Written by Robert Leitch.
With more than 100 million active members, Pinterest has become one of the biggest players in social content. The network is built to help Pinners discover new ideas, products and trends, and act on those discoveries by clicking “Pinned” images for more information. As a result, Pinterest has one of the highest click-through rates of any social platform. For a business, gaining these clicks and increasing their visibility is an important first step in a potential sale.
Cincinnati, Ohio’s, Ahalogy is a software solution that helps brands succeed on Pinterest by maximizing their chance of being discovered by customers. To do this, the company works with its clients to create content relevant to users, and optimize the placement of that content on Pinterest.
“Social media, and especially Pinterest, is a space where consumers are open to getting ideas, inspiration and other helpful information,” said Bob Gilbreath, CEO and co-founder of Ahalogy. “We help brands reach customers who are using social media to find new products instead of email or magazines.”
To generate relevant content, Ahalogy uses a database that can tell what content consumers are looking for throughout the year. For instance, Ahalogy knows that many consumers start looking for recipes for upcoming holidays more than a month in advance. With this information, the company can work with its clients to help develop timely content for Pinterest tied to those holidays.
“There is something special with Pinterest and it’s a game changer for marketers,” said Gilbreath. “Our company harnessed Pinterest’s marketing power very early.”
Ahalogy optimizes each piece of content for Pinterest searches. By using Ahalogy’s Liftwords™, brands can embed the keywords consumers search for into their marketing content. Their technology even suggests additional words to make the optimization as strong as possible. This helps the brand’s content get discovered, with Ahalogy clients seeing a 15 percent increase in traffic, increasing the chance of a sale.
“Pinterest is more than just pictures on an app or website,” said Gilbreath. “Every Pin links to some form of content, and that’s something brands love. It’s a way to make impressions on consumers in a subtle way.”
Gilbreath met Ahaology cofounder Michael Wohlschlaeger while he was working at CincyTech, a southwest Ohio partner of Ohio Third Frontier. Wohlschlaeger wanted to find a way to make Pinterest work in the marketing world, and Gilbreath had previous experience working on Procter & Gamble’s early digital marketing efforts.
Ahalogy has received more than $1 million in investments from CincyTech, the North Coast Angel Fund and The Brandery, all partners of Ohio Third Frontier. The company has used this money to hire new employees, develop the first iteration of its technology and expand its marketing efforts to attract new brands.
In early 2013, Gilbreath and Wohlschlaeger were the only two Ahalogy employees. The team is now up to 43 with offices in Cincinnati, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Kiev and São Paulo. Even though the company’s main focus to date has been Pinterest, they are working to branch out to other platforms in the near future.
“When I first decided to create a tech startup, I considered packing up and moving to San Francisco,” said Gilbreath. “But then I took a step back and realized that Cincinnati is the capital of marketing. It would’ve been foolish to try to start a marketing software company anywhere else. Even though we now have extensions all over the world, this will always be our home.”