Pinterest announced on their business blog that:
Our reservation-based Promoted Pins (available at a CPM) will be open to all U.S.-based partners January 1.
This actually came as a bit of a surprise to me since I thought that the social media platform was already offering this type of advertising to all users. Per AdAge, the company has seen 111% user growth in the last six months, and the Huffington Post notes that it has 70 million users. The company is also valued at $5 million, so you can see why I might be surprised that they didn’t have a strong revenue stream. In fact, since they’ve only been beta testing ads, and limited that to just over a dozen big name brands, it’s really more of a revenue trickle.
Pinning Down Promoted Pins
However, now that Pinterest has finally decided to have a go at making money four years after their launch, their product seems like it will be a pretty good one. As with other advertising platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, advertisers are able to filter prospective audiences by search and home feed targeting as well as by gender, location, language and device type.1
Once audience selection is completed, advertisers create a pin, which is usually an image with some text, à la Instagram, that links to a website.
While the tracking data that Pinterest has is nowhere near as impressive as what Google or Facebook have to draw from, what they do have going for them is that the site is considered an aspirational shopping portal. Pinners commonly share and pin cosmetics, clothing, electronics and other items they desire, as well as locations they’d like to visit.
As Joanne Bradford, Pinterest’s head of partnerships, told the New York Times:
“On Facebook, you think about friends, and on Twitter you think about news. On Pinterest, you think about what you want to do, where you want to go, what you want to buy.”
According to Pinterest, their beta test went very well. In addition to the fact that many promoted pins did better than organic ones, a number of advertisers saw a 30% increase in impressions thanks to users repinning promoted pins, and the average pin is repinned 11 times. Pins also tend to be evergreen, so it was not uncommon for users to see pins generating impressions a month after a campaign ended.
Another thing that is likely to work in Pinterest’s favor is that they’re not tossing advertisers into the platform and seeing if they sink or swim, something that is a major issue for people advertising on Facebook. Along with making advertising available to everyone, the platform has also announced the creation of the Pinstitute.
The Pinstitute will focus on two tracks: creative and measurement. You’ll learn what kind of Pins perform well, what Pinners care about and how we’re thinking about our products in the future. We’ll also get your feedback on what you’d like to see us do so we can help you get even better results from Pinterest.
Big name advertisers are being given access to quarterly Pinstitute workshops, the first of which will occur in March of 2015, but clients with smaller budgets will still have access to webinars and other online learning tools.