Pinterest news: Promoted Pins and Guided Search mark a new strategic direction
Pinterest has made two strategic shifts as far as product, which point out how the platform’s evolution will impact the overall user experience.
Promoted Pins are here
Tnooz covered the impending launch of the full Promoted Pins product a couple of months back – and the time has come for the product to move beyond trials to a wider multi-brand rollout.
Sponsored Pins are open to a select group of marketers who have reportedly been asked for an upfront advertising commitment of $1 million to $2 million, with an impressive-for-Pinterest price of $30 to $40 CPM.
That price demonstrates the level of expected engagement with this ad product, as it provides a much more clear path to purchase than standard display advertising.
The Pins are to show up in the search and category feeds, and could be an interest addition for travel marketers looking to drive engagement with destinations – and that have a strategy to move that engagement down the funnel to conversion off-site. In travel, the largest brand so far to be testing the new ads is Walt Disney Parks.
Travel spend is set to grow at an annual compounded rate of 13.4% over the next 4 years:
More stats from eMarketer:
- In the US, there were 34.9 million Pinterest users who accessed the site at least once each month in 2013, and that figure is expected to grow 15.9% in 2014 to reach 40.1 million. A vast majority of those users are female — 30 million in 2013 compared to 4.9 million male Pinterest users. Furthermore, more than two-thirds of Pinterest users in 2013 were between the ages of 18 and 44.
- Digital advertising in the US will reach $50.11 billion in 2014. Retail ad spending will account for $11.05 billion, or 22.1% of the total this year, while the CPG and travel categories each account for around 8% of all US digital ad spending.
- Pinterest has said that a significant majority of its traffic is now coming from mobile devices. In the US, mobile advertising reached $9.69 billion in 2013, according to eMarketer. and the research firm estimates that figure will increase 83% to total $17.73 billion this year.
- Advertising on social networks in the US increased 46.2% in 2013 to reach $4.54 billion, according to eMarketer, up from $3.10 billion in 2012. Facebook accounted for 72.4% share of US social network ad revenues in 2013, with Twitter taking 9.2% market share.
In a bid to preserve user engagement and ownership in the platform, feedback on this new advertising product is being solicited from users here.
Guided Search comes after Facebook, Google, Foursquare and any other company seeking relevance in search
The Guided Search feature was quietly released last month, and signals a shift in how Pinterest is organizing content – not only for user utility but also for advertiser appeal.
Guided Search is basically a bid to organize Pinterest’s content stream according to sub-categories – when searching for a particular item, say a scooter, the user can tap a button at the top of the screen to narrow the search according to different types of scooters. The visual tag system means that it’s faster to drill down into the rabbit hole of a category.
For example, a user who may not be familiar with certain specifics about a topic would be able to explore how that topic is segmented – and learn more about a category simply by seeing its taxonomy.
This also builds intention into the search, while also preserving the exploration aspect that made Pinterest so appealing.
Guided Search could be a boon for travel marketers, offering a very interesting way for Pinterest users to explore and plan a vacation. The search interface could be a wonderfully intuitive way to plan a trip, for example, and brands could target different points in the search process according to activity type.
Imagine a user starting with “Miami” and then going into “food” and then drilling into “music” – and thus providing a list of places that have food and music, served visually, and in an interface that makes it easy to curate lists.
Add this into the Pinterest Places product, and you have a powerful combination that leverages travel’s inherent visuality alongside Pinterest’s native abilities to curate collections. Pinterest uses the roadtrip as an example. Start with “roadtrip,” and then search for various types of activities “for kids” or “snacks” and “ideas,” and information collected and pinned via Place Pins is then dropped into this new search format.
Each of these are opportunities for further engagement in travel, specifically at a point where a user is educating and collecting for a particular journey.
Read more about how travel brands are using Pinterest Places.
Nick Vivion is a writer and strategist. He was a Tnooz reporter and global events lead between August 2012 and July 2015. He was the launch co-founder of Booty's, a global street food restaurant in New Orleans and was recently AVP Operations, North America, at Zomato.