Pinterest recently launched promoted pins which enables brands to advertise pins to users on the site. But there is a bigger issue that in Pinterest out of the revenue game, where brands are directly cutting deals with Pinfluencers to promote their pins instead. Pinfluencers are the top tier of non-brand users with the most followers who tend to see many of their pins re-pinned and shared on other social media platforms.
Brands are finding that it is much more effective to use a Pinfluencer instead of a promoted pin through Pinterest.
In one instance, VH1 says it got 600,000 followers for an influencer-created pin during a single week, and enjoyed a 40 % lift in engagement during the campaign, according to Tom Chirico, the network’s vice president of marketing.
Staples, Clinique, Huggies and Nordstrom are among the other brands that have taken the influencer route, but haven’t purchased Pinterest ads.
Sean Ryan, director of social and mobile marketing for J. C. Penney, said the retailer has purchased some ads on Pinterest, but noted that the influencer approach can be even more effective. “We often see twice the lift in engagement on a product when we use an influencer on Pinterest,” he said.
Pinterest currently has no advertising model or revenue share model that places the value on Pinfluencers that brands see, leaving those brands to go through third parties to gain access to those with the most influence.
The role of disclosure also plays an issue, as many of the suspected pins pushed by this Pinfluencers in exchange for money are not disclosed as being promoted in any way. And it can be hard for people to distinguish which pins could have been placed for monetary gain and which ones were simply a true pin when there is no disclosure. Promoted pins run through Pinterest are clearly marked as being promoted.
As Pinterest struggles to increase their revenue, they could potentially do some revenue sharing for promoted pins, that would enable pinfluencer’s to earn money by promoting pins but which would also not cut Pinterest out of the deal. It would also allow them to bring on board some of the brands are the only chosen to promote via Pinfluencers and not via Pinterest’s official promoted pins.
From Pinterest’s perspective, they are seemingly happy with how their promoted pins product is gaining ground with advertisers.
In response to the report, a Pinterest spokesman said the company is “excited” by the performance of its Promoted Pins and is “committed to learning and evolving the product.”
“This year we have an aggressive roadmap of new features including more targeting, measurement and ad formats,” the spokesman said.
Time will tell if they can solve the advertising revenue problem.
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