Everyone knows the return from a properly designed Facebook, Google, Twitter or Snapchat advertisement can be pretty nice, but there’s been an incredibly blind eye turned to another site considered somewhat of a social media oddity: Pinterest.
With a $12.3 billion valuation, the site is already labeled as one of the country’s most valuable start-ups. However, marketers are still overlooking this potentially important social media marketing outlet.
Pinterest Goes After Marketers and Users Alike
In the early years of Pinterest’s existence, it was a toss-up whether or not it would survive. The small company seemed impossible to monetize, and its demographic of Pinterest moms too limited for the purposes of many advertising experts.
What companies failed to see is that the women (and men) of Pinterest have been voluntarily giving them piles of actionable data delivered in the form of well-organized virtual bulletin boards. Users have the intent to buy something, be that home decor, clothing or garden accessories, and they quietly sift through the options Pinterest has available.
Pinterest says its users start the process of making purchases on its site before they ever go to Google to search for their final choice. The many boards on Pinterest are virtual showrooms where people can review and peruse many of options before finally settling on what they’ll purchase.
The Pitch to Pinterest Advertisers
“The pitch to advertisers is explaining what people do on the platform,” explained Ben Silbermann, CEO and co-founder of Pinterest, in a recent The New York Times interview. “What they do is try to design their life. That’s always a good place to be.”
Although Pinterest advertisements can require a bit of retooling for brands, experts like Bob Gilbreath of marketing technology company Ahalogy says his company has seen businesses achieve ROI much greater than that of Facebook or Instagram using Pinterest-targeted ads. By sharing useful content and inspiring ideas that mimic Pinterest’s regular content, visitors easily purchase their pins without the extra step of having to go to a search engine to find them again. Essentially, Pinterest ads can go from interest to intent and then to a purchase in fewer steps, which Internet users have long shown is their preference.
Pinterest, unlike most social media companies, has not made any decisions to go public right now, despite projected income of more than $500 million for this year. Under Silbermann’s guidance, the social media company has instead matured quietly on its own terms. For marketers, it’s still a great place to seize some valuable real estate, but the best-kept marketing secret online won’t stay secret forever.