Eight months ago Pinterest began making some money by selling ads called Promoted Pins. At that time it was only available to a handful of blue chip companies. On December 28, 2014 Pinterest officially announced that they will extend this advertising tool to all users including new brand ad formats for more advanced targeting.
Bradford head of Partnerships at Pinterest said “This is a huge unmatched opportunity for marketers today — while some platforms look to the past or present, only Pinterest focuses on the future.”
Pinterest has become a marketer’s gold mine. Why? Because people are pinning stuff they love, want and need. No need to create focus groups. Pinners are literally telling you what they want to buy.
So far Bradford revealed some impressive data gathered from the Promoted Pins beta launch:
1) Pinterest claims the average promoted pins are shared 11 times, on average, meaning advertisers get about a 30% bump in earned media for their campaigns. What that means is for every $1,000 in advertising dollars the brands received $300 more worth of free impressions.
2) Like other Pinterest content, promoted pins also have a long tail, Bradford. Promoted Pins got a 5% increase in earned media a month after a campaign ended.
3) Brands both in and out of Pinterest’s core categories found success. From financial services to food to automotive, brands from a wide array of industries saw results, according to Pinterest’s research.
Pinterest is also working on an auction-based version of Promoted Pins that is based on a cost per click (CPC) model. Early testing with self-serve beta partners are seeing “major gains in traffic and impressions,” according to Bradford, but the program still has some kinks that need to be worked out. Until then, the company won’t speak much about its auction-based CPC advertising program, but it will be rolled out to all businesses at a later time.
What I love about it from a user’s perspective is that it’s subtle. The “ads” look just like all the other pins… however if you look closely you will see them clearly labelled as “Promoted Pins”. A Pinterest spokesperson told The Huffington Post via email that users will have the ability to hide the ads that appear in their smart feed. Users can filter out the ads after they appear by clicking an “X” in the lower-right corner of the pin. When you choose to hide the pin you can give feedback on why you want it removed.
In March 2014 Pinterest also rolled out “The Pinstitute”. Every quarter it will featuring several major brands revealing lessons on how to better connect with users. Pinterest will roll out several webinars and online learning tools to teach advertisers and small businesses best practices to increase engagement with their users.
As a visual content marketing expert I can say that there’s not a lot of competition right now and I believe this is the most cost effective way to reach your target audience. This to me makes more sense that spending your dollars on Pinterest contests. After all the Promoted Pins are in the hands of Pinterest and they know how to reach your target audience on your behalf. Based on my experience clicks can cost as low as seven cents!