Back in May, Pinterest announced the release of their first advertising unit—Promoted Pins—for select brands. The first rollout was not geared toward small- or medium-sized businesses. According to AdAge, Pinterest was seeking a sizable commitment of over $1 million from participating advertisers. Promoted Pins are a form of native advertising within the site for tasteful, transparent and relevant ads.

But, after a successful beta launch, the popular image-bookmarking website announced its decision to give all users ability to use the Promoted Pins ad unit. Access to the ads opened up on January 1, 2015, and they are on a “reservation-based” availability.

Since the full rollout happened so recently, it is presently unknown what the current rates are and if “all users” truly means all users or if there are certain business stipulations that apply. We do know that the ads are based on CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions/views) and some of the benefits discovered during the eight months of beta testing are as follows:

  • Promoted Pins perform as good or better than organic/unpromoted pins.
  • Brand advertisers achieved an approximate 30% bump in earned media from people who saw a Promoted Pin and saved it to one of their boards.
  • Promoted Pins are repinned an average of 11 times or more versus unpromoted pins.
  • Promoted Pins continue to draw engagement from users even after a campaign has ended.
  • Businesses outside of Pinterest’s core categories, which are Food and Drink, Crafts, Home Décor and Women’s Fashion, were successful with Promoted Pins.

For the first few years, Pinterest was focused on building a user base—or audience—rather than on earning revenue, but it has become obvious in several ways that their focus has evolved with businesses and advertising in mind. For one, in addition to the new advertising units, Pinterest has introduced a useful marketing tool for businesses—Pinstitute. With Pinstitute, businesses can learn how to connect with users and see an even greater return on investment. Only certain businesses will be invited to Pinstitute workshops, but webinars and other online learning tools will be available to smaller businesses. Currently there are roughly 500,000 business accounts on Pinterest, but with these new marketing opportunities, we could see this number increase over the next few years, especially if the price of ads drops and the ad options increase.

Pinterest was the fastest standalone website to surpass the 10-million visitor mark, ever. Now with 70 million users, the site is a powerhouse at driving referral traffic and ecommerce sales. In fact, Pinterest referrals spend 70% more money than visitors referred from non-social channels. Pinterest now joins Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on the list of popular social media sites to rollout advertising opportunities. It’s been apparent that having active accounts on social media is an important marketing tactic, but now advertising on these media platforms is the easiest way to cut through the noise.

Are you interested in putting your business on social media or revamping your current social strategy? Robertson & Markowitz Advertising and Public Relations can help you by creating and implementing a plan that is tailored to your business. Call R&M today, 912-921-1040.

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