Should we dismiss Pinterest as a marketing outsider?


The common misconception when you consider Pinterest is the fact that most people only see it is a place to find inspiration for wedding venues, luxury couches and recipe ideas. Although it is a visually powerful platform, it doesn’t portray a digital space that can be exploited by advertisers. Unlike other social networks such as Instagram and Facebook, it is often considered to be a bit of an outsider.

The question is why? With more than 200 million active ‘pinners’ worldwide using the site on a monthly basis, maybe it’s time we start taking Pinterest more seriously…

Pinterest is home to more than 100 billion pinned images and two billion ‘boards’ (collection of pins). Plus, 130 million visual searches are made on the site every month with most relating to furniture, home décor and style. It comes as no surprise that retailers like Ikea are exploiting the advertising opportunities that Pinterest currently offer.

The mechanics behind the advertising space on the platform are relatively straightforward. Retailers and brands can use Pinterest to boost sales and engage consumers through tools such as promoted pins. These are regular pins but retailers pay to ensure they are seen by more potential customers. In other words, you pay for exposure on other users feeds (Like Instagram and Facebook)

When businesses pay for these pins they then appear where consumers are more likely to notice them while they are in the middle of actively deciding what to do or buy next. The promoted pins they see are based on their interests and activity on Pinterest which is the most common way paid advertising works effectively on social media.

The platform’s recent expansion into ‘shopping ads’ this year will also provide an avenue for advertisers to directly target Pinterest users who have already ‘pinned’ products they like.

On the surface it appears that Pinterest is beginning to emerge as a serious platform in which brands can begin to advertise and target consumers in the social media environment. However there is still a clear limitation that will continue to hinder their progression, a lack of analytical data. Ikea’s Douglas says she would like to get more data on the scale and reach Ikea achieves with Pinterest, as well as the frequency of page visits it sees via the platform. This is totally understandable, without measuring the success of your advertising efforts, how can firms trust the success and conversion of the platform?

Time will tell whether Pinterest becomes a big player in the market for social media advertising, however we feel there is still a long way to go before Facebook and Instagram should be worried.

Credit: Marketing Weekly