Since its meteoric rise to popularity in 2011, Pinterest has garnered a lot of attention from marketers and social media professionals. We know that visual marketing is a very effective way to reach your target market–after all, "a picture is worth a thousand words" isn't a cliché for no reason. Pinterest, with its focus on beautiful visuals, easy sharing and an intuitive user interface, has everything marketers need to get their products known and shared.

Businesses already have taken Pinterest by storm; yes, even the service-based businesses. Infographics share just as well as photos of shoes and macarons. As a business, you should give a good thought about whether Pinterest is a good social network to invest in. But would it also be a good place to invest in advertising? 

Pinterest ads currently limited

For now, you can only think about getting paid ads on Pinterest, because the feature is only available to select advertisers. These advertisers must make 7-figure commitments with Pinterest in order to get in. So far, these select few have included Kraft, Gap, Expedia, Nestle and lululemon. 

The Pinterest advertising process is currently very labour-intesive, with teams of consultants manually approving every promoted pin and making sure that they have value for users, are transparent and fit within the creative style of Pinterest.

As you can see, the promoted pins are very discreet, with just a line mentioning their paid nature. The photo fits with the overall style of the collection, in this case "Women's Fashion". 

Pinterest also made the decision to limit where the promoted pins appear. They will not show in someone's home feed or in people's boards. Instead, they remain limited to search results and general category feeds.

Considering Pinterest for advertising

Few of us have the advertising budget of these big companies, but there's talk that Pinterest will eventually roll out its promoted pins feature to companies of all size. We're not quite sure yet whether the cost will be per thousand impressions or per click, but we know that the current advertisers pay about $30 to $40 per thousand impressions.

If Pinterest advertising is something you might consider in the future, here are a few questions to ask yourself before you develop a plan.

  • Is the audience right for me? 85% of Pinterest users are women. The target age is 25-54. Is this your target market? If not, you will not have the kind of success you expect.
  • Is the Pinterest style a good match to mine? Pinterest users prefer high-quality photos with an artistic flair. They like things that look great, whether it's food, fashion or home décor. If your products are great for photos, they will be a good match.
  • Do I have the budget? Although we don't know exactly how much they will cost, you can expect Pinterest ads to be more expensive overall than Facebook advertising.
  • Can I get the same or better ROI through simply keeping my account active? Unlike what Facebook did, there hasn't been any talk of reducing the visibility of business boards for those subscribed to them. If you already keep a healthy Pinterest account and get website visits through your pins, you might not need to use advertising, at least for now.

Have questions about Pinterest? Contact us for a chat with our expert social media manager. You can also follow Stikky Media's Pinterest boards for great local photos, useful infographics and more.

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