Following successful tests earlier this year, Pinterest has broken their iconic two prong grid for the first time and launched a new video ad format called Promoted Video at max width.
This format is now available to all advertisers, including through its self-serve tool Ads Manager.
With this new format, the advertisers’ video content is shown where users are browsing such as home feed, the following tab and in search on mobile.
Brands who have tested this new ad unit include John Lewis and Adidas.
John Lewis senior manager of the social media marketing team Eva Botjos commented: “We are excited to see such positive results from our first Promoted Video at max width campaign.
“We used this new Pinterest format to promote our new nursery furniture collection. Not only did we see strong lifts in brand awareness, we saw purchase intent rise by 33 per cent as well.”
B&T spoke to Pinterest global head of sales Jon Kaplan (pictured below) at Cannes earlier this year to find out a little more about the social media platform that often seems to fly under the radar in Australia.
But with a 40 per cent increase in Australian users over the past year (Nielsen data reports there are now 7 million unique visitors to Pinterest in Australia each month) and 2.2 million ideas saved in Australia each day, Pinterest is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with.
Local brands Woolworths, Big W and The Iconic have all been using Pinterest in their marketing mix.
Kaplan defines Pinterest not as a social media platform, but a visual discovery engine.
He says their mission is to help people discover and do the things they love.
With a nod in the direction of the world’s digital addiction to platforms like Facebook and Instagram, Kaplan differentiates Pinterest as existing to help people find ideas but then importantly get off Pinterest to go do them outside the digital sphere.
“We’re not an entertainment platform, we’re not a place where you connect with your friends, we’re certainly not a place where you find out the latest breaking news. That’s a very different purpose from other platforms.
“When you ask people why they use Pinterest and how they use it, what you hear most often is that Pinterest is a place for inspiration for ideas that they can take go and take action on in real life.
“This could be everyday things like what to wear, what to eat, what to look like (beauty, fashion and food are big categories) but it’s also things that people are finding more broadly over a longer period of time like getting married, having a child, moving home or going travelling.
“These are also important use cases for the platform.”
“For marketers and businesses, what they love about Pinterest is that people are coming here with high commercial intent, they are in the market for these things.”
“But they don’t have a pre-conceived notion of which brand they’re going to go with. On Facebook and Google, there’s a lot of brand searches, we don’t have that.”
“97 per cent of our over 2 billion searches per month have no brand association at all.
“Which means that people are looking for ideas, for inspiration. But they don’t have a fully formed idea of exactly what they’re going to buy or do.
“We think we’re a place where people are making decisions. And if we do that well, brands can get their products in front of people who have not already decided what brand they’re going to go with and there’s a clear value exchange with ‘pinners’ as they’re looking for ideas and the brands are the answer.
“That alignment is really tight between our business, our partners as well as our users.”
The biggest challenge Pinterest faces according to Kaplan is overcoming the existing ways that marketers measure for their marketing programmes.
“I came from Google, we taught the industry the way that we should be measuring success which was you come to Google, somebody clicks on an ad and transactions right away.
“In the case of Pinterest, that’s not how people use it. Some people use it that way. But there’s a large portion of people who are looking for inspiration and ideas, who will save these ideas on their board and then they go offline or online to transact in some period in the future.
“So our biggest challenge is that we know we are driving sales for our partners but how do we capture that value that we’re driving by putting the measurement in place to capture both the online and offline sales?”
Kaplan explains that they work with 14 different measurement partners using pixels for online measurement and a partnership with Datalogix to measure offline sales.
They are also integrated into multi-mix models and looking at the path to purchase activity.
“In a metastudy, we did with Neustar, when Pinterest was there, the path to purchase was 40 per cent shorter than when we weren’t there. The average order value was 40 per cent higher.
“If we can prove that consistently, that we shorten the path to purchase and that we have a more valuable audience creating a larger basket size, that’s going to be a home run for our partners.”