Pinning Down New Revenue

Pinterest, a major player in the social networking/content-sharing scene, has finally announced a much-anticipated decision to roll out Promoted Pins. Sarah Frier at Bloomberg has the full story on how the four-year-old scrapbooking site will monetize some of the content displayed on the site. In the interest of keeping its experience fun and its users happy, it won’t be allowing disruptive banner or pop-up style ads, just paid pins that blend in with the rest of the site’s visual smorgasbord. The test phase will introduce pins from big-name brands that the great majority of users in the U.S. will recognize, like, Gap, Kraft, and Walt Disney World Resorts. Joanne Bradford, Pinterest’s Head of Partnerships, says in a blog entry posted this week that the company is extremely interested in user feedback during this initial trial period.

This feels like a clear win for Pinterest: many users are there in the first place because they’re interested in brands and products anyway, so it’s likely that they’ll enjoy this new development (or not notice it very much as they pin away as usual.) And it’s great news for big-name brands that want to spread more awareness to potential customers and market their products to even bigger audiences. Now, if you’re the owner of a small business, you may be wondering if the Promoted Pins program will mean anything for your marketing strategy. Let’s take a closer look at how you may be able to take advantage of it.

How does Your Branding Look?

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of great branding. We’re talking about issues like designing an eye-catching logo, web site, and marketing materials that incorporate the color palettes, typeface(s), and other unique qualities that communicate your message very clearly and distinctly. If you’re going to invest resources into Promoted Pins, you want users to know right away that what they’re seeing on Pinterest is something they can get from YOU—and you alone. When the avatar that appears on any of your Promoted Pins is your gorgeous logo, for example, your pins will be immediately recognizable. So before you plan to make this a part of your marketing campaign, be sure your visual brand ambassadors are looking absolutely stunning.

Can You Handle a Rush?

Now that you’ve made sure your branding, including your web site, looks great, have you evaluated your page’s structure? If all goes well with your Promoted Pins, you may experience a serious increase in web traffic. But if your load time is slow or your checkout process is a pain, customers will be turned off and conversions will decrease, defeating the purpose of your investment. So before you move forward, be sure your ecommerce web site is ready for a potentially big surge in user interest!

As we pointed out, these new Pinterest Promoted Pins are still in a trial phase. The social media site will evaluate how well received they are by users before expanding the availability to other businesses. This is a great time to sit back, observe, and assess—is this the right kind of social media-based advertising for your business? If you feel you need an expert opinion on Pinterest optimization and advertisements before making a decision, don’t be afraid to request one!

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  • By Dennis Consorte
  • Published on May 15th, 2014