In It to Pin It: Pinterest’s Promoted Pins Make Image Content Even More Appealing


LinkedIn and Twitter aren’t the only platforms to hop on the Facebook-style native marketing bandwagon. Pinterest has published information about its own upcoming version of native marketing, appropriately named “Promoted Pins.” How will the promoted pins differ from native marketing on other social platforms? Are we going overkill if we’re promoting everywhere we have a presence?

That depends. A lot of an online presence as a company now depends more than ever on visual content. Pictures and videos are the hottest things around, and people engage far more frequently with posts that contain videos or images. And that’s where Pinterest has it all over the other social platforms—images aren’t recommended, they are required, and pinning has taken off so much that Pinterest is now the world’s third largest search engine, behind only Google and YouTube.

Using images to promote your business is not just important nowadays, it’s crucial to online growth and sales. It’s not necessarily about “going viral” by tagging along with some trend that will be over in 24 hours, it’s about creating visual content that people will want to be exposed to from sources they come to trust over time.

Until now, businesses have been creating their own Pinterest accounts the same way that John Q. Public would… and then having to hope for results based solely on hashtag inclusion and links to quality, highly visible URLs.

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With promoted pins, users that have pinned things that place them at a high probability to “repin” or like (heart) specific items will be promoted to in much the same way that Facebook users are promoted to when they suggest something in an update of their own. For example, when a Facebook user says, “I can’t seem to find a baby seat for my Jeep!” they may very likely see ads from car seat makers and from Jeep in their sidebar in the days to follow. In this same sense, those who are pinning to boards about their wedding will receive promoted pins for cakes and gowns; those pinning images from URLs on their board “Dream Car” might expect to see promoted pins from AC Delco, Mopar, or used car dealers.

Adding promoted pins after already having added the price alert feature for Pinterest users to spot deals was truly a stroke of genius. Now Pinterest users can pin, repin, recommend, price check—all while making themselves one of the largest databases on the face of the Earth for companies to promote to. And this isn’t just blind promotion; it’s based on real people’s real preferences, hobbies, lifestyle choices, and geo-location.

Although promoted pins will be obviously promoted with the words “promoted pin” in plain view to Pinterest users, that’s not always a bad thing. With promoted posts, tweets, and even promoted updates on LinkedIn now, consumers are getting very used to being promoted to. Some like it because the information about what they want is coming to their door rather than them having to “google” something they want or spend precious time at online marketplaces like Amazon hopelessly typing and retyping descriptions of what they want to buy. We’ll have to wait and see how well promoted pins work for those who pay to promote and those viewing those pins. But the future looks pretty bright for this kind of promotion, and social networks not offering promotion will soon fall by the wayside if they don’t hop on the bandwagon.

Images via: The Pinterest Blog

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