How Instyle & Elle Germany utilise video pins on Pinterest

InStyle and ELLE are two of the most iconic women’s magazines in the world. Instyle was first published in Germany in 1999 by Hubert Burda Media, whilst ELLE first appeared in Germany already in 1988, also by Hubert Burda Media.

Two years ago, InStyle and Elle were very reliant on Facebook. Like for many publishers around the world, the majority of their website traffic came from the social media giant, which in turn made them vulnerable for Facebook’s constant changes and updates; changes that often did not benefit publishers around the world. Eventually the teams decided that they needed a more diverse set of sources that could drive traffic – they couldn’t only depend on Facebook anymore.

With the need to diversify their traffic-driving sources, the expansion to a dark horse in the digital video ecosystem was initiated; they shifted their strategy to utilise video pins on Pinterest.

“We realized that we needed more video content and tried to figure out how we could push that into practice with a team that came from a print magazine. Because digitalisation is changing our job and challenges us in a positive way every day.
Wochit for us was an important tool to produce videos as easy and fast as possible.”

Alexandra Franz, Editor, InStyle Germany

In Pinterest they found a stable partner; transparent with regular exchanges of information, best practices, and updates regarding platform changes, even offering a dedicated account manager.

Pinterest stats

With 367 million monthly active users and more than 2 billion searches every month, Pinterest is not an insignificant player in the social space. Some marketers argue that Pinterest is as much a search engine as a social platform, so search engine optimization should be a big part of your Pinterest strategy. 

More than two-thirds of Pinterest’s user base are women, so it’s no surprise that Instyle & Elle’s Pinterest strategists took this into account with a video series largely geared towards their female readers. The US is Pinterest’s biggest market; with a reach of 74.9M the nation is making up nearly 47% of all pinners. The US is followed by Germany (12.M reach) France (10.7M) and the UK (10.6M).

Video on Pinterest

Video on Pinterest is on the rise. Pinterest reported that there were more than 6X as many video views in 2019 as there were in 2018. They also reported that 85% of all traffic came from mobile, up from 80% in 2018. This explains Pinterest’s aspect ratio recommendations; square and vertical videos outperformed their widescreen counterparts.

Sublime creativity

A stellar strategy and a clear direction lays the foundation for success in digital video – but what good is it without consistent, high-quality content? Instyle and Elle worked out a few strong video serieses that they knew would work with their audience, and the execution is brilliant. With their Horoscope videos, for example, Elle & Instyle leverage the amazing archive access Wochit has to Getty Images in an innovative and creative way. The videos are a playful and yet classy take on the traditional horoscope format from print. It’s a really fun adaptation for social channels, one that creates an interesting juxtaposition of 50s, 60s and 70s entertainment archive footage, coupled with modern music & contemporary astrological advice. Come for the horoscope – stay for the archival film content!

Here are a few video examples




In addition to the horoscope series, Instyle and Elle created formats around fashion, hair, styling, makeup & food. Whilst the horoscope series has worked very well for Elle, Instyle actually drives more traffic to site with fashion, beauty, and health topics.

Although the digital duopoly of Google and Facebook continues to reign the ad world, we are seeing more publishers and advertisers moving away from the giants in a bid to diversify their traffic streams. 

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