looking at their current home and what they can do to make it more their own. There is more consumer confidence, and we’re seeing more of the big-ticket items being purchased,” she commented. “It’s also as people are coming back into stores and being inspired.  

“We still continue to offer Zoom-based consultations, but we’re also happy to see people back in-store.”  

Beacon’s social activities are intertwined into a wider digital strategy which sees it employing both video and static imagery, influencer marketing, user-generated content and partnerships. Again, the familiarity of partners and influencers helps Beacon to engage with consumers and “sell the dream”, Laskey said.  

“We need to be there every step of the way for consumers. We’ll continue to do TV, radio but also invest in digital channels, YouTube content, and ways to be able to take platforms and strategies to get that 360-degree approach,” Laskey said. “It’s an exciting time but you don’t want to be too fragmented.  

“We always value traditional channels as they help us across other platforms such as social and digital. People are multiscreening – we know 75 per cent of Australians watch YouTube via a connected TV. So it’s important to keep evolving the mix.”  

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