Is Pinterest the Next Big Marketing Platform?

Posted by August 29, 2014 Blog Comments

The digital world is always waiting for the next new thing.

And Pinterest wants to be that thing.

Pinterest was bound to join the paid advertising world sooner or later. And promoted pins have already been clouding up users’ feeds for a while now.

Pinterest began experimenting with selected ‘leading brands’ in 2013. These brands would place ‘promoted pins’ that look suspiciously like regular pins from your friends or other users. The only difference is they will say ‘promoted pin’ underneath the image. These pins were free in the experimental stage, but now large ‘leading brands’ are supposedly paying hefty fees for their promoted pins.

Promoted pins will appear first when you search for anything through Pinterest’s search option.

Can your business take advantage of Pinterest?

On August 26th, Pinterest released an updated version of Pinterest Analytics. For now this analytics system is free to anyone with a free Pinterest business account, you just need to verify your website.

“We are releasing this analytics product in the spirit of helping them [business owners] get a closer understanding of how their publishing strategy is going on Pinterest,” Jason Costa, Pinterest Product Manager, told Marketing Land.

There are 3 different types of analytics you can choose from:

1. Pinterest profile: Measures how well your Pinterest Page is doing based on impressions.

2. Audience: Provides age, gender, and demographics of viewers.

3. Website: Shows Pinterest activity from the owner’s domain.

You can find:

-a real-time feed of pins that people are adding from your site

-which pins are getting the most re-pins

-which pins are getting the most clicked through

You can adjust the date range of your site metrics.

This information is only useful if people are pinning from your site or your Pinterest page. You can increase the chances by adding the Pin It button to your website.

So, what’s it going to cost you?

The site is reportedly asking large brands to commit to between $1-2 million, with cpm rates between $30-40.

Let’s put this into perspective. Jon Loomer, a marketing and business consultant, has an average CPM on Facebook of $6-7 for mobile and desktop ads, and only $0.15 for desktop sidebar!

Details have yet to be confirmed, it seems that posting a promoted pin on Pinterest will cost you a pretty penny. Pinterest most likely feels comfortable charging such high rates because the ad displays just like the other pins. This makes it harder to differentiate an ad from a post.

Although, I have read that Pinterest is planning to roll out a bidding pay-per-click system  to make the advertisements more affordable for smaller companies. This is planned to be a self service system, similar to Facebook or Google.

What do consumers think of ads on Pinterest

Of Pinterest users that are upset by the new paid advertising 18% believe they seem out of place, 16% think ads aren’t relevant enough to them, and 11% don’t like content being forced on them.

Pinterest promoted an article on September 19, 2013 describing the roll out of the testing of promoted posts. As I scrolled through the comments, most people seemed to be really upset about the changing Pinterest platform. Many vowed to leave Pinterest completely.

Arguments for Pinterest:

People on Pinterest are actively searching for projects or things to purchase. They want to do that home improvement project, try that new recipe (maybe by a particular brand), book that next vacation, plan their wedding, etc. It is the place people go to for inspiration while planning.

Consumers are there, and they are looking to buy what they find.

Arguments against Pinterest:

Only 22% of the US population uses Pinterest once a month compared to FB, and users are 80% female. This is great if your ideal client is a woman, but not so great for the general population.

There are plenty of people that want to find DIY projects that save money. In fact, the top searched category is DIY, followed by recipes and  home decor.

This makes Pinterest a fairly niche platform.


Facebook remains king for now. Other social media platforms just don’t have the audience that Facebook does. You want to advertise where the people are.

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 11.51.23 AM


There are cases where your target audience is on a different market, such as Pinterest. And the social media world is constantly changing, and can quickly turn against you (e.g. Myspace).

Pinterest is taking it slow for now and experimenting as an advertising platform.

So, be aware of all the changes and how they affect you. I know, it is hard to keep up!

Have you branched out and started a free business Pinterest page?


(research via: factbrowser, ahalogy, New York Online Magazine, Jon Loomer, Marketing Land, Pinterest)